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K-12 Workflow Management Blog

School Cleaning Checklist for K-12 Janitorial Staff

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Keeping schools clean has always been important, but this need has become more apparent since the pandemic caused by the coronavirus. Disinfecting schools requires constant work and is a key part of a facility manager’s duties. A proper cleaning checklist should include multiple frequency cycles since not all tasks should be performed with the same frequency. However, this requirement complicates scheduling and increases the risk of failing to perform some deep clean tasks, especially those that you only need to do once or twice each year.

Ensuring that each member of the janitorial staff remains aware of their assignments is another challenge in sanitizing schools as priorities can change on a daily or even hourly basis. For example, someone getting sick in the lunchroom or an overflowing toilet are unexpected events, even though they’re fairly common occurrences.Fortunately, software solutions exist that can assist facility managers in developing a cleaning schedule to keep janitorial staff on task.

Goals of Scheduling Janitorial & Routine Maintenance Tasks

A regular cleaning schedule that includes routine preventative maintenance is key to dealing with the ongoing pandemic and other communicable diseases during the school year. This requirement should include a separate checklist for each type of area in the school, since their cleaning schedules may be different. For example, areas such as offices, restrooms, and cafeterias are heavily used, so they require daily cleaning throughout the school year. On the other hand, areas like outdoor play areas and storage spaces are used less frequently but still require cleaning. Staying on top of cleaning schedules also helps preserve the longevity of equipment, which delays replacement costs.

Facility managers can assign janitorial tasks in multiple ways. For example, they can do so verbally in team meetings or with handwritten work orders. Additionally, they can create assignments digitally with online spreadsheets. A more advanced digital solution is software that intelligently assigns tasks and maintains cleaning schedules.

Ideal Cleaning Frequencies for K-12 Janitorial Tasks

Ensuring proper, consistent cleaning of a K-12 school requires facility managers to consider different frequencies for various tasks. This requirement generally involves breaking schedules down by area, both inside and outside the buildings. For example, areas that are used daily generally require daily cleaning, especially classrooms, kitchens, and restrooms.

In addition to cleaning daily, some areas require additional schedules. Restroom cleaning cycles must be maintained monthly, quarterly, and annually to ensure adequate sanitation. On the other hand, storage areas may only require quarterly cleaning, often by using a monthly rotating cleaning routine that ensures each of these areas is cleaned once each quarter.

A separate facility specialist may need to clean up outside areas such as playgrounds, which require very different cleaning techniques than those used in indoor cleaning. However, the regular janitorial team often performs these tasks in smaller schools.

General School Cleaning Checklist for Janitorial Teams

It usually isn’t practical to thoroughly clean a school every day, primarily due to the amount of space and number of rooms that need to be maintained. A large number of specific tasks also make it important to develop a checklist for each area to maintain the hygiene of students as well as staff members. A checklist also helps avoid unnecessary repetition, while also ensuring that tasks don’t get skipped. Checklists are particularly important for areas with multiple cleaning cycles.

Each of the following areas should have its own cleaning routine:

  • Classrooms
  • Restrooms
  • Common areas
  • Offices
  • Kitchen and cafeteria
  • Locker rooms

Classroom Cleaning Checklist

Classrooms require daily cleaning because many teachers and students are continually moving in and out of these high-traffic areas, creating a high potential for the transmission of disease. The use of disinfectants and microfiber cloth on high-touch surfaces is crucial for minimizing this risk.

A daily classroom cleaning checklist should include the following tasks in no particular order:

  • Dust and disinfect all touchpoints, including chairs, cubbies, desks, door handles, window handles, and keyboards.
  • Wipe and clean the chalkboards, whiteboards, cabinets, doors, and windows.
  • Dust and clean the walls.
  • Clean the window tracks and blinds.
  • Clean the light switches and plates.
  • Clean and air the door mats.
  • Replace burnt-out bulbs.
  • Empty trash cans and replace liners.
  • Empty and clean the pencil sharpeners.
  • Store loose books and papers.
  • Organize the teacher’s desk.
  • Mop and clean the floor.

Restroom Cleaning Checklist

Restrooms require the most cleaning of any area in a school, including the daily use of bleach and other strong disinfectants. The cleaning equipment used in restrooms shouldn’t be used in any other facility as a standard health precaution. In addition to a daily cleaning schedule, restrooms also need monthly, quarterly and annual schedules.

