Walla Walla Public Schools
Walla Walla, WA
IPM STAR Certified 2012-2014
August 7 , 2012
Walla Walla Public Schools has earned IPM STAR certification 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.
Walla Walla’s school IPM program was started in 2002 by facilities director Dan Johnson and secretary to facilities support Britt Adkins in response to the Washington State Posting and Notification Law. “We are proud to have an IPM program in our district and believe it helps keep our staff and students in a safer environment,” says IPM coordinator Cindy Cutlip.
The IPM program monitors chemical usage throughout school buildings. “We have some students allergic to certain chemicals, so in our IPM program application notification is key to help avoid exposure to something they might have an allergic reaction to,” says Cutlip.
Children are more vulnerable to pesticides than adults. Pound for pound, they consume more air, water and food, and have more contact with walls and floors where pesticide residue may build up. At Walla Walla, no pesticide applications are made when children are present and pesticide application notices are posted 48 hours in advance.
Pesticide applications are only made after detection of a verifiable pest problem and accurate identification of the pest. When pests are reported, custodians inspect first then submit a work order. Many reports are caused by sanitation issues such as food in classrooms. “Most of the time we use soapy water to clean up ant infestations,” says Cutlip.
The IPM program serves Walla Walla’s 6297 students and 850 staff. The system includes six elementary schools, two middle schools, one high school and one alternative school. Two grounds men are in charge of one million square feet of buildings and 125 acres of property.
IPM STAR certification is presented by the IPM Institute of North America in partnership with the US Environmental Protection Agency Pesticide Environmental Stewardship Program.