In an article posted on CleanLink, “Absenteeism in schools is a significant problem. In many countries, including the United States, school funding is tied to student attendance. Absenteeism (when students miss school), can put that funding at risk.

“While many factors contribute to school absenteeism, student illness is believed to be the main driver of student absenteeism. The transmission of pathogenic organisms (microorganisms, bugs, germs, etc.) within schools can result in infections making students too sick to attend classes, which can reduce school funding. Diseases such as influenza (flu), rhinovirus (common cold), and norovirus (vomiting/diarrhea, stomach flu), are common and can be positively impacted by more frequent hand hygiene and routine cleaning and disinfection of commonly touched surfaces. This white paper from Diversey discusses some of the evidence on how hand hygiene can reduce absenteeism for students.

Absenteeism in Schools

How large of a problem is school absenteeism? The average student in the United States (K-12) misses 4.5 days per school year, while the average teacher misses 5.3 days per school year (Azor-Martinez, 2014.) This results in 164 million lost school days for students per year in the United States (Bright 2009). The website Governing (2019) reports spend per student per year for each state in the US, and reports the average spending per student as $11,762 per year. Assuming a 180 day school year, the average student generates $65.34 in funding for the school district per day. Therefore the total loss of funding associated with student absenteeism each year is $10.7 billion dollars in the US. While illness is not the only reason students are absent, it is believed to be the main reason students are absent from school each day.

This loss of funding does not include additional costs to the school district, such as paying substitute teachers when the regular teachers are out sick. The National Education Association (NEA, no date) reports the average substitute is paid $75- $125 per day depending on their state of residence and their credentials. If the average teacher misses 5.3 days of school per year, this costs the district an average of $530 per teacher, per year. Since there are approximately 3.2 million public school teachers in the US (National Center for Education Statistics, no date), this suggests teacher absence costs districts $1.7 billion per year in substitute teacher costs. Reducing the financial impact of student and teacher absenteeism is a major concern for schools.”

Custodians Have a New Disinfecting Tool

Obviously, schools are breeding grounds for germs. With so many people in a confined space five days a week, it’s easy to understand how illnesses spread so quickly. In order to keep these outbreaks at bay, proper disinfecting must be done. School districts such as San Angelo ISD and Azle ISD have turned to E-Mist’s Electrostatic Disinfectant System to maintain germ-free schools. Recently, El Paso ISD has purchased multiple systems from EMist. This revolutionary system disinfects all touchable surfaces where germs reside.

The EMist application technology enables custodians to reach and treat more surface environments as compared to existing methods. And because it can cover up to 54,000 square feet per one gallon of solution, schools can save up to 50% on the cost of disinfectant and 45% on labor.

The EMist EM360 is the most powerful, efficient and cost-effective disinfection treatment available today. Its patented application system places an electrostatic charge to the disinfectant as it leaves the spray nozzle, which causes them to cling to virtually any surface and help with stopping the unnecessary spread of infections.

Free School System Download: First Systemwide Use of EMist in Schools

Learn more about the EMist Electrostatic Disinfectant Application System.

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