Information on Head Lice

  • Head lice is a common occurrence among school-aged children. It is not a disease or illness, but rather a parasitic insect that may be found on the head, eyebrows or eyelashes of people. Head lice move by crawling, they cannot hop or fly, and they are spread by direct contact with the hair of an infested person.

    For more information including signs of onfestation and treatment, click here.

    The COCISD Lice protocol is as follows:

    1. Active cases of lice will be determined in the presence of:

    • Live bugs
    • Close brown nits (1/4" or less from the scalp)

    2. In an effort to reduce classroom absences, students will be removed from the classroom for live bugs only.

    • If close brown nits are noted, parents will be advised to remove them prior to returning to school.
    • Parents will be provided with an information packet to help them navigate the treatment of lice.

    3. Routine mass screenings will not occur on a scheduled basis. Mass screenings will be done based on need, as determined by the District Nurse. The following conditions are considered possible reasons for mass screenings:

    • At the lower campuses where students spend most of their day together, it would be prudent to screen the class of a child with an active case of lice.
    • Pulling and checking the students who live in the same house as the student with head lice at any campus in the district.

    4. Students determined to have live bugs will be excluded from all school activities until they are cleared by the Health Services staff, which includes but is not limited to: riding the bus, attending class, or participating in any school function during or after school hours.

    • Students who are sent home with live lice are required to be cleared by campus Health Services staff before getting back on a bus, returning to the classroom, or participation in any school-related activity. This requires an ADULT TO BRING IN THE STUDENT TO THE CLINIC to be cleared for the day. They may not participate in any school activities until they have been cleared by the nurse.

    5. Students who go home for head lice will be excused for that day only.

    • The next following school day will not be considered excused. A student will be excused for only the day they were sent home with head lice. All other absences for head lice are unexcused, even with a note.
    • Students staying with us until the end of the day will still be excused for that day only.

    6. Students who present with recurrent cases of lice may be asked to remove close brown nits as well as treatment for live bugs prior to re-entry. This will be at the discretion of the District Nurse and/or the Superintendent.

    Exclusion from school and re-entry: Students with live bugs will be removed from the classroom and sent home. Re-entry will require the absence of ANY live lice.