USD 259 health services coordinator talks about lice policy

KSN News.

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The parent of a Wichita school student emailed KSN because of a possible case of lice at his daughter’s school, and he’s concerned not enough is being done about it.

Thursday, KSN looked into USD 259 policy.

The coordinator for health services for Wichita Public Schools says the policies have changed with lice.

She says they and other large school districts follow recommendations from the Kansas Classroom Handbook of Communicable Diseases.

A Wichita parent says she’d like to know if there’s lice in her child’s classroom.

“You may see it at home, so it’s good to be prepared I remember in elementary school being notified before,” said Natasha Creasman, Wichita.

But today the district says it doesn’t let parents know if there’s a child with lice in class.

“We do not do that, we look at that as a HIPAA violation, a lot of times kids are aware when another student has lice if we send a note home, then that is kind of bringing light to that student,” said Kimber Kasitz, WPS health services coordinator.

Kasitz says instead they have school nurses send letters home to parents several times a year about lice and how to manage it. She says after the holidays where there is a lot of head to head contact with family and friends, is a good time to remind parents of it.

“Slumber parties, close family sleepovers, everybody at grandmas house that type of thing,” said Kasitz.

Another policy change started last year with students being allowed to stay when it’s discovered they have lice until the end of the school day.

Kasitz says this is because it’s not considered to be an emergency.

“They can remain in school for the remainder of that day but they do need to be treated before they return back to school,” said Kasitz.

Kasitz says there’s no state law regarding lice, but school districts also follow guidelines from the Kansas Department of Health.

Kansas doesn’t require children to be nit free before returning to the classroom. But the lice does need to be treated and students cannot come back with it the next day.

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