A Note from the Senior Director

  • If you were to visit our departments, you would find that we are data-driven. That means we collect information and review the data to help us make business decisions. Large organizations like Maintenance and Operations (M&O) need metrics to verify operational improvements and quality control, and our indicators show we compete very well with our peers, both public and private.  As a school district with roughly the same number of students and facilities as the Seattle school system, the nearly 500 workers maintaining our schools have a big job to do, and they do it well. 


    Take for example the metric of custodial support for elementary schools; each night-cleaner cleans on average, over 30,000 square feet during their work shift.  Even with this exceptionally high level of productivity by our workers, we regularly hear that the cleanliness of schools is improving.  Of the top 100 largest school districts in the U.S., the average productivity of cleaners is 27,000 square feet.  One way we have cultivated this performance culture is through proper tooling and training.


    Maintenance too is "cranking out" the work by completing nearly 25,000 work orders in FY17 and almost 27,000 work orders in FY18. This metric shows we are increasing our work by developing a much more comprehensive preventive maintenance program and taking on new areas of responsibility.  The age of our building inventory, the evolutionary pace of technology and the evolving needs of the classroom are instrumental in our developing requirements. In addition to school facilities, Maintenance also maintains facilities for Solid Waste Services and the Port of Anchorage through a shared services agreement with the Municipality of Anchorage.


    But data and statistics aren’t everything that needs to be considered when running a large organization!  We also employ “Sole Management” to get to know our customers and the needs of our workers. Walking and talking with facility users and other stakeholders is an important tool for collecting a “grass-roots” perspective.  Sole Management is our term for walking facilities, wearing out the soles of our shoes, to assess our progress and anticipate our needs.


    As the district continues to overcome challenges, I have been appreciative of the support given to M&O by those working in district facilities, the administration, and the community.  Our successes have been in no-small-way a mirror of the commitment to helping us succeed.  I invite you to review our website for a greater perspective on the size and scope of M&O and the work we perform every day.  Don’t hesitate to call me if you would like additional information about our departments or have any ideas or comments you would like for me to consider.


    If you would like to navigate our interactive work order report, click here.


  • Darin

    Darin Hargraves

    Senior Director 

    Maintenance and Operations