School Business Affairs July-August 2020

18 JULY/AUGUST 2020 | SCHOOL BUSINESS AFFAIRS FACILITIES Repositioning the Role of Custodial Services As school buildings open, providing a safe, clean, healthy learning environment will be utmost on everyone’s minds. By Daniel Wagner I s it practical to reopen school buildings this fall and, if so, what safety measures need to be adopted? Ranging from how to enforce social distancing to the possibility of staggered attendance to what PPE might be required and how to address the challenges of transportation, the issues are complex and can seem overwhelming. A prime concern is the question of how to clean, sanitize, and disinfect schools to ensure the health and safety of students, staff, and guests. Developing and implementing a plan to respond to the custodial challenge requires recognition of a new reality, a general understanding of basic cleaning prin- ciples, and a new approach that balances budgetary and labor limitations with the undeniable need to provide a healthy, clean environment. Heightened Expectations Acknowledging the importance of a clean indoor envi- ronment is certainly not new. Studies during the past decade have shown the positive and measurable impact cleaning has on everything from student attendance and performance to teacher health, substitute teacher costs, and overall parent/guardian satisfaction—not to men- tion that people simply feel more comfortable in a clean and well-maintained school building. SEBRA/STOCK.ADOBE.COM