Across the country, kids, teachers, and administrators are putting away their sunscreen and heading back to the classroom. Of course, to be successful in school, students and teachers need to be present. Yet, according to research done by the Education Commission of the States, approximately one in seven students misses 15 days or more during the school year, classifying them as “chronically absent.” This chronic absenteeism can negatively affect students, with some states even using it as an indicator of school quality or student success.
But the first step to being present is staying healthy. Health and illnesses, such as the common cold and asthma, are among the top reasons for chronic absenteeism in the United States. With regular cleaning and maintenance, schools can stay sanitary and students can stay in school.
Here are three areas to focus on to make sure your school stays clean, in order to keep students in school and help them have a successful year:
- Areas that collect dust and influence air quality
Good indoor air quality is essential to a healthy environment. In fact, the EPA and its Science Advisory Board (SAB) have consistently ranked indoor air pollution among the top five environmental risks to public health. And with students spending nearly 180 days, or 1,000 hours, in school per year, it’s a major concern to educators and custodians alike.
Imagine trying to focus in the classroom when you’re having trouble breathing—it would be nearly impossible. Inability to focus is just one reason why indoor air quality is so important to student success. Poor indoor air quality has also been known to worsen asthma and other respiratory illnesses. And with nearly 1 in 13 school-aged children suffering from asthma, maintaining good air quality through regular cleaning is increasingly important.
- Frequently touched or “high touch” areas
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the common cold is one of the top reasons for school absenteeism, with up to 22 million school days lost each year in the United States. The common cold and flu are often spread when a person comes in contact with a surface or object that has the virus on it, and then touches their mouth or nose. High touch areas such as doorknobs, faucets, handrails, desks, and chairs can be breeding grounds for the virus, making them easy places for illnesses to move from one student to the other.
In order to prevent the spread of colds and the flu, the ISSA suggests regular cleaning of these high touch surfaces. Frequent cleaning significantly decreases the amount of organisms living on the surface. This in turn reduces the likelihood that diseases will get passed from student to student, causing them to become sick, miss school, and fall behind.
Restroom sanitation is important in all facilities, but when it comes to schools, maintaining clean restrooms can have an impact on student success. Regularly cleaning restrooms can stop the spread of disease throughout the school. Because organisms can live on surfaces for hours, or even days, proper restroom sanitation is critical to stopping diseases in their tracks.
Proper cleaning and maintenance of these and other areas throughout the school will help all students and teachers have a healthy and safe school year.
To learn how GCA Services Group can help keep your school or facility clean, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.