iSchool Pest Manager Project – School IPM Enhancement Program
Texas A&M Agrilife will promote safe pest management practices in schools by creating a central repository for resources on school Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The project will coordinate efforts among a variety of stakeholders in cooperation with EPA’s Center of Expertise for School IPM to compile all resources related to school IPM including IPM tools and educational materials. Online courses for school IPM coordinators, administrators, teachers, custodians, food preparation staff, grounds personnel, school nurses, and office staff will also be incorporated. Mobile apps will also be developed to put school IPM information into the hands of school employees as they work away from their computers. The hub for school IPM materials is projected to assist 1% of school districts nationwide within three years of completion, and to grow to impact all schools nationwide, reaching more than 49 million children.
EPA recommends the use of IPM in schools as the standard for pest control and promotes its adoption through outreach, demonstration, technical support, and grants. Through this project, EPA is meeting the need for: easily accessible information on school IPM and education.
To collaborate with a coalition of partners to enhance the adoption of verifiable school IPM in the United States through the development of an information repository for school IPM.
Programs & Activities
Information Gathering and Knowledge Transfer: Compile all educational materials and training resources related to school IPM and all publications that provide documented business and human health benefits of school IPM. The website will host school IPM tools such as the iPest Manager, School IPM Calculator, work order resources, pest management bidding resources, and pesticide resources. Region-specific information on key pests, sample documents on verifiable IPM, and a list of experts available to provide direct technical assistance to schools will be made available. Smartphone apps will be developed as an efficient way of distributing this information to school officials.
Outreach: The information warehouse will be advertised through e-mail, mailings, web postings, conferences, and training.
- Increased school IPM adoption in US schools nationwide
- Healthier schools due to lower levels of pest related allergens, fewer pests, less pesticide use and reduced absenteeism
- Lower pest management costs, lower heating/cooling costs, and higher daily attendance (which can result in increased school funding in certain states)
- Reduced pesticide use and environmental contamination, and when pesticides are used, lower toxicity products are chosen