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Episode 43: The Plan for Deep Cleaning, Sanitizing and Meal Service in Schools

An enormous amount of work is underway as we prepare to reopen after schools were dismissed last March due to the pandemic. On this episode of the Supercast, hear about the unique and unprecedented plan for meal service, deep cleaning and sanitizing in our schools as we make every effort to keep everyone as safe as possible.

Hello and welcome to the Supercast. I'm your host superintendent, Anthony Godfrey. Today, we're talking about the enormous amount of work that is underway. As we prepare to reopen schools this fall, after they were dismissed last March due to the pandemic, we know that there is a lot yet to be decided, but we would like parents, students, and employees to know about the unique and unprecedented plan for deep cleaning sanitizing and providing meal service in our schools. As we make every effort to keep students, teachers, and staff as safe as possible. We're going to start by speaking with the director of custodial and energy services. Steve peered, Steve. Welcome. Thank you. You've been on the show before when you come on one more time. You're considered friend of the show. So welcome.

Uh, I know that you're doing a lot of work preparing for the fall, and we just want to talk with you about, uh, some of the cleaning and disinfecting procedures that will be in place. Some of the equipment that we've purchased to help keep schools as clean as possible in the fall. Now, I would note that in the spring there was, uh, the ability while students were not in school to do a lot of the deep cleaning that normally would happen over the summer. And, uh, from my understanding, we've been able to catch up on a lot of work orders, uh, during that time. Is that correct? Yes, it is. Yeah, I haven't, um, relatively two extra months of summer cleaning, um, not entirely, um, totally summer cleaning because there were still people occupying the buildings, but it still gave us a time to go through, um, the classrooms additional, um, thoroughness in the cleaning and disinfecting, um, all the desks and stuff were, were cleaned and disinfected. Um, you know, just we're able to use that time for, for getting ready to come back to school. And there was a lot to do, but there was also some additional time to, to get checked, take some things off the, to do list. Yes. Tell us about the equipment that has been purchased for the fall. The board approved some additional equipment for each building. Okay. We, um, have purchased, um, some sprayers that will enable us to go through and spray each area down. Those can be used for, um,

After school. They're not, not necessarily for during the day or for when students are present that kind of thing. And, um, you might've heard that they're called, they've been called misters. They've been called foggers. Um, it's just a way of dispensing disinfectant and being able to get into areas that you couldn't normally get into. Um, with hand wiping,

I was in a zoom focus group meeting with fifth graders, and I described how we have a machine that uses fog to clean playground equipment because they wanted to be sure they were able to still go out to recess. And one fifth grader asked. So does it create a fog around the whole playground that just kind of stays there? So we'd be playing in the fog. And I explained to him that, no, this is, it just sends the cleaner around the, uh, the surface. And I'm really excited about having that, um, that, that equipment, that means that we would have one per school. Is that correct?

Yeah, there would be, um, at least one per school. Um, once all the equipment arrives, there should be at least one per school. Some of the larger buildings are going to have moldable pieces of equipment because, um, they are going to need to, to do sports equipment in between uses, um, some of those kinds of things they will need to be, be doing. Um, multiple times a day. This will also enable, um, a head custodian or somebody to go into a restroom, which in the past the restrooms have been cleaned, afterschool, cleaned, and disinfected after school that will continue to happen, but there might be times where they need to go in multiple times and just do a quick disinfectant and for the restroom, um, during the day

That will increase the efficiency with which custodian can disinfect surfaces even during the day.

Yeah. An example of that is, um, if you were to go down and, and wiped down, completely wiped down a restroom with a Reagan, um, that it might take you a half an hour, 45 minutes, depending on the size of the restroom, where if you go in and you spray, um, you can still cover the area in just a few minutes.

Now I understand that we are looking at using a disinfectant that you don't necessarily wipe away, but that you spray on and that stays on the surface and actually can last for quite a long time.

