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New school Head Lice Policy

Original post made by Christine, Downtown, on Feb 21, 2013

Does anyone remember hearing about this new "head lice policy" change implemented by the PUSD? As a parent to have twice brought home head lice from our elementary school, I am disturbed to know that I will no longer be getting a notice of further outbreaks in the classrooms. Also, that children who have lice are encouraged to come to class regardless of treatment.
The fact that head lice is not an illness is of no concern to me. I am bothered by the expense and the time involved cleaning up the mess. I understand how easily its transmitted, I have 3 daughters. As a person, though, it is my duty to let others know if we've had this problem and remind parents to check their children's hair. Common courtesy. We're all human, no need to be embarrassed. It can happen to anyone.
Please, if you have children that have lice, or any other bothersome bug, let the rest of us know. Anonymously if you have to. If I hadn't received a phone call, I would never have thought to check my kids' hair. And then I would have continued to send them to school... with your child.

Comments (42)

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Posted by Sam
a resident of Oak Hill
on Feb 21, 2013 at 2:34 pm

I'm not aware of any change in PUSD's policy of informing other class parents in the event that a student is found to have head lice. The student is kept anonymous, and the other parents are informed of the health concern, which is the way it should be. I find it hard to believe that there would be any change in this policy resulting in parents being kept in the dark.

If you have proof of this alleged new policy, then please provide it. If you don't have proof to back up your claims and are just relying on rumors, then you should really be calling your school to get the official facts.


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Posted by Drexl
a resident of Ironwood
on Feb 21, 2013 at 2:58 pm

Sam, link to announcement from Hearst. Stating kids continue to go to school with lice (under treatment); as for not notifying, I did not hear about that...

Web Link


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Posted by Amy Anonymous
a resident of Lydiksen Elementary School
on Feb 21, 2013 at 2:58 pm

(Post deemed inappropriate by Pleasanton Weekly Online staff)


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Posted by Drexl
a resident of Ironwood
on Feb 21, 2013 at 3:08 pm

I will add, I will give a one-time incident a pass on my kids getting lice within a school year, but, if it is more than once, I will use this new policy, and have the district pay for having lice removed from my girls; it is not fun, it takes a lot of time; so second time, I will pay $300 get it removed professionally and send the bill to the school... Let's see then if they continue allowing kids to go back to school. By the way, how much money does the school get per day for kid's attending? I know they do not get paid for being out sick; and my bet is that it was the money that drove this decision, and hence, I do not feel guilty one bit about having the school pay.


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Posted by Drexl
a resident of Ironwood
on Feb 21, 2013 at 3:12 pm

Amy, you are funny, Heck, lice will always be around, in every city, as kids play together, and share their hats, jackets and everything else...and for that reason, they need to be "cleared" before coming back to school... (Comments partially removed by Pleasanton Weekly Online staff)


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Feb 21, 2013 at 3:26 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

This from the PUSD web site: Web Link

"Head lice are a common occurrence in schools. Pupils must be treated with insecticidal shampoo found in any drug store. Pupils found to have head lice may not return to school until all nits are removed from the hair. Pupils are required to have their hair checked and found free of nits by office staff prior to re-admittance to the classroom."

I couldn't find a specific policy or regulation on the district web site that covered this topic.


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Posted by nancy s.
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 21, 2013 at 3:46 pm

@amy anonymous

You should change your name to amy ignorant. Head lice is not a low income problem.

Web Link

Before spouting off maybe you should due your due diligence. It is not ever going to go away, so learn how to treat it and move on.

I have never heard a more rediculous statement in regards to NIMBY than yours.


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Posted by teacher
a resident of Del Prado
on Feb 21, 2013 at 4:50 pm

It is true that the school no longer will be sending home notification of head lice in a particular classroom. Teachers were not informed of this new practice, until cases arose and we asked about the lack of communication. Students are allowed to return to school, and there has not been the required check for nits or remaining mites in the hair. Furthermore, most health clerks are not on duty full time; certainly not always at the site at the beginning of the day when the child returns to school.


