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Concussion Protocol

The Concussion Management Awareness Act provides rules and regulations for the treatment and monitoring of students with mild traumatic brain injuries. The law requires each school coach, physical education teacher, nurse, and athletic trainer to complete on approved course on concussion management every other year. 

Harrisville Concussion Management

The Board recognizes that concussions and head injuries are the most commonly reported injuries in children and adolescents who participate in sports and recreational activities. The physical and mental well-being of District students is a primary concern. As such, the District supports the proper evaluation and management of concussion injuries.

A concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) that occurs when normal brain functioning is disrupted by a 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.

Concussion Management Team (CMT)

The District is authorized, at its discretion, to establish a Concussion Management Team (CMT) which may be composed of the certified athletic director, a school nurse, the school physician, a coach of an interscholastic team, a certified athletic trainer or such other appropriate personnel as designated by the District. The CMT will oversee and implement the District’s concussion policy, including the requirement that all school coaches, physical education teachers, nurses, and certified athletic trainers who work with and/or provide instruction to pupils 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 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 course of instruction 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.

Components of the training will include:

a) The definition of MTBI;

b) Signs and symptoms of MTBI;

c) How MTBIs may occur;

d) Practices regarding prevention; and

e) 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 course can be completed by means of instruction approved by State Education Department (SED) which include, but are not limited to, courses provided online and by teleconference. The CMT will utilize the District’s existing system to document all required training and professional development for District staff. Upon completion of the training each year, staff will forward their course completion certificate to the appropriate staff for entry into the system. The system will also use an email to remind

staff of the need to complete the training each year. Because concussion symptoms may manifest themselves in any setting, all school staff will be encouraged to take the online training and be alert for students who may display or report concussion symptoms.

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 or person in parental relation 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:

a) The definition of MTBI;

b) Signs and symptoms of MTBI;

c) How MTBIs may occur;

d) Practices regarding prevention; and

e) 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.

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 or guardians and recommend appropriate evaluation and monitoring.

The District may allow credentialed District staff to use validated neurocognitive computerized testing as a concussion assessment tool to obtain baseline and post-concussion performance data. These tools are not a replacement for a medical evaluation to diagnose and treat a concussion. The District must seek authorization from the parent/guardian prior to the testing. Additionally, parents/guardians should be given a copy of the results upon request.

Return to School Activities and Athletics

The student will not return to physical activity (including athletics, physical education class, and recess) until he or she has been symptom-free for at least 24 hours, and has been evaluated and received written authorization from a licensed physician. In accordance with Commissioner’s regulations, the District’s Medical Director will give final clearance on a return to activity for extra-class athletics. 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. 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 treating physician’s orders for post-concussion management are implemented and followed. 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 formulate 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.

In accordance with SED guidelines, this policy will be both reviewed and updated periodically. 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, SED Guidance Document, 2018

Contact US

Eric Luther
Athletic Director & Middle/High School Principal
(315) 543-2920