GKD(LOCAL) - COMMUNITY RELATIONS: NONSCHOOL USE OF SCHOOL FACILITIES
The Board has attempted to provide for the maximum use of public school facilities within a framework that will assure the taxpaying public that school facility use is in no way detrimental to the regular educational program. These policies and District regulations govern the community use of school facilities.
Permits may be cancelled at any time there is evidence that District policies and regulations are being violated. In case of cancellation, the Board assumes no liability other than return of fees charged for unused facilities.
Charges for school facilities are outlined in regulations. The associate superintendent for business services may revise this schedule of charges as necessary or establish charges for the use of facilities not defined herein or under unusual circumstances.
Definition and General Use
All buildings, grounds, and property owned by the District and all items of equipment or real property loaned or leased to the Board are deemed to be school property.
School buildings and property under control of the Board are provided for student instruction. No other use shall be granted that interferes with the regular school work or with the regular school program.
A school group is defined as any group that consists of faculty members and/or parents and whose main purpose is for the promotion of school-sponsored activities, such as PTA/PTO, booster clubs, and advisory committees.
A nonschool group is defined as any community group or organization classified as a nonprofit group or organization whose main purpose is to provide services or activities that benefit patrons of the District, such as Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Brownies, Campfire Girls, sports associations, YMCA, YWCA, civic clubs, chamber of commerce, and colleges and universities.
Use of Schools by School Groups
Principals of the schools are authorized to grant the use of facilities in their respective schools for programs and functions held by school groups (as herein defined). The principal and faculty of the school shall be charged with the responsibility for supervision of all such activities and for securing the building after each function.
Use of Schools by Nonschool Groups
School buildings and facilities may be made available for nonschool groups at no expense provided all three of the following criteria are met:
Nonpaying Groups and Organizations
A single space is needed such as a classroom, gymnasium, or cafeteria.
The building's use does not interfere with school activities.
The building's use is scheduled for the hours it is normally open and staffed, i.e., before school or immediately after school prior to 6:00 p.m. The principal shall be responsible for the building during the scheduled event.
School buildings and facilities or portions of them shall be available at a rental charge to nonschool groups (as herein defined) within the community during hours when the school is not normally open, i.e., evenings and weekends.
Use of school buildings or grounds by nonschool groups or organizations shall be allowed under the following conditions:
Applications must originate with organizations located in the District. Facilities shall not be made available to individuals.
Applications for permission to use District facilities shall be filed with the District building use schedule coordinator located in the office of business and support services not later than two weeks prior to planned use of the facility.
Scheduling details shall be required from all applicants. The District building use schedule coordinator shall schedule these groups for the District. He or she shall coordinate the scheduling with the building principal of the facility being rented. He or she shall coordinate rental of athletic facilities with the athletic director. Users of District facilities shall be notified by this coordinator if security or other special services are needed for their meetings. The District building use schedule coordinator shall issue use-regulation and use-agreement forms to be completed and returned. If approved, notice of approval will be forwarded, in writing, to the applicant, by the schedule coordinator. Applicants should not make firm plans, advertise activities, or sell tickets to an event prior to receiving written approval for the use of District facilities.
A "usage period" is defined to be approximately three hours. A group using the building in the morning and also in the evening shall be charged a double fee.
Continuous rentals shall be subject to renewal every six months.
The District building use schedule coordinator shall not rent facilities when that rental will interfere with school activities. Any agreement to rent may be cancelled by the District in favor of school activities. Notice of cancellation by the District must be made at least one week prior to the scheduled event.
All nonschool groups that rent District facilities shall be scheduled to use the high schools whenever possible. Elementary and middle schools shall be scheduled only on an emergency basis. If elementary or middle schools are to be scheduled, elementary-age children will be scheduled in elementary schools only and middle school children will be scheduled into middle schools only.
A District employee must be on duty when any school facility is used.
To qualify for a long-term use agreement of six-months, a group must be in the process of finding a permanent site in the District. At the end of the six-month rental agreement, the group must show proof of progress in purchasing a site to qualify for an extension of the rental agreement. This proof must be brought to the associate superintendent for business services for approval.
Applicants who fail to give written notice of cancellation to the District building use coordinator at least 24 hours in advance of the scheduled activity shall be responsible for the same costs that would have been incurred had the activity been held as scheduled. If notice of cancellation is made by telephone, a written confirmation of this cancellation must be forwarded to the District building use coordinator.
General policies for all groups are as follows:
School officials shall at all times have full authority to enforce proper and safe conduct of all persons and activities on school property.
No intoxicating beverages shall be permitted in any or on any school premises.
There shall be no tobacco use on District property except in designated smoking areas at the Alief Athletic Complex Stadium.
Rooms or other facilities used must be left in a satisfactory manner ready for school use.
Only the room or rooms specified in the application shall be used.
Certain areas such as laboratories, shops, and open teaching areas are not available for public use, except through school-sponsored programs.
Only authorized employees of the District shall be permitted to have keys.