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Posted by Poor communication from PUSD again
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 21, 2013 at 5:09 pm

This new policy was not communicated in any Pleasanton Unified e-connection that I am aware of. I have been told that the Pleasanton USD website that Kathleen R. kindly let us know about has not even been updated with the new so-called policy.

Again, this is just another example that the PUSD does poor communication and the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing. I have heard that some schools have some sort of email regarding the new policy.


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Posted by Joe Notschnowed
a resident of California Reflections
on Feb 21, 2013 at 6:21 pm

I personally believe it would be very difficult for my two sons to be the successful young entrepreneurs and irresistable lovers I expect them to be what with dirty little bugs scampering through their greasy hair. Rather than raising the perfect little Casanovas I expect them to be, they'd instead be monstrous little Frankensteins. How twisted would that be? Is it possible to be Casanova and Frankenstein at the same time? What would someone like that look like? And with head lice no less?


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Posted by Amy, the ignorant
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Feb 21, 2013 at 8:37 pm

Amy-
You are a complete fool. I grew up in Walnut Creek in the 70's and 80's, high income area. One of the wealthiest families in town introduced head lice to my classroom and I, as a middle class student, caught it.

Now that I think about it, my parents should have insisted that those richies pay for it. Or, they could have realized that it's just one of those things children are introduced to.


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Posted by Mr. Clean, and Proud of It
a resident of Ruby Hill
on Feb 21, 2013 at 9:24 pm

Reading these responses, I'm tempted to move out of the area. Amy is spot on. Lice doesn't just appear out of nowhere. It develops in uncleanly households. I don't care how rich you are, or perhaps others (nannies?) are bringing the lice in, but if you are uncleanly the lice will flourish. I think it's funny hearing all you lice-infested ones trying to argue that it isn't your fault. I've heard it all now!


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Posted by Concerned parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 23, 2013 at 7:40 am

We keep our house very clean, and yet our child got lice in preschool. It was the first time we ever saw lice since neither me nor my spouse ever had them growing up.

The problem was that a child had a severe infestation of lice, the preschool knew about it but did not bother to notify the parents. We eventually found out who the child was, and we realized why our child got the lice: we had been to that kid's house, that kid had been to ours, playdates, field trips, the kid never missed a day of preschool or an event.

When we found out our child had lice, we: 1) kept him/her out of prewschool until all lice/nits were gone, 2) notified all our friends, preschool parents, everyone we had been in contact with in the previous 6 weeks (advice of pediatrician), 3) told the school their lice policy was unacceptable and withdrew our child, went to a different preschool with better lice polices.

Other parents did the same as we did, and as for the kid with lice: we did not blame him/her getting lice, what we were upset about was not being told so we could take precautions. So the kid was not welcoome into our home anymore and many parents rejectd the family as well since they too, had lice because of the close contact they had with the kid. The kid was excluded not because he/she ever had lice but because they did not tell anyone and insteaed infested with lice many other kids.

PUSD, if they indeed changed their lice policy, needs to reconsider this nonsense and require a nit-free head (inspected by the nurse) before the child with lice can return to school.


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Posted by Sam
a resident of Oak Hill
on Feb 23, 2013 at 8:15 am

Concerned parent wrote: "PUSD, if they indeed changed their lice policy, needs to reconsider this nonsense and require a nit-free head (inspected by the nurse) before the child with lice can return to school."

I think that it's unfair of you to characterize PUSD's policy as "nonsense". Their policy was not just arbitrarily drawn up by uninformed bureaucrats. The policy is based on guidelines promoted by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), a nationally and internationally recognized and respected institution.

Web Link


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Posted by Amy
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 23, 2013 at 9:55 am

If you or your kids have head lice or nits (ewwww!) please stay away from me and my family. You can rest assured I'll stay away from you. It's unbelievable that a wealthy community can be so tolerant of uncleanly lifestyles.


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Posted by Concerned parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 23, 2013 at 10:17 am

"If you or your kids have head lice or nits (ewwww!) please stay away from me and my family. You can rest assured I'll stay away from you. It's unbelievable that a wealthy community can be so tolerant of uncleanly lifestyles."

