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Writing an IPM Policy for Your School District Webinar Report

Writing an IPM Policy for Your School District is part of a series of school Integrated Pest Management (IPM) webinars hosted by EPA’s Center of Expertise for School IPM, was presented on, November 10, 2015. You can view a recording of the webinar presentation. Included here is information on the presenters and responses to questions and comments.

On this page:


  • Kenneth McPherson, School IPM Coordinator, EPA Region 6 (South Central)
  • Seth Miller, Ph.D., Assistant Superintendent, Westville (Illinois) School District
  • Mervin Brewer, Assistant Custodial Supervisor, Salt Lake City (Utah) Schools

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Policy Resource Links

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Questions and Answers

  1. As an administrator was it hard to get buy-in from the front line staff (custodians/kitchen helpers) when you implemented IPM?

    (S Miller) We focused on employee health -safer work environment and trying to make their job easier to accomplish that- and we got a chance for them to hear and recognize what they already know to be true- sometimes the teachers/administrators are slobs as well and need to help contribute to overall building cleanliness.

  2. Have you found IPM to be more expensive to implement to manage pests than before you implemented the program?

    (S Miller) We've stayed cost neutral. We still utilize pest control operators, but we use them more to monitor and diagnose issues as opposed to only applying pesticides. We have invested a little bit to help improve structural conditions - calk, shelving, concrete pads for dumpsters, but we also benefit from healthier environment and potential for greater student attendance which can translate to more attendance based funding.

  3. As an administrator what are the best benefits you've noticed since implementing IPM?

    (S Miller) Healthier schools for students and staff, recognizing staff that don't always get recognized, and also creating a culture that the learning sanitation in the school environment is a shared responsibility- administrators, teachers, front line workers, and students.

  4. Can you suggest good on-line resources for the 6-8 hours of recommended training for the IPIM Coordinator?

    (K McPherson) The first recommendation is to reach out to your State Agriculture Extension Program. Many states with existing laws associated with pesticide safety and IPM in schools already have existing requirements and platforms for IPM coordinator training. Use your internet search engine and type in School IPM Training and your state to find your local contact and requirements. That way, you can receive specific training associated with applicable laws to your state. Other online resources are located in the resource section of this document.

    EPA has partnered through several national grant initiatives with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension and the University of Arizona to develop School IPM resources and training materials.

    (M. Anderson): Thanks Ken for bring that up. We invite our audience to join us on January 26 for our webinar on Stop School Pests and iPestManager grantee webinar. The Stop School Pests presenters will describe and take you to the newly developed free School IPM program for on-line school job specific training and testing. This program is a part of the school IPM toolbox that we are developing and will be available for on-demand viewing shortly after the presentation at:

  5. Is the EPA going to make School IPM mandatory nationwide?

    (K McPherson) No. A National mandate for school integrated pest management would require Congressional update to the Federal Insecticide Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), which regulates EPA’s activities associated with pests and pesticides, or the passing of a new law. We encourage states, tribes and the community to adopt the principles of IPM in order to protect human health and the environment, reduce the reliance of pesticides, and address the reasons you have pests. We recommend that you research your state’s codes and laws associated with the use of pesticides and more specifically school IPM, and contact the appropriate state agencies that are charged with those codes/laws and/or provide consult and training on them.

  6. Where is a good source of Promo materials, posters etc. to help educate out teachers, students and staff on IPM?

    (M Anderson) Again, check out the January 26 for our webinar on Stop School Pests and iPestManager grantee webinar. The iPestManager portion of the program brings you to school IPM resources accessible through both your computer and through an APP in your smart phone. This program is a part of the school IPM toolbox that we are developing.

  7. Can you suggest strategies to convince teachers to get rid of their clutter in the classroom?

    (M Brewer) I use a presentation board when I speak in Faculty meetings. This board has a bag of M&M’s, a coffee cup with residue in the bottom, a semi clean fork, and a (fake) potted house plant glued to it. This represents a lot of Teachers desks. I then hit it with my ultra-violet light. I have painted several spots on the board including the fork and cup with florescent yellow paint. It simulates the urine trails left by mice. This really gets their attention.

  8. Can you tell us what USCMA is and who can join this group?

    (M Brewer) Utah Schools Custodial Managers Association. We are a groups of Custodial department level Managers and Administrators who have formed a coalition to exchange information, best practices, policies, chemical and equipment evaluations to learn from each other and help enhance each other’s departmental goals. Any public school Custodial Manager from Head Custodian to Administrative level is welcome to join. We hold an annual educational conference.

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Upcoming School IPM Webinars

We welcome your participation in our upcoming webinars and ask you to encourage your peers to attend. These presentations are geared specifically to school and school district facility managers, buildings and grounds managers and staff, childcare facility managers, and school IPM practitioners. School nurses, school administrators, health officials, and pest management professionals are welcome to attend.

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