DPS Community Use Policy
The Board of Education recognizes:
- That the District facilities belong to the school community;
- That the primary purpose of the District facilities is to implement the regular instruction program;
- That school district facilities may be made available to the community when not in use for school activities;
- That any financial commitment of the District arising out of community use of school facilities is subject to appropriation by the Board of Education.
- That there are costs involved in the use of facilities and that charges should be assessed so that tax money will not be used in support of non-instructional program activities;
- That the procedures for Community Use of Facilities are intended to promote effective, consistent, and fair use and enjoyment of District facilities consistent with the need to establish priorities that recognize the educational purpose of these facilities. These procedures apply to all buildings and fields owned and/or operated by the District.
II. GENERAL TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF SCHOOL FACILITY USE
Denver Public Schools shall make its buildings and facilities available to the community for the use of responsible organizations or groups of citizens when school is not in session.
Such permission and use shall not constitute an endorsement by the school district of any organization or group nor of the program, philosophies, goals or beliefs of any such organizations or groups or the expression of opinion regarding the nomination, retention, election or defeat of any candidate nor the expression of any opinion as to the passage or defeat of any issue.
Users shall adhere to all school district regulations pertaining to the use of school facilities.
The Board of Education reserves the right to refuse approval or to cancel any permits issued for the use of a school building or its facilities when it is deemed that such action is necessary for the best interests of the school.
"Expansion of the role of schools in the life of the community..." This goal requires intensive coordination of community use to ensure that the academic needs of the individual schools are met while still providing opportunities for the community to use available District facilities.
Kaleidoscope Corner is the exclusive school- age, licensed child care provider for DPS under the supervision of Extended Learning.
To the extent users are interacting with DPS students, criminal and other background information pertaining to those users may be required pursuant to regulations or procedures established by the Superintendent or his designee.
III. COMMUNITY USE CATEGORIES
The following facility user categories are identified for the purpose of determining rental rates, which are listed in the Appendix.
For all categories appropriate costs will be charged. These costs may include: any application fee, facility rental fee, labor, and repair of damage incurred by the District.
Denver Public Schools Organizations - Free Rental, No Application Fee, Labor Charges as Appropriate
- PTA/PTSA or other local parent-school organizations.
- DPS school-sponsored pupil organizations.
- DPS after-school programming
- DPS school employee groups.
- DPS school clubs.
- DPS school activities.
- District-sponsored childcare programs.
- DPS-sponsored community education programs.
- School advisory or governance groups (SIAC, CSC, etc.)
Non-school Organizations - Free Rental, No Application Fee, Labor Charges as Appropriate
- Non-partisan community service organizations, including but not limited to:
- Youth development/youth-serving groups.
- Private not-for-profit childcare programs.
- District/individual school partnerships.
- Youth recreation groups.
- Denver city parks and recreation.
- Civic and neighborhood improvement associations.
- Emergency preparedness/response groups.
Community Not-for-Profit Rental (Rental Fee, Application Fee, Labor Charges as Appropriate)
- Religious organizations/activities.
- Adult recreational groups (exc. Parks and Rec.).
- Political groups, including caucuses.
- Social organizations.
- Support groups.
- Private schools.
- Charter schools.
Commercial/Private Rate - (Rental Fee, Application Fee, Labor Charges as Appropriate)
- Any uses that result in organizational profit.
- Any use that is exclusively private/personal (e.g., weddings).
IV. APPLICATION FOR COMMUNITY USE
Applications for use of Facilities, Fields or All City Athletic Complexes by non-school organizations for community or commercial groups or agencies must be obtained from the Office of Community Use of Facilities during normal business hours (6:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Monday through Friday) at:
Service Building - Office of Community Use
Denver Public Schools
2800 W. 7th Avenue
Denver, CO 80204
Telephone numbers: (720) 423-4200, 4201, or 4202
Fax No.: 720-423-4004
DPS-sponsored school organizations must submit an e-mail request to the Office of Community Use.
The Office of Community Use of Facilities will coordinate scheduling and processing of payment responsibilities for all labor costs and insurance requirements for the use of all facilities to include kitchens/lunchrooms. Menu planning and staffing must be coordinated directly with the Food Services Department. The presence of kitchen personnel is mandatory when the kitchen is in use.
Application forms provided for Community Use of Facilities should be submitted at least two (2) weeks in advance of the date for requested use. Completed applications will be time/date stamped when received in the Office of Community Use.
Priority for facility use will be given to:
- DPS Schools and school sponsored organizations,
- DPS Community School Programs,
- Denver Parks & Recreation Programs
in the above order.
All other use of facilities will be processed on a first come, first served basis determined by the time and date the completed application was received in the Office of Community Use of Facilities.
Single permits may be entered into for a series of meetings of a particular group. However, a permit will not be issued during one school year for use during a future school year.
