NCEF Resource List: Custodial and Maintenance Staffing and Training for School Facilities
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Information on maintenance staffing guidelines, needs assessment, training, and custodial procedures for school and university facilities, compiled by the National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities.

References to Books and Other Media

Operational Guidelines for Educational Facilities: Custodial, third edition
Bigger, Alan S. editor
(APPA, 2012)
Addresses topics including: the cost of cleaning, sustainability, determining APPA Levels of Cleanliness in buildings, and scientific measurement of cleanliness. Special sections address the cleaning of residence halls and healthcare facilities. In addition to the cleaning operations of four-year institutions, solutions for public and private K-12 facilities as well as vocational, trade, and community colleges are covered. 356p

Operational Guidelines for Educational Facilities: Maintenance, second edition
Bigger, Alan S. editor
(APPA, 2012)
A guide for maintenance in facilities. Subjects include zero-based staffing build-up, levels of maintenance and benchmarking; compliance, safety, and sustainability; job descriptions and career ladders; and much more. 297p

Cash-Strapped Schools Cutting Custodial Workers.
Farmer, Blake
(National Public Radio, Washington, DC, Apr 05, 2010)
Cash-strapped school districts are turning to some of their lowest-paid employees to bear the weight of budget cuts. Systems from New Jersey, Indiana and Michigan are joining Nashville schools in their plans to outsource custodial services. School officials say they are trying to avoid making cuts to the classroom.

Public School Facilities, Maintenance, Repair and Renovation Manual. Adobe PDF
(Arkansas Division of Public School Academic Facilities and Transportation, Little Rock , Sep 2009)
Mandates a uniform standard for custodial, maintenance, repair and renovations of Arkansas' public school facilities. The document requires districts to develop and implement a custodial care plan and specifies what the minimum content of that plan will be regarding custodial job descriptions, cleaning types and frequencies, work schedules, training, staffing, and supervision. Standards for maintenance, repair, and renovation are likewise specified, including a work order procedures system, training, inspection, and licensing. Sample custodial handbooks are included. 56p.

Custodial Standards. Adobe PDF
(Brevard Public Schools, Rockledge, FL , 2009)
Presents the custodial standards for Florida's Brevard Public Schools. The guidelines first address the general procedures and maintenance for the school, including universal precautions for the protection of the custodial staff. It then details maintenance and cleaning requirements for each area of the school, including classrooms, restrooms, cafeterias, gymnasiums, locker rooms, and corridors. Samples of facility custodial assessment forms; emergency lighting, fire extinguisher inspection, and air conditioner maintenance/service log sheets; and monthly custodial preventative maintenance forms are included. 50p.

The Whitestone Facility Operations Cost Reference, 2009-2010.
(Whitestone Research, Santa Barbara, CA, 2009)
Profiles operations costs for 72 building and utility types in all major U.S. and Canadian areas. Alternative levels of service and costs are estimated for custodial, energy, grounds, management, pest control, refuse, road clearance, security, telecommunications, and water & sewer. 320p.

CleanOpsStaff Software.
(APPA, Alexandria, VA, 2008)
This software package covers the five APPA Appearance Levels, 33 standard room categories, and custodial data in cleanable square feet (CSF). CleanOpsStaff performs custodial staffing calculations, generates reports, generates audit package with LEED Existing Building EQ credits calculation, and exports reports. Variables and space categories may also be configured to meet local conditions.

Best Practices Maintenance Plan for School Buildings. [Idaho]
(Idaho State Dept. of Education, Boise , Sep 2006)
Advises schools on preventive maintenance program, detailing elements of building component inventory and condition assessment, ranking maintenance projects and evaluating their costs, planning for long- and short-term preventive maintenance, structuring a framework for a preventive maintenance program, optimizing the preventive maintenance program, advancing the competence of maintenance personnel, and involving maintenance personnel in decision making and communication. Appendices provide appropriate inspection checklists, evaluation forms, and additional resources. 96p.

Custodial and Maintenance, Section 3 of the Arkansas School Facility Manual.
(Arkansas General Assembly, Task Force to Joint Committee on Educational Facilities, Little Rock, AR , Jun 21, 2006)
Presents Arkansas' detailed standards for school custodial care, maintenance, preventive maintenance, staffing levels, and funding of custodial and maintenance operations. 50p.

Characteristics of Schools, Districts, Teachers, Principals, and School Libraries in the United States 2003-04: Schools and Staffing Survey Adobe PDF
(U.S. Dept. of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Washington , 2006)
This compendium of school staffing statistics includes tables detailing how schools organize grades and student groups; percentages of schools using block and year-round scheduling; numbers of custodial maintenance, and security personnel; and percentages of schools with physical space limitations. 213p.
Report NO: NCES 2006-313 rev.

Custodial Issues: Workload, Work hours, and Work Schedules.
(National Education Association. Education Support Professionals, 2005)
This provides information on team cleaning, workload (square footage), full-time vs. part-time, privatization, shift abuses, and wage and hour law.

Maintenance and Operations Administrative Guidelines for School Districts and Community Colleges.
(Florida Department of Education, Office of Educational Facilities, Tallahassee, FL , 2005)
The purpose of this manual is to provide an update of acceptable and effective maintenance and operations management practices and current standards for educational facilities. Chapters include: 1) Laws and Statutory Requirements; 2) General Maintenance and Operations Guidelines; 3) Organizational Structure of Maintenance and Operations Departments; 4) Management of Custodial Programs; 5) Management of Maintenance Programs; 6) Educational Facility Infrastructure Management; 7) Contracted Services; 8) Standard Procedures; 9) Relevant Codes, Standards, and Regulations; 10) Maintenance and Operations Program Performance Criteria. 240p.

Custodial Procedures. Adobe PDF
(Office of Plant Operations, School Board of Brevard County, Rockledge, FL , Jan 2004)
These procedures describe the following: plant operations and maintenance policy; safety in school operations; supplies; basic office cleaning; restroom cleaning and sanitation; hard surface floor maintenance; classroom and corridor cleaning; and basic carpet care. 56p.

