acknowledge that when it comes to the well-being of student-athletes,
there are a number of people who each play a significant role. No one
person is any more important than another when dealing with the safety
concerns of a student-athlete and if any one of the partners fails to
fulfil their responsibilities that failure may have life-altering
consequences on a student-athlete who suffers from a concussion.
THE SCHOOL LEADER
is clear from the outset that the School Leaders will have the ultimate
responsibility for bringing this program to life within their school.
School Leaders will provide direction with respect to administration,
record keeping and monitoring of the program at their school. They will
not be required to perform all of the tasks, but they will be responsible
for delegating authority and responsibilities to appropriate members of
official School Leader of a secondary school should be the Principal, who is already the
person ultimately responsible for everything that goes on at the school
and is therefore the person who is legally responsible for student
well-being and achievement. The School Leadership Committee at a secondary
school should consist of the Principal, Vice-Principal and Physical
Department Head of the school. Together they will be responsible for
overseeing the implementation of the Student-Athlete Concussion Management
Program at the school.
official School Leader of a post-secondary institution should be the
Athletic Director, who is already the person who is responsible for everything that goes
on in the Athletic Department. The
School Leadership Committee at a post-secondary school will consist of the
Athletic Director plus two or more persons who will be appointed by the
Athletic Director to assist him/her in the administration of the
Student-Athlete Concussion Management Program.
official leader of a minor sport organization should be the Executive
Director of the association. The
Leadership Committee could be two other senior staff members or two
members of the Board of Directors.
secondary schools operated by the school board, all members of the
coaching staff for each of the designated teams, including community
volunteer coaches, should participate in a special inaugural training
workshop facilitated by one of the School Leaders.
post-secondary institutions, we recommend that all members of the coaching
staff and any other person who may be involved with any of the designated
teams be invited to attend a special inaugural training workshop which
will be conducted by the Athletic Director and the other members of the
School Leadership Committee.
For minor sport organizations, the issue of who will
be authorized to do the training and administration of computerized
testing is one that must be addressed. There should be some consistency in
order to ensure that the standards are being met throughout the system.
student-athletes who wish to participate on a designated school team where
there is an inherent risk of concussion (which includes just about all
teams or activities) should be required to successfully complete the
Training Course at least once. In
addition, it is recommended that the student-athlete must have completed a
valid ImPACT Baseline evaluation that will be no older than two years by
the end of the up-coming sports season.
we acknowledge that the situation will be somewhat different when it comes
to student-athletes attending post-secondary institutions, but
nonetheless, parents/guardians will play a very important role when it
comes to the concussion identification and post-injury rehabilitation
protocol of the Student-Athlete Concussion Management Program. In fact, it
is our position that the parent/guardian perhaps plays the most important
of all roles in the program, especially at the secondary school level.
After all, it is the parent/guardian who knows his/her child best and
should be the first to notice signs and symptoms of brain injury.
While we do
not recommend making it mandatory for the parents/guardians to physically
attend a training session, we do suggest that parents/guardians be asked
to sign a declaration form that indicates that they are aware of the
elements of the Student-Athlete Concussion Management Program and
encourage them to read the information that is found on the school board
web site. The Steering Committee should develop a self-directed program
plan that will provide Parents/Guardians with the full benefit of the
concussion management curriculum. The only thing missing will be the
facilitator who will be able to witness and verify the parent/guardian’s
recommend that School Leaders hold at least one Parents/Guardians
information session each school year where they will go over the elements
of the Student-Athlete Concussion Management Program and raise the
awareness level of the seriousness of concussions, especially among young
people. This may be a special session that is sponsored by the Parent
Council of the school.
parents/guardians involved with a minor sport organization may be easier
to accomplish since parents/guardians often accompany their children to
the sporting events, games and practices.
TEACHERS & PROFESSORS
The Student-Athlete Concussion Management Program recognizes that during
the rehabilitation process a student-athlete will still be expected to
meet certain responsibilities as a student. Because of this, we recommend
preparing a comprehensive guide for classroom teachers and professors that
will help them make necessary accommodations and adjustments for
student-athletes with sport-related concussions. We also
recommend that School Leaders at the secondary school level hold a
workshop training session during a professional activity day once every
year or two in order to help classroom teachers become better prepared to
meet the challenges of working with student-athletes following a
it comes to post-secondary school varsity sports, we understand that most
teams will have their own team sport medicine doctor and/or certified
athletic therapist or trainer. Therefore, much of what follows will be
more applicable to secondary schools being operated by school boards.
However, it is possible that some post-secondary institutions do not have
their own “team doctor” and may be relying on a trainer or therapist
as their primary on-site medical professional.
any case, we recommend that each school, at either level implementing the
Student-Athlete Concussion Management Program should make arrangements
with one or more local sports medicine specialists in the community who
have experience in dealing with sport-related concussions. The arrangement
should allow for any student-athlete who is suspected of suffering a
concussion to receive priority appointments upon request for a thorough
examination to determine if there are any structural damages caused by the
believe that the inclusion of a neuropsychological baseline and
post-injury assessment is critical to helping in the identification of a
concussion and then to monitor the recovery progress during the
rehabilitation period, and we also believe that these assessments should
be done under the supervision of a licensed neuropsychologist. If
a school board or post-secondary institution is going to include
neuropsychological assessment, then we recommend that the school board
find a local neuropsychologist who is familiar with that particular form
of testing. This is the type of injury that requires the attention of a
specialist who is familiar with the workings of the brain.