When it comes to music, I grew up in the wrong era. The disco era. There is nothing wrong with the Bee Gees and Staying Alive, but I am more of a 1960’s guy and was better suited to the Beach Boys and Frankie Valli. My favorite end of the school year song was not Alice Cooper’s Schools Out, but The Happenings’ See You in September.
As the year winds down and the students and teachers empty our buildings, it gives us the opportunity to look at our facilities. Although some buildings may house summer school at first, classroom furniture heads out into the hallway so floors can be stripped, and a new coat of wax applied. Most teachers remove posters from the walls. Now is a good time to look at outlet covers. Are they showing signs of damage due to computers and cell phones being plugged and unplugged? Look at your ceiling tiles. Is there damage from a leaking ceiling. Water spots mean mold and breathing issues for everyone in the building. Replacing the tiles is easier when there are no students or desks in the room.
Extra cleaning supplies are needed in the summer, but don’t forget your Chemical Hygiene Plan. The Chemical Hygiene Plan (CHP) establishes a formal written program for protecting personnel against adverse health and safety hazards associated with exposure to potentially hazardous chemicals and must be made available to all employees working with hazardous chemicals. Science supplies ordered by teachers will arrive in the summer. Who is responsible for checking these supplies in and making sure the building’s chemical inventory is updated?
I know many buildings have gone to online Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS), but there should always be hard copies kept in the science prep room where all the chemicals are stored. A MSDS is shipped with all science chemicals.
Because students and staff are generally not in the school during the summer, safety and security tend to be low on the list of priorities. Doors are often left propped open, so custodians, maintenance, contractors, and delivery personnel have easy access to the building. But this exposes the building to both theft and vandalism. I’ve been to buildings in the summer where doors and windows were left open over the weekend because the normal routine of the night crew was no longer a normal routine.
Finally, do an After-Action Review of the year.
Think of your plans, training, and exercises.
Ask yourself these four questions:
- What did we do well?
- What will we do differently the next school year?
- Do we need to update our plans?
- Do we need to improve our training?