Polk County Public Schools
Terms of Use

POLK COUNTY SCHOOLS FACILITY USE & PURPOSE

 

Recognizing that the taxpayers of Polk County have invested significant revenue into school district owned schools and facilities throughout Polk County, the School Board of Polk County encourages shared use of school district owned facilities by the community; as long as such use is of a lawful purpose and does not interfere with the educational or programmatic purpose of the requested School Board owned property. It is important however, that the facilities are used in a manner that the taxpayer’s investment is not diminished through misuse or neglect of a facility and that operational costs are recovered by the District. The purpose of the following procedures are to establish the rules and conditions for the use of School Board of Polk County owned facilities and grounds in accordance with Board policy number 7510.

 

CONDITIONS FOR USE

1. Organizations or groups using school district owned facilities agree to comply with all applicable state and federal laws, local ordinances and school district policies.

2. District facilities shall not be used by any organization, group or entity that discriminates on the basis of race, color, sex, age, religion, disability, national origin or marital status.

3. All groups or organizations shall provide proof of insurance for which users must assume all liability, provide proof of liability insurance, and hold the District and Board harmless for any and all damages or injuries, including death, that result from the use of the facility. Proof of insurance must be provided at the time of application. The user shall indemnify and hold the District and Board harmless from and against any and all liability and costs arising from injury to persons or property occasioned wholly or in part by any act or omission of the user, its employees, members, invitees, and all other persons whom the user allows in, on, or about the facilities or property designated herein; it must say Certificate Holder is an Additional Insured.

The user shall defend any and all claims, actions, suits, or legal proceedings which may be brought against the District or Board, or in which the District or Board may be impleaded or joined with others as a result of the user’s use of the facilities or property designated herein, and shall satisfy and discharge any judgments, orders, and decrees that may be recovered against the user of the District or Board, in any such action or proceedings.

 

General liability insurance covering bodily injury and property damage arising from use of District facilities is required. This coverage shall have the minimum limits of $1,000,000 per occurrence with a deductible of no more than $500 and $2,000,000 aggregate. The School Board of Polk County must be identified as a certificate holder and shall be named as an additional insured. A copy of the endorsement verifying the School Board as an additional insured must be submitted with the certificate of liability and the Use of School Facilities

Agreement ten business days prior to facility use. All such documents must be reviewed by the Risk Management Department prior to use.

4. The person responsible for the use of a facility or grounds must be at least 21 years of age. PCSB student groups will require supervision of an adult or adults which have obtained a criminal background check through the School Board of Polk County. The individual(s) must have the appropriate badge that demonstrates such screening visible at all times while on duty at the event. To apply for to be a volunteer, please follow the instructions at: Volunteer Application If you will be paid for your time at the event, please follow the instructions to become an approved vendor at: Vendor Application.

5. Independent leagues and organizations are required in accordance with F.S. 943.0542, The National Child Protection Act, to perform background screenings on any current or prospective volunteer or employee who will be in contact with one or more children, elderly or disabled persons. In the State of Florida, background checks can be performed by qualified organizations through the VECHS program (Volunteer & Employee Criminal History System) at the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE). To see how to apply to become qualified or whether your organization qualifies to participate in the VECHS system see: VECHS.

6. The group organizer shall ensure that an individual trained in what to do in case of an emergency is present during the entire event.

 

USER CATEGORIES

The District believes that the primary beneficiary of the use of district owned facilities should be the students that it serves. Use of District owned facilities and property shall be prioritized as follows:

 

Priority One

District or school related programs or activities and District or school oriented groups that exist primarily because of the school program shall have first priority for the use of District owned facilities. This group includes but is not limited to all curricular or extra-curricular student groups, associated student body, Parent Teacher Organization, Booster clubs, staff groups and district convened citizen advisory groups.

Priority Two

Municipalities with which the District has a joint use, interlocal, or open campus agreement shall be given second priority for the use of the District’s facilities. Municipality recreation agreements will be reviewed on an annual basis (see appendix B for more information).

Priority Three

Local community non-profit organizations that are recognized under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and provide services for the students of Polk County will be granted third priority. Examples might include, Boys & Girls Club, youth soccer leagues, little leagues, youth football leagues, Boy & Girl Scouts, etc. All groups claiming non-profit status must provide evidence of such status.

