Katy Independent School District
IPM STAR Certified 2011-2013
October 7, 2011
After passing a rigorous 37-point inspection, the Katy Independent School District has earned the IPM STAR certification, which evaluates school systems and childcare centers for Integrated Pest Management, or IPM – a common sense approach to solving pest problems with a minimum amount of pesticide use. Katy ISD’s IPM program began in 1995 and since then, the district has employed a proactive approach to IPM that relies on sanitation, exclusion and monitoring as the first line of defense for pest management.
The IPM team for one of the fastest growing districts in Texas and the country consists of Peggy Caruso, who has been the IPM coordinator since 2003, as well as Arnold Anderson, Mauricio Flores, Jose Vasquez, Lindsey Taylor, Alvin Clay, John Grider, and Vicente Islas. This large team of IPM coordinators and applicators is extremely organized and handles the pest management for more than 62,000 students and 7,655 staff in 52 schools and nine supporting facilities.
The organization of the IPM team is the key to their success. They have excellent inspection, monitoring and documentation that keep everyone on the same page with policies and procedures for pest management. “Our district is located in a rural and suburban area that has the potential for many types of environmental concerns,” says Sandy Scott, head custodian at the Katy ISD administrative offices and multi-purpose arena. “Due to the continued monitoring and evaluating, the IPM system in place at Katy ISD keeps everyone working in a clean and safe environment.”
The frequency and quality of Katy ISD’s communication, outreach and training materials is excellent. Inspections are used extensively, with detailed reports generated each year. These inspections discover pest conducive sanitation and exclusion issues that are immediately addressed to head off any potential pest issues. Their teamwork combined with a low tolerance for pests and high standards for sanitation and maintenance makes it a very effective IPM program.
“Katy takes great pride in the mentoring and education opportunities our IPM team provides to other Texas school districts,” says Kathy McDonald, executive director of maintenance and operations. “We believe sharing our knowledge and expertise helps motivate us in our mission to provide the healthiest environment possible for our students, staff and patrons.”
IPM STAR Certification is presented by the IPM Institute of North America in partnership with the US Environmental Protection Agency Pesticide Environmental Stewardship Program. The program has been introduced to Texas schools with the support and assistance of the Southwest Technical Resource Center and Texas AgriLife Extension Service.
– Prepared as part of the IPM STAR Certification process by the IPM Institute of North America for posting on its website with permission from Katy ISD.