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1500, Use of School Facilities

While the district’s school buildings and grounds are maintained primarily for the purpose of educating students, the Board of Education recognizes that its buildings and grounds are 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.

The Board of Education grants the privilege of using the public school facilities, hereinafter defined as buildings, swimming pool, athletic fields, playing fieldsplaygrounds, and associated District equipment (e.g., goal posts, tables/chairs, etc.) to those organizations or groups that will comply with the law and will benefit the general welfare of the community educationally and recreationally, as determined by the Administration. It is the policy of the Board of Education that such organizations shall pay the added expense, such as costs of utilities, maintenance and custodial service, necessary to make possible the use of the facilities. (See Exhibit 1500 E.2)

1. Restricted Activities

a. School facilities cannot be used by an individual, group or organization for any activity that is intended to overthrow the government by force, violence or other unlawful means.

b. Games of chance, lotteries, or other activities classified as gambling, not allowed by lawcannot be conducted on school premises.

c. Alcoholic beverages, tobacco, illegal drugs or drug related paraphernalia or other products considered hazards to health can not be sold or consumed on school premises. No one shall possess a weapon on school premiseswithout the express written approval of the Superintendent of Schools or designee.

d. No enterprise, function or activity that promotes any commercial product or results in private profit or commercial gain for any individual or business enterprise can be conducted on school property. This is not meant to preclude a school group paying or sponsoring a profit-making entity for services which have a legitimate school purpose such as student pictures, high school rings and PTA fund raising activities. Fees may be assessed should extra expenses be generated. (See Exhibit 1500 E.2)

e. Activities in conflict with Town ordinances or State law are not permitted.

f. No meetings sponsored by political organizations shall be permitted unless authorized by a vote of a district meeting, held as provided by law. It shall be the duty of the Board of Education to call a special meeting for such purpose upon the petition of at least ten per centum of the qualified electors of the district. Authority so granted shall continue until revoked in like manner and by the Board of Education.

g. The use of kitchen facilities is prohibited unless express written approval is secured from the Principal and Director of Food Service. The using group must agree to leave the facilities in a clean condition appropriate for the preparation of student meals the next day, to return all utensils to their proper place and to not allow abuse of cafeteria equipment. It may be required that outside groups hire the services of a district food service worker when using kitchen facilities. Fees may be assessed should extra expenses be generated. (See Exhibit 1500 E.2)

h. Religious instruction is prohibited.

i. Use of motorized vehicles (e.g., off road recreational vehicles, snowmobiles, ATVs), model airplanes, rockets, and skateboards are prohibited (when not part of the approved school curriculum).

j. Golf Practice: Golf practice on school grounds is prohibited except when it is part of the regular school program.

k. Animals: Owners are prohibited from allowing their animals on playgrounds, athletic fields and within the buildings, except as identified below. Service animals, with District approval, are exempted. Animals, defined as those of a domestic nature, are allowed on district property, under the following conditions:

  1. For instructional purposes connected with specific school curriculum.
  2. Trained and being used in a “service” capacity to assist an individual on school property.
  3. Other than the conditions identified in number 1 and 2 in this section, animals are allowed use of on the property ONLY between sunrise and sunset while the school building/grounds, or group of buildings/grounds, are not in session.
  4. Animals must be on a leash and under the positive control of the owner at all times.
  5. Use of playgrounds and athletic fields are expressly prohibited from use at any time.
  6. The owner is responsible for removing and disposing of animal waste off district property.
  7. District Administration is authorized to restrict the use of district property by animal owners when it is deemed in the best interest of the district.

2. Priority of Use

Priority of use will generally be Class I, II, III, IV, and V as designated below and as is reasonably determined by the Principal to provide availability to as many as possible. In the event of any conflict with school activities, the school function will take precedence.

CLASS I Activities of:

A. 1. Students of the School District (e.g. student clubs and teams).
2. School District Staff Organizations (NCTA, NIAANC and CSEA).

B. Organizations directly affiliated with the schools. (e.g. P.T.A, Staff Wellness Groups, Booster ClubsFriends of Music and New York State School Music Association).

C. Tax supported units located within the district. (e.g. fire district, water district, Town of Colonie).

Charges: No charges unless extra costs are incurred. Extra costs are those costs which would not have been incurred in the normal operation of the buildings or grounds. Such would arise through the use of extra labor, utilities, etc. (See Exhibit 1500 E.2)

CLASS II Activities of:

A. Educational, recreational and cultural activities which parallel those of the school and which are sponsored by local volunteer community groups, defined as one who has a majority of its membership within the boundaries of the district, has a tax-free status, and is supported by voluntary contributions of the people. (e.g. Latham Lassies, Latham Circle Soccer, North Colonie Youth Baseball, Colonie Youth Center’s Recreational Programs, Boy and Girl Scouts, Neighborhood Adult basketball/volleyball, North Colonie Pop Warner, Adirondack Blue Fins).

B. State/Federal Agencies.

Charges: No charges (except for use of fields) unless extra costs are incurred. Extra costs are those costs which would not have been incurred in the normal operation of the buildings or grounds. Such would arise through the use of extra labor, utilities, etc. (See Exhibit 1500 E.2)

CLASS III Activities of local community groups, defined as a non-profit, tax exempt organization whose headquarters or the majority of its membership is located within the boundaries of the district. (e.g. any Colonie Youth Center Progam that is not recreational).

Charges: Rental charges and extra labor and utility charges incurred. (See Exhibit1500 E.2)

CLASS IV Activities of non-profit, tax exempt organizations whose headquarters or the majority of its membership are not located within the boundaries of the district. (e.g. AAU basketball)

Charges: Rental charges and extra labor and utility charges incurred. (See Exhibit 1500 E.2)

CLASS V Activities of for-profit, commercial, private or taxable companies, partnerships, organizations, enterprises or functions. Such activities shall require the written permission of the Board of Education, as expressed in a lease, agreement or contract.

Note: Prior policy, Use of School Facilities, 1330 (a)-(d), 1332, 1333-R

Policy Adopted: September 14, 1970
Amended: December 15, 1986
Amended: January 22, 1979
Adopted: August 14, 1961
Amended: May 11, 1964
Amended: September 27, 1994
Amended: February 24, 1997
Amended: October 25, 2004
Amended: April 24, 2006
Amended: May 22, 2006
Amended: July 5, 2006
Amended: January 28, 2008
Amended: January 23, 2012