School Maintenance Goes on Despite COVID

Yes, Custodians Continue Vigilance
Posted on 10/13/2020
Image of John Carter(HL Comeriato for The Devil Strip)

Every morning, John Carter looks out over the field behind Betty Jane Community Learning Center and counts the deer.

“It’s pretty amazing,” he says, holding his arms out. “I know there’s no place else in the city that has this.”

Betty Jane’s playground borders Goodyear Heights Metro Park. A foot trail connects the playground to Newton Street, and each morning Carter walks the path to check for trash.

“I think I’ll stay here for a pretty long time just because of the backyard,” he says, smiling beneath his face covering.

Betty Jane CLC closed its doors on March 11, the day before Ohio Governor Mike DeWine officially ordered all K-12 schools in the state of Ohio to send students home for three weeks — hoping to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Carter says he was already on his way to work when he received the call that Betty Jane would close indefinitely. Later, he learned that a teacher had come in contact with a family member who tested positive for the virus, and administrators had opted to close Betty Jane as a precaution.

Over the next several weeks, before face coverings were mandated, Betty Jane students filed into the building to retrieve their school supplies, waving to Carter from afar.

Akron Public Schools support staff, like child nutrition workers and custodians, returned to work on-site within a week of the district’s initial closure. While students are learning remotely for the first nine weeks of the fall semester, custodians have remained hard at work — keeping APS buildings safe both for the teachers who use the buildings to teach virtually, and the support staff who run the district’s food distribution program. Read more here >>.
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