Cockroach Infestations Call for Better Pest Management in Elementary Schools

Even a seemingly clean elementary school can easily become infested with cockroaches. Depending upon the type of pest control program that a school has in place, it may be difficult to detect the extent of a problem before it’s too late.

Roach Infestations Run Rampant in Elementary Schools

Just take the case of a 2011 cockroach infestation that affected more than two dozen schools in Florida. The pest infestation became so severe that students in one school were forced to eat lunch outside in a tent instead of using the school cafeteria.

In this case, many parents were skeptical of the type of pest control program that was implemented at the school. Although school officials said that a German cockroach infestation spread quickly and without warning, many parents felt that more could have been done to prevent such a serious pest problem.

After extermination, the maintenance staff chose to watch carefully for signs of roaches and used baits versus sprays to protect kids from pesticide exposure. Staff members were also trained more thoroughly in pest control practices to help with pest management, especially in cafeterias.

How to Deal with a School Wide Pest Infestation

To prevent an outbreak of this kind, the best form of pest control starts with sanitation. School facilities are normally considered to be clean environments to protect the health and wellbeing of young children.

Still, many schools can benefit from stricter sanitation protocols to keep pesky pests under control, like:

  • Deep cleaning of food prep areas, especially hard-to-reach locations.
  • More thorough trash management.
  • Food storage in airtight containers.
  • Regular clutter removal.
  • Routine floor drain and vent maintenance.
  • Quick repair of water leaks.
  • Sealant for holes, gaps, and cracks in the building.

Training staff members to better recognize areas where pests could enter a building is one step in the right direction. In both daycare centers and elementary schools, high-risk areas for an infestation include dumpsters, teachers’ lounges, kitchens and food prep areas, maintenance closets, classroom snack areas, and locker rooms.

School cafeterias should stick to strict sanitation guidelines to meet local health requirements. Yet in a school that has already experienced a pest outbreak, further precautions may need to be taken to empty out trash cans regularly, wipe up areas of standing water, and store food in pest-proof containers.

Staff members can pitch in and do their part to keep pests out by cleaning up and properly storing food in breakrooms, classrooms, and other snack areas.

Where to Find the Best Elementary Schools in Austin

Choosing the best elementary school in your area can seem like a daunting task, and for good reason. You want to select a well-rounded school that your child will actually enjoy attending for the majority of the year. On top of that, you want your child to have the best opportunities available in the public school system to support their academic progress. Where should you begin?

3 Guidelines to Assess an Elementary School

While word-of-mouth referrals may point you in the direction of the right school district in Austin, you can use these criteria to narrow down your selection in an elementary school:

  1. Visit on a school day. If you want to see how a school functions in all areas, plan a pop-in visit on a standard school day. Any elementary school should be happy to allow you to watch teachers in a classroom to see how kids interact with one another and their teacher. Observing the classroom is key since that is the place where your child will spend the most time.
  2. Don’t get hung up on standardized test scores. Good test scores can indicate that an elementary school is focused on education, but it can also mean that a school is teaching how to take a standardized test. In addition to good test scores, an elementary school should have a complex, diverse curriculum for all students.
  3. Go with your gut. If you have your heart set on a neighborhood in Austin and like the elementary school in your district, there may be no reason to look any further. If the elementary school provides an environment for your child to thrive and make friends, then it will serve its purpose in furthering their development.

Where Are the Best Elementary Schools in Austin?

According to GreatSchools.org, there are several elementary schools in the Austin area that are highly rated:

  • Barton Creek Elementary: Rated at a 10, the school serves 536 public students. Parents review both the school and teachers as “excellent.”

 

  • Barton Hills Elementary: Rated at a 10, the school serves 390 public students. Parents rate principal leadership and teacher quality at four stars.

 

  • Bee Cave Elementary: Rated at a 10, the school has 747 public students. Parent reviews confirm that teachers at the school foster a love of learning.

 

  • Canyon Creek Elementary: Rated at a 10, the school has 474 public students. Parents rate teacher quality, principal leadership, and parent involvement at five stars each.