The Board of Education recognizes that concussions and head injuries are the most commonly reported injuries in children and adolescents who participate in sports and recreational activity and can have serious consequences if not managed carefully. Therefore, the District adopts the following policy and guidelines to support the proper evaluation and management of head injuries.
Concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury that occurs when normal brain functioning is disrupted by a blow or jolt to the head. Recovery from concussion will vary. Avoiding re-injury and overexertion until fully recovered are the cornerstones of proper concussion management.
While District staff will exercise reasonable care to protect students, head injuries may still occur. Physical education teachers, coaches, nurses and other appropriate staff will complete a New York State Education Department (NYSED) -approved course every two years on concussions and concussion management to recognize the signs, symptoms or behaviors consistent with a concussion. Any student exhibiting those signs, symptoms or behaviors while participating in a school-sponsored class, extracurricular activity, or interscholastic athletic activity shall be removed from the game or activity and be evaluated as soon as possible by an appropriate health care professional. The athletic trainer, coach, school nurse, or other District employee in charge of or supervising the activity will notify the student’s parents or guardians and recommend appropriate monitoring to them.
If a student sustains a concussion at a time other than when engaged in a school-sponsored activity the District expects the parent/legal guardian to report the condition to the school nurse so that the District can support the appropriate management of the condition.
In the event of any concussion, regardless of where it was sustained, the student shall not return to school or activity until he/she has received written and signed authorization to return to activities from a licensed physician. Written clearance sent to the school district shall be reviewed by the school’s chief medical officer, who will make the final decision on return to activity including physical education class and after-school sports. All medical clearance forms shall be kept in the student’s cumulative health record. Any student who continues to exhibit signs or symptoms upon return to activity must be removed from play and reevaluated by his/her health care provider.
The Superintendent, in consultation with appropriate district staff, including the chief school medical officer, will develop regulations and protocols to guide the return to activity. The Superintendent, the building principals, the athletic director, the athletic trainer, and the school nurses will meet to review this policy and associated regulations by July 1 of each year and will suggest adjustments as necessary.
Concussion Management and Awareness Act, Chapter 496 of the Laws of 2011