As schools head to fall break, cleanings become center of attention

Sevier County Schools plan to use long weekend as extra cleaning opportunity.
Published: Oct. 13, 2020 at 9:12 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 13, 2020 at 11:03 PM EDT
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SEVIERVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Across East Tennessee school districts are completing the first nine-weeks of instruction.

Often, after that time, districts will use it as a chance to send students and staff on week-long, or just a long weekend vacation.

In Sevier County, students and staff recently gained a small fall break in their calendar. While 2020 is a different year for many, schools are using this time for a mental break, while also focusing on cleanings.

“There were a lot of anxieties on the part of a lot of people coming into school. So, I think getting us back and getting into a groove has been good for folks. Now that we’re nine weeks or so in we’re ready for folks to go home and relax for a day or two,” said Sevier County Schools Director of Student Services Tony Ogle. “Any opportunity when most of the folks are out of the building is an opportunity for our folks to swing into action.”

This summer the district purchased electrostatic machines for all of its more than 30 schools across the district.

“We also made sure, up to this point we had some experience with the electrostatic machine, mostly the name brand Clorox 360, but we went ahead as a district and purchased an electrostatic machine for every school in our district,” said Ogle.

While on the long weekend, custodial staff will focus on cleaning high contact areas across all buildings.

“We’re doing the same kind of thing we’ve done with any vacation day, any in-service day administration day. Any opportunity when most of the folks are out of the building it’s an opportunity for our janitorial staff to swing into action they’re going to focus primarily on high contact surfaces...Do knobs, countertops, restrooms, and sinks,” said Ogle.

Sevier County Schools will continue the procedures set out at the beginning of the year for all who want to enter buildings across the system.

“We’re dedicated. As long as the Tennessee Department of Public Health and the CDC recommend those procedures were going to continue them to keep everyone safe,” added Ogle.

Heading into the long weekend, the district has not had to shut down any of the more than 30 schools. They attribute that feat to the work of the community.

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