Another D.C. elementary school is dealing with bed bugs not long after a school in Southeast had to shut its doors because of an infestation.
Bed bugs were found on people three different times this month at Miner Elementary School in Northeast, D.C. Public Schools officials said. It is not known if the bugs were found on students.
"We’re continuing to monitor the situation, but we don’t believe that this is a widespread infestation," said a spokesperson for DCPS.
The DCPS operations and wellness teams met with staff at the school on Wednesday to go over protocols for identifying and reporting potential pests, the spokesperson said.
In early February, DCPS closed Savoy Elementary School in Southeast after rodents and bed bugs were discovered at the school. Savoy students have been going to class at a temporary location while officials handle the infestation issue.
Miner Elementary School students brought home the following letter to their parents Wednesday:
Dear Miner Elementary School Community,
Here at Miner Elementary School, it is my priority to ensure that all students and staff are safe and the school environment is conducive to teaching and learning. To keep you informed on how we are doing this on an ongoing basis, I want to share an update regarding routine maintenance and cleaning at our school.
Throughout the year, DC Public Schools (DCPS) proactively works with the Department of General Services (DGS) to prevent and treat any potential threat of pests (rodents, bugs, etc.) at all schools. DCPS and DGS work with school staff to identify the location of potential pests, complete a thorough inspection for entry points, fix any structural issues which may be a contributing factor, and bring in pest control services, including exterminators, if necessary. On a daily basis, the school custodian team is also committed to ensuring the building is thoroughly cleaned and free of unwanted waste that may attract pests.
We follow strict protocols when any pest is identified here. First, we immediately confirm the details of the sighting. For example: what was seen, when it was seen, and in what area of the school. Then, our custodial foreman will evaluate the area and complete necessary cleaning and maintenance. If necessary, we will schedule pest control services to treat any particular area or location. Finally, if multiple exterminations are required, a broader communication to families via letter, email, and ConnectEd/Robo is disseminated.
If the pest identified is a bed bug or lice, or another insect, it is the school nurse's role to identify, notify, and educate affected students, parents, and staff on next steps and available resources. Please note, students are not excluded from school for bed bugs or lice.
As we continue to monitor the school with our agency partners, and conduct routine maintenance and cleaning, the entire school community plays a role in keeping our school building clean and safe. From properly disposing of all trash and unwanted food to keeping food limited to designated eating areas, we can together reduce the likelihood of unwanted pests. We want to thank you for keeping our school building clean and safe for all.
Please reach out to me directly if you have any questions or if you’d like to report an issue in the school building or any concerns regarding your child’s well-being.