FARMINGTON, Maine — RSU 9 directors on Tuesday will consider adopting a policy designed to help coaches recognize and respond to concussions and other head injuries.
The proposed policy had its first reading on Oct. 9 and will have a second reading and possible adoption at the 7 p.m. Oct. 23 meeting at the Mt. Blue Middle School conference room.
The policy includes guidelines to promote the safety of students participating in school-sponsored extracurricular activities, including but not limited to interscholastic sports.
By June 30 of each year, the athletic director will identify the school-sponsored athletic activities that pose a risk of concussion or other head injuries. A list of activities will be distributed to administrators and coaches.
“All coaches, including volunteer coaches, must undergo training in the identification and management of concussive and other head injuries prior to assuming their coaching responsibilities,” according to the policy.
The training would be consistent with protocols developed by the Maine Department of Education.
Coaches would be required to undergo refresher training every two years or when protocols and forms that are required to be filled out are changed.
The new form outlines signs of brain injuries.
Parents and students would be provided information regarding the risk of concussion and other head injuries and the dangers associated with continuing to participate when a concussion or other head injury is suspected.
They would also be given information about the signs and symptoms of these types of injuries. The information will be given out each year prior to a sports season.
They would be updated each year on the district’s protocols for removal from the activity when a student is suspected of having such an injury, as well as protocols for evaluation and returning to the activity.
It would be up to the coach to act in accordance to the proposed policy.
Any student suspected of having sustained a concussion or other head injury during a school-sponsored athletic activity including but not limited to competition, practice and scrimmage must be removed from the activity immediately.
The student would not be permitted to return to the activity or to participate in an any other school-sponsored athletic activity on the day of the suspected concussion.
The student would not be allowed to participate until she or he provided information that she or he had been evaluated and received written medical clearance from a licensed health care provider who is qualified and trained in concussion management.
The superintendent would be required to appoint a concussion management team that would include an administrator, athletic director and a school nurse.
The board also will consider a policy on ethical and responsible behavior, an updated student computer and Internet policy, a suspected child abuse/neglect report form and a freedom of access policy.