All groups shall comply with the policies and regulations as established by the District for the facility being used. Violations of these policies, rules, and regulations or inaccurate or untruthful statements in the application may place the organization on the ineligible list for future use of school facilities.
Any organization or group using school facilities shall designate one member of its group as being in charge of and responsible for the program or activity. This person in turn shall be responsible to the principal of the school in which the event is scheduled.
Groups using school facilities shall be held responsible for any damages to school property during their use of the premises.
A group renting the premises for an occasion to which the general public is eligible to attend shall be held responsible for the treatment of the property on the part of the general public during the time.
All loss or damage to school property including that of students and employees shall be the responsibility of the using organization during the time the building is in use under the organization's permit.
Damage to or misuse of the facilities and equipment of the District shall be paid for in full by the organization chargeable with its use.
In all cases, the associate superintendent for business services or designee shall make the determination of the extent of damage.
The individual representatives of the organization using the facilities shall secure the names of witnesses to any accident or damage to or loss of property that may occur during said use and shall furnish to the associate superintendent for business services a written report of such accident, damage, or loss and shall assume all liability that may arise from such accident, damage, or loss.
The District, the Board, and employees shall not be responsible for injury, damage to or loss of property upon school premises sustained by members, guests, or others attending the activity sponsored by the applicant.
Liability insurance shall be carried by groups using physical education and athletic facilities or any facilities the associate superintendent for business services deems necessary to be covered by insurance.
Specific prohibited activities include:
Any activity that may be injurious to the buildings, grounds, or equipment, or that may be deemed a nuisance by people living nearby.
Any purpose in conflict with school activities.
Commercial purposes. No activity or program shall be approved that has as its purpose profit or gains to the group concerned.
Any individual or group desiring to use facilities to conduct any type of instructional program, including tutoring, shall have such program approved by the associate superintendent for business services and be conducted in conjunction with the District's adult education program, summer school program, or any approved District program. Any fees or tuition charges shall be approved by the deputy superintendent for administrative services and paid to the District. Facilities may also be rented for any outside organization if the use is initiated or requested by the sponsor and approved administrator.
Groups Living Outside the District
School facilities shall not be available for use to any groups outside the District, except:
When such activity is for the exclusive benefit of the students of the District.
When such facility is being used for a regional or sectional meeting of a recognized group. Example: 4-H, Farm Bureau, Dairymen's Association.
When at least 60 percent of a groups' membership resides within the District and while plans are being made to provide a permanent facility in the District. Such requests shall be renewable every six months to determine what progress has been made by the using group. Names and addresses of members of the group must be provided. Plans for providing a permanent facility must be presented in writing.
Distribution of Nonschool Literature
Written or printed materials, handbills, photographs, pictures, films, tapes, or other visual or auditory materials over which the District does not exercise control shall not be sold, circulated, or distributed by persons or groups not associated with the school or a school support group on any school premises in the District without permission in accordance with this policy.
The District's classrooms during the school day are provided for the limited purpose of delivering instruction to students in the courses and subjects in which they are enrolled. Hallways in school buildings are provided for the limited purpose of facilitating the movement of students between classes and allowing access to assigned lockers. Classrooms and hallways shall not be used for the distribution of any materials over which the school does not exercise control.
Each school campus shall designate an area where materials that have been approved for distribution, as provided below, may be made available or distributed to students or others in accordance with the time, place, and manner restrictions developed and approved by the campus principal. The Superintendent shall designate appropriate areas and determine appropriate time, place, and manner restrictions regarding distribution of nonschool materials at District buildings other than school campuses.
All written material over which the school does not exercise control and that is intended for distribution on District property shall be submitted for prior review according to the following procedures:
Materials shall be submitted to the Superintendent or designee for review.
To be considered for distribution, materials shall include the name of the organization or individual sponsoring the distribution.
Using the standards below at LIMITATIONS ON CONTENT the Superintendent or designee shall approve or reject submitted material within two school days of the time the material is received.
The requestor may appeal the decision of the Superintendent or designee to the Board in accordance with GF(LOCAL), beginning at the appropriate Level.
Appropriate law enforcement officials may be called when a person refuses to follow the procedures for submitting materials and fails to leave the premises when asked. [See GKA]
Limitations on Content
Nonschool materials shall not be distributed if:
The materials are obscene, vulgar, or otherwise inappropriate for the age and maturity of the audience.
The materials endorse actions endangering the health or safety of students.
The distribution of such materials would violate the intellectual property rights, privacy rights, or other rights of another person.
The materials contain defamatory statements about public figures or others.
The materials criticize Board members or school officials or advocate violation of school rules and fall within the standard described at LIMITATIONS ON EXPRESSION at FNAA(LEGAL).
The materials advocate imminent lawless or disruptive action and are likely to incite or produce such action.
The materials include hate literature that scurrilously attacks ethnic, religious, or racial groups, and similar publications aimed at creating hostility and violence if they fall within the standard described at LIMITATIONS ON EXPRESSION at FNAA(LEGAL).
[See CPAB regarding use of the District's internal mail system and FNAA regarding distribution of nonschool literature by students]