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Head Lice Information

Dear Parents/Guardians:

Annually, our schools encounter instances of head lice among students. We aim to inform you about our initiatives to manage head lice and want to assure you that we are implementing all essential measures to reduce exposure during your child's stay with us.


Head lice, affecting six to twelve million children annually, is a common occurrence among ages three to twelve, unrelated to personal hygiene or cleanliness. Head lice occur in all socioeconomic groups. The transmission happens through direct head-to-head contact or by sharing personal items such as combs, brushes, caps, or helmets. Nits (or egg sacs) of lice are cemented to human hair and appear as small, oval-shaped specks that look like dandruff. Contrary to popular belief, head lice do not fly or jump; they crawl and cannot survive long without feeding. In fact, assuming they leave the scalp and do not find another host, head lice will typically starve within one to two days (a typical weekend break). As such, it is imperative that families take a proactive stance as well so that head lice are not brought to the school from home.


While head lice pose no health risks, we understand the concerns of parents and guardians as they are a nuisance for families. In consultation with our school physician, school nurses, the Pennsylvania Department of Health, and a review of Center for Disease Control guidelines, in the case of head lice detection, the District’s lice remediation plan includes the following action steps: 

  • Conduct class checks when two or more students are found to have head lice at the same time.
  • Notify parents/guardians when two or more students are found to have head lice in a classroom at the same time.
  • Send students diagnosed with head lice home from school early.
  • Allow students to return only after treatment has started.
  • The morning after a student is treated at home, he or she is checked by the school nurse before going to their classroom. The student doesn’t have to be nit-free, but we will do periodic checks to ensure a lessening number of nits.
  • Perform extra cleaning including vacuuming and shampooing of carpets and spraying seat sacks.
  • Emphasize school-home partnership to effectively manage head lice.


As part of the school-home partnership, we kindly request the following proactive actions from parents/guardians. Taking these necessary steps will help break the cycle of head lice in our schools:

  • Regularly check your child for head lice and nits, contacting the school if concerns arise.
  • Notify the school nurse immediately if your child has head lice.
  • Promptly treat with an APPROVED head lice shampoo, seeking guidance from your pharmacist or family physician.
  • Perform nit combing to remove eggs and reduce infestation duration as the shampoo does not always kill the nits. Removing nits is imperative because if not dead or removed, they can hatch in seven to ten days causing a reinfestation.
  • A daily nit check is advisable for at least ten days following treatment and should become part of routine home hygiene. Following nit removal, have the child put on clean clothes.
  • Machine wash bedding, clothes, and personal items in hot water and dry for at least thirty minutes in a hot dryer.
  • Wash combs, brushes, and hair items.
  • Vacuum all carpet, car seats, mattresses, upholstered furniture and floors. Throw away the vacuum bag.
  • Bag all stuffed animals or items that cannot be dry-cleaned or washed for two weeks.
  • Speak to your child about the importance of not sharing these items - hairbrushes, combs, hats, coats, rubber bands, or barrettes.
  • If your child has lice or nits and has recently been in contact with other students (such as at a sleepover), please let the other parents know so they can check their children.
  • Avoid unproven remedies such as vinegar, alcohol, or oils, as scientific evidence does not support their effectiveness.


We will continue to treat occurrences of head lice seriously and encourage each of our families to do so as well. Without the school-home partnership, the pesky little pests will continue to return. We encourage you to check your child for head lice routinely over the next several weeks as we need your help to prevent further occurrences. Parent/Guardian cooperation will help protect all children, including your own.

These pages on the Centers for Disease Control website have helpful information about head lice, including signs and symptoms, what to look for, and how to treat effectively.  We thank you for your cooperation. If you think your child may have head lice or if you have questions, please contact your school nurse.