BY HAYLEE JOY
Although the students of Wadsworth High School are greatly affected by the coronavirus pandemic, they are not the only ones seeing change. The custodians and teachers have had to make adjustments and add new routines to their daily jobs as well. They are working to keep the school clean and safe enough to attend.
Teachers are now having to wipe off the desks in their classrooms between every period. Custodians have new routines and procedures that they have to follow as well.
Scott Larch, the Supervisor of Facilities and Grounds at WHS, shared some of the differences in the janitorial routines. He said that they added hours to evening custodians in order to properly disinfect each room in the building.
“We have changed how we do quite a bit of things,” said Larch. “We are now wiping down all high touch areas multiple times a day. Changing the lunch rooms for social distancing is requiring more lunch periods to make sure our students are properly distanced which requires additional personnel for supervision and clean up.”
Instead of the normal three lunch periods, there are now four. There are also numerous different lunch locations throughout the school in an attempt to further social distance students. Although it may be different from what students have experienced in previous years, it is all in an attempt to prevent the spread of the virus.
When asked if the pandemic is affecting the amount of money being spent on cleaning, Larch said that was true in some areas, but that they are receiving assistance from the Cares Act Grant for some of the expenditures. The school has had to purchase more cleaning supplies than ever before. It is a necessary expense, as sanitation is a priority for the safety of students and staff members.
“I believe that we have taken great strides to assure that the buildings are safe for our students and staff,” Larch explains.
He believes that the precautions being taken are extremely important and necessary, as the district has purchased more disinfectant for hand sanitizing as well as disposable masks. These are important steps towards keeping the school clean and the virus contained.
Mr. Recupero, a chemistry teacher at the high school, says that this affects his day because he no longer can watch the hallways or use the restroom between periods. Though the new policies may not be convenient, he thinks that cleaning the rooms between classes makes the students feel more comfortable.
“I think the spraying of the desks is effective,” said Recupero. “It can’t hurt. Many students tell me ‘thank you’ when I wipe down the desks. I think it makes everyone feel a little safer.”
Recupero shared that the school pays for all of the cleaning supplies that he uses in his classroom, such as gloves and bottles of cleaner. He agrees with the way the district has changed the cleaning routines to accommodate the current pandemic. He believes that what is now required is the most effective choice for the high school.
“I would just say that my students have been very cooperative with the procedures we have in place,” said Recupero. “I believe that they want to be back in school and they will maintain these rules to get us back to normal as soon as possible.”
As students continue to adjust to the constantly evolving situation, custodians and teachers are as well. Maintaining a clean building is crucial to in-person education right now, and that is why an updated cleaning procedure was necessary in order to come back to school.