Unpacking the school’s mail delivery process


Graphic Mariam Ibrahimi

After signing for a package, mail deliveries take different paths through the school before reaching their destinations.

Largely out of public view, custodians, administrative assistants and cafeteria workers complete the essential everyday task of handling the deliveries needed to continue the school’s operation.

Most deliveries first go to the main office, where Administrative Assistant Michelle Capalbo works.  

“It depends on the day but typically [we receive] any kind of school supplies, so books, paper, anything that the departments order,” Capalbo said.  “Sometimes we get stuff for the cafeteria, sometimes we get stuff for the facilities, paper towels, that kind of stuff. It all comes here.”

Capalbo interacts with the delivery company drivers, and the packages are kept near her office.

“Usually it’s UPS, FedEx, Amazon [that] comes,” Capalbo said. “Sometimes we’ll get the big tractor trailers, which will go around back for the bigger deliveries, but our job is basically just accept the deliveries and sign for them.”

The school usually receives multiple deliveries each day.

“Every day we get a delivery here of something,”  Capalbo said.

After they are checked in and delivered to the office, deliveries are stored to be sorted by the custodians.

“It goes into a delivery closet where we hold everything, and then the custodians come every day, and they’ll sort through the deliveries and distribute them wherever they belong,” Capalbo said.  “Usually whatever comes in is out of this office and delivered [to elsewhere in the school] by the next day, if not the same day.”

Custodian Sandra Reis takes care of deliveries from this point.

“I check [the delivery] room every day,” Reis said. “I check which department [deliveries go to]…If they don’t have a name I will check the P.O. number to find out who ordered it.”

Reis finds her job to be interesting and enjoyable.

“It’s fun,” Reis said. “I can meet different people, [and] I see a lot of students in the hallway.”

While deliveries come in every day, most large deliveries come in over the summer.

“During our busy season, towards the end of summer just before school starts… we’ll get truckloads and truckloads of all supplies,” Facilities Director Michael Gorman said.

The custodians take in larger deliveries such as athletics equipment at the C100 facilities room throughout the year. The room has three doors for freight deliveries.

Cafeteria deliveries are different.  Food and other products are ordered online from different vendors on scheduled days. Vendors include Costas in Boston, Duva Bread in Worcester, Thurston in Connecticut, Mansfield Paper in Springfield and a monthly government food delivery.

“The delivery companies only deliver on specific days,” cafeteria manager Dianne Cofer said.  “We get a list of each vendor which day they deliver. For example, Costas only delivers Tuesdays. Thurston delivers Monday, Wednesday, Friday. Bread is any day but Wednesday.”

When orders come in, the cafeteria workers do a quality check and put the food away.  They also have to check for “mispicks,” when what the school receives is not what they ordered.

“That happens more often than not,” Cofer said.

Cofer notes that the government has cut back on their food deliveries, and they now get more food from other companies.

As deliveries come in, waste also must be removed from the school.  Recycling is collected more frequently than trash. Recycling is picked up every Wednesday, and trash pickup is not scheduled but is called for monthly.

“We have a larger [trash] container,” Gorman said.  “It takes us about five weeks to fill it.”