Kevin Sandlin with Clinton City Schools’ maintenance department and Clyde Locklear talked with school board members late last week about how Sandlin and the system’s other maintenance employees go about meeting the maintenance and repair needs of the district.
“We use a web-based tracking system,” informed Locklear, assistant superintendent for finance and facilities for the city schools, as Sandlin made his way before the school board members during their work session.
Locklear explained that each school and department can enter work orders — including ones concerning technology issues — into the tracking system, and that submitted work orders require principal or another designated person’s approval.
“Basically, we use it to communicate, track, and report works orders for the district,” said Locklear, noting how the system generates emails to let school staff members and officials know when an order has been submitted, processed, and completed.
Sandlin added that while many have access to the system usually only one person per school submits work orders, going on to explain how the status of work orders is determined.
“What’s the difference between closed and solved?” asked school board member Carol Worley as Sandlin listed the various statuses.
Sandlin explained that if the maintenance requested is to fix or replace something already in place at a school then the maintenance department takes care of it and marks that order as solved once their work is completed. Orders might receive a closed status though, he continued, if not approved by a principal such as teachers requesting that curtains be hung in their classrooms.
Fellow school board member Jason Walters inquired if the work order system would track and notify maintenance staff about preventative maintenance measures like when to change air filters.
“Yes, you can set up regularly scheduled items like that,” replied Locklear, pointing out that the city schools pay under $2,000 for the tracking system and could pay a lot more for additional system services but it already “meets our needs.”
Although the tracking system has been used since 2002, Locklear said that school officials “started tracking heavily in 2006.” Based on an analysis of the system’s data, Locklear shared that the school system’s maintenance department processes and completes about 1,800 work order annually.
When Walters asked if school officials knew about how long it takes for a work order to be completed, Locklear replied that that particular information wasn’t tracked but that the tracking system did provide ages on all work orders submitted so staff can tell how many days old a request is.
School board members were also interested in how many individuals currently make up the maintenance staff. Sandlin reported that seven people — four skilled workers, two general laborers, and one assistant — are on the staff.
He added that having a small staff “makes it difficult to do preventative maintenance” and noted that when he came on board he was concerned about staffing. He shared that he found out from NCDPI that it typically takes one maintenance employee per 350 students to effectively take care of of a school system’s maintenance and repairs, which equates to around eight maintenance employees being needed for a system the size of Clinton City Schools.
Despite a small staff, Sandlin praised his fellow employees for work well done. “I think they do a wonderful job.”
Lauren Williams can be reached at 910-592-8137, ext. 117 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.