7522 Concussion Management

  • 2023 7522


    Subject: Concussion Management

    A concussion is a type of mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth. Recovery from concussion and its symptoms will vary. Avoiding re-injury and over-exertion until fully recovered are the cornerstones of proper concussion management. Concussions can impact a student's academic performance as well as their athletic pursuits. As such, the District supports the proper evaluation and management of concussion injuries.

    Concussion Management Team (CMT) 

    The District may establish a Concussion Management Team (CMT) which may be composed of the Athletic Director and/or Director of Physical Education, a school nurse, the school physician/District's Medical Director, a coach of an interscholastic team and/or physical education teacher, a certified athletic trainer, and other appropriate personnel as designated by the District. If established, the CMT will oversee and implement the District's concussion policy, including the requirement that all school coaches, physical education teachers, school nurses, and certified athletic trainers who work with and/or provide instruction to students engaged in school-sponsored athletic activities complete training relating to MTBIs. Furthermore, every CMT may establish and implement a program which provides information on MTBIs to parents and persons in parental relation (parents) throughout each school year.

    Staff Training/Course of Instruction 

    Each school coach, physical education teacher, school nurse, and certified athletic trainer who works with and/or provides instruction to students in school-sponsored athletic activities will complete a training every two years relating to recognizing the symptoms of concussions or MTBIs and monitoring and seeking proper medical treatment for students who suffer from a concussion or MTBI. Since concussion symptoms may manifest themselves in any setting, all staff will be encouraged to take the online training and be alert for students who may display or report concussion symptoms.

    Components of the training will include, but not be limited to:

    1. The definition of MTBI;
    2. Signs and symptoms of MTBI;
    3. How MTBIs may occur;
    4. Practices regarding prevention; and
    5. Guidelines for the return to school and school activities for a student who has suffered an MTBI, even if the injury occurred outside of school.

    The training must be completed by means of instruction approved by the New York State Education Department (NYSED) which include, but are not limited to, courses provided online and by teleconference.

    Each time a staff member completes this training or a related professional development course, they must forward proof of completion to the CMT or, if a CMT has not been established, a designated District staff member who will enter the information into the District's existing system for tracking completed trainings and professional development courses. The system will also use an email to remind staff of the need to complete the training as needed.

    Information to Parents and Students

    The District will include the following information on MTBIs or concussions in any permission or consent form or similar document that may be required from a parent for a student's participation in interscholastic sports. Similar information will be provided to all students when they sign up for participation in sports and/or through information provided in physical education, health, or mental health classes. Information will include:

    1. The definition of MTBI;
    2. Signs and symptoms of MTBI;
    3. How MTBIs may occur;
    4. Practices regarding prevention; and
    5. Guidelines for the return to school and school activities for a student who has suffered an MTBI, even if the injury occurred outside of school.

    The District will provide a link on its website to this information on the NYSED's and New York Department of Health's websites.

    Identification of Concussion and Removal from Athletic Activities

    The District requires the immediate removal from all athletic activities of any student who has sustained, or is believed to have sustained, a MTBI or concussion. Any student demonstrating signs, symptoms, or behaviors consistent with a concussion while participating in a class, extracurricular activity, or interscholastic athletic activity will be removed from the class, game, or activity and must be evaluated as soon as possible by an appropriate health care professional. This removal must occur based on display of symptoms regardless of whether the injury occurred inside or outside of school. If there is any doubt as to whether the student has sustained a concussion, it will be presumed that the student has been injured until proven otherwise. The District will notify the student's parents and recommend appropriate evaluation and monitoring.

    The District may, in collaboration with their Medical Director, allow District staff who are appropriately licensed or certified healthcare professionals and credentialed to use validated neurocognitive computerized testing to review and obtain baseline and post-concussion performance data. These tools are not a replacement for a medical evaluation to diagnose a concussion or clear a student to return to activities. The District must seek authorization from the parent prior to the testing. Additionally, parents should be given a copy of the results.

    Return to School Activities and Athletics

    A student will not return to physical activity (including athletics, physical education class, and recess) until they have been symptom-free for at least 24 hours and have been evaluated and received written and signed authorization from a licensed physician. This written authorization should be sent to the school for review by the District's Medical Director. Additionally, the District's Medical Director has the final authority to clear students to participate in or return to extra-class athletic activities. All authorizations will be kept on file in the student's permanent health record. The standards for return to athletic activity will also apply to injuries that occur outside of school. Staff should be aware that students may exhibit concussion symptoms caused by injuries from outside activities and that these visible symptoms also indicate a removal from play.

    The District will follow any directives issued by the student's treating physician with regard to limitations and restrictions on school and athletic activities for the student. The District will also develop a coordinated communication plan among appropriate staff to ensure that the private provider's orders for post-concussion management are implemented and followed and for students to resume participation in athletic activities with the District's Medical Director approval. The school nurse will work to ensure that all the necessary staff get the information they need to care for and work with the injured student.

    The District's Medical Director and other licensed healthcare professionals employed by the District will also establish a procedure and treatment plan to be utilized by District staff who may respond to students or staff with possible concussions during the school day or at a school-sponsored athletic event.

    In accordance with NYSED guidelines, this policy will be both reviewed and updated at least every three years or with updates to guidance. The Superintendent, in consultation with the District's Medical Director and other appropriate staff, may develop regulations and protocols for strategies to prevent concussions, the identification of concussions, and procedures for removal from and return to activities or academics.

    Education Law § 305(42)

    8 NYCRR §§ 135.4 and 136.5

    Guidelines for Concussion Management in Schools, NYSED Guidance Document, 2022