DeKalb County Schools ramping up school cleaning protocols as staff returns to the buildings

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — DeKalb County Schools is working to make sure all of its schools are clean and in great working condition as it welcomes teachers and staff back to their campuses.

This has been the focus of Chief Operating Officer Ben Estill. The district just welcomed teachers back to their respective schools this week.

There are currently two schools still closed within the district.  Smokerise Elementary is closed because of COVID-19 issues.  Hawthorne Elementary is closed for a boiler repair.

“Hawthorne Elementary is getting a new boiler so that teachers and staff don’t have to work in cold conditions,” Estill said.


According to Estill, custodial staff members are being tasked with cleaning classrooms twice daily.

Channel 2′s Tyisha Fernandes obtained photos from teachers that contradict the arranged cleaning schedule.

“We are now getting further lessons learned as we’re bringing more people in — there are other areas we have to clean, and we’re certainly addressing that,” Estill said.

School officials sent a letter to teachers and staff, reminding them that they are not allowed to speak with the media.

“I talked to a teacher today who said she emailed a principal to say there were rodent droppings in her room on Friday. And Monday, they were still there,” Organization of DeKalb Educators’ Deborah Jones said.

Many have lots of questions for the district that haven’t been addressed since the buildings have reopened.

“If they’re safe for the educators to go in, when exactly does she plan to bring the children in? Is there a reason she hasn’t brought them in? I would say because they know the buildings aren’t safe,” Jones said.