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It is the policy of the Georgetown Public Schools to contain infestation of head lice (pediculosis) while maximizing students’ academic performance and minimizing absences due to unnecessary exclusion of students using nursing and medical best practices. 


Pediculosis (head lice) is a nuisance, but is not considered a matter of public health.  It is important that the public understand the facts about head lice in order to minimize the impact.  The American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Association of School Nurses no longer endorse a “No Nits” policy in schools.  Exclusion is not an effective tool in reducing lice outbreaks.  The school nurse will examine the head of any child suspected of having a live head lice infestation and notify the parent/guardian of the results.  Since the presence of nits alone does not indicate active infestation and no evidence is found that the presence of nits correlates with any disease process, a student that is found with just nits will be sent back to class, the parents/guardians will be notified of the head lice examination results, and the parents/guardians will be given information to treat and manage head lice infestation.  The child will be rechecked by the nurse in one week. 


If active head lice are found during the nurse’s examination, the parent/guardian will be called and the student will be sent home.  The student will be required to receive treatment and be rechecked by the nurse the next day to be able to return to class.  Targeted pediculosis screenings of the affected student’s close contacts and family members will be performed by the nurse if live lice are found.


Whole class screenings for nits alone have not been proved to be effective and will only be performed based on multiple live lice infestations found in a single class and at that time parents of a whole class will be notified.  In cases that involve head lice, as in all school health issues, it is vital that the school nurse and all staff members prevent stigmatizing the student and maintain the student’s privacy as well as the family’s right to confidentiality.


This policy follows the recommendations of the CDC, the Academy of Pediatrics, and the National Association of School Nurses and the science and epidemiology of pediculosis.  The Georgetown Public Schools’ goals are to facilitate an accurate assessment of the problem, contain infestation, provide appropriate health information for treatment and prevention, prevent overexposure to potentially hazardous chemicals, and minimize school absence.



Adopted on:  May 23, 2013

Subpages (1): JLCDB-E