Boulder Valley School District

BVSD Heroes: Custodians are on the frontlines

BVSD Heroes: Custodians are on the frontlines
Jodie Carroll

Maintaining a safe and healthy environment for our students and staff is imperative. It is the mission of our amazing custodial staff on a daily basis. But during the pandemic, they have become critical frontline workers. They are charged with making sure our buildings are a clean and safe environment for students and staff.

“Whether people are working from home or remotely, we have custodians in the building every single day making sure that the buildings are clean and safe for students and staff to be there,” said Molly McLoughlin, Director of Facilities. “They are frontline workers and we could not have buildings open without them. They are critical to our operation. I think often people don’t realize how important custodians are to making sure this district can operate and serve the students of this community.” 

Custodians must follow very strict cleaning protocols provided by the district and the CDC, including the type of product they use, using them precisely as instructed, and following  frequency guidelines. They are working day and night, and have altered their processes to assure extra precautions are in place. 

“Head Custodians' jobs have shifted,” added McLoughlin. “They are focused on high-touch areas during the day, like door handles, desks, handrails, toilets, faucets, sinks and drinking fountains. They also have a huge task in supporting cafeterias during the day. As student cohorts switch, they go through and clean and disinfect all of the cafeteria tables.”

Cleaning and disinfecting are different processes. Cleaning removes germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces by using soap or detergent and water to physically remove germs. Disinfecting utilizes products that actually kill the germs. 

Head Custodian Rosa Valenzuela said they are focusing much more on disinfecting and also on making sure they are taking care of themselves.

“During the day we clean the restrooms every two hours with disinfectant. The night custodians do more on the floors, walls, toilets and sinks. We disinfect everything including chairs, tables, doors, and walls. At lunch, when the first group leaves, we wipe all the tables and chairs. We wipe and spray everything for the next group. We have to be extra careful and take care of ourselves too. We wear masks and gloves. After we clean everything we wash our hands really good.”

Recently when Boulder High School and Eisenhower Elementary School had to quarantine for a couple of weeks, existing custodial staff and a third party vendor helped clean and disinfect the entirety of both buildings. Eisenhower utilized three additional staff for three days of cleaning, while Boulder High School used 10 additional staff for three days. The custodial staff had to do everything they could to ensure a clean and safe environment for the students and staff to come back.  

“Everybody is working so close as a team for the kids, for the schools,” said Eduardo Anduaga, Boulder High School Head Custodian. “When Boulder High School closed, we did a total disinfection of everything. Classrooms, handrails, walls, cafeteria, stairs, restrooms, everything. Day and night  we clean. We have to clean as many times as possible. Our team does the best cleaning possible. We guarantee to the parents that everything is cleaned and disinfected.” 

Custodians are a critical part of our district, and we salute their hard work and commitment to maintaining clean and safe environments. 


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