Administrative Guidelines

003: Head Lice (Pediculosis)

  • Head lice infestations remain a concern in schools. Students in the elementary grades are the most likely target hosts. The presence of head lice does not indicate a lack of hygiene or personal cleanliness. 

    The district 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 district will adopt the following protocols:

      1. Whenever there is a possibility that a student is infested, staff will contact the student's parents. The district may ask an infested student not return to school unless corrective treatment has been given and the student is free of active lice. Parents may be asked to have a physician prescribe medication for treatment. 
      2. A student who has been infested may be readmitted to school after completing an examination by the school nurse. 
      3. 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. 
      4. School staff will protect student privacy and maintain confidentiality of medical information when infestations are detected. 
      5. 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 work with the school nurse to learn proper precautions to prevent further spread of infestation. School nurses will help to communicate best practices related to the detection and treatment of head lice, as well as classroom procedures for dealing with affected students.