Uh, we are in the, in the process that that particular disinfectant, um, is in the process of getting an EPA number. We, um, which that's a, uh, a huge process that they have to go through to get certified by the EPA saying that, um, and it'll, it'll be specific for, um, dwell times for how long for what type of surfaces it's good for, for what type of viruses or bacteria is that it's good for. And they're in the process of getting that, um, and that should be happening in the next week or so

Am I correct that this is supposed to last up to 30 days?

That's, that's what, um, the company and the chemists are, are saying that it will last up to 30 days. Um, you know, I'm ho I'm hoping that the EPA comes out and, and agrees with them. Cause if that's the case, then, then that will also help.

It would make surfaces a less hospitable environment for the virus to,

Yeah, I'm assuming that, that we get the EPA approval on this kind of what our, our initial plan is, is to go through and missed all of the classrooms and that the schools, um, once a week for the first month, then every other week for the second month. And then Ben will go to the once a month later on.

I love that you're looking for additional ways to disinfect beyond the normal routine that we will continue to keep in place. Now, Steve I've visited the warehouse. I've seen the tall shelves and the big boxes. We have lots of paper towels, lots of disinfectant, lots of supplies. Okay.

Yes. Yeah. We have, we've ordered truckloads of, of those supplies. Um, we're anticipating in accelerated use. As people start to clean desk, more often as, um, they wash their hands more. We are planning on going through additional paper towels. And so, uh, Matt, um, this year compared to a normal year,

Now, you guys work very hard to be behind the scenes and not to disrupt what's going on during the day. So many people may not realize just how much cleaning is going on in the building.

Yeah, the best time to clean is when people aren't in the building. So if we can come in after school and clean, um, we're not disrupting classes, it's hard to clean to vacuum around a class. So you do that after, when nobody's around. Um, same with restrooms. Um, the best time to clean is when people aren't aren't around

And with the additional disinfecting cleaning that will be going on during the day as well. They may see more of the custodian during the day, but, uh, it's just a good reminder that there's a lot going on behind the scenes that we may not be aware of. Yes. Now the schedule we will be on in the fall was not designed around, uh, custodial services. It was designed around, um, providing time for teachers to structure individual learning for students on Fridays, without students in the building on Fridays that does create some additional space for custodians to either catch up on some of the maintenance work that may need to be done, um, that they had to put off because of disinfecting that they did during the week when students are there. But at the very least, it allows some space for a deep clean and just for some other things to happen, uh, at a custodial level.

Yeah, we're, we're planning on using Fridays for like, like he said, for maintenance, for, um, doing a deep clean. One of the drawbacks of using a lot of disinfectant is it can have a buildup that become sticky that needs to be removed so that we can start fresh for the next week so that we don't end up with this, that have sticky disinfectant on them. Um, and that that's all stuff that we'll, we'll be doing on these Fridays.

Great. Well, thanks for everything you're doing to prepare. I know you've been very hard at work nonstop a while. You're always hard at work, but especially ever since this started and, uh, I just really appreciate your expertise and support in preparing our schools for the fall.

Okay. Well, thank you. I appreciate that and appreciate everything that the school administration.

Now, we wanted to talk with some custodians out in the field about what they're seeing and doing. We're speaking now with Mark Nelson, the head custodian for the building here at the district office. So Mark and I get to see each other on a regular basis, or we used to much less. So now with, uh, the soft dismissal, how are you doing Mark? I'm doing great today. How about you superintendent? I'm doing great. Thanks for joining us here. We're still social distancing for this interview over Google meet. Tell us you have been a custodian in the district for how long? Well, um, if you count my sweeper years, I've been here. This is my 33rd year. So Cindy lopper was topping the charts when you started with Jordan school district probably had her in my, uh, my Walkman and as I did my route each night, yes.

