School District announces Plan for Summer Work, new Cleaning Standards to Ensure Safe, Welcoming Schools
Projects underway in 46 buildings will improve conditions for more than 26,000 students
PHILADELPHIA – “Nothing is more important than the health and safety of our students,” said Dr. William R. Hite, Superintendent. “When our students are excited to come to school because their classrooms are modern, clean spaces, they are best poised for success.”
The District is undertaking a rigorous schedule of work over the summer at 46 schools serving more than 26,000 students. The work includes construction, lead paint remediation and clean up, HVAC repairs, asbestos abatement in partnership with the Philadelphia Department of Health, and maintenance projects.
Maintenance and support staff at the District has partnered with union Local 32 BJ District 1201 to create updated cleaning standards that have been distributed to principals, building engineers and cleaners. In an effort to make sure every school is cleaned to the same standards, the Cleaning Guidelines spell out the types of daily cleaning that will be completed. These procedures will ensure facilities remain clean, and that all custodial tasks are completed on a regular basis.
The cleaning standards are available for families, community members and members of the general public to view on the District’s website at https://goo.gl/4pYdCg.
Lead stabilization work in particular is being completed in two elementary schools, George W. Nebinger and Andrew Jackson, with a plan to begin work also at James Logan and Thomas K. Finletter elementary schools in July.
“The District has been collaborating with the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers and the Philly Healthy Schools Initiative for more than four months to revise our lead-based stabilization protocol, which goes above and beyond Environmental Protection Agency standards,” said Danielle Floyd, the District’s Chief Operations Officer. “We welcome the partnership and look forward to continued work to make sure every school is safe and welcoming.”
We will be closely monitoring the progress of all of our summer work to ensure that it is done correctly and with urgency. As work progresses we will continue to provide updates to families and school communities.
In addition, the District continues to advocate for more funding to meet its building needs. Last month, at Logan Elementary, the Superintendent outlined plans to accelerate and expand critical investments within its capital program, which would become reality if Mayor Jim Kenney’s entire school funding proposal for Fiscal Year 2019 is adopted. Part of this work would include lead paint stabilization work at 40 additional schools at an estimated cost of $5 million.
“While we remain thankful for the funding that has been proposed, we have consistently stated that additional and sustainable funding is needed to provide our children the classrooms they deserve,” said Hite. “It’s no secret that our schools are aging and need work. What needs to happen now is for our elected officials and communities to unite for the sake of our students, so that we can complete more work at a faster pace. We will continue advocating for the funding we need. Our students deserve nothing less.”