Well said, Amy. As a parent who had to deal with lice due to a family's unwillingness to take care of the problem correctly and notify others, I can tell you it is not fun. We had to bag stuffed animals, vacuum every corner of the house, wash everything (yes, even clean clothes), send items to the cleaners, isolate our child from all friends and activities, treat other children in the house out of precaution, it was not fun and a lot of work. We did not appreciate being infested by a family that refused to isolate their child and the preschool hiding the information from us. Many families were affected, and it seems to me that PUSD may have similar situations if indeed their lice policy is what is stated in this forum.

Sam,
you are right that the CDC policy is what PUSD based its policy on. But I just read it, and I do not think it is right. The CDC is basically saying that it is OK for a child with lice to remain in school (ie, no need to be sent home early).. but do you know how many kids can get lice in that time? A lot, and as a parent who has dealt with lice due to the irresponsible parents in preschool, I do not think it is right. I did the right thing and informed everyone who was exposed to us, and kept my child out of school and activities until I was certain all lice and nits were gone. Why? Because that is the right thing to do. Just like when you have the flu, right? Common sense says: keep the kid at home to avoid spreading germs, especially if they are running a fever. Students do get sent home if sick, and lice infestations should not be any different.


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Posted by Concerned Parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 23, 2013 at 10:26 am

And btw Sam, while the CDC has a loose policy on how to deal with lice (ie, not following the zero nit policy, not sending students home, etc), they do say the following:
---------------
"Is infestation with head lice reportable to health departments?

Most health departments do not require reporting of head lice infestation. However, it may be beneficial for the sake of others to share information with school nurses, parents of classmates, and others about contact with head lice.

I don't like my school's "no-nit" policy; can CDC do something?

No. CDC is not a regulatory agency. School head lice policies often are determined by local school boards. Local health departments may have guidelines that address school head lice policies; check with your local and state health departments to see if they have such recommendations."
-------------------------

As you can see, Sam, PUSD could indeed create a lice policy that prevents spreading lice in schools, it is up to the board of trustees.


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Posted by Concerned Parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 23, 2013 at 10:27 am

I forgot in include the link, Sam:

Web Link

You can read about how it is up to the school district to draft the lice policy for their schools, and it is from the CDC


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Posted by Sam
a resident of Oak Hill
on Feb 23, 2013 at 12:00 pm

Concerned Parent wrote: "You can read about how it is up to the school district to draft the lice policy for their schools, and it is from the CDC."

Yes, ultimately the decision is up to the individual school districts. But the decision should be guided by expert opinions from public health professionals. I don't like the idea of my daughter bringing home head lice, either, but the CDC page I linked suggests that a "no-nit" policy may be an overreaction for the reasons stated on the page.

By the way, our daughter goes to Lydiksen and we recently received a classroom letter stating that a case of head lice was found among one of the students in the class. We were a bit surprised and shocked and carefully looked through our daughter's hair that night. There was nothing. On reading the CDC pages concerning head lice, I now understand that the chances of finding head lice on our daughter simply because another class child had head lice was probably pretty low since the most likely transmission method is head-to-head contact. So, personally, I'm fine with an affected child remaining in class while getting appropriate treatment if that's the recommendation of the health experts. Based on what I've read about head lice, that doesn't seem to be an unreasonable approach, although I can understand if you feel differently.


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Posted by P-Town Native
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 23, 2013 at 12:00 pm

Lice is an equal opportunity parasite. It knows no color, gender, economic social class, or age. They also can't be prevented with certain hair products (Fairytails Hair Care). I know because my children contracted lice 2 years ago while on this "lice prevention product". We have no idea how they contracted it since we didn't see the contamination occur.

Luckily, the infestation occurred within the prior 2 weeks. We hired a professional "nit-picker" who manually removed all the lice and nits from our children's hair, then counted them and was able to determine how long the infestation was in our home. I learned a lot about lice from this experience, and we will never again contract this pest:

1. Lice has become resistant to many of the pesticide shampoo's sold in drug stores and they won't die.
2. The pesticide shampoo does not kill the nits (eggs), therefore, the only way to completely rid your hair of the infestation is by manually picking out every single egg and bug.
3. Comb your children's wet hair in small sections with the "Lice Terminator Comb" it can be found at Amazon.com and Ulta carries the same comb under the "Fairy Tails Hair Care" label. It truly is the BEST comb on the market, don't rely on the combs that come in the shampoo boxes, they don't work.
4. Repeat the combing every 7 days.

