Some students and staff at Helix School District contend that there are certain objects in the school that don’t get cleaned on a daily basis that are very necessary to clean. Some things should get cleaned more regularly than it does. “Teacher’s desks get wiped down (only) three times a year,” said Mary Lewis, one of Helix school’s janitors.
The efforts of the custodial staff cleaning the school facilities over the years has improved. “This year I have noticed they are spraying the top of the desks at the end of everyday,” said Helix 5th Grade Teacher Monica Curtiss.
Although some still feel that a more thorough job of cleaning would be welcomed, janitors face a limited amount of time to get everything accomplished. “You can only expect what you inspect,” said Curtiss.
The school’s small custodial staff is responsible for cleaning classrooms, getting desks wiped down, cleaning counters, computer tables, vacuuming, mopping, and making sure everything is fully stocked in the bathrooms, especially toilet paper, soap, and paper towels.
Despite this long list, some staff and students contend that there are a few things that should be cleaned in our school that don’t get touched as often as they should, or even not at all.
Lewis works full-time for a cleaning company based in Walla Walla called ABM Building Services, who contracts with the Helix School District for custodial services. Lewis loves her job because of the kids. “The kids here at the school make it worth while, so I’m never going to quit my job,” said Lewis.
“I like to rush myself to get my things done on time so I have extra time to get more things done,” said Lewis. She likes to keep herself busy throughout the day so she rushes herself to complete the everyday tasks that have to be done so she can move onto a new project that needs to get done.
Bathrooms at the school only get cleaned once a week. Some students argue that this is not often enough, and would like to see them getting cleaned twice a day (morning and night). Floors in the whole entire school get mopped and vacuumed everyday. That same criteria should be directed to door handles as well because those don’t get cleaned. “It (door handles) should be cleaned everyday,” said Lewis.
If those couple things aren’t being cleaned, it’s up to the staff members and students in the school to ask for these minor changes to improve our school. When they ask for a request of something to be cleaned or be restocked, the janitors try to do it right away but sometimes they don’t remember or they put if off for a few days because they have other tasks to be done first. If they just write down a request on a sticky note in their classroom, usually janitors say they don’t see them because they don’t clean that certain area in the classroom.
If students want a change to be made in helping keep the school a cleaner environment, then all they all need to do is to bring it to the school janitor’s attention. Students can just politely ask a janitor if they wouldn’t mind looking at or possibly cleaning something specifically, the janitors will usually get a handle on the situation within the next few days. If it goes a week or two and nothing has been taken care of, go talk to the superintendent about it and he will talk to the janitors about it to remind them.