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Using School Buildings

Use of school buildings as community hubs is a win-win, contributing to both student and neighborhood success. There are partnerships in place among community organizations and schools across the district like community schools, food pantries, and health suites.

Providing space for parents and community organizations in new and renovated schools is a key priority of the district's  21st Century School Buildings Program.

In some cases, outside organizations may need permits or leases, as described in Board of School Commissioners policy and accompanying regulations

What events qualify for permits?

An event qualifies for a permit if it is

  • Open to the general public and not personal in nature
  • An educational, civic, social, religious, or recreational activity by a nonprofit organization for nonprofit activity
  • A nonprofit activity (such as an athletic program, fund-raising activity for charitable purpose, or employee-related activity) for a for-profit organization
  • Organized so that the safety and security of students, teachers, staff, and the general public are maintained
  • Held at a time that will not interfere with regular school sessions or educational activities and programs
  • An approved political activity*

*Elected officials are welcome to come into schools as part of their official responsibilities, and media may cover these visits. Visits should not be conducted as part of a political campaign. Also, elected officials may appear at school facilities at the invitation of the principal/designee for the purpose of instruction or clarification of public issues.

What events or activities are not allowed?

  • Use or sale of tobacco in any form at all times
  • Firearms, weapons, or ammunition (consistent with any related statutes and/or regulations)
  • The sale, transfer, or consumption of alcohol, intoxicants, or controlled dangerous substances
  • Parties, celebrations, recitals, etc., that are personal or private in nature (including birthday, wedding, anniversary, and other similar celebrations)
  • Any event that involves alcohol, tobacco, intoxicants, or controlled dangerous substances
  • Gambling of any type
  • Car washes unless sponsored by City Schools, a City Schools organized parent group, or a City Schools alumni organization
  • Balloon launches and other activities that result in the release of helium-filled balloons into the atmosphere, including balloon bouquets and presentations
  • Political activities designed to campaign or solicit support for or opposition against a political candidate; campaign rallies, fundraisers, debates, forums, or meetings; campaigns for or against any pending ballot question, legislation, or partisan election issue
  • Using school facilities as a backdrop for political activities, unless the user is not located on said school facilities

What is the difference between a permit and a lease?

Generally, a permit is required for a single event. A lease is needed if use of the building will take place regularly or over an extended period.

 

How do I get an event permit?

  1. Complete a Space and Use Agreement form.
  2. Visit the school and discuss the event with a school administrator and obtain the principal’s approval.
  3. Acquire a commercial liability policy in the amount of $1,000,000 naming the Baltimore City Board of School Commissioners for the Baltimore City Public School System (Board) and the Mayor and City Council of Baltimore as additional insured parties. The policy must be enforced for the entire length of the permit.
  4. Submit the completed agreement and the certificate of liability insurance to the Real Estate and Permits department at least four weeks before the start of the event.
  5. Pay all assessed fees in full at least five business days before the start of the event. 

How do I get a lease, memorandum of understanding, or right of entry?

  1. Complete sections 1 and 3 of the Space and Use Agreement.
  2. Visit the school and discuss the activity with a school administrator and obtain the principal’s approval.
  3. Submit the completed agreement to the Real Estate and Permits department at least five months in advance of the proposed beginning of the activity.
  4. Because each agreement is unique, a City Schools staff member will contact you within three business days concerning your request to determine how an agreement can be tailored to fit your needs. Fees may be payable. 

How can a company get permission to install a wireless antenna on school property?

  1. Complete the wireless application.
  2. Submit the completed application and application fee for $1,000 payable to the Board of School Commissioners to the Real Estate and Permits department.
  3. A City Schools staff member will contact you concerning your request within three business days.

Do I have to pay fees?

It depends. Fees are divided into categories covering building use, staffing that may be required (e.g., school police, custodian), and surcharges (e.g., for turf fields or use of stadium lights for athletic activities). Please refer to the fee schedule for more details. Please note that in cases where fees are payable, no waivers will be granted.

Can I make a donation to the school instead of paying a fee?

No, making a donation or contribution to the school will not help with issuing your permit, and will not affect the amount of the fee charged.

How do I pay the fees?

Send a certified check, organizational check, or money order made payable to Board of School Commissioners to

Baltimore City Public Schools
Real Estate and Permits
200 E. North Avenue
Room 409
Baltimore, MD 21202

Payments can also be made in person by appointment at the address above. Please do not pay school personnel. Cash or personal checks are not accepted.