Priority Four

All other local community non-profit organizations that are recognized under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code that provide a service to the community at large. This group also includes state and local agencies and groups, religious organizations, etc. with which the District does not have a joint-use interlocal agreement. All groups claiming non-profit status must provide evidence of such status.

Priority Five

All for-profit organizations and commercial groups including semi-professional groups or private social groups, etc.

APPROVAL PROCESS STEPS

1. Submit online application.

2. Application routes to principal or facility manager.

3. If application is denied, applicant will be notified that the facility is not available for the requested time.

4. If application is approved by principal or Facility Use Manager, application routes to Risk Management for insurance review.

5. If insurance coverage is denied by Risk Management, applicant will be notified that application is denied until insurance coverage is corrected.

6. If insurance coverage is approved by Risk Management, application routes to Facilities Use Manager.

7. If kitchen and/or kitchen equipment is requested, the request is routed to School Nutrition Services for approval or denial of use of kitchen then routed back to Facilities Use Manager.

8. Facilities Use Manager reviews, processes, assigns fees and invoices applicant.

9. Applicant submits payment. When payment is made, principal or Facility manager and applicant receive notification that event is approved.

10. Event is placed on calendar. Please allow up to 14 days from receipt by the Facilities Use Manager of the Use of Facilities Request to obtain approval. This is dependent when all information has been received (application with required signatures, principal’s approval, School Nutrition approval, if applicable, certificate of insurance and payment).

 

PROCESS FOR REQUESTING FACILITIES USE

Facility spaces available for reservation are usually limited to public areas and/or assembly spaces. This includes areas such as gymnasiums, common areas, cafeterias and libraries etc. Classrooms are not generally used due to the potential impact on the educational process. Limited classroom use may be allowed at the discretion of the principal or Facility manager. The principal or facilities manager will establish rules and policies for use of such areas.

 

1. Any person or group who wishes to use any school district property or facility must fill out a Facilities Use Application at least fourteen (14) days prior to the time of need of the facility or property. The application can be found at the following link: Facilities Use Application. The applicant must agree to the terms and conditions of the application before any District facility use will be approved. Please be sure to note on the application if you have any special equipment, technology, food service or custodial needs.

2. Proof of insurance must be approved by the District’s Risk Management Department (Please see requirements on page 1 of this document Conditions for Use, number 2). A copy of the endorsement verifying the School Board as an additional insured must be submitted with the certificate of liability and the Use of School Facilities Agreement at least ten (10) days prior to facility use. A copy of the endorsement is required to be provided to the Facilities Use Administrator. Please email a copy of the current certificate to jean.fowler@polk-fl.net with a cc: to facilities.use@polk-fl.net.

When outside applicants who request to use or rent a PCSB facility for their events do not have current liability coverage, they can visit the PCSB TULIP (Tenant User Liability Insurance Program) site. Event coverage for dances and festivals etc. can also be purchased on the same site: www.marshcampus.com/polk. After receiving approval from the TULIP site, the applicant must send proof of insurance to the above listed email addresses.

3. Upon the review of the application, the applicant will receive notification by email informing them as to whether the application has been approved or denied. The notification will include other pertinent information as it applies. Applications will be considered for approval based on facility availability and the applicant’s priority classification.

4. If the application is approved, an electronic invoice of charges will be sent to the applicant. Pre-payment is required at least seven (7) days prior to the event.

5. Applications for continued use must be renewed annually.

 

DETERMINATION

The priority status will be used to determine the order of processing requests for Facility Use. The amount of time allotted to an individual group may be limited to allow use by other users within the same or other priority classifications. However, if a lower priority group books an event prior to the request of a higher priority group, the lower priority group shall not be bumped from the calendar. Early registration is the best way to guarantee a place on the calendar.

Users who are granted permission to use the District’s facilities are granted revocable permission to use the requested areas only. Nothing in the application approval or in this document should be construed to grant users lease or property interest in School Board owned facilities or property. The District reserves the right to cancel use due to emergency or inclement weather. The District reserves the right to revoke permission for use without advance notice or reason and without incurring liability.

