Anyone who has had experience in a school setting knows that keeping a campus clean is a special challenge. Educators, administrators, parents, and cleaning companies alike understand that to keep a school clean and sanitized, there is a ton of factors to consider. Cleaning a school isn’t like cleaning a home or a business, and the people responsible for contracting with a cleaning company need to understand the unique challenges to maintaining a clean, sanitary, and safe educational environment for the children and staff.
What makes a school such a challenge to clean?
There are a lot of reasons why schools are unique challenges for cleaning companies. This is not a comprehensive list, but it can give you an idea of the complexities that a great cleaning company understands when they are brought into a school setting.
Germs and illnesses: Schools are a breeding ground for germs and viruses. This is especially true because kids often become symptomatic during the school day, when they have already been interacting with other kids and educators all day.
Unique spaces: Schools are made up of countless different types of spaces, each requiring its own cleaning regimen. In addition to classrooms and offices, there are bathrooms, cafeterias, gymnasiums, locker rooms, bathrooms, offices, medical facilities, and shared public spaces like hallways and stairwells.
Challenging schedules: Cleaning a school requires awareness of the day-to-day operations of the school, as tasks need to be completed in a way that doesn’t interfere with the educational accomplishments of the students.
Staffing needs: School cleaning companies must have high standards when hiring employees who will be working around children.
Limited funds: Public and private schools alike are obligated to stick to a strict budget. There isn’t a lot of room for adding staff, hours, or responsibilities to the current facilities budget of most schools. While everybody likes to save money, schools are especially limited in terms of how much they can spend.
How would your current cleaning staff do on a school cleaning test?
Decision makers in the school system need to evaluate their current cleaning and janitorial policies and staff in order to determine what changes may need to be made. One way to do this is to imagine how the staff would do if there were a test. After all, educators understand the importance of providing a test to measure the strengths and weaknesses of their students.
Just as assessing student performance allows educators to determine what changes need to be made in their pedagogy, assessing the strengths and weaknesses of your current cleaning strategy is a great way to figure out if you need to change your approach.
These are some of the questions you can ask to evaluate and assess your current system:
- Is your school currently clean enough to earn an “A”?
Determine what level of cleanliness would earn your school an A grade, and go from there. Some things that might factor into this include: How effectively does your staff manage the day-to-day operations of keeping the school clean? In an emergency situation, how quickly is your staff able to respond to those immediate needs? Are your facilities well stocked with janitorial supplies, or do you frequently find that the restrooms are out of toilet paper and paper towels need to be replaced?
If you’re not earning an A on your current maintenance, what would you need to do to improve your score?
- Do your students and teachers feel that they are in a safe and clean environment?
Quickly responding to spills, accidents, and messes is about more than maintaining an environment that looks nice. It’s also about keeping the people in your building safe.
If students aren’t safe, they can’t learn.
- When parents and visitors are in the building, do they see issues that cause them to be concerned about student safety?
Sometimes, when we become accustomed to what an environment looks like, we need to view it through fresh eyes. Looking around as a visitor instead of as an administrator or educator means seeing the problems that stand out as unsafe, unclean, or unsightly.
What visitors and parents see when they come into the school can affect enrollment, involvement, and morale.
- How strong are the lines of communication between the various players in your school cleanliness game?
Is it easy for everyone in your system to quickly document a need for maintenance or clean-up? Is there a clear chain of command running from supervisors to entry-level workers? Are issues solved quickly and then reported to the person who noted the need in the first place?
Difficulty with getting maintenance and cleaning tasks taken care of can lead to your teaching and administrative staff feeling frustrated and demoralized.
- Is your staff professional in the way they go about their day?
Do they show up to work on time, dressed appropriately, and with a positive attitude? Does your staff feel valued in the workplace or overworked? Do they contribute to the positive environment you are trying to build in your school building, or are there issues with negativity or poor performance?
A high-quality staff should be professional and enthusiastic about their work!
How can we help?
DNC Facility Services has been meeting the cleaning, maintenance, and facilities needs of companies, homeowners, and educational providers since 1982. We have hundreds of satisfied customers in Texas, Arkansas, and Louisiana. We pride ourselves in understanding the unique cleaning and maintenance needs of school campuses, from elementary schools to colleges. If you aren’t confident that your facility would receive an A+ on a cleaning test, then let’s talk.
Let’s come up with a facilities strategy that will ensure the safety of your students and staff without costing you tons of money. We understand your needs! DNC Facility Services provide exceptional professional staff who are ready to ensure that your facilities are maintained in a truly outstanding way.
Contact us today for a free quote, based on your school’s needs. We look forward to help you make your school a safe, clean, and welcoming environment for students, staff, and parents!