Custodial Standards. Adobe PDF
(Brevard Public Schools, Office of Plant Operations and Maintenance, Rockledge, FL , 2004)
The Brevard County School Board has issued this document detailing maintenance and custodial standards district wide for its schools. Guidelines first address the general procedures and maintenance for the school, including universal precautions for the protection of the custodial staff. It then details maintenance and cleaning requirements for each area of the school, including classrooms, restrooms, cafeterias, gymnasiums, locker rooms, and corridors. Samples of facility custodial assessment forms; emergency lighting, fire extinguisher inspection, and air conditioner maintenance/service log sheets; and monthly custodial preventative maintenance forms are included. 51p.

Take a Deep Breath and Thank Your Custodian.
(National Education Association, Washington, DC , 2004)
Two brochures discuss ways to improve indoor air quality in schools. The first (9 pages) presents six steps for organizing a school indoor air quality action plan. The second (15 pages) presents ideas for furnishings, cleaning, and renovation that will reduce mold, dust, lead, asbestos, and other hazardous materials contamination. 26p.

Planning Guide for Maintaining School Facilities. Adobe PDF
(National Forum on Education Statistics, School Facilities Maintenance Task Force; Association of School Business Officials International, Washington, D.C. , Feb 2003)
The planning guide was developed to help readers better understand why and how to develop, implement, and evaluate a school facilities maintenance plan. The guide is designed for staff at the local school district level, where most facility maintenance is planned, managed, and carried out. This audience includes school business officials, school board members, superintendents, principals, facilities maintenance planners, maintenance staff, and custodial staff. The document is also relevant to the school facilities interests of state education agency staff, community groups, vendors, and regulatory agencies. The guide focuses on: (1) school facility maintenance as a vital task in the responsible management of an education organization; (2) the needs of an education audience; (3) strategies and procedures for planning, implementing, and evaluating effective maintenance programs; (4) a process to be followed, rather than a canned set of "one size fits all" solutions; and (5) recommendations based on best practices, rather than mandates. The document offers recommendations on the following issues, which serve as chapter headings: (1) "Introduction to School Facilities Maintenance Planning"; (2) "Planning for School Facilities Maintenance"; (3) "Facilities Audits (Knowing What You Have)"; (4) "Providing a Safe Environment for Learning"; (5) "Maintaining School Facilities and Grounds"; (6) "Effectively Managing Staff and Contractors"; and (7) "Evaluating Facilities Maintenance Efforts." 184p.

Maintenance Staffing Guidelines For Educational Facilities.
(APPA: The Association for Higher Education Facilities Officers, Alexandria, VA , 2002)
The purpose of this publication is to provide a resource or guide for educational facilities in establishing or developing a maintenance trades organization that is sufficient to accomplish basic facilities maintenance functions. The guidelines are intended to suggest staffing levels for those routine facilities maintenance activities that are normally funded through an annual operating budget. The categories of maintenance included are usually referred to as preventive, corrective, reactive, emergency, and support maintenance. 236p.

Principles of Controlled Maintenance Management
Johnson, P. Dale
(Association of Energy Engineers , 2002)
This guide to the improvement of maintenance operations focuses on organization, inventory, continuous inspection, planning, scheduling, and program management. It provides guidelines on implementing a management system, and on customizing it to fit the needs of a particular organization. Chapters discuss the principles of controlled maintenance, history files, work classification, work input control, planning and estimating, material coordination, scheduling, work performance, buildings and grounds, predictive maintenance, and cost accounting. 137p.

Maintenance Planning, Scheduling and Coordination.
Nyman, Don; Levitt, Joel
(Industrial Press, Aug 2001)
This book focuses on and deals specifically with the preparatory tasks that lead to effective utilization and application of maintenance resources: planning, parts acquisition, work measurement, coordination and scheduling. It addresses maintenance management, performance and control, and it clarifies the scope, responsibilities and contributions of the Planner/Scheduler function and the support of other functions to Job Preparation, Execution, and Completion. 320p
TO ORDER: Industrial Press

Best Practices for Public Schools. Adobe PDF
(Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation, Columbus , 2001)
Provides information and practices employed by Ohio school districts in achieving successful employee safety and health, as well as workers' compensation management. The document covers management commitment, communication, safety education and training, injury reporting and treatment, return to work and transitional work, and safety audits and inspections. Also provided is a list of internet sites for school employee safety and health. 23p.

Educational Maintenance and Operations Salary Survey, 2000-2001.
( , Jan 2001)
Only M&O directors and staff in educational facilities responded to this salary survey for FY2000-2001. Data collected from 43 states and D.C. depicts a correlation between salary and student enrollment and length on the job. Almost half of respondents had at least an associate's degree. “Small schools” paid the Director of M&O $42,327, “medium schools” paid $59,182, and “large schools” paid $67,455. Most respondents earning $50,000 per year or more had at least 10 years of experience. Directors making $80,000 or more averaged 18.6 years of experience on the job. You must be registered at to download the complete report. 18p.

Custodial Methods and Procedures Manual.
Johnson, Donald R.
(Association of School Business Officials International, Reston, VA , 2000)
This manual discusses school facility cleaning and maintenance from the expanded perspective of work management, physical assets management, and resource management. Work management encompasses the organization of work and personnel, scheduling of daily or routine duties and tasks, and handling of demand work. Physical asset management includes developing historical data relating to the facilities, updating and changing that data, managing facility assets, and providing asset accounting. Resource management includes identifying cleaning procedures, developing and maintaining a preventive maintenance program, supporting a full inventory and purchasing system, tracking in-house and outside service costs, and interfacing with the school district's financial management system. A reference section contains guidelines and forms for custodial equipment storage and care, including safety measures and employee management forms. 96p.

