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Springfield School Lice Policy

Springfield School Lice Policy
Created on 
March 27, 2017
Updated on 
April 14, 2017

Joplin Public Schools

Students in this district are prevented from attending school if they have live lice or more than 20 nits. Otherwise, they are permitted in school. "Head Lice Procedure In keeping with the Joplin School District’s policy of avoiding the unnecessary exclusion of students from school, the district will not exclude otherwise healthy students from school due to nit infestation that meets minimal criteria defined below. Students with head lice infestations will be excluded from school only to the minimum extent necessary for treatment. To avoid the unnecessary exclusions of students from school, the administration provides the following criteria and procedure:

  1. Schools will not perform routine school-wide head lice screenings.   However, should multiple cases be reported, the nurse will identify the population of students most likely to be exposed and examine that population.
  2. If the school nurse or teacher discovers live head lice and or nits in the quantity of 20 or more on a student, the parent/guardian of that student will be notified and the student will be excluded from school for treatment and other students who reside in the residence will be checked.
  3. The school nurse will instruct the parent/guardian concerning shampoos, sprays and other treatments that can be purchased to eliminate head lice or nits.   The nurse will also provide information on procedures to be taken in the home to ensure that the head lice are eliminated.
  4. If the student has received appropriate treatment and has no live lice and less than 20 nits then the student may return to school.   The parent, as well as the school nurse, will continue to monitor the status of the student and give recommendations for follow up treatments at the appropriate time.
  5. When a student who has a live head lice infestation returns to school, the school nurse or school staff member will examine the student.   If live head lice are found at that time, the parent/guardian will take the student home for retreatment.   This process will continue until the student is free of head lice.
  6. If a student was identified as having less than 20 nits but not a live head lice infestation, the parent will be notified and recommended treatments discussed.   The student will be re‐examined within five (5) calendar days of the initial identification.      If this examination reveals nits are still present, the parent/guardian will again be instructed on treatment options.   This process will repeat until the student is free of nits.
  7. The school nurse will keep accurate and confidential records of students infected with head lice or nits.
  8. If it appears the parent/guardian of an infested student is failing to secure timely treatment for the infestation after having been given notice of the existence of head lice or nits in accordance with these procedures, the nurse will notify the school principal, who may report the matter to the Children’s Division Department of Social Services.

The school nurse will develop an educational program regarding the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of head lice."

Monett School District

(Page 13 of the school policy) Monett schools retain a "no nit" policy; students with lice eggs may not attend school until they are lice free as explained below: "Purpose: To protect all students from exposure to pediculosis (lice); to provide treatment guidelines for students known to have pediculosis (lice); to determine identity of infested individuals. Infectious Conditions: LICE is the presence of light gray insects or eggs (nits) in the human hair and scalp. Head lice infestations are not life threatening, but the bites can cause severe itching and in extreme cases may cause secondary infections. When a number of head lice cases occur in school, it takes a significant amount of time away from the educational program. If children are not properly treated, including removal of nits, reinfestations may occur. In order to protect our classroom time, we have a “No Nit” policy. All students found to have evidence of head lice infestations (lice or nits) will be excluded from school attendance and extracurricular activities until treated and all lice and nits have been removed. Parents of a child infested with lice and/or nits will be contacted and will be required to pickup the child and any other infested siblings from school. Parents will be given written materials that explain the reasons for exclusion, as well as methods to treat the infestations on the hair and in the home. There are also some head lice treatments that require a physician’s prescription. The specific treatment to be used will be left up to the parent. Our school district does not recommend any one treatment over another. In most instances, a child should be able to be treated and be totally free of lice and nits within one or two days of parent notification. Following treatment, parents must bring the child to the nurse’s office after obtaining a visitor’s pass in the office to be rechecked. As long as children are treated and return to school without evidence of lice or nits, they will be allowed to remain at school. If there is any evidence of remaining lice or nits, the child will once again be excluded from attendance. A log will be kept in the nurse’s office, and those children who have been excluded and then returned to school following treatment will be reexamined in ten (10) days to ensure that they remain free of infestation. In cases of excessive student absenteeism due to reoccurring lice infestation, the school may contact the Division of Family Services for further assistance to the family.

Marshfield Public Schools

Marshfield schools have a "no nit" policy in place. "School Attendance: Exclude until live lice and viable nits are eradicated. This requires effective insecticide of scalp, skin and clothing. Children may return after being treated with a pediculicide and after delousing of personal articles. If your child is sent home for head lice, you must bring them to the school nurse before they are readmitted into school, if they still have nits they may be excluded from school until ALL nits are removed.

Ozark School District   Ozark School District requires students with live lice to remain home until after treatment. The district does not have a "no nit" policy. “Need to stay home? YES until first treatment is completed and no live lice are seen. Nits are NOT considered live lice. HEAD LICE -Your child may return to school after proper treatment and must see the nurse before returning to their classroom."

