Community Use of District Facilities
The New York State Education Department gives local school districts the authority to determine the procedures for public use of school facilities. The Horseheads Central School District encourages the use of its facilities by outside groups as long as all policies and procedures are followed. Any group or individual who does not comply with district policies, procedures, and guidelines will not be able to use district facilities.
Please note that district facilities have long been recognized as among the most well-maintained school facilities in the state. We owe this distinction to our staff, students, and supportive community, and we ask the cooperation of those organizations using our facilities to help us keep them in top order.
The Horseheads Central School District Board of Education has adopted Policy 1500: Public Use of School Facilities.
As required in the policy, the Superintendent, along with district administrators, has formulated the Administrative Regulation 1500-R: Public Use of School Facilities.
Prioritization of Groups:
Administrative Regulation 1500-R, Public Use of School Facilities, sets the following priorities for groups using district facilities:
- School activities.
- School-connected activities.
- Non-school educational activities for children and youth.
- Other community-based cultural, educational, and recreational groups.
- Other groups.
School activities refer to athletics, extra-curricular, and after-school classroom activities.
School-connected activities are activities of a school's parent organization, parent support groups, and advisory groups.
Non-school educational activities for children would include programs such as Scouts, Super Saturday, or educational activities sponsored by a local museum.
Other community based groups would include community athletic organizations such as local recreational softball, soccer, or basketball programs. Other groups include adult community education programs, cultural groups, and recreational groups, as well as senior citizen groups.
Other groups refer to groups that charge a fee to attend (including fundraisers), charge a fee to participate (such as travel teams), and non-local groups.
Please note that these descriptions are not all-inclusive. There may be other groups that fall into these categories.
All non-profit and for-profit users of school facilities are required to file a certificate of insurance and a hold harmless form, along with their facilities usage form, with the Director of Facilities. This form is to be filed prior to the use of the facilities. It must list the Horseheads Central School District as a certificate holder and as an additional insured, and shall contain the following dollar amounts:
Commercial General Liability:
|Damage to Rented Premises (each occurrence)||$50,000|
|Medical Expenses (any one person)||$5,000|
|Personal and Advertising Injury||$1,000,000|
Because the district must schedule school activities such as athletics and extra-curricular programs first, we must set deadlines for receiving request forms. Those wishing to use any district facility are asked to submit their request forms by the following dates:
|For rooms/fields at the four K-4 elementary schools (Big Flats Elementary School, Center Street Elementary School, Gardner Road Elementary School, and Ridge Road Elementary School)||August 1|
|For rooms/fields at Horseheads Middle/Intermediate School and Horseheads High School:
Fall (September - November):
Winter (December - February):
Spring/Summer (March - August):
Please note: Forms submitted after the deadlines above will not automatically be denied. If the facility or room is free on the date and time requested, the district may allow use by the group requesting it.
Cancellations by Groups:
Often, the district must deny a group the use of an area if it has already been reserved. If a group reserves a room, facility, or field and cannot use it for any reason, please contact the Facilities Office at (607) 739-4501, x4401 24 hours in advance, if possible, so that the area may be reserved for another group wishing to use it.
Those who do not inform the school of their plans not to use a facility, room, or field will be denied further use of district facilities for at least the remainder of the school year.
Cancellations by the School or District:
All evening community activities will be cancelled if the facility is needed for a school-based event or if school is not in session. If school is cancelled on the day of the event due to weather conditions, all outside groups' activities will be cancelled as well. The district will publicize this information on the main page of the district website, Facebook, Twitter, and local TV and radio stations.
It is the responsibility of the group to notify their participants of any cancellations.
Guidelines for Use of Facilities:
Groups are asked to follow these guidelines, and to share them with all participants:
- Groups must adhere to their beginning and ending times.
- Upon completion of an activity, the area should be left in a clean condition. This would include disposing of all garbage and sweeping the floors, if necessary.
- Groups are to supply their own materials. School copiers are not available for use by outside organizations. Additionally, the group is responsible for ensuring that their participants do not move or use any storage, displays, or material in the room.
- Groups must not bring food or drinks into areas such as gyms or classrooms. If bringing food into cafeterias, groups are responsible for health department regulations and clean-up.
Those who do not follow district guidelines will be denied use of district facilities for at least the remainder of the school year.
Public Sales and Public Conduct on School Property:
The Board of Education and Administrative Council have set policies and regulations regarding public sales, public conduct, and smoking on school property (Policies 1510, 1520, Regulation 1520-R, and 1530). Thes policies and regulations apply to all members of the public when on school property, regardless of the event, group, or affiliation.
Supervision is the sole responsibility of the group using the facility. The district's facilities staff cannot and will not be permitted to bear the responsibility of supervising any children using a facility. Not only are they busy with their assigned duties, but it is also a matter of liability to the school district, so we appreciate your attention to this important matter.
The name and phone number of the person responsible for supervision (not the person who completed the form, unless they are one and the same) must be on the registration form, or the request will not be honored. In the past, we have had difficulty reaching someone from the group when there has been a concern about supervision, so we require this guideline to be followed.
Organizations should instruct parents to bring their children to the facility at a time when your group will have supervision available. Parents must not drop their children off at the school earlier than supervision is available. Additionally, the supervisor should make sure that all students stay in the room in which the activity is taking place. There are to be no children in other rooms or roaming hallways at any time.
Those who do not make arrangements for supervision of the children in their activity at all times, or whose activity has unsupervised children, will be denied further use of district facilities for at least the remainder of the school year.
The district has formulated a policy regarding fees for use of school facilities as required by law. Many groups are not charged fees unless the district is operating under a contingency (or austerity) budget.
State law states that if the district is operating under a contingency budget, the district must charge all outside group for the use of its facilities. State law allows no exceptions. Click the following link for the fee schedule: Exhibit 1500-E: Public Use of School Facilities Exhibit Fee Schedule.
The New York State Education Department has code enforcement jurisdiction over public school facilities. Groups using district facilities must obey all parking regulations. Groups must be sure that their vehicles do not block exits and are not parked in front of fire hydrants, in fire lanes, or on sidewalks. By law, emergency response equipment must have access to facilities at all times.
Municipal parking regulations must also be followed; law enforcement agencies will issue tickets if these regulations are not followed.
Please also note that there is no parking on grass-covered areas unless the building administrator grants specific permission. If the school has barriers blocking access to certain areas, groups are not allowed to move those barriers. If necessary, law enforcement will be contacted.
How to Make a Request:
1. Complete the Facilities Use Request Form online.
2. Submit a Certificate of Insurance, Hold Harmless Form, and a roster including the participant's home addresses.
3. Once all paperwork is received, the district will review the request. You will receive notification stating whether your request was approved or denied.
Any questions regarding this information should be directed to the district Facilities Office at 739-5601, x8-4401.