Program Evaluation: Custodians/Security. Des Moines Public Schools.
Morgan, Pat; Stokes, Tom
(Des Moines Independent Community School District, Des Moines, IA , May 05, 1998)
The Des Moines Independent Community School District (Iowa) has initiated management support services in the custodial/security areas that have reduced administrative costs, provided for more efficient use of staff time, and streamlined inventory and maintenance management. This presents data tables on the department's operating budgets; describes its computerized inventory tracking system; and details its general operational responsibilities, including staff job descriptions and staff selection, evaluation, and development. Finally, the document presents an evaluation on department adherence to standards, policies, and regulations regarding personnel, in-service/staff development, commendations, maintenance procedures, equipment replacement, supplies, budgeting, security, the establishment of regulatory committees, and areas of future planning.
TO ORDER: Des Moines Independent Community Schools, 1800 Grand Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50309; 515-242-7903.

APPA Custodial Operation Self-Analysis Program. Adobe PDF
(APPA, The Association of Higher Education Facilities Officers, Alexandria, VA , 1998)
This survey and self-analysis tool was designed to identify most of the variables that impact institutional custodial operations, as well as to establish some reliable standardized benchmarks for the industry. It will help the facilities manager to better understand custodial costs and staffing levels. This was developed to supplement APPA's publication, Custodial Staffing Guidelines for Educational Facilities. 15p.

Custodial Staffing Guidelines for Educational Facilities, 2nd edition
(APPA, The Association of Higher Education Facilities Officers, Alexandria, VA , 1998)
The 20 chapters of this guide to custodial staffing in educational facilities are grouped into five parts addressing: (1) staffing, (2) evaluation, (3) special considerations, (4) staff development tools, and (5) case studies. Six appendices include information on custodial requirements and unique factors, space classification, standard space descriptions, standard space category matrices, normalized base times and standard activity list, and audit forms. (Contains 66 references.) 266p.
TO ORDER: Association of Higher Education Facilities Officers

Using Contractors To Cook, Clean, and Drive the Bus
Beales, Janet R., Ed.; Adelson, Leslie; Murphy, John E.; Edney, John; Shira, Lowell C.; Ostler, Gail
(Reason Foundation, Making Schools Work Conference,Santa Barbara, CA , Dec 1996)
Edited transcripts from five speakers at the Reason Foundation's Making School Work Conference are provided in which they share their experiences in planning for and contracting out various school services. Bid solicitation and evaluation are discussed in the areas of food service, student transportation, and school maintenance and custodial services. The final speaker discusses use of a feasibility study as a guidepost when deciding to outsource a service.
Report NO: 221

Contracting for Facilities Services. Critical Issues in Facilities Management. No. 9.
(APPA: Assn. of Higher Education Facilities Officers, Alexandria, VA , 1994)
This book has been designed to provide practical information to managers on how to work with outside contractors in the higher education facilities area, and provides "real world" advice on the opportunities and pitfalls of privatization. Overviews and detailed case studies of contracting-out for services such as custodial services and grounds management are provided. 187p.

Clean Up Your School Custodial Program. Adobe PDF
Steller, Arthur W.; Pell, Carroll
(National School Boards Association , 1986)
Administrators can improve their school's custodial program by following steps that increase productivity, reduce costs, and provide long-term benefits of higher cleanliness standards. Administrators should work toward improved building cleanliness by insisting on a school board policy that establishes objectives for the custodial department. Principals have many duties and managing the custodial staff is often relegated to lower priority than providing "instructional leadership." A formula is needed for custodial staff allocations and should include factors such as number of children and adults using the building and extent of extracurricular and community activities. Custodial job descriptions should include specific task assignments. Responsibilities should encompass inspections, preventive maintenance, regulation compliance, inventory maintenance, and emergencies. A daily schedule stating tasks, tools, and time allotments should be supplemented with weekly and seasonal schedules. Recognition of custodians promotes morale and can be accomplished by issuing custodial uniforms or even ordering business cards for them. 5p.

School Custodial Services.
Hill, Frederick; Colmey, James
(T.S. Denison, Minneapolis, MN , 1968)
Discusses school cleaning and maintenance, including organizing of custodial services, scheduling, supervision, inspection, supplies, equipment, employment, working conditions, training, cleaning standards, cleaning procedures, safety, grounds care, security, vandalism, and preventive maintenance. 294p.

References to Journal Articles

Stick With a School Maintenance Plan
Kennedy, Mike
American School and University; Jun 2012
Schools and universities must follow through on their maintenance management plans to ensure that facilities are kept in good shape. Includes a formula for determining how many workers are needed to get the job done properly. The factors weighed: number of teachers, number of students, type of school, size of facility and the number of washroom fixtures:

Designing the Successful Grounds Organization.
Gratto, Fred
Facilities Manager; v27 n4 , p22-24,26 ; Jul 2011
Makes case for competent and committed grounds staff who fully understand the scope of their duties and responsibilities and know the mission of the entire organization. they will require less supervision as they become more capable and more self-sufficient, more responsible, ore confident, and better able to contribute to the mission.

Setting Standards for Custodial Operations.
Wick, Casey.
Facilities Manager; v27 n4 , p18-21 ; Jul 01, 2011
Details contents of categories for evaluation of custodial operations: time standards, performance standards, quality standards, and management standards.

Maintaining Perspective in the Maintenance Department
Kennedy, Mike
American School and University; v83 n10 , p32-35 ; Jun 2011
Opines that in the slow economic recovery, schools facilities managers will be forced in the short term to do less. Unappealing choices include deferred maintenance, less heating and cooling, less service, outsourcing, reduced operations, and closing schools. Greater efficiency can be achieved with a work-order system, facilities condition index, inspections, and commissioning.

Smart Cleaning.
Thompson, John
School Planning and Management; v49 n11 , p26,28,30 ; Nov 2010
Describes how a Michigan school system reorganized their custodial program for equitable job assignments and standardized cleaning frequencies. These, along with new ergonomic and efficient equipment resulted in several of the schools receiving "Green" designation by the Michigan Green Schools Program.

Labor Savings.
Thetford, Terry
American School and University; v83 n2 , p28,30 ; Oct 2010
Discusses outsourcing of custodial services, advising accurate accounting data of custodial services, achieving a change in culture, establishing budget priorities, developing cleaning standards, alignment of other support services, and front-loading the contract to accommodate changes.

