Neosho School District adopts program allowing students to become custodians

So far, four students have applied to the program. The custodial team is currently four people short.

NEOSHO, Mo.– The Neosho School District is, unfortunately, no stranger to staffing shortages.

“I think it started during Covid. We started losing staff members. We stayed understaffed and our custodial department,” said Richie Fretwell, Assistant Superintendent of Operations for the Neosho School District.

This lack of staffing, specifically in the custodial department, has made it harder for the district’s custodial team to keep the district clean. It’s something that’s become even more important during the pandemic.

“Well, it just makes it harder to get the schools cleaned and disinfected as they should be,” said the District’s Custodial Supervisor, David Allen.

To remedy this issue, the district has launched a new program to get more staff members, they’re doing this by hiring students. 

“Hiring students, I hope to have more hands to help get our schools clean and safe,” Allen said.

The idea to hire students isn’t new, multiple school districts across the country have been testing it out amid nationwide staffing shortages.

All applicants would need to be Neosho High School students and would need to be a least sixteen years old.

They’d also need at least a 2.0 GPA, and have reliable transportation.

The district says they hope it can not only help with staffing but also give students valuable work experience.

“I think it’s a win-win for our school system. and I think it’s a win-win for our kids. Maybe we’d instill some worth ethic in them where they are getting paid and then we’re cleaning our schools and keeping them good for our community,” Fretwell said.

It would give students the chance to learn some new skills, and alleviate the ongoing workforce shortage.

“I’m really excited about this program and our community’s excited about it to have a lot of people approach me and ask me about it. and I’ve had a lot of positive comments on this new program,” said Allen.

So far four students have applied to the program, the custodial team is currently four people short.

Students would make $11.15 an hour and would be able to work up to 19 hours a week.