Updated on April 14, 2017
Minneapolis and surrounding areas are fairly consistent in their approach to head lice management; most schools in the area have adopted “no live lice” policies. What this means is that children with live lice are sent home to be treated. Once treated, the child is allowed back into school even if some nits remain in the hair. Citing recommendations by a variety of medical organizations including the American Association of Pediatrics, the National School Nurse Association, and the Centers for Disease Control, most schools in this area do not send kids home after treatment if nits remain (which is called a “no nit policy).
Minneapolis Public Schools
Minneapolis Public School District has a “no live lice policy” in place. Once treated child will be admitted to be school. The district emphasizes education provides information to parents on lice identification and treatment. On one school web site in the district the following is stated, “ “HEAD LICE: Occasionally during the school year, children become infested with head lice. Lice are communicable but do not spread disease. Anyone can get headlice, but they are often commonly spread by younger children who have more head to head contact. Sleep overs are another common setting in which head lice can be spread. Check your child's head frequently throughout the year. The most important part of getting rid of head lice is to make sure all of the nits or eggs are removed before they have a chance to hatch. If you suspect lice on your child (excessive itching of the scalp), send a note to the school health office so your child can be checked….Once your child has been treated at home for head lice, he/she will be admitted to class. ..An information sheet will be sent home. All parents will be notified if head lice is discovered in their child’s classroom. Related link: nsj.mpls.k12.mn.us At Dowling Elementary School the web site offers the following advice: “Periodically during the school year, children become infested with head lice. While lice are a nuisance, they do not spread disease. And please remember that anyone can get head lice. They are not fussy about whose head they live on and it does not mean that your child or your house is unclean. While school may be one source of head lice, it isn’t the only way that children can get them. Any close contact, such as during sleepovers, are another way in which head lice can be spread. Check your child's head frequently throughout the year, not just when a head lice notice comes home. ***The most important part of getting rid of head lice is to make sure all of the nits or eggs are removed before they have a chance to hatch.*** Contrary to what the lice products may claim, they do NOT kill all of the nits present, so the nits need to be manually removed, either with a lice comb (metal combs work best) or by picking them out.” Related Link: dowling.mpls.k12.mn.us
Minnetonka Public Schools
Minnetonka Public Schools also have a “no live lice” policy in place. The district emphasizes education and tells parents, “Management of head lice is primarily the responsibility of parents. The school follows Minnesota Department of Health/ Hennepin County Health Department guidelines to assist in the management/ control in school Related link: www.minnetonka.k12.mn.us
Saint Paul Public Schools
As with the aforementioned school district, Saint Paul also allows students into school once treated, but students with live bugs will be sent home. Related link: studentwellness.spps.org
Mounds View Public Schools.
Consistent with the above schools, the Mounds View Public Schools have a “no live lice policy”. The policy is stated on the web site as follows: Students may not be admitted to school “until treated at home and checked by school health staff.” . Related link: www2.moundsviewschools.org
Strict “No-Nit Policies”
Some districts maintain “no nit policies” against the advice of the key medical associations because they believe that allowing children into school will encourage the spread of lice. According to an article in the Star Tribune by Jeremy Olsen, the following districts have “no nit policies” in place: Faribault, Brooten, Isle, Pillager, Verndale, Menagha and Waubun-Ogema- White Eden Prairie, Osseo and Hastings so not have “no nit policies”, but say "when appropriate, schools may exclude until all nits are removed."
Most Lenient Policy
According to the article in the Star Tribune, “The Rochester school district is one of the few in Minnesota that allows children to stay in school after lice have been found in their hair. It decided two years ago that the harm of disrupting learning outweighed the risk that lice could spread, said Kathy Accurso, a student support services supervisor for the district." Kids are not going to be able to be successful in school if they're not there," she said.” Related link: www.startribune.com While the majority of schools in the Minneapolis area maintain “no live lice policies”, there is some variation. LiceDoctors recommends that parents check with their school nurse to be sure that you have your child’s school’s most up-to-date lice policy.