General Requirements For Operation of School Building Beyond Regular Hours
School buildings shall be opened for any purpose upon the terms and conditions set forth in Section 34-8.1, Section 34-2.3 and Section 34-18 of the Illinois School Code. Principals may set hours of operation of the school building, beyond regular hours of building operation, under the following conditions:
- The engineer-in-charge, the engineer-in-charge’s designee or the principal’s designee shall be present and on duty;
- Appropriate adult supervision as determined by the specific building use is present; and
- A Type 75 certificated school administrator is available for emergencies.
School Affiliated Non-Student Groups
School affiliated non-student groups, as defined for purposes of this Board Rule only, are groups whose mission is promote the educational mission and/or the efficient operations of a school. These groups include, but are not limited to, Local School Councils (“LSC”), Parent Teacher Associations (“PTA”), Parent Teacher Organizations (“PTO”), Parent Advisory Councils (“PAC”) and Professional Personnel Leadership Councils (“PPLC”). The following conditions shall apply to the use of school buildings by school affiliated non-student groups:
- LSCs shall have the right to use school buildings to meet or carry on official business subject to applicable conditions set forth in Section I above provided that LSC meetings take place in facilities that comply with Open Meetings Act requirements and the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and the Board’s ADA Policy.
- LSCs may use school facilities during regular school hours so long as space is available and such use does not disrupt the educational operation of the school.
- PPLCs shall have the right to use school buildings to meet subject to applicable conditions set for in Section I above.
- PPLCs may use school facilities during regular school hours so long as space is available and such use does not disrupt the educational operation of the school.
- Groups such as PTAs, PTOs or PACs may use the school building free of charge subject to the applicable conditions of Section I above so long as such use does not incur unreasonable expense on the school.
To the extent possible, school affiliated non-student groups should meet with the principal to establish a meeting schedule as far in advance of the meetings as possible.
School Affiliated Student Groups
Any student group recognized by the school may use the school facilities during non-instructional time as determined by the principal. Such groups may include groups whose mission is focused on an aspect of the school’s curriculum (i.e. French Club, Math Club, Science Club, Literature Club), as well as groups whose focus is non-curricular (i.e. Debate Team, Chess Club, Christian Club). The principal may determine reasonable restrictions on the time, location and manner of the use.
A school may deny all non-curricular clubs from meeting at the school. If a high school, however, permits one group whose focus is non-curricular to meet on school premises, it must allow all other non-curricular student groups to assemble on the same terms and conditions.
Non-School Affiliated Student Groups
Organizations that work with students enrolled in a Chicago Public School whose mission is unrelated to the school’s mission, educational program or operations, may use school facilities as determined by the principal. The principal may determine reasonable restrictions on the time, location and manner of the use.
Community and other Non-School Affiliated Groups
Community and other groups whose mission is unrelated to the Chicago Public Schools may use the school facilities for free, as determined by the principal, for free public lectures, concerts or other educational and social interests, when school is not in session, subject to the reasonable restrictions on the time, place and manner of such usage imposed by the principal.
As determined by the LSC, community and other groups whose mission is unrelated to the Chicago Public Schools may use the school facilities for a reasonable cost for public lectures, concerts or other educational and social interests, when school is not in session, subject to the reasonable restrictions on the time, place and manner of such use imposed by the principal.
Providing School Facilities for Commercial Use
The LSC may determine if school facilities are available for rent by private, for-profit organizations. If the LSC permits such rental, it may place reasonable restrictions on such use that shall be in effect for all commercial use. Such use will also be subject to the reasonable restrictions on the time, place and manner of such use imposed by the principal. The LSC should make clear that the school does not endorse or support the entity renting the facilities.
School Usage Permits and Licenses
All organizations/entities except for School Affiliated Non-Student Groups and School Affiliated Student Groups wishing to use a school facility for free or for cost must execute and submit a School Usage Permit. The principal may deny the use of the school facilities when he or she has a reasonable basis to believe that use of the school facilities by such a group will cause damage or undue expense to the school. The principal may also deny use of the facilities if the group fails to meet any of the conditions outlined in the school usage permit.
For all organizations/entities except for School Affiliated Non-Student Groups and School Affiliated Student Groups proposing to rent or use a school building or parking lot more than 10 times a year, the Department of Operations, Office of Real Estate Management must be contacted and a license will be entered into and executed in accordance with Board Rule 7-15 for such extended use.
No Viewpoint Discrimination Permitted
No group or organization may be discriminated against due to the content or focus of their group or organization. If the school permits one group from categories III, IV, V or VI listed above to use its facilities, it must allow other organizations with a similar mission or purpose to use its facilities on the same terms and conditions.
No religiously-oriented clubs may be barred from meeting at the school if another group that focuses on similar topics and ideals is permitted to assemble there.
If a school grants an offering to or an opportunity for one or more outside youth or community organizations to meet on school premises or in school facilities before or after instructional hours, it must permit equal access to, and must not discriminate against, the Boy Scouts of America. No school may, however, serve as a sponsoring or chartered organization for the Boy Scouts of America.
Chief of Schools Mediation
In the event that a group or organization disagrees with a principal’s or Local School Council’s determination regarding its request for use of a school facility, the group or organization may ask the appropriate Chief of Schools to meet with the group or organization and the principal and/or the Local School Council in an effort to mediate the dispute. The Chief of Schools will make the final determination regarding use of the school facility.
Employees are permitted to use school facilities during duty-free time, before and after school for internal union campaign activities provided:
- employees notify the principal in accordance with the collective bargaining agreement and the Board’s facility usage policy,
- activities do not interfere with school activities, including before or after school activities or programming,
- activities are not in the presence of students,
- activities are during times of normal building operation, and
- activities do not require the Board to incur any employee overtime costs.
For the purposes of this Rule, teacher preparation periods are not duty-free time. Nothing in this Rule shall prohibit the Board from adopting reasonable restrictions as to time, place and manner for use of its facilities.
Use of School Buildings After Regular Hours of Building Operation