Students with live lice are sent home from school, while those with nits are allowed to remain in school. The basic Sarasota Schools lice policy is that students with live lice are sent home from school, while those with nits are allowed to remain in school as long as they continue to receive treatment at home to eradicate the nits. The web site announces that the protocol that the schools follow when a case of head lice is discovered is: “1) Students who are displaying signs of head lice, such as excessive scratching of the head, may be sent to the health room to be checked as needed. A thorough examination of the hair and scalp should be done for the presence of live lice. 2) Siblings should be checked for lice infestation as well. 3) If nits are present, contact parent/guardian and send Nit Notification and Treatment letter home with student. Student can return to class with a pass from the health room aide or RN. Student must report to the health room on a daily basis to monitor process of nit removal until no nits are found*. Student must report to the health room in 10 days for a final recheck. If nits are still present, the RN should be notified for follow up. 4) If lice are present, call parent to pick up the student. 5) Give parent/guardian the following forms and review information:
- a) Head Lice Notification and Treatment Letter
- b) Head Lice Treatment & Nit Removal Plan (side two of above letter)
- c) Additional Head Lice Information for Parents/Guardians
- d) Note: If the parent does not pick the student up, he/she can be given the information and ride the bus home at the discretion of the principal.
6) After lice treatment, the student must report to the health room with parent/guardian to be examined for lice/nits before they can return to class.
- a) If no lice or nits are present, student can return to class with a pass from the health room aide or RN. Student must report to the health room in 10 days for a final lice/nit recheck.
- b) If lice are present, the student is sent home with parent/guardian.
- Note: Presence of lice 24 hours after treatment suggests a very heavy infestation, re-infestation, resistance to therapy, or incorrect use of treatment product. Discuss with parent/guardian what treatment was used and re-instruct on treatment options. The parent/guardian may contact their licensed healthcare provider regarding re-treatment with a pediculicide. (See #6 above.)
- c) If nits are present, notify parent/guardian using the Parent Notification Form and encourage continuing daily efforts to remove all nits. Student can return to class with a pass from the health room aide or RN. Student must report to the health room on a daily basis to monitor process of nit removal until no nits are found*. Student must report to the health room in 10 days for a final lice/nit recheck."
Manatee County School District
In nearby Manatee County, the school policy that is followed with respect to head lice is stricter than in Sarasota County. The Manatee County schools have a “no nit” policy in place. While students in Sarasota County are monitored for nits, students in Sarasota County are sent home if nits are found. Manatee County schools recommend that parents conduct weekly head checks to ascertain if their children have lice. The district suggests that parents use a fine-tooth comb and that they check carefully using a magnifying glass and bright light. If a child is determined to have nits or lice, he or she will be sent home with information and will not be readmitted until he or she is nit free.