We all know that each year we are expected to do more with less and that’s just simply the way it is. And in my mind there are two things that enable us to do more with less.
First is building upon the shoulders of others by networking and leveraging technology.
The community expects that educational organizations will manage resources in such a way that students achieve and buildings are safe, clean and well maintained. This means that we have to continually find ways of doing more with less.
The status quo is never an option; there is a need and there is an expectation that we continually improve our processes and practices, so continuous improvements is part of our environment.
Every community throughout the nation is faced with these realities of not having enough money for their schools. And so what’s nice about that is that we’re all in the same boat together that there is a consistency of focus for all of us.
All of our colleagues are resources. Networking with our colleagues in my opinion is the single best resource for all of us. We have the opportunity to learn from each other, and this is the platform that the Facility Masters webcast series is built upon. www.k12masters.com/webcasts And it is also the platform that the newly created Facility Masters Listserv is built upon as well. Subscribe to the listserv by sending a blank email message to:
School gardens, outdoor learning areas and agricultural science programs have been around for many years, but many of us are unaware of how this impacts the schools IPM program. Too often teachers and well-meaning volunteers develop these gardens with the idea to help with educational learning not realizing that some of what they do can impact the district’s integrated pest management program.
On Dec. 13, 2010 President Obama signed into law Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 this bill is designed to focus on two major issues, childhood obesity and hunger. The essence of the bill is to deliver quality meals in school cafeterias ensure that schools are doing everything they can to feed students breakfast and lunch each day. The bill reauthorizes the federal child nutrition programs, some that have been in place since the 1960s – school breakfast and lunch, out-of-school meals, and WIC (Women Infant and Children). But this bill goes way beyond just reauthorization. For the first time since the 1970’s, it adds 6 cents for every school meal lunch reimbursement.
This bill makes mandatory $50 million in funding for a competitive grant program supporting Farm to School programs at USDA. Farm to school programs work to get local food into cafeterias as well as to educate students about how food gets from the farm to their plates, cultivating long-term healthy eating habits communities establish local farm to school networks, create school gardens, and ensures that more local foods are used in the school setting.
So what does this mean to you the IPM Coordinator? Chances are there is someone within you district that has applied for a grant or received a grant to implement an outdoor school garden for teaching and growing food. Recently our program was made aware of this initiative through our AgriLife Extension Master Gardner and Junior Master Gardener programs. Within our Agency we have county extension agents for horticulture and in our urban counties we also have county youth garden coordinators. These individuals with the aid of Master Gardner volunteers will work with teachers to develop a school garden.
However, what we recently discovered is that the teacher, agent and/or volunteer are not coordinating their efforts with the IPM Coordinator. Or when they contact the coordinator they are not giving you any information about this project or program. This article is to help you the coordinator to be aware of these programs and to also offer some solutions for the future.
In January, I had the opportunity to conduct a teacher’s in-service workshop at the Region 20 Educational Service Center. During these 45 minute sessions I had the opportunity to meet around 60 teachers from schools all over the Region 20 area. It was very telling when the majority of the teachers did not know that their district had an IPM Program and there was a designated IPM coordinator. Even more interesting was the fact that several of the teachers complained that they had resistance from administration but couldn’t understand why.
During the teacher in-service instruction, I introduced what is school IPM and what rules each school district must adhere to in order to stay in compliance. Some of the essential items I discussed were the main ingredients to the school IPM rules, notification about posting for pesticide applications indoors and outdoors, reminder about parental notification and most importantly working with the district’s IPM coordinator. Click here to view the power point given.
Over the next few months I will be working with our Master Gardner coordinators to develop fact sheets and handouts for teachers. One of the needs I have already seen is a simple online tutorial of “What every Texas teacher should know about school IPM” the second online module will be more specific to what every teacher will need to consider before building a garden or what they need to know to maintain their garden.
Our recommendation to you the coordinator is to contact those teachers who would be responsible for gardens, this includes but not limited to third, fifth and high school teachers. In talking with our Denton County Horticultural Agent one of the new requirements of standardize testing for school children is plant identification, this impacts every third grade student. For Denton ISD this means over twenty elementary campuses will have some type of school garden. The growing concern is over pesticide applications. Reminding teachers and volunteers that only licensed pesticide applicators can make any type of application is essential. In talking with school districts around the state, some IPM coordinators are willing to work with volunteers who are licensed, but that is a rare IPM program. For now, we recommend locating those teachers within your district, determine what their needs are for the program and in turn what you will need from them. Remind the teacher and volunteers that an organic product are still considered a pesticide and as such, requires a licensed applicator, proper outdoor posting and re-entry intervals for children should be followed. You may also want to visit with your pest control contractors as well, to make them aware of the garden. This is especially important if they are growing a vegetable garden and the area needs to be treated for fire ants. Click here to open a new document on fire ants and vegetable gardens.
As this program and project move forward we will keep you posted about other timely topics and where you can obtain more information. Until then feel free to drop me a note about this or any other topic regarding your IPM program.
Written by Janet Hurley, Extension Program Specialist II-School IPM
Every day, 49 million children attend school in the United States, served by nearly seven million teachers and staff. But they’re not alone. Schools are also frequented by a number of pests including cockroaches, mice, dust mites and more. Asthma is epidemic among children, impacting nearly 6% of school children nationally with rates as high as 25% in urban centers. Cockroaches are potent asthma triggers.
