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City schools discusses staffing needs in system

At their June 7 meeting, Selma City Schools Auxiliary Services Director Eric Thornton talked about the need for more maintenance and transportation personnel in the system.

Currently Thornton has two full time maintenance workers, two part-time maintenance workers who also split their time as part time bus drivers, one full time bus driver, one part time bus drive and courier and two part-time bus drivers for morning and evening routes.

There are no certified HVAC technicians, certified electricians or certified plumbers.

Thornton added that the personnel’s work hours are from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.

This team from August 2017 to April 2018 completed 319 work orders, and those did not include work performed without a work order.

Custodian manpower also is outnumbered by what they cover, according to Thornton.

“The U.S. Department of Education establishes benchmarks for how many square feet per building can be assigned to a properly supplied custodian in an eight-hour shift in order to meet specified benchmarks,” said Thornton.

According to Thornton, for spotless cleaning is between 10,000 and 11,000 square feet and intensive cleaning is between 18,000 to 20,000 square feet.

Cleaning required to ensure health and comfort of building users is between 28,000 to 31,000 square feet.

“The average load on a custodian should be about 20,000 square feet,” said Thornton. “That is assuming that full time custodians work eight hours a day.”

In the school system, this is not the case. At Byrd First Class Early Learning, one custodian covers 34,332 square feet; two custodians cover 40,678 square feet at Clark Elementary; one custodian covers 58,119 at the School of Discovery; one custodian is at Knox Elementary with 35,687; one custodian covers 29,278 square feet at Payne Elementary School; one custodian covers 35,000 square feet at Cedar Park Elementary School; one custodian covers 34,882 square feet at Kingston; two custodians cover 49,726 square feet at Edgewood Elementary; one custodian covers 32,430 square feet at Meadowview Elementary and four custodians cover 196,894 square feet at Selma High School.

There are 353 HVAC units in the Selma School System.

163 units were installed between 1990 and 1999; 81 were installed from 2000 to 2009 and 109 units were installed between 2010 and 2014.

Thornton said it takes money to run a maintenance department.

Selma City School Superintendent Dr. Avis Williams said that this along with other problems will be addressed as the five-year strategic plan continues.
Public input for the strategic plan will be June 21 at 4 p.m. at the Selma High School Library.