Shared Use Agreement Schools

October 7, 2021

Our toolkit, Playing Smart: Maximizing the Potential of School and Community Property through Joint Use Agreements, communicates what we have learned from successful agreements and offers guidelines and templates to other municipalities that want to use their access to educational recreation facilities. Sharing can take place through informal agreements or a formal contract between two government agencies or a government entity and a private party (Vincent, 2010); Young et al., 2014). Such agreements may vary, from the inclusion of only indoor outdoor schools or both (Vincent, 2010). agreements that cover only outdoor facilities are more common than those that include indoor facilities, in part perhaps due to the more informal nature of access to outdoor facilities, the types of activities carried out in outdoor facilities compared to indoor facilities, and other issues related to the cost and liability of indoor facilities (Vincent, 2010, 2014); Chace and Vilvens, 2015; Kanters et al., 2014a). However, the inclusion of interior fittings can be an important element of co-use agreements, as it increases the degree and diversity of accessible leisure facilities, especially for municipalities in bad weather or in areas where there are few public facilities available. Sharing interior design can also be an important reflection for brick and mortar projects when building or renovating school facilities (Vincent, 2014). A co-use agreement is a legally binding agreement between a school district and another organization or individual outlining the conditions for sharing and potential development of schools. Shared use agreements formalize the agreement between all parties to the sharing. They determine the responsibilities of all parties and control the risk associated with the use of the facility. Being physically active is one of the most important steps people of all ages can take to improve their health (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2008). Despite the many benefits of physical activity, only half of adults in the United States and about a quarter of high school students comply with the current aerobic physical activity guideline (Blackwell et al., 2014; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2014). A well-known barrier to physical activity is lack of access to facilities and places where one can be physically active (Bauman et al., 2012; Sallis et al., 2000; Consolation et al., 2002).

Public schools are located in almost all municipalities and often have appropriate recreational facilities that can be shared with parishioners (Evenson et al., 2010); Vincent, 2010). Co-use agreements are guidelines that allow the public use of schools outside of school. Shared use agreement is a widely used term that can also be called “joint use agreement”, “Community Use Agreement” or “Joint Use Partnership” (Vincent, 2014); Spengler, 2012). While the meaning of such terminology may vary depending on the particular discipline (Vincent, 2014), we use these concepts interchangeably with respect to extracurricular institutions that use schools and grounds. Such guidelines use existing infrastructure (Vincent, 2010; Young et al., 2014; Filardo et al., 2010) and are known to increase the physical activity of children and adolescents in these communities (Durant et al., 2009); Farley et al., 2007; Lafleur et al., 2013; Slater et al., 2013). In addition, sharing agreements can help eliminate inequalities in access to recreational facilities (Taylor and Lou, 2011). This is particularly important because children from racial and ethnic minorities and low-income groups are more likely to be overweight or obese (Miech et al., 2006); Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2009) and live in communities that lack physical activity support functions (Babey et al., 2008; Gordon-Larsen et al., 2006; Moore et al., 2008). . . .

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