The Tulsa Public School District eliminated its "no nit" policy a few years ago. The Tulsa Public School District changed its lice policy a few years ago to conform to the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Association of School Nurses. No longer are students sent home from school if they have nits in their hair. The school district states it does head checks on student three times over the course of the school year and that it watches over children who have nits to be sure that there are no live bugs. The elimination of the “no nit” is unusual in the Tulsa area schools as can be seen by the policies of the three below districts, all of which are proximate to Tulsa. The Tulsa school lice policy is stated as such on the web site, “Promptly inform parent, legal guardian, or person responsible for student’s care, when their child has been found to have head lice. If a significant number of students, in the same class, are found to have head lice, consider informing the parent, legal guardian, or person responsible for student’s care of all students in the class. Recommend they check their child periodically. At no time should the identity of the affected students be shared. Work with PTA to set aside funds for supplies. Students are given a two day excused absence. The facilities provided for storage of personal items are sufficient to prevent the transmission of lice between personal items (12-18 inches apart). Ensure floors and upholstered furniture are vacuumed daily. Ensure upon return to school, students (accompanied by responsible adult) initially return to the clinic for recheck. Students are not admitted to class without clearance by health personnel or designated staff. Students are given a two (2) day excused absence.” Learn more at www.tulsaschools.org.
Broken Arrow School District
Broken Arrow School District, on the other hand, still maintains a “no nit” policy. The web site states that “according to Oklahoma State Law (70-O.S. 1981, Section 1210. 194A), any school child afflicted with a contagious disease or head lice may be prohibited from attending a public, private or parochial school until such time as he is free from the contagious disease or head lice." The web site further stipulates that “students who have head lice or nits (eggs) must be picked up from school for the remainder of the day. In order to return to school, students must be free of live bugs and nits and be checked in through the health office. Under normal circumstances, students should be out of school for only one day.” Learn more at www.baschools.org
Jenks Public School District
Like Broken Arrow, the Jenks Public School District also stands behind its “no nit” policy stating on the web site, “Jenks Public Schools maintains a “no nit, no live bug” policy for a student’s return to the classroom. This is the only means that the school has for preventing the spread of head lice in the school setting.”
“ 1. Suspected cases of head lice are to be reported to the nurse. If a student is found to have head lice, the entire class will be examined by the school nurse since head lice are contagious and will not disappear without treatment.
2. Students found to have head lice will have their parents contacted and will be sent home for treatment. If a student has siblings in the Jenks Public Schools they will also be examined by the school nurse. Parents will be offered information on treatment, egg (nit) removal, and cleaning of the environment. Parents whose children have an active case of head lice will be notified. Children who do or do not have head lice are not specifically identified to anyone other than the parent and the teacher, due to the confidentiality required by law. Any student who has had head lice must be taken to the school nurse’s office to be examined by the nurse, and given written permission to return to class.”
The Nurse will do the following:
• Examine the scalp and hair for nits and lice (common areas “preferred” by lice are the nape of the neck, around the ears, and on the forehead)
• If lice and/or nits are found, the parent/guardian will be contacted and the student will be sent home. Parents will be fully instructed in head lice removal and extermination.
• The entire classroom of students will be checked for head lice.
• Siblings of the affected student will also be checked for head lice (including siblings at other JPS campuses, who will be checked by their respective School Nurses).
• The student and parent/guardian will be instructed that the student may NOT return to class until they have been assessed and cleared for return by the Nurse.
The Nurse will provide a student that has been approved for return to class with a yellow release form for the teacher.” Learn more at www.jenksps.org.
Sperry Schools Lice Policy
The Sperry School District, like the two above-mentioned districts, retains its “no nit” policy. “Any child who is determined to be afflicted with a contagious disease, as currently defined by the Oklahoma Department of Health, or with head lice shall be prohibited from attending school until a health officer has determined that the child is free of head lice or the contagious disease or that the disease is no longer contagious.” The district considers nits in the hair to be contagious as follows, “If, after examination by a school official, a student is found to have head lice or nits (eggs) the parents will be notified to come and get their child. After the student receives treatment at home (shampoo and nit removal) the student will be re-admitted to class after being cleared by the nurse or designated school official. The student will be readmitted to class only if the hair is free of lice and nits.”
Bixby School District
In the Bixby schools, there is also a “no nit” policy in place. “Students with head lice or nits must be picked up from school and may return after treatment and all live bugs and nits are gone. The school nurse or health clerk will check for lice prior to returning to class.”