Community Use of Schools is an initiative that supports access to school space outside of school hours for not-for-profit community groups.
The Greater Essex County District School Board encourages the use of our schools as community facilities. It is recognized that schools are primarily for the instruction of students and community use should not interfere with the daily instructional program.
Ontario schools are community hubs where all people can stay active, gather to learn, and participate in the activities of community-based organizations.
The government of Ontario provides funding to all school boards so they can make school space more affordable for use after hours. Both indoor and outdoor school space is available to not-for-profit community groups at reduced rates, outside of regular school hours.
Ministry of Education Program Principles
School Activities Take Priority:
School day activities, extra-curricular activities and parent involvement activities organized or administered by the school or school board have priority use of school space during and after regular school hours.
Schools as Hubs of Communities:
Schools are the hubs of their communities and offer an effective use of taxpayers’ investment in providing citizens with a place to come together, volunteer, build skills, access community programs, become physically active and build strong and healthy communities.
Support for a Positive Climate for Youth:
The Community Use of Schools program supports and promotes healthy, active lifestyles for community youth.
Fair and Equal Access:
Schools are welcoming and inclusive and offer parent groups, community organizations and other citizens fair access to use of school space at affordable rates for community purposes in non-school hours.
Respect for Roles and Responsibilities:
Community Use of Schools program stakeholder partners respect each other’s roles, responsibilities and obligations to the community and education system.
Not-For-Profit organizations to be charged affordable rates:
District School Boards, where feasible, should ensure that after-hours user fees for school facilities in their district are affordable for Not-For-Profit community users.