Anyone using an SFUSD facility outside of the regular school day must have a permit, and must pay permit fees – including nonprofit groups, public agencies, and private or commercial users. Even SFUSD staff or a parent group needs a permit for events that require custodial services.

Only a school’s own committees or organizations – such as the School Site Council, ELAC, or PTA – can have a meeting outside of school hours without needing a permit, if the principal determines that no custodial services are required for this meeting.

Please note that if your program is related to ExCEL afterschool programs or a Beacon program, you may not need your own permit. You should coordinate directly with the ExCEL or Beacon site director and try to include your program on a global facility use permit.

Important facts about all SFUSD facility use permits

  1. Use of school property shall be primarily for the public school purposes, and consistent with California Education Code. Any use of the property for other than public school purposes shall be subordinate to this primary purpose. Even outside of the regular school day, school facilities may not be available if other activities have been scheduled by the school principal.
  2. Submitting a permit application that is incomplete, missing signatures, or fails to meet application requirements will likely result in the permit being delayed or denied.
  3. SFUSD may terminate any facility use permit when there are conflicting dates or the property is needed for public school purposes. The District may terminate any permit at any time upon provision of written notice (pursuant to the Facility Use Permit Terms and Agreements, Section 10, “Termination”).
  4. A permit may also be terminated whenever the District has reason to believe the Permittee has violated applicable rules regarding use of school property (pursuant to permit Section 10), and this violation may constitute grounds for denying further use of SFUSD property.

It is possible to have a permit that lasts for the fall and spring semesters of the school year. All school-year permits expire at the end of the spring semester (on the last day of school in the spring). You can obtain a permit to use SFUSD facilities during the summer, but we have special procedures during the summer because of the limited availability of our facilities.

Here’s a general overview of the permit process. (For more information please see the detailed instructions, below.)

  • A separate, specific permit is required for the rental of each SFUSD facility.
  • Contact the school to make sure the facilities you want to use are available, and to schedule use of that space. Please be sure to ask about all the different rooms you hope to use, because some of the rooms may not be available.
  • Complete the Facility Use Permit application. Be sure to complete all permit addenda, including those related to staffing and/or technical support for certain facilities use.
  • Bring the application (including any addenda) to the school for the principal to sign. (Please note that some addenda require additional signatures and approval – see below for more information.)
  • The principal will also determine whether (and how many) SFUSD security personnel are required for your event or program.
  • Submit your signed permit application, including any relevant addenda; proof of insurance; and a check or money order for the $50 application fee* to SFUSD’s Real Estate Office, at 135 Van Ness Ave., room 116.

The following user groups are exempt from the permit application fee: SFUSD departments and schools; PTA and other formal school-site parent groups; ExCEL and Beacon program providers; and programs/events where at least 75% of the participants are SFUSD students, staff or families.

SFUSD has a new, online form for all Facilities Use Permit applications!

You can find a link to the online permit, this FAQ and a one-page application checklist at www.sfusd.edu/rentingfacilities or go directly to the form at www.sfusdpermits.org.

Getting Started

You should work with the principal or their designated staff to clearly define the facilities you intend to use before you complete the permit application. You should also be prepared to provide details of the “Where, When, What and Who” related to your facility use.

  • Where: The school site or other district facility you plan to use, and the kinds of rooms or other space you’d like to reserve. You’ll need to provide the actual room numbers for classrooms that you plan to use.
  • When: The dates, days of the week, and times of day you plan to use the facility - for example, if it will be offered every day, once a week, or on a weekend; and if it will be a one-time event or a program offered for a longer period of time.
  • What: A description of your program or event, including the kinds of activities you’ll be conducting. (For example, if you’ll provide tutoring, give an arts performance, hold an athletic tournament, rent parking spaces, or host a private event.)
  • Who: Indicate the number of people and any specific populations your event or program serves. (For example, if your program is for students from that school; if it’s a community event open to the general public; or if it’s private, for your guests only.)

Be sure to carefully read the entire permit’s Terms of Agreement before signing it: this is a formal, legal document. Your signature is required on page 5 of the permit application (and on any addenda); you also need to initial the permit on page 5, sections 16 and 17.

When using any gymnasium or indoor basketball court, permit holders must require everyone participating in the use of SFUSD property to wear footwear with non-marking soles.

When using District grass fields or play areas, permit holders must not allow anyone participating in your use of SFUSD fields to wear cleated shoes, or any other footwear that could damage or destroy grass or turf.

Only SFUSD staff may use district computers or computer equipment. Permit holders who are not SFUSD employees are not allowed to use District computers or equipment, or to plug any equipment into the District network systems at any time.

