How custodians are going the extra mile to protect students and staff

Local News

Extra steps are being taken to keep students and staff safe and healthy at school this year.

From teachers to parents, just about anyone you can think of is playing a part.

As we all know, custodians play a critical role every year, but this year they may be doing more than you might realize.

Shari Jacobson arrives at McKinley Elementary School early each day to get to work.

She’s the head custodian.

“It’s a good job,” McKinley Elementary School Head Custodian Shari Jacobson said.

Shari is in her 16th year at the school in Watertown, but 2020 is turning out to be much different than years past.

That means there’s more work to do.

“I just try to take care of my staff. I see a need; I’m kind of creative, so I try to come up with a plan to help them out the best I can,” Jacobson said.

Shari made the dividers that are set up on classroom tables at McKinley Elementary School.

She’s not the only custodian helping get classrooms ready for the year, on top of other duties.

“We’ve updated our cleaning procedures and the volume of it, so that’s being looked at each building as to how we can hit rooms and different areas more frequently,” Watertown School District Superintendent Jeff Danielsen said.

Superintendent Jeff Danielsen is grateful for all custodial staff.

“We kind of take them for granted because they usually come in when no one’s around and they make sure things are tidied up and everything’s clean and ready to go for the next day and sometimes get overlooked for that reason, but they’re so critical in any given year, but especially in a year like this when sanitation and hygiene are of the utmost importance,” Danielsen said.

“Now, with this pandemic, just to ease the fears for parents or staff that are compromised, we want to do our part,” Jacobson said.

That’s why she and so many others keep doing this critical work, pandemic or not.

Shari says she wouldn’t be able to get all the work done without the other custodial staff at the school.

Teachers also help keep their classrooms clean.

The Watertown School District begins class on Thursday.

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