Reopening: Cleaning and Disinfecting

The district’s Maintenance and Operations Department will ensure adherence to hygiene and cleaning and disinfection requirements as advised by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the New York State Department of Health, including “Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfection of Public and Private Facilities for COVID-19,” and the “STOP THE SPREAD” poster, which the district will display widely in all schools and buildings. The custodial staff has participated in training aligned with health department guidance, and timelines for frequency have been established. These timelines will be monitored through the supervision and evaluation process outlined in the district’s Maintenance and Operations procedures manual. 

Cleaning and disinfection logs will be maintained that include the date, time and scope of cleaning and disinfection.

Examples of facility types where cleaning and disinfection frequency will be distinguished include:

  • Bathrooms
  • Athletic training rooms, locker rooms
  • Health offices, isolation rooms
  • Administrative offices (main office, reception area)
  • Frequently touched surfaces in common areas (door handles, elevator buttons, copy machine keypads, etc.)
  • Breakrooms
  • Cafeterias/kitchens
  • Computer labs
  • Science labs
  • Classrooms
  • Maintenance offices and work areas
  • Bus garages
  • Buses, school vehicles
  • Libraries
  • Large meeting areas (auditoriums, gymnasiums, music rooms)
  • Playgrounds (cleaning only)
  • Outdoor seating areas (plastic or metal)

The district will train students, faculty and staff on proper hand and respiratory hygiene, and such information will be provided to parents and guardians on ways to reinforce this at home.

The district will provide and maintain hand hygiene stations around the school, as follows:

  • For handwashing: soap, running warm water and disposable paper towels
  • For hand sanitizing: an alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol for areas where handwashing facilities may not be available or practical
  • The district will make accommodations for students who cannot use hand sanitizer

Regular cleaning and disinfection of all facilities will occur by the Maintenance and Operations staff, including more frequent cleaning and disinfection for high-risk and frequently touched surfaces. This will include desks and cafeteria tables, which should be cleaned and disinfected between each individual’s use. Cleaning and disinfection will be rigorous and ongoing and will occur at least daily, or more frequently as needed. However, the cleanliness of the facility is a shared responsibility. Administrators, teachers and non-custodial staff have a responsibility to ensure that proper cleanliness is maintained in their assigned work areas and the areas they occupy and use. It is the expectation that administrators, teachers and non-custodial staff do their part in cleaning areas behind themselves to assist with the overall cleaning and sanitizing of their assigned areas and areas used.

The district will ensure regular cleaning and disinfection of restrooms. Restrooms should be cleaned and disinfected more often depending on frequency of use.   

For more information about how cleaning and disinfection information will be communicated to students, families and staff members, visit the Communication/Family and Community Engagement section of this plan.

Custodial staff have been provided with disposable gloves that are replenished on schedule to ensure they remain available for use. The district also has provided these individuals with a cloth face mask they are laundering for use in their daily work. We have established and are maintaining cleaning and disinfecting supplies on a 60-90-day continuous inventory model so needed items are always accessible and are continuing to partner with Capital Region BOCES, the New York State Office of General Services, other cooperatives and directly with vendors to procure PPE for staff and students on an ongoing basis. 

Our daily cleaning and disinfection logs for each member of our custodial team indicates the number of times it should be done and requires them to indicate time done and initial. 

These sheets will be maintained in a binder at each building, and it is the responsibility of our head custodian to ensure they are completed daily. The labor foremen also will check these binders each day to make sure tasks are being completed with the prescribed frequency. The head of the Maintenance and Operations Department also will check the binders, as will the deputy superintendent for business and finance, as they each will continue to visit buildings across the district regularly. These binders will be organized by month and by date. 

Those areas that are considered higher-touch or where visitors may be (main office, reception, etc.) will be disinfected more frequently throughout the day. The chart clearly shows how many times a day something is to be done based on the number of spaces for the corresponding employee to initial and time completed. 

The district's department leadership is reviewing these guidelines with each member of our custodial team so there is complete clarity on what the responsibilities are as we reopen our buildings to employees and students.

As part of our protocols, we have purchased additional equipment to better facilitate the work. For example, each school will have its own “mister” that will allow for broad spectrum disinfecting when the building is empty later in the day. During the day, those frequently touched items will be disinfected by hand using disinfect and disposable paper towels. 

We also have purchased additional floor auto scrubbers to reduce the use of mops in the buildings and be able to ensure a deeper cleaning process each day in compliance with the guidance from the CDC and DOH. 

In consultation with the Albany Fire Department, we will encourage building administrators to exercise the current flexibility that allows interior doors to remain locked, but propped open to reduce the frequency of touches on doorknobs for students and employees throughout the building.

Along with signage for social distancing and “one-way traffic” at points of entry at all buildings, we also will have signage regarding proper handwashing posted at sinks in bathrooms, classrooms that have sinks, breakrooms with sinks, etc., across the district. This will be done in conjunction with our Health Services Department. The district also will make gloves available to non-custodial staff who may prefer to work with them on.