The word of the week is Pediculosis, and before you go looking it up, it means Head Lice. We tend to find out about this in various ways and this week it was while I was retrieving the absence messages.
"Hello, my son …….. in Mrs………..'s class will not be in school today because he has, because, because of head lice."
Step 1: Forward the message to the nurse (scratch my head)
Step 2: Tell the secretary so we can get the notices in mailboxes (she scratches her head, I scratch again)
Step 3: Tell the principal (we scratch again)
Step 4: Call Transportation to have them wash down bus, get seating chart (scratch some more and listen to them tell you you're making them itchy)
Step 5: Page the custodian to remove and bag carpet, stuffed animals, etc. Provide teacher with garbage bags for students to put their lunch boxes, coats, and backpacks (scratch some more, using both hands)
Step 6: Nurse notifies the staff via e-mail (virtually everyone who walks into the office is now scratching and complaining of being itchy)
So this is how it goes for the next two weeks. The students in the offending class will have their heads checked. The students on the same bus with the lousy student will have their heads checked. Various teachers/staff members will also have their heads checked regardless of their proximity to the offending classroom or any of the students.
I have to say that this parent who called in was very brave. She definitely did the right thing which is more than can be said about some of her peers.
It appears that this mother was seen by a teacher in the grocery store the night before she called in to report the head lice. The mom was buying the stuff you need to treat it and she was overheard saying that she wished that the school nurse would check the students' heads so that this could be stopped. Apparently she was aware of other families who were having the same problem.
Our teacher immediately piped up and asked the mom which school the child attended and it was ours. Our teacher told the mom that the school nurse does indeed check the students heads if she is aware that they need to be checked (someone has to report it, there's no such thing as random head checking). Our teacher encouraged the mom to call the nurse in the morning to let her know what was going on.
When our nurse did call back the mom who left the absence message, knowing about the grocercy store conversation prompted her to ask the mom if she knew of any other students. The mom said yes, but was unwilling to name names. Our nurse asked her to contact the parents and have them contact the school so that we could avoid the spread of these little buggers.
Not one called. So hopefully, we will be done with this in 2 weeks. In the meantime there'll be a whole lot of itchin' goin on!
And I have to close with this –
Our principal came into the office at the end of the day snickering. He said "you see what I have to deal with." He told us that a third grader had come up to him and told him that he was very lucky. When he asked the student why he thought he was lucky the student told him…..
"Don't you know there's head lice in the school?"
"Well you're lucky because you're the most protected. You're bald."
Okay, you can stop scratching now!