Answer: Yes, anyone can apply for use; however specific criteria must be met in order to receive final approval. Whether organizations and individuals are charged rental, personnel and/or special fees is based on specific criteria that are outlined in School Board Regulation 8420, Attachment B.
Answer: First, you must register as an Organization Event Coordinator (OEC) through our online scheduling system called “Community Use”. Many of our current users are listed in the organization list; please check the organization list first before creating a new organization. Keep in mind, some groups fall under their main organization name, i.e. boy/girl scouts are under their individual national organization name; Girl Scout Council of the Nation’s Capital and Boy Scouts of America.
Once you have been approved as an OEC, you will submit facility use request through “Community Use”. The request will be electronically forwarded for processing to the building use coordinator at the requested school. Per Regulation 8420, requests being submitted for consideration must be submitted a minimum of 15 working days prior to event.
Answer: Typically, it should be no more than 3 days for your request to be processed. However, there are times when the school may be inundated with other duties and it may take a day or two longer to process your request. If you need to contact the school directly, view Community Use School Contacts.
Answer: In most cases the answer is yes; however, this is dependent on whether school activities may preclude any community use occurring in the building. It is advised to review the calendar of the school where you will be requesting building use. If your meeting dates appear to be available, please select the “reoccurring schedule” option when entering your schedule into Community Use. After entering your date pattern and time, you will be prompted to check availability; if your results return no conflict then proceed with entering your schedule; if the results return conflicts with other events, you will have the option to change your criteria to eliminate conflicts and allow you a successful booking.
Answer: Notice 8420 is the fee schedule for community use. FCPS has three fee categories: rental, personnel and special fees. Invoices are generated by the Community Use Section and must be paid at least ten days prior to use.
A majority of our buildings users are non-profit organizations that are holding community meetings such as scout groups, homeowner associations and local civic groups. These types of weekday activities usually do not incur any fees for the activity. But if a non-profit is holding an activity that is fee-based to participants or donations are accepted, then rental fees would apply. Any organizations not paying a rental fee but requesting building use on a weekend, will be invoiced a “weekend utilities fee” that is the equivalent of half the non-commercial rental rate published in our fee schedule.
Personnel fees apply when the use occurs during times that our custodial staff is not on contract, such as the weekends or when user has special circumstances where they need staff assistance with activity.
Special fees are assessed for use of school equipment, such as microphones, stage lights and audio-visual equipment.
Answer:Inclement weather is the most common reason a use could be cancelled. If schools are closed due to inclement weather, community use is cancelled also. A cancelled school activity may have to be rescheduled to a day where community use is already scheduled.
Answer: Once an event has been approved, the OEC cannot make a change. The best way to handle this is to contact the school building use coordinator to see if your request can be updated.
Please note that if your request has not been approved by the school, the OEC can make a change to the submitted request; however the OEC cannot cancel a submitted request. Please contact the school to cancel any submitted requests.
Answer: After your event has been approved, the schedule is electronically assigned to the Community Use Section for processing. It should take no more than 5 days to receive your invoice. If you know your event should be invoiced and you don’t receive the invoice in that timeframe, please contact the Community Use Section by email firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 571-423-2340.
Answer: There are various school events that are not always held in all rooms, but the school cannot have community use occurring during those events. Some examples of these school activities are: Back to School Night, orientations, sporting events and group testing such as SAT’s. Parking requirements could be another reason a request is declined.
Answer: No, because schools do not have their calendars set that far in advance. Middle and high schools typically have their own activities entered in FSDirect by June for the next school year. Elementary schools are usually ready to accept requests in late August.
Answer: The process is outlined in School Board Regulation 8424. The ADM-24 is completed for all fee-based classes, camps, clinics, etc. and send to Community Use Section for final approval. These programs are after the regular school day, so they must be entered into FSDirect. Schools can decide whether they want the PTA /Booster representative to enter the use on your calendar through Community Use or if the school building coordinator will still enter it for the PTA/Booster in FSDirect.
Answer: You should submit the request to the school through “Community Use”. Please be aware that FCPS will not approve summer requests until we have completed the scheduling of our own summer activities. This process is usually completed by March 1 every year.
Lea Ann Deyarmin
May 28, 2014