Any accredited public high school or non-public school accredited or approved by a state department of education or by an accrediting agency is eligible to apply for a charter of a local chapter. Each high school shall have their own chapter unless there is not a faculty sponsor available. In such instances, one chapter may be shared as long as all other constitutional requirements are met and fulfilled.
Starting a Chapter
A teacher in the field of social studies must serve as the founding chapter sponsor. This person will need to gather a core group of interested teachers and students to discuss the possibility of forming a chapter. Once the decision is made to create the charter the sponsor will need to submit the $150 charter fee and charter application to officially secure his/her high school chapter charter. It takes approximately three weeks for the application to be processed. A formal charter is sent to the chapter sponsor.
State and Regional Organizations
Local chapters may organize state or regional RHO KAPPA affiliations to help sponsor events for the local chapter and engage in projects at the state and regional level. State or Regional RHO KAPPA affiliations should:
- Conform to this constitution.
- Not in any way supersede local chapter authority as delegated by this constitution.
- Conform, if any, bylaws to all official documents prepared by the National RHO KAPPA organization.
Criteria for Active Chapters
All chapters must:
- have a chapter sponsor.
- induct new members annually ($5 induction fee per new member)
- pay a $75 affiliation fee annually (check or online portal)
- submit an annual chapter report (membership list) by October 1 each year to firstname.lastname@example.org in an excel spreadsheet
Each chapter pays an annual affiliation fee of $75.00. A chapter not currently "affiliated" can not submit new members for induction until charter reactivation papers and fees have been submitted.
Loss of Charter
Any chapter that fails to submit annually (1) current membership list and (2) annual national affiliation fees shall be deemed inactive. After two years of inactive status, the chapter shall forfeit its charter. The chapter may apply for reinstatement upon resubmitting reactivation papers and fees.
Local chapters may be named in honor of an individual who has made contributions to the social studies or the local community.
Chapter Member Dues
Local chapter membership dues, if any, shall be determined by the local chapter and is subject to approval of the faculty sponsor and school administrator.
Each chapter shall hold regular meetings during the school year. These meetings are to be in accordance with the school policy and regulations for club meetings. The regularity of these meetings is to be designated by the local chapter no less than twice a semester. Meetings are to be conducted according to Robert's Rules of Order.
Each individual chapter also determines what activities are appropriate for their individual chapter to participate in. Activities should be chosen based on the following criteria:
- should fulfill a need within the school or community or provide a service to either group.
- have the support of the faculty sponsor and administration along with the membership body
- are appropriately and educationally defensible.
- are well planned and executed.
- may or may not be directly related to the field of social studies, but honor the overall purpose, mission, and goals of such an organization.
It is the responsibility of each chapter to represent the national RHO KAPPA organization in a positive and suitable manner.
Each chapter shall write bylaws to execute the national organization's constitution and/or further clarify the chapter's operating procedures. Bylaws for each local chapter does not need the approval of the National Advisory Council but must be consistent with and not be in conflict with the national constitution. Chapter bylaws shall include:
- membership selection criteria
- the scheduling of meetings
- the election, duties, and responsibilities of officers
- the chapter sponsor duties and responsibilities
- criteria and procedures for removal from an office
- filling vacancies of officer positions
- criteria and procedures for removal from membership
- method and procedure for ratification of the bylaws
Bylaws should be on file with the school they are associated. Any changes made to the local chapter bylaws after the initial affiliation should submit these to the National Advisory Council each new affiliation year.