Well, within your years of experience, have you ever seen anything like this from a cleaning and preparation standpoint? No, this is as intense as it gets and we, we care about these. We love these kids. We love our staffs, their family, their friends, their neighbors, you know, um, to be a custodian you've got to care. I know you're also very aware of what's happening out in the schools because your staff helps out in schools when there's a, when there's a shortage when we need some additional coverage. Yes, yes. Yeah. Yeah. So we're always doing what we can and, uh, borrowing staff. Tell me some of the things that you have seen that are being done to increase the level of cleaning and disinfecting that's happening in building. I think we, we do a great job. We, we train the same. Every, every school has the same training.

All the things that we do, um, in one building would be done the same in another building because of the training. But as Cobra took over, we've had to up that. And I'm here at the district office. I've always cleaned restrooms every two hours because we do not have enough restrooms for all the public and staff that come and use our restrooms. Well, now we're into checking them hourly to make sure things are getting done. Touchpoints are crazy. We, anywhere you can think someone touches. If someone stands at your door, they're putting their hands on your doorframe. We watched wash doorframes, we hit the handles, the drinking fountains, the front doors. It's almost like I could just pop them open and leave them open all day. Cause that's just something we have to hit all day long. And that's something that many people may not realize, just how well a custodian gets to know their building and how familiar they become with those touch points.

They know where it gets dirty. They know where people's hands are and they're able to focus on those areas to be sure that they're disinfecting. Yeah. And then yes. And then behind the scenes, um, we're changing filters more regularly. Jordan has an amazing HPAC staff. Um, the guys over there have helped us with so many things, but we maintain a higher level of filtration on our, our, uh, HVC units throughout our district. Um, we're making sure those are changed more often over the last 32 years. I'll tell you, custodial has gone from whatever you feel like cleaning and how you used to do it from learning from your grandmother or your mother or whoever to know there are best practices. It is. It's a very structured environment. We work in. We want people to feel safe in our buildings. We want everyone to feel like where they have to spend their day and work and deal with the public and help the public.

That it is a, is a good location to be, and they feel well, thanks for everything you do, Mark. You're a great support here. And I know to the schools as you and your staff work to support them as well. And, uh, you're one of the few people I talked to who's, uh, who's been here as long as you have, so yeah, no problem. We're speaking out with Jared Sprague. I've known Jared for a long time and members of his family for a long time. Uh, it seems his whole family works for Jordan school district. It has for a long time, we did the earlier Supercast with your brother as we, uh, let me ride the Zamboni and Queensland floors. It's a fun mission as a fun machine. Hey, thanks for joining us today. I know you're really busy. We just want to talk about some of the additional measures that custodians are taking in our schools. First of all, how long have you been a custodian and Jordan school district?

I'm going on my 20th year with a Jordan school district and enjoyed every minute of it.

Well, we, we love having you and we love having your family, a part of Jordan district. Um, have you ever seen anything like this?

I haven't, this is a different challenge, um, uh, made, uh, different, uh, openings for us, look at what we should do and where we should go with that. I have not seen anything like this in the Jordan district or anywhere I've been. So

Can you describe for parents and employees who are listening some of the enhanced cleaning and disinfecting that will be happening in the fall?

Um, yeah, we, uh, we were, uh, one of the fortunate schools to have before this whole thing hit the ground, um, to have one of those electric static guns that we have looked to, that the board has approved to purchase to help us out. Um, those electrostatic guns we used to, uh, you know, go in periodically daily a couple times and, um, did some disinfecting, but now that our assault pandemic is hit, we are doing more. So, um, you know, we've gotten our high schools where they are out and doing and dealing with all the sports and these sporting activities and the kids gets back, you know, we're getting ready for their games and stuff like that, but they've enhanced the cleaning in the restrooms to hourly and more frequently if needed. Um,

Those are sometimes referred to as misters or fathers that distribute the disinfectant in a way that wraps around the surface that is being disinfected.

Yes. Yes. So, but yeah, great deals. Okay.

