5141.7 Concussion Management Policy
Adoption Date: 06/14/2012, Revised: 03/17/2016, 03/14/2014
5000 - Students
5141.7 Concussion Management Policy
Regulation Info: 5141.7R
The Board of Education recognizes that concussions and head injuries are commonly reported injuries in children and adolescents who participate in sports and recreational activity but they may also occur in school under other circumstances, and can have serious consequences if not managed carefully. A sports concussion or Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (MTBI) is any injury to the brain as a result of traumatic forces such as a direct blow to the head, face, neck or body. Signs and symptoms include but are not limited to loss of consciousness, dizziness, headache, vomiting, blurred vision, amnesia, convulsions and seizures as well as personality changes, short-term memory deficits and difficulties with problem solving and general academic functioning in certain cases. Signs and symptoms can be subtle and may not be readily apparent to the student or other individuals without training or may not be reported by students due to the desire to continue participation and lack of awareness of the effects of concussion. The effects of repeated concussions can be cumulative and, after a concussion, there is a period in which the brain is particularly vulnerable to further injury which can result in severe injury and even death. Therefore, it is the policy of this District to support the proper evaluation and management of head injuries and concussions, whether as a result of participation in sports and other school-related activities or attendance in school. It is the further policy of this District to prohibit a student who is believed to have suffered or is determined to have suffered a concussion from return to play or participation in activities until he or she has been evaluated and cleared by a licensed physician and has been symptom free for seven (7) full days (returning to practice or play, or other participation on day eight). Prior to return to practice or play, or other participation, the School Nurse must receive a written and signed physician’s statement that the student has been asymptomatic for seven (7) or more days. The note will be kept in the student’s medical file. The District’s Chief Medical Officer has the final authority to determine whether or not a student may return to practice or play, or other activity participation.
Concussion Management Team
The District will establish and maintain a concussion management team to oversee the implementation and delivery of the District’s Concussion Management Policy. The team will consist of the Athletic Director, the School Nurse, a Physical Education Teacher, a coach, the District’s Athletic Trainer and the District’s Chief Medical Officer.
All District coaches (including volunteer coaches), physical education teachers, nurses, the Athletic Trainer and the Director of Physical Education, Health and Athletics will be required to participate in a course of instruction regarding the recognition and management of concussions on a biennial basis. The District’s Athletic Department will offer, on an annual basis, instruction and training to enable such District employees to understand how such injuries occur and how to prevent them, to recognize the signs and symptoms of concussions, and to respond appropriately if a student has suffered or may have suffered from a concussion. This instruction may be provided by a qualified medical professional or by taking an approved online Concussion Management course. Every employee, volunteer coach or other specified individual that completes the online course must present a certificate of completion to the Director of Athletics, to be kept on file.
The District will provide, at the start of each sports season, information for parents and students regarding concussions, including but not limited to: (1) the definition of the term “concussion”; (2) signs and symptoms of simple and complex concussions; (3) how these injuries occur; and (4) guidelines for return to school and athletic participation after suffering a concussion. This information will be made available on the District website as well as communicated to parents prior to a student’s participation in interscholastic and other athletics.
Before participating in a District interscholastic athletic program, all student-athletes must establish a neurological baseline record through imPACT assessment, which will be administered by District personnel. The information established will be used by District staff and the Athletic Trainer to assist them in determining an athlete’s ability to return to play after suffering a concussion. Students who are not assessed through the ImPACT system will not be allowed to participate in District interscholastic athletics.
Any student who is believed to have sustained or who has sustained a concussion or other mild traumatic brain injury shall be immediately removed from the athletic, cognitive or other activity and monitored. In an appropriate case, 911 shall be called. The student’s parents will be contacted as soon as is practicable, with a recommendation for evaluation by a licensed physician. A student who is symptomatic requires mental and physical rest and may require academic accommodations such as limited computer work, reading activities, assistance to class, etc.) until symptoms subside. The student shall not be permitted to resume athletic activity until he or she has been symptom free for at least seven (7) days, has been evaluated and has received written and signed authorization from a licensed physician. This authorization shall be kept on file in the student’s permanent health record. If a student is receiving academic accommodations of any kind due to the presence of symptoms, the student cannot be considered symptom free for purposes of return to play. Therefore, a successful return to learn (e.g., full school day with no accommodations) is necessary before consideration of approval of return to play (including athletics, physical education class, recess) progression. The District’s Chief Medical Officer has the final authority to decide whether or not the student may return to practice or play, or other activity participation.
Notwithstanding the above, the Chief Medical Officer may return a child to practice, play or other participation prior to the eighth day, after his/her review of neurocognitive testing (such as ImPACT).
All incidences of concussion or suspected concussion shall be immediately reported by the coach, advisor or other supervising staff member, in writing, to the District Health Office and Director of Physical Education, Health and Athletics (Athletic Director”) within 24 hours. The Athletic Director or School Nurse, as applicable, shall report incidents of concussion or suspected concussion, in writing, to the Building Principal and Superintendent of Schools within 24 hours of receiving a report.
If a student sustains a concussion at a time other than when in school or engaged in a school sponsored activity, the District expects the parent/guardian to report the condition to the School Nurse and/or the coach so that the District can support the appropriate management of the condition.
The Superintendent of Schools shall develop regulations and procedures, in collaboration and/or consultation with the Athletic Director and Chief Medical Officer, to implement this policy.
Ref: Sections 207; 305(42) and 2854, Education Law
8 NYCRR 135.4 and 136.5
SED Guidance dated June 2012, (Guidelines for Concussion Management in the School Setting)