Section: School-Community Relations
Title: Community Use of School Facilities
Adopted: February 6, 1984
Last Revised: October 21, 2014
COMMUNITY USE OF SCHOOL FACILITIES
The primary function of school facilities is to serve the educational needs of the Portland Public Schools. The Portland Board of Public Education wishes to make these facilities available for broader community use when they are not in use for school purposes. The Board directs the Superintendent to develop the administrative procedures required to implement this policy and make individual decisions regarding the use of school facilities. The Facilities Director has direct responsibility for administering this policy and any related administrative procedures, and shall report to the Deputy Chief Operations Officer.
A. Priority Order of School Facilities Use
School facilities will be made available to users in the following priority order:
- School educational programs and sanctioned extracurricular activities (these uses take precedence over all other uses);
- Municipal/civic functions and programs;
- Service groups and non-profit organizations serving students in the Portland Public Schools;
- Non-student related service groups and non-profit organizations located in Portland;
- Private groups located in Portland and citizens who reside in Portland;
- Non-resident groups and individuals;
- Profit-making businesses/groups.
Exceptions to this priority order may be made in the event of a weather or civil emergency when school buildings are required for official emergency management use.
B. Prohibited Activities
The following general prohibitions apply to all outside users of school facilities. Other activities may be prohibited on a case-by-case basis at the discretion of the Facilities Director, Deputy Chief Operations Officer, or Superintendent/designee.
- No school facility shall be made available to any group or individual
advocating unconstitutional or illegal acts.
- No school facility shall be made available for any purpose that are, in the opinion of the Facilities Director, Deputy Chief Operations Officer, Superintendent/ designee, contrary to the best interests of the Portland Public Schools or the welfare of its employees and/or students.
- No school facility shall be made available in violation of any local, state or federal laws.
- No school facility shall be made available for any purpose that may present a risk of damage to school buildings, grounds or equipment.
- Possession or consumption of alcohol or illegal drugs on school property is prohibited.
- Use of tobacco products is prohibited on school property.
- Conditions of Use
The following general conditions apply to all outside users of school facilities. Any additional conditions applicable to particular facilities will be provided at the time of application for facility use.
- The Portland Public Schools assumes no liability for any damage or loss to non-school property resulting from the use of school facilities.
- Proof of adequate liability insurance or financial resources shall be required
- Applicants must complete a facility use application and agreement which contains a release and indemnity provision and comply with all administrative procedures for reserving school facilities.
- Organizations and groups must designate a specific person responsible for the event. The person responsible for any facility use must be over the age of 21.
- Facilities must be used only for the approved purpose.
- Any event advertising must make clear that the event is not school-sponsored.
- Users must comply with all life safety code requirements and school safety rules.
- All Board policies, procedures and school rules remain in effect during any facility use including no advertising on school property.
- The Facilities Director, Deputy Chief Operations Officer, Superintendent/ designee reserves the right to require that school personnel (such as custodians, kitchen staff or others) be present during an event. Any such costs shall be borne by the user.
- Users are responsible for maintaining appropriate supervision, order and security during the event. The Superintendent reserves the right to require that security or police personnel be present during an event. Any such costs shall be borne by the user.
- Authorized school staff retain the right to access all school facilities during all events.
- All facilities and equipment must be left in the condition in which they were received and no items may be removed. The user shall be responsible for removing any items brought to the facility and for any clean-up and/or equipment repair or replacement costs incurred as a result of the facility use.
The Portland Board of Public Education shall approve a fee schedule for use of school facilities. This fee schedule shall be reviewed by the Superintendent and staff on an annual basis, and any recommendations for changes brought to the Board for action. The Superintendent/designee will adjust the custodial overtime and energy surcharge rates annually to reflect average costs for both without Board action.
- Policy Violations
Users who violate this policy may be required to vacate the facility immediately and may, at the discretion of the Superintendent, be barred from future facility use.
In the event that use of school facilities is denied or revoked, the applicant or user may appeal the decision in writing to the Deputy Chief Operations Officer if the decision is made by the Facilities Director. The applicant or user may appeal the decision to the Superintendent if the decision is made by the Deputy Chief Operations Officer. The Superintendent’s decision is final.