As a convenience, permit holders may be given permission to connect to the SFUSD GUEST wireless signal at sites with access to this service. (Please verify this with the site).

Please note that this service is offered as a convenience, and there is no guarantee that a wireless signal will be accessible or supported at any given site on any given day.

To use this network, connect to the wireless SFUSD-GUEST signal on your device, open a browser, and accept the Terms of Service on the displayed web page. After two hours you will be required to connect again, to limit excessive use of this shared, free service.

The cost for your permit will depend on the times, activities, and the spaces you request in your permit application. Any use of SFUSD’s facilities incurs costs to the district, including direct costs (for things like maintenance, utilities, furnishings, supplies and equipment) and indirect costs (including staff to handle the applications, manage permits and handle invoices).

In addition to these expenses, there are costs for staff and personnel to support permitted facilities use: custodians, security guards, kitchen staff, and technical personnel.

SFUSD has updated our facility use permit fees, effective July 15, 2014. Please see more information about the fee structure at www.sfusd.edu/rentingfacilities, or contact the district’s Real Estate Office at (415) 241-6090.

After filling out your online permit application, you can also generate a page with itemized, estimated fees. Please note that these estimated fees are subject to change based on review of your application and any staffing required by your requested facilities use. These fees will be confirmed by the Real Estate Office when your permit application is reviewed and approved.

  • This is a summary of insurance required for facility use permits. Please refer to Section 18 of the Facility Use Permit application for more details about insurance requirements.
  • Facility use permits require proof of General Liability Insurance for at least one million dollars each occurrence, combined single limit for bodily injury and property damage. Your coverage must include damage to rented premises with a sublimit, if any, of not less than $100,000 (one hundred thousand).
  • Certificate holder should be:
    San Francisco Unified School District
    Real Estate Office
    135 Van Ness Avenue, Room 116
    San Francisco, CA 94102
  • The General Liability policy must name as Additional Insured “San Francisco Unified School District, its Board, officers and employees.” See this Example Certificate of Insurance and the endorsement form.
  • Certificate of insurance and endorsement form need to cover the entire term/duration of the permit.
  • You must submit the required certificate of insurance and a separate endorsement form to the Real Estate Office at least 10 business days prior to the first requested date of using the facility. However, we encourage you to submit all the required insurance documents along with your permit application to the Real Estate Office if you have them ready.
  • Your certificate of insurance and endorsement forms need to cover the entire term/duration of the permit.
  • If you don’t have liability insurance, you can purchase coverage through the national Tenant Users Liability Insurance Policy program (TULIP) at their website:

SFUSD’s general guidelines require security guards for programs or events where:

  • More than 50 people will be present, and will use multiple floors of the building, or
  • More than 200 people will be present.

If your permit application meets either of these guidelines, please submit Addendum B, Security Contract (signed by the principal) with your facility use permit application.

Principals and the Real Estate Office have the right to require security and/or police protection for any event, program or activity. The permit holder is responsible for all security costs. The principal may also waive the security requirement based on past experience with the user group. The principal needs to indicate on your application form whether security is needed or not needed, by checking the box on Page 3 of the permit application.

If security services are required and SFUSD security staff is not available, you will be required to hire security services at your own expense from an SFUSD-approved security company. Applicants must provide the Real Estate Office a fully executed contract verifying the Applicant has purchased security service to cover the entire time of the event. The fully executed contract is due at least 15 business days prior to the first requested date of use.

  • In addition to an authorized signer from your organization or agency, your permit application needs to be signed by the school’s principal or assistant principal, or Site Administrators for Early Education school sites.
  • The principal, assistant principal or site administrator needs to sign the permit application on page 3, and also needs to sign any relevant addenda. Be sure to bring Addendum B, the Security Contract for the principal to review and sign (this form also verifies if the principal determines your permit does not require security).
  • If your permit includes use of a kitchen, you must include C: Application for Use of Kitchen, which needs to be approved by SFUSD’s office of Student Nutrition Services. Sign this form, then scan it and email it to Student Nutrition Services at schoollunch@sfusd.edu. Allow three working days to get the approved form back. Submit this signed form with the rest of your permit forms to the Real Estate Office. If you have any questions, contact Student Nutrition Services at (415) 749-3604.
  • If you will be filming you must include Addendum D: Documentary/Filmmaker Checklist for Facilities Use. Submit this form to SFUSD’s Office of Public Outreach and Communications, at 555 Franklin Street, Room #305, San Francisco, CA 94102. Submit this signed, approved form with the rest of your permit forms to the Real Estate Office. Contact the Office of Public Outreach and Communications at (415) 241-6565.
  • If you will be using a school’s auditorium or need audio-visual equipment, please bring Addendum E: Technical Services Contract with you for consultation with the principal. The school’s principal or Technical Director must sign this form. Include this signed, approved form with the rest of your permit forms to the Real Estate Office.
  • If you’re applying for a permit for a district facility that is not a school, please contact the Real Estate Office to confirm who should sign your permit application.

