Tamil Association of Greater Delaware Valley (TAGDV)


Since the early 1970s, the Tamil Association of Greater Delaware Valley, henceforth referred to as TAGDV, has been functioning as a non-profit cultural organization in the Greater Delaware Valley.  As part of its activities, it has been operating and managing Tamil Schools for the young children of the community, where the sole focus is teaching of the Tamil Language, a classical language whose poetic literature predates fourth century BCE, and has been in continuous use by the people of Southern India over the past three millennia.

In April of 2016, a special meeting of TAGDV General Body shall be called to discuss, approve and adopt these Bylaws to initiate the formation of Tamil School Board for providing oversight of multiple schools that function under the auspices of TAGDV. Upon doing so, the Tamil School Board shall become alive, and act upon its responsibilities.  Part of the Board membership is automatic, by virtue of current officers of the Tamil Schools, TAGDV and TAGDV Board of Trustees.  Namely, the two Principals, two Chairs of Academic Councils of the Tamil Schools, two Chairs of Parent Teacher Association of each of the Tamil Schools, two student representatives, Chair of the Board of TAGDV and the President of TAGDV, totaling ten in number will form the initial Board membership. The joint committee of the Board of Trustees and Executive committee of TAGDV shall appoint pro tempore officers of the Tamil School Board, namely – Chair, Secretary and Treasurer.  Once this is completed, the Board consisting of thirteen members shall recruit two individuals who have Tamil Language teaching experience (hereafter called External Board members) in North America to complete the formation of the Tamil School Board.  The term of the two external Board members shall end on June 30th 2017 to facilitate with synchronization of the new Board with the Tamil School calendar. The External Board Members may continue upon approval by the Board whose members will change with the new Tamil School year. A special election will be held for the three officers of the Tamil School Board during the next Annual General Body meeting to be conducted during the Deepavali function, 2016.  The elected officers will assume their respective positions immediately following the election.  During subsequent years, staring with Deepavali 2017, when the regular elections of TAGDV are held, election of the three officers of the Tamil School Board will also be held, and their term will begin on July 1st following the election.

Article I. Purpose, Campuses and Office

I.1. Board. Tamil School Board (hereafter called the Board) is a body constituted by the Tamil Association of Greater Delaware Valley (hereafter called TAGDV, a non profit cultural organization registered with Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c)(3) entity, EIN: 23-2286273) for providing quality education for children desiring a good foundation in the Tamil language through various Tamil Schools founded by the TAGDV. Details of the Board’s membership and responsibilities are articulated in later sections.

I.2. Purpose. The Tamil Schools of the Tamil Association of Greater Delaware Valley are conducted for the sole purpose of Tamil Language Education.  They are founded by members of TAGDV and are integral part of it, both financially and legally.  They provide Tamil language classes to the children of its members and others who desire learning the Tamil language.  Although the Tamil schools conduct classes weekly or biweekly, it is organized as a school body with all of its academic and administrative features.

 I.3. Campuses. There are two Tamil Schools, currently.  One is located in Pennsylvania (PA) area, and the other in Delaware (DE).  Because potential students the schools serve are residents of the Greater Delaware Valley Area, additional schools may be formed in future as the need for geographical distribution emerges.  Formation of new campuses requires the approval by the joint action of the Board, the Board of Trustees of TAGDV and the Executive Committee of TAGDV [for details of the composition of these two entities see Bylaws of TAGDV; https://tagdv.org/about-us/by-laws].  While the two campuses operate independently, operational and academic policies will be uniform, and shall be facilitated by the Board.

I.4. Offices. Each Tamil School will have its own address for local convenience. External communication such as that with the regional School Board, Universities and other educational bodies will use the official address of the Board:  PO Box. XXXX, City, PA.

Article II. Tamil School Board Members and Board Responsibilities

II.1. Members of Board.  The initial Tamil School Board shall consist of 15 members.  They are the Principal of each Tamil School, Chair of Academic Council (Chair-AC) from each school, Chair of Parent-Teacher Association (Chair-PTA) of each school, a student representative from each Tamil School, Chair of Board of Trustees of TAGDV, President of TAGDV, two who have Tamil Education experience in North America, and three who are elected by the General Body of TAGDV during a General Body meeting, to serve as Chair, Secretary and Treasurer of the Board.  The officers of the Board are the elected Chair, Secretary and Treasurer. The Board shall recruit two members, called External Members of the Board,  who have Tamil Education experience in North America, especially teaching Tamil to young children.

In future, when a new Tamil Schools are constituted under the auspices of TAGDV, that school’s representatives (Principal, Chair-AC, Chair-PTA, Student Representative) will serve on the Board, and thus the number of Board members shall increase.

