Lice - What does your school do?

Discussion in 'General Education Archives' started by skelley, Jul 8, 2004.

  1. skelley

    skelley Rookie

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    Jul 8, 2004

    The "chronic lice" thread got me thinking about different school procedures for this problem. At my school we (classroom teachers) are supposed to do a weekly lice check of each student. We are given plastic gloves to do this with. We all complain because it takes away from our instruction time and is just simply gross. If we find a student with lice or nits we are supposed to discreetly send them to the office with a note marked HL. The office then calls their home. Parents are give one day of an excused absence to get the problem taken care of - usually they get all off the child but don't follow through with their home because in two weeks they have them again. I like hearing what everyone else's policies are so that if there is one that is easier maybe I can let my principal know about it...thanks a lot! --Susanna :eek:
     
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  3. AMK

    AMK Aficionado

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    Jul 8, 2004

    I dont know of many head lice cases in my school but I also work in an upperclass area so we when we do have a head lice problem notes go home to all parents about it, what to look for and how to treat it. Then every grade and all the teachers are checked 1 -2 times.
     
  4. jenniatek

    jenniatek Companion

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    Jul 9, 2004

    In my old school we had a perpetual lice problem. We had a group of parent volunteers who were trained by the local health clinic or school nurse to look for lice and nits and they used to come in every few months and do a whole school sweep. The children were sent home (a controvertial practice) whenever possible, and if we couldn't get ahold of the parents the child stayed in the medical room until someone came to get them. If one family had a chronic problem we would contact social services or the health center and have them talk to the family aobut how they were treating it.
    In my school I'm at now we don't have a huge problem so when we find it on a child we call home but we don't insist that the child go home, the parents are usually freaked out and come and get the child anyway. We too have parent volunteers that come and do whole school checks periodically.
    I can't believe that teachers are expected to do lice checks!! Don't you guys have a union? What do they think about that? Does the Principal help do the checks...what about the school nurse or community health center? I'm shocked.
     
  5. Amanda

    Amanda Administrator Staff Member

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    Our nursing staff checks the whole school within the first month or two of school. Then the whole class is checked only if a child is known to have head lice. I have sent individual kids to the nurse to be checked if I suspect. For kids with chronic lice, the nurse would check 1-2 times per month. We have a "no nits" policy, so a child has to be checked by the nurse to return to school. I had a child 2 years ago that was out for about 5 days every time she had lice. Sometimes parents use that as an excuse to keep them out for extended periods of time.
     
  6. Margo

    Margo Devotee

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    Jul 9, 2004

    Our teacher's assistants check the kids each month. If they find nits or live lice, the child is sent home. We also have a no nits policy. A child may not return until they are free from everything. They must go directly to the clinic upon returning to school for the nurse to check before being able to return to the classroom. That is why the chonic head lice thread has me shocked that these children can even be allowed in the classroom.
     
  7. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    Jul 9, 2004

    Our PE teachers check our kids every 2 months. We call it "Health Day", but the kids all know what it's about. Every time we have 10 to 12 "bug letters" going home. The letter explains to the parent what was found and the suggested way of treating the lice. We also have a "no nits" policy. The child has to be checked back in by one of the PE teachers, or the parish nurse if she happens to be at our school that day. They have up to 3 excused days. At any point between checks that we suspect a child, we simply send them to one of the PE teachers.
    We had a horrible breakout this past year. One of our prek classes had every child down with lice. The parents did everything and got them clean, then a few weeks later they were all down again. It turns out that the teacher cleaned everything except the blankets she provided for nap-time. I don't know how she missed them. They got the blankets taken care of, then they were finally free. There were some unhappy parents.
     
