JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - There are 190 public schools in Duval County.
All school grounds, including the cafeteria, are inspected three times a year. We went to the Duval County Health Department and pulled inspection reports for the last year and overall - the news is pretty good.
Of 190 schools, 168 are making the grade.
Only 22 received an unsatisfactory inspection last year for violations like equipement failure, roaches and rodents.
One of the worst rodent cases the district had to deal with was at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts. It's one of the oldest and one of the best schools in Jacksonville.
The school has been honored several times for providing top-notch music education. What may not be music to your ears, though, is what we found on the county inspection report. D.A. was given a "U" for unsatisfactory in April.
According to school officials rats got in during a recent roof renovation. Rats chewed through the speakers in one building, droppings were found in the girl's locker room, rats ate the carpet in one room and they even chewed a hole in column inside the media center. During our visit to D.A. we were met by a team of top school leaders, including Assitant Principal Tamara Tuschhoff.
Mrs. Tuschhoff told us they became aware of the problem when a student posted a picture of one of the rats on her Facebook page. D.C.P.S. service contracts manager, Wayne Atwood, tells us they are taking this problem very seriously. We asked him, "If I was a parent should I be concerned about rats in this school?" Atwood responded, "You have to be concerned with - what are we doing about it."
The school has brought in the district's integrated pest management team. They are baiting rats and trapping them so students are not exposed to pesticides. So far, it's working. According to the health department, Douglas Anderson passed a recent follow-up inspection.
In fact, most Duval County schools passed follow-up inspections. According to the information we pulled, out of 190 schools - only 4 currently have unsatisfactory scores and we've been told none of the violations at those schools are a threat to student health or safety.
Anytime a parent or student has a complaint about a school cafeteria or school grounds you can call the Duval County Health Department Environmental Health and Safety Division at 904-253-1280.