What are some of the other things that are being done and then we'll be done in the fall to help make sure that things are cleaned and disinfected for students. Once we get everybody back in the building,

We are, uh, taking, uh, measures to go in. Like I said, the restrooms hourly and disinfect them with that ex uh, electrostatic. Again, we, um, in our restrooms, we have gone and we are starting to look at measures to cut down the traffic by every other, um, urinal or, um, brush, you know, uh, toilet in the bathrooms. But, uh, I've gotten to where we were going into classrooms and we will be just infecting more frequently throughout the day. Um, keeping teachers full of chemicals and keeping them stocked on the, uh, chemicals and towels and stuff that they need to keep them. Um, it's a little bit of everything. Uh, lockers were, uh, it sounds like we might look into keeping those more disinfected more frequently throughout the day with those MREs, um, lunch rooms, uh, constantly keeping those clean and walking behind kids and find, you know, our problem areas and focusing on those, it's a big responsibility bigger than ever.

How does it feel to have that responsibility for all of the employees and students in that building? You know, I think a lot of us custodians take a lot of pride in what we do. We, um, enjoy being around the kids and the staff and the students, the patrons, you know, we look to protect them in health and safety and, uh, even more so in this day, in this time, um, you know, it's, it's what we live for and it's what we, why are we are where we are and what we do. Um, like I said, I just really enjoy doing what I do and, and yeah, it's one to protect them as if it was one of our own kids. You know, my kid is a kid in Jordan school district and, uh, you know, it worries me every day. And so I, I treat it as if it is my kid, there it is my kid going.

And so it makes me feel good to know that things are being taken care of and cleaned up. And the she'll be safe when she returns to school. Well, I sincerely appreciate the efforts that you and custodians throughout the district are making. And I have a high level of confidence in your work and just how conscientious you are and how much you care about taking care of everybody in the building. Thank you. We're going to take a quick break. And when we come back, find out what meal service will look like in our schools. This fall,

I'm Steven Hall, director of Jordan education foundation in today's challenging and uncertain times. It is more important than ever before to support one another here at the Jordan education foundation, we invite you to join us in making sure children are not going hungry. Your $10 donation to the foundation will help us feed one student for a weekend. When food and meals may be very scarce for some, with food and hygiene supplies and the principal's pantries at Jordan school districts being depleted and in higher demand than ever before. Every financial contribution made will help us to keep the pantries filled for students who would otherwise go without the Jordan education foundation exists due to the generosity of people who care about kids. If you would like to donate to help children from going hungry, please visit Jordan education,, or contact the foundation at (801) 567-8125. Thank you together. We can make a difference

With us now on the Supercast Jana Cruz, the director of Nutrition services. Jana. Welcome. Thank you. I know a lot of people are asking questions about what things will look like in the fall. Can you tell us a little bit about some of the changes I've read over your plan? And I know that you've thought through every detail as usual about what this will look like and what will need to be done to provide lodge safely and, um, in a way that that works for the conditions that we'll be working under, uh, in the fall.

Yes. Um, you know, our efforts will, of course continue to ensure safe and healthy meals that meet the needs of our students. Um, all of our meals, we'll, uh, we'll start up this year, having all the meals be self contained. So they'll also be grab and go, um, you know, breakfast in a sack. All the lunches will be in a self contained styrofoam container with a closed lid. Um, you know, first and foremost, they'll be grab and go to ensure student safety. So all they have to do is pick up a mail, not touch anything else. Um, and secondly, it will also free up some of our teams out in the schools so that those team members can be assisting in other ways, um, with assuring that students sanitize their hands, uh, as they enter lunch service lines, and as they leave the cafeterias, um, helping assist with kind of the overall efficiency of the flow of lines, uh, assist with some social distancing that will need to take place.

And that's been a question for some people, how are you going to maintain social distancing and not have the line go a mile down the road? And that's part of it is that we'll be able to move kids through more rapidly because of the way you've structured a meal distribution. Yeah.

