Per the guidelines published in 2004 by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, children who have had a head lice treatment “should not be excluded from school if nits are present (“no-nit” policies are discouraged). Nits found on the hair shaft more than a quarter inch from the scalp are likely already hatched or dead.” Since this is not a mandate but rather a recommendation, some schools are looser with respect to head lice admission guidelines and some schools are stricter and do not allow students with nits (lice eggs)back into school. While the American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended that schools eliminate “no nit” policies, that is just a suggestion. It is up to the individual school districts or cities or even states to mandate what the school head lice policy is. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment states that it doesn’t regulate lice policies on K-12 public schools, only preschools and daycares; however, it makes recommendations to school districts about how cases of head lice should be managed.
Colorado State Recommendation
The Colorado state recommendation is as follows: parents are notified that lice were found in a child's head in their child’s classroom and are sent information about how to identify and treat lice. The recommendation goes on to say that infected students should be removed from the class until after the first round of treatment.
Colorado Springs School District
Colorado Springs insists that children with head lice remain at home until after treatment. “A student who contracts a contagious disease or condition, such as conjunctivitis (pink eye), chicken pox, ringworm, impetigo, or pediculosis (head lice) will be sent home from school and must remain home until the condition or disease is corrected.”
Related link: www.d11.org
Liberty Hill School District
This district expects nits to be removed before the child can return to school. "The school nurse will check any student reported by staff to possibly have lice. Scratching or a tingling sensation on the scalp is an indication of infestation. If active lice or nits (eggs) are found, the parent will be notified to pick up their child. The student may return to school after initial treatment is completed and nits have been removed. What should I do if I think my child has head lice? Treatment should only be considered when there are live lice or viable eggs seen. An egg seen about ¼ inch or less from the scalp is most likely not dead. This means that live lice could still be living somewhere on your child’s head."
More information: lheslibertyhill.sharpschool.com
If your child has head lice, check with the school nurse as to what the most recent school lice policy is. Districts update their school lice policies from time to time.