Every single staff member in a school system plays a critical role in achieving the mission to support the achievement of our students. This is true even during a pandemic; however, there is a group of unsung heroes whose efforts during the pandemic are critically important and not always recognized. Today’s blog is a special recognition of them—our custodial teams!
When the State Superintendent closed schools on March 13th, we faced so many unknowns. Guidance from the CDC and Maryland Department of Health was just beginning to be shared. And at that time, the closure of schools was supposed to last only for two weeks before re-evaluation would occur. FCPS turned to our custodial teams.
Custodians have never stopped working in our buildings during this pandemic. Since March, they have followed the guidance provided, instituted new protocols for cleaning, and helped to reconfigure classrooms and other spaces to comply with safety protocols. Each time new information was shared about risk mitigation strategies, they were trained and implemented every practice necessary to make our schools and offices safe.
Over the summer, they had our buildings ready to welcome staff and students back. In Central Office, you can see the cleaning protocol checklists they completed throughout the building. They have supported every department to ensure that food was delivered to students, payroll was met, and more.
When our Return to Play Committee recommended student athletes could participate in conditioning practices, the custodians supported the outdoor facilities and monitored the restrooms. Their vigilance helped to keep everyone safe.
As we began to welcome small groups of students into our buildings, they were there. Their work is at the core of our risk mitigation strategies. By December, we had nearly 3,000 students working and learning across the district. And as we begin to prepare for the transition to hybrid instruction, they are assisting our administrators and other staff in ensuring we are ready.
I recently posted a Tweet noting that everything happening in FCPS right now is because of the tireless efforts of our custodians. I was delighted to see how frequently that was retweeted or prompted new Tweets acknowledging a custodian.
Please join me in singing the praises of these “unsung heroes.” They have been here every day since the pandemic began and they deserve our gratitude!