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a prevention-based, highly effective approach proven to reduce pest complaints and pesticide use by up to 90% in schools and other public buildings. IPM practices such as sanitation and exclusion also improve food safety, fire safety and energy conservation. Our newsletter highlights real-life examples of IPM in practice and can help you start an IPM program in your school district. For more information, visit www.schoolipm2015.com.
Courtesy of the IPM Institute
|Tarrant County, TX – In 2008, Keller Independent School District (KISD) discontinued their contract with pest management services and transitioned to an in-house IPM program. Three years later, the district leads an effective IPM program that prides itself on preventative action, educating school leaders and implementing healthier, low-risk solutions. KISD is located in northeast Tarrant County, Texas. It spans 51 square miles, hosts 5,000,000 square feet of facilities including 40 campus buildings and serves 32,000 students and 3,600 employees. “With such a large district, everything we do around and inside KISD facilities affects our buildings’ occupants,” said John Gann, Director of Maintenance for the district. “Many are sensitive to environmental triggers.”
To address pest problems on such a large and high-use area, the district uses an outside-in approach, beginning with any issues that may arise around the exterior of buildings and grounds. “In every building we work with, our IPM team performs a walk-around examination of the building exterior to identify areas where pests might gain entry into our campus,” says Gann. “We take notes and pictures to record areas in need of repair. I always remind my staff that attention to detail is essential, considering mice can gain entry into a building with a hole the size of a dime.”
The “easy stuff” – what Gann calls simple changes to maintenance practices – saves the school district both time and money. Gann and his maintenance crew take measures to repair any existing holes or damages on the exterior of their facilities. They also utilize inexpensive monitoring techniques. “At KISD, we strategically place perimeter bait stations around the building,” says Gann. “Our maintenance staff then monitors and document activity on the stations.” When the exterior areas of the school district are pest-proofed, the maintenance team moves inside.
“Once inside, we sometimes find a high pest presence in the classroom,” reports Gann. “In order to accurately track pests, we take pictures with digital cameras to document everything that pests use for food and shelter.” Documenting where pests live and what they eat is necessary to eliminate the source of the infestation. Without food and shelter, pests have no source of life. If that source of life is not removed, pests will return again and again.
“In my years of experience as a maintenance director, I have found rodents, roaches, ants and even snakes hiding in cardboard containers, open crayon boxes, glue sticks, candy wrappers, clothes piles, food pans, trash receptacles and even fish bowls,” says Gann. “We struggle to prevent pest infestations in our facilities if everything a pest needs to live, breathe and reproduce exists.”
For Gann and his maintenance staff, the overall goal is to show school administration, staff, parents and students the consequences of not maintaining a sanitary environment and demonstrate that healthier, safer alternatives are available. Gann explains, “IPM is about protecting children’s health by seeking out alternative solutions to pesticides and removing pests without harming the buildings’ occupants.”
Gann gives the following advice to taking simple steps towards practicing IPM in schools:
The Keller Independent School District was successful in implementing IPM solutions, but it did not happen overnight. A successful in-house IPM program – one that cuts costs and reduces pests – takes planning and implementation based on proven best practice techniques.
Courtesy of the IPM Institute
Oily rags should generallybe recycled. Oily rags need to be stored in a closed container. It has to be self closing in other words.
They are spontaneously combustible so you do want to make sure that you’ve stored them in a manner where there is no ignition sources.
But almost every facility that handles oily rags does recycle them. Basically sends them out for cleaning and then gets them back.
There are a variety of different companies that provide that. The Flinn Scientific has it, Grainger Catalogue is another spot. If you’ve got 55 gallon drums one of the things that we’ve seen people use is large Rubbermaid horse watering troths. Hold two 55 gallon drums perfectly.
The thing you want to do is make sure that when you buy one that it’s going to be compatible. So don’t use a metal container to hold your acids or it’s going to get corroded pretty badly by the acids that are in there.
Some very general guidelines in terms of purchasing management. You want to purchase the smallest quantities that you can that you need.
You want to store hazardous chemicals in unbreakable chemical resistant bottles. Use secondary containment wherever possible. Especially for corrosive or toxic or reactive substances.
Probably the most important type of secondary control that I recommend for science laboratories is the use of PDC coded glass bottles. Especially for concentrated acids. In my view this is one of the most important safety practices that you can adopt to prevent spills and so on.
|“Doing more on less” is the mantra that many educational organizations are living by these days. In a time of shrinking budgets and time-constrained staff members, educational professionals can use all the help they can get, especially when it comes to pest management. Pest Presses are useful resources for IPM coordinators, facility managers and educational administrators to use to educate school staff, parents and students about the importance of IPM and safely keeping pests out of educational facilities. A number of IPM professionals around the country have developed customizable newsletters that you can personalize and circulate in paper or electronic format. These publications include information on lifecycle, human health risks and best management practices for common pests such as bed bugs, cockroaches, head lice, mosquitoes, bees, wasps, mice, spiders, termites and more. Pest Presses are available to download and edit and can be found at the following websites:|
Courtesy of the IPM Institute