In January 2015 the Virginia Board of Education passed House Bill 1096 dictating that each school division develop a Return to Learn policy providing academic accommodations for student-athletes who sustain a concussion. The LCPS Athletic Training Program has constructed a comprehensive protocol to facilitate communication and educate those concerned with the well-being of our student-athletes.
Once the athletic trainer discovers that a student-athlete has concussive symptoms they will perform a full evaluation which may consist of the following:
Sideline evaluation (if applicable)
Thorough history (previous concussions, time until recovery, family/medical history, etc.)
ImPACT test (computerized neurocognitive exam)
Vestibular/Ocular Motor Screening (VOMS)
Communication with student-athlete, parents/guardians, coaches, other healthcare professionals and/or administration
When a student-athlete has been diagnosed with a suspected concussion they or their parent/guardian have 24 hours to contact their athletic trainer about their current status. They also have 48 hours to be evaluated by an appropriate licensed health care provider (Physician, Physician Assistant, Osteopath, Certified Athletic Trainer, Neuropsychologist or Nurse Practitioner). The purpose of this timeline is to make sure that a management plan is started as soon as possible to provide the student-athlete with the care they need.
After the evaluation the student-athlete will placed in appropriate stage dictating which academic accommodations they require. This plan will be sent to the appropriate counselor and teachers so that they know which accommodations the student-athletes require. Teachers are highly encouraged to contact the athletic trainer, school nurse and counselor to provide valuable feedback and what they are seeing in the classroom. Teacher participation is critical to the Return to Learn process. During their concussion management the student-athlete must check in with the athletic trainer, school nurse, and counselor semi-daily for up-to-date information about their physical and cognitive status.
As the student-athlete's physical and cognitive affect improve they will progress through the stages until the reach stage Green in which they will be returned to full academic participation. The school nurse will send an email to teachers two weeks after the student-athlete has been cleared asking if they are still receiving accommodations or do not appear "normal".
Concussions are a condition that doesn't just affect a student-athlete's athletic or academic status; they affect activities of daily living. It is important that all people involved in the care of a student-athlete contribute to their well-being throughout their concussion management process. Please contact your athletic trainer if you have any questions about the LCPS concussion management program.