8655 - Student Concussions


Grand Island Public Schools supports student participation in activities. This policy expects staff and parents to follow the procedures outlined below to ensure the safety of students who have experienced a concussion or who present possible symptoms for concussion. These procedures include students incurring a concussion while participating in a school sponsored activity or a student diagnosed by a physician as having a concussion.

Training

The Superintendent or designee shall make available training approved by the chief medical officer of the State on how to recognize the symptoms of a concussion or brain injury and how to seek proper medical treatment for a concussion or brain injury to all coaches of school activity teams and nurse supervisors.

Education

The Superintendent or designee shall require that concussion and brain injury information be provided on an annual basis to students and the students’ parents or guardians prior to such students initiating practice or competition. The information provided to students and the students’ parents or guardians shall include, but need not be limited to:

  1. the signs and symptoms of a concussion;
  2. the risks posed by sustaining a concussion;
  3. the actions a student should take in response to sustaining a concussion, including the notification of his or her coaches; and
  4. Impact Testing for middle school and high school students participating in high impact sports

Response to Concussions

Removal A student who participates on a school athletic team shall be removed from a practice or game when he or she is reasonably suspected of having sustained a concussion or brain injury in such practice or game after observation by a coach or a licensed health care professional who is professionally affiliated with or contracted by the school.

Return-to-Play A student who has been removed from a practice or game as a result of being reasonably suspected of having sustained a concussion or brain injury student shall not be permitted to participate in any school supervised team athletic activities involving physical exertion, including, but not limited to, practices or games, until the student: (i) has been evaluated by a licensed health care professional, (ii) has received written and signed clearance to resume participation in athletic activities from the licensed health care professional, and (iii) has submitted the written and signed clearance to resume participation in athletic activities to the school accompanied by written permission to resume participation from the student’s parent or guardian.

The coach or administration may require that the student’s return to full activities be on a stepwise progression back to full participation, or otherwise establish conditions for return to participation that are more restrictive than those defined by the licensed health care professional if the coach or an administrator reasonably deems such to be appropriate.

The signature of an individual who represents that he or she is a licensed health care professional on a written clearance to resume participation that is provided to the school shall be deemed to be conclusive and reliable evidence that the individual who signed the clearance is a licensed health care professional. The school is not required to determine or verify the individual’s qualifications.

Parent Notification If a student is reasonably suspected after observation of having sustained a concussion or brain injury and is removed from an athletic activity per the preceding paragraph, the parent or guardian of the student shall be notified by the Superintendent or designee of the date and approximate time of the injury suffered by the student, the signs and symptoms of a concussion or brain injury that were observed, and any actions taken to treat the student.

Return to Learn Protocol Students who sustain a concussion and return to school may need informal or formal accommodations, modifications of curriculum, and monitoring by medical or academic staff until the student is fully recovered.

The Grand Island Public Schools adopts the NDE Guidance entitled “Bridging the Gap from Concussion to the Classroom and accompanying Apppendix2 (http://www.education.ne.gov/sped/birsst/BRIDGING THE GAP Booklet plus Appendices.pdf), as the return to learn protocol, with the recognition that each student who has sustained a concussion will require an individual response. (This resource is also located on the GISH Website and Intranet; and on the GIPS District Website and Intranet)

Responsibility of Coaches

Coaches shall comply with this policy and apply their safety and injury prevention training. A coach who fails to do is subject to disciplinary action, including but not limited to termination of employment.

Students and Parents

It is recognized that coaches cannot be aware of every incident in which a student has symptoms of a possible concussion or brain injury.  As such, students and their parents have a responsibility to honestly report symptoms of a possible concussion or brain injury to the student’s coaches on a timely basis.

Legal Reference:
Neb. Rev. Stat. §§ 71-9102 to 71-9106

Policy Adopted:  11.14.2011
Policy Revised:  12.11.2014

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