Editor-in-Chief Corinne Zudonyi

When I was a kid, I always loved the anticipation of a new school year. I got new folders, pens, backpacks and clothes, plus I got to see all those friends I lost touch with over summer break.

But not all kids felt the same way I did. There were some that dreaded the structure and homework that went along with the start of a new school year.

No two kids are the same, and the same can be said for facilities. Just like kids, schools range in size, age, financial stability, goals and initiatives.

Although every school has its own unique challenges, there seems to be one overarching commonality: health. Custodial cleaning managers across the country base cleaning practices on how they will impact (or not impact) the health of students and staff.

This back to school issue showcases a variety of facilities and, although they all vary in their processes, they all stress cleaning for health.

For example, our cover story profiles the University of Maryland, which staffs two different cleaning departments. As a state school, budgets for the academic facilities on campus are funded by state dollars, which will impact cleaning processes. On the other side of campus, budgets for resident living are funded by students, which allows for greater flexibility. Yet both programs are built around cleaning for health.

In addition to our cover story, the piece highlighting Folsom Lake Community College emphasizes green cleaning initiatives as a way to create a healthy environment for students and staff. Another article on Prospect Heights School District 23 explains how a switch in chemicals has resulted in a healthier environment. And the management column highlights research on how cleaning can improve student performance.

No matter how big or how small, where facilities are located, or how much budget is allocated to cleaning, custodial crews will be focusing on cleaning for health as they open doors to a new group of students this year.