School District Head Lice Policies

Los Angeles Public Schools

Los Angeles public schools have a “no live head lice” policy; they send children home with live bugs but children with nits may be readmitted after treatment at home. The district web site states, “Communicable disease inspections may be conducted periodically. A student suspected of having a communicable disease will be excluded from school until guidelines for readmission are met. Guidelines for exclusion and readmission follow policies set forth by the school district, the state Department of Health and Department of Education. Guidance in addressing communicable diseases also comes from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and national organizations. Temporary exclusion of a student from school generally occurs for communicable diseases, including, but not limited to, the following conditions: conjunctivitis (―pink eye‖); skin infections (impetigo), strep throat, chickenpox, scabies, head lice, and pertussis (―whooping cough‖). Exclusion may occur immediately or at the end of the school day, depending on the disease, its communicability and district, county and state policy. Readmission to school is based on condition and appropriate treatment. An effort will be made to notify parents/guardians about school exposure to chickenpox, head lice, or other communicable disease that pose a risk to students.

Burbank Public Schools

Burbank schools follow the recommendations of the California site discussed above; in other words, the district maintains a “no live lice” policy. 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 weekly for up to six weeks.

Long Beach Public Schools

Like the Los Angeles and Burbank school districts, the Long Beach School District Policy “mandates that a child that is found to have live lice will be dismissed from school. Once the child has been treated with the appropriate shampoo he/she should be rechecked by the school nurse upon return to school.” Children with nits will not be sent home.

Pasadena Public Schools

2012, the Pasadena Public Schools revised their school lice policy and adopted the same policy as stipulated above in the Palmdale schools. Students with live bugs may remain in school until the end of the day and then must be treated. If the child returns to school the next day with live bugs, his parent or guardian will be called to discuss treatment. This policy is considered to be lenient and is keeping with the recommendations of key medical associations.

Beverly Hills Public Schools

Beverly Hills is the first district that we have come across to switch to a “no lice” policy (in 2013) and then switch back to a “no nit” policy. The school Board of Education unanimously voted to approve a “no nit” policy in 2014. Children with nits will now be sent home from school and will not be re-admitted until they are nit-free.

Santa Monica-Malibu Public Schools

Like the Beverly Hills schools, Santa Monica-Malibu schools also have a “no nit “ policy in place. The district web site states, “Children who exhibit evidence of head lice will be excluded by classroom staff, and may not return until 24 hours after treatment has begun and all evidence of head lice (nits) is no longer present. Lice are a fact of life in our community. Since your child may be exposed, it is important that you be aware of the symptoms, treatment procedure, and your role in the prevention of the spread of infestation. Head lice can affect anyone. Prompt, thorough treatment and reporting are essential to prevent epidemic outbreaks. If you suspect your child has lice, notify the school office. SCHOOL READMITTANCE: A child who is found to have head lice will be excluded from school immediately. Inspection by the school nurse or a certificate from the family physician is required to readmit the child to school.