When we think of school, images of students and teachers automatically come to mind.
We also think of school in terms of events, back to school, report cards, exams, concerts, parent teacher interviews and summer break to name just a few.
I want to take a bit of time to talk about all the events that happen over the summer that involve a small but very significant number of school district employees.
For the custodial, maintenance and technology staff, summer is a time when many jobs are completed that cannot be done while school is in session.
Our custodians clean schools on a daily basis and Christmas and spring break see them perform a deeper and more thorough cleaning. It is summer break that affords them the opportunity to do a “spring clean” on a massive scale.
Classrooms and lockers are empty; students have taken home all their leftover supplies, old lunches, gym clothes and the odd bit of winter attire.
Teachers have taken down everything from the walls in their classrooms and hallways, desks have been cleaned out, and books are put away. Custodians are able to do a much more extensive clean because they are not working around any possessions, displays of student work, science experiments or art work.
Rugs are rolled up, walls are washed down, light fixtures are cleaned, floors are waxed and polished and more.
When students and staff come back to school in September every surface is gleaming.
The maintenance staff tackle big jobs that require more time than the Fridays that schools are not in session during the school year.
This summer some of the work done by maintenance included; relocation of the library, fitness room, aboriginal education room and bike shop at Grand Forks Secondary School (GFSS), construction of nutrition rooms at both Greenwood Elementary and Boundary Central Secondary (BCSS), resurfacing of all gym floors, installation of washrooms in the storage shed behind GFSS, installation of a dry well in the Perley Elementary School parking lot and more Smart boards and projectors were installed.
This is just a sample of the tremendous amount of work that took place this summer.
The technology department also had a very busy summer configuring and deploying new laptops for secondary teachers, upgrading server rooms, installing new computers at BCSS, refreshing and re-imaging elementary teacher laptops and much more.
This often-unseen work is critical to the successful operation of the school district.
It ensures the health and safety of everyone who enters our school grounds and buildings and allows for smooth school operations.
This September, as every September in the past, students pour in school doors and teachers, support staff and school administrators were there to greet them and start them on their learning path.
But it is the efforts of every school district employee that fully support students in their learning. No task is too small or insignificant to count, they all add up.
Every role holds in common a responsibility to the nurturing and care of the students that are entrusted to us.
On behalf of the Board of Education, we sincerely thank each of you for the role you play in School District No. 51.
– Teresa Rezansoff is chairperson for the Board of Education for School District 51