School Lice Policies Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties
In consideration of recommendations by the California Department of Public Health, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the Centers for Disease Control, many districts in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties now have a "no live lice" policy in place. This is a departure from the prior policy, which was a “no nit” policy. The difference between a “no nit” and a “no lice” policy is that students with nits or eggs will be admitted to school under the latter policy. With a “no nit” policy, students with nits or eggs will not be allowed to enter school.
Oxnard School District
Consistent with recommendations of the aforementioned key medical groups, Oxnard schools have a "no lice" policy but not a "no nit" policy. Schools in this district do allow students to stay in school with live bugs the day that the child is diagnosed. The child is then sent home to be treated and will be allowed back in school after treatment even if there are nits left in the head. Below is the policy for Oxnard schools: "The Governing Board recognizes that head lice infestations among students require treatment but do not pose a risk of transmitting disease. The Superintendent or designee shall encourage early detection and treatment in a manner that minimizes disruption to the educational program and reduces student absences. The Superintendent or designee may distribute information to parents/guardians of preschool and elementary students regarding routine screening, symptoms, accurate diagnosis, and proper treatment of head lice infestations. The Superintendent or designee also may provide related information to school staff. School employees shall report all suspected cases of head lice to the school nurse or designee as soon as possible. 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 any such student shall be given information about the treatment of head lice and encouraged to begin treatment of the student immediately and to check all members of the family. The parent/guardian also shall be informed that the student shall be checked upon return to school the next day and allowed to remain in school if no active head lice are detected. If a student is found consistently infested with head lice, he/she may be referred to a multidisciplinary team, which may consist of the school nurse, representatives from the local health department and social services, and other appropriate individuals, to determine the best approach for identifying and resolving problems contributing to the student’s head lice infestations. When it is determined that three or more students in any class are infested with head lice, the principal or designee may, at his/her discretion, notify parents/guardians of students in that class and provide them with information about the detection and treatment of head lice."
More information: www.oceanviewsd.org
Conejo Valley Schools in Thousand Oaks
Unlike Oxnard schools, schools in Thousand Oaks still maintain "no nit" policies. Students with any signs of nits in their hair will not be permitted to enter school. "Head Lice are a nuisance that end up on heads throughout the world, and school children and families can commonly end up with these pests. They are most typically spread through direct head-to-head contact, while they can less commonly be spread through sharing of personal items such as hair accessories, hats, clothing, etc. If your child has head lice, please notify our office (495-5550). This helps us check other children, inform parents, and keep the sperad of lice at bay. After your child is treated and nit free, he/she will need to be checked by office personnel before being allowed back at school. CVUSD has a no nit policy. You need to treat head lice with a special lice shampoo recommended by your pharmacist or doctor, and all nits and bugs must be removed from the hair. Coconut or other oil can help pulling the nits out and checking DAILY after a treatment is very important. You also need to retreat a 3-4 days later with the shampoo or product of choice, and again most important comb out and "nit pick". This is a lengthy and difficult process, but it is necessary. We recommend children with long hair wear it pulled back - braids are great. This helps prevent spreading. Having head lice is very common. Preschool and elementary children, aged 3-10, and their families are infested most often by head lice. The following site may be helpful.”
More information: www.conejousd.org
Ventura schools stipulate the following policy which leaves admission to school up to the nurse:
"1. SCHOOL ROLE: Trained school personnel check for head lice of children referred. When head lice are identified, children are sent home from school for proper care. Each case is monitored and rechecked in seven to ten days or as needed.
2. Classroom and staff education is conducted as necessary to help prevent the spread of head lice.
A CHILD MAY RETURN TO SCHOOL WHEN: Trained school personnel determine whether or not a student is free from a current head lice infestation.
A CHILD SHOULD NOT MISS MORE THAN 2 DAYS OF SCHOOL AFTER BEING IDENTIFIED WITH HEAD LICE INFESTATION."
More information: www.venturausd.org
Oak Park Unified School District
This district head lice policy stipulates that students with live bugs will be sent home and will not be allowed to return to school until no live bugs are found in the head. "The Governing Board 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 any siblings of affected students 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 following treatment and shall be checked by the nurse or designee before returning to class. Once he/she is determined to be free of active, adult head 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 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. When two or more students in any class have been identified as having 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 students in that class. Staff shall maintain the privacy of students identified as having head lice and excluded from attendance."
More information: www.oakparkusd.org
Keep in mind that school districts revisit and revise their lice policies from time to time. To be sure that you have the most updated lice policy for your district, call your school nurse.