Addressing the Missing Component in American Schools: Cleaning
This is why the Healthy School Campaign, ISSA, the worldwide cleaning association and The Ashkin Group have joined forces to recognize and encourage custodial training in honor of this year’s Green Apple Day of Service. The focus is on custodial training because proper training can improve the productivity of custodial workers and ensure that they are using products and equipment not only properly but most effectively. These goals are necessary in all cleaning situations but with fewer and fewer workers maintaining schools, they have become imperative today.
In addition, the intention is to help custodial workers with the following:
- Better orient new custodial workers to the importance of cleaning in protecting student and teacher health.
- Improve the custodian’s knowledge of effective cleaning procedures and ensure they are being performed properly.
- Introduce school administrators and cleaning professionals to innovative products and processes, along with environmentally friendly cleaning tools, chemicals and equipment that can help improve the indoor health of schools and reduce their environmental impacts.
- Teach custodial workers ways to protect their own health.
To help with the training, the initiative is using the following programs that have been shown to help improve cleaning “best practices,” along with making schools Greener and healthier:
- The Healthy Schools Campaign’s Green Clean Program
- ISSA’s Cleaning Industry Management Standard for Green Buildings
- Green Seal’s GS-42 Commercial and Institutional Cleaning Services program
- The US Green Building Council’s LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance (cleaning credits in the section on Environmental Quality).
Schools, cleaning professionals, and janitorial distributors are encouraged to get behind this project. We’ve made it as easy as possible. To get involved, visit the Green Apple Day of Service website, www.greenapple.org/greencleaning and register. Schools and organizations involved with the program will be honored with a certificate of participation.
My hope is that these projects will be used to help communities across the nation learn why effective cleaning is so critical to our schools. Creating clean and healthy learning environments for students and staff is a necessary first step to giving our children a world-class education.