Community Centered School and Joint Use Policies

Background:  School-site selection is a critical issue in terms of preserving undeveloped land, renovating and retrofitting urban schools and ensuring that, whenever possible, high quality schools are within walking distance to students, families and public transportation options.

Joint use is a way to increase opportunities for children and adults to be more physically active. It refers to two or more entities — usually a school and a city or private organization — sharing indoor and outdoor spaces like gymnasiums, athletic fields and playgrounds. The concept is: share resources to keep costs down and communities healthy.[1]


Policy Leads/Action Team:

  • Safe Route to Schools Technical Assistance Resource Center (Staffers: Kristin Haukom, Justine Hearn, Patti Horsley, and Victoria Custodio)
  • Manal J. Aboelata, Prevention Institute (co-chair)
  • Jane Adams, CA Park & Recreation Society
  • Tana Ball, Youth Educational Sports, Inc.
  • Scott Clark, Local Government Commission
  • Rebecca Hansen, County of Riverside Public Health
  • Deb Hubsmith, Safe Routes to School National Partnership
  • Alison Kendall, Kendall Planning + Design
  • Jenel Lim, County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency
  • Jessica Meaney, Safe Routes to School National Partnership
  • Karla Perez-Cordero, Alameda County Safe Routes to Schools Program
  • Marisela Romero Piñeda, California Active Communities
  • Mikeala Randolph, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health
  • Steve Sims, Go Bike USA
  • Stephanie Smith,  Safe Routes to Schools National Partnership
  • Jeff Vincent, Center for Cities & Schools, UC Berkeley
  • Cesca Wright, Cities Counties Schools (CCS) Partnership
  • Sara Zimmerman, National Policy & legal Analysis Network to Prevent Childhood Obesity (n-plan)


The overall goal is supporting community-based schools and decreasing the distance to school.  This will be accomplished by achieving the following objectives:

1)      Work directly with the CDE to support the finalization on their document revisions related to Title 5, the Blue Book, and the Yellow Book to ensure community centered schools and equity in school planning requirements and decisions.

2)      Encourage Regional Transportation Plans and Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPO’s) to use school siting strategies in land use plans and growth policies.

3)      Ensure that statewide policies encourage joint-use of city and school facilities

Essential Network Tasks through 2011:

  • Continue school siting discussions with CDE, and provide meaningful and timely policy input for the revisions of their school siting documents to support community centered, walkable, bikeable schools.
  • Ensure that CDE school siting documents address low-income community needs and personal safety issues.
  • Work with partners to advance joint-use policies and to publicize resources and best practices that are working, especially in low-income communities.

To view notes from the July 28 conference call on school siting and joint use policies, follow this link: 7/28 Conference call notes

This action team will be meeting via conference call from 10-11 AM on Tuesday, September 4.
Conference Call Number: 1-866-394-4146
Access Code: 553816012#
Mute/unmute: *4

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