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Potomac Public School Lice Policy

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Updated on July 19, 2020

Potomac Schools maintain a “no nit” policy. Students with viable nits will be sent home from school.

“A student is considered to have infestation with head lice if live lice and/or viable nits (those that are closer than ½ inch from the scalp) are observed. Students with infestation are excluded from school to obtain treatment with a pediculocide in order to prevent spreading lice to other students. Health care providers are a resource for treatment. Removal of nits located ½ inch or more from the scalp is recommended to avoid identification confusion.

Every effort should be made to minimize time away from school and to expedite treatment for students who are excluded due to head lice infestation. Head lice screening programs are not recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics because the screenings have not proven to have a significant effect on the incidences of head lice in a school community.


  • ​ A. At the beginning of each school year and as needed, the principal, working with the School Community Health Nurse (SCHN), should—

    • 1. Send the Lice Education Letter and Lice Fact Sheet to parents/guardians. These documents provide information about identification, treatment, and prevention of head lice.

    • 2. Recommend parents/guardians inspect their children’s heads upon return to school in the fall and every few weeks thereafter.
    • 3. Request that parents/guardians treat an infestation according to the recommendations provided in the Fact Sheet and notify the SCHN or School Health Room Aide (SHRA).
  • B. If a student in a school is suspected of having head lice —
    • 1. The person suspecting the lice infestation should contact the SCHN or SHRA or, if unavailable, a school-based administrator. The health staff will look closely through the hair and scalp of the student to determine if there are live lice and/or nits that are located ½ inch or closer to the scalp.
    • 2. If all observed nits are located ½ inch or more from the scalp, no further action is necessary.
    • 3. If live lice or nits located less than ½ inch from the scalp are identified, the SCHN or SHRA will call the student’s parent/guardian to inform him or her that lice infestation has been identified and to request that he or she pick up the student to obtain treatment. The health staff will review information contained in the Lice Treatment Letter with the parent, which includes information from the CDC on treatment, nit removal, and environmental precautions.
    • 4. If the parent/guardian is not available, the emergency contact person should be called and requested to pick up the student and should receive the Lice Treatment Letter to give to the parent/guardian.
    • 5. Parents/guardians will be informed that students identified as having live lice and/or nits located within ½ inch of the scalp must be treated with a JPB-RB 3 of 5 pediculocide and that nits located within ½ inch of the scalp must be removed before students can return to school. Parents/guardians are encouraged to remove all other nits to minimize confusion between new and old infestations.
  • C. Upon Return to School—
    • 1. The student should report to the health room accompanied by the parent/guardian.
    • 2. The SHRA or SCHN should inspect the student’s head to assure the absence of live lice and nits located within ½ inch of the scalp before the student may return to class.
    • 3. The parent/guardian should provide a note stating that the student has been treated with a pediculocide or provide a health care provider’s note stating the student does not have a live head lice infestation or viable nits.
  • D. Follow up—
    • 1. Ten days after the initial treatment of a lice infestation, the SHRA or SCHN will send a letter to parents/guardians advising them to re-inspect their child and re-treat if necessary according to the pediculocide treatment instructions.
    • 2. Request the parent/guardian return a note stating that he or she has reinspected his or her child and the child does not have live lice or nits located ½ inch or closer to the scalp. "

Source: Montgomery County Public Schools 

LiceDoctors knows how upsetting it can be when your child is not readmitted to school due to head lice. We will send a technician to your home and we guarantee that your child will be clear and ready to attend school the next day. Give us a call in the Potomac area at 240-720-7491 and we will come to you whenever you need us, 365 days a year.