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Oceanside USD |  BP  5141.33  Students

Head Lice   

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The Board of Education believes that the district's head lice management program should emphasize the correct diagnosis and treatment of head lice in order to minimize disruption of the education process and to reduce the number of student absences resulting from infestation. In consultation with the school nurse, the Superintendent or designee may establish a routine screening program to help prevent the spread of head lice.

School employees shall report all suspected cases of head lice to the school nurse or designee as soon as possible. The nurse or designee shall examine the student and other students who are siblings of the affected student or members of the same household.

If a student is found with active, adult head lice, he/she shall be excluded from attendance. The parent/guardian of an excluded student shall receive information about recommended treatment procedures and sources of further information. The student shall be allowed to return to school the next day and shall be checked by the nurse or designee before returning to class. Once he/she is determined to be free of lice, the student shall be rechecked on a weekly basis.

Excluded students may return to school when 1) parent/guardians send to school the signed HS-31 form, 2) reexamination by the nurse/designee shows that there are no lice present, 3) and the majority of the nits have been removed. Students with nits remaining are required to repeat treatment in seven to ten days and will be checked by the nurse or designee on a weekly basis to ensure that all nits are removed. If the number of nits has not decreased after the second treatment, the student will again be excluded for nit removal. The school nurse/designee, in consultation with the school principal, will make the decision regarding readmission.

Because head lice are not uncommon and are easily spread, the superintendent or designee shall send information about the treatment and control of head lice to parents/guardians as needed to prevent the spread of infestations. As part of the health curriculum, teachers shall stress the importance of preventative measures.

The school board recognizes that responsibility for the treatment of head lice rests with the home. When lice or untreated nits are found, the student shall be sent home as soon as possible with proper parental notification.

Students will be evaluated prior to readmission to school. Students will not be readmitted unless they are free of all evidence of head lice and the majority of the nits have been removed. The school nurse/designee in consultation with the school principal will make the decision regarding readmission.

Staff shall make every effort to maintain the privacy of students identified as having head lice and excluded for treatment.

(cf. 5141.3 - Health Examinations)

(cf. 5141.6 -School Health Services)

The Superintendent or designee shall send home the notification required by law for excluded students. (Education Code 48213)

(cf. 5112.2 - Exclusions from Attendance)

(cf. 5145.6 - Parental Notifications)

The principal and school nurse shall work with the parents/guardians of any student who has been deemed to be a chronic head lice case in order to help minimize the student's absences from school.

(cf. 5113 - Absences and Excuses)

(cf. 5113.1 - Truancy)

When two or more students in any class have been identified as having a head lice infestation, all students in the class shall be examined. In consultation with the school nurse, the principal may also send information about head lice home to all parents/guardians of the students in that class.

(cf. 5125 - Student Records)

Staff shall maintain the privacy of students identified as having head lice and excluded from attendance.

(cf. 4119.23/4219.23/4319.23 - Unauthorized Release of Confidential/Privileged Information)

Legal Reference:


48210-48216 Persons excluded

49451 Physical examinations: parent's refusal to consent

Management Resources:


Lice, Nits, and School Policy, Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, May 2001


Guidelines on Head Lice Prevention and Control for School Districts and Child Care Facilities, 2009


Position Statement: Pediculosis Management, 2005


California Department of Public Health:

California School Nurses Organization:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Parasitic Disease Information, Head Lice:


adopted: October 12, 2010 Oceanside, California