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4260 Use of School Facilities

The School Board regards schools as community centers of learning and believes that school facilities should support youth education programs outside of school hours.   Such programs may be offered as a school program, or by other organizations such as PTSAs/PTSOs. 

The public is welcome to use school facilities but shall be expected to reimburse the District for such use to ensure that funds intended for education are not used for other purposes and that the school district receives fair value for use of its facilities.  

Authorization for use of school facilities shall not be considered as endorsement of or approval of the activity or organization nor for the purposes it represents.  

Application 

This policy applies to short term and hourly use of school buildings, rooms and grounds for (1) school programs, (2) Seattle Parks Department under the Joint Use Agreement (“JUA”), (3) Programs which Support Youth Education (defined below), and (4) other community uses.  

This policy does not apply to: leases and other written agreements for School and Community Partnerships under Policy No. 4265; Child Care leases under The Community Alignment Initiative (CAI); Lead Partners under Policy No. 4270; leases of closed buildings under Policy No. 6882; or teen health care centers.  

Priority Among Users 

First priority of use shall be for school programs.  Second priority shall be for programs provided by the Seattle Parks Department under the JUA.  Third priority shall be for programs which support youth education, as described below.  Last priority shall be for other community uses. 

Payments 

Use for School Programs, Parks Programs under the JUA, and Programs that Support Youth Education shall not require payment of rent.   

A fee schedule shall be established to recoup added costs incurred when facilities are used outside of regular building hours, or the district incurs extra utility, cleaning or supervision costs. 

Use for other activities shall require payment at rental rates as established by the Superintendent.  Such rental rates shall be established to represent the fair value of the rental space provided, taking into account rates charged for comparable facilities, including other local school districts.   

Definition of Support of Youth Education 

The Board encourages the development of robust out-of-school-time programs which support youth education. Such activities increase success in school and prepare students to succeed as adults. Such activities could include, but are not limited to, those that benefit students in one or more of the following areas: academics (including the arts and foreign languages), tutoring, reading and other supplemental education classes; dance, art and sports programs, self-esteem and confidence, social skills, technical skills, problems solving skills, health and fitness, college and life readiness skills, family engagement activities, parenting skills classes for parents and similar activities primarily directed to enhance and enrich childhood experiences. 

Such activities may be sponsored or co-sponsored by PTSAs/PTSOs or by community groups that support youth education, such as Powerful Schools, Scouts or Camp Fire.   

In order to be treated as an enrichment activity, the program shall be open to all students that apply; i.e., tryouts or cuts shall not be permitted and the activity shall be open on a first-come first-served basis up to the number of available slots, provided, that (1) students of varying skill levels may be separated into different classes or activities appropriate to their skills; (2) performing arts programs, such as drama or dance, may use auditions for placement but must also offer alternative options for participation in the production; and (3) tutoring and academic support programs may limit participants based on need.   

The Board encourages the development of scholarship plans for programs, in order to promote participation by students in need.  There is no fixed requirement for doing so, however, and the scholarship program should take into account factors such as the number of low income students seeking to participate, the ability of the program to provide scholarships, and the impact of scholarships on the ability of the program to offer activities.    

Uses primarily for adults, lectures, promotional activities, and rallies are not normally considered to be student enrichment activities. 

However, in keeping with Policy No. 4120, the Board recognizes that School-Support Organizations exist solely to support youth education and the mission of their school. As such, facility use by School Support Organizations shall generally be free from rent. Such uses may include, but are not limited to: PTSA/PTSO and booster club meetings, trainings, community-building activities, and fundraising programs where the proceeds go to provide direct support to student enrichment, equipment, materials, or other benefits for the school program.   

The determination of whether an activity supports youth education shall be made by the school principal based on this policy.  Where the program involves several schools, the determination shall be made by the District Facilities director, in consultation with the affected principals.     

Procedures 

The Superintendent shall establish procedures to implement this policy, including procedures for reserving spaces in accordance with priority among users, rental rates, supervisory requirements, background checks, insurance, nondiscrimination, compliance with RCW 28A.600, safety and security and other requirements.  

The procedures shall include requirements for provisions in rental agreements allowing audits of program activities to verify entitlement to rent-free use.