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Oakland and Berkeley School Head Lice Policies

Oakland and Berkeley School Head Lice Policies
Updated on 
May 16, 2019

Schools in the Oakland and Berkeley areas do not remove children from classes solely based on the presence of nits or eggs. Only the presence of live crawling adult lice is cause for a child to be excluded from attendance.

Oakland Unified School District


The District defines a healthy and safe environment as one in which adults work together to provide thefollowing environmental factors established by current research as necessary for the health and well being of students with head lice:

  • Educating staff, students, and parents/guardians about head lice.
  • Establishing evidence based management for students with head lice.

The goals of providing a healthy and safe environment for students with head lice are to:

  • Maximize academic performance
  • Minimize absence due to unnecessary exclusion of students with head lice

To better manage and to limit the spread of head lice infestations, school employees shall report all suspectedcases of head lice to the school nurse or designee who will examine the student. If a school nurse is not available, call Health Services at (510) 874-3750/em>.

Note: Identification of nits or lice is not an emergency. A nurse will be sent to the site when available


If nits are found but no live lice, the school nurse or designee will re-inspect in 7-10 days; no treatment is necessary.

Live (crawling) lice

If live (crawling) lice are found on the hair, the parent/guardian shall be notified by the end of the day via phone, email, and/or a note sent home with the student. The parent/guardian shall be provided information on the biology of head lice, methods to eliminate infestation, and directions to examine household contacts for lice and nits. The school nurse or designee may notify parents/guardians in the affected classroom to encourage them to check their children and to treat, if appropriate, and/or examine other students most likely to have had  direct head to head contact with the affected student. Note: If a decision is made to notify about possible contact, Information about Lice, District Policy, and checking for nits will be included.

Parents/guardians will be encouraged to verify treatment as soon as possible after notification. If the parent/guardian is unable to afford treatment, the student will be referred to Health Services.

Source: Oakland USD Head Lice Fact Sheet


The Governing Board believes that the district's head lice management program should emphasize the correct diagnosis and treatment of active head lice infestations in order to minimize disruption of the education process and to reduce the number of student absences resulting from infestation.

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.

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 if the student is free from active adult head lice; the student shall be checked by thenurse 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.

The Superintendent or designee shall send home the notification required by law for excluded students. The principal and school nurse or designee 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.

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

Source Berkeley USD

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