In accordance with the NYSPHSAA guidelines as well as the NYS Concussion Management and Awareness Act of 2011, the Board of Education of the BURNT HILLS-BALLSTON LAKE CSD will adhere to the following plan as it relates to the management of mild traumatic brain injuries (concussions).
The Board of Education of the BURNT HILLS-BALLSTON LAKE CSD recognizes that concussions and head injuries are commonly reported in children and adolescents who participate in sports and physical activity. Therefore, the District adopts the following plan to assist in the proper evaluation and management of head injuries.
Concussions are defined as mild traumatic brain injuries that occur as a result of trauma to the head, jaw or from a violent snapping of the neck. Recovery from concussions is unpredictable and will vary greatly between individuals. Physical and mental rest along with a properly supervised return to play and return to school protocols are necessary to ensure complete recovery.
Any student demonstrating signs and symptoms of a concussion while participating in a school sponsored class, extracurricular activity or interscholastic athletic event shall be removed from the event or activity and be evaluated by the school physician, athletic trainer or school nurse, if possible. In the event that a school health care provider is not available, the district will refer any concussed student to their primary care physician or emergency room, if necessary. Any student returning to school following a concussion diagnosis must have a proper medical release from a physician. However, the chief school physician only will make the final decision with regards to any return to interscholastic athletic activity. Any student who continues to exhibit concussion related signs or symptoms upon return to activity must be removed from participation and re-evaluated by their primary care physician or chief school physician.
In the event that a student receives a concussion diagnosis, the school’s concussion management team (CMT) will be notified to assist the student with both the return to play and return to school protocols. Compliance and adherence of these protocols are necessary to ensure a student’s complete recovery.
The Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Central Schools CMT will be comprised of the following individuals:
Head Injury/Symptoms are reported to
Athletic Trainer reports to:
Concussion Diagnosis by Physician reported to
Students who participate in interscholastic athletics may, depending upon the sport, be subject to neurocognitive baseline testing prior to the start of their sport season with parent consent. Testing will be done using the “Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing” (ImPACT®) system to collect data on a student’s baseline cognitive functions and reaction time. Results of the baseline testing will be shared with parents.
In the event that a student sustains a concussion, he or she will be tested again post injury to help determine cognitive recovery. Post injury testing will only occur after a student’s symptoms have completely resolved and before any return to physical activity is permitted.
Baseline and post injury testing is conducted at the high school by the school’s certified athletic trainer. Baseline testing for certain sports will occur during a student’s freshman and junior years. Interpretation of the test results is done by the Chief/Associate school physician. Only those students who demonstrate satisfactory results as determined by the Chief/Associate school physician, will be allowed to begin the return to play protocol.
A proper Return to Play Protocol following a concussion ensures that a student can return to physical activity safely while also decreasing the risk of re-injury. Protecting students from Post Concussion and Second Impact Syndromes is vital. Return to play is a stepwise progression that a student will undergo after: 1) a complete resolution of symptoms has occurred for at least 24 hours and 2) medical clearance has been given by the athlete’s private physician following a post injury ImPACT® test.
The Athletic Trainer, under the direction of the Chief/Associate School Physician, will administer the Return to Play Protocol. Each step in the progression should take 24 hours. If any symptoms return at any time during the progression the student must return to the previous step and wait for symptoms to resolve. The student’s parents and Chief/Associate School Physician will be notified in such an event. Following a successful completion of the progression, the student will be cleared to resume full athletic/physical activity without restriction by the Chief/Associate School Physician.
Post Impact Testing – if athlete passes test he/she will proceed to the following steps. If athlete fails test he/she will be referred back to physician for clearance.
*The above progression is based upon current recommendations from the NFHS and NYSPHSAA.
Following a concussion diagnosis, any student returning to physical education classes must also have a proper medical release from a physician. Upon receiving a physician’s release, the school nurse will clear a student to return to physical education classes. Students returning to physical education must also follow a return to PE progression.
In order to ensure a full recovery from a concussion, students must also follow a Return to School Protocol as well. Similar to the Return to Play progression, the Return to School progression involves a gradual return to the academic demands of the school day. Because recovery from concussions is highly variable and based on several factors, not all students will follow the same progression. However, the individual needs of each student will be taken into consideration when a student is released to return to school by either their primary care physician or Chief/Associate School Physician.
When a student is medically cleared to return to school, the CMT members pertinent to the individual student’s academic needs will be contacted and notified of their medical status and any restrictions. The CMT will continue to assist in a student’s academic recovery until fully medically released by a physician.
The amount of time needed to accomplish each step will vary between individuals and will be directed by the physician.