Summer a busy time for school staff

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Floors, painting, preventative maintenance, special projects on tap

School may be out for summer for the students, but for staff, projects around the Cassville school district campus are just beginning.

Now that the students are gone, Dusty Reid, director of facilities and operations for the district, has a long to-do list, which includes work on floors, painting, preventative maintenance and special projects.

"There's a lot of work that goes on in the summer that a lot don't think about," Reid said. "We've got a lot of our routine summer cleaning projects. We start off by pulling 100 percent of the furniture out of every single classroom and we strip and wax the floors. It's definitely time consuming, and a lot of work goes into it. And, when the kids come back in the fall, it's like everything brand new again."

Besides just classrooms, Reid said staff give the same detailed attention to the halls and cafeterias.

"We also wipe down everything floor to ceiling, and if any rooms need touch-up paint we'll do that, too," he said. "In some rooms, if the paint scheme is outdated, we'll update that."

This summer, the high school locker room, for instance, is due for some updating.

"The high school locker room is going from baby blue to a Shoji (bright) white, and getting accented with gold and black stripes," he said. "The commons area and high school office is also going to the Shoji white."

The middle school library will also see some big changes.

"In the middle school library, we're removing all the shelving, painting all the walls and putting new shelving and new student tables in," Reid said. "That was a really neat deal, because when the Joplin high school moved out of where they had their campus at the mall in Joplin, we were able to buy enough shelving to do our entire shelving for just under $250. We bought the shelving from FEMA."

Reid said after the Joplin tornado, the high school campus was moved to the mall while a new school was being built, and when it was completed three years later, the temporary campus was closed.

"We acquired all their shelving and the tables," Reid said. "It was several thousand dollars worth of shelving. We felt we really saved the taxpayers some money on that piece, so we're proud of that."

Reid, who previously worked for Missouri State Parks at Roaring River, Katy Trails and Sam A. Baker parks, said that summertime at school is much like the off-season at parks.

"I compare our summer months at the school to our winter months at the state parks," he said. "There's a big similarity. Our busy time is when the kids are there at the parks, we get into our routine and the kids are busy, and when they're gone, that's when you clean things, fix things, and do things you can't do when your customers are there."

Reid said there are also plans to complete some concrete projects around campus, and the press box that was built in-house will be completed, which should be ready to use for fall sports. Other projects include preventative maintenance on all of the air conditioners, ice machines, and tune ups on the stoves and ovens in the kitchen.

With all the routine maintenance and additional projects to do, Reid said mechanics and custodial staff are some of the busiest on campus during the summer.

"Our mechanics are there working on the buses all summer," he said. "They've been soliciting bids for new buses. We have a cycle where we try to get new buses every three to five years.

"Custodial and maintenance are there all summer. Even the cooks are there the first few weeks of summer because they are providing breakfast and lunch for all of our summer school attendees."

Reid said the gymnasium floors will also see some work.

"Another piece is we sand down the top coat off and refinish the hardwood gymnasium floors," Reid said. "The only gymnasium floors we're doing this summer is the high school and middle school gyms. The Rock Gym we won't do this year because it is a new floor."

Other projects include replacing carpet or floors in classrooms or band rooms each year as needed, and security lights.

"This year, we're trying to replace a floor in a science lab," Reid said.

Reid said a few months ago, the security lights in the high school parking were apparently struck by lightning.

"We'll [fix those] that in-house," he said. "I think we just have to run new electric wire because the conduit is already there so we're just pulling electrical wire from underground, several hundred feet, from the high school to the lower parking lot by the baseball field."

While much of the time is dedicated to facility maintenance and preparation, in the offices, there's plenty of work to do with reports, review, and planning.

"It's a busy time for all of the offices when school is out with all the state and fed reporting requirements," said Richard Asbill, superintendent. "The end of May and all of June are spent facilitating some type of report requirement. The reports range from attendance to performance to fiscal. We have to look at our demographics info with discipline and with participation rates in P.E. and athletics, as well as all of the end of year fiscal planning."

Asbill said the audit process started in June, and the new fiscal year starts July 1.

"Building principals are engaged in their building improvement process," he said. "They'll be working on their district and building-level improvement plans for three to four weeks, and inviting some of our teachers to professional development meetings."

The Cassville Community Teachers Association (CCTA) is invited in to meet with principals, look at their work, gauge where they are at and where they need to go.

"It's a good review in June, to see if we are headed in right direction," Asbill said. "It's a good professional collaboration opportunity and discussion on those topics. We also go over plans for next year, a professional development schedule, and board reports with goals in four areas with priorities in each. We look at what we did right and what we need to improve upon."

Asbill said June is a time to do lots of reporting, but also a good time to reflect.

"We've had an outstanding year with a lot of good things happening for Cassville schools and our community," he said.

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