Lexington School Lice Policy

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The Kentucky Department of Education and the Kentucky School Board Association back up recommendations by the American Pediatric Association, the Harvard School of Public Health and the National Association of School Nurses that schools drop their “no-nit” policies, so that children do not miss days of school because of lice or lice eggs (nits).

The reason behind this change in position is that the organizations mentioned above state that nits are not likely to hatch and become live bugs during school and that the nits are not contagious, and that the negatives of students missing school are greater than any risk of head lice transmission. Even with these recommendations in place, it is still up to individual school boards to make policies regarding admission to school with head lice or nits. You will observe below that districts around Lexington have varying head lice policies.

Lexington–Fayette County Schools

In keeping with recommendations from the above-cited medical associations, children with nits may remain in school. Children with live lice will be sent home to be treated and may return to school after treatment. Upon their return, students will be checked by the nurse. The district also focuses efforts on educating families about head lice. Follows is the district policy:

“School personnel shall actively pursue the prevention and control of head lice in the District’s schools by developing a consistent education, screening and follow-up program for all students. Principals and school personnel trained to identify live lice shall adhere to the following guidelines:

  1. When students are observed/reported to have live head lice any time during the school year:
    a. Playmates closely associated with the student and possibly siblings of the student that attend the same school may be checked for live lice, which are defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as crawling lice. In general, school-wide checks are not necessary.
    b. Parents of each student identified as having live lice will be contacted by a school/District representative advising them of the finding. Parents will be asked to pick up the child for treatment.
  2. Principals or school/District personnel shall offer parents of students identified as having live lice:
    a. Visual evidence of live lice in the student’s hair.
    b. Verbal and/or written information/direction for hair treatment and household procedures.
  3. In most cases, students should not be excluded from school. However, in all instances when personnel identify live lice, they shall confirm with the student and/or parent/guardian that the following have occurred:
    a. The parent/guardian has combed the student’s hair with an actual lice/nit comb or
    applied special lice killing shampoo on the same or next day.
    b. When the student returned to school after treatment, designated school personnel
    rechecked the student before s/he returned to the classroom. If live lice remained, steps 2 and 3 above were re-established.
  4. School personnel shall follow up with students found with a second and subsequent cases of live head lice to assure that:
    a. Prescribed medical treatment for live lice has been applied to the student’s hair no later than the next day.
    b. Any second application required is applied within the recommended time frame.
  5. The Superintendent/designee shall:
    a. Establish education/information programs on head lice control methods for school
    personnel, community members, students and parents.
    b. Provide each school with written materials on head lice control and prevention.”

More information: www.fcps.net

Richmond–Madison County Schools

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“Policy No. 14.03
Attendance Policy
Students may be excused from school with a written note from the parent/guardian for the reasons stated in the Madison County Board of Education policy 09.123. They are:
• Up to one full day will be EXCUSED for a diagnosis of head lice. After one day, absences are UNEXCUSED. Students must be cleared by a doctor, the Health Department, or school nurse before returning to school.”

More information: www.madison.k12.ky.us

Winchester–Clark County

Clark County schools maintain a more conservative stand; a “no nit” policy is in place. Students with nits will be sent home immediately to be treated and may return when all nits are gone.

“To address the head lice issue, the Clark County Schools in 1997 adopted a No-Nit Policy. Schools are to check students on a periodic basis. If students are found to have lice, parents are to be called immediately and the student is to be sent home that day. Upon returning to school, parents must show proof the child has been treated and is free of nits. Problems that continue to occur will be dealt with through other agencies.
Parents should be sure their child is free of communicable disease and is as healthy as possible. Children with communicable diseases should not attend school until a doctor has indicated they are well.

When cases of communicable diseases or conditions occur in the school population the principal will follow an established procedure to determine the proper course if action.”

More information: www.clarkschools.net

Montgomery County School District

Like Clark County, schools in Montgomery County maintain a “no nit” policy.

“DRAFT (11/11/13) Control of Head Lice in Schools. 09.213 AP.11

School personnel shall actively pursue the prevention and control of head lice in the District’s schools by developing a consistent education, screening and follow-up program.

  1. When students are observed/reported to have live head lice or nits any time during the school year, the following steps shall be taken:
    a. Playmates closely associated with the student and possibly siblings of the student that attend the same school may be checked for the presence of live lice and/or nits, which are defined by the Center for Disease Control as crawling lice. In general, school-wide checks are not necessary.
    b. Parents of each student identified as having live lice or nits will be contacted by a school/District representative advising them of the finding. Students having live crawling lice shall be excluded from school. The student shall wait for pick up in an area designated by the school principal.
  2. Principals or school/District personnel shall offer parents of students identified as having live lice or nits:
    a. Visual evidence of live lice or nits in the student’s hair.
    b. Verbal and/or written information/direction for hair treatment and household procedures.
  3. In all instances when personnel identify live lice or nits, they shall confirm with the parent/guardian the following:
    a. The parent/guardian shall comb the student’s hair with an actual lice/nit comb and/or apply special lice killing shampoo on the same or next day.
    b. Designated school personnel shall check the student for presence of live lice or nits before s/he rides the school bus or returns to the classroom. If live lice or nits remain, re- establish steps 2 and 3 above.
  4. Designated school personnel Family Resource/Youth Service Center staff shall follow up with parents of students found with a second and subsequent cases of live head lice or nits to assure that:
    a. Prescribed medical treatment for live lice was applied to the student’s hair no later than the next day.
    b. Any second application required was applied within the recommended time frame.
  5. The Superintendent/designee Community Education Coordinator shall:
    a. Establish education/information on head lice control methods for school personnel, community members, students and parents.
    b. Provide each school with written materials on head lice control and prevention.

Control of Head Lice in Schools (letter to parents)

Today, we found the presence of head lice and/or nits in your child’s hair. Please do not feel embarrassed, as we’re all susceptible to contracting head lice. Be assured, every effort was made to ensure your child’s confidentiality.

Lice spread by direct contact with an infested person or indirectly from personal items such as hats. Nits are brown or white eggs that attach to individual hairs before hatching into live insects. Nits, if not removed, may hatch resulting in a continuation of the problem. The school has provided the following general information to assist you in proper treatment for head lice.

Once you have completed treatment, including removing all live lice and nits, BRING YOUR CHILD TO SCHOOL so the SCHOOL NURSE or designated school staff can re-check his/her hair. No child will be permitted to ride the bus or return to the classroom without first being re- checked for the presence of lice.

STUDENTS MUST RETURN TO SCHOOL LICE AND NIT FREE. Thank you.”

More information: www.montgomery.k12.ky.us

Should you discover that child has lice, give LiceDoctors a call today at 859-721-1889 and we will ensure that your child can return to school. It is best to check in with your school nurse from time to time as districts occasionally revise their school head lice policies