School IPM Implementation Resources
A healthy school environment is essential. All students and staff have a right to learn and work in a healthy school environment, safe from air pollution, radiation, sound and mechanical stress, and chemical exposures. - National Association of School Nurses
Schools, childcare facilities, and school-aged education or recreation programs can easily create their own Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programs in compliance with, or in the absence of, existing laws or regulations at the district, county, or state level. In most cases, though, school boards thoroughly support the idea of IPM and will issue a district-wide policy statement so all schools interested in participating in an IPM program can adhere to the same general rules and policies for IPM implementation. Each school district designs its own parameters for pest management, and individual schools design management programs tailored to their own needs and specifications.
As a first step in developing an effective IPM program, a school should consider creating a committee of administrators, teachers, and parents to:
- Coordinate procedures of pest management
- Facilitate communication between the school and pest application administrator
- Evaluate the progress and success of the pest management program
- Information on the business case for school IPM available in Saving Dollars and Making Sense: Keeping Bugs Out of the Classroom (PDF, 2 pp, 136KB)
- Model Pesticide Safety and IPM Guidance Policy for School Districts (PDF, 8 pp, 183KB) - Model guidance policy represents the US EPA recommendation for best management practices for the successful implementation of pesticide safety and Integrated Pest Management in K-12 schools.
- EPA’s Healthy School Environments Assessment Tool (HealthySEATv2) is an easy to use software program designed to help school districts evaluate and manage ALL of their environmental, safety and health issues.
- Protecting Children in Schools from Pests and Pesticides -- an EPA brochure which provides resources, success stories and examples of IPM practices for safer pest management within our Nation's schools. A copy of the brochure may be obtained on-line by contacting the National Service Center for Environmental Publications (NSCEP) or by phone at 1-800-490-9198. The EPA publication number is EPA-735-F-02-014.
- The popular EPA booklet, Pest Control in the School Environment: Adopting IPM is designed to encourage and assist school officials in examining and improving their pest management practices. It identifies ways to reduce the use of pesticides in school buildings and landscapes, as well as alternative methods of managing pests commonly found in schools. A copy of the booklet may be obtained on-line by contacting the NSCEP, or by phone at 1-800-490-9198. The EPA publication number is EPA 735-F-93-012.
- The National School IPM Information Source provides a wealth of valuable, free, useful information for school administrators, staff members, pest managers, and parents to start an IPM program.
Resource Centers for IPM in Schools and Day Cares provide tools, training
and technical support for schools and day care centers to start an
IPM program. Training opportunities, IPM principles, and specific management
are available for custodial and maintenance staff.
Texas A&M University's IPM Technical Resource Center - serves Texas, New Mexico, and Oklahoma, 1-877-747-6872.
- The video ABCs of IPM Training Series (SP-292) is designed to introduce IPM concepts and help school district personnel implement IPM programs. It is available from the Texas Agricultural Extension Service.
- Additional resources, including the fact sheet Read the Label First, are available by contacting NSCEP.
School IPM Success Stories
"Monroe County Indiana achieved a 92% reduction in pesticide use, enabling us to direct our cost savings to hire a district-wide coordinator to oversee pest management in the schools."
"In the Vista de las Cruces School in California, our pest management costs went from $1740 per year to $270 for two years."
"The Kyrene School District reduced pesticide applications by 90% and kept pest populations below 85% of our original levels by using IPM. Due to the overwhelming success, our IPM program was expanded to all the Kyrene district schools in spring 2001."
Some school districts choose to certify their IPM program. There are a few programs in the United States that recognize and reward school districts for implementing and sustaining IPM practices within their schools, such as EPA's Children's Environmental Health Excellence Awards and the Center for Health, Environment, and Justice's Green Flag Schools Program
If schools choose, they can apply for IPM STAR CertificationThe IPM Institute of North America's IPM STAR Certification Program recognizes and rewards schools, childcare and school-age child education and recreation programs that meet high IPM program standards. Schools working toward IPM STAR Certification receive:
- Assistance developing and maintaining an IPM program
- Evaluation of its pest management program
- Public recognition
- A list of certified IPM verifiers and managers
IPM in Schools Program contact information:
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW (Mail Code 7511P)
Washington, DC 20460-0001
Program Manager: Sherry Glick (email@example.com), 702-784-8276