JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – We’re getting a first look inside a Duval County public school since students were welcomed back on Aug. 20.
News4Jax on Wednesday toured Robert E. Lee High School in Riverside to see the changes in place.
During flex days, meaning classes are virtual, enhanced cleaning measures are in place — from the classrooms to the cafeteria to the bleachers near the field and in the gym.
“We have a custodian walking through doing high touch point cleaning,” said Paul Soares, Duval County Public Schools assistant superintendent of operations. “Throughout the day, they clean the doors, the flat surfaces, the high touch point areas.”
TONIGHT @ 5 — A first look inside a @DuvalSchools since welcoming back students on August 20th. @wjxt4 toured Robert E. Lee High School in Riverside to see disinfecting & sanitization measures! pic.twitter.com/RclqpPtYAf— Brittany Muller (@BrittMullerNews) September 2, 2020
Soares said because more than 30% of students are enrolled in Duval HomeRoom online, fewer students are in brick-and-mortar schools, meaning fewer rooms are in use.
The desks and shields are cleaned every day after school, but on days when students aren’t in the classroom, it’s more of an enhanced cleaning protocol in place.
“We’re using it as a modified enhanced cleaning where we come through and we do a lot more of the disinfectant but on all areas, including door frames, doors, any kind of cubby space, chair legs. Anything like that, we’ll focus on that,” said David Good, ABM Education regional support manager.
Good said his company has had a cleaning contract with DCPS since 2007 and employs 800 people.
When asked about the differences this year compared to previous years, Good said: “Our main focus, it has been on doing more of the same cleaning that we’ve been doing on more of a frequent basis.”
At Lee High, even the cafeteria looks different. Before there were long rows of benches for students. Now, tables are spaced out with markers for social distancing. In the classrooms, work shields and barriers are in place.
News4Jax asked what the protocol is for sanitization measures when there is a positive case of COVID-19.
“As soon as I find out it’s a positive test, we notify maintenance, our custodial contractor, and they’ll go through and actually clean the spaces that positive test person was in. The classroom, the hallways and areas of the school are all wiped down to make sure they’re sanitized,” Soares said.
The school district said more custodians are present during the day. Each custodian has a designated number of classrooms and areas that they take care of, but on flex days, there’s an added cleaning component.