Imagine sending your kids to school where dirty floors, missing restroom supplies were just a few of the issues. How about roaches? It’s hard to imagine this type of scenario happening in a school today, but it does happen. It may not happen in our immediate area, but in many schools throughout the United States this is a common problem.
This was recently a problem in Chicago and a local newspaper revealed that 91 out of 125 schools failed a basic cleanliness inspection by an outside inspector. How do you think your school would do?
The Issue With Dirty Schools
Some may think it’s not as big of a deal, but others wonder what can happen when schools are dirty. There are different levels of dirty too.
Former EPA scientist Dr. Michael Berry has studied the impact of cleaning on our schools extensively. In his study “Educational Performance, Environmental Management, and Cleaning Effectiveness in School Environments,” he concludes, “effective cleaning programs enhance school and student positive self-image, and may promote overall higher academic attendance and performance.”
While Dr. Berry was specifically making the case for effective maintenance as a strategy for revitalizing aging city schools, he demonstrated the link between a school’s environmental quality and the educational performance of its students. Ultimately, he says, clean schools are not just an issue for parents and school staff, but our communities.
Here are just a few of the many problems with a dirty school and it isn’t just in cities that dirty schools are showing up.
- Increased illness and absenteeism
- Reduced performance from students and teachers
- Students and teachers take less pride in the school
- Reduction in overall morale
- School experiences higher turnover with staff and students
- Reduction of property value due to poor performing school
What can be done with your dirty school?
There are a lot of clean and dirty schools in our country. Most of the time the dirt schools are directly related to budget issues within the school district. Here are some ways to prevent a dirty school.
- Improve job descriptions for your janitors.
- Recognize that your janitors may not be able to do everything, you may need outside help.
- Allocate funds for training of your current staff.
- Scrutinize RFPs before they go to bid. Make sure your RFP has clearly identified specs that avoid the trap of using the lowest bidder.
- Be proactive and advocate for better cleaning standards and programs for schools and cleaning companies.
- Thank your cleaners. It might seem like a simple thing, but they are cleaning all of the things that most people don’t want to deal with.
The Benefits of a clean school
On the opposite side of a dirty school is a clean school. When students and teachers live and learn in a clean environment, they become more comfortable and learn better. This leads to your schools’ overall success.
- A clean school creates a productive learning environment. Dirty classrooms breed low performance while clean classrooms breed positivity and better grades.
- A clean school creates a productive teaching environment for your staff. Clean organized classrooms create positive teacher-student interactions.
- The learning experience dramatically erodes when students and teachers are out sick. Cleanliness reduces the spread of germs greatly reducing sick days for students and teachers.
- Boosts school pride! A clean school boosts school pride with students and teachers. When a school is properly funded for cleaning, that directly affects what employees think about their employers and that directly affects students.
Do you know if your school is dirty or clean? How often do you clean all of the hotspot areas other than floors? Most janitors clean the common surfaces like floors, windows, bathrooms, but what about all of the hot spot areas like doorknobs, glass in doors, etc. These areas often get overlooked daily. They also easily spread germs because thousands of hands touch them daily.
If you are struggling to keep your school clean, give us a call. At Upper Valley Cleaning we have decades of experience in cleaning schools. We understand what is clean beyond your typical clean. We clean and disinfect surfaces to prevent the spread of the flu and other illness that are common in schools.