How CMS custodians are keeping schools disinfected once students return

How CMS custodians are keeping schools disinfected once students return

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Whether it’s the classroom, cafeteria room, bathroom, or even the hallway, CMS staff have protocols in place to protect your students as they start and end their school day.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools has 809 custodial staff members, all equipped to disinfect and protect buildings and surfaces once students return for in-person learning.

Lawrence Orr Elementary School head custodian Tonyanika Houser says while they’ve enhanced their procedures, the mission remains the same.

“We do what we’re supposed to do to keep everybody safe,” she said.

Houser and other custodians will spray down bathrooms with a high powered Kaivac machine every Wednesday and Friday.

“We spray all the bathrooms down, stalls, walls, everything, and then we let it sit and go back and wipe back down and we mop out,” she said.

In addition, they also clean the bathrooms every hour and a half daily. Staff members must document when they last cleaned on a bathroom log.

Custodial staff also disinfect classrooms every day after students leave.

“We spray down all the desks, the chairs, we wipe down the desks and chairs and doors.”

This also includes the teacher’s desk and other surfaces. Classrooms are also stocked with disinfecting chemicals, paper towels, masks, and other PPE for teachers to spot clean as needed.

There are also two dedicated “care rooms” inside Lawrence Orr Elementary School for students to stay in case they are showing symptoms.

CMS staff say the location in which students eat their meals is dependent upon the particular school. Only kindergarten students will physically eat in the cafeteria at Lawrence Orr Elementary School.

Houser and her staff will also be disinfecting all surfaces, seats, and tables in the cafeteria along with other high touch surfaces throughout the building.

Houser and other school staff now have the option to get the COVID-19 vaccine as a part of Group 3. This also includes teachers and child care workers.

“It feels good to have that option, I’m glad we have that option for the custodial staff and to keep us safe,” she said.

Pre-K, elementary, K-8, students with disabilities, and IEP students will return for in-person learning on February 15.

Traditional middle and high school students will return for in-person learning on February 22.

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