Field Use Permits
Field Use permit applications for athletic/recreational use will be due as follows:
Beginning of February - applications due for spring field permits.
The DPS All City Sports Complexes are mainly utilized by the Athletic Department and the community at-large. All City Athletic Complex South has a noise ordinance which is strictly enforced. The public address systems at any All City Sports Complex may not be activated before 9:00 AM on weekdays and Saturdays or 12:00 PM on Sundays all sound equipment must be turned off by 5:00 PM. Events must end by 9:00 PM on any given night with the exception of High School Athletic Games. Music is not allowed unless otherwise authorized by the District. - The amplification levels of the public address system may not exceed city code levels (85 decibels). Citations will be issued by the City & County of Denver when codes are violated. Should security personnel be required to enforce any regulations of the permit, security cost will be billed to the permit holder. All applicants using DPS fields must sign the rules for use before the permit will be issued.
A $25.00 non-refundable application fee in the form of a check or money order, made payable to Denver Public Schools, will be required from Category B and Category C applicants at the time the application is filed. If the community use application is not approved, or canceled by the District, the deposit shall be returned to the applicant within two weeks of the disapproval. Any changes to an application will result in a $25.00 fee.
Verification of Space Availability
Upon receipt of the community use application and application fee, the Office of Community Use of Facilities will contact the school office and facility manager and advise them of the request and arrange for custodial services or other necessary personnel.
The Office of Community Use of Facilities will determine the appropriate personnel required to be present at the facility for proper supervision and to protect the District property.
Appropriate personnel will be required to supervise the following areas:
- Kitchen - At least one kitchen worker must be present.
- Auditorium - High school stage requires the presence of the stage manager or designee. As many designees may be assigned by the stage manager as felt necessary for the activity. Attendance must not exceed the capacity of fixed seating in any District auditorium.
- Pool - Requires the presence of the pool manager and/or certified lifeguard(s). The number of lifeguards needed will be determined by the number of participants.
- Artificial Fields - Requires the presence of a custodian on the premises to monitor proper use of the field and to allow access to restrooms in the school.
The applicant, following review of the application, will be notified by the Office of Community Use of Facilities as to the approval or disapproval of the application.
Police Guards/ City Firemen/DPS Security
Uniformed city police officers, firemen and/or security must be on duty at least 15 minutes before and 15 minutes after the activity if so directed by the Office of Community Use of Facilities. Any and all fees and charges are to be paid directly to the Denver Public Schools.
Payment of Fees
If approved, the applicant shall make payment by check or money order to Denver Public Schools at the Office of Community Use of Facilities at least three (3) working days prior to the date of scheduled use. Failure to make payment within three (3) working days prior to the scheduled use will result in the permit being canceled. The application fee will not be refunded.
Following timely receipt of payment, a facility use permit (with a raised seal) will be issued to the applicant by the Office of Community Use of Facilities.
Cancellation by the District
The District reserves the right to cancel facility use applications should the space be needed for emergency school or school-related activities. This privilege will be used only when necessary as a result of unavoidable circumstances. If the District must cancel the use of a space due to a problem with an approved site, the Office of Community Use of Facilities will try to arrange an alternative site. When school facilities are closed due to an emergency, inclement weather, or any other event which is beyond the control of the District, community use activities will also be canceled.
Payment for Damages
The district expects to provide safe and maintained facilities. The facilities should be inspected at the time of initial occupancy. The district expects to get the facilities back in the same condition. Any damage to the facility will be billed to the using group. Further use of any district facilities will be barred until such bills have been paid in full. The applicant will be billed for any damage resulting from improper or careless use of the facility, and shall make payment within 30 days of receipt of a bill.
Applicant will provide its own insurance, listing DPS as an additional insured for $1,000,000. Otherwise, applicant will need DPS to provide insurance at an additional cost. Insurance must be attained & secured at the time of permit processing.
All applicants will be responsible for researching and attaining the appropriate permits from the City and County of Denver as required by law.
Denial of Request
Individuals, groups or organizations which advance any doctrine or theory which is subversive to the Constitution or laws of the State of Colorado or the United States or which advocate social or political change by use of violence will be denied the use of District facilities.
Misuse or abuse of buildings, facilities, equipment or grounds may be cause for immediate and future denial.
If, in the opinion of the District, a proposed activity will cause excessive wear or require extensive custodial time, the request may be denied.
Unauthorized Use of Facilities
- Groups whose use, in the judgment of the Board of Education or the designee, is inappropriate at a school location.
- i.e. Gambling, including games of chance
- Activities which are disorderly and/or unlawful or which are restricted by reason of race, creed or color, or a class protected by law.
- Commercial carnivals, circuses, or similar traveling shows.
Unavailability of Buildings
The following District facilities are NOT available for community use other than DPS approved programs:
- All offices in the Administration Bldg., Department of Technology, Service Bldg., Yuma St.
