Pest Management Update
Dear North High School Community,
I am writing to review the District’s approach to pest management. It is important to note that the New York State Education Department (NYSED) has very specific guidelines and regulations that guide school districts. Specifically, they prescribe an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) protocol that prioritizes the health and safety of students while balancing the use of pesticides to reduce pest populations to acceptable levels.
As mandated by NYSED, CCSD administers a comprehensive IPM program. In 2014, we asked Cornell University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences to do a review of our IPM program, specifically as it relates to North High School due to its unique building construction. The steam tunnels at North create a pest management challenge as they are small, dark and damp creating conditions conducive to pest propagation. Cornell has a cooperative relationship with NYSED and the Department of Environmental Conservation, and is a leading authority on the practice of IPM.
As confirmed by this Cornell review, our IPM process at North High School includes, among other things, weekly monitoring inspections and specific periodic chemical treatment of the steam tunnels. The chemicals meet the NYSED requirements for pesticide use in school buildings. As a result of our approach, the number of complaints to the building principal and custodial staff at North High School has been reduced. As stated above, due to the unique building construction at North, this will remain a challenge and require a continued focus on our IPM actions.
As many of you know, yesterday a photograph was posted on social media showing an athletic storage room which had several dead insects. It is likely they found their way into the room through an unused floor drain and died as a result of the IPM program. Subsequently, the drain has been sealed to prevent insects from entering the room and this room has been cleaned.
IPM will only succeed if the entire school community understands, supports, and consciously works to make the program a success. We appreciate your continued partnership.
Mr. Martin D. Cox
Superintendent of Schools