Progress Being Made on Rat Problem

June 11, 2017

 

To the Editor

 

Thank you all for your patience and perseverance during our struggle with the rat infestation in the small piece of land adjacent to the parking lot. 

 

First, I again want to reassure you that the interior of our beautiful school remains clean and safe. Second, an inspection was done today, 6/8/17, by an inspector with the Department of Education, and the school passed that inspection — the inspector found no evidence of rats or other vermin/pests within the school. In addition, although the recent media attention to our school has been challenging for our staff, parents, and students, we took the steps we could to ensure that students’ privacy was protected while the media was at our school — including keeping students inside while the camera crews were in the vicinity with cameras focused on our school yard. 

 

Last week, we had a multi-agency inspection and walk-through, which included experts from the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the Department of Sanitation, the Department of Sustainability, and the Division of School Facilities. As a result of those meetings, the following steps have been, and are being, taken:

 

• Exterminators began work, which has resulted in a significant improvement.

 

• The DOE has begun construction on the land north of the cafeteria.

 

• The DOE construction team has removed the planters where the rats were burrowing; the nests have been removed. 

 

• The DOE will be installing pavement to prevent future rat burrowing, tunneling, and nesting. 

 

• We have received four bins from the Department of School Facilities within which to store food waste. This will prevent trash from sitting unprotected outside for extended periods of time. 

 

• The DOE exterminator will continue to come weekly to monitor bait stations.

 

As a result of the exterminators’ efforts, we are already beginning to see positive change, and we will continue to keep you updated as we learn more about what the inter-agency team recommends regarding our property.

 

Finally, I want to thank all of you for your continued support, concern, and patience. I know this situation has been frustrating and, for some, frightening, but I am confident we are on our way to overcoming this challenge.

 

Mandana Beckman

Principal PS/IS 217

 

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