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Anchorage School Lice Policy

Updated on March 18, 2020

Snow covered yellow school bus parked in a snowy parking lot with snow covered trees.


More information: In the Anchorage school district, children are allowed to stay in school until the end of the day if live lice are found. This is consistent with recommendations from the American Association of Pediatrics. The Anchorage schools lice policy is as follows: "Lice Policy

  1. Schools will not do scheduled school wide head checks during the school year. If a teacher or staff member detects head lice infestation of a student, he/she will be confidentially referred to the office to be checked by the nurse or trained personnel.
  2. Upon reasonable confirmation of live lice, the student’s parent and/or guardian shall be notified by either phone, email or by note sent home. The student shall not be isolated. The student will not be sent home, they are allowed to remain until the end of the school day.
  3. Bus privileges will not be denied. The child will not be isolated or singled out on the bus.

Several cases of head lice get reported at a variety of schools within the ASD, including Steller each year. Knowledge of a potential problem is key to prevention. Current research indicates that lice and their nits are becoming more resistant to available lice treatments. Re-infestation may occur if only one viable nit remains on the hair shaft. After treatment, nits are removed by scraping them off the entire length of the hair. Special fine-tooth combs are available, but it is common practice to “nit pick” through the hair after treatment to remove nits. Children with head lice must be treated and the nits must be removed from the hair to attend school. To help prevent the spread of head lice, shampoo hair regularly with ordinary shampoo and water, dry hair with a hairdryer and periodically check your child’s head. When nits are found, lice must be suspected and treatment is required is required. Do not share combs, towels, hats, pillows, or clothing."

Wasilla Schools

More information: Wasilla schools have a "no live lice"; students with only nits will not be sent home from school, but children with live lice can not stay. "If 3-4 students in one class are affected than all classmates will be checked according to policy. Head lice do not usually start at school, but sometimes we do find it in our schools. It is usually spread by close contact such as a sleep over, sharing coats or hats or combs or hair clips etc. The head louse is generally considered to inhabit only the hairy surface of the scalp and the hair. The insect is small (1 to 2 mm long) and varies in color, depending on the coloration of the human host. The eggs are grayish white, oval eggs and are called nits. The nits are firmly attached to the shaft of the hair very close to the scalp. Usually you will find these nits at the nape of the neck and behind the ears, but they can be anywhere close to the scalp. The School Districts policy states that a child must be free from all live lice before returning to school. If crawling lice are not seen, finding nits attached firmly within 1⁄4 inch of the base of hair shafts suggests, but does not confirm the person is infested. Students may remain at school if there is no presence of live lice. Head lice can be a nuisance but they have not been known to spread disease. Personal hygiene or cleanliness in the home or school has nothing to do with getting lice. In cases that involve head lice, as in all school health issues, the student’s privacy will be protected. If you suspect your child may have head lice and you need any help or have questions please feel free to call your School nurse anytime. See the attached AR5141.22(b) for further procedures involving head lice."

Grace Christian School

More information: (pg 15-16) This private school maintains a strict "no nit" policy. Students found to have nits will be sent home for treatment and will not be readmitted to school until they are nit-free. "COMMUNICABLE/CONTAGIOUS ILLNESSES Parents should not send their child to school if the child displays any of the following: Head lice Head lice are extremely contagious. Parents will be called to pick up their child immediately if the student is found to have head lice, or nits. The following protocol will be followed for those 16 students discovered to have lice at school:

  • No re-admittance to class until the school nurse has rechecked and cleared the student.
  • We have a no-nit policy. This means that if even one nit is found the student will be sent home to be treated. The student must be rechecked by the nurse upon returning to school."

Private school: Anchorage Montessori School

More information: This school also maintains a "no nit" policy. "Please keep your child at home on the days that they show one or more of the following symptoms and not bring them back to school until they have been symptom free for 24 hours: Chicken Pox, Impetigo, Lice, Scabies, Strep Throat; Staff members do a well-child check on each student every day." School districts modify their school lice policies from time to time. Call your school nurse to be sure that you have the most up to date school lice policy. If you do find that your child has lice, LiceDoctors can help you so that your child can return to school the next day. Call LiceDoctors in the Anchorage area at 907-290-2307 .