School working with community to address nit policy

B y Derek Liebig

Whitehall Central School will examine its no-nit policy after the district’s pediatrician penned a letter urging officials to change the guidelines.

Superintendent Elisabeth Legault said Dr. Eugene McTiernan suggested to officials the district’s current policy regarding head lice should be examined and modified.

Although Legault said during last week’s monthly board meeting she was aware of only two instances of head lice since she took over as superintendent at the beginning of the month, it was something the district needs to address.

“It’s an issue that came to our attention and we are taking proactive measures and cooperating to address it,” she said.

Currently, students who are discovered to have lice—dead or alive—are sent home and must receive treatment to remove the lice. Once treated, they can return to school, but are evaluated by the school nurse before being permitted to return to class. If lice are discovered upon their return, they are sent home and the process repeats itself until the student no longer has lice.

Legault said the policy is problematic because students end up missing academic time.

“Students shouldn’t miss school,” she said. “We don’t want students missing academic time; that’s the goal. Having them home is not beneficial to students, K (kindergarten) through 12.”

Lice are wingless parasitic insects that live among human hairs and feed on small amounts of blood. Although they can inflict anyone, they tend to be a more common problem in children ages 3 years to 12 years.

According to Nemours, a nonprofit organization dedicated to children’s health, lice are not dangerous and are a more of a nuisance than a serious health problem. And while they can be easily spread if kids share clothing like hats, or have head to head contact, they are not contagious in the same manner as the common cold.

“It’s a benign condition, but it makes people a little weary,” Legault said.

Following Monday’s meeting, the Whitehall Board of Education was expected to form a task force, consisting of teachers, school nurses and parents, to discuss and evaluate the policy.

“It can be difficult to talk about but we need to discuss it further and decide where as a community and a Board (of Education) we want to go,” Legault said. “It may sound cliché, but it takes a village to raise a child and we want to work with the community and create a capacity to move forward.”

The current policy will remain in place until the district determines how to proceed.

Comments

comments

Read more in this week's Times in newsstands now or click here to read right now with our e-edition.

Tags:

North Country Freepress – 09/21/18

FreePress_9_21_18.pdf-web.pdf

Lakes Region Freepress – 09/21/18

lakes_9_21_18.pdf-web.pdf

518 Wheels – 09/20/18

518 Wheels 9_21_18.pdf-web.pdf

Bomb squad called to Granville village

bomb3

By Krystle S. Morey Mettowee Street was abuzz with law enforcement activity Sunday afternoon. “They found a grenade,” said Granville […]

Safety officers take to school hallways

DSC_0089

By Krystle S. Morey and Matthew Saari   A new school year has begun, and with it comes a new […]

Dresden firemen seek more funds

Dresden 2017

By Matthew Saari The firemen in Dresden are seeking a budget increase – potentially the first in 15 years. Members […]

Sasquatch Calling Festival returns Sept. 29

sasquatch, bigfoot

By Matthew Saari The hills and vales of the bucolic Whitehall countryside will be resonating with the deep, sonorous calls […]

North Country Freepress – 09/14/18

FreePress_9_14_18.pdf-web.pdf

Lakes Region Freepress – 09/14/18

Lakes_9_14_18.pdf-web.pdf

518 Wheels – 09/13/18

518 Wheels 9_14_18.pdf-web.pdf

Village debates, OKs pig farm

DSC_0923

By Matthew Saari Whitehall trustees had to roll out extra chairs last Thursday to accommodate everyone interested in the proposed […]

Manchester Wood closes Sunday

manchester wood building mug

By Krystle S. Morey This is Manchester Wood’s “official” last week of business. Its last day is set for Sunday, […]