Secrets for Hiring a Janitorial Service.
Boyd, Neil; Lentz, Carl
Facility Management Journal; v20 n4 , p18-20 ; Jul-Aug 2010
Advises on engaging outsources janitorial services, recommending collecting references, finding out how the cleaning staff is paid, securing a consistent person to call for problems, checking insurance, and determining the quality of their personnel.

New Dimensions in Maintenance Zone Design. Adobe PDF
Adams, Matt
Facilities Manager; v25 n6 , p38,39 ; Nov-Dec 2009
Discusses the division of campuses into maintenance zones of manageable and/or relatively comparable workloads.

Daylight Cleaning: Are You Willing to Make the Move?
Hewett, Dave; Kohlhagen, Rob
Facility Management Journal; v19 n6 , p20-22 ; Nov-Dec 2009
Discusses the value of daytime cleaning to custodial job satisfaction, interaction with building occupants, reduced energy consumption, nighttime light pollution and hazards to birds. Advice on initiating day cleaning is included.

Applying APPA Guidelines for Custodial Staffing.
Iossifova, Albena; Hemphill, Dennis; Brest, Diana; Albert, Scott
Facilities Manager; v25 n6 , p28-33 ; Nov-Dec 2009
Describes the result of a cleanliness audit at Slippery Rock University, revealing the average level of cleanliness, a needed redistribution of duties among the custodial staff, and a shortage of custodians in general.

What Happens When the Right People Are in the Wrong Places?
Adams, Matt
Facilities Manager; v25 n4 , p48-50 ; Jul-Aug 2009
Advises on managing facilities staff to have enough people in the right jobs, particularly in situations where the number of staff in a particular area is too high or too low. Short-term solutions such as hiring contractors to supplement understaffed areas, developing a five-year template for anticipated work needs and employee turnover, and navigating the sensitive areas of work rules and staff morale are addressed.

From Campus Tug-of-War to Pulling Together: Using the Lean Approach.
MacIntyre, Stephen; Meade, Kelly; McEwen, Melissa
Facilities Manager; v25 n4 , p17-18,20 ; Jul-Aug 2009
Discusses the concept of "lean" in school facilities management. The author submits "lean" as an approach that can help you to understand what customers value, reach consensus on what is most important, work with others to get obstacles out of the way, and get more of the right things done. Lean offers a means to engage key stakeholders across the campus, helps build a shared understanding of desired outcomes, helps people see system wastes and costs, uses an internal team to develop ideas and solutions, reduces waste, and creates more meaningful work for staff.

38th Annual Maintenance and Operations Cost Study: Colleges.
American School and University; v81 n9 , p24-27 ; Apr 2009
Presents the results of a 2008 study of two- and four-year colleges, revealing that maintenance and operations expenditures averaged 10 percent of total expenditures, which is down from 11 percent in 2007. The amount of square feet maintained by full-time custodian and maintenance worker rose by 16 and 13 percent respectively. The survey methodology is described, with numerous tables displaying costs and square footages per FTE student, costs per square foot, historical spending data, types of institutions, types of expenditures, enrollment figures, payroll data, and buildings and grounds statistics.

38th Annual Maintenance and Operations Cost Study: Schools.
Agron, Joe
American School and University; v81 n9 , p20-23 ; Apr 2009
Presents the results of a 2008 study of public school districts, revealing that maintenance and operations expenditures averaged 9.57 percent of total expenditures, which is higher than the previous year's figure of 8.35 percent. The square footage maintained per custodial worker rose 20 percent to 32,100. The survey methodology is described, with numerous tables displaying costs per student, costs per square foot, historical spending data, types of expenditures, payroll and personnel data, and buildings and grounds statistics.

Green Restrooms: Sustainability Meets Savings.
Westerkamp, Thomas
Maintenance Solutions; v17 n4 , p14 ; Apr 2009
Advises on savings that can be realized from upgraded plumbing fixtures, air dryers, and dispensers in restrooms. Opportunities for maximizing custodial productivity through better scheduling are also discussed.

Custodial and Maintenance Services: Examining Standards.
Kollie, Ellen
College Planning and Management; v11 n11 , p20,22,24 ; Nov 2008
Examines trends in higher education institution custodial and maintenance standards, examining the categories of cleaning types and frequencies, work schedules and work order procedures, staffing, training, supervision, inspections, and necessary licensing.

School Maintenance and Operations Report.
Kollie, Ellen
School Planning and Management; v47 n11 , p22,24,26,28 ; Nov 2008
Reviews two school districts' custodial and maintenance standards, examining the categories of cleaning types and frequencies, work schedules and work order procedures, staffing, training, supervision, inspections, and necessary licensing.

Methods that Increase Productivity, Reduce Cost and Still Get the Job Done.
Parillo, Rick
American School and Hospital Facility; v31 n5 , p10,12,13 ; Sep-Oct 2008
Compares the advantages and disadvantages of zone, team, day, blended, collaborative, and skip cleaning in schools. Situations where one strategy might be preferable over another are discussed, citing points of building occupancy, size, and age that will affect the decision.

Maintenance Trades Guidelines.
Weidner, Theodore
Facilities Manager; v24 n3 , p42-47 ; May-Jun 2008
Offers an overview of the current guidelines for APPA's 2002 publication of Maintenance Staffing Guidelines for Educational Facilities. The article discusses the development of a maintenance model, the five maintenance levels, the four campus space types and the zero-based budget (ZBB) approach that make up the publication. A case study of the application of these guidelines on the campus of the University of Nebraska- Lincoln is included.

