SPN: Save the date for future trainings and more

In the fast-changing world, we are living in I am going to devote this newsletter to a variety of resources and upcoming trainings to help you navigate through these difficult times.

Over the summer, Shelly Branstetter, Membership Services Manager, TASB Facility Services; Joanie Arrott, Risk Prevention Services Manager, TASB Risk Management Services and I have been distance meeting to see how our groups can help better support you our clients. On Tuesday, September 10, 2020 from 8:00 AM to 9:00 AM we will host our first webinar – Your COVID-19 Cleaning and Disinfecting Playbook. Sanitary facilities, equipment, and commonly touched surfaces reduce the spread of not only COVID-19 but also seasonal illnesses such as flu. During this webinar, our experts from TASB and the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service will tackle cleaning and disinfecting public spaces, plus safe chemical management, during the COVID-19 outbreak. There will be a 30-minute question and answer period, we ask you to submit your questions when you register by emailing facilities@tasb.org and providing the following information:

  • Name
  • Title
  • Organization
  • Questions for the experts

While this is the first session, our goal is to hold these sessions at least monthly until December in hopes to help you still “meet” with your fellow IPM coordinators, facility managers, custodial staff and others that help support schools being open.  Our team knows it is YOU and YOUR staff that help keep the doors open pest and pesticide free, which includes your cleaning programs now. Be sure to reach out to the facilities@tasb.org email with your questions and to register for the Sept. 10th event.

School IPM Coordinator

This important training will still happen this fall in person at two locations. To attend these classes, you will need to register and follow social distancing COVID-19 precautions. This means participants will be required to wear a face covering during the class and be spaced out. This means we will be capping these classes so register early. At the same time, these courses will offer CEU credit for structural pest control and those with a 3A license as well, so make sure you enter your license number when you register.

Location: Address Dates 
Houston Area:  Conroe ISD 601 W Lewis St Conroe TX 77301 September 30 & October 1, 2020
Ector County ISD: ECISD Training Center  701 N. Vine Street, Odessa, Texas 79763  October 21 & 22, 2020

To register for one of these courses visit our conference services website at https://agriliferegister.tamu.edu/  Keyword: School IPM

Class time is 8:30 am to 5:00 pm a box lunch and snacks will be provided.
Advanced Cost: $210 for both days, $135 for one day only
Day of Event Fee $240 for both days, $155 for one day

Insect Identification

Did you know that AgriLife Extension Department of Entomology offers an Ask the Entomologist section? You can check out our digital image library to compare what you have with an image, find many of our factsheets, or you can upload an image for diagnostics. Check out this website https://askanentomologist.tamu.edu/ and be sure to bookmark for future reference.

Training for school staff on proper cleaning procedures.

This is a reminder that the OSHA Haz Com standard applies to workers, as does the respirator standard when an employee is required to use a respirator (including N95 filtering facepiece respirators) in some aspect of their job. Texas School fall under a requirement for all Texans to be trained when using chemicals, this includes cleaning

A new NIOSH webpage, Hazard Communication for Disinfectants Used Against Viruses, provides information on health hazards that could be caused by cleaning products and disinfectants. Also included are recommendations for barriers and respiratory protection that workers can use to protect themselves from these hazards. More at https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/disinfectant/default.html

Review EPA Guidance on Indoor Air and COVID-19

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a new website addressing indoor air and the coronavirus, including information about ventilation and HVAC systems. The EPA also has a list of frequently asked questions.

Additional COVID resources provided by the National Pesticide Safety Education Center (NPSEC) and National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC) in effort to have everything in one place.


Finally, the American Federation of Teachers held a webinar earlier this month.  The slidedeck link will take you to the recorded webinar that you can share with your staff.  

 “Cleaning and Disinfecting in Schools During a Pandemic” was held on August 12th.  This was their first webinar in their Road to Reopening Schools designed to discuss promising nuts and bolts strategies for a return to brick and mortar school buildings based on the best available and most current scientific evidence, as outlined in AFT’s ”Reopening School Buildings Safely” recommendations. This report, details the very basic conditions needed to open schools,-critical safety and health guidelines, and instructional considerations. For this four-part series, we will be joined by local leaders, district administrators, and experts in their respective fields.  

If you missed the live session, you can access our first webinar on Cleaning and Disinfecting on demand here: https://event.on24.com/wcc/r/2563524/BE6CF9C04A945B5BE815E69B2B2A2B8F.   Below is the description and list of guest speakers for this program.

Cleaning and Disinfecting

The goal of this webinar was to provide the latest information on the appropriate process for cleaning and disinfecting during the pandemic, why is it important and where does it fit in the interventions to keep students and staff safe. Discussion will include the steps to achieve disinfection and sanitizing during a pandemic, the elements of a cleaning and disinfecting protocol and the roles and responsibilities of staff and students in the cleaning and disinfecting process.

 Guest Speakers were:

Lynn Rose has worked for approximately 30 years in K-12 schools developing and implementing environmental health and safety (EHS) systems for all school departments.  In addition to her work on green cleaning and infection control in schools, Lynn has also worked on issues such as indoor air quality and the reduction of the use of toxic chemicals.  She has been recognized for this work through awards from EPA, the Massachusetts Dept of Public Health, Harriet Hardy Award from Western MassCOSH, etc. Her most recent award was from the National Pollution Roundtable for 2019 Educator of the Year.

Shari Obrenski is the newly elected President of the Cleveland Teachers Union. Shari is a proud public school advocate, having graduated from a public high school in her hometown of Jefferson, Ohio, as well as earning her B.S.Ed. from Miami University (Ohio) & her M.Ed. from Cleveland State University. Prior to becoming CTU President, Shari was an American History and Government teacher at Jane Addams Business Careers Center in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. She also serves at the 1st Vice President of the Ohio Federation of Teachers.

Eric Gordon is the Chief Executive Officer of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District and has served in this position since June of 2011. He is responsible for the leadership and daily management of Cleveland’s 37,000-student school district.  Now in his ninth year as CEO, Mr. Gordon is the longest serving superintendent of the Cleveland Public Schools in over forty years

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