We spent the day with a South Bay custodian who is doing all he can to create a safe and healthy environment for his work family.
RELATED: South Bay teacher documents 1st day back in class for in-person learning
When the coronavirus pandemic began, the once-busy campuses of elementary schools, like Frost in San Jose, emptied. Everyone moved to virtual learning.
Well, everyone except custodian Ben Moreno.
Cleaning is happening every day to make for a safe environment for staff on campus now and for the return of students. Ben often cleans the entire school by himself. pic.twitter.com/PCMd8C8dyZ— Dustin Dorsey (@DustinABC7) April 12, 2021
The work of an elementary school custodian often goes unnoticed.
The Frost staff calls him the unsung hero of the school, but he says his work now is more important than ever to protect the students he cares so much about.
"I think every single custodian that we have in the district is very important and I do believe that we are heroes," Moreno said. "I don't have any children, but if I did have a kid I would want to make sure that they are going to a school that is clean, safe and ready to go learn."
That requires constant work, oftentimes all by himself, while the school day goes on.
Here’s a taste of what classrooms will look like for @OakGroveSD. Frost Custodian Ben Moreno is assembling these shields that will be placed on socially distant desks of students and teachers when everyone arrives back on campus starting April 26. pic.twitter.com/T9HJGMC7bQ— Dustin Dorsey (@DustinABC7) April 12, 2021
From deep sanitization of classroom surfaces for teachers still teaching on campus to the assembly of protective shields.
The desks will be properly distanced and each student and teacher will have the shields on their desk to help with safety. An important step for Moreno to ensure the school is safe.
RELATED: San Jose elementary school teachers share distance learning struggles ahead of receiving COVID-19 vaccine
"I do feel like this is my family," Moreno said. "I understand where the parents are coming from when having thoughts here and there about if it's safe or not safe. All I have to say about that is I know I'm doing my best and making sure my ends meet so that everyone can come to work knowing that this is a safe place to be."
Frost Elementary and the entire Oak Grove School district will return to safe and hygienic in-person learning thanks to custodians like Ben Moreno.
TK-first grades will return April 26, 2nd through 3rd grades return on May 3 and the rest of the grades return on May 10.
The staff at Frost calls Ben the “unsung hero” of the staff. You can hear the passion he has for his “family” every time he talks about the staff and students. People like him is why it is possible for students to return safely to classrooms. pic.twitter.com/ka28TG4jZm— Dustin Dorsey (@DustinABC7) April 12, 2021
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