37th Annual Maintenance and Operations Cost Study: Colleges. Adobe PDF
Agron, Joe
American School and University; v80 n8 , p30,32,34,36,38 ; Apr 2008
Presents the results of a 2007 study of two- and four-year colleges, revealing that maintenance and operations expenditures averaged 11 percent of total expenditures, which is down from 16.4 percent in 2006. Energy spending per full-time equivalent (FTE) student rose 24 percent over 2006. The survey methodology is described, with numerous tables displaying costs and square footages per FTE student, costs per square foot, historical spending data, types of institutions, types of expenditures, enrollment figures, payroll data, and buildings and grounds statistics

37th Annual Maintenance and Operations Cost Study: Schools. Adobe PDF
Agron, Joe
American School and University; v80 n8 , p21,22,24,26,28 ; Apr 2008
Presents the results of a 2007 study of public school districts, revealing that maintenance and operations expenditures averaged 8.35 percent of total expenditures, which is lower than the previous year's figure of 9.19 percent. The square footage maintained per custodial worker rose 14 percent to 26,786. Rising energy costs are forcing cuts in other areas of maintenance and operations. The survey methodology is described, with numerous tables displaying costs per student, costs per square foot, historical spending data, types of expenditures, payroll and personnel data, and buildings and grounds statistics.

The Forgotten Staff: Professional Development for Custodians.
Moore, Brian
School Business Affairs; v73 n10 , p14,15 ; Nov 2007
Discusses ways of determining appropriate professional development for custodial staff, already available training materials, finding and training instructors among existing staff, and selecting the training location.

Making the Transition to Team Cleaning.
Embree, Kari
Campus Facility Maintenance; v4 n3 , p13,14 ; Fall 2007
Discusses the four divisions of team cleaning, describes how such a program works at the University of Texas, and advises on how to convert from zone to team cleaning.

Planning Matters.
Niklaus, Bruno
American School and University; v80 n2 , p34,36,37 ; Oct 2007
Discusses the importance of creating a daily cleaning plan for schools, including how to involve cleaning, administrative, and teaching staff, as well as proper training and equipping of custodians.

Becoming Part of the Team.
Wiens, Janet
College Planning and Management; v10 n10 , p54,56 ; Oct 2007
Reviews the process and multiple advantages of team cleaning for higher education facilities, illustrate with the example of the University of Washington. Four individuals are typically part of a team, with assignments as a light-duty specialist or starter, and utility, bathroom, and vacuuming specialists. Each person completes his or her assigned tasks and works with equipment suited to his or her needs.

Training Spotlight: Hazardous Materials.
Camplin, Jeffery
Maintenance Solutions; v15 n9 , p13,14 ; Sep 2007
Emphasizes hazardous materials training and awareness for facilities personnel. A training program should include assessing workers' present skills and competencies, implementing an environmental management systems that "cross-trains" workers in a variety of environmental procedures, and systematic compliance with Environmental Protection Agency requirements.

That Fresh Feeling.
Milshtein, Amy
College Planning and Management; v10 n8 , p23,24,26 ; Aug 2007
Reviews custodial staffing for desired levels of cleanliness in campus buildings, empowerment and organization of custodial staff, desirable cleaning chemicals and equipment, custodial storage, and green cleaning practices and materials.

How Much Privatization is Too Much?
Romeo, Jim
School Planning and Management; v46 n7 , p21-23 ; Jul 2007
Describes savings that some school districts have realized through privatization of janitorial, transportation, and food services. Advantages and disadvantages of privatization are discussed, as are typical obstacles and objections to the process.

Contract vs. In-House Staff: Finding the Right Souce for Custodial and Maintenance Operations.
Bigger, Alan; Bigger, Linda
Reviews the pros and cons of outsourcing custodial and maintenance services at higher education institutions. Efficiency, flexible staffing, ability to concentrate on core mission, personnel management, availability of specialty services, and training are seen as benefits of outsourced services, whereas a sense of ownership, security, corporate culture, stability, and institutional knowledge are benefits of in-house staffing. Advice on selecting outsourcing services is included.

The Hidden Costs of Campus Recycling.
Brooks, Robert
Facilities Manager; v23 n3 , p46,48,49 ; May-Jun 2007
Describes the impact of recycling on custodial services, including separation of materials and proper handling according to federal, state, and local guidelines. The contracting out of services for a period is suggested as a way to assess costs. An overview of the recycling program at the University of Missouri-Columbia is included.

36th Annual Maintenance and Operations Cost Study: Colleges
Agron, Joe
American School and University; v79 n9 , p33,34,36,38 ; Apr 2007
Presents the results of a 2006 study of two- and four-year colleges, revealing that maintenance and operations expenditures averaged 16.4 percent of total expenditures, which is up from 11 percent in 2005. A significant portion of the increase can be attributed to increased energy costs. The survey methodology is described, with numerous tables displaying costs and square footages per FTE student, costs per square foot, historical spending data, types of institutions, types of expenditures, enrollment figures, payroll data, and buildings and grounds statistics

36th Annual Maintenance and Operations Cost Study: Schools.
Agron, Joe
American School and University; v79 n9 , p27,28,30,32 ; Apr 2007
Presents the results of a 2006 study of public school districts, revealing that maintenance and operations expenditures averaged 9.19 per cent of total expenditures, compared to the previous year's figure of 7.58 percent. This represents a high since the late 1990's, but is still considerably below that of 20 years ago. Utility spending represented the largest increase, at 28 percent. The survey methodology is described, with numerous tables displaying costs per student, costs per square foot, historical spending data, types of expenditures, payroll and personnel data, and buildings and grounds statistics.

Reducing the Cost of Floor Care.
Shoemaker, Dawn
American School and Hospital Facility; v30 n2 , p17-19 ; Mar 2007
Reviews budgeting, training, and equipment selection for floor care, as well as green trends in floor care products and equipment.

Staffing Strategies for Your Cleaning and Maintenance Program.
Walker, John
College Planning and Management; v10 n3 , p32,34,36 ; Mar 2007
Advises on custodial staffing, recommending an accurate measurement of cleanable space, team cleaning, scheduling staff with job cards, and complaint tracking.

Maintaining School Facilities: Training Staff.
School Business Affairs; v73 n2 , p21-23 ; Feb 2007
Disccusses essential elements of custodial staff training, also covering methods of finding and accommodating new and continuing staff.