II.2. Election and Term of Board Officers.  As stated in II.1, the three officers of the Board shall be elected by the General Body of TAGDV, following the procedures and processes articulated in the Bylaws of TAGDV.  It is expected that Chair, Secretary and Treasurer shall be a member of TAGDV and have experience in having served TAGDV, especially its Tamil Schools.  The term of the officers shall be two years.  Their service as one of the officers of the Board is limited to a maximum of three consecutive terms or six consecutive years, whichever is shorter.  Additionally any of the officers shall not serve in the same position (Chair, Secretary or Treasurer) for more than one term during any of the three consecutive terms or six consecutive years. The term of elected and External Board Members shall begin on July 1st  following the election. This is to synchronize with Tamil School calendar. Other positions are filled by virtue of their positions in the two Tamil Schools, TAGDV Executive Committee and TAGDV Board of Trustees.

Every Board Member shall have a vote on all proposals that come before it for consideration.

Should vacancies occur in Board membership (elected or appointed), the remaining Board members shall fill that position until the end of the two-year term.

II.3. Responsibilities of the Board.  The responsibilities of the Tamil School Board will include, but not limited to:  (1) To facilitate acquiring accreditation for the Tamil Schools of TAGDV;   (2) To facilitate the recognition of the Tamil Schools by local school districts and universities; (3) To provide effective interface with other accredited Tamil Schools in North America, and Tamil School Education bodies such as American Tamil Academy; (4) To facilitate adoption of best practices in Tamil Education; (5) To ensure financial viability of the Tamil Schools; (6) To ensure sustainability of Tamil Schools through such activities as teacher training, outreach and others; (7) To promote annual Tamil Language programs and activities for the combined Tamil School students

II.4.Board Meetings.  The Board shall meet at least twice a year, generally called by the Chair with a pre-circulated agenda. Two-week notice is required for calling a Board meeting. Any Board member may request a Board meeting at any time, stating the reason(s), by writing to the Secretary.  The Secretary shall poll within 7 days of receipt of such a request. If one-third of the Board affirms the request, the Chair shall call a Board meeting within 21 days of the original request. Teleconferences are appropriate medium for meetings, considering the current times.  Quorum for meetings shall be a simple majority of the Board.  For conduct of Board meetings, Robert’s Rule of Order (revised edition) shall be followed.  Board meetings may be conducted via the web, and voting by e-mail is permitted.  Proxy voting in Board meetings is not allowed.  The secretary of the Board shall keep minutes of Board meetings.

Article III. Responsibilities of Board Officers

III.1. Chair of the Board.  The Chair of the Board shall oversee the responsibilities outlined in Article II.2. The Chair shall call periodic meeting of the Board, conduct the required business toward achieving the responsibilities (article II.2), and report to the Board periodically on progress. Should the Chair be absent over an extended period of time, the Secretary or the one designated by the Chair will assume and conduct the Board’s business on behalf of the Chair.

III.2. Secretary. The Secretary shall serve as the chief communications officer, shall maintain records of the Board including minutes of Board meetings, and perform such other duties as requested by the Chair.

III.3. Treasurer.  The Treasurer shall maintain all financial records of the Board, including operation of its bank account.  Annually, the Treasurer shall collect income-expense and asset-liability data from all the Tamil Schools, and consolidate it with that of the Board, and issue financial report to the Board, Executive Committee of TAGDV and to the Board of TAGDV.  The consolidation of the multiple financial statements (Board and Tamil Schools) shall be issued before February 28th of each year, so that timely filing of appropriate tax returns by TAGDV Treasurer can be completed.

Article IV. Committees

IV.1. Committees. The Board shall form subcommittees consisting of Board members, Tamil School teachers, and TAGDV members for developing strategies or execution of specific education related activity.  Examples of this are Accreditation Committee, Teacher Training Committee, Summer Tamil School Committee, Annual Combined Tamil School celebrations and others. The committees may be deemed as Standing Committees or as Ad Hoc Committees by the Board.

Article V Amendments

V.1. Amendments. Amendments to the Bylaws may be brought to the Board by any of the Board members and requires four-week notice, and is considered approved if it receives support of two-thirds majority of the Board members.  It is noted that if a non Board member wishes to bring forth an amendment, sponsorship of it by at least three Board member is required, and the Board shall act on it within 30 days upon receipt.  Proposed amendment may be submitted via email with the sponsorship of three Board members.

Adopted by the Joint Committee of Board of Trustees and Executive Committee of TAGDV

February 19, 2016