In My Shoes: Custodians

Posted on: Thu, 06/28/2018 - 09:00

People seem to think that FCPS shuts down after the students head home for summer vacation. That is so far from the truth! There are many critical things happening throughout the system, so I decided to write a few “In My Shoes” blogs to capture some of our summer work.

When I was young, I can remember helping my mom with spring and fall cleaning. We would turn the house upside down to vacuum, dust, launder curtains, wash windows and more. It was intense cleaning that gave our house a special luster for many weeks. I was reminded of those special cleaning times while visiting West Frederick Middle School today.

In the hallway, there were the sounds of a vacuum cleaner and a pile of furniture!

photo of Assistant Lead Custodian Vivida MerlosI stepped inside the office to find Assistant Lead Custodian Vivida Merlos. She was in the middle of her summer cleaning but graciously took a few minutes to speak with me. I asked her what made the summer cleaning different, and she noted that our custodial teams clean from “top to bottom” as they remove furniture and dust the entire room—window ledges, shelves, etc. They vacuum and shampoo carpeting. They buff and clean floors. They scrape gum off of chairs (Oh no!) and thoroughly clean the chairs and desks, too.

I asked Vivida about the tasks she was completing in the office, and she noted the change in administration that would be taking place on July 1st. The team wanted to make sure the new administrators had sparkling clean offices. What a thoughtful gesture!

Summer cleaning is a massive undertaking. It can be hot, grueling work. FCPS proudly employs 375 custodians throughout the county. They take care of more than 6.4 million square feet of space in 68 FCPS buildings! Not only do our custodians take care of the inside of our buildings, but they are also cleaning outside of our buildings—exterior doors, mowing, and weeding! In fact, the list of tasks our custodians tackle during the summer is impressive – and long:

  • Comprehensive building cleaning
  • Scrubbing and waxing floors
  • Deep cleaning desks, chairs, and equipment
  • Shampooing carpets
  • Dusting and cleaning high surfaces (lights, shelving, window sills)
  • Cleaning and disinfecting lockers
  • Cleaning, patching and painting interior surfaces
  • Moving classrooms and equipment
  • Ordering Supplies
  • Resurfacing Gym Floors
  • Maintaining the grounds including grass, shrubs, trees, and flowers
  • Revitalizing each campus and striving to earn the FCPS Curb Appeal Award
  • Supporting summer meals and extended school year programs

These tasks are complicated even more when our schools are hosting summer programs and sports camps. Fortunately, our custodial teams demonstrate great patience and flexibility as they adjust their cleaning schedules to meet the needs of their customers.

So, the schools may look a bit “upside down” for parts of the summer, but I know that our students will return to buildings that are sparkling. It is such an important part of creating a welcoming environment for our students and staff!

Thanks to Vivida and all of our custodians for making us #FCPSProud of the work you do! Please help thank a custodian on Twitter @FCPSMDSuper. And if you enjoyed this post, please feel free to share it on Facebook or Twitter.

photo of stacked furniture