If your child has any special health-related problems, please inform the school nurse.
During colder weather the children will be wearing hats, scarves and jackets, and the possibility of our school dealing with head lice becomes prevalent. We would like to request that you assist us in preventing a head lice problem in our school by reviewing the following items with your child:
- Hats, scarves, jackets, and other items of clothing should never be exchanged.
- Combs and brushes must never be borrowed or used by someone else.
- It is best for everyone to use only his or her own personal articles both at home and at school.
As you are well aware, to prevent the spread of head lice, a joint effort is necessary between the school and home. Your continued cooperation has always, and will continue to be, greatly appreciated. Few conditions seem to cause as much concern in schools and homes as an infestation of head lice in children. Students in the elementary grades (ages 3 through 10) are the most likely target hosts for these insect pests. Head lice do not respect socio-economic class distinctions and their presence does not indicate a lack of hygiene or personal cleanliness. Recent medical recommendations from both the American Association of Pediatrics (AAP) and the National Association of School Nurses (NASN) do not treat head lice as an illness that necessitates an absence from school and have shown that the contagion does not spread as easily as once thought. Therefore, the Board of Education does not condone the absence of students from school for unnecessary reasons and considers head lice an unnecessary absence that impedes a student's educational progress. In order to control infestations of head lice (Pediculosis), the Board of Education has adopted the following protocols:
- Whenever there is a possibility that a student is infested, staff will contact the student's parents. An infested student will not return to school unless corrective treatment has been given and the student is free of active lice. Current treatment protocols make this possible in less than twenty-four (24) hours. Parents may be asked to have a physician prescribe medication for treatment.
- A student who has been infested will be readmitted to school after successfully completing an examination by the school nurse.
- School staff will work with parents to minimize student absence caused by exposure to head lice. An infested student is not sick and is not a danger to other students. Excessive and unnecessary absences affect a student's educational progress.
- School staff will protect student privacy and maintain confidentiality of medical information when infestations are detected.
- School staff will also work to minimize the social stigma that is unfairly attached to victims of head lice infestations. Head lice are not caused by poverty or unsanitary conditions. Students will not be separated from their peers or singled out as infected. All staff will learn proper precautions to prevent further spread of the infestation.
Regulations will be developed to provide guidelines on the detection and treatment of head lice, as well as classroom procedures for dealing with affected students.