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Student Video Focuses on High School’s Custodial Crisis

January 18, 2023

Through their recent creation of a short video, two students at Francis Howell Central High School in Cottleville, Missouri, briefly pulled the curtain back on the custodial staff shortage currently affecting their school.

As reported on the school’s website, The Custodial Crisis, a video produced by Bryce Cash and Gavin Bearup, looks at the struggles the school is facing through interviews with two of its custodians, as well as the school’s assistant principle, Dr. Bart Denbow.

According to custodian Todd Phillips, depending on whether or not someone calls in sick, he could perform cleaning for as many as three runs of 15 classrooms during a single work shift.

In order to handle the staff shortage, custodian Greg Lowery said students have been performing custodial tasks such as cleaning stairwells and vacuuming entrance ways. “Everybody’s been pitching in because we’ve been short-handed,” Lowery said.

“Right now, because we have such a shortage, [the custodians] are working overtime, and they’re trying to do the best they can,” said Denbow. “They’re an amazing, hard-working group, and we’re excited to have them here. We need to get them help.”

Read what the CMM’s 2022 Building Service Contractor (BSC) Benchmarking Survey uncovered regarding the challenges of the current staff shortage, and check out Encouraging Employee Retention Despite Labor Shortages for ways to help retain the staff you already have.

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