The following version of the NEHS National Constitution was approved for all chapters by the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) Board of Directors. This is the most recent edition for use by chapters.
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Article I: Name and Purpose
Section 1. The name of this organization shall be the National Elementary Honor Society (NEHS).
Section 2. The purpose of this organization shall be to recognize students for their outstanding academic achievement and demonstrated personal responsibility, to provide service to the school and community, and to develop leadership skills in the students of elementary schools.
Section 3. NEHS is a program of the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) in partnership with the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) Foundation. NASSP administers the organization from its headquarters located at 1904 Association Drive, Reston, VA.
Article II: The NASSP Student Leadership Advisory Committee
Section 1. The control of this organization shall be vested in the NASSP Board of Directors.
Section 2. There shall be a national advisory committee to advise the NASSP staff and Board of Directors regarding NEHS and its policies and procedures.
Section 3. The Student Leadership Advisory Committee shall consist of 14 members appointed by the Board of Directors of NASSP, as follows:
- 6 high school student members (3 NHS, 3 NASC member schools)
- 2 middle level student members (1 representing the school of the middle level adviser-at-large and 1 from the NJHS principal-at-large)
- 2 high school advisers-at-large (1 NHS, 1 NASC member school)
- 1 middle level adviser-at-large (1 NJHS or 1 middle level NASC member school)
- 3 practicing principals-at-large (NASSP members: 1 NHS school, 1 NJHS school, 1 NASC school)
The executive director of NASSP shall be an ex officio member of the Student Leadership Advisory Committee.
Section 4. Members shall be appointed for a term of no more than two years.
Article III: Local Chapters
Section 1. Any public or nonpublic school enrolling students in grades 4, 5, or 6 is eligible to establish an NEHS chapter. Each school shall have its own chapter.
Section 2. Each school with an approved chapter shall pay an annual affiliation fee as approved by the NASSP Board of Directors.
Section 3. Duly chartered local chapters shall operate using policies that fully conform to this National Constitution. Failure to do so may result in the loss of the charter.
Article IV: The Principal
Section 1. The principal shall reserve the right to approve all activities and decisions of the chapter.
Section 2. The principal shall annually appoint a member of the faculty as chapter adviser, who may serve consecutive terms. (Note: Multiple advisers can be appointed.)
Section 3. The principal shall annually appoint a faculty council composed of at least two (2) members of the school’s faculty who may serve consecutive terms.
Section 4. The principal shall receive appeals in cases of nonselection of candidates, the disciplining or dismissal of members, and other questions arising concerning the management of the chapter at the school.
Article V: The Chapter Adviser
Section 1. The chapter adviser shall be a member of the faculty, appointed annually by the principal, and may serve consecutive terms. (Notes: No principal or assistant principal may serve as the chapter adviser. Multiple advisers can be appointed to manage the chapter. However in such cases, one adviser shall be designated as the primary adviser of record for managing the chapter’s account online.)
Section 2. The chapter adviser shall be responsible for the direct, ongoing administration and supervision of the chapter, its members, and activities, and act as liaison with the faculty, administration, students, and community.
Section 3. The chapter adviser shall maintain records on membership, chapter history, activities, and financial transactions.
Section 4. The chapter adviser shall regularly review each member for compliance with the standards and obligations of the chapter.
Section 5. The chapter adviser shall assist the chapter officers to understand and carry out their duties.
Section 6. The chapter adviser shall be a member and facilitate all meetings of the faculty council.
Section 7. The chapter adviser shall complete an annual survey for the NEHS/NASSP national office.
Article VI: Faculty Council
Section 1. The faculty council shall consist of the chapter adviser and at least two (2) voting faculty members appointed annually by the principal. (Note: No principal or assistant principal may be included on the faculty council.)
Section 2. The term for the faculty council shall be one year. Members may be appointed to consecutive terms.
Section 3. The faculty council shall meet at least once a year to review the procedures of the chapter, select members, and consider other disciplinary or chapter management actions.
Section 4. The faculty council will develop and revise, when necessary, all chapter procedures for selection, discipline, and dismissal of members, all of which must remain in compliance with all national policies.
Section 5. The chapter adviser will facilitate all meetings of the faculty council.
Article VII: Student Membership
Section 1. Membership in a local chapter is an honor bestowed upon a student. Selection for membership is by a faculty council and is based on outstanding scholarship and responsibility. Once selected, members have the responsibility to continue to demonstrate these qualities and to participate in chapter activities to build experience and improve skills in leadership and service.
Section 2. Membership shall be known as active and honorary. Students become active members when selected and inducted to the chapter (see Article 8, below).