After filling out the permit application forms online, you need to print your completed Facilities Use Permit application and submit that to the SFUSD’s Real Estate Office at least 20 business days prior to the first requested date of use. Be sure the application includes all required signatures and applicable addenda, the required insurance certificate and endorsement, and the non-refundable $50 application fee. Submit your application to:

SFUSD Real Estate Office

135 Van Ness Ave., room 116;

San Francisco, CA 94102

The Real Estate Office will not accept any permit application submitted less than four business days prior to the first requested use date. Permits will be accepted as late as four business day prior to the first use date only if the permit application is complete, with all required signatures, all required addenda, insurance endorsements, and full payment.

For most facility use permit applications, the $50 non-refundable application fee is due when the permit application is submitted to the Real Estate Office, and the application will not be accepted without the application fee.

Public departments from the City and County of San Francisco, State of California, or Federal agencies will be billed for the application fee, and are not required to submit the $50 non-application fee with their permit application.

These permit applicants are exempt from the $50 application fee:

  • SFUSD departments and school sites
  • The PTA and other formally organized school-site parent organizations
  • Beacon programs and ExCEL program lead agencies
  • Programs where at least 75% of participants are SFUSD students or will directly serve students (for example, school staff or families).

The SFUSD Real Estate Office will review the permit application and addenda, and will send you an invoice within five business days after the facility use permit application is submitted to the Real Estate Office. The invoice will itemize all permit fees, which include fees for the facility use itself, as well as staffing costs (for custodians, security, kitchen and technical services staff). Full payment of any applicable permit fee is due no later than four business days prior to the first requested date of use.

  • After the Real Estate Office approves a facility use permit, a copy of the permit will be sent to the Permittee, the school site, the Custodial Department, and to other SFUSD departments as applicable for the specific permit.
  • After receiving a copy of the approved permit, the site principal is responsible for designating SFUSD security, as needed. Please note that you should coordinate with the school site to confirm that any required SFUSD security staff have been scheduled.
  • After receiving a copy of the approved permit, the District’s Student Nutrition Services department is responsible for designating kitchen staff if applicable for your permit.
  • The Real Estate Office will coordinate with Custodial Department to assign a custodian to open the school, be on duty during the time of the usage, and clean and secure the school after such use. Opening of the school property for use will be dependent upon Permittee showing a valid, approved facility use permit to the custodian.
  • It is the responsibility of the custodian on duty to see that the rules and regulations are enforced and to report any violations or attempted violations to the school principal and his/her Custodial Supervisor. All permit holders must cooperate with requests and orders from the custodian, or other District representatives, regarding compliance with the requirements of the facility use permit and applicable rules.

You must notify the Real Estate Office of any changes to the schedule or facilities on your approved Permit. You must provide a copy of your Permit showing handwritten revisions initialed by the principal. You will also be responsible for any additional fees resulting from these changes, per Section 21 of the Terms and Agreements (“Fee for Cancellation/Change”).

To cancel an approved Permit you must give written notice to the Real Estate Office at least four business days prior to the first requested use date. For cancellation at least 10 business days prior to the first requested use date the District will refund your permit fees, minus 15%. For cancellation from 4-9 business days prior to the first requested use date, the District will refund fees minus 30%. No refund will be issued for cancellation less than four business days prior to the first requested use date.

Anyone besides SFUSD staff who use the building outside regular school hours must have a permit, and must pay for custodial services. Even SFUSD staff or the school’s parent group needs a permit for events that require custodial services.

SFUSD’s schools are being used more than ever – and it’s harder to keep them clean and safe for our students and staff. Many sites struggle to control rodents, roaches, fleas and other pests. While many people believe they won’t make a mess, or can clean up after themselves, in fact nearly everyone uses the bathrooms and impacts garbage and waste collection.

District procedures require SFUSD custodians to clean school bathrooms before children arrive in the morning; deal properly with the garbage and compost; and use non-toxic cleansers to ensure student safety. For these reasons, anyone using the building is required to have a permit, and to cover the costs for custodial services.

If unable to gain access to school property, please call the emergency number: (415) 695-5665.

Please make sure you a have a copy of the approved permit with you. Opening of the school facilities for use will depend on you showing a valid, approved permit to the custodian or SFUSD security staff on site.

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