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Oak Ridge, Karns and Powell School Head Lice Policies

Oak Ridge, Karns and Powell School Head Lice Policies
Updated on 
February 20, 2020

Schools in Oak Ridge, Karns and Powell do not enforce strict head lice policies.


“No student shall be denied an education solely by reason of head lice infestation and his/her educational program shall be restricted only to the extent necessary to minimize the risk of transmitting the infestation.
It shall be the responsibility of the principal or school nurse to notify the parents in the event a child has pediculosis (head lice). A letter shall be sent home by the child to explain the condition, requirements for readmission and deadlines for satisfactory completion of the treatment.
Prior to readmission, satisfactory evidence must be submitted to school personnel that the student has been treated for pediculosis (head lice). This evidence may include but not be limited to:

  1. proof of treatment with a pediculicide product (head lice shampoo), or
  2. satisfactory examination by a school health official

Treatment and prevention procedures shall be developed by the superintendent of schools in consultation with the school nurse and distributed to all classroom teachers. These procedures shall also be distributed to the parent/guardian of any child that has pediculosis.
Any subsequent incidents of head lice for a student during the school year shall require submission of satisfactory evidence of treatment for head lice and be found free of lice by a school health official.
A student shall be expected to have met all requirements for treatment and return to school no later than two (2) days following exclusion for head lice. All days in excess of the allowable period shall be marked as unexcused absences and referred to the attendance supervisor at the proper time.”

Source: Oak Ridge Boar of Education



“No healthy child should be excluded from or allowed to miss school time because of head lice. Our goal is to support families and keep kids where they need to be – in school!

Pediculosis (head lice) represents a common communicable childhood condition. Head lice are acquired by direct contact, head touching head, and by indirect contact through sharing combs, hats and other hair accessories. Lice do not live on household pets or in the general environment. Nits (eggs) can’t survive without a host and will die within 6-20 hours; live lice will die within 24 hours without a food source. Head lice are not a serious medical condition so immediate action is unnecessary.

The average case of head lice is several weeks old before being detected. To immediately exclude a child from school cannot be justified from either a medical or social perspective and sends a negative message to the child. Screening of whole classrooms is never warranted and is not cost effective, nor has screening proven to have any effect on the incidence rate of head lice in schools. Routine education of all parents regarding the identification and management of head lice is helpful. The most effective screening is done by a parent.

Once live lice are discovered students may return to the classroom and be monitored by the classroom teacher to prevent the student from having close contact (head to head) with other children for the remainder of the school day. The parent may be contacted by phone and choose to pick their child up from school for immediate treatment. The appropriate Head Lice Information (AD-H-302) form should be sent home with the student. Communication to the parent is very important to both educate then and assure compliance with treatment. Other school-age siblings who live in the home may need to be evaluated also. The student can be readmitted to school after treatment and upon examination if the school-designated personnel find no live lice on the child.

On occasion, if multiple students in the same classroom are found to have active cases of head lice, the Notice to Parents – Head Lice (form AD-H-301) may be sent to parents/guardians of all students in that classroom. These letters are done at the discretion of the school principal, with input from the school nurse. Recurrences of head lice in that classroom do not require that another letter be sent out, as the information is the same. The principal must be involved and supportive of nursing efforts to control head lice in the school population. In accordance with FERPA/HIPAA school officials may not disclose to any other parent or guardian the name(s) or private health information of affected students.”

Source: Knox County Schools Health Services

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