Amity Regional School District #5 School Green Clean Recognition Program
Program Coordinator Name: Jim Saisa
When did you begin a shift to green clean practices?
What environmentally preferable products are currently in use in schools in your district? Are they certified by a third party such as Green Seal?
Hillyard Super Shine All, Hillyard Suprox, Hillyard Re-Juv-Nal, Super Shine All and Suprox are certified by Green Seal.
What green clean equipment and procedures are being implemented?
We are implementing the Hillyard C3 hands-free restroom cleaning equipment. In addition, Pro-Team Supercoach back-pack vacuum cleaners are being utilized as well as new Clark Auto-Scrubbers. Another initiative we have implemented is micro-fiber cleaning. We utilize the dual-bucket micro-fiber mop cleaning system as well as using micro-fiber cloths to eliminate dust and lint accumulation. Our custodians are undergoing a thorough training system on the green clean system.
Who participates in your green clean program? (i.e. number of schools, members on your TFS teams like nurses, custodians and parents, etc.) What role do they play in this process?
All three schools participate in the green clean program. Our TFS teams are very active in the auditing of the program. A letter was drafted with the support of the Teacher's Union, principals, and TFS committees that stresses the importance of all District employees pitching in to ensure a clean, safe environment as well as outlining our green cleaning initiative. I have attached it for your review [pdf]. All of our TFS teams are made up of the Facilities Director, nurse, principal, teachers, head custodian, parent and Director of Finance and Administration.
How do you evaluate the effectiveness of the green clean program?
We utilize the inspection forms in the TFS packet. In addition, we are in the process of rolling out an inspection process where the Facilities Director, principal, and head custodians routinely inspect the quality of cleaning in each area of the building. The green clean program has been well received by staff, especially the nurses.
What were some initial obstacles to switching to a green clean approach? How did you overcome these obstacles?
Initially, the perceived expense of switching to green methods was an obstacle. Over the years, the cost has come into line with other products, so that obstacle has been removed. Another obstacle was the effectiveness of the green chemicals. When the green chemicals first came out, the amount of work due to the ineffectiveness of the chemicals was increased. The science of the green chemicals has come a long way over the past few years, and there are many effective chemicals on the market now. The final obstacle we faced was "change". Custodians typically do not like to change what they have learned to do. It has taken a lot of work to sell a new concept. After working under the new protocols for a short time now, the custodians are really pleased with the new systems, tools and chemicals. This is attributed to soliciting their input, providing training, and implementing some of their suggestions.
What benefits are you experiencing as a result of a green clean program? (i.e. cost and/or health benefits)
We now have more efficient schedules. The theme cleaning and specialized tools has enabled us to schedule in more project time due to the efficiencies we are recognizing. Increased project time enables us to keep dust down, service our equipment to keep it operating efficiently, and cover absences without losing quality. By keeping our buildings cleaner, we are able to provide a safer and healthier environment for our building occupants, thus hopefully cutting down on absences.
What recommendations would you make to other school districts and indoor environmental quality teams considering a green clean approach?
Make your staff a part of the team. If a new plan is dictated to your staff, they will not buy into it. Do your homework. Research new equipment and chemicals. Many vendors will allow you to try their product free of charge so you can gauge the effectiveness and efficiency of the products before you commit to using it as part of your program. Work with the teacher's union to create a team atmosphere so everyone employed by the district is striving for the same goal and working together instead of against each other. Audit other districts and evaluate their best practices to see what you may best implement in your own situation. Finally, you need the support of the Superintendent of Schools and Board of Education.
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