Kuna School District News

Q&A on Head Lice Policy 563




The Kuna School District is proposing an update to Policy 563 Exclusion for Head Lice. This update will not change our current practice. The questions and answers below are intended to provide good information on why it is time to make this update. If you have any further questions please direct them to one of our dedicated school nurses.

Question: Why is the district making changes to the current policy?
The current policy is not aligned with the current recommendations of managing head lice in schools from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the National Association of School Nurses (NASN).


Question: Why are you only sending one notification letter to parents per classroom per trimester/semester?
Nurses will use common sense and nursing judgment. If they and/or administration feel another letter is needed to be sent home, an additional letter will be sent.
Current research show no evidence to support that letters sent home prevent head lice transmissions, and they may be a violation of privacy and confidentiality.
Although a letter being sent home would not identify a specific child with head lice, it may easily be determined which child is suspected to have lice. This right to confidentiality in schools is protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) as well as state and national ethical health care and education standards.
Multiple letters sent home in short periods of time for each discovery of head lice could cause unjustified panic. This may result in some parents treating their child and causing unnecessary use of pediculicides (substances/medication to treat head lice), time-consuming combing and environmental cleaning.


Question: Will a child be allowed to return to class before being re-examined after being sent home?
The student will be re-examined as soon as possible to determine if the treatment was successful. Most treatments are very effective in eliminating live lice.
To prevent the loss of instructional time for the student, they will be sent to class instead waiting in the office to re-examined.


Question: Will a child be allowed to return to class with nits/eggs?
The presence of nits is suggestive of an infestation, but the presence of a live louse confirms the diagnosis.
Eggs/Nits cannot be transmitted from one head to another. Nits are cemented to hair shafts and are very unlikely to fall off or be transferred to someone else.
Nits that are attached more than ¼ inch from the base of the hair shaft are almost always dead or already hatched.
Dandruff, hair spray droplets, dirt or sand can be commonly mistaken for nits.


Question: Why are you not requiring proof of treatment?
The student will be re-examined when they return to school. It will be determined if there was no treatment or if the treatment was not effective. If there are still live lice or the student is considered still at risk of transmitting lice the student will be sent home.


Question: Why did you take out preventing transmission?
Classroom management is more of a protocol than a policy. Each classroom will be given recommendations specific to their circumstances.

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