SUBJECT: PUBLIC USE OF SCHOOL FACILITIES
While the District's school buildings and grounds are maintained primarily for the purpose of educating students within the District, the Board of Education recognizes that the buildings and grounds area a valuable community resource and believes that this resource should be available to the community for specific uses that will not interfere with educational activities. This policy is intended to identify the uses that community groups may make of those facilities.
District facilities may be used for the purposes listed below or any other purpose approved by the Board of Education subject to the conditions and restrictions set forth in this policy.
a) Instruction in any branch of education, learning or the arts.
b) Public library purposes, subject to provisions of the Education Law, or as stations of public libraries.
c) Social, civic and recreational meetings and entertainments, or other uses pertaining to the welfare of the community so long as such uses are non-exclusive and open to the general public.
d) Meetings, entertainment and occasions where admission fees are charged, when the proceeds are to be spent for an educational or charitable purpose.
e) Polling places for holding primaries and elections, for the registration of voters and for holding political meetings.
f) Civic forums and community centers.
g) Recreation, physical training and athletics, including competitive athletic contests of children attending a private, nonprofit school.
h) Child-care programs when school is not in session, or when school is in session for the children of students attending schools of the District and, if there is additional space available, for children of employees of the District.
i) Graduation exercises held by not-for-profit elementary and secondary schools, provided that no religious service is performed.
Any use not permitted by this policy is prohibited. In addition, the following uses are specifically prohibited.
Conditions of Use for District Facilities
a) Use of District facilities may be permitted unless such facilities are in use for school purposes, or during educational programs. The District reserves exclusive and non-reviewable judgment to determine if a requested use would interfere with or disturb the District's educational programs.
b) To ensure that District facilities are preserved for the benefit of the greater District community, only community based groups and organizations (that is, groups which are located within the geographic area covered by the District) may be granted access to District facilities.
c) Use of District facilities to patriotic youth groups listed as a patriotic society in Title 36 of the U.S. Code will be permitted to the same extent as other outside groups. The District shall not deny access to or otherwise discriminate against such youth groups based solely on the group's membership or leadership criteria or oath of allegiance to God and country.
d) United States Military Recruiters and college and university and prospective employers will be provided the same access to high school students on school grounds. Use of District facilities will be permitted only where the applicant agrees to pay the District a user fee according to a schedule adopted by the District to cover the costs of heat, electricity, maintenance, custodial services and any other expenses associated with the requested use. Use is further conditioned upon the applicant's agreement to pay additional fees associated with the use of any additional services or equipment. The District retains the right to condition use upon an applicant depositing with the District a sum equaling the estimated costs and fees associated with the proposed use ten (10) days in advance of the requested use. The District retains the further right to waive user fees for groups that are associated with or sponsored by the District.
e) Where, in the judgment of the District, the requested use of District facilities requires special equipment or supervision, the District reserves the right to deny such use, or in the alternative, to condition such use upon the applicant's payment of additional fees in accordance with paragraph c) above. Only authorized personnel shall operate District equipment.
f) Use of District facilities will only be permitted where the organization provides the District timely evidence of adequate insurance coverage ($1,000,000 minimum) to save the District harmless from all liability, property damage, personal injuries and/or medical expenses. The District will exercise complete and unreviewable discretion regarding what constitutes adequate insurance coverage for each proposed use.
g) The Board reserves the discretion to deny use of District facilities described above, or to terminate use of District facilities:
1. By an applicant who has previously misused or abused District facilities or property or who has violated this policy;
2. For any use which could have the effect of violating the Establishment Clause of the United States Constitution or other provisions of the United States or New York State Constitutions;
3. For any use which, in the estimation of the Board, could reasonably be expected to or actually does give rise to a riot or public disturbance;
4. For any use which the Board deems inconsistent with this policy;
5. For any use by a private for-profit entity that has the direct or indirect effect of promoting the products or services of such entity;
6. In any instance where alcoholic beverages or unlawful drugs are sold, distributed, consumed, promoted or possessed;
7. For any use prohibited by law.
Application Procedure for Use of District Facilities
a) All applications for use of school facilities shall be made in writing and submitted to the Superintendent of Schools at least thirty (30) days prior to the date of the requested use. A use permit application is available in the Superintendent's office.
b) The applicant must clearly and completely describe the intended use of the District facility in the application.
c) All applicants must review this policy prior to submitting the application. All applications must be signed by an authorized agent of the group or organization requesting use. The applicant's signature on the application shall attest to the group or organization's intent to comply with all Board policies and regulations and to use District facilities strictly in accordance with the use described in the application.
d) All applicants must agree to assume responsibility for all damages resulting from its use of District facilities. Proof of adequate insurance must be provided by the applicant at least ten (10) days before the date of the requested use.
e) Permits shall be valid only for the facility use, dates and time specified in the permit. No adjustment to the permit is allowed except with the prior written approval of the Superintendent. Permits shall not be transferable.
f) The Superintendent is authorized to alter or cancel any permit if it becomes necessary to use the facility for school purposes or for other justifiable reason.
g) With regard to scheduling activities, the District retains the right to give preference to groups and organizations which are associated with or sponsored by the District.
h) Issuance of a permit shall not limit the right of access to the facility by District staff.
20 United States Code (USC) Section 7905
36 United States Code (USC) Subtitle II
34 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Parts 75, 76 and 108
Education Law Section 414