South Kitsap School District
Port Orchard, WA
IPM STAR Certified 2005-2007, 2011-2013
September 23, 2011
South Kitsap School District has earned IPM STAR recertification after passing a rigorous, 37-point inspection. IPM STAR 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. South Kitsap earned its initial IPM STAR certification in 2005.
The IPM program had its beginnings with Jim Beveridge, former facilities manager. Beveridge took a personal interest in IPM after hearing about it at meetings of the Washington Association of Maintenance and Operations Administrators in the mid-1990s. Mike Riley now acts as facilities manager dealing with day-to-day implementation of the program.
Eden Advanced Pest Technologies has provided structural pest control services for the past eight years. Pest management for school grounds, primarily weeds and stinging insects, is managed in-house with outsourcing only when needed.
Eden was selected because of its reputation for IPM. Some facilities, such as the central kitchen, are on a schedule of regular inspection and monitoring with sticky traps. Pest problems at other facilities are evaluated by South Kitsap staff, with Eden called in when needed. “Head custodians will call me if there is an urgent problem,” says Riley. “If the problem isn’t urgent, they’ll enter the request into our electronic work order system. By evaluating pest problems as they come up, we can decide if it’s something we can handle ourselves or if funds need to be spent to bring Eden in.”
Cost isn’t the only factor working to limit pesticide applications at South Kitsap. Although Washington State law no longer requires school districts to notify parents of potential pesticide uses at the beginning of the school year, South Kitsap goes above and beyond the requirement, notifying all students and staff. “We feel that the risk involved in missing someone who wanted to be notified isn’t worth it – so we notify everyone,” says Tom O’Brien, facilities director. “It’s burdensome to let everyone know, so we consider every potential pesticide application carefully and look for alternatives.”
The IPM program serves South Kitsap’s 10,653 students and 1186 staff. The system includes ten elementary schools, three junior highs and one high school, one alternative high school and five support buildings. The oldest building in the system dates to 1942.
IPM STAR Certification is presented by the IPM Institute of North America in partnership with the US Environmental Protection Agency Pesticide Environmental Stewardship Program.