Clean floors matter, says primary school principal

HUDSON–Vacuum cleaners were among the topics at a Hudson City School District (HCSD) Board of Education meeting earlier this month.

Steven Spicer, principal of the John L. Edwards Primary School (JLE), asked the board at the Monday, January 8 meeting to “support” his plan to use some of his budget to buy two new $140 vacuum cleaners for his school. Recently a classroom light broke, sprinkling glass on the carpet, he said. After two attempts by the maintenance staff to clean up the glass with existing vacuum cleaners, glass shards remained embedded in the carpet. Finally, Mr. Spicer had to have the shards removed with a hand-held wet rag.

John L. Edwards Primary School Principal Steven Spicer holds one of the school’s worn-out vacuum cleaners. Photo by Jeanette Wolfberg

Keeping carpets clean and free of glass fragments and other detritus is especially important for his school, Mr. Spicer said. Its students are in pre-kindergarten, kindergarten and first grade. In many classes, children “live on the carpet.” Of special concern, he indicated, is the wellbeing of a child diagnosed as having pica who might eat inedible objects.

To emphasize his point, Mr. Spicer brought a vacuum cleaner to the meeting. At the next School Board meeting, January 22, schools Superintendent Maria L. Suttmeier announced that “a brand new vacuum cleaner has been delivered to JLE.”

Also at the meeting:

• Dr. Suttmeier also announced that CASDA, a center for school improvement associated with the University of Albany’s School of Education, had given a Friends of Education award to Craig Bender. Mr. Bender and his organization, Kids Need Music, have supplied musical instruments to scores of HCSD students. Dr. Suttmeier noted this is a factor in the recent expansion of the district’s Music Department

• More permanent bleachers for the new High School field should be in place by March 31. Once the home section has more permanent bleachers, the portable supplemental bleachers will be moved to the visitor’s side.

• The district says construction on the addition to Montgomery C. Smith Intermediate School to enable it to hold primary grades is continuing apace.

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