WASHINGTON - Bed bugs have popped up at another D.C. elementary school. This time, Miner Elementary School in Northeast D.C. is being affected by the pests.
This comes after about a bed bug and rodent problem at Savoy Elementary School caused D.C. Public Schools to close the school last week and temporarily relocate the students for cleaning of the building.
A D.C. Public Schools spokesperson said there were three instances that happened on Feb. 9, 14, and 15 where bed bugs were found students' clothing at Miner Elementary. The school district does not believe there is a widespread problem of bed bugs at the school. At this point, the school has not been shut down.
D.C. Public Schools spokesperson Michelle Lerner said in a statement:
"We are actively communicating with families and school staff about the three incidents (Feb. 9, Feb. 14, and Feb. 15) of bed bugs found on individuals at Miner Elementary. School staff immediately reported all incidents of bed bugs found and custodians are verifying that the spots around the incidents don't require further cleaning. Today, the DCPS operations and wellness teams met with staff at Miner Elementary to go over the protocol for identifying and reporting potential pests."
"We're continuing to monitor the situation, but we don't believe that this is a widespread infestation."
Miner Elementary School principal Andrea Mial sent home this letter to families:
"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."
However, FOX 5 was contacted by staff members from Miner who believe bed bugs are a big problem there. They said the school has had a bed bug issue since January. On Thursday night, FOX 5 did see a pest control service vehicle parked in the parking lot at Miner.
Since news came out Thursday about the bed bugs at Miner, a concerned parent contacted FOX 5 saying a staff member at Stanton Elementary School in Northeast told them there was bed bug issue as well. We reached out to D.C. Public Schools about this, but they would not confirm if there was a case of bed begs at that school.
On Thursday, Savoy Elementary School said it will reopen on Feb. 27 after thorough cleaning and installation of new carpeting at the school.