Nearly 40 South Florida schools receive 'unsatisfactory' on health inspection

Public, private schools ordered to clean up before re-inspections

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Local 10 News has learned that close to 40 South Florida schools received an "unsatisfactory" on a Department of Health food service inspection since the beginning of this year.

From public to private, many schools were ordered to clean and sanitize.

While all of the schools were re-inspected and passed, parents are upset that they weren't informed.

The Miami-Dade County Public School District claims all inspections are posted on a schools' websites for parents to see.

In fact, by law, schools are required to post inspections.

While many of the violations involve minor issues, there were a handful of schools that had roach and rodent issues.

In March, staff at Thomas Jefferson Middle School was ordered to: "eliminate rodent activity, remove fresh and old rodent droppings from floors and non-food contact surfaces throughout kitchen and clean and sanitize all surfaces of rodent activity."

The school is located at 525 NW 147th St. in Miami.

When Local 10 News cameras were at the school last week, we saw an exterminator preparing six rodent bait stations and taking them into the school.

"Wow!"  said a parent who was waiting to pick up his son. "I wouldn't expect this from a school."

Outside Jesse J. McCrary Jr. Elementary School, parents were surprised when Local 10 News investigative reporter Jeff Weinsier showed them a March inspection.

"Oh my fricken God," one parent said.

McCrary Elementary is located at 514 NW 77th St. in Miami.

The March inspection ordered staff to "remove fresh rodent droppings from kitchen floors and provide pest control to eliminate rodent activity."

Parents said unlike a restaurant, kids have no choice and have to eat in the cafeteria.

The Florida Department of Health said school cafeterias are rarely ordered shut  and that it's up to the discretion of the inspector. The department said schools are generally put on notice and re-inspected.

"Miami-Dade County Public Schools exercises great diligence to ensure schools provide a clean and healthy environment for students and employees." MDCPS spokeswoman Daisy Gonzalez-Diego said. "Inspections of buildings and school food service areas are routinely conducted and deficiencies are immediately addressed."

The school district said both schools have passed re-inspection.

"We face a unique set of challenges with the tropical climate and humidity of South Florida," Gonzalez-Diego said.

Meanwhile, students at a private school in the county said they had no idea that their were issues inside their cafeteria.

"It's an expensive school. I wouldn't think that would happen," one Miami Country Day School student said while on his way to lunch off campus.

According to an inspection earlier this year, Miami Country Day was ordered to "remove fresh rodent droppings in a food service storage room. Clean the floors and walls of mildew, debris and food particles throughout."

Food service is contracted out at Miami Country Day.

Imagine Charter School in Coral Spring also received an "unsatisfactory" earlier this year.

According to the inspection, staff was ordered to "remove mold and dead vermin from the interior of ice machine."

Live and dead roaches were found by an ice machine and roach excretions were found on a plug in the kitchen.

"The reality is we had a temporary problem that has now been corrected," Jacquelyn Vernon, director of Imagine Schools South Florida Region, said.

Below is a list of schools in Miami-Dade and Broward counties that have received an "unsatisfactory" in 2016.


*Holy Family Catholic School

*Palabre De Christian Academy

*Regan Educational Academy

*Miami Dade Community College North Lakeside Cafe

*American Christian School

*Mater Academy

*Good Shepard Catholic

*Thomas Jefferson Middle 

*Miami Country Day

*Ernest Graham Elementary  Satellite

*Miami Union Academy

*Trinity Christian Academy North

*World Mission of Jesus Christ Christian Academy

*Highly Inquisitive Education Prep School

*Jesse J. McCrary Elementary

*Miami Community Charter School


*Broward Charter West

*Deerfield Beach High School

*Imagine Charter School

*Montessori Institute of Broward

*Baldwin Academy

*Renaissance Charter School at Coral Springs

*Sharon School of Excellence

*Discovery Charter

*North Lauderdale Elementary

*Spencer James Academy

*Henry McNeal Turner Learning Academy

*Saint Coleman's School

*The Randazzo School

*City of Pembroke Pines Charter

*Lighthouse Christian School

*Somerset Academy of Wilton Manors

*Pathways Academy Charter

Click here to view the health inspections for schools in Miami-Dade County.

Click here to view the health inspections for schools in Broward County.