According to the Worldwide Cleaning Industry Association, 22 million school days are lost each year due to the common cold, and up to 38 million school days due to the flu. These numbers are staggering, but not surprising. Schools are a breeding ground of viruses, bacteria, dirt, dust, and infections. Poor hygiene leads to teacher, student, and staff absences, which can cost billions of dollars to compensate.
Start With the Basics
The way to a clean school is one clean classroom at a time. Start by talking to the teachers and what tasks they can do to keep their classrooms and the teacher’s lounge clean.
Basic rules will help everyone maintain a good level of hygiene on a daily basis. A clean working environment can increase productivity, improve the students’ and teachers’ mood, and reduce the number of absences.
Section Off the School
The most effective method to maintain cleanliness in school is to divide and conquer. Section off the building and make a cleaning plan for each section or by room types. This way of planning allows you to calculate costs, hire staff, and streamline the process.
You’ll need one plan for all the hallways, entryways, and areas with high foot traffic. Bathrooms, classrooms, and teachers’ lounges will need a thorough daily cleaning plan, while activity rooms that the kids use only a few times a week will need deep cleaning after each use.
Do Regular Disinfection
Disinfection of all surfaces, no matter how big or small, is crucial for the health and safety of students and employees. During cold and flu season, schools are breeding grounds for bacteria and viruses, and disinfection can help reduce the number of sick people and absences.
Teachers should do regular disinfection of all surfaces in their classroom, especially doorknobs, desks, chairs, sponges, activity tools and toys, sinks, computer screens, keyboards, mice, and light switches.
Cleaning staff should disinfect bathrooms, kitchens, and common areas several times a day. Make sure each room in the school has a box of cleaning supplies on hand for everyday use or to handle any accidents.
Put Recycle Bins All Around the School
Kids and school staff are more likely to throw the trash away if trash cans are readily available. Make sure you put recycle bins all around the school premises, both inside and outside.
There should be larger trash cans in hallways, toilets, gyms, school entrances and exits, and the schoolyard. In classrooms, the teachers’ lounge, and other offices, put smaller trash cans. When you put garbage cans everywhere, they’ll be hard to ignore.
Hire a Professional Cleaning Company
Schools often face high turnover of the janitorial staff. Hiring and training new people is more expensive than retaining them, but luckily, there’s another way to solve this problem. The most efficient and cost-effective solution for schools is hiring a professional cleaning company.
You can hire them for the entire school year, on a monthly or weekly basis, or for special school events. You’ll work with trained cleaners with years of experience and expertise under their belt.
Create a Cleaning Schedule
If you want a clean school, you need a detailed cleaning plan. This simple practice will help you and your cleaning staff work more efficiently and keep the school premises clean at all times.
You should have a schedule for each section of the school, along with the time allotted for cleaning, the supplies needed, and the staff working on it. When everyone knows what they should be doing and when, it’s easier to maintain the rooms.
A professional cleaning company will come prepared with their own plan that you can review. Then, you can make adjustments and come up with a schedule that works for both sides.
Raise Awareness with Students and Staff
No matter how efficient and trained your janitors are, you need to raise awareness with the people that work and study in the building. Every single person should take care of the school by doing small things that mean a lot. You can organize recycling and cleaning events, where school staff, teachers, kids, and parents will work together on beautifying the space.
This article is courtesy of OpenWorks, a national leader in facilities management, providing unparalleled quality and customer service through robust technology solutions and a proven network of elite service providers, www.openworksweb.com.