The board shall encourage the utilization of school buildings and school grounds by responsible district residents and organizations. Any such use must be in keeping with the philosophy and policies of the district and shall not interfere with the daily provision of educational services or any school-sponsored student activity. Regulations and procedures for use of school facilities shall be reviewed at least once each year.
Facility Use Priority (Revised 6/26/03, 6/3/10)
District buildings and grounds shall be made available in the following priority order:
Category 1 – Walled Lake School District Affiliates (Board-recognized)
- K-12 instructional programs and co-curricular activities
- Walled Lake Community Education, Latchkey, Preschool/Head Start
- PTA/PTO, Lakes Area Youth Assistance, booster groups
Category 2 – Community Nonprofit Groups (whose membership is “open” to all citizens of the district and is a minimum of 75% district residents)
Includes: municipalities/governmental units, health/social agencies, Scout groups, recreational/sport activities for youth, homeowner association meetings, charitable organizations, etc.
Category 3 – Private Nonprofit Groups and Commercial Users
Includes: private/parochial/home schools, post-secondary educational institutions, churches, groups similar to Category 2 which do not meet the open membership and/or the 75% residency requirement, activities for fund raising or for which there is an admission charge, for-profit businesses/ vendors/ entrepreneurs, etc. Category 3 users will be required to pay a 50% deposit on all approved space, and 100% of any needed personnel. Deposit will be due upon completed approval of facility use agreement
Final determination of facility use eligibility shall rest with the board.
Non Curriculum Student Clubs (Revised 9/6/07)
This policy is intended to implement the federal Equal Access Act, 20 U.S.C. Section 4071, et seq., as upheld by the Supreme Court in Board of Education v. Mergens, 496 U.S. 226 (1990). The school district believes that it is important for students to learn the responsible exercise of freedom of speech, as well as the leadership qualities, individual skills and team cooperation that student extracurricular activities develop. In adopting this policy, the school district does not forego its authority to maintain an orderly and disciplined school environment.
The secondary schools in this district shall have a limited open forum for non curriculum student groups wishing to meet to engage in speech, subject to the following criteria:
- Students shall be permitted to meet before or after the regularly scheduled instructional school day. (4071(b)).
- All meetings shall be student-initiated and open to all students in the school. Student attendance at any meeting shall be completely voluntary.(Section 4071(c)(1) and (f)).
- All student groups shall have a faculty advisor. The faculty advisor for the religious student group shall be present only in a non-participatory role to monitor student safety. (Section 4071(c)(3)).
- Student groups may (may not) invite non-school persons to attend their meetings, as long as the non-school persons do not direct, conduct, control or regularly attend activities of the group. Non-school persons must follow the school’s established procedure for allowing non-school persons on campus, including registration procedures. (Section 4071(c)(5)).
- All student groups shall have equal access to the school newspaper, bulletin boards, public address system and club fairs. (Mergens, 496 U.S. at 247.)
- Permission to meet will not be given to:
- a) any meeting that materially and substantially interferes with the orderly conduct of educational activities within the school (Section 4071(c)(5));
- b) any meeting at which unlawful conduct is likely to occur (Section 4071(d)(5));
- c) any meeting that threatens order and discipline on school premises (Section 4071(f));
- d) any meeting that threatens the well-being of students and faculty (Section 4071(f));
- e) any meeting at which attendance of the students is not completely voluntary (Section 4071(f)).
- The school, its agents and employees will not:
- a) influence the form or content of any prayer or other religious activity (Section 4071(d)(1));
- b) require any person to participate in prayer or other religious activity (Section 4071(d)(2));
- c) expend public funds beyond incidental costs for student-initiated meetings (Section 4071(d)(3));
- d) compel any employee to supervise a meeting to which he or she objects (Section 4071(d)(4));
- e) impose a minimum size limit on student meetings. (Section 4071 (d)(6)).
Fees and Rental Charges (Revised 6/26/03, 6/3/10, 4/12/12)
The board recognizes that there are costs involved in expanding the use of school facilities and shall establish reasonable fees and/or rental charges in order that non-school activities not deplete resources or otherwise impede the support of K-12 education. These fees will be assessed on the following basis:
Category 1 – actual reimbursement costs as needed.
Category 2 – processing fee, facility rental fees, personnel services, equipment and material charges, and damages.
Category 3 – processing fee, rental deposit, facility rental fees, personnel services, equipment and material charges, and damages.
Fees and/or rental charges shall be updated annually and reviewed by the board prior to the start of each school year.
Potential facility users may petition the Board for a waiver or reduction of fees and/or rental charges by submitting detailed rationalization to the superintendent 60 calendar days prior to the anticipated use.
Fees and rental charges, minus any deposit and including any additional charges for time extensions, custodial overtime, damages, etc., will be detailed on an invoice and sent to the user following the use. Full payment should be remitted to the district within 30 calendar days of receipt of invoice. Delinquent accounts will be denied use of any district facility until such time as the account is paid in full.
Any lease arrangement entered into by the board for use of district facilities shall conform to state law and shall not exceed one year in duration.
