Summer is just around the corner, and your students are probably already dreaming of vacations and afternoons spent by the pool.
The next few months may be a break for students, but things are really starting to heat up for your facilities staff.
Summer break is a crucial time for your custodial, maintenance and grounds management programs. It’s a chance to accomplish important tasks – like painting, deep cleaning and major repairs – that can’t be done during the school year when the halls are filled with students, teachers and other staff.
Want to make sure your school is ready for summer break? Here are three tips.
1. Plan, plan, plan
If you want to have a successful summer, the work starts well before the final class ends. Administration and facilities managers should start meeting weeks in advance to come up with a cleaning and maintenance plan for the summer.
This plan should lay out exactly what work should be done during the break. With that list in hand, the facilities staff will be able to schedule work accordingly and make sure everything gets done on time.
The earlier the planning starts, the better.
“It’s a time issue,” said Simeon Williams, SSC regional manager at Richland School District Two in South Carolina. “If we start off slow, it’s going to make for a rough summer. But the more we prep and plan ahead, the smoother it’ll go.”
2. Make sure the equipment is ready
All that planning is pointless if the equipment needed to get the job done isn’t ready when it’s needed.
Repair any broken machines before school lets out and make sure equipment that hasn’t been used in a while is prepped and ready for action.
“Everything needs to be in place at the school so when the last bell rings we can start strong the very next day,” Williams said.
3. Communicate early and often
It’s crucial that school administration and the facilities staff are on the same page so that the school is ready for students to return in the fall.
Even during the summer, there might be times when students and other groups are using school buildings or fields. Or, parts of the school might be under construction for weeks at a time and might not be accessible to facilities staff.
If the facilities team is made aware of these events, they’ll be able to work around them and get everything done without interrupting the summer programs.
“It’s important that we have great communication with the principal and administrators,” Williams said. “We have to coordinate where they’re going to be in the building, and where we can go, and come up with a common denominator that works for both teams so we don’t get stuck with just a week to clean an entire building. Normally, if we communicate with the district, we don’t have any problems.”
Follow these three steps to make sure your school is ready for the break. Then maybe spend the afternoon at the pool and enjoy your stress-free summer!
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