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Sweetwater Un HSD |  BP  5141.33  Students

Head Lice   

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The Board of Trustees 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 his/her 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 allowed to stay in school until the end of the school day. The parent/guardian of an affected student shall receive information about recommended treatment procedures and sources of further information. Routine screenings by parents/guardians/caregivers is essential. 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 weekly for up to six weeks.

Chronic Cases

If a child is found repeatedly infested with head lice for six consecutive weeks or in three separate months of the school year, the child should be deemed to have a "chronic" head lice case. It is important for schools to identify these children since their continuing infestations may signify the other family or socioeconomic problems. These chronic cases should be reported to the school attendance review board and be addressed by a multidisciplinary work group. The work group could consist of representatives from the local health department, social services, the school (district) nurse, and the other appropriate individuals to determine the best approach to identifying and resolving the family problems that impact the child's chronic louse infestation and school attendance.

(cf. 5141.3 - Health Examinations)

(cf. 5141.6 - Student Health and Social Services)

The Superintendent or his/her designee shall send home the notification required by law for excluded students. (Section 120230 of the Health and Safety Code)

(cf. 5112.2 - Exclusions from Attendance)

(cf. 5145.6 - Parental Notifications)

The principal and school nurse shall work with the parents/guardians/caregivers 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 given class have been identified as having a head lice infestation, all students in the class shall be examined by the school nurse. In consultation with the school nurse, the principal may also send information about head lice home to all parents/guardians/caregivers 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: November 17, 2008 Chula Vista, California

revised: May 13, 2013