Table of Contents
Custodial duties must be coordinated with the schools so that the work supports the educational programs with a minimum of disturbance to pupils and other school personnel. There are many custodial tasks that need to be performed on a regular basis, including:
- Regulating the heating and/or air conditioning equipment as required.
- Unlocking doors, opening windows for ventilation, and turning on lights.
- Setting up rooms for special activities.
- Cleaning restroom facilities, replacing all commodities, and making sure dispensers work properly.
- Cleaning classrooms, teachers' lounges and other areas.
- Performing special tasks within the classrooms based upon teacher requests.
- Moving furniture.
- Trash disposal.
- Locking doors and gates, closing windows, turning off lights, etc., to school buildings and grounds.
Duties of a weekly, monthly, or quarterly nature should be defined and scheduled. Tasks, which may be included within this classification, include:
- Cleaning interior walls.
- Waxing floors and cleaning carpeting.
- Washing windows and blinds and arranging for the cleaning of draperies.
- Resurfacing floors.
Custodians report directly to the principal at the school where they work. All custodians work during the daytime, and materials and supplies are purchased centrally and distributed to each campus. Exhibit 5-13 shows the number of custodians assigned to each campus and the schedules at each campus.
Exhibit 5-13Source: MPISD deputy superintendent of Administration and Operations.
MPISD Custodians by Campus
Campus Square Footage Number of Custodians Work Schedule Mt. Pleasant High School 257,711 11 Supervisor opens facility at 5:15 am and last custodian leaves at 5:00 pm Mt. Pleasant Junior High School 100,029 6 Supervisor opens facility at 5:15 am and last custodian leaves at 5:00 pm Wallace Middle School 112,042 5 1st custodian arrives at 6:30 am; last custodian leaves at 6:30 pm Corprew Intermediate School 94,149 5 1st custodian arrives at 7:00 am; last custodian leaves at 6:30 pm Fowler Elementary School 48,042 3 1st custodian arrives at 5:00 am; last custodian leaves at 9:30 pm Sims Elementary School 44,692 3 1st custodian arrives at 6:00 am; last custodian leaves at 5:00 pm Brice Elementary School 42,684 3 1st custodian arrives at 6:00 am; last custodian leaves at 5:30 pm
The custodians at each campus report to the principal. The duties of custodians may vary slightly from campus to campus based upon the priorities determined by the principal. Exhibit 5-14 describes the key duties of the custodians at every campus.
Exhibit 5-14Source: MPISD custodial job descriptions.
Key Duties of MPISD Custodians
Position Key Duties Custodian supervisor
- Responsible for keeping building and grounds neat and clean
- Make observations to identify safety hazards
- Open and close the school
- Regulate HVAC
- Maintain work schedule of custodians
- Develop and maintain cleaning schedule
- Maintain lawn, shrubbery, and playground
- Maintain the stadium
- Maintain an inventory of supplies
- Move furniture
Expenditures for custodial operations in 1997-98 were $664,670, including salaries, supplies, and contracted services. Custodial costs have risen almost 20 percent in the last three years, primarily in personnel costs.
Maintenance personnel and employees who participated in the focus groups said they did not feel the MPISD facilities are kept clean. They said trash is left overnight in some classrooms and in trash cans on campuses, food is left in open containers on desks and in lounges, and in some cases urine has been left sitting overnight in commodes. Focus group attendees also said that some facilities have been infested with rodents and other pests.
The written survey administered by the review team asked campus staff to respond to the statement "Schools are kept clean and well maintained" and asked teachers to grade the "Cleanliness of your classroom and school." Sixty-one percent of campus staff agreed or strongly agreed with the statement while 53 percent of teachers gave cleanliness of their rooms and schools an "A" or a "B" grade (Exhibit 5-15).
At the same time, 26 percent of campus staff disagreed or strongly disagreed with the statement, and 22 percent of the teachers graded the facilities as a "D" or an "F."
Exhibit 5-15Source: TSPR survey results.
Campus Staff Evaluation of the Statement:
"Schools are kept clean and well maintained" and
Teacher Grades for the Statement:
"Cleanliness of your classroom and school"
Statement Response Campus Staff Grade Teachers Strongly Agree 4% A 26% Agree 57% B 27% No opinion 7% C 25% Disagree 20% D 13% Strongly disagree 6% F 9% Don't know/no response 6% Don't know/no response 0
Cleaning is inhibited by the fact that it is performed during daytime hours while teachers and students occupy the facilities. In California, the State Department of Education has developed a guide for school district, entitled Business Services Guide, which provides recommended procedures in all operational areas of a district excluding instruction. In the custodial area, the procedures recommend limited daytime use of custodial personnel and, instead, recommended custodial work schedules that emphasize late afternoon and evening work hours. According to the guide, daytime cleaning limits the custodians' ability to thoroughly clean certain areas or take the time necessary to complete time-consuming tasks. Effective cleaning is much more difficult under these circumstances.