This comb has been my family's saving grace for over 2 years and is my sure fire prevention for never having these parasites in my home again. My children have not been infested since and I continue to use this comb on their wet hair at least once a month for prevention purposes. Lice is very difficult to see and there are very little (or no) symptoms. You really have to know what you are looking for in order to diagnose your children.

The only way to rid your families of these pests is the old school way of picking every single egg out of the hair, if you miss one, you will become infested again.

I appreciate the letters that are sent home notifying us of a discovered case of lice, however, we aren't going to change the school districts decision on this. It's up to us parents to prevent and/or ensure proper removal of lice and nits.


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Posted by Sam
a resident of Oak Hill
on Feb 23, 2013 at 12:46 pm

Good, informative post P-town. The only possible correction I have to offer is that based on my reading of Information from the CDC and other sites, removal of every single nit (I.e. egg casing) is not necessary. Lice need to lay their eggs on the hair shafts very close to the skin (about 1/4 inch or less) so that the eggs can get sufficient warmth to hatch. So if there is a nit further up the hair shaft than, say, 1/2 inch, then it's not viable - either it already hatched or it will never hatch.

CDC website (Web Link)
"-Many nits are more than inch from the scalp. Such nits are usually not viable and very unlikely to hatch to become crawling lice, or may in fact be empty shells, also known as casings."


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Posted by Jen
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Feb 23, 2013 at 1:53 pm

Thank goodness PUSD changed its policy to reflect not only the CDC but the AAP standards.

Several years ago my children contracted lice as a result of Northstar ski school helmets.

I immediately informed the school and took them straight to a lice place, where I paid $100's of dollars to have the lice removed. I returned in two days to have them combed through again. And then a third time. Total cost? $800.

After the first time (which involved hours of combing) I returned to our elementary school, with a note from the professionals, the school nurse combed through my first grader's hair.

Imagine his motification when she found exactly one egg (no actual lice) and told my 6 year old he was not allowed at school and sent him home.

Despite the fact that we had a note from the lice professionals that eggs could not hatch that day. Despite a note explaining the AAP policy.

This caused extreme embarassment and distress for my child despite our getting appropriate treatment.

It is about time that PUSD joined the 21st century with regard to lice.


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Posted by Jen
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Feb 23, 2013 at 1:55 pm

And Amy,

Lice thrive on clean heads. Not dirty ones. Come on out of the 19th century and join the rest of us who avail ourselves of accurate, readily available information.


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Posted by Money driven
a resident of Birdland
on Feb 23, 2013 at 10:50 pm

This is totally money driven. If children are out of school, the district doesn't get their money for that student for that day. It is just like the new absence policy...of which I never received communication until "it was too late". If a student is out of class 10 days - could be partial but it is counted as one day - you will get a letter stating that your student has excessive absences and must now have a note from a doctor to have the absence excused. I was never informed that if my student had been called out during 6th period for a doctor's appointment that proof must be brought back...so that counted as one day. So now if my kid is ill with a fever, but not severe enough to go to docs office, I must still go to the docs office to get it excused...money out of my pocket as a punishment I guess. More kids will go to school ill - not ill enough for a doctor's visit, but ill enough to pass the crap onto other kids.


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Posted by Concerned parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 24, 2013 at 10:31 am

" We were a bit surprised and shocked and carefully looked through our daughter's hair that night. There was nothing. On reading the CDC pages concerning head lice, I now understand that the chances of finding head lice on our daughter simply because another class child had head lice was probably pretty low since the most likely transmission method is head-to-head contact."

We had a hard time finding these bugs too. Our child was scratching his/her head but we could not see anything. So we went to the pediatrician, who taught us what to look for, and yes, our child had the lice, but the lice are nearly impossible to see. What you will see is the nits, close to the scalp, and even those are hard to see for those who have never seen them (which was our case back then).

