September 2014 BOE testimony: Aramark

Jennie Biggs testified as a parent from Mark Sheridan Elementary and also provided survey results from Raise Your Hand on a survey that we put out just last week.

I am a Parent Rep on the Sheridan LSC. We have many concerns with the Aramark contract and how it is impacting our school and schools system-wide.

Parents and staff are worried about school safety and security.

Who is in our building, especially after the school day is over?

Many times, our Principal is given one name of who to expect and someone else shows. After these occurrences, Aramark themselves can’t tell him who was there or why the change occurred.

What background testing is done by Aramark for its employees and contracted employees?

How are keys to buildings controlled and accounted for once a school must hand them over to an Aramark employee?

It is not safe for our kids and our staff to have rotating custodians and it is certainly not safe to not know who is in our building at all times. Custodians are an added layer of security. Shifting them around, sharing them among schools, and laying them off decreases safety and security systemwide.

Our Principal is spending an enormous amount of time dealing with Aramark.

We are on our second Aramark Rep who is temporary. We will be on #3 soon.

We get conflicting information on how many night custodians we should have or will have in the future.

What exactly is the substitute protocol? How come we can’t get straight answers on who will be coming and when? What happens when no one shows the night before? When does the “deep cleaning” happen then?

Of course, parents and staff are very concerned about the drop in cleanliness and the potential health concerns because of this.

From a Primary Teacher at our school:

“On Friday afternoon, September 12th, at 2:20 I had a student vomit all over my rug. I immediately called the office to request a cleanup. No one showed up in my room until 2:50. So, for half an hour that sat and soaked in my rug. Then I come back to school on Monday morning and there is still dried up vomit on my rug. There was also a book left on my rug that was covered in vomit that was never thrown away.”

From a fellow parent: “How does CPS expect our kids to have good attendance if they don't rid the school of the germs that fester after a bout of a stomach incident? That is a school-wide outbreak waiting to happen!!”