FALL RIVER – When Governor Charlie Baker announced the closing of all schools on March 13, 2020, the extent and impact of the Covid-19 virus was yet to be fully realized.  As the weeks turned into months, it became very clear that the “Back to School” planning for fall 2020 would be very different from any other year.  Moreover, as the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) announced guidelines for personal protective equipment (PPE) use in schools, the Diocese of Fall River Catholic Schools Office knew that supplying all 20 Catholic schools would be an enormous organizational project that needed to start immediately.

Therefore, it seemed fortuitous that through a parish connection, the Catholic Schools Office and Glove Cleaners, Inc. began discussions on the best way to order, receive and deliver PPE requirements for 15 elementary, one middle and four high schools.

After many discussions, checking and rechecking product needs, Glove Cleaners provided a diocesan-wide quote by June 15, 2020 with an expected initial delivery by mid-July.  The challenge with finalizing the order was due to the many guideline changes that came out of DESE; thus, with every revised guideline, the products and quantities needed adjustment.  The final order totaled over $250,000 for PPE for the first 12 weeks of school.

On July 20, 2020, the first delivery was made to Bishop Connolly High School (in photo at right), which was used as a central location for all PPE deliveries.  By the end of July, all 20 schools had 12 weeks of PPE to support in-person learning anticipated for the overall majority of schools.

“When we first realized how much PPE our schools would require for in-person learning, we immediately knew that we needed a partner in this adventure,” says Denise Peixoto, Assistant Superintendent of Schools for the Diocese of Fall River.  “The other challenge was that many of the items were very difficult to source and our goal was to open our schools by the end of August.  This project needed more than just a supplier.  We definitely had David Kantelis, our Glove Cleaners Account Executive, on speed dial as he worked tirelessly to help source, price, and deliver product to all of our schools.”

Mark Trenteseaux, Vice President, Sales and Marketing for Glove Cleaners, adds, “When our company was first introduced to the Diocese of Fall River Catholic schools, we anticipated that we would need to be creative and flexible to meet the delivery requirements.  Our company has been around since 1960 and never before have we faced the challenge of the entire world needing the same products.  That said, the Catholic Schools Office was very organized and proactive, which made our job so much easier.  They represent the largest school system we service and we could not be prouder of our involvement in helping the schools reopen safely.”

“Full in-person learning for the fall was a goal of our office as early as May so we knew that obtaining PPE was the first priority,” according to Daniel S. Roy, Superintendent of Catholic schools for the Diocese of Fall River.  “We are blessed to work with Glove Cleaners who have been so supportive of our requests.  They worked tirelessly to ensure we had the right products, at the right time, and at the best price.  We look forward to continuing our relationship with them for as long as we need to purchase the products they sell.”

For more information about Glove Cleaners, Inc., please go to www.GloveCleaners.com.

For more information about the Catholic Schools Alliance, please go to https://www.catholicschoolsalliance.org/we-have-a-place-for-you/.

About Glove Cleaners, Inc.

Glove Cleaners was started in 1960 by the Talbott family.  In the 1980’s manufacturing moved predominantly to China which eliminated the need for laundering and reusing products.  Glove Cleaners stopped laundering gloves in 1994, but by then the name had stuck.  The Talbott family added a full line of Safety Products to their offerings as well as full service First Aid Supply and a Janitorial. In August of 2005 the Talbott family retired and sold the company to the Trenteseaux family.  In addition to being a dominant force in New England, Glove Cleaners, services a wide range of national accounts including Sam’s Club, Walmart, Valvoline, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines and Penske Trucks.  In January 2012, Glove Cleaners purchased Airwick Professional Products of R.I.  The company now offers repair and maintenance on all industrial cleaning machines.

About the Catholic Schools Alliance

The Catholic Schools Alliance comprises administrators, teachers, staff, parents and clergy joined in partnership to educate the children of the Diocese of Fall River in Catholic faith and values. Our schools have a demanding educational culture that helps students from across the academic spectrum reach their God-given potential. With an emphasis on service and respect for the dignity of every person, we prepare students to meet the challenges of today’s diverse world and become meaningful contributors to society.

Reverendísimo Edgar M. da Cunha, S.D.V., D.D.
Reverendísimo Edgar M. da Cunha, S.D.V., D.D.
The Bishop of Fall River