Sorry if the title has you all itching now! I was curious as to how your school deals with lice outbreaks. If you have a child who has lice in your classroom, is your entire class checked?
In the previous school I taught at, if one student had it, the nurse would come and check everyone. Where I am now, the nurse says "no, only if they're itching" will she check them. I have had 4 kids in one week go home because of lice! My thinking is that EVERYONE should be checked because it would be better to get the kids treated before the little buggers hatch, not after they've hatched and are crawling all over the place!
I am just so furious that this situation is not being taken care of. It would be nice to know how other schools deal with it.
I had a child with lice this year. The whole class was checked two times that week and a not was sent home that a child has lice in the classroom. They also gave me spray that kills the lice and when the kids were gone for the day I sprayed down the whole classroom. Also all of my pillows and stuffed animals were bagged up for at least 48 hours. If you can you should check your students. Just look for white dots on the root of the hair that you can't get off and little bugs.
On occasion, parent volunteers will do head checks of a whole class. If a student has lice, a letter goes home to the whole class stating that lice has been found, and for parents to please check their child. This letter also goes home if a sibling is found to have lice. The other sibling(s) are then checked.
If a student has lice, the school nurse does a whole class head check. If more than one has it, we are told to bag up pillows and stuffed animals and they spray our rooms. However, I wash and bag even if one person has it. The student has to be cleared by the office before coming back to class. Last year I had one student who missed 4 weeks of school because they couldn't get rid of it. We even brought the shampoo, new brushes, laundry detergent, rolls of quarters, garbage bags, etc to their apartment to try to help, but they really struggled.
A whole class check. The child is not allowed to come back to the classroom until the nurse has cleared him. I have a girl in my class that has had it three times this school year. I've never had lice in my class before.
We aren't allowed to send home notification either. We are having an outbreak at our school right now. The nurse is so busy with sick kids (flu, strep, stomach virus) she has not had time to check every room. We aren't allowed to have volunteers check. I am hoping every teacher sprays their room today and maybe we will be clear by Monday.
We are not able to send home notices either and there are no head checks at our school. I have had three children so far this year that have had it. The nurse will come in to check the children who have it, but she said they don't do head checks on the others. It is very frustrating!
Your school nurses are wrong about the HIPAA laws being violated. It's only a violation to list the name of the student with a contagious illness. It's a matter of public health to inform the students in that classroom about an outbreak of a contagious disease in their classroom (pink eye, lice, MRSA etc).
HIPAA laws only pertain to medical records of an individual (Security standards protecting the confidentiality and integrity of "individually identifiable health information," past, present or future.) from http://www.hipaadvisory.com/REGS/HIPAAprimer.htm
We seem to have a lot of lice outbreaks, so we are pretty strict about it. If someone has lice and the parent lets the school know, we let all the parents in that class know (via note, without naming the actual student) to watch out, and we check all the students who share a class with that child. The note says something like "all children have been checked, but keep an eye out, blah blah." If someone spots lice on a child, we send the whole class to the nurse to be checked, and a letter goes home there as well. There is one girl in my class (I had her last year too, as it is a mixed grade class) who seems to instigate all the lice attacks in our room! She has had lice 4 times since last year. I always wear my hair up, jic!
All of the grades (K-5) have a weekly lice check time. The kids line up in the office, the nurse checks them, and then they line up outside the door. If a student has lice, the teacher is given a note to send home with the child that states they are not allowed to return to class until they have been cleared by the nurse. If there are siblings, they are checked that same day rather than wait for their scheduled times. If it is severe, they are sent home immediately.
Our nurse checks everyone in the class as well as the classes of any siblings of the child with lice. She just comes into my classroom with her gloves and her long q-tips and just goes around the room while they work. Kids who have them are sent home and not allowed to come back until the nurse checks them again. One year, I had a little girl who had them so bad we could see them crawling. A couple of times, kids came to me and said they saw bugs in the little girl's hair. I sent her to the nurse and she was sent home. The last time, I was doing a running record. She had her head down looking at her book and I could see them crawling on the top of her head. That was a week before school was out for the year. She went home and never came back.