I disagree that the lice are difficult to catch. Read again, the CDC also states that you can get them by lying down/resting your head on a chair/sofa/carpet where an infested person has been. Many kids in that preschool caught lice this way - kids do sit on carpets, etc.

I do not know whether anyone else in our family could have caught them from our kid, since with the advice of our pediatrician, we all did the preventive treatment. But I do know that one of the teachers in the preschool also got the lice from the kid who infested the rest so it must not be that hard to catch them. Been there, Sam, and I hope your family does not have to go through it.

No amount of washing hair will get rid of lice, because they attach to the head very firmly, and once they lay their eggs and the nits are there..... yikes!


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Posted by Concerned parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 24, 2013 at 10:42 am

"The only way to rid your families of these pests is the old school way of picking every single egg out of the hair, if you miss one, you will become infested again."

Yes, this is so true. This is why it was so much work for our family to go through this experience. The shampoo did kill the lice but we had to get rid of the nits manually. It was awful.

I do believe that it helped for all of us to use the over the counter permethrin product. And we washed everything in the house, even pillows and mattresses. Maybe we did more than we should have? I do not know, but we got rid of the bugs for good, and that is why I am so upset about PUSD's loose lice policy (if indeed it is as loose as they say in this forum).

Lice can survive without a host for 24 hours, so miss one pillo in the house and if someone puts their head on it, there you go again. While we did not hire a professional nit picker, we did hire several maids who worked nonstop to wash, vacuum, clean, take stuff to the cleaners, etc.


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Posted by Concerned parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 24, 2013 at 10:55 am

"The only possible correction I have to offer is that based on my reading of Information from the CDC and other sites, removal of every single nit (I.e. egg casing) is not necessary. Lice need to lay their eggs on the hair shafts very close to the skin (about 1/4 inch or less) so that the eggs can get sufficient warmth to hatch. So if there is a nit further up the hair shaft than, say, 1/2 inch, then it's not viable - either it already hatched or it will never hatch. "

But a viable nit can hatch while the kid is in school. You do not know when these nits will hatch. And if the hatching happens at school, all those bugs can go on carpets, etc, or other heads if kids have close contact with their classmates (as it happens in pre-K through about 2nd grade)

And once a nit hatches, the louse can live outside a host for 24-48 hours. From the CDC website: " Adult lice can live up to 30 days on a person's head. To live, adult lice need to feed on blood several times daily. Without blood meals, the louse will die within 1 to 2 days off the host."

And a newly infected person may not know they have lice, and can go around not knowing and infesting others for about a month.

PUSD: please have a reasonable lice policy that protects others because staff too can become infested. That might change things: all it takes is a family with lice to visit the superintendent, have the infested person sit in the superintendent's chair. Maybe if the leadership has to deal with lice like some of us have, they will be less likely to push for a loose lice policy


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Posted by Concerned parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 24, 2013 at 11:04 am

"Despite the fact that we had a note from the lice professionals that eggs could not hatch that day. Despite a note explaining the AAP policy."

I am confused: how is that that you and the professionals knew eggs would not hatch that day? If you or the professionals saw the eggs/nits, why were the eggs/nit not removed right then and there? Your story does not add up.

And your child may have been embarassed, but that has more to do with you than anything else. You should have explained, ahead of time, the situation to your child (I did that with mine).

Infesting others is not right, and think: if your child gets others to be infested with lice, your can can get them again, and there you go again spending all that time and money.

PUSD needs a better lice policy, one that will stop people from spreading lice.


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Posted by Concerned parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 24, 2013 at 11:13 am

" So now if my kid is ill with a fever, but not severe enough to go to docs office, I must still go to the docs office to get it excused...money out of my pocket as a punishment I guess. More kids will go to school ill - not ill enough for a doctor's visit, but ill enough to pass the crap onto other kids."

I heard about this since my friend got a letter too, stating she had to provide a doctor's note next time. And guess what? She is ignoring the letter because if her kids are not sick enough for the doctor, she is not about to disturb their needed rest, and she is also not going to send them to school. We will see how the administration handles it.


