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Oceanside and Vista School Head Lice Policies

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Updated on July 19, 2020

Both Oceanside and Vista schools have changed their head lice policies to be more aligned with recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics.The schools will re-admit students who have begun treatment that has eradicated the live lice and a “majority of the nits have been removed.”


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.

Source: Oceanside USD School Board


The Board of Trustees recognizes that head lice infestations do not pose a health hazard, are not a sign of uncleanliness, and are not responsible for the spread of any disease. The district is committed to maximizing students' academic performance and physical well being in a healthy and safe environment.

A head lice policy following the evidence-based recommendations of state and national health organizations will reduce embarrassment for students and anxiety for parents and school staff. Policy based on current research will prevent unnecessary absences and the potential negative effects on academic performance.


It is the Board's position that the management of pediculosis should not disrupt the education process. Data does not support school exclusion for nits. Children found with live head lice should be referred to the parent for treatment and temporarily excluded from school following the district administrative regulations pertaining to the management of head lice in schools. 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 within 48 hours. School staff shall maintain the privacy of student at all times.

The Board recognizes the importance of educating staff, students, and parents/guardians on the management and prevention of head lice.

Source: Vista USD School Board

Even if your school no longer holds to a strict “no nit” policy, it can be stressful to try to determine if you have removed a “majority” of nits. LiceDoctors is proficient at lice and nit removal and can help you have confidence to return your child to school right away. Call 858-939-9202 now and your child can return to school as soon as his or her treatment is complete.