Case Histories (Real-World Solutions)
Team Cleaning Creates Consistency
comprise Aiken County Public
School District in South Carolina.
Up until recently, every school approached
cleaning tasks differently. Inconsistency in
process, products, and training led to inconsistent
cleanliness from building to building.
So the county set out to make a change.
In pursuit of creating the best environment
for students to learn and achieve,
Aiken County Public Schools chose to
implement a standardized cleaning system
based on team cleaning with efficient
ProTeam backpack vacuums. Blaine Riley,
education program developer for Augusta
Janitorial, has shepherded the transition.
He helped blend the styles of team cleaning
and zone cleaning to maximize efficiency
for cleaners during the day.
In a K-12 setting, a cleaner must be
present during the school day to clean as
needed. In Aiken County’s hybrid system,
those cleaners also tackle cleaning work
by area type to stay as productive as
possible. For example, an Aiken County
day cleaner may clean offices or common
areas in a zone concept. They would
perform all cleaning tasks within that
building, including vacuuming with an
upright vacuum. The ProTeam ProForce
1500XP fits on the cart with all the other
supplies and works best for Aiken’s zone
At night, the staff bands together as
teams of specialists. There are four types of
specialists on a team, the vacuum specialist,
the restroom specialist, the light duty
specialist, and the utility specialist. The
vacuum specialist uses a lightweight backpack
vacuum, the Super Coach Pro 6, that
cleans three times faster than an upright
and vacuums for about two hours continuously,
improving vacuuming efficiency.
“We’re going to see a reduction in labor
costs. But our goal is not to reduce staff.
We just want a standardized and efficient
approach to cleaning,” says Kip Gunter,
the district’s director of maintenance and
custodial. “This consistency will lead to
cleaner and healthier environments for
students, enabling them to both learn and
This article originally appeared in the September 2016 issue of School Planning & Management.