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Derry Township School District

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Communicable Diseases

Parents of a child who is suspected of having a communicable disease should notify their physician and the school nurse for procedures to follow.

Common Communicable Diseases:

  • Impetigo
  • Ringworm
  • Head Lice
  • Chicken Pox
  • Conjunctivitis (Possible Bacteria) - pasty/crusty/purulent drainage around the eye, please keep your child home from school and call a physician.
  • Scabies
  • Mumps

DTSD Pediculosis Capitis (Head Lice) Procedures


Students found to have live lice will be excluded from school.  The student should return to school as soon as the treatment has been provided, which could be the same day. Readmission will occur when a student is cleared by a school nurse.
Literature supports that the only sure way to successfully treat head lice is through mechanical removal of nits, following application of a pediculicidal agent used in accordance with PA Department of Health, PA Department of Education, and American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines or in consultation with a primary care provider.


  • Review rationale for screening with the student.
  • Screen by direct inspection of the hair and scalp, using a clean stick(s) for each student.
  • Review findings with the student promptly in a private setting.
  • Inform parent(s)/ guardian(s) of student having head lice and/or viable nits.
  • Inform parent of immediate exclusion of the student from school. The student will be sent home or, if no parent/guardian can be contacted, the student will remain in the Nursing Office until a parent/guardian can be reached.
  • Demonstrate removal of nits when a parent arrives to pick up student (provide handout).
  • Provide instruction to parents and students on appropriate treatment for and prevention of head lice.


  • Advise the classroom teacher of the need for the student to be rechecked immediately upon return to school. Student may not re-enter classroom until cleared by a school nurse.
  • Screen siblings as soon as possible.
  • Advise other school nurses of siblings in other school buildings.
  • Within 24 hours, send the Notification of Lice letter home to parents/guardians of students in the classroom following the first indication of lice.
  • Provide notification to appropriate school personnel and information on preventative measures such as:
  • Avoiding shared equipment/items (hats, combs/brushes, helmets)
  • Request for carpeted areas or fabric covered furniture to be vacuum cleaned (then discarding the vacuum cleaner bag immediately)
  • Immediate removal of all cloth pillows, blankets, mats, etc. from the classroom for a minimum of two weeks. All items must be thoroughly cleaned or sealed in a plastic bag during that time.
  • If the school nurse confirms two concurrent cases of head lice in the same classroom, the entire class will be screened individually by the school nurse in the Nursing office.
  • Confidentiality and privacy will be protected at all times.

Re-entry Criteria

Following exclusion, the parent/guardian must transport the student to school and accompany the student to the Nursing office for screening of head lice. The student must be checked and cleared by a school nurse prior to being re-admitted to school. If live lice are seen, the student will be excluded again and sent home from school. After removal or re-treatment, the parent/guardian must again transport and accompany the student to the Nursing office for screening of head lice. If nits only are found upon re-entry, the student may remain in school. Parent/Guardian will be encouraged to remove nits daily until the child is free of nits.

Maintenance Criteria

  • If nits are found, parents will be notified. If excessive nits are found, parents will be informed that they may come in to school to remove the nits, remove the child from school (excused absence) to remove the nits, or remove the nits once the student arrives home after school hours.  The student will be rechecked in school upon return and every other day until no viable nits are seen. If no live lice or nits are seen, the student will be rechecked in 7 days. The student will be checked until 2 consecutive weeks of negative screenings.
  • Each time the student is sent home because of lice infestation, the student may need to be absent for a full day while proper action to eliminate the lice has been carried out. This absence is considered an excused absence from school.
  • If a student misses more than 2 consecutive days to eliminate the live lice, the school nurse will notify the building administration.
  • Parent/Guardian failure to treat head lice will require notification of Dauphin County Children and Youth Services. Please consult the school nurse if you have difficulty accessing treatment for head lice.