Yes. We believe with the grab and go meals. Um, it will be an extremely efficient process. So all the students will do is enter the line. The lines will be marked clearly with signs, social distancing markers on the floor. Um, and then they'll just need to pick up a styrofoam container. And then when they go by the point of sale, um, they will just have their student ID card out and it will be scanned quickly by a lunch clerk or a cashier. Um, so that there's no contact, no touching key pads. And yes, we believe the lines will flow very efficiently.

Grab your meal, scan your card. Yes. Have a seat. He head out to the playground or head back to class, whichever. Yeah.

Oh, we forgot and sanitize your hands. One more time before you head back to the classroom or out to the playground

On your way in and on your way out.

Yes. Yes.

Now what about some of the salad bar options? The self-serve options are the changes being made there.

We will open up again with only self-contained meals, so no salad bars or no buffet type meal service at all. And then, um, as soon as we move forward, uh, we kind of had thought in our own department, we will revisit or be prepared for around Thanksgiving time to, um, make decisions that are applicable for what is happening around us.

Right. We're going to have to adjust these plans out the year. And I think part of the stress is just anticipating the school year coming. We don't know exactly what it will be like. This is something we've never done before. It's another phase. And so I'm actually very eager to see how things go and then make adjustments as necessary. But I appreciate how thorough and in depth you've been in preparing for this.

Thank you. Um, I work with a wonderful team and I agree with you. Um, I think as always the greatest stress in all this is the worrying and the planning. It will be nice to move forward and just get, get the job done in the best way. We all know how

I really have thought of every detail. When I read over the plan, we talked about the self serve and the, the face style and salad bars, not being in place in the same way they were, uh, you're even going to be handing a milk to a student. I am putting in, I'm putting it on their, uh, putting it on their containers so that they aren't reaching in for their own milk. And what are the milk choices? Just for those listening, who may not know

There's white milk and, uh, to start out, they'll just be white and chocolate. We'll probably take strawberry off the menu just to kind of streamline things, a little knowing that it will go back on the menu as soon as we can reasonably do that,

Adjusting to the grab and go format like you had to in the spring. Are there any new menu items that, uh, students can expect to see? And are there any old favorites that may have to wait to return to the menu?

Well, um, they, the menus will look very similar to what we always do. Um, there will be some Ella cart type items still, of course, a favorites, chicken nuggets, um, chicken ring things, um, sprint fries, but there will, of course be a lot of our totally homemade options that students are used to Intralot is lasagna, mashed potatoes and gravy and Turkey. Um, so the only thing that will change due to the efficiency and the speed that these lines need to flow, the lunch lines need to flow our, uh, secondary schools that normally run anywhere from seven to nine lines. We will cut those lines down to four choices and those choices, the at each site will choose from patterns that we offer them to, um, uh, include what they feel are the best four choices each day for their student body. Um, and we're doing that again. So we know that we need to pull some of those staff members that would normally run lines off to do other tasks, to assure students are sanitizing correctly, to assure some social persistency, to keep Weinstock, you know, with the meal containers. Um, so we believe, uh, we can run in the secondaries three to four lines depending on the size of this school and do so efficiently.

I love the way you're restructuring things. It makes a lot of sense. Now, let me go back. Are the chicken ring things, the actual technical term?

It is, that's actually what's on the purchase order and it's a Tyson product very popular.

Well, when I get the chance, I'm going to go out and try some chicken rings because they sound like something I'm, I'm, uh, well, I'm thrilled with, uh, the hard work you've put into planning for the fall. I have total confidence in the work that you and your staff are doing. And, um, I know that students are looking forward to coming back and having those great meals in the cafeteria and seeing their friends and nutrition services.

Thank you. Thank you very much.

Stay with us when we come back, we'll talk about the lengths Jordan school district is going to, to purchase personal protective equipment for employees.

