A-W makes changes to public’s use of school facilities

Posted January 17, 2013 at 6:00 am

By Julie Ann Madden

Can students be in the Akron-Westfield Community School building unsupervised? When is the facility open to the general public? What kind of music is allowed in the facilities?

Those questions and more were answered by Akron-Westfield Grades 7-12 Principal Derek Briggs at the school board’s Dec. 10, 2012, meeting.

Revisions have been made to the district’s Facilities Use Policy, explained Briggs, noting the changes were done at the suggestion of the school’s attorneys. “The school district is liable if students (and other children) under age 18 are not supervised.”

Instead of making students provide identification showing they are 18 years or older, school administration decided to have all students be supervised, said Briggs.

Therefore, students and other facility users under age 18 must be directly supervised when using any of the following:. gymnasiums, track, weight room, wrestling room, auditorium, classrooms and other areas of the school facility.

They must be directly supervised by at least one of the following: a parent, school employee, designated youth program coach or board-approved volunteer coach, said Briggs, adding students or those under age 18 who do not have someone to supervise them in the school facility need to contact school administrators before using the facility to make arrangements for supervision.

“The idea isn’t to limit some of the students who use our facilities but to make sure they are properly supervised,” said Briggs.

The facilities are open to the public from 6:00 to 7:30 a.m. Monday through Friday and after extracurricular practices, 6:00 to 10:00 p.m.

When school-sponsored practices are in session, the gymnasiums, track and weight room will be unavailable to the public — this includes other students and people not involved in the actual school-sponsored activities.

“If a student wants to stay after practice, then a parent or coach must stay to supervise,” said Briggs.

Furthermore, before using the facilities, designated youth program coaches and sponsors must reserve dates and times with Athletic Director Todd Colt

At this time, designated youth coaches or sponsors and parents do not have to be board-approved to supervise children, said Briggs.

Those wishing to use the auditorium, kitchen and classrooms, must contact school administrators to make reservations before their events.

Music played in the school facilities must be appropriate for a school setting — no inappropriate language such as obscenities and/or offensive lyrics, said Briggs.

The board also requested the key fobs given out two years ago be reset with new security codes.

As of Monday, this hadn’t been done yet, said Briggs, but it will be soon. Anyone whose key fob does not work will need to contact school administration.

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