Community Use of Edmonton Public Schools

The Board Policy committee (of which I am a member) is in the process of collecting feedback on our Community Use of District Buildings Policy. The subject of sharing space in our schools is a very complicated question as there is a very high demand for use of school facilities during peak, non-school hours. Given the scarcity and conflicting demands, we are trying to come up with a solution that is truly fair and transparent. The draft revision of the policy is below.

I hope to see us work with the city, province, and external partners to transition our schools to be available and fully-utilized more often. I truly believe that these buildings remain the heart of our communities and that we should seek to make the most use of them as possible. I do not believe in diverting resources from the classroom, but I think we can do more with the partnerships we have available.

This was a question I heard about frequently on the doorsteps and from constituent emails. Now is your chance to help have input into a policy that could help better connect our schools to valued community partners. Please give me your thoughts on the blog, by michael@michaeljanz.ca, or by filling out the survey below.

Click here to complete the survey on our community use policy by FEBRUARY 14th!

The intent of Board Policy JG.BP – Community Use of District Buildings is to guide the Board and staff in determining community use of district buildings. The most significant changes to the policy include clearly identifying the role of the City of Edmonton in implementing the Joint Use Agreement: Facilities and the methods surplus learning space can be utilized by community groups.

Revised Board Policy JG.BP – Community Use of District Buildings    (http://www.epsb.ca/policy/adraftjg.bp.shtml) is open for stakeholder input from January 17, 2011 to February 14, 2011.

Here is a copy of the proposed revised policy for your feedback:

CODE: JG.BP
TOPIC: Community Use of District Buildings
EFFECTIVE DATE: 11-02-1997
ISSUE DATE: 16-05-1997
REVIEW DATE: 02-2002

The Board believes in cooperating with community organizations to meet the educational and recreational needs of the community in the effective management of district facilities to meet the needs of students and also the principles of the Joint Use Agreement: Facilities, which supports the sharing of publicly funded facilities to maximize benefits to students and citizens of the City of Edmonton.

In support of this belief, the Board encourages the use of district buildings by the community provided there is no conflict with school programs the District’s mandate to provide (K-12) education Use of district space leased by other users and the use shall be compatible with the Board’s educational aims and objectives. Surplus student spaces can be utilized in operational and closed buildings.

Members of the community can access surplus learning spaces through the following methods:

    A group represented by the City of Edmonton under the Joint Use Agreement: Facilities.

    An occasional paid rental for groups not eligible under the Joint Use Agreement: Facilities.

    As a group with exclusive use of space as specified in a lease agreement.

    As a group with limited use of space as specified in a license agreement.

    As a group with shared use of space with a direct benefit to the students at the school in a Memorandums of Understanding.

Fees for paid rentals will be determined annually by the Superintendent.

Leases are intended to be at no cost to the District. Information regarding leases in the District shall be provided to the Board annually.