Do you want to know what's going on in Jordan school district, get updates on the latest information that could impact you and your child, or just find an uplifting story about the good things happening in schools throughout the district, check out our, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter at Jordan district. Let's connect

This segment of the Supercast. We're happy to welcome our director of purchasing Kurt. Thanks for joining us. My pleasure. Good to be here. We're buying a lot of personal protective equipment for employees to get ready for the fall and Kurt as director of purchasing, you have been at the center of that. Um, tell us about some of the things that have been purchased all of this, of course, under board direction, uh, because of the volume that we're buying. Yeah know, under the direction of a great superintendent and the, and the board, they're very cognizant of personal protective equipment. And so they've allocated those funds and, uh, things like,

Uh, cloth masks for the employees, um, ordering, um, you know, having a couple three to them, um, hand sanitizer is another important item that, uh, that they've invested in were all sorts of hand sanitizer, or anywhere from a gallon to half gallon to 16 ounce, uh, that can be put up the teacher's desk or people's individual workplaces, um, face shields, uh, for those that, uh, don't want to have a mask, but not to be able to communicate with, with, uh, you know, students or the public, uh, plexiglass shields, both portable and Hayne have been authorized. We've been looking into those different options and, and, uh, learning a lot about the difference between a polypropylene, uh, plexiglass and other types of plastic materials. So, uh, it's been a learning experience for all of us here in purchasing for a lot of those items.

I do want to get in a little bit so that people understand the process. We are starting off with a gallon of hand sanitizer in every office, in every classroom. Uh, what were some of the, uh, specs that you use to determine what hand sanitizer you would purchase?

Yeah, the CDC has a requirement and I think maybe it's even the FDA, but the health departments require a 70% alcohol, uh, are an ice of propofol alcohol content or a 60% minimum of ethanol, uh, alcohol and that's part of the, uh, requirements. And so all of the, uh, requirements that we had had to meet those minimum requirements, um, we also didn't want to have any perfumed or scented hand sanitizer.

Now, how many gallons have we ordered

The board authorized us to do 5,000 gallons? So that would cover almost every classroom office space and with a little bit leftover.

Okay. So we'll cover every classroom, every office space, and we have some other sizes that will be available. Now, the plexiglass, there are two different types of plexiglass that we're ordering. Tell us about those two different types.

Yeah. Uh, there's a, the four foot by four foot, uh, plexiglass sheets that are intended to hang from the ceiling tiles. Uh, those are intended for office spaces, uh, and teachers' desks that was given, you know, an option. The teacher has that option of, of something like that, that is stationary and, uh, in place versus a three sided and molded, um, about 30 inches by 34 inch. Um, and then eight and a half or six and a half inch sides that are molded that sit onto a desk that can be moved place to place

Pretty easily and gives them a little more flexibility, um, but offers them enough protection, um, that they can, uh, work with the student one-on-one if they need to. And these are the type of plexiglass structures that you might see sitting on the counter at a doctor or dentist office or at a retail outlet. Exactly. Yeah. And we gave teachers the choice of having one or the other, or both depending on their classroom setup and their level of comfort. And so we've ordered accordingly to whatever, uh, that came back from the teachers in the schools and what they needed. Uh, so we have, uh, quite a few of each and, uh, actually, uh, the molded ones were more popular than that. The aim sheets, which surprised me, and it gives some flexibility. People can move that around the classroom as needed, and AIDS can use that, uh, when they're working with students.

So, um, and then the, uh, the face shields allow for some flexibility, um, there's instruction of particularly in the younger grades, but throughout school, when it's important to be able to see a teacher's mouth and see how they're mouthing out words and sounding things out. So the face shield will allow some flexibility there. That's correct. Well, thanks for the thorough process, getting the best value and the best products out there and in very large quantities. So thanks for all your work Kurt. Nope. You're welcome. Thank you. Thank you for joining us on the Supercast. Remember, education is the most important thing you will do today. We'll see out there.

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