In the Worcester area, as with many areas, school head lice policies are left up to the individual districts. Some districts have "no nit" policies, which prohibit children with lice eggs from returning to schools. Other schools have more lenient policies and allow children to return to school with nits, but not with live lice. The Massachusetts Department of Education makes no recommendations regarding admission policies to school districts. The site simply says, "Many school departments and child care sites require that children be free of nits before returning to school. These policies vary from school to school, and parents should be familiar with their own school’s or day care’s head lice policy. The American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend “no nits” policies because they have not been shown to be effective in controlling head lice transmission."
Worcester Public Schools
Worcester schools ask parents to keep their children home if there are live lice present in the hair. The web site advises, "Because our students are in close contact with one another during the school day, diseases spread easily though the school. When to keep your child home...If your child has live head lice." Related Links: http://nursing.worcesterschools.org
Marlborough Public Schools
Marlborough School District maintains a strict "no nit" policy, which bars students from school until all lice eggs (nit) have been removed. The policy is as follows: "Pediculosis (head lice) – Child may return to school after treatment and after nits have been removed. Student must be checked by the school nurse before re-entry to school." Related Links: http://www.mps-edu.org/
Northborough/Southborough Public Schools
This district has a lenient head lice policy in keeping with recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and the American Association of Pediatrics. The policy states, "In the privacy of the health office, school nurses will provide assessment, teaching, and monitoring of students in order to minimize the spread of pediculosis in school. Communication and education of staff and parents/guardians will be utilized to diminish the risks of reinfestation. If there are more than two positive cases of pediculosis in the classroom, the school the nurse will send a letter home to parents/guardians. This letter will educate parents/guardians about pediculosis and explain how to assess and monitor their child. When head lice is confirmed:
- Parent/guardian will be notified and information regarding head lice and treatments will be provided. The student does not need to be dismissed and may stay in school for the remainder of the day.
- The student will remain at home until he/she has received appropriate treatment and all evidence of live lice are absent from the head, and there is a significant reduction in the number of nits (eggs).
- The school nurse will communicate to other school nurses in the district the need to assess siblings for evidence/presence of lice.
- The school nurse will check close friends as she deems necessary.
- The student must be examined by the school nurse upon his/her return to school.
- The school nurse will re-inspect the student within 7-10 school days."
School lice polices sometimes get updated. LiceDoctors recommends that if you find head lice in your child, please call the school nurse. She will be able to advise you on what the most up-to-date school head lice policy is for your district.