Shared Maintenance?
Abramson, Paul
School Planning and Management; v45 n12 , p46 ; Dec 2006
Advises small school districts to consider joining together to engage permanent maintenance teams that provide consistent service, rather than to individually engage local contractors who build no history with the school's facilities.

Quality Programs.
McMilin, Edward
School Planning and Management; v45 n11 , p27,28,30 ; Nov 2006
Details a quality school custodial program, using that of the Milwaukee Public Schools as an example. Daily, emergency, Summer, and progressive cleaning is described, as are five types of employees and their duties. The Milwaukee Public Schools' thorough program for training, evaluation, and supervision is also detailed.

Day to Day.
Jurecki, Dennis
American School and University; v79 n1 , p40,42,43 ; Sep 2006
Discusses the virtues of daytime school cleaning, including reduced security and energy costs, and increased productivity and communications between occupants and cleaning staff. The particular problems of daytime floor care are detailed, and suggestions on complementary scheduling are included.

Custodial Staffing Guidelines for Managers.
Kollie, Ellen
College Planning and Management; v9 n3 , p16,17,20 ; Mar 2006
The Assistant Director of Physical Plant at Central Florida University discusses desirable cleaning levels, custodial staff training, management structure, and personnel conflicts.

Campus Profile: University of British Columbia.
DiPaolo, Richard
Campus Facility Maintenance; v3 n4 , p16-19 ; Winter 2006
Profiles this institution's facilities maintenance program, detailing a major restructuring that began in 1999. This included updating equipment, cleaning procedures, and staff training. Awards won by the staff and plans for continued improved service are included.

Beating the Odds.
Hounsell, Dan
Maintenance Solutions; v13 n12 ; Dec 2005
With 360 facilities and twelve new schools and 12,000 new students every year, the Las Vegas Schools' maintenance department is meeting it's growing challenges by assessing priorities, creative workload tactics, and focusing on quality.

Preventing Deferred Maintenance.
Kollie, Ellen
School Planning and Management; v44 n12 , p19,20 ; Dec 2005
Describes some management features of the Jefferson County Public Schools (Louisville) cleaning and maintenance program. Custodians are thoroughly trained and begin their employment by working as a substitute across many schools. Buildings are regularly inspected by multi-disciplinary teams including safety, electrical, mechanical, and grounds professionals.

Maintenance Contracts for 11th Graders.
Adams, Matt
Facilities Manager; v21 n6 , p52,53 ; Nov-Dec 2005
Advises on appropriate outsourcing of maintenance tasks that cannot be accomplished with existing staff, particularly when the budget will not accommodate the addition of any new employees.

The Why and How of Maintenance.
Dillon, Naomi
American School Board Journal; v192 n6 , p28-31 ; Jun 2005
Details reasons behind deferred maintenance, including willingness to cut maintenance and operations budgets to preserve educational program funding, lack of master planning for maintenance, lack of administrative understanding of maintenance due to insufficient communication from maintenance administrators, and lack of priority for maintenance.

Working as a Team.
Harris, Jim
American School and University; v76 n12 , p39,40 ; Jul 2004
Describes the composition of a team cleaning group, their respective tasks, and how to schedule them for maximum efficiency.

Many Merits of a Clean School.
Moore, Deb
School Planning and Management; v43 n6 , p10 ; Jun 2004
Outlines five levels of facility cleanliness, and how much square footage a single custodian might be expected to cover at each level.

Staff Cuts Remake the Custodial Closet.
Fickes, Michael
School Planning and Management; v42 n8 , p33-35 ; Aug 2003
New cleaning and finishing materials and new equipment are helping facility departments cope with staff cuts by enabling smaller school custodial staffs to work faster, and smarter. This discusses chemicals and dispensers, safety training and information, and tools and power equipment.

Clean Sweep.
Rivard, Nicole
University Business; Jul 2003
How well is your campus maintained, and what is housekeeping really costing? Maybe it's time to clean up custodial service operations. This discusses whether or not to outsource and the rethinking of campus maintenance setups on several campuses.

Contracting Maintenance Services: An Easy Question, a Difficult Answer.
Geiger, Philip E.
School Planning and Management; v42 n5 , p38,40-41 ; May 2003
Discusses issues involved in outsourcing school maintenance and custodial services. There are many advantages to this approach, but it has definite drawbacks. In many instances, a combination of contract and employee services works well.

Absence of Resources. American School and University 32nd Annual School M & O Cost Study.
Agron, Joe
American School and University; v75 n8 , p26-35 ; Apr 2003
An annual survey of school maintenance and operations funding concludes, among other detailed findings, that budgets continue to shrink in the face of a weak economy--the sixth year of dropping budgets and the smallest level since the survey began. M&O spending as a percentage of district net current expenditure sank to 7.4 percent in the 2002-03 school year, down from 7.8 percent the year before. The amount of square feet maintained per custodian continued to grow, increasing to 24,167 square feet from 23,985 square feet last year. Square feet maintained per maintenance worker also jumped, increasing to 95,120 square feet from 89,000 square feet last year. Acres maintained per grounds worker grew to 36 from 30 last year.

University of New Mexico Converts to Team Cleaning.
Walker, John
College Planning and Management; v5 n11 , p24-26 ; Nov 2002
Describes how team cleaning, which relies on specialists with specific responsibilities such as restrooms or vacuuming, has allowed administrators at the University of New Mexico to save on labor costs while improving cleanliness overall.

Department Reengineering Improves Service at Miami-Dade Community College.
Menendez, Alfredo
Facilities Manager; v18 n4 , p47-48 ; Jul-Aug 2002
Details the process of reengineering Miami-Dade Community College's maintenance department to lower costs while increasing services. Changes included work flow, communications, purchasing, staffing, and technology methods.

Custodial Training Makes Sense and Saves Dollars.
Petersen, David
School Planning and Management; v41 n7 , p50-53 ; Jul 2002
Explains that due to the complexity of today's custodial work, extensive education and training is required. This includes basic commercial/industrial cleaning techniques; hygiene procedures; asbestos awareness; management, scheduling, and budgeting; chemical usage; and calculating operations efficiency. Details the in-depth custodial training of Fairfax County Public Schools and the resulting cost savings.

