Our business manager, Marc Seymour, sat down to answer some frequently asked questions and tell us a bit more about himself.
What is your position and what does it entail?
The traditional Business Manager role is managing and looking over everything non-academic, which includes facilities, catering, health and safety, HR, finance, procurement, etc. This role is important because it allows the Senior Leadership Team to concentrate on academics.
What did you do before GCS?
I oversaw three primary schools in the UK, where I am originally from, as the Business and Finance Manager. Before that, I worked in Togo, West Africa, at a British day and boarding school for three years as their Business Manager. It was a very dynamic time! While we were in Togo there was an attempted coup by the President’s brother and our compound happened to be near the Royal Palace, so we got to witness it all first-hand, in the end the coup was thwarted & the President remained in power.
20 Frequently Asked Parent Questions
1. Why can’t the school have soft close doors in general areas so that they shut automatically?
In 2017 we are focusing on “greening” Greenfield and one of the things we are looking at is reducing our energy usage. We are currently installing/updating our doors with auto closures to reduce energy consummation.
2. Why is the Air Con temp so high (cold) in the classrooms?
Most of our classrooms have their own individual AC units controlled by the teachers. We are currently coordinating with the Security and Cleaning teams to have all the ACs turned off at the end of the school day to reduce energy consumption. Throughout the day it can be controlled by the classroom teacher.
3. Why can’t there be an automatic computerised system for contacting parents in cases of absence?
We believe a personal touch is needed in this instance. There are some circumstances where questions or discussions need to be addressed from both sides (GCS’s and the parent’s). Having our lovely receptionists call personally insures that information is communicated to the student’s correct contact person and any questions are answered on the spot.
4. Is the AstroTurf on our football pitches safe?
Our rubber pellets are provided by Murfitts Industries, a UK based company. We requested and received their lab reports which show their “material safety data sheet” (dated Dec 16, 2016). The data sheet states “this product is classified as non-hazardous under normal use and handling conditions.”
We regularly maintain and upkeep both our football pitches. Our Astroturf rubber pellets have been replaced and the pitch maintained during Winter Break on the PYP pitch. Our Secondary pitch is scheduled for maintenance later this year.
5. Why aren’t the tennis courts covered?
We would love to have the tennis courts covered and are currently sourcing, reviewing costs and including it in our 3 year plan.
6. Sometimes I get lost, can we update the school’s signage?
Yes! This is something we want to improve. We are working on updating our signage throughout the school. Part of this is researching examples, getting pricing and identifying areas for improvement. We hope to roll out the new signage by Summer 2017.
7. What time do cleaners arrive in the morning and when do they clean the faclities?
The cleaners arrive at 6AM and start cleaning. They are continuously cleaning throughout the school day. For example, there is a cleaning schedule set for the bathrooms and every 30-35 minutes the supervisor checks in to make sure all tasks have been completed (i.e. toilet rolls replaces, floors mopped, etc). Our cleaners work full time on a rotational basis throughout all the whole school.
8. How often is deep cleaning done in bathrooms and of the cafeteria?
We do a deep cleaning of all bathrooms and the cafeteria on a weekly basis. This means all wall tiles are wiped down and surfaces are deeply disinfected.
9. How often is pest controlling done?
Pest control is done on a monthly basis.
10. Are the cafeteria tables and counter cleansed with soap and water every day?
Yes, they are cleaned daily with a surface cleanser and water solution.
11. Who does one approach in case of cleaning issues?
Contact me! email@example.com.
I am here to help oversee and manage the school’s non-academic needs. For example, I am currently working on coordinating the lunch timings and flow of traffic to insure cleaning crews have enough time in-between sittings to clean the cafeteria before a new group arrives for their lunch break.We have also hired a new Cleaning Supervisor with a background in Mall management to help address any previously existing gaps in our cleaning schedule.
12. Why can’t we have smaller and therefore more buses in the afternoon after Extra Curricular Activities so that the same 2:30PM routes can be followed and the children don’t spend an hour getting home?
It is against RTA laws for Schools to have buses smaller than 22 seats. In keeping with this, GCS’s transportation provider, Arab Falcon uses only RTA approved vehicles.
13. Why aren’t children allowed to eat and drink in the bus, it’s a long day?
For cleanliness and safety concerns, we ask passengers on school transportation to not eat or drink.
14. Who does one approach in case if bus issues?
Our school transportation is handled by Arab Falcon. Please contact Subia Khan, Transport Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org, 043976490.
15. Why are the school gates not locked after 8AM and between 2:30PM as till 3:30PM as our children are still at school?
We addressed this situation over Winter Break and this should no longer be an issue. We are currently looking at installing an auto-lock system where once the gate is shut; it will need to be unlocked from the inside to allow entry. We take security very seriously at GCS and our facilities are monitored around the clock.
16. What is the assembly point for parents during lock down and fire drills?
All visitors are asked to meet directly adjacent to the PYP Football Pitch. Please look for the “Assembly Point” signage (see photo).
17. How often do you conduct lock down and fire drills?
The KHDA, the Knowledge and Human Development Authority, discourages schools from conducting lock down drills. Fire drills, on the other hand, are conducted at a minimum of twice termly.
18. Can we actually have a security guard directing cars into parking spots so as to avoid double parking?
Security guards currently work to monitor and request that visitors park appropriately but despite their best efforts, some drivers cannot resist the urge to double park.
19. Can we have a loudspeaker to announce car numbers when a child approaches security only during the 3:30PM pick up?
We currently don’t have a demand for this system but will keep it in mind if the need arises.
20. Who does one approach in case of an issue with security?
Please come to me with any questions or concerns regarding facilities and security! I am here to help.
Thank you for your questions! As a school we are continually trying to improve and greatly appreciate the feedback and support of our parents.