Head lice in Federal Way schools: Know the policy

Everett School District is making the news after health officials decided that students can stay in school while being treated for lice, citing that it’s more damaging to miss class. The Edmonds School District is only sending students home when the situation interrupts the classroom. Monroe is voting soon on how to handle the situation.

Lice are small parasitic insects that feed on the skin and blood of a host’s scalp.

In Federal Way schools, currently the policy is “no nit.” Nits are the lice eggs that attach to the hair. Students found with head lice or nits in their hair will be sent home when the lice and/or nits are discovered, and families will be notified about treatment. Parents must then inform the school by phone or note the method and date of treatment. Students must be checked and cleared by a school nurse. Generally speaking, the students must be clean of lice and nits to return to class, but a nurse can allow the student back in class if treatment has occurred and the student is no longer communicable.

Also stated in the policy is that in elementary schools (where lice is most prevalent), a letter will be sent home with all classmates. The custodian must vacuum the room that night and students will be reminded not to share hats, combs and brushes.