Use of School Facilities by Church/Religious Organizations
School facilities may be rented by a church/religious organization for religious purposes which are separate from, and occur outside of, the regular school day. However, it is not the intent of the board to provide permanent housing for any religious group. All petitioners are subject to current rental rates and must include with their request a written description of plans to provide an alternative, permanent facility for their activities as well as the anticipated date of occupancy. Permission for religious-related use of school facilities may be granted for a maximum of one year per request.
Facility use for adjunct activities of religious groups (e.g., sports, recreational activities, student study groups, etc.) must be requested separately, per procedure for the appropriate category.
Storage of church equipment and supplies in school buildings or on school grounds is not permitted.
School Buildings, Grounds and Equipment Shall Not be Used For
- Activities which are in conflict with board policies, municipal ordinances or state and federal laws.
- Activities which are intended to promote the overthrow of the government by force, violence or other unlawful means.
- Activities which are discriminatory in the legal sense.
- Illegal gambling.
- Activities which involve the possession/consumption/sale of alcohol and/or illegal substances.
- Operation of mechanized vehicles such as, but not limited to, snowmobiles, go-carts, motorcycles and mini-bikes unless specifically authorized by the administration.
- Purposes of promoting commercial products/services individually, or in connection with the title “Board of Education” and/or “Walled Lake Schools,” without specific authorization by the administration. This includes the unapproved display of signs or other commercial materials on school property.
- “Donkey” sporting events.
- “Outdoor” athletic activities (i.e., baseball, softball, soccer, etc.) indoors except under the direct supervision of district coaching staff.
- Personal gain/profit without prior approval by the board of education or its designee.
Liability Protection (Revised 6/3/10)
In order to protect district resources, potential facility users may be asked to provide proof of insurance to cover the proposed activity. The minimum acceptable amount of
insurance shall be $1,000,000 per activity and must be evidenced by a Certificate of Insurance which identifies the coverage and holds the district, its employees and its agents “harmless” from and against all claims arising from the scope of the use of the facility. Said Certificate of Insurance must be submitted to the district prior to the granting of approval for use. These types of uses will include, but not be limited to physical activities, etc.
In facility uses where purchase of insurance may not be practical, the potential user(s) will be asked to sign a “Facility Use Hold-harmless Agreement” prior to securing approval. These types of uses will include but not be limited to subdivision meetings, association meetings, etc.
Use of School Facilities by School Personnel (Cf. DFG) (Revised 6/3/10)
School personnel will receive no special consideration or privilege in using school facilities during non-school time. District employees who are members of local groups or organizations must schedule school facilities for use by the group or organization on the same basis and through the same procedures as any other community group. All applicable fees will be assessed.
Category 1: School Groups and affiliates with board recognition.
Category 1 approval for use is given by principals or their designee at school offices. Groups in this class include organizations wherein the membership and sponsor are members of our student body and/or staff. This includes school clubs, athletic teams and or officially recognized groups such as PTSA and scouting groups at their “home” facility, and co-sponsored events. Each building develops a process for their staff and school groups to use in planning events. No staff members can be compensated for these events.
Prior to scheduling a school event, check the district scheduling system for available dates. Application is screened by principal or designee for date conflicts and that the event or activity meets school district guidelines. After approval, the principal or designee for that building places the event on the scheduling system. Schools must follow the Board approved calendar (see page 12) for scheduling events by reserving dates on the district approved computerized scheduling system, including the number of participants expected, duration of time, and any anticipated problems, such as parking.
- A building is not permitted to be “blocked out” in its entirety unless the entire building is unavailable, for example open houses, school fairs, etc.
- The name and telephone number of the individual designated in each building responsible for issuing building permits must be submitted in writing to the facilities secretary by July 1st of each school year.
- School sponsored athletic events must be entered on the district approved computerized scheduling system using the following schedule:
July 1 – Fall athletic events
July 1 – School related groups requesting Fall field permits
December 1 – Winter/Spring athletic events
January 1 – School related groups requesting Spring field permits
The principal is responsible for assisting school related groups to ensure the event complies with the school district facility use policy.
Category 2: District Community Non-Profit
Category 2 authorization for both indoor and outdoor facilities use is given by the facility use secretary. Following the scheduling calendar, event program dates are selected, based on availability. The event program is then placed on the computerized scheduling system. All information includes: number of participants expected, duration of time, and any anticipated problems such as parking must be complete.
Category 3: Private groups and commercial users will obtain scheduling approval through the District Facility Department.
Step 1: Applicants contact the facility use secretary to request an application form.
Step 2: An application form along with a required nonrefundable application fee is to be sent to the facility office. Upon receipt of the application and fee and if the date and location are available, the facility department office will process the application utilizing the District Facility Reservation System.
Step 3: The facility department will calculate rental cost according to the schedules contained in this Regulation and will send the applicant an invoice.
Step 4: Applicant will remit all applicable fees and provide appropriate insurance at least 15 business days prior to the date of usage. Payment must be made by credit card, money order, cashier’s check or corporate check payable to the Walled Lake Consolidated Schools. Neither personal checks nor cash will be accepted. The facility office will confirm rental of the facility to the applicant.
LEGAL REF: MCL, 380.1268; 333.12601 et seq.; AG Opinion #6460
(P. 2330, P 2510, P 4150)
Revised: 7/11/2001, 6/26/03, 9/6/07, 6/3/10, 4/12/12