Teton County School District No. 1 has a janitorial problem.
The monthly staffing report district trustees received Wednesday at their October meeting showed that two custodians, one from Jackson Hole High School and one from Munger Mountain Elementary School, resigned last month — in the midst of a global pandemic that demands a heightened cleaning protocol.
“What are we going to do about that?” Trustee Kate Mead asked Superintendent Gillian Chapman at the Wednesday meeting.
Chapman told her that Facilities Director Deanna Harger had posted the positions and was moving custodial staff around to cover the gaps. It may be difficult to fill the posts, however, because of Teton County’s relatively low unemployment rate, 4.6% in August, the last month the state reported.
It doesn’t help that janitorial jobs are likely not high on jobseekers’ lists.
“It often takes quite a while to fill those vacancies,” Communications Director Charlotte Reynolds told the Jackson Hole Daily. “They are, you know, hard work. It can be a little less than glamorous.”
Even before the resignations, district custodial staff was low. Contract janitors were hired for the interim to help keep up on some of the advanced sanitation measures implemented in response to the coronavirus, Reynolds said.
But at Wednesday’s meeting, Mead told Chapman she had heard the contractors were not doing a good job and needed oversight. Chapman agreed to provide a report to the board at its Nov. 11 meeting.