Schools in the Palo Alto and Menlo Park areas are in agreement with current guidelines of the American Academy of Pediatrics with regard to the management of head lice in school. They do not hold to a strict no-nit policy but exclude children solely on the presence of live lice.
In 2013, PAUSD adopted a board policy regarding head lice in schools (BP5141.33). Goals of the policy include community education regarding prevention and management of head lice, early detection and prompt treatment of students with head lice, minimizing disruption to the educational program, and reducing student absences.
Recent research indicates that neither NO NIT policies nor mass school screenings prevent or shorten the length of lice outbreaks at school. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the National Association of School Nurses (NASN), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the California School Nurses Organization (CSNO) all oppose the NO NIT policy as well as mass school screenings.
The problem of pediculosis, or head lice as it is more commonly known, is ongoing and requires education and treatment. However, head lice do not pose a risk of transmitting disease and are not a threat to health.
Before returning to the classroom, parent/guardian will accompany child to the school office for a re-admission check by office staff or Health Technician.
Parent/Guardian will return the signed Lice Treatment form to the office.
- If no live lice are found, student may return to class.
- If nits are present, parent/guardian is encouraged to continue daily nit removal and observation for presence of live lice requiring re-treatment. Student may return to class.
- If live lice are present, student will be sent home and further treatment discussed.
Source: Palo Alto USD Lice Protocol
To prevent the spread of head lice infestations, school employees shall report all suspected cases of head lice to the school nurse or designee as soon as possible. The nurse or designee shall examine the student and any siblings of affected students or members of the same household. When lice are found, the parents of the student will be immediately informed that the student will be excluded from attendance by the end of the school day at the latest. Parents/guardians shall be informed about recommended treatment procedures and sources of further information. If parents express concern regarding treatment for head lice, the District shall recommend that they consult with their physician.
The Superintendent or designee shall send home the notification required by law for excluded students.
Staff shall maintain the privacy of students identified as having head lice and excluded from attendance. Excluded students may return to school when (1) they bring a note from the parent/guardian verifying treatment, and (2) reexamination by the school nurse or designee shows that all lice have been removed.
Source: Menlo Park CSD Board Policy
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