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Pearl River Schools Consider Concussion Policy

The Pearl River School District Board of Education will also hear the administration's tax rate recommendation for 2012-13 at Tuesday's meeting.

The New York State Concussion Management and Awareness Act requires all school districts to adopt rules for the treatment and monitoring of brain injuries.

The regulations address standard procedures in dealing with concussions or Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries (MTBI).

The Pearl River School District Board of Education will hold the first reading for its concussion management policy during Tuesday's meeting, which will begin at 8:30 p.m. at the district administration building on Crooked Hill Road.

Concussions can lead to long-term health problems and participating in athletics while suffering from a concussion can greatly increase the risk of permanent brain injury or death.

Among the procedures outlined in the new policy are:

  • A student who is believed to have suffered a concussion must immediately be removed from their activity.
  • A student who suffers a concussion may not return to play until they have been cleared by a licensed physician and symptom free for five days.
  • The district's chief medical officer will have final authority in determining when a student may return to practice or play.
  • The district will establish a concussion management team, which will ensure proper implementation of the concussion management policy.
  • All district coaches, physical education teachers, nurses, the director of athletics and the athletic trainer will pass a course in the recognition and management of concussions every two years.
  • During the preseason for all district athletic programs, all student-athletes will participate in ImPACT testing, which will provide a baseline measure of their cognitive functions. If the student suffers a concussion, this baseline will be used for comparison to help evaluate the student's ability to return to competition. Students will not be allowed to participate in any sports without taking an ImPACT test.

ImPACT testing is widely used by professional and collegiate programs and has filtered to the high school level in recent years. Rye Country Day School was among the first in the Lower Hudson Valley to begin using it back in 2005. The Nanuet School District will also be using ImPACT starting this fall, but only for football, soccer and cheerleading. Check back with Patch for more on concussions and the Pearl River School District's plans to address the issue. 

The full agenda for Tuesday's meeting, including the entire resolution regarding the concussion policy, is attached to this report. 

The agenda also includes the recommendation of the district's tax rate and tax levy for the 2012-13 school year by Director of Operations Quinton Van Wynen. These are the numbers that were approved by the voters in May. 

Ryan Buncher (Editor) August 21, 2012 at 12:35 PM
The Pearl River athletic department, trainer and coaches already took some of the precautions listed above when treating students with concussions, though the use of ImPACT testing would be new for the district.
Jimmy August 22, 2012 at 03:13 AM
Impact testing topmorrow in PR according to some of the athletes. It's a good thing.

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