Section 3. Members of the faculty council shall support the school leader in creating and sustaining a school environment in which each student is known, accepted and valued, trusted and respected, cared for and encouraged to be an active and responsible member of the school community. As such, the faculty council shall reserve the right to award honorary membership to students who warrant special consideration—including those who receive accommodations for a disability, or foreign exchange students—in recognition of achievement and/or outstanding service rendered to the school in keeping with the purposes of the National Elementary Honor Society. The faculty council might also award honorary membership to school officials, principals, teachers, NEHS advisers, or other adults. Honorary membership grants to the recipient all of the privileges of membership without the obligations associated with active member status. (See Chapter 3 of the National Elementary Honor Society Handbook for additional information.)
Section 4. Dues. The annual individual member dues paid to a chapter, if any, shall not exceed twenty dollars ($20) per member per year. The exact amount shall be determined by the faculty council of the chapter and shall be subject to the approval of the principal. (Note: Local chapter member dues are an optional consideration. All chapters are encouraged to take into consideration both local school system policies and the socioeconomic conditions of the student body when considering the creation of individual member dues.)
Section 5. Obligations. Chapter members and their parents will be informed of the obligations of members of the local NEHS chapter before and upon their induction. Members are expected to fulfill all designated obligations which can include, but are not limited to the following: Attending meetings, participating in chapter projects and activities, serving on committees, etc. Failure to fulfill all membership obligations can be grounds for disciplinary actions by the faculty council against an individual member (see Article 9 below).
Section 6. Transferring membership. Any NEHS member who transfers to another school with an NEHS chapter and brings a letter from the principal or chapter adviser to the new school adviser shall be accepted automatically as a member in the new school’s NEHS chapter. Transfer members will work to meet the chapter standards at the new school within one semester in order to retain membership.
Article VIII: Selection of Members
Section 1. Candidacy.
- Grade Level. To be eligible for membership, the candidate must be a member of those grade levels (grades 4, 5, and 6) designated as eligible in the chapter bylaws. (Note: Local chapters can reduce the number of eligible grade levels to be grades 5 and 6 or grade 6 only when creating their local selection guidelines. Refer to Chapter 3 for details.)
- Enrollment. Candidates must have been enrolled at the school the equivalent of one semester. (Note: Some candidates may be considered to be ineligible for candidacy because of this semester eligibility policy. Many students, including students of military parents, are required to move with parents or guardians who have transferred in their work. In such cases, the present school principal should seek a recommendation from the previous school principal or other school representative regarding the candidate’s eligibility. On the basis of the recommendation of the previous principal, the faculty council may waive the semester regulation.)
- Scholarship. Candidates must meet or exceed the national minimum standard for scholarship (i.e., academic performance), which is a cumulative scholastic average of at least 85 percent, B, or 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) or the equivalent standard of excellence. (Note: In order to reflect higher expectations and standards of excellence for students, local chapters may raise the cumulative GPA standard above the national minimum, apply it fairly and consistently, and include this standard in their locally published selection procedures.)
- Candidates who meet the three conditions above (a., b., and c.) shall be evaluated by the faculty council on demonstrated aspects of their personal responsibility as outlined by the chapter. To assist in this step, additional input shall be requested from candidates in the form of an information sheet (also known as a Candidate’s Form), or obtained as professional input from the faculty, or as recommendations from members of the community.
Section 2. Following review of all relevant information by the faculty council, the selection of each member to the chapter shall be by a majority vote of the faculty council. (Note: Refer to Chapter 3 for clarification on these voting procedures.)
Section 3. Candidates selected for membership shall be notified of their selection and inducted at a special ceremony. Candidates who are not selected shall also be notified and, upon request, provided counsel regarding their nonselection. (Note: Students who are candidates but not selected can be considered again at the next (and all future) round(s) of selections presuming that all of the required conditions are still being met.)
Section 4. A description of the selection procedure shall be published in an official school publication that is widely available in a timely fashion to all students and parents of the school. The selection procedure shall be determined by the faculty council, approved by the principal, and shall be consistent with all rules and regulations of NEHS.
Section 5. Neither NASSP nor NAESP shall review the judgment of the faculty council regarding selection of individual members to local chapters.
Article IX: Disciplinary Actions*
Section 1. The faculty council, in compliance with the rules and regulations of the National Elementary Honor Society, shall delineate the procedures for the disciplining of a member of the chapter. A written description of the dismissal procedure shall be available to interested parties. (Note: Faculty councils may always consider disciplinary actions that are less severe than dismissal if circumstances warrant.)
Section 2. Members who fall below the standards that were the basis for their selection shall be promptly warned in writing by the chapter adviser and given a reasonable amount of time to correct the deficiency. In the case of flagrant violation of school rules or the law, a member does not have to be warned.