Roadblocks in Reforming Corrupt Agencies: The Case of the New York City School Custodians.
Segal, Lydia
Public Administration Review; v62 n4 , p445-60 ; Jul-Aug 2002
A case study of the New York City school custodial system indicates that, in spite of known scandals since the 1920s, it has ignored decades of regulations, reorganizations, and layers of oversight. A deviant culture and an infrastructure enmeshed in abusive policies will resist controls. True reform requires overhauling management, eliminating special interests, and punishing misconduct. (Contains 117 references.)

The Secrets of Effective Floor Care.
Michels, Ed
College Planning and Management; v5 n5 , p22,24 ; May 2002
Discusses the importance of staff training and a maintenance program to the care of hard floors. Describes four key features to look for in a computer-based training program and types of floor pads and matting used to keep flooring clean.

Cleaning Up.
Walker, John
American School and University; v74 n8 , p44,46-47 ; Apr 2002
Offers strategies to make school cleaning operations run more smoothly. Discusses how to estimate the amount of space that needs cleaning and how long it should take, the benefits of team cleaning versus zone cleaning, and the importance of monitoring complaints and overtime to ensure staff is performing efficiently.

Maintaining the Halls of Learning.
Grady, Pat
School Planning and Management; v41 n1 , p21-23 ; Jan 2002
Discusses the essential role played by the school custodian in providing a clean and healthy environment. Details various floor cleaning methods and materials.

"I Don't Receive Complaints Today."
Gossett, Elaine
Facilities Manager; v17 n6 , p41-44 ; Nov-Dec 2001
Describes how Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, successfully reversed a 15-year contract management arrangement for custodial services and built its own in-house management team. The article describes and presents results of the university's task-development workshop.

Determining Maintenance Staffing Needs.
Levitt, Joel
College Planning and Management; v4 n10 , p34-35 ; Oct 2001
Shows how a work program can help determine staffing needs as a starting point for solving maintenance delays. Steps for developing a work program are provided.

Where Have All the Custodians Gone?
Fickes, Michael
College Planning and Management; v4 n7 , p46-48 ; Jul 2001
Examines how to reduce college and university custodial turnover rates by forging connections between the job and the campus community. Key points to building these connections are outlined, including training requirements, benefit compensation package design, and cleaning strategies.

Managing Custodial and Maintenance Staffs.
Fickes, Michael
School Planning and Management; v40 n6 , p43-45 ; Jun 2001
Presents some basic maintenance management techniques that can help schools meet their budgets, preserve staffing levels, meet productivity needs, and sustain quality services. Tips for staff recruitment, training, and retention are explored.

Say Hello to Maintenance Staffing Guidelines.
Wright, Dorothy
College Planning and Management; v4 n4 , p52,54 ; Apr 2001
Examines guidelines developed by the Association of Higher Education Facilities Officers that help colleges and universities gauge how many maintenance tradespeople they must keep on hand. The guidelines are a tool for facility managers not only to identify how many tradespeople are needed to meet the institution’s goals for facility maintenance at a desired level of thoroughness and intensity. The guidelines will also empower facilities organizations to report to administrators and trustees on the relationship between funded staffing and facility maintenance, and to benchmark necessary improvements and financial decisions.

Is Your Staff Productive?
Hounsell, Dan
Maintenance Solutions Online; Jan 2001
Notes the pressure managers are under to wring every last bit of productivity from their work forces, even as many struggle to define and quantify what constitutes productive time. Espouses the idea that, by scrutinizing their operations, managers can find opportunities to increase productivity in quantifiable ways, whether it’s through better scheduling, more technology applications, or streamlining the flow of work orders. Includes a game plan for productivity and online links to additional resources.

New Directions in Staffing
Patterson, Kelly
Maintenance Solutions Online; Dec 2000
Explains that mapping out a successful staffing plan includes both finding the right people and using them the right way. Notes that budget constraints, a tight labor market, and growing and changing facilities conspire to make the staffing challenge that much more difficult for maintenance managers. Discusses setting priorities, developing a staffing plan, and making adjustments. Includes additional information on recruiting and staffing in the 21st century.

Raising the Bar with Trades Staffing Guidelines.
Weidner, Theodore J.
Facilities Manager; v16 n3 , p42-48 ; Jul-Aug 2000
Examines efforts to create staffing guidelines for maintaining college and university buildings by the trades staffing guidelines task force of the Association of Higher Education Facilities Officers. Presents descriptions of the proposed guideline levels and a matrix of indicators for the trades staffing guidelines. The levels and matrix are intended to mimic features of the custodial staffing guidelines, which the association has already developed.

Do the Clothes Make the Custodian? [APPA's E-mail Discussion List in Review]
Eck, Alycia
Facilities Manager; v16 n2 , p48-50 ; Mar-Apr 2000
Explores the role of the uniform for custodian and maintenance employees and presents e-mail responses to questions concerning the wisdom of using uniforms, whether to purchase or rent them, and the influence of weather on changing uniform requirements.

Custodial Management in the Information Age.
Harris, Jim, Sr.
College Planning and Management; v2 n10 , p46,48 ; Oct 1999
Explains how computerizing the custodial department can be achieved through bar coding, hand-held readers, and the appropriate software packages. Software programs that aid cleaning management, track assets, and manage stock are discussed.

Team Work.
Frank, David
American School and University; v71 n8 , p46, 48, 50 ; Apr 1999
Explains how a team cleaning approach can be a cost- effective and efficient means of school maintenance. Addresses the tasks of assigning staffing responsibilities and work schedules. Also explains the advantages of using a team system.

No More Principals! No More Custodians!
Bussler, Darrol
Phi Delta Kappan; v80 n4 , p317-18 ; Dec 1998
Advocates abolishing school custodians and training school students to clean up their own messes. Personal responsibility has two philosophical bases: pragmatism and "educational reconstructionism," holding that schools must not only transmit the culture, but transform it. Other countries, such as Japan, stress student maintenance of a school's physical space for the common good.

