In the Richmond, Virginia area, schools generally maintain “no nit” policies which is in line with advice from the National Pediculosis Association in Newton, MA. Current recommendations by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Association of School Nurses encourage schools to become more lenient regarding allowing children with “nits only” to remain in school. These organizations insist that children are missing too much school and that by the time their case is discovered in school, the lice have already been in the head for weeks.
Hanover County Public Schools
In Hanover County, schools retain their “no nit” policy insisting that students with nits may return to school only after all lice and nits (eggs) have been taken off the hair. The school nurse will conduct a head check screening before the child will be readmitted to school.
Chesterfield County School District
Consistent with Hanover County, schools in Chesterfield County forbid children with nits to remain in school. The policy clearly states, “Children with head lice will be excluded from school until the hair has been treated and ALL of the eggs (nits) have been removed”.
Henrico County School District
The Henrico schools have a bit more ambiguous lice policy. The web site states that “Once your child has been treated with a product specifically made to kill lice, and the hair has been mechanically combed with a nit comb to remove lice and nits (eggs), your child may return to school. Clinic staff will inspect the child’s head to ensure the treatment has been administered properly. To prevent re-infestation, your child should be retreated in 7 days. The clinic staff will recheck your child in 7-10 days for return of head lice. Contact the school nurse or clinic attendant for further information about the elimination of head lice.” Basically, the school wants children to be clear of nits when returning to school but does not specify that there is a “no nit” policy in place.
To ensure that you are up to date on your child’s school lice policy, LiceDoctors recommends that you check with your school nurse
Charlottesville, Virginia and Surrounding Area’s School Head Lice Policies
Based on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP, Harvard School of Public Health and the National Association of School Nurses (NASN) , many schools in the Charlottesville area have dropped their “no nit” policies and now allow students to attend school even if they have nits. The reasons for the change are:
- Increase School Attendance
- Reduce Social Stigmas
- No increase in number or transmission of cases in schools implementing these changes
- Albemarle County Public Schools
- Albemarle County Schools have dropped their “no nit” policy.
- The Albemarle County Public Schools have recently dropped their “no nit” policy and allow students with nits to attend school. Based on the revised recommendations of the CDC, AAP and NASN, Albemarle County schools will follow the below proscribed procedures with respect to head lice infestations:
“When a student is found to have live lice:
- The student’s parent(s) will be notified by telephone, if possible, and information will be sent home about detecting and treating head lice. The school nurse may use professional judgment to determine if the student may be permitted to remain in school until the end of the school day or be sent home upon discovery of lice (a few lice vs. hundreds).
- The parent will receive instructions on how to detect and treat head lice and will be informed that the student may not return to school until undergoing an appropriate treatment.
- The student will be examined upon returning to school and will not be permitted to return to class if live lice are detected. Parents will be instructed to remove all live lice before the student may return to class.
- If nits or eggs are found, the parent will be instructed to continue to work toward removing them, especially those close to the scalp (within 1cm) but the student may remain in school.
- The school nurse will check the student in 10 days and the student will be excluded again for live lice.
When a student is found to have nits/eggs but no live lice:
- The parent will be notified by telephone, if possible and by letter if not, and encouraged to check the student frequently for the presence of live lice and to minimize the chances of infestation by removing nits/eggs.
- The student will NOT be excluded from school.
- The nurse will check the student again in 7 days and the student will be excluded for live lice as above but not for nits/eggs only.
- Screening or checking beyond the student with an identified infestation:
If the student has siblings in the school, those siblings may be checked and the above procedures will be followed for evidence of live lice or nits.
- Other close contacts may be checked per the judgment of the school nurse.
- The nurse may check all classmates if there is evidence that more than one classmate are infested.
- Entire grade or school screening will not be done routinely. In the rare cases involving widespread infestation, the school nurse may use professional judgment in determining when to conduct more extensive head checking or screening.”
Learn more at Abermarle Co Publc Schools
Stafford County Public Schools Lice Policy
As with the Albemarle schools, Stafford County schools no longer have a “no nit” policy in place. Below is the policy in this district.
“The nurse will conduct a visual assessment of that scalp and hair, call a parent to pick up the child, if lice are present and inform the parent of treatment at home.
The school nurse will share a brochure with the parent and inform the student and parent on transmission and prevention strategies.
The nurse will educate parents on select treatment options.
Classrooms will be checked only if transmission is suspected at school. The custodial staff will be notified for cleaning; the nurse will conduct a visual inspection for harboring locations in the classroom and will discuss modification of classroom behaviors and activities.
The student may return to class after proper treatment. The nurse will check siblings. Documentation of treatment will be provided by the parent. Support will be given to family and child to reduce negative social impact.
All staff will maintain the confidentiality of the students and families.”
Learn more at stafford.schoolfusion.us
Waynesboro County Public Schools
As with the two aforementioned districts, Waynesboro schools no longer have a "no nit" policy in place. Below is the lice policy for Waynesboro schools:
"When a student displays excessive itching of the scalp they will be checked for head lice. If live lice are found, or at the nurse’s discretion, the student’s parent or guardian will be called to take students home for treatment. Information on treatment of head lice will be given to parent.
The student may return to school the next day if he/she has been treated. The student should have proof of treatment, a shampoo box top or a note from the parent or physician. Also, the student must be checked prior to entering class to ensure adequate treatment. If live lice are found, the student may not be admitted to class. Please be assured that every effort will be made to maintain confidentiality so that the student is not embarrassed. " (Source: Wanesboro Student Handbook)