Many school districts assign custodians based upon specific square footage allocations along with the type of surfaces and areas to be cleaned. The Association of School Business Officials (ASBO), using widely accepted industry standards, has developed cleaning guidelines or standards for schools that a district can tailor to its needs depending upon the type of facility, facility use, and types of surfaces to be cleaned (Exhibit 5-16). These standards identify the type of facility, the daily use, the types of surfaces to be cleaned, and an estimate of the time necessary to complete each task.
Exhibit 5-16Source: Custodial Methods and Procedures Manual, ASBO.
Examples of Recommended Custodial Work Standards
Established by the Association for School Business Officials
Space Service Unit Measure Work Rate Time Classrooms (average size) routine clean 850 sq. ft. 24 minutes Offices - resilient floor routine clean 1,000 sq. ft. 24 minutes Offices - carpet routine clean 1,000 sq. ft. 24 minutes Floors dust mop 1,000 sq. ft. 12 minutes damp mop 1,000 sq. ft. 20 minutes spray buff - daily 1,000 sq. ft. 20 minutes spray buff - weekly 1,000 sq. ft. 40 minutes spray buff - monthly 1,000 sq. ft. 120 minutes light furniture scrub 1,000 sq. ft. 240 minutes medium furniture scrub 1,000 sq. ft. 300 minutes heavy furniture scrub 1,000 sq. ft. 400 minutes Bathrooms 3 or less commodes, urinals, and wash basins each 4.5 minutes more than 3 each 3.0 Stairs damp mop 1 flight 12 minutes wet mop 1 flight 35 minutes hand scrub 1 flight 48 minutes dust handrails 1 flight 2 minutes dust treads 1 flight 6 minutes Walls wash 1,000 sq. ft. 210 minutes wash heavy soil 1,000 sq. ft. 290 minutes Blinds dust each 15 minutes damp dust each 30 minutes wash 200 sq. ft. 340 minutes Windows - single pane wash 1,000 sq. ft. 240 minutes Windows - multi-pane wash 1,000 sq. ft. 320 minutes Light fixtures - fluorescent dust 4 ft. 5 minutes Light fixtures - egg crate wash 4 ft. 40 minutes Light fixtures - open wash 4 ft. 20 minutes Light fixtures - incandescent dust each 5 minutes Light fixtures - incandescent wash each 15 minutes
According to ASBO's standards, custodial staffing should be based upon an expected average productivity of 2,500 square feet per staff-hour of work or 20,000 square feet during a typical 8-hour cleaning period. The type of flooring, size of storage areas, age of buildings and other variables could reduce the square feet per staff hour of a facility. Applying this formula in MPISD by campus results in a total of 35 custodians or one less than the current total of 36 (Exhibit 5-17).
ASBO Recommended Number of Custodians Per Campus
Mt. Pleasant High School 257,711 11 13 Mt. Pleasant Junior High School 100,029 6 5 Wallace Middle School 112,042 5 6 Corprew Intermediate School 94,149 5 5 Fowler Elementary School 48,042 3 2 Sims Elementary School 44,692 3 2 Brice Elementary School 42,684 3 2 Total 36 35
Some districts operate two custodial shifts to improve productivity. Skeletal crews are used during school hours to provide support for essential items and immediate cleaning needs. Floating crews perform major work after hours when students and faculty are not present. Since cleaning is more efficient, custodial overtime can be eliminated.
Evaluate custodial cleaning areas and eliminate overtime for custodians by establishing two custodial shifts.
The district should evaluate custodial responsibility by facility to ensure maximum effectiveness. Two custodial shifts should be created. The daily skeletal crews should be available during school hours for essential and immediate cleaning needs that may arise. The floating crews should handle most heavy cleaning during work schedules when school is not in session. This should increase productivity since crews do not need to clean around students and teachers. As a result, custodians should no longer need to work any overtime hours.
IMPLEMENTATION STRATEGIES AND TIMELINE
The superintendent instructs each principal to evaluate the cleaning areas and schedules of custodians using ASBO recommendations. April 1999 2. The superintendent eliminates all custodial overtime through a districtwide policy. June 1999
The principals and the lead custodian at each campus redesign the cleaning areas and restructure the work schedules to shift primary cleaning time to after-school hours. August 1999
Eliminating custodial overtime pay will save $21,500 per year based on 1997-98 figures.
Recommendation 1999-2000 2000-01 2001-02 2002-03 2003-04
Evaluate custodial cleaning areas and eliminate overtime for custodians.
$21,500 $21,500 $21,500 $21,500 $21,500