Good Shepherd Episcopal Church
Kingwood, Texas
Parish Handbook - School Memorandum of Understanding

Good Shepherd Episcopal Church and Good Shepherd Episcopal School
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)

This memorandum is intended to memorialize the common understandings of Good Shepherd Episcopal Church and Good Shepherd Preschool and MDO.  The Church and School are two faith communities seeking to share God’s love within the community and operating within the same physical facilities but with different day to day activities.  This sharing of facilities gives rise to the possibility of misunderstandings and disputes regarding the daily operations of the organizations.  It is the desire of the Church and School to preserve their good relationship and minimize the possibility of disputes by the following agreements:

1.  Joint Committee

The Church and School shall maintain a committee, named the “Church/School Relations Committee” for the purposes of serving as the main channel of communication between the Church and the School.  The committee will be responsible for identifying and resolving issues for which cooperation is required between Church and School.  The committee will also be responsible for reviewing and updating on an annual basis this agreement and the shared expenses of the Church and School.  This committee shall be composed of at least four members, two appointed by the Church vestry and two appointed by the School board.  More members may be added as are necessary to accomplish the committee’s work.  This committee shall meet at least twice per year.

2.  Sharing of Facilities

It is not the intent of this agreement to create a landlord – tenant relationship between Church and School.  Therefore, the following list of facilities used by the School is not intended to exclude the Church from use of the same facility, but to prevent scheduling conflicts by clarifying when and where the School will be operating.  The following is a list of rooms in the Church’s Mission Center which are used by the School, with hours of approximately 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

All classrooms on the first floor of the Mission Center.

The School has chapel services in the Nave on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 8:45 to 9:15 a.m.

School students eat lunch in the fellowship hall during the following times:  Monday through Thursday, 11:30 – 12:30.

The School uses rooms in the older section of the mission center as offices and supply rooms (rooms 101, 103 and 105).  These are the only rooms which the School uses on an exclusive basis.

The School maintains a playground area on the grounds of the Church facility.  The School will be responsible for continued maintenance of the playground equipment.  Children attending Church services or functions are welcome to use the playground equipment.

As the School operating hours rarely coincide with major Church events or worship services, parking is sufficient for both School and Church.  However, if either the School or Church plans an event which may result in a shortage of parking places, the planners will ensure that adequate overflow parking plans are made to accommodate both Church and School guests.

The School shall be responsible for any damages to the above facilities caused by its employees, volunteers or students, excluding normal wear and tear.  The Church shall likewise be responsible for damages caused by its employees, parishioners or visitors during the course of a Church event.  When using rooms which are used as classrooms by the School, the Church shall leave the room in good order so that teachers shall not have to clean up on their arrival in the morning.

Minor repairs to correct the effect of wear and tear, or to repair minor damage by an unidentified cause, and which is localized to a particular room of the facility, shall be paid by the party which is the primary user of the room.  Thus, the School shall correct minor damage in the mission center classrooms and offices used by the School.  The Church shall make minor repairs in the rest of the Church Facilities.

3.        Sharing of Expenses

To the extent that certain expenses paid by the Church benefit the School, the School will endeavor to cover the expenses attributable to it.  These expenses fall under the general categories of Maintenance, Utilities, Insurance, and Grounds.  A list of these shared expenses is attached to this memorandum.  On an annual basis, the Church/School Relations Committee shall review these expenses, adding any new expenses which benefit the School and removing any expenses which no longer apply or which the School begins paying directly on its own behalf. 

Allocating the shared expenses between the Church and School shall be achieved in the following manner:

Allocated Zones                     Zones will be established to recognize the major portions of the facilities that are used by the School.  The zones are the Mission Center, Nursery/Admin Building, Parish Hall/Offices, and Parish Grounds.  Note that the Church will assume full allocation for the Sanctuary expense portion of the allocation.

Square Footage                      Within each Zone, the Church/School Relations Committee will determine the approximate amount of square footage that the School uses on a regular basis.  For example, within the Mission Center, it may be determined that the School regularly uses three-fifths of the overall square footage within that Zone.  If that represents one-quarter of the overall Facility space, the square footage allocation for that Zone would be 3/5x1/4.

