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Complying with the Healthy Schools Act

The Healthy Schools Act establishes requirements for school districts when pesticide applications are made at California public K-12 schools. Below is a step-by-step guide that school IPM coordinators and administrators can follow to meet the requirements of the law:

  1. Identify an IPM Coordinator. This person will ensure the district meets the requirements of the law.
  2. Develop an IPM plan using the DPR template. Post the IPM plan to the school or district Web site, or, if no Web site exists, include it with the annual written notification.*
  3. Notify all parents and school staff of pesticides expected to be used during the coming year.*
  4. Give all parents and school staff the opportunity to register to receive notification of individual pesticide applications. Notify registered parents and school staff at least 72 hours before each pesticide application.*
  5. Starting July 1, 2016, and annually thereafter, the IPM Coordinator and everyone applying pesticides must complete a DPR-approved school IPM training course prior to applying any pesticide (including disinfectants such as bleach).
  6. Post warning signs around the application area 24 hours before pesticide applications and keep signs posted for 72 hours afterward.*
  7. Keep pesticide use records on site for 4 years.*
  8. Submit pesticide use reports to DPR annually for all applications made by school employees.*
    Do not report pesticide use by contracted pest management professionals.
  9. Check if pesticides are prohibited for use in schools and child care centers in English, PDF (50 kb) or En Español, PDF (53 kb).

* Exemptions may apply to these requirements. See the Exemptions from the Healthy Schools Act section below.

For a more detailed, printer-friendly version of this step-by-step: Healthy Schools Act Requirements English, PDF (134 kb) or  En Español, PDF (125 kb)

Exemptions from the Healthy Schools Act

The Healthy Schools Act does not require an IPM plan, notification, posting, recordkeeping, or reporting when the following pesticide products are used:

  • Self-contained baits and traps
  • Gels or pastes used for crack-and-crevice treatments
  • Antimicrobials
  • Products listed as "minimum-risk" pesticides by the U.S. EPA

Training is always required when any pesticides are used.

HSA Exempt Products Flowchart, PDF (319 kb) - The Healthy Schools Act exempts some products because they are reduced risk or used for health and safety purposes. Use this flow chart to help determine if you’re using a lower risk product!

Healthy Schools Act Compliance Kit

To make it easier for school districts to meet the requirements of the Healthy Schools Act, DPR created Healthy Schools Act Compliance templates and sample forms.

Choosing Least Hazardous Pesticides

With heightened awareness of pesticide used at schools, you are likely to receive more inquiries on the safety of particular products. DPR created the School Integrated Pest Management Health and Environmental impacts LookuP Resource (School IPM HELPR) to help you choose the least hazardous, effective treatment for your pests.

Contracting with a Pest Management Professional

If your school contracts a pest management professional for all or part of its pest management activities, you should make sure to include IPM practices in the contract. Note that beginning July 1, 2016, anyone hired to apply pesticides must complete a DPR-approved school IPM training course prior to applying any pesticides at a school.

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