Cleaning & Disinfection
The district’s Plant Operations Department has issued the 2020 Cleaning for a Healthier Pinellas County Schools handbook, which focuses on the thorough cleaning and sanitizing of surfaces, particularly high-touch areas, and the targeted use of CDC- and EPA-approved disinfectants and sanitizers for an effective infection-control strategy. These cleaning protocols have been established to align with industry standards as established by the American Physical Plant Administrators (APPA) and CDC recommendations for the cleaning and sanitizing of schools and public areas. Individual protocols have been designed for each unique classroom space, general area and office area. The handbook includes detailed checklists and step-by-step instructions for cleaning and sanitizing specific areas within a school campus, such as classrooms, restrooms, locker rooms and school clinics.
School-specific protocols are being developed and will include the following:
- Head Plant Operators (HPO) will develop a highly-detailed cleaning schedule for each member of the plant operations team. These schedules will list each team member, which portions of the campus he or she will clean each day, and the length of time expected to clean each room. All schedules will be reviewed by the General Manager for Operations (GM) for each school and school administration.
- Plant Operators will follow the step-by-step cleaning protocols to ensure that each space is cleaned appropriately and to ensure consistency in cleaning across the district.
- Upon the completion of cleaning a room, plant operators will place a hangtag on the doorknob of the room that identifies that the room has been properly cleaned and sanitized.
- An accountability tool (Orange QC) is being implemented across the district to give GMs and principals the opportunity to determine the cleanliness of each room and document those observations to create data points for review with each HPO.
- Teachers and staff will receive a copy of the step-by-step cleaning protocols to better understand how their rooms are cleaned and to establish a partnership with plant operations staff in order to identify ways plant operators can be more effective.
Beyond the steps outlined in the Cleaning for a Healthier Pinellas County Schools handbook, teachers will be trained to take these simple, yet effective actions to maintain the cleanliness of their rooms:
- Teachers will place their ‘clean room’ hangtag on the inside door handle or their desk each day so that it can be located easily by the night-time plant operations team.
- Teachers will notify their school administrator and HPO if they plan activities during the day that may require additional cleaning either during the day or at night. Notifying the HPO in advance will allow the plant operations team to adjust the time allocated to clean the room if necessary.
- Each classroom will be supplied with a bottle of CDC-approved sanitizer and cloths that the teacher may use during the day if the need arises for a quick wipe down of a surface and if plant staff is not readily available.
- Teachers and office staff will arrange their desks and work areas in a manner to assist with the nightly sanitizing of those surfaces. Papers, files and books will be removed or stacked/placed in an orderly manner to allow plant operators to spray down the work surfaces without moving materials (preventing damage or loss of materials). Computer keyboards and other accessories will be placed in an accessible location and laptops will be closed to allow for exterior sanitizing.
- Students may also be asked to assist with keeping their areas clean for other students.
- Teachers will enlist the assistance of trusted students or the entire class to help keep classroom areas clean and tidy throughout the school day.
- Likewise, teachers and students will establish classroom protocols to wipe down desks and tabletops, and other shared equipment, in between classes and throughout the day. This type of activity could be especially effective in elementary schools if it is used as a tool related to COVID-19 safety and general good health practices.