Daily Restroom Cleaning Tasks

The following checklist shows the daily cleaning tasks for restrooms:

  • Clean and disinfect the toilet bowl, including the inside, underside, and rim.
  • Clean and sanitize the sinks, faucets, booth doors, and doorknobs.
  • Wipe and clean the reachable surfaces of the wall.
  • Mop floors.
  • Refill soap dispensers.
  • Restock toilet paper and paper towels.
  • Empty trash and replace liners.

Monthly Restroom Cleaning Tasks

The following restroom cleaning tasks should be performed each month:

  • Wipe and disinfect all surfaces, including countertops, doors, walls, windows, window frames, sills, vents, waste receptacles, and mirrors.
  • Disinfect toilets and urinals with a germicidal cleaner to prevent stains and encrustation.

Quarterly Restroom Cleaning Tasks

The following restroom cleaning tasks should be performed each quarter:

  • Dust light fixtures.

Annual Restroom Cleaning Tasks

The following restroom cleaning tasks should be performed each year, typically during the summer break:

  • Treat all traps and floor drains with a germicidal disinfectant to ensure they’re completely free of odor.

Common Area Cleaning Checklist

Common areas in a school primarily include main entrances, hallways, and lobbies. They accumulate dirt and other debris on the floor as people enter and travel through the facilities. The prevention of slip-and-fall accidents is a major goal of cleaning these areas, especially during inclement weather. Common areas also have high-touch areas like doorknobs, doors, lockers, and water fountains that pose a high risk of disease transmission, requiring daily disinfection.

Cleaning tasks for common areas include the following:

  • Remove cobwebs from the ceiling and walls.
  • Wipe and clean windows and walls, including décor.
  • Wipe and clean light fixtures, switches, and plates.
  • Wipe and clean water fountains.
  • Polish and clean the trophies and trophy cases.
  • Clean notice boards.
  • Dust and water planters.
  • Vacuum carpets.
  • Mop and clean hardwood floors.
  • Empty trash receptacles and replace liners.

School Office Cleaning Checklist

School offices include the Principal’s office, the Vice Principal’s office, and other administrative areas. These offices should be cleaned daily, like other business offices.

The cleaning tasks for these areas include the following:

  • Wipe and clean doors, doorknobs, windows, and other glass surfaces to remove smudges.
  • Remove cobwebs from corners and ceilings.
  • Wipe keyboards and telephones clean, and sanitize them.
  • Restack or reshelve books and other reading materials in the reception area.
  • Restock stationaries on the tables.
  • Dust and clean the walls, light switches, fixtures, and other wall décor.
  • Dust the furniture and planters.
  • Polish and clean trophies and metal trim.
  • Vacuum the carpets, drapes, and upholstery.
  • Empty trash receptacles and replace liners.
  • Sweep and mop hardwood floors.
  • Restock paper utilities.

Kitchens & Cafeteria Cleaning Checklist

Kitchens and cafeterias require more effort to clean than other areas due to the constant presence of food.

The daily cleaning tasks for kitchens and cafeterias include the following:

  • Clean and disinfect food areas, including countertops and vending machines.
  • Spot clean walls within 70 inches of the floor, including doorknobs and light fixtures.
  • Clean glass surfaces, including doors and partitions.
  • Clean all other horizontal surfaces, including furniture.
  • Damp mop hard, resilient flooring.
  • Sweep or vacuum other floor surfaces.
  • Clean and disinfect faucets and water fountains, including the exterior sides.
  • Remove encrustation and mineral deposits from the drain screen.
  • Empty trash receptacles and replace liners.
  • Report items in need of repair to the facility manager or other appropriate staff member.

Additional cleaning procedures that deal directly with food may be regulated by the state, requiring food workers to have specialized training and certification.

Locker Room Cleaning Checklist

The primary purpose of cleaning locker rooms and gyms is to prevent the spread of bacteria from sweat. It’s also important to avoid cleaning methods that could damage expensive hard floors.

Daily cleaning tasks in these areas include the following:

  • Clean gym equipment.
  • Clean and air gym mats.
  • Wipe and clean the windows and doors, including doorknobs, light fixtures, and switch plates.
  • Wipe and clean display boards.
  • Wipe and clean touchable wall surfaces.
  • Mop floors.
  • Empty trash receptacles and replace liners.

Automated Facilities Management Software

An automated platform can alert facilities teams to cleaning tasks they need to perform and prioritize pressing work orders as they enter the system. A facilities management solution like Incident IQ can also automate the creation of these work orders, assign them to the appropriate janitorial staff and manage daily to ensure all tasks are handled according to the correct cleaning schedule.

Schedule a demo with Incident IQ today to learn more about how we can help create templates for your cleaning routine, automate task assignments and report the completion of tasks.