Dadeville School District (in Dade County)

Dadeville schools allow students back into school if nits remain, but they must be treated at home, and will not be allowed to return with live bugs. Students will be allowed to stay school with live bugs until the end of the day that they were diagnosed. Extract from Dadeville student handbook "Head Lice Policy and Procedure":

  • The school nurse will send head lice information out to parents of all enrolled children 1-2 weeks prior to the first day of school.
  • This information will include the following education about head lice: what it is, why it is harmful, what the live lice and eggs look like, how to perform a head check, encouragement to perform a head check prior to the first day of school and to treat the child appropriately if lice or eggs are present, education regarding appropriate treatment, and educate the parent that head checks will be performed on all students K-12 at the beginning of the school year, and again after Christmas break, and randomly as needed.
  • Head checks will be performed at the beginning of the school year and again after Christmas break.
  •  Head checks will also be performed on an individual basis if signs and symptoms of head lice are reported or observed.
  • If a student is found to have live lice or eggs the student will be sent home at the end of the day. (My research indicates when a child is found to have live lice or eggs sending them home immediately will not have any substantial impact on the potential threat of spread. The likelihood exists that the child has probably had the lice infestation for weeks and the potential for spread to other students has existed during that entire time. Sending the child home one day or a few hours earlier does not have a reasonable impact on decreasing the spread of the lice.) The child will be sent home at the end of the day with a letter explaining that a head check was performed and live lice or eggs where found and the recommended treatment. The parent will also be notified by phone of the head check, the results, and the recommendations for treatment.
  • The recommended initial treatment will be to use an over the counter lice killing shampoo exactly as directed. Remove all eggs from the hair. Wash all bed linens, coats, washable hats, gloves, etc…in hot water and bleach if possible. Spray fabrics that the child may have close contact with an approved lice killer. Stuffed animals and other such objects that have material or fabric that the child is in frequent or close contact to should be bagged up in a plastic bag for 3 days. All heads in the family should be checked and treatment performed if live lice or eggs are noted. If family members are unable or inexperienced to perform the head checks they can utilize the local Health Department or Drs. office to have the head check performed.
  • The child may return to school the day after the initial treatment.
  • On the day that the child returns to school the child will be assessed by head check and questioning to ascertain whether the eggs where removed and whether the recommended treatment was performed or not.
  • A follow up head check will be performed in 2 weeks.
  • If live lice or eggs are found at this check the parent will be notified again to ascertain if the second treatment was performed as recommended. If the second treatment was skipped the parent will be encouraged to perform the treatment ASAP. If the 2nd treatment was performed and live lice or eggs are still present then a different treatment method will be recommended such as the use of REAL Mayonnaise (use one large jar, empty entire contents on the head and saturate the hear, cover the hear with a shower cap, leave on over night, wash hair in the morning with Dawn or Palmolive dish washing liquid, remove all eggs.)
  • When head checks are performed at the school, all efforts will be made to maintain student confidentiality. Both scheduled head checks will be performed a class at a time. No student will be singled out at that time. The person performing the head checks will notify the student’s teacher of which students have evidence of live lice or eggs and will provide the teacher with the letter to the parents and the educational material to send home with the student. Students will be notified at the end of the day by their teacher in private prior to exiting the classroom and will be given the letter and educational material to take home to their parent. The person performing the head check will notify the parent by phone.
  • When a random head check is performed in response to reported or observed signs and symptoms of head lice, that child will be sent to the nurse’s room for a head check. If the child has live lice or eggs the above procedure will be followed and a head check of all students in the same class and all siblings or household contacts of the child with the live lice or eggs will be performed.
  • Head checks should be performed in a matter of fact manner without causing unnecessary concern or fear. This should be considered a public and personal health effort that the school performs to assure the health of our children.
  • NONCOMPLIANCE – Any noncompliance with recommended treatments will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis with input from school administration and the school nurse. All attempts will be made to keep children in school along with       prevention of spread. Reasons for noncompliance can very from lack of funds to purchase treatment products, lack of transportation to acquire treatment products, and lack of understanding of treatment requirements, to apathy regarding the seriousness of the issue. Options to deal with noncompliance may require purchasing treatment products for the family, performing treatment at the school by the school nurse, and any other assistance that may be deemed necessary by the school nurse and administration."

Lebanon School District

This district has a strict "no nit" policy. "Head Lice: Exclusion until insecticiding of scalp, skin and clothing. Children may return to school after being treated with a pediculocide and after all the nits have been removed from the hair." School districts revise their head lice policies from time to time. There is a trend now toward liberalizing school lice in order to reduce the amount of absenteeism that schools face. To be sure of the most updated head lice policy for your school, call the school nurse. If you find head lice in your family, call LiceDoctors in the Springfield, Missouri area at (417) 319-6818. We can come to your home day or night so you can send your child back to school!



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