- Teacher offices and workrooms
- Industrial Arts areas
- Photography labs
- Attic Spaces
- Maintenance and custodial areas
- Boiler and mechanical equipment rooms
- Building crawl spaces, tunnels or roofs
In the event of inclement weather, an energy shortage, conservation program, major maintenance, and/or renovation, staff shortages, work stoppage/strike, or other events beyond the District's reasonable control, some or all buildings, grounds, and facilities may not be available for other than school activities. In such cases, a specific facility rental may be canceled at the sole discretion of the District.
Buildings/facilities may be unavailable at certain times or on certain dates such as school holidays, weekends, summer vacations or when they are scheduled for maintenance, remodeling, or custodial programs.
Use of District Buildings by District Employees
Individual employees of the District may not use school facilities without obtaining an appropriate permit. Employees of the District cannot use school facilities for programs which allow for personal profit i.e., private class offerings, art studios, catering, etc., without obtaining appropriate permits and insurances from the Office of Community Use.
State and local governments and quasi-government agencies, such as city parks and recreation depts. may enter into written intergovernmental agreements with the District to use school buildings, facilities, and grounds.
Church and Religious Activities
Facilities may be used for religious activities under the following conditions:
- Church services and religious activities must be conducted at times when school is not in session.
- Religious objects and symbols must be removed after each use.
- Facilities may be used by church sponsored groups for non-religious activities such as, but not limited to, youth athletics and social gatherings.
- Fees will be assessed according to the current applicable rates.
All users are subject to laws and regulations which prohibit discrimination based upon age, sex, national origin, race, color, religion, or handicap.
User Responsibility and District Indemnity
The permittee agrees to indemnify, defend and hold harmless School District No. 1 against any and all damages to property or injury to, or death of any persons, including property or employees of School District No. 1 from all claims, of or by anyone whomsoever, in any way resulting from or arising out of the operations in connection herewith including operations of and acts or omission of employees or agents of the permittee.
The permittee shall be responsible for the conduct and control of all participants and spectators and shall see that all federal, state municipal and District regulations governing safety are followed. The applicant shall also be responsible for taking immediate steps to stop any activity that threatens damage to the facility or injury to any person attending the activity. The applicant must agree to be financially responsible to the District for any and all damages that occur to the building and property during the period of use.
Rules regarding use of school facilities shall include at least the following requirements:
- Use of School Facilities. Use of school facilities must in no way interfere with school activities, and shall be limited to the activity specified in the approved use permit. The Office of Community Use reserves the right to cancel a permit at any time.
- Transfer. Use permits may not be transferred or assigned. The permittee agrees to notify the Office of Community Use if the permit is not to be used.
- Restriction to Area. Persons using facilities pursuant to this policy must confine themselves to the rooms or corridors assigned for their use. These areas must be cleaned and restored to their original condition.
- Safety. Open flames, including candles flames, are not permitted in the school buildings. A lessee may have in attendance no more persons than the seating capacity of the facilities rented. Fire regulations limit the seating capacity of the auditorium; therefore, additional seating space may not be gained by placing extra chairs in the aisles.
- Adult Supervision. Buildings may be used only when adult supervision provided by the user is present. In addition, a school district employee must be present in the building throughout each permitted use.
- Gymnasium Use. Lessors must furnish basketballs, volleyballs, volleyball nets, towels for showers, wrestling mats, or other gymnasium equipment. No gymnasium equipment shall be provided on a rental basis. Hardwood gymnasium floors are restricted to soft-sole footwear such as tennis shoes.
- Equipment. Arrangements for the use of equipment must be made with the Office of Community Use.
- Storage. No storage facilities will be provided, nor responsibility accepted by the district for any equipment or materials brought in by the applicant, unless specifically addressed in the application. If items are stored, the district is not responsible for the items.
- Food Service. Refreshments may be served only in approved areas. Use of kitchen facilities is prohibited unless specifically authorized pursuant to the application process.
- Parking. Includes free use of the parking lot to the extent spaces are available at the time of the rental. If not leasing the building parking lot space is available at the normal fee schedule. Playgrounds may not be used for parking unless authorized by the Community Use Department. The district will not be liable for vandalism, stolen property, or personal injuries, nor will it remove snow other than in the normal course of its operations.
- Drugs. Use or possession of controlled substances within the meaning of state and federal law is strictly prohibited on any school property.
- Alcohol. Use or possession of alcohol is prohibited on any school property.
- Smoking. Smoking in district buildings and on district grounds is prohibited.
- Religious Activities. Church services and other religious activities shall be conducted at times when school is not in session. Religious objects and symbols are to be removed after each use.
- Security. Should security personnel be required to enforce any regulations of the permit, security costs will be billed to the permittee.
The Office of Community Use of Facilities may rescind a permit, deny future permits, or impose conditions on future uses by an applicant for violations of school district rules and regulations related to facility use.