Allocated Use                         The next calculation would be to determine the approximate percent of time that the School uses within each Zone.  It is recognized that this time can vary from week-to-week and month-to-month, so a fair estimate should be used.  This allocated use calculation should be subject to review and adjustment on an annual basis.  This use calculation is a percentage of overall  eligible time used in the Zone by the School. (eligible being understood as the time typically used in that space during normal operating hours)

Allocated Percent                   The School’s allocated percent of Shared Expenses is then determined to be an aggregate of their allocated percent by Zone.  Within each Zone, the allocated percent is a calculation of square footage ratio used per time usage within that Zone.

Shared Expense:                    This is calculated by adding each Zone allocated percent

Allocation Percent                  to obtain one overall percentage use number.

Shared Expense                     A three year running average of the shared expenses is multiplied by the School’s overall allocation percentage to arrive at target for the School’s share of the expenses.  At the time of this writing, the School’s monthly payment to the Church does not meet this target amount.  It is understood that the School shall attempt to raise its annual payments to meet this target over the next three years.

Calculation Examples:

Square Footage Factor:                          Each Zone  = (Typical School Use Square Footage / Overall Square Footage) x (Zone Square Footage / Overall Parish Facilities Square Footage)

Allocated Use Factor:                             Each Zone = Estimated Amount of Time in School Use / Total Available Time

Allocated Percent:                                   Each Zone Square Footage Factor x Zone Allocated Use Factor

Shared Expense Use Factor:  Zone 1% Allocation + Zone 2% Allocation, etc.

Shared Expenses = Applicable Maintenance + Utilities + Insurance, 3 year running average.

Allocation = Shared Expense Use Factor x Shared Expense Aggregate

Note that in this initial allocation, it is assumed that all expenses are spread equally across all zones.   Note that this may not be a correct assumption.  It is assumed, however, that the aggregate of expenses would be roughly the same across all zones.  This can be further refined or validated at some later period.  This allocation shall be reviewed annually by the Church/School Relations Committee.

4.        Major Maintenance Fund

The School shall set aside $25,000 into a Major Maintenance Fund.  This fund shall be used for maintenance requirements in excess of $5,000 to areas of the facility used by the School.  The maintenance expense shall be assessed for repairs in a zone of the facility based on that zone’s allocation percentage, as approved by the School Board.  The Church/School Relations Committee shall annually evaluate the reserves in the Major Maintenance Fund to determine if the reserve is sufficiently capitalized. 

5.        Insurance

The School shall maintain policies for liability and errors and omissions, and on personal property of the School which is kept in Church facilities.  The Church shall be responsible for carrying property insurance on the facilities.  The Church’s commercial property insurance shall be a shared expense of the Church and School and allocated as described above.  Any other policies carried by the Church shall be its sole expense.  Both parties will, where practicable, have the other listed as a named insured on their policies.

6.        Resolving Disputes

Inherent in any relationship is the possibility of disagreement and dispute.  As the Church and School endeavor to live into their Christian mission, we will at all times keep sight of the fact that we are all children of God and treat each other accordingly.  It is hoped that this memorandum will preemptively resolve the potential issues that may exist between the Church and School.  In the event that a dispute regarding the operations of the Church and School or the interpretation of this memorandum shall arise, the issue shall first be submitted to the Church/School Relations Committee.  The Church/School Relations Committee shall attempt to clarify the issues at hand and shall make recommendations to the Vestry and the School Board.  Should this action fail to resolve the issue, the Rector of Good Shepherd Episcopal Church shall have final authority to resolve the issue.  Under no circumstances will any issue be submitted to a non-ecclesiastical authority.

7.        Effective Date

The Church and School shall endeavor to fulfill the terms of this memorandum beginning on the date it is approved by the Vestry and School Board.  The Good Shepherd School Board ratified this MOU on March 27, 2008 and the Good Shepherd Episcopal Church Vestry voted to approve the MOU at a regularly scheduled Vestry on May 20, 2008.

Note:  Due to the bulkiness of the files, the spreadsheets for the calculations mentioned herein are not attached to this document.  They are available electronically from the Clerk of the Vestry and hard copies are available from the staff of the church or the school.