ACPS Staff Work Hard to Prepare for Students' Return
Summer Months are Busy as Schools Set to Open in August
Many people think that the summer break marks a down time for school system staff, but they would be wrong. For the ACPS maintenance, operations, transportation, and food service staff, that is quite the opposite. Staff work tirelessly from the end of the school year until the doors reopen in the fall to be sure that buildings, grounds, and vehicles are ready for students’ safe return.
Custodians use the summer months to clean furniture, wipe down walls and baseboards, and wash windows. Additionally, they take the opportunity to move furniture out of classrooms to strip and rewax floors while buildings are empty of staff and students. Custodians also make any necessary furniture and building repairs, replace lights and fixtures, and change all of the filters in HVAC units.
Maintenance department staff use the summer break to complete projects and repairs that would otherwise be disruptive during the school year. This summer, staff undertook a large project as they began the construction of the Early Childhood Center at Westmar Middle School. They are converting five classrooms to pre-K classrooms that will house pre-K3 and pre-K4 students from George’s Creek and Westernport Elementary Schools. The staff is also busy remodeling the former Westmar High School football field house into offices and meeting space that will be utilized by the Judy Center.
At Braddock Middle School, maintenance personnel removed and replaced approximately 10,000 square feet of asbestos flooring from the auditorium, library, and consumer science lab, as well as converted two adjoining offices into new classroom space. A new concrete block wall was installed at South Penn Elementary School to help reduce the distractions for students and teachers in classrooms adjacent to the gym. Similarly, at Fort Hill High School, a concrete block wall is being installed in the girls’ locker room to provide a private space for girls’ team sports, and the gymnasiums at Beall, Bel Air, and Braddock were repainted as well.
In addition, maintenance department staff worked on the maintenance and irrigation of sports fields in an effort to have them ready for practices on August 10th, and classroom technology devices, such as SmartBoards, interactive camera systems, and TVs, were installed for the ACPS IT department.
The ACPS Food and Nutrition Services department provided free meals for summer school programs at nine school locations, which included the secondary summer camp for students with disabilities, middle school summer school, elementary summer learning programs, and high school and CCTE summer school. Additionally, staff also provided free meals for several local parks and recreation departments. Breakfast and lunch were prepared four to five days per week on site, with a total of 3,529 breakfasts and 10,233 lunches being served during June and July.
In addition to providing summer meals, the food and nutrition services department uses the summer break to order necessary food and supplies to prepare for the upcoming school year. Menus will be subject to change depending on the availability of supplies as food shortages are still proving to be a challenge.
The ACPS transportation department has been working diligently this summer to prepare for the start of the 2022-2023 school year. In addition to transporting students for summer school programs, staff have been upgrading ACPS and contractor buses with a new radio system which will give expanded communications reliability and capabilities. Additionally, prior to the start of school, the department will complete one of four annual school bus safety inspections to ensure that buses meet all state and federal requirements to allow for the safe transport of students.
Moreover, the department has hosted several new driver and bus attendant training classes in the hopes of filling open staff positions. The transportation department is always looking for drivers and substitutes to fill open positions throughout the school year, so interested parties are encouraged to call the office directly at 301-729-3773 for more information.