The goals of the District Lice Policy are to:
1. Decrease absenteeism
2. Support families in their efforts to control and eliminate lice
3. Maintain student privacy
Current Lice Policy 5240.1
In accordance with AAP and NASN recommendations, the School District does not perform lice screenings on a regular basis. Students that are referred to the health office having nits or live bugs found on them will be allowed to remain in school. No students found having nits will be excluded from school. Students with live bugs must be treated prior to the return to school however. Due to the low incidence of school transmission, they will be allowed to remain in school on the day of discovery and may return as soon as treatment is started. In the rare occurrence of intense infestation, the School Nurse and District Physician may require the student start treatment prior to returning to class on the day of discovery. Determination of the need to start treatment immediately is determined solely by the School Nurse and District Physician. In rare cases of chronic or repeated infestation the Administration may require documentation of treatment by a physician prior to the return to school.
In order to support parents in understanding, identifying and eliminating head lice, the District will maintain informational resources on its web site related to the subject and provide parents of students found to have need of treatment with resources that include the life cycle, identification, prevention and treatment of head lice.
The District Superintendent may allow Parent Teacher Associations to sponsor lice checks up to three times during the school year. These checks are subject to regulations ensuring confidentiality, parent notification and the opportunity for parent opt-out.
Head lice (pediculosis capitis) are small, parasitic insects that live on the scalp and neck hairs of their human hosts. The presence of lice is, most often, detected through the presence of adult lice or nits (eggs) attached to the hair shaft of the host. Complications of infestations are rare and no disease is associated with head-lice. Head lice outbreaks have become common in schools and do not reflect upon a person’s living conditions or poor hygiene. Lice do not care if they are on a clean head or a dirty one and do not discriminate between classes. Although it is unlikely that lice will spread through classroom contact, they can be spread among school children through head to head contact or from personal items such as combs, brushes and hats that are shared. Most cases are acquired outside of school.
Currently, the American Academy of Pediatrics discourages the practice of wide-spread lice screening and rejects the exclusion of students infested with lice from school. These recommendations are based on research indicating that screening is ineffective and not cost effective. Further, the exclusion of students from class has more negative consequences for the academic and social emotional health of students than the relatively low risk of transmission of head lice. Ultimately, the AAP recommends that the best way to interrupt any lice problem is with regular checks by parents and early treatment with a safe, affordable, over the counter medication. To that end below are resources on the identification and elimination of Lice.
How to identify Nits and Lice (video)
Checking for Lice (video)