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Posted by Jen
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Feb 24, 2013 at 8:00 pm

Concerned parent-

You don't know me and you don't know my child. How dare you presume.

The professionals missed one nit. It was not going to hatch in the couple of hours at school and suddenly become a full grown louse. Do your research. C'mon. Education isn't expensive and it's not complicated.

My child was educated but still embarrassed by the hysteria promoted by pusd and parents like yourself.


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Posted by Concerned parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 25, 2013 at 11:46 am

"The professionals missed one nit. It was not going to hatch in the couple of hours at school and suddenly become a full grown louse. Do your research. C'mon. "

This was your statement above Jen:

"Despite the fact that we had a note from the lice professionals that eggs could not hatch that day. Despite a note explaining the AAP policy."


It does not make sense. So the professionals wrote a note saying eggs could not hatch that day? Come on, how can they know unless they sat there and analyzed that particular nit/egg? And how would they know that the egg would not hatch if they missed it (ie, did not even see it)? And if they did see it in order to form an opinion about whether it would hatch or not, why didn't they just remove it instead of writing a note about it?

You do not know if a louse would hatch at school or not, and it does not have to become an adult for it to spread. All it talkes is the head to touch another head or pillow or sofa or carpet and the louse can move to a different place. We learned about all this through our pediatrician and by going through the awful experience ourselves, thanks to people who, like you, think nothing of sending kids with lice or nits to school.


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Posted by P-Town Native
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 25, 2013 at 12:26 pm

"Infesting others is not right, and think: if your child gets others to be infested with lice, your can can get them again, and there you go again spending all that time and money."

Concerned Parent:

Sound like you and I had similar experiences. Our family did take one more additional step when we discovered the infestation, we called all of the parents of our childrens friends who had contact with them of any sort to notify them of the exposure. About 1/2 of the children were also infected with varying degrees of infection. Some very severe and some very mild.

It's unclear (and really doesn't matter) who Patient Zero was, bottom line all of the children were treated properly ending the infestation.

Communication is critical, if PUSD isn't planning on continuing with the letters home, then it's our job (us parents) to do the right thing and, at least, notify the parents of children who might have been exposed.


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Posted by Beth
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Feb 25, 2013 at 12:53 pm

Concerned parent and others who have received the "note" requiring doctor's notes. I too received one, and went to talk to the attendance personal. The note is something PUSD is required by the STATE to do. It is not something that PUSD wants to do (costs money and time). The note is automatically generated (supposedly after a certain number of absences, which include partial for doctor appointments). I was told we can ignore it, but if one of the absences is to a doctor, it helps to get a doctor note.


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Posted by Money Driven
a resident of Birdland
on Feb 25, 2013 at 4:07 pm

Beth: The PUSD hired a new company to monitor the absences. This has nothing to do with the state being involved. There is an official absence rule that is in the PUSD documentation that talks about absences and what is considered unexcused vs. excused and what happens if one acquires too many unexcused absences. Last year my son had more absences than this year, mainly because of several rounds of fevers and coughing that didn't necessitate a visit to the doctors and we NEVER received notes. I have friends in other school districts who are not getting these kinds of notices.

You can't ignore it however, because if you call your kid in sick and don't produce a doctor's note, then the absence is unexcused. Too many of those and they REALLY come down hard - like having to transfer to Village.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Feb 25, 2013 at 4:34 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Here is the state rules on truancy: Web Link

"Effective January 1, 2011, EC Section 48263.6: Any pupil subject to compulsory full-time education or to compulsory continuation education who is absent from school without a valid excuse for ten percent or more of the school days in one school year, from the date of enrollment to the current date, is deemed a chronic truant, provided that the appropriate school district officer or employee has complied with EC sections 48260, 48260.5, 48261, 48262, 48263, and 48291."

There is quite a bit more on the link.

Here is PUSD's policy Web Link and regulation Web Link regarding absences. It's entirely possible they've been updated since 2003 and not changed on the web site.


