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Denver Public Schools in dire need of additional custodial staff to help make schools safe

District obtains 200 electrostatic sprayers
Electrostatic sprayer
Posted at 6:52 PM, Sep 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-11 23:39:29-04

DENVER -- With so many students attending Denver Public Schools remotely, you might think the district wouldn't need as many custodians as in the past.

But they need more.

Traylor Academy Facility Supervisor Nick Martinez said because of the pandemic, their workload has increased.

"It's gotten a little bit crazier this year," he said.

Last year, the Traylor staff sprayed down high-touch surfaces once or twice a week, and then wiped them with a green rag.

"Now, we're doing this every night in the classroom," Martinez said. "We're spraying down everything. We're spraying disinfectant on toys, handrails, light switches, and on sinks, countertops, any surface that kids or adults can touch, we are spraying them down."

Several schools, like Brown International Academy, have posted signs which say, "now hiring custodians."

Custodians Wanted Sign

District spokeswoman Winna MacLaren said DPS currently employs about 630 custodians, but needs 70 more.

"Coronavirus has changed the way a lot of people work," she said. "This is really important work for making sure that our students and staff stay healthy."

Area Manager Elbert Maxey said in addition to hiring more staff, the district is investing in the tools needed to help them do their job.

He mentioned electrostatic sprayers as an example.

Electrostatic sprayer

The district only had six of them, but purchased nearly 200 more.

Maxey said they use a sanitizing agent called "morning mist."

"We let it dwell and dry overnight so that when the kids come back the next day, we have a building that's as clean as it could be."

Some Early Childhood Education students have returned to class already. Others will return next week. In-class learning resumes for other students next month.

"It's great to see all the extra steps the custodial staff is doing," said ECE teacher Amy Martinez, "and of course we want the children to be safe, so it's great that so many teams have been working together to do the best we can to keep everyone safe."

If you are interested in applying please text DPSFIELD to 97211.