Are there any NYC teachers out there that are really struggling with the new lice policy? I really think that these cases are not being documented and the city has no clue of the severity and problems that stem from it. I think we should come together to protest the new policy. I have called 311, the office of communicable disease and the union. i keep playing phone tag with the union. my union rep is useless. unless we actually come together to prove that this is a citywide epidemic and that the new policy only enables the lice to spread, nothing will be done. So, if you have the same issue in your class and want to contact me about what to do, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I think that nurse is over-interpreting HIPPA laws. I'm pretty sure it would only be a violation of the laws if the notes listed the students' names. We used to get notes constantly about strep throat and other stuff (we called them the disease of the week).
At my old school, if there was a reported case of lice, we checked every head in that classroom, plus the classes of any siblings. If they switched classes and were mixed with other students, those students would get checked too. I can remember times when the whole school would be checked (usually if there were a lot of cases, just to be safe). One year, they spent spring break thoroughly cleaning the whole building because we'd had such an epidemic.
No, not really! A few years ago, if a child had lice the school nurse would check everyone in the classroom. Now, our school handles it the same way that yours does. I agree - it is much better to diagnose the problem early, so that the students can get treatment before it gets really bad.
I am amazed at how many of you actually have a school nurse around that often (or at all) to do the checking!!! We don't have a nurse at all. In past years we've only had a nurse once a week---if that. Our school secretary pokes around to see if a child has lice, sends them home and we send a schoolwide note (NO NAMES of course). I check sometimes if someone is scratching a lot. Creeps me out, but years ago my daughter caught them from a friend. It happens. Yuck. I'd love to catch a few and feed them to our class pet bearded dragon. .
One teacher I worked with years ago caught a louse with a piece of scotch tape and stuck it on a piece of paper. She put it on the staff bulletin board so teachers could actually see what they were looking for. I had always heard that they were microscopic. I'm not sure whey people say that. They are very easy to see, although they move fast.
I took my daughter to the hairdresser on Thursday only to find out that she has head lice. I was beside myself; I have never dealt with them or even seen one in my life. I notified the school immediately after I found out on Thursday and I kept her home from school Friday to deal with the issue seriously. But NOTHING was as HORRIFYING as my daughter being told (at a school dance, no less) today that her teacher announced to her whole class that SHE (used her name) had lice and that they all had to be checked!!!!!! She was MORTIFIED!! I IMMEDIATELY called the principal at home (I really should have waited until I was calmer....I used appropriate language but I was FURIOUS!!!!) and demanded that the teacher apologize to my child in front of the whole class on Monday and I told her that I expect the teacher to be reprimanded. This isn't even a public school!!! I pay OUTRAGEOUS dollars to send my child to a school that allows a teacher to act like this!!! I see from others posts that HIPPA has rules about privacy... but I haven't found exactly what I can use to deal with what has happened here.
We have never had a school nurse, so when we have a a student with lice, we have to stop what we are doing and check our entire class. The children with nits are sent home to be treated and are not supposed to return until they are nit-free. OF course, they usually come back the next day (with or without having been treated), I have to check them again to ensure they are nit-free and when I see they still have nets, they are sent to the office again. Many times these students do not have phones, or have a 45 mile bus ride, with no-one with transportation available to pick them up, so they end up staying, regardless of the policy!Drives me crazy!
The district I work in changed the policy from children stayed home till there were no nits to its ok to send them back the next day. Well this year one of the kids in my class got lice but because they could be sent back the next day the parents used the "natural" method and sent the child back the next day and never told me their child had lice. Three weeks later she and her best friend tell me that her best friend has lice because they shared a hair thing. I send them to the office and find out it has spread to quite a few kids. Some were itching, a lot were not at all. We started requiring the children do not come back till the nits were gone because so many kids had them. We started having parent volunteers check the children from the classes that have them. Mostly spread through and afterschool program practically every kid who was in the program had lice so tons of classes had lice. Arrgh...