Training Your Custodians.
Griffin, William R.
School Planning and Management; v37 n11 , p43-44 ; Nov 1998
Discusses the need for custodial training and presents training tips. It also examines how to identify what specific training may be needed for a particular school, the training areas that need frequent repeating over time, and ideas for conducting effective training classes.

Maintenance Staffing Standards for Zero-Based Budgeting.
Adams, Matthew C.
Facilities Manager; v14 n4 , p18-23 ; Jul-Aug 1998
Discusses school preventive maintenance and the variables associated with maintenance staffing standards that address a zero-based budgeting environment. It explores preventive maintenance measurements for staffing requirements, defines staffing levels and job descriptions, and outlines the factors to consider when creating a maintenance program and identifying annual costs.

Decision Making Tools for Custodial Operations.
Sears, James E.
Facilities Manager; v41 n4 , p45-48 ; Jul-Aug 1998
Presents cleaning profiles for educational facilities that help clarify and quantify the cleaning process, thus aiding labor allocation and addressing contract specifications as well as verifying standards though quality assurance. Strategies cover various cleaning levels from overall spotlessness to constantly utilized areas only affording infrequent and imperfect attention.

Targeted Cleaning.
Frank, David J.
American School and University; v70 n10 , p35,36 ; Jun 1998
Discusses the creation of an effective carpet vacuuming program by combining area usage assessment and vacuuming requirements with a scheduling plan. It also explains vacuum cleaner suction and filtration and how it makes custodian work more efficient. A complementary articles discusses creating an effective floor-maintenance plan for resilient flooring.

How To Clean Up Custodial Messes.
Sturgeon, Julie
School Planning and Management; v37 i6 , p37-39 ; Jun 1998
Discusses the use of job screening techniques to help in custodial staff hiring process. It describes the screening techniques and explains their positive effects on cost and productivity.

Setting the Cleaning Standard.
Milshtein, Amy
School Planning and Management; v37 n5 , p29-31 ; May 1998
Explains how well-defined cleaning and maintenance standards helped a community school system resolve problems with custodial staff apportionments. Cleaning time, frequency, and cleanliness levels are combined to create a formula that helps economize custodial care.

Working with Custodial Staff.
Stewart, Kent; Owens, Larita; McKernan, Patrick
High School Magazine ; v5 n5 , p44-45 ; May-Jun 1998
Describes the changing role of the school janitor in today's more sophisticated and automated educational facility and what principals should consider when selecting, training, and progressively developing custodial staff members. Administrator resource information is highlighted.

Building a Staffing Plan.
Shaw, Richard
American School and University; Feb 1998
Physical plant managers need a staffing plan for their departments. Although some have made attempts through internal staffing guidelines and fairly sophisticated computer software, these devices are only part of a plan.

Slash Custodial Costs with Team Cleaning.
Moore, Barry
School Planning and Management; v36 n8 , p31-32 ; Aug 1997
Examines the Syracuse School District's custodial staff's efforts to simultaneously increase revenue, lower costs, and create a more healthful school environment. Tips for successfully transforming the custodial department from old to modern, efficient methods are highlighted.

Are Your Custodians Exposed to Excessive Lead Levels?
School Business Affairs; v63 n7 , p36-39 ; Jul 1997
Data from a 1994 University of Maryland study suggest that typical janitorial tasks (sweeping, vacuuming, emptying trash receptacles, cleaning fixtures, and other related housekeeping activities) would not result in an airborne lead exposure that exceeded Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards. Lead abatement work should incur potentially greater exposure risks.

All for One.
Walker, John P.
American School & University; v68 n8 , p36-38 ; Apr 1996
Discusses the idea of team cleaning educational facilities as a new concept in maintaining floors and carpets, as well as maintaining the entire building. This team effort can streamline and improve custodial operations. Each worker becomes a specialist with two or three functions instead of multiple cleaning tasks.

Privatizing Maintenance
Hounsell, Dan
School Business Affairs; v62 n2 , p16-17, 19 ; Feb 1996
Schools and other government facilities want to see whether privatization of maintenance can provide services as efficiently and at less cost than inhouse workers. Privatization proponents say that everyone will benefit the most if the bidding process involves competition. Offers examples from the Memphis City Schools and the Union Public Schools in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Custodian Quota Quandary Cured--Guidelines for Custodial Staffing.
Getz, Robert A.
School Business Affairs; v59 n7 , p3-8 ; Jul 1993
After five years of research, custodial staffing guidelines were developed to determine the proper custodial staffing of office, classroom, and laboratory facilities, including ways to tailor the staffing for specific circumstances. Four figures illustrate the factors involved.

Comparison of Two Methods of Cleaning School Classrooms
Tutor, Derwood L.
Educational Facility Planner; v23 n2 ; Mar-Apr 1985
The author describes a study to compare custodial staff cleaning with contracted custodial services in colleges and universities. The study concludes that both techniques can be successful maintenance operations. This study shows that institutional custodial staff to be the most favorable approach.

How Many Custodians Do You Need? (Second of Two Parts)
Nugent, Cliff; Vicino, Frank L.
School Business Affairs; v42 n1 , p22 ; Jan 1976
Describes a method for calculating an index of custodial work level and cost efficiency for each school in a school system, and suggests how the resulting information can be used to reduce school custodial costs.

How Many Custodians Do You Need in a School? (First of Two Parts)
Nugent, Cliff; Vicino, Frank L.
School Business Affairs; v41 n12 , p279-282 ; Dec 1975
Examines the literature concerning custodial workload assignments, lists variables in the determination of workload, and constructs a Work Level Index to determine the relative amount of work necessary in a custodial operation.



Due to lack of funding, the National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities is currently available only as an archived site. As of September 1, 2012 no new content will be added or updates made. We regret the need to take such steps, but should funding become available, we look forward to reinvigorating NCEF and providing this valuable resource to the educational facilities community.

If you have questions or are an organization or company wishing to support the continued operation of this industry recognized resource please contact Institute President Henry Green (, 202-289-7800).