CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - Schools in the Heartland have definitely seen their fair share of sicknesses this season as the flu and other sicknesses continue to make their way into the classrooms.
Before, during and after a child is in class, certain measures are taken to make sure your school stays as germ free as possible so your children can focus on their education rather than sniffling their noses.
Franklin Elementary School, as part of the Cape Girardeau School District, gave us a glimpse of how they keep their schools as clean as they can to ensure the best possible environment for your little ones.
Franklin Elementary Lead Custodian Keith Brennecke, or better known as Mr. Keith to the students, has worked here since 2012. He said it's his priority to make sure every nook and cranny of the school is as clean as possible everyday for the students and staff.
"It's exceedingly important," Brennecke said. It's one of my main things. We have so many little ones here and they do so many different things with their feet and their hands. So if we can keep the area clean, it's a great benefit."
Brennecke said while they clean and disinfect every area possible, there are certain areas that they tackle more aggressively.
"Bathroom areas are our big priority," Brennecke stated. "Keeping them clean and disinfected. When you walk in it looks and smells clean. That is a big priority because they spend a lot of time going in and out of the bathroom from recess and classrooms and things like that. Also, the classroom chairs and tables and chairs are also important."
Franklin Elementary First Grade Teacher Lori Laramore echoed Brennecke in the importance of a child being healthy so they can learn everyday.
She said sicknesses do unfortunately occur. And when they start feeling bad, they take immediate action.
"If they feel warm or say they don't feel well, we send them to the nurse and let her check them out and make the call," Laramore explained.
She added that at the end of the day she wipes off tables and chairs herself in an extra effort measure to combat any new germs that might have been left behind.
She also thanked the custodians for doing a great job as well keeping every clean.
“Our custodial staff is very diligent in making sure that our doorknobs are clean, our water fountains are clean and that every part of our building is sanitized to prevent illnesses from transferring from child to child,” Laramore said.
Brennecke said they try to make it to where the staff and students don't have to worry about anything and just focus on their daily activities.
He said they have also improved on their cleaning measures this year with new technology.
We found Brennecke spraying off some tables with a new machine that helps disinfect areas more effectively.
“This machine is a machine that acts as a giant disinfectant spray bottle,” Brennecke detailed. “It’s a an electrostatic machine, which means the disinfectant is electronically charged. So when it’s sprayed out of the dispenser, it actually wraps around and curves and gets in the nooks and crannies that you cannot reach with an ordinary sprayer.”
Staff on hand say parents can help reduce the spreading of germs as well. They encourage you to keep your child home, free of vomit, free of diarrhea and fever free without medicine for 24 hours before you send your little back to school.