Access to Facilities 5-53.1

School Board of the City of Virginia Beach
Regulation 5-53.1


Access to Facilities

  1. Generally

    This regulation implements School Board Policy 5-53 which permits the establishment of limited open forums in a secondary school for noncurriculum related student groups to hold meetings during noninstructional time.

  2. Definitions/Extensions
    1. A limited open forum provides an opportunity for students to organize meetings to discuss subject matter not directly related to the school curriculum. The forum is "limited" because it is only the school's own students who can take advantage of an open forum.
    2. Nonschool persons may not direct, conduct, control or regularly attend activities of student groups.
    3. A noncurriculum related student group is a group or club which is interested in a subject matter not directly related to the school curriculum.
    4. The principal shall determine which student groups or clubs are noncurriculum related.
    5. Noninstructional time as time set aside by the school before actual classroom instruction begins or after actual classroom instruction ends.
    6. The principal shall establish one day each week as "Open Forum Day." Morning meetings may be held from the time teachers report for duty and the homeroom warning bell. Afternoon meetings may be held after the last class period and the time teachers are released from duty.
  3. Application/Approval
    1. Application

      An application for an open forum meeting is to be submitted at least three days prior to the requested date of the initial meeting. The application shall state:

      1. The name and address of the student or students and an affirmation by the person preparing the application that the student(s) has voluntarily initiated the meeting.
      2. A description of the type of meeting and a statement of purpose and an estimate of expected attendance. This should be accompanied by a copy of any material used to advertise the meeting.
      3. The name of the volunteer employee sponsor/monitor of the meeting if any. If the meeting is for religious purposes, affirmation by that person that he or she is not participating in the meeting.
    2. Approval

      The principal shall approve the meeting and assign meeting space if it is determined that:

      1. The meeting is voluntary and student-initiated.
      2. There is no sponsorship of the meeting by the school, the government, or its agents.
      3. The meeting will not materially and substantially interfere with the orderly conduct of the school's educational activities.
      4. Employees of the division are present at religious meetings in a nonparticipatory capacity.
      5. Nonschool persons are not directing, conducting, controlling or regularly attending the activity.
      6. There is no school influence on the form or content of any prayer or religious activity during a meeting for those purposes.
      7. No person will be required to participate in prayer or other religious activity during the meeting or activity.
      8. No funds will be expended by the school for any such meeting beyond the incidental cost associated with providing meeting space.
  4. Supervision

    Employees shall not be assigned as either sponsors or monitors of open forum meetings, but may volunteer.

    If there are no volunteer sponsors or monitors in attendance , normal hall monitoring procedures will be followed. Disorderly conduct in open forum meetings shall be reported to the principal's office. Such conduct, if confirmed by the principal or a designee, may lead to the withdrawal of open forum privileges.

Editor’s Note

See Virginia Beach City Public Schools Website:

Boy Scouts of America Equal Access Act § 9575 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act 1965 (§ 901 No Child Left Behind).

School Board Policy 5-53

Approved by Superintendent: September 21, 1993 (Effective August 14, 1993)
Revised by Superintendent: November 17, 2003
Revised by Superintendent: March 17, 2006