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Posted by Concerned parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 26, 2013 at 8:37 am

You forgot to include this, Kathleen:

"Effective January 1, 2013, the law was amended to authorize school administrators to excuse school absences due to the pupil's circumstances, even if the excuse is not one of the valid excuses listed in the California Education Code (EC) or the uniform standards established by the governing board of the district."

Web Link

So again PUSD is given flexibility, just like with the lice policy, and they are choosiing the wrong path.

No wonder this year every student seems sick. PUSD's new requirements of doctor's notice is actually backfiring, since more are going to school sick, then they get others sick and they in turn are absent. Talk about being penny wise and pound foolish!

P-town native:

You are so right. We did the same and notified everyone who had been in contact with us for the previous 6 weeks, including the preschool. We did so per advice of our pediatrician, and we refrained from social interactions and other activities until we were 100% sure we were lice and nit free. And our child was not embarrassed about it unlike Jen's above, because he/she knew it was not his/her fault and our primary concern was to get rid of the bugs and make sure others were aware that they too, could have been infested.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Feb 26, 2013 at 9:17 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Concerned parent, The bottom line is really the bottom line. Schools are only funded for student seat time; even an excused absence is not funded (a change put in place years ago). Web Link

"Schools used to be paid for excused absences, which included sick days if students had a parent or doctor's note. But the law changed because the existing formula 'encourages schools to accept excuses and discourages them from investigating possibly fraudulent excuses,' according to an Assembly Committee on Education hearing in 1998, when the law was passed."


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Posted by Concerned parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 26, 2013 at 9:46 am

Yes Kathleen, but all the more reason to keep an ill student out of school, don't you think? The sick student may be absent for a few days, but if the student goes to school with a fever or something, others might get sick (true especially in the lower grades), and now you have many students out. More students out means a lot less money for PUSD. They need to be smart about what they are doing.

If we were to get lice from a child because of the new PUSD policy, you can be sure that our kids (all) will be kept from school as long as necessary, and we will provide doctor's notes to avoid truancy labels, and that Kathleen, will be very costly for PUSD. So they can choose to lose money for one child or money for many who got sick or caught lice due to irresponsible parents who are encouraged by the administration to send to school kids who should really be staying home.

And I am not the only parent who thinks this way Kathleen.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Feb 26, 2013 at 12:09 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

I agree with you that students who have contracted an illness should stay home until well. One of our grandchildren (another area) got hand, foot, and mouth--clearly from the daycare. Other parents knew, as did the preschool, but no one said anything and our little one was out for ten days. I was pointing to what another poster said, for the schools the decision is about the money as much as any other reason they point to. One nit should be one too many, and I doubt a teacher wants the nits in the classroom either.


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Posted by werescomonsense?
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 3, 2013 at 8:47 pm

simple solution!public schools have become a joke. They are not teaching our children good. They are not preparing our children for a future unless they want to be immoral, braindead idiots. Just one more straw in the camels pack. Pull your kids out and send them to private, charter or home school them. Public schools are a thing of the past and will not survive.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Mar 6, 2013 at 9:06 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

PUSD is planning a meeting for parents regarding new lice procedures.

Head Lice Information Meeting
Presentation by District Nurses

Head lice is an ongoing issue in school communities. The District has realigned its Head Lice procedure with the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) guidelines. Parents are invited to an informational meeting to hear from District nurses.

Parent Information Meeting
Monday, March 18, 2013
7:00 - 8:30 pm
Alisal Elementary, Multipurpose Room (1454 Santa Rita Road)

FAQs: Web Link
CDC (this may have been posted on this topic already): Web Link
Flier from PUSD Nurses: Web Link
Presentation: Web Link

Having looked at the materials, keeping children nit free and notifying parents in the classroom is not such an onerous task.



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Posted by Lisa Swartzendruber
a resident of Lydiksen Elementary School
on Mar 7, 2013 at 9:22 pm

I have started a petition and I hope you will sign it and forward it on to other concerned parents. Oh and don't forget to have your spouse sign it as well. The petition also has a link to a piece that channel 2 did a week ago. See you on the 18th!!! THANKS!!!

Web Link


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