Teachers and parents demand SD61 reinstate daily cleaning of educational classroom rugs

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Educational Classroom Area Rugs No Longer Being Cleaned Properly By School District 61 (due to the lack of funding by the Province of BC)

Over the years teachers all over North America have discovered Classroom Area Rugs to be an essential tool not only for creating a friendly learning environment but also as classroom management tool.

They have been shown to help in

  • organizing classroom activities
  • promote positive behavior
  • creating a warm and friendly learning environment
  • reducing noise levels which improves learning
  • reducing the impact and risk of injury from a slip or fall
  • improving air quality by trapping airborne allergens and particles

As you can see classroom rugs serve as a vital tool in our education system. But like all physical things they require cleaning to maintain a healthy environment.

Classroom rugs get exposed to all kinds of things that can make them unhealthy. For example, shoes routinely track in dirt from outside which can contain...

  • toxic chemicals
  • insecticides
  • herbicides
  • heavy metals
  • allergens
  • pollen
  • soil
  • feces
  • micro-organisms

Then there are all the things kids themselves put on the rugs such as...

  • food particles
  • liquid spills
  • nasal mucus from a runny nose
  • blood
  • urine and feces (i.e. from unwashed hands)
  • skin cells (humans shed 30k to 40k skin cells every minute)

...all of which make it become ideal breeding grounds for mites, bugs, bacteria, viruses and infectious diseases that children sit on everyday.

Now the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) - the source for science-based facts on carpet and rugs - have recommended guidelines for the care of these rugs in order to help eliminate these contaminates.

Through independent testing, the CRI has discovered vacuuming is the single most effective and economical means of keeping rugs in schools clean. The majority of dry soil and contaminates can be removed from carpet by following scheduled, routine vacuuming procedures.

They recommend daily vacuuming for area rugs with heavy foot traffic.

Twice a year, area rugs should undergo a thorough cleaning by professional rug cleaning services. Suggested times are just prior to the school year and during winter holiday break.

WHAT THE MAJOR PROBLEM IS

Because of the lack of funding from the Province of BC, custodians in School District 61 were told by their school board to cut back on vacuuming area rugs in elementary school classrooms.

The Director of Facilities stated that carpets in Kindergarten (K) and Grade 1 classes should not be vacuumed daily but rather twice a week and Grade 2 – 5 carpets should not be vacuumed at all.

Considering how quickly these rugs can accumulate dirt, not vacuuming these rugs represents a potential HEALTH RISK to our children.

Jason Gammon, the president of the Greater Victoria Teachers’ Association (GVTA) who expressed health and safety concerns recently said “As a primary teacher, you use the carpet a lot. That is an area where you teach. It’s like the kids’ desks. They sit on the carpet, you read to them, you do math. It’s not just a carpet, it’s a teaching area. It’s vital.”

As soon as this controversy erupted, Luv-A-Rug Services, a local area rug cleaning company owned by Stephen Roberts, immediately stepped up to help. They have donated their cleaning services for free to all teachers of School District 61 with area rugs in their classroom.

Here are 2 recent news articles about Luv-A-Rug's Involvment...

1) https://www.vicnews.com/news/luv-a-rug-donates-cleaning-services-for-schools/)

2) https://www.vicnews.com/news/a-growing-gift-for-teachers-and-students-in-greater-victoria-school-district/

According to Stephen Roberts, "Many of the primary teachers have said to me in confidence that they (the teachers ) are paying to equip the classrooms...and many have purchased their own rugs/ furniture/ teaching aids and even art supplies to the tune of of $2000.00 and even more per year"

As generous as Luv-A-Rug's offer to clean rugs is, it cannot address the daily build up of dirt which can be easily removed by daily vacuuming.

If vacuuming is not done daily, several days worth of dirt and germs will get pushed deeper and deeper into the rug where vacuuming no longer can reach it but little fingers can.

Since vacuuming these classroom rugs is one of the easiest, quickest and most efficient way to prevent any health problems in our schools...

...we want this petition to help convince the Province of BC to properly fund schools again so members of the SD61 school board can reverse their decision and begin vacuuming classroom rugs daily again.

Its time for this financial abuse of our teachers to end. Give the honourable education minister Rob Fleming the message that parents are angry and we want proper funding for ALL provincial public schools NOW.



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