Schools, Pests, and Pesticides: What superintendents need to know

All public and private schools serving any grades K through 12 are required by State regulations to adopt an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach to preventing and controlling pests in buildings and grounds to protect students, staff and visitors from exposure to pesticides and health-threatening pests.

What superintendents need to know:

  • All schools must adopt an IPM policy.
  • A notice describing your school’s IPM program must be included in the school policy manual or student/parent and staff handbooks. Specific information is required.
  • A staff member must be appointed to serve as the IPM Coordinator responsible for overseeing your school(s)’ IPM Policy, specifically approving each pesticide application, and keeping records. This includes pesticides used at leased buildings and properties managed by other organizations if they are used primarily for school activities such as school athletics.
  • The IPM Coordinator’s name and contact information must be reported each year, preferably using the NEO staff reporting function.
  • The IPM Coordinator must complete an online training module and attend a training workshop. These workshops are offered free of charge by the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry. The link to the online training module, workshop schedule, and other resources and guidance is at www.maine.gov/schoolipm.The next IPM workshop will be held June 29 from 8:30-noon at the Educational Plant Maintenance Association Annual Conference at Waterville High School.

Important resources include the Maine DOE reporting calendar where districts can see when IPM items are due, and the Maine DOE staff report where districts can make sure the IPM coordinator name has been submitted.

For more information about school IPM, contact Kathy Murray at the Maine School IPM Program, Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry at kathy.murray@maine.gov, call 287-7616, or visit www.maine.gov/schoolipm.

For pesticide-related questions, contact the Maine Board of Pesticides Control at pesticides@maine.gov or call 287-2731.