  8. Tara19

    Tara19 Companion

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    Jul 9, 2004

    At the school where I teach, they have little stations on the first or second day of school (pictures, lice check, vision...) and I think that's the only time they check for head lice. Last year, I had a student who had lice and we didn't catch it in time, and it spread really bad, so then we had a whoel school check. At the school where I'M the student, they don't check us at all except I think it was a couple years ago, there was a teacher who had it and spread it to alot of the kids, I guess it was really bad. I have never had it, have any of you? What does it feel like? Just wondering! :)
     
  9. skelley

    skelley Rookie

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    Jul 9, 2004

    Yes, teachers in my school have to do the lice checks every week. I teacher in a big school district where there are about 30 elementary schools. We only have one nurse assigned to our school and we have to share her with others so we only have her on Fridays. We have about 650 students and only 7 teacher assistants so we don't utilize them in this way. We also have a 'no nit' policy but sometimes it feels like you are fighting a losing battle. On several occasions I have not sent a child to the office that I know has nits if we are doing something very special that day because those are the children that very rarely get the opportunity to do the fun things at home. Not always, but usually. I have seen many teachers send children home on their Christmas party day or field day because of nits. I just can't bring myself to do that. I watch them closely and make sure they arent' lying on my carpet, sharing brushes, coats, etc...but I don't send them home on special days. DO you think that is wrong? --Susanna :confused:
     
  10. Andrea L.

    Andrea L. Guest

    Jul 9, 2004

    4th Grade Teacher

    My school only does a lice check if the teacher requests it--we see students itching etc. One thing that several teachers do at my school, including myself, is to purchase big black garbage bags that have the drawstrings on them. I write their numbers or names on the bags and then hang them on their hooks in the back of the classroom. Each morning, the students come in and put their belongings into the black bags. Once I started doing this, I didn't have any more lice breakouts in my classroom. I also don't allow students to share chairs because they often hang their coats on the back of them. I know that this sounds like it could take a lot of time for the students to put their things away, but it definitely helps prevent breakouts in my classroom. Then on the last day of school, they put everything that they have in their desks into them and take it all home using their own black garbage bags. I only had to replace a couple of the bags.
     
  11. Amanda

    Amanda Administrator Staff Member

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    Jul 9, 2004

    I got lice my first year of teaching. Lice do not fly or jump, they crawl. You must have direct contact with someone who has them in order for them to spread, so I would be surprised if the teacher gave it to all those kids. Kids usually get it from each other by lying down on the carpet, sharing hats/brushes/etc., and hugging/being too close.

    I got it from one of my students who I often leaned down to talk to several times a day. (He was in trouble a lot. ;)) My hair was below my shoulders, so it must have brushed across his just so. I didn't even realize I had anything wrong, but when the nurse came to check the class, I had her check me just in case. She found nits! AAAAHHHH! Luckily the live ones don't survive when you wash and blow dry your hair. I remembered a bit of itching before then, but my head has itched worse when there was no lice.

    I wish people didn't see lice as such a stigma... They treat their kids at home, then don't let the school know about it. Anyone can get lice. Chronic lice is another story.
     
  12. skelley

    skelley Rookie

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    Jul 9, 2004

    Amanda, I hate the stigma that goes along with lice too. Actually lice prefer to live in clean hair. That is why putting hairspray and various products on your hair in the morning is a great way to help prevent the bugs from getting you. I always talk to my class about how lice like the clean hair and that anyone can get lice -even teachers. We talk about the fact that just because you have lice it doesn't mean that you are dirty. Course in first grade they don't really comprehend a lot of this, but maybe they will remember it in the future.
    Question - how many chronic licers do you all have every year? Generally I have at least 1 every year. I teach in a middle to lower class school that is about 98% caucasion.
     
  13. Amanda

    Amanda Administrator Staff Member

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    Jul 9, 2004

    My school has about the same demographics. Last year I didn't have any chronic cases, just 2 temporary ones. :) The previous 2 years I had one each year, and no one else in the class ever got them. Other years were similar.

    It was so cute this year, because every time we talked about the "bugs" the nurse was checking for, several would announce that they had them in preschool. :)
     

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