Head Lice

Virginia Beach City Public Schools Health Services procedures are at a higher standard than the Virginia Department of Health Communicable Disease Reference Chart for School Personnel, Pediculosis Recommendations.

Head lice (Pediculus humanus capitis) are small insects found on the head and live close to the scalp. Head lice are not known to spread disease. Head lice move by crawling; they cannot hop or fly. Head lice are spread by direct contact with the hair of an infested person.

Identification of student with head lice infestation

A student is confirmed to have head lice infestation when the school nurse identifies live lice on the student's head, and/or nits are found within 1/4 inch of the base of the hair shafts (scalp). Screening, recommendations and communication will be managed in a discreet manner to maintain the student's confidentiality and privacy rights.

  • The student will not return to class and the parent/guardian will be contacted to pick the student up from school.
  • The student must receive treatment for head lice before returning to school.
  • The student's parent/guardian will receive a copy of the Head Lice Education Handout. In elementary schools, if 1 case of head lice infestation is identified in a classroom, a notification letter to parents/guardians and a Head Lice (Pediculus humanus capitis) Education Handout will be distributed to all students in that particular classroom.
  • Upon return to school, the student must report to the clinic and the nurse will recheck the student to rule out continued head lice infestation.
  • The student will be rechecked by the school nurse in 14 days.
  • In elementary schools, if evidence of greater than one case of head lice infestation is obtained by the school nurse, the nurse will complete head lice checks on all students in that particular classroom.

Questions or Concerns

Contact your school nurse.