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Skokie and Wilmette School Lice Policies

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Updated on July 19, 2020

Schools in the Skokie and Wilmette areas adhere to “evidence-based management” of head lice and do not adhere to previous “no nit“ policies.

Skokie Schools

“Evanston/Skokie School District 65 lice management procedures reflect standard practice as recommended by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the National Association of School Nurses (NASN), the American School Health Association (ASHA), the Harvard School of Public Health, and many others. They all recommend that students with eggs and /or head lice REMAIN IN SCHOOL and not be immediately excluded. When lice are found on a child at school, that child’s parent will be informed. Health Office staff will follow up to make sure the child is treated appropriately. If the student is not treated appropriately, then she or he will not be able to return to school.” 

Source: Evanston/Skokie Health Services

Wilmette Schools

Prevention begins at home! Although head lice do not pose a health hazard, we recognize the concern and stress lice can produce for many families.

  • As of the 2016-2017 school year D39 schools do not perform class-wide lice screenings, a decision based largely on recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics:
  • D39 currently emails notification of lice in the classroom with a minimum of one reported case of lice or nits.
  • When a case of lice is reported, the custodial staff performs an appropriate cleaning of the room. Teachers are asked to launder or contain pillows or upholstered furniture per recommended protocol.
  • Repeated and regular thorough checks at home are the best line of defense in addressing head lice. The egg-to-egg life cycle of the louse is approximately 17-26 days: the egg (nit) typically hatches in 7-12 days; the nymph matures over 9-12 days; the mature female lays eggs 1-2 days after maturation. A single check is not sufficient.
  • The nurse is always available to check individual students who are symptomatic; students found to have nits or lice are sent home per D39 policy and may return once they are treated and lice/nit free. The nurse also checks siblings and identified close contacts of students with lice.
  • Professional (vs. home) identification and treatment of lice is by parental choice and is not required. Home treatment is a proven successful option; your pediatrician can make recommendations about preferred over-the-counter or prescription strength home treatments. It is critical to follow home treatment instructions from start to finish; incomplete treatment will likely result in re-infestation.
  • Securing long hair in a braid/ponytail/bun during a period of exposure in the classroom will further minimize the risk of transmission. Lice do not jump or fly; they are transmitted by close head-to-head contact. They also do not live off the body for a period longer than 1-2 days. Please encourage your children not to share hats, scarves, brushes, or hair accessories.

Source: Wilmette School Nurse

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