State law authorizes the community use of school buildings and property for recreation or other purposes.
Florida Statutes 1001.43. Supplemental powers and duties of district school board.
The district school board may exercise the following supplemental powers and duties as authorized by this code or State Board of Education rule.
(5) School community relations. — The district school board may adopt policies governing public gifts and donations to schools; input from the community concerning instruction resources; advertising in schools; participation in community affairs, including coordination with local governments and planning authorities; protocols for interagency agreements; business community partnerships; community use of school facilities; public solicitations in schools, including the distribution and posting of promotional materials and literature; visitors to the school campus; school advisory councils; and parent volunteers and chaperones.
Florida Statutes 1013.10 Use of buildings and grounds.
The board may permit the use of educational facilities and grounds for any legal assembly or for community use centers or may permit the same to be used as voting places in any primary, regular, or special election. The board shall adopt rules, regulations, or policies and procedures necessary to protect educational facilities and grounds when used for such purposes.
Florida Statutes 1013.101. Shared use agreements.
(1) Legislative findings and intent. — The Legislature finds that greater public access to recreation and sports facilities is needed to reduce the impact of obesity, diabetes, and other chronic diseases on personal health and health care expenditures. Public schools are equipped with taxpayer-funded indoor and outdoor recreation facilities that offer easily accessible opportunities for physical activity for residents of the community. The Legislature also finds that it is the policy of the state for district school boards to allow the shared use of school buildings and property by adopting policies allowing for shared use and implementing shared use agreements with local governmental entities and nonprofit organizations. The Legislature intends to increase the number of school districts that open their playground facilities to community use outside of school hours.
(2) Definitions. — As used in this section, the term:
(a) “High-need communities” means communities in which at least 50 percent of children are eligible to receive free or reduced-price meals at the school that will be the subject of the shared use agreement.
(b) “Shared use” means allowing access to school playground facilities by community members for recreation or another purpose of importance to the community through a shared use agreement or a school district or school policy that opens school facilities, including, but not limited to charter schools and Florida College System institutions, for use by government or nongovernmental entities or the public.
(c) “Shared use agreement” means a written agreement between a school district, a charter school, or a Florida College System institution, and a government or nongovernmental entity which defines the roles, responsibilities, terms, and conditions for community use of a school-owned facility for recreation or other purposes.
(3) Promotion of community use of shared facilities. — The department shall provide technical assistance to school districts, including, but not limited to, individualized assistance, the creation of a shared use technical assistance toolkit containing useful information for school districts, and the development of a publicly accessible online database of shared use resources and existing shared use agreements.
Model Local School Wellness Policy
The model policy is designed to comply with USDA and Florida Administrative Code requirements regarding local school wellness policies and provides guidance and recommendations for school districts developing and implementing local school wellness policies. The model policy addresses promoting the use of school facilities outside of school hours for physical activity programs offered by community-based organizations and for the school community's use.