As many people may already know, LB 260 “The Concussion Awareness Act” took effect on July 1, 2012. There are 3 main parts to the law that include: education of students, parents and coaches; a requirement to remove any athlete that is reasonably suspected to have sustained a concussion and also to make sure that athletes do not return to play until they have been cleared by a licensed medical professional and a parent/guardian.
When an athlete has been cleared to resume physical activity, they then follow a six-step “return-to-play” progression that begins with light aerobic activity and has the athlete gradually increase the intensity of their physical activity until they are ready for full speed participation. This process helps to ensure athletes are 100% physically ready to return to full participation in their sport.
This school year, Auburn Middle/High School has taken the Concussion Awareness Act and the return to play progression one-step further by implementing the “Return to Learn” protocol. This protocol has been spearheaded by nurse Michelle Leslie and guidance counselors Kristin Kudurna and Gretchen Golladay and is designed to ensure that proper accommodations are made for students as they return to the classroom when they are recovering from a concussion.
When it has been reported to the school that a student has sustained a concussion, a Concussion Action Plan is put into place for the student. The action plan is then shared with the teachers of the student and the student is monitored and reassessed throughout the duration of the recovery process with the plan being updated and modified as needed.
An important piece of information to keep in mind is that each concussion is treated on a case-by-case basis and there are a number of different symptoms than an individual may experience after they have sustained a concussion. For some, there is a short recovery process that only takes a few days and for others there is a longer process that can take weeks or longer until the individual is ready to return to full participation.
Some examples of accommodations that have been made to aid students in the recovery process after sustaining a concussion are: easing the student back into a full school day, allowing student the opportunity to rest or take breaks in a quiet area if they are experiencing side effects of the concussion during class. The reduction of screen time in the classroom is another common accommodation, which includes not using any type of computer, cell phone, or watching television. Other examples of accommodations that could be made are: temporary removal from physical education and band classes, modifying or reducing the amount of homework that is assigned to the student and also modifying and allowing students to retake tests and quizzes as needed.
Parents and guardians are asked to notify the school when their student has sustained a concussion and also to let us know of any recommendations made by the licensed medical professional to ensure that we can make the proper accommodations in the classroom to best help your students “Return to Learn”.
Vested in Education Article
by Scott Anderson