 

REQUIREMENTS AND RESTRICTIONS

1. District owned facilities or property may not be used for the following:

a. Gambling and games of chance, except as permitted by law

b. Any activity that may be logically considered hazardous or which could be considered a public nuisance

2. No conduct is allowed which would violate School Board policy, local, state and/or federal laws and regulations.

3. No drugs, tobacco products or alcoholic beverages are permitted on any school district property.

4. The use of open flames such as lighted matches, candles, sterno canisters, etc. is not allowed unless specifically authorized by the Superintendent.

5. School Nutrition personnel must be present at all times when the kitchen and/or kitchen equipment is used.

6. Groups utilizing district facilities and/or property are responsible for insuring adequate supervision and for the scheduled event to include participants, spectators and parking areas.

7. The possession or use of guns, weapons or explosives are not permitted.

8. No animals may be brought into District facilities or property except for required service animals.

9. Approval for the use of a facility does not include the use of School Board owned equipment including but not limited to, audio-visual equipment, musical instruments, sound equipment, physical education equipment, technology equipment, kitchen equipment, etc. without prior approval and the scheduling of required personnel for the operation of aforementioned equipment.

10. No school district personnel shall accept any gift or direct payment from any person or organization involved with contracting for the use of any facility or property.

11. Outdoor activities such as soccer, baseball, archery, football, skating, skateboarding, etc. shall not be played without the use of approved protective equipment.

12. Food or drink may only be served in approved locations.

13. Use of concession stands must be approved in advance by the principal or facilities manager. Anyone working in concessions is required to have Safe Serve certification.

14. Users shall not:

a. use, remove, reposition, replace, move or otherwise disturb any District owned equipment or

property

b. make any physical changes to the facilities, buildings or grounds

c. affix or hang pictures, posters, signs or other items on District property

d. tamper with or adjust any security, fire protection equipment, fire alarms, intercoms, thermostats, light or air conditioning timers or any other electrical, communications or control equipment

e. block fire doors or means of egress

f. allow participants to play on or damage any furniture in the facility

15. Users must remove any materials and items brought into the facility and must make reasonable efforts to clean rooms and areas used or return them to their pre-use condition.

16. Users shall not sub-lease the facility or property to any other organization or allow anyone to use it for anything other than that for which it was approved.

17. Users will not be provided keys to any district facilities, except as may be provided for in governmental interlocal agreements. Arrangements to open and lock the area must be made with the school or facility’s facility administrator.

18. Groups wishing to use district facilities for public activities must ensure that accommodations are available which provide for access to individuals with disabilities who wish to participate in the event.

19. A facility use agreement does not give the user the right to control other portions of the facility or site outside of the space reserved. Use by other groups, community members or staff may not be prohibited by a facility user except for the specific area of the facility or site which has been reserved.

20. No inflatables that a person can climb into or onto are permitted on any school district property.

21. Approved supervision, as approved by the Principal, must be present for activities involving children.

22. Parking is permitted only in designated areas.

23. The number of attendees may not exceed the number authorized and must be in compliance with local fire codes.

24. Approved users and their participants must stay in their assigned area at all times. Entry into other areas of the facility will be considered trespassing.

25. Any use of a facility beyond the time specified in their use agreement is subject to additional fees.

26. Third party entities who wish to use District facilities during non-instructional hours will be required to affirmatively agree to consult with the principal or facility manager regarding compliance with the existing school safety plan as part of their Request for Use of School Facilities.

27. Competition athletic fields are not available for use by outside organizations.

 

RESPONSIBILITY

The School Board of Polk County reserves the right to deny use for any activities contrary to the District’s interests or those which would create a substantial disruption to the educational environment. Users who have violated use agreements, procedures, damaged district facilities or failed to pay required fees may be denied use. A written warning process for violations shall be given prior to the final denial for facilities use (see Three Strikes, Appendix C). Where a violation is considered egregious, there will be immediate expulsion and all future requests shall be denied. The principal or Facility manager has the overall responsibility and authority to determine use of facilities during and after school hours in accordance with established policies and rules. If an applicant does not agree with a decision, they may appeal that decision the Associate Superintendent of Operations. If the applicant still does not agree with the decision of the Associate Superintendent of Operations, they may appeal to the Superintendent. The Superintendent is the final authority in the appeal process.

