Elk Grove Unified School District
Elk Grove Unified School District in the Bay Area of Northern California is in session August through mid-July. This means that Area Supervisor for Custodial Services Tony Almeida and his crew only have two weeks each July to completely clean the district's 70 sites for the next semester.
"We have to do Team Cleaning® in order to stay up to pace," said Almeida of the standardized cleaning system they have used since 2004, which includes high-efficiency backpack vacuums. "We did testing and found that we could clean four to five classrooms per hour with an upright and 11 classrooms per hour with a ProTeam® backpack."
With the time saved by using backpack vacuums, Almeida and his staff are able to do preventative maintenance throughout the school year, reducing the amount of work left to do over summer break.
"It is a huge, huge time-saver," said Almeida.
Grapevine-Colleyville Independent School District
When Tom Browning came on board as Director of Facility Services for Grapevine-Colleyville Independent School District, he came from a background in manufacturing. With knowledge of lean practices and an eye for process management, he is helping transition the district to Team Cleaning®, starting with one middle school as a beta test.
Team Cleaning utilizes specialists who perfect one set of tasks throughout a facility: a light-duty specialist, a vacuum specialist, a restroom specialist, and a utility specialist. In contrast to zone cleaning where workers complete all tasks including in a zone, Team Cleaning specialists are trained thoroughly on their specific tasks down to timing and movement. The purpose is to streamline processes and eliminate unnecessary backtracking, stops-and-starts, and product waste.
"The efficiencies you can gain with having an established process made so much more sense than zone cleaning," said Browning. "We've been going through processes and times and seeing where we need to make tweaks. I like that it isn't rigid. I can modify it to fit our schools."
One feature that helped convince the district's health-conscious administrators to adopt ProTeam's Super Coach Pro backpack vacuum was the vacuum's Four Level® Filtration w/HEPA. It is 99.97 percent effective at filtering allergens and pollutants down to 0.3 microns in size, protecting sensitive students and improving the health of the facility.
Monroe-Woodbury Central School District
Gene Lawson has been with Monroe-Woodbury Central School District for 15 years. He was around in the late '90s when they first replaced zone cleaning with Team Cleaning. Inspired by a school in upstate New York that saved their program from privatization by implementing Team Cleaning, Monroe-Woodbury took one year to roll out their new program and get the staff on board.
"We started with the biggest building and the smallest building, and both worked with Team Cleaning," said Lawson. "From day one, building occupants and staff felt that the buildings were much cleaner."
Lawson explained that not only did they experience long-term labor-savings, but Team Cleaning also helped them save initial investment. If a high school in his district were divided into 12 cleaning zones, he would purchase 12 vacuums. With Team Cleaning, four teams clean the same high school. This means the initial investment to outfit a school with vacuums is cut by two-thirds, saving the district thousands.
With money saved, the district can invest more in their students and teachers. With time saved, Lawson's staff catches up on project work like wall washing, high dusting, and so on. His staff is picky about their work. They take pride in creating a healthy learning environment.
"When the areas are filthy, students walk in not motivated to do the work," said Lawson, who went to school to study psychology before he became a custodian. "It is very important to create a good learning environment for the kids."