The Conway Public Schools maintenance staff will have a disinfectant fogger stationed at each of the district’s campuses to help ensure all classrooms and other frequently-touched surfaces are thoroughly cleaned daily.

“We are going to do our best to make sure everybody in this district is safe on a daily basis,” CPS Assistant Maintenance Supervisor Timmy McMahan said.

McMahan on Wednesday walked CPS spokesman Heather Kendrick through Ida Burns Elementary School to help educates students and their families on what the maintenance crew has in store for the 2020-21 school year to help keep students healthy and safe.

Maintenance workers will sanitize and disinfect frequently-touched surfaces on a daily basis.

The assistant maintenance supervisor said he wanted to make it clear there was a difference between the two actions and that CPS maintenance staff would be doing both.

“There’s a difference between sanitizing and disinfecting.,” he said. “Disinfecting is putting a chemical on a surface, allowing it to dwell for a certain amount of time to kill the germs. Sanitizing is wiping and spraying and just removing what is on the surface at that point in time.”

The district has utilized disinfectant foggers across campus on a weekly basis in the past when flu season hits. This year, McMahan said maintenance workers would disinfect all surfaces at least once a day using an eco-friendly, germicidal detergent – Buckeye E23.

“When it is used in the proper way – allowing it to dwell for 10 minutes – it kills COVID, it kills flu and it kills multiple things that are out there,” he said.

The chemical spray will not be fogged in classroom areas when children are present. Though it would still be safe to do so around students and staff, McMahan said maintenance workers would only fog classrooms and other areas, such as water fountains, bathrooms, light switches and doorknobs, when children are at recess or at night when they have gone home for the day.

Though the district has cleaned it surfaces using this disinfectant for years, McMahan said maintenance workers would make an extra effort to clean all surfaces at all district campuses on a daily basis.

“We are constantly going around wiping off light switches, door knobs, tables, water fountains and anything that we can possibly get to during the course of the day when the kids are at recess, activity or any other time we can,” he said. “[This year], we are going above and beyond from what we normally do. Our normal every day cleaning procedures take care of all this, but from now on we’re going to go above and beyond as much as we possibly can to address these things more often.”

To prepare for the 2020-21 academic year, the district has purchased a disinfectant fogger for each school within the Conway Public Schools District.

The district has also installed hand sanitizer dispensers in all classrooms. McMahan said the maintenance staff is tasked with checking each dispenser each night to ensure they are fully stocked for the next school day.

As the 2020-21 school year nears, CPS administrators have opted to stagger students’ first day on campus.

Students whose last name begins with the letters A-M will start the school year on Aug. 24. These students will not attend school on Aug. 25.

Students whose last name begins with the letters N-Z will start the school year on Aug. 25, and all students are expected to attend on Aug. 26. Administrators will work with families who have children with different last names to see they all go to school on the same day for their first day, officials said.

“If students reside in the same household but have different last names, the principal will make all accommodations necessary to assist those families. Please contact your school if you have questions or need assistance,” officials said.

Staff writer Marisa Hicks can be reached at

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Though it would still be safe to do so around students and staff fog classrooms and other areas, such as water fountains, bathrooms, light switches and doorknobs

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