 

BLACKOUT DATES

The District will provide the dates for which each Facility will not be available as early as possible. These dates are subject to change as the academic and athletic demands of the Facilities may change or unforeseen issues with the physical plant may require unscheduled work. The District will not invoice for such cancellations; however, the District will not be held liable for any hardship, financial or otherwise, that arises from a cancellation. The District reserves the right to decline very large events, despite space availability, due to the strains that the event will place on employees, facilities and/or parking.

 

FEES AND CHARGES

It is understood by the requesting organization that the actual charges shall be made in accordance with the expenses incurred and that the final invoice may vary from the original invoice. This would only be the case at such times that the event runs longer than was scheduled, use of equipment, etc. that was not identified on the initial application, there is damage to the grounds or the facility or any other unforeseen circumstance. The Facilities Use Administrator or designee will calculate the appropriate fees based on the applicant’s priority level, requested hours, equipment and labor required and send an invoice to the user. Estimated facility use fees must be prepaid before the application will be given final approval and the facility or property is reserved. For users on a continuing agreement, e.g. church groups, sport leagues, etc. a monthly amount will be calculated to be prepaid each month. If the event is cancelled, a $50 processing and handling fee may not be refunded.

A user group will be responsible for the cost of any damage, vandalism or other alteration to a district owned property which occurs during the scheduled event. The user group will also be responsible for the cost of any additional clean-up above and beyond the custodial fees calculated in the original invoiced agreement. Users who cause damage to District property may be required to submit a damage deposit for future events or may be denied use if the damage or issue is severe and occurs during more than one use (see three strikes Appendix C).

 

Rates by Priority Level

• Priority one users will not be charged for the use of any district owned facility or property.

• Priority two users may be charged a rental fee, utility expenses, equipment, supplies and salary costs if the event is held outside of the school or facility’s regular hours. An exception would be where there is an existing joint use or interlocal agreement which allows usage at no cost. Each charge to a priority two group will be determined on a case by case basis.

• Priority three and four users will be charged recovery costs consistent with the type of use. This includes utilities, supplies, equipment, and labor costs for custodial, supervisory, School Nutrition personnel, etc. They may also be charged a rental fee. Each charge to a priority three group will be determined on a case by case basis.

• Priority five users will be charged utilities costs, equipment use, salaries and maintenance fees and a rental fee. (see rate schedule Appendix A).

 

Payment of User Fees

Facility use fees must be paid before the application is given final approval (at least 7 days prior). For users scheduled on a long term basis, a monthly amount will be calculated and prepaid each month.

 

When Staff is Required

• Custodial – Custodial services will be required for facility use outside of normal custodial staff hours to ensure the cleanliness of the facility for school use and to ensure the building is appropriately locked and secured. An exception to this would be if the facility administrator has agreed to an alternate method. Any alternate method must ensure the security of the property. The principal, Facility manager or their designee is responsible for scheduling required custodial service or an alternate method. Rates will be charged according to the rate schedule in Appendix A. An additional one (1) hour will be invoiced when Custodial staff is utilized to allow necessary time for opening and securing the facility. Payment shall be made in accordance with the current bargaining agreement.

• Kitchens – Whenever a kitchen facility is used, School Nutrition Services staff is required to be present throughout the time the kitchen is needed. The principal or Facility manager is responsible for scheduling required School Nutrition Services personnel through the School Nutrition Services Area Supervisor. Rates will be charged according to the rate schedule in Appendix A. Overtime and holiday pay will be calculated according the bargaining unit’s negotiated contract if employee is covered by a bargaining agreement. Payment shall be made in accordance with the current bargaining agreement.

• Audio Visual Equipment – If audio visual equipment is requested for use and the facility administrator determines a technician’s presence is required, the user will be invoiced for the technician’s labor cost if they fall into one of the priority groups which would be required to pay such a fee.

• Other – If police and fire protection or other services are required, it must be provided at the user’s expense. The District reserves the right to make this determination for the user on a case by case basis.

 

EXCEPTIONS

The District recognizes that it is not possible to address every situation or event in these guidelines. Therefore, the District reserves the right to make exceptions on a case by case basis as determined by the specific merits of each circumstance. Requests for such exceptions should be addressed to the Associate Superintendent of Operations for evaluation and decision.