Section 3. The faculty council shall determine when an individual member has exceeded a reasonable number of warnings.
Section 4. In all cases of pending dismissal (i.e., permanent removal from membership in the chapter), a member shall have a right to a hearing before the faculty council. (Note: This hearing is required and is considered “due process” for all members when first being considered for dismissal.)
Section 5. For purposes of dismissal, a majority vote of the faculty council is required following the completion of the hearing with the member in question (as noted in Section 4, above).
Section 6. A member who has been dismissed may appeal the decision of the faculty council to the principal and thereafter under the same rules for disciplinary appeals as found in the school district.
Section 7. NASSP and NAESP shall hear no appeals in dismissal cases.
Section 8. Members who resign or are dismissed can be reconsidered for membership upon written request to the chapter adviser. (Note: See Chapter 6 for additional guidance in handling resignation or dismissal reconsideration requests.)
*Individual chapters are encouraged to promote an inclusive approach to membership and to consider age-appropriate, positive disciplinary measures for members rather than resorting to the removal of students from membership. Suspension of a member’s ability to participate in chapter activities for six weeks, a quarter, or a semester can be considered as reasonable options for lesser offenses. Should it become necessary to consider a member’s dismissal, the provisions of this entire article constitute the due process required for all cases.
Article X: Chapter Officers
Section 1. The officers of the chapter, their duties, and the method of their election shall be determined by the chapter, approved by the faculty council and the principal, and described in the chapter bylaws (see Article 14 below).
Section 2. Officers of the chapter and the chapter adviser shall be known collectively as the executive committee of the chapter.
Section 3. The executive committee shall have general supervision of the affairs of the chapter between its business meetings, make recommendations to the chapter, and determine and perform such other duties as are specified in the chapter bylaws. All actions and recommendations of the executive committee shall be subject to the review of the chapter membership and faculty council.
Article XI: Chapter Activities
Section 1. Meetings. Each chapter shall have regular meetings during the school year at times designated by the executive committee and in accordance with school policy and regulations.
- The regularity of the meetings (e.g., weekly, monthly, or quarterly) shall be designated in the chapter bylaws.
- The chapter president or other designated student leader may call special meetings as approved by the executive committee.
- Chapters shall conduct meetings according to Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised or other established meeting management system in all points not expressly provided for in this National Constitution or the chapter bylaws. (Note: See Meeting Management Resources in Chapter 5.)
Section 2. Projects. Each chapter shall determine one or more projects for each quarter of the school year. A minimum of four (4) projects per year is required to maintain an active chapter. Of these, a minimum of one (1) project shall be designated as a service project for the school or community. (Note: To facilitate completion of this important chapter obligation, some projects can be completed during regular meetings of the chapter.)
- All members shall regularly participate in projects planned for the chapter.
- These projects shall have the following characteristics: Fulfill a need within the chapter, school, or community; have the support of the administration and the faculty; be appropriate and educationally defensible; and be age-appropriate, well planned, organized, and implemented.
Section 3. Public Relations. Each chapter shall promote and publicize its activities in a positive manner.
Article XII: Official Emblem*
Section 1. This organization shall have an official emblem.
Section 2. The form and distribution of the emblem and the rules for its use shall be under the exclusive control of the national office of NEHS.
Section 3. Each active or honorary member in good standing with the chapter shall retain the privilege of wearing this emblem. (Note: “Good standing” refers generally to maintaining the standards by which a member was selected, and, in addition, fulfilling all chapter obligations.)
Section 4. Any member who resigns or is dismissed shall return the emblem to the chapter adviser.
Section 5. All emblems and insignia must be procured from the national office of the National Elementary Honor Society, 1904 Association Drive, Reston, VA, 20191.
*See Chapter 4 for official guidelines for the proper use of the NEHS name and emblem.
Article XIII: Colors
The official colors of the National Elementary Honor Society shall be blue and bronze. Local chapters may also adapt their school colors for use in all chapter activities.
Article XIV: Local Chapter Bylaws*
Section 1. Each chapter shall write bylaws to amplify sections of this National Constitution and to clarify operating procedures of the chapter. Chapter bylaws do not need the approval of the national office but must be consistent with the National Constitution.
Section 2. The chapter bylaws shall contain information concerning the election and duties of officers, the schedule of meetings, member obligations, dues, chapter activities, and the like. (See Chapter 2 for more information.)
*Chapters needing assistance in the creation of their local chapter bylaws should first review the handout found at www.nehs.org/bylaws.
Article XV: Amendments
The National Constitution may be amended at any meeting of the NASSP Board of Directors. Changes made to the National Constitution will be communicated to all local chapters within ninety (90) days of being approved by the NASSP Board.