Updated on April 14, 2017
The Maine state government web site states that "There are no recommendations for exclusion from work or daycare due to a head lice infestation. National recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Association of School Nurses recommend that no healthy child be excluded from school due to head lice. In Maine each school district sets its own policy regarding lice and nits. Some school districts have a “no nit” policy and some do not." More information: www.maine.gov
Portland Public Schools
Portland schools have a relatively lenient policy with regard to head lice as follows: "In accordance with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Harvard School of Public Health, and the National Association of School Nurses regarding head lice infestations in school children, the following guidelines will direct our actions: 1. Children who are symptomatic (scratching persistently) will be referred to the school nurse. 2. The nurse will evaluate the case and take appropriate action, maintaining confidentiality for the child. 3. If the school nurse is not present, the student will remain in class and the school nurse will evaluate the student at the next available visit. 4. In the case of difficult individual cases, the school nurse will develop a plan with the student, the student’s family and other staff members as appropriate with a goal of limiting loss of class time." More information: oceanavenue.portlandschools.org (pg 9)
South Portland School Department
This district has dropped its "no nit" policy in accordance with recommendations from the aforementioned key medical associations. "South Portland School Department does not have a written policy about head lice, just as we do not have school committee policies on other specific health issues. We consult with our school physician and follow best practice guidelines which change for most health issues over time. Pediculosis is a health issue that should be handled by the school nurse, just like any other health problem.In the past, teachers often checked heads weekly, students were sent home if a nit (lice egg) or live lice were found and the student was not allowed to return unless their hair was nit-free. The new guidelines point us in a direction that will deal with head lice in a more reasonable way that will minimize loss of class time without resulting in increased incidence of head lice." More information: frankibrownelementaryschool MSAD #51 (Cumberland/North Yarmouth) Schools in this district expect children with an active case of lice to be sent home from school. The school does a head check on all classmates, a policy which has been discontinued in many other districts. "If your child is found at school with nits or lice, the nurse will contact you. We encourage you to pick up your child as soon as possible and to arrange for prompt treatment. To help with decreasing the spread of lice in schools, all students in the classrooms of reported cases are checked. Even if your child contracts headlice from camp, daycare, or some other source, it is important to inform your child's school nurse of the condition as we will do a discreet classroom check of all children and of any close contacts (such as siblings) to ensure that lice have not spread to other children." More information: www.msad51.org
School District RSU #14 Windham Raymond
This district has a relatively lenient policy allowing students found to have lice to remain in school until the end of the day. "Head lice are not a sign of poor hygiene and they do not transmit disease. Spread from one child to another can occur during direct head to head contact or by sharing of personal items such as combs, brushes, caps or helmets. They do not jump or fly. Head lice are an issue that we face every school year. We encourage you to examine your child’s head periodically to detect any evidence of lice. Please notify the nurse at your child’s school if you suspect your child has lice. Following best practice guidelines, if a student is found to have head lice the parent will be notified as soon as possible so that they can treat the child and belongings. (Please see Head Lice Guidelines) The student will go home at the end of the day unless the parent/guardian chooses to pick them up early. If there is more than one case of head lice in a classroom a letter will go home to the parents /guardians in that classroom so that they may monitor their children." More information: www.windham.k12.me.us
RSU23 Old Orchard Beach Schools
"If your child has a communicable disease such as chicken pox, impetigo, mumps, strep throat and/or a rash, he/she must be seen by a physician. Please let the school know if you find that your child has a communicable disease. The nurse will need to check the child after he/she receives the appropriate medical treatment before reentering school. The school nurse should be notified of head lice cases so that students in the child’s classroom can also be checked on that same day." More information: jamesonschool.webs.com
Great Falls Schools
"Regarding head lice, it is a good idea for parents to check their children's hair periodically throughout the year. Head lice crawl but do NOT jump, and may be spread by sharing hats, brushes, combs, hair accessories or other clothing, and via bedding materials during sleep-overs. If teachers notice a student head-scratching repeatedly, they will send the student to a school nurse to check, and the student's parent will be notified if head lice are found." More information: www.gorhamschools.org
Lake Region School District
The Lake Region has a stricter lice policy than other surrounding districts. "When head lice are discovered at school, parents are called and asked to remove the student until treated. Literature will be sent home with the student explaining both the treatment for head lice and proper care of the home environment. The letter, File Code JHCC-2, will be sent home to parents of all students in classrooms where head lice may have been discovered. Following treatment, the student may return to school, but will be checked again at school to be sure that no lice remain. To prevent further spread of head lice, other students (classmates, siblings, etc.) may also be checked. The school nurse will be responsible for training staff members in proper procedures, as needed. The school nurse may offer extra help to families with chronic infestations."
More information: lakeregionschools.org As each Maine each school district sets its own policy regarding lice and nits, and occasionally districts revise their policies, LiceDoctors recommends that patents call the school nurse to be sure that you have the most up to date lice policy.