Weekly Feature



2010-10-21 / Local News

Depew adds concussion protocol to athletic policy

by LISA A. JOHNSON Editor

The Depew Union-Free School District is taking a more proactive approach to addressing injuries to ensure there are no headaches with the issue in the future.

During its meeting Tuesday night, the Board of Education adopted an updated sports and athletic policy that focuses more on uniform response to head injuries and concussions.

Director of Physical Education, Health and Athletics Lynn Girdlestone told the board that the district required a concussion plan, and she and a committee made up of the district’s athletic personnel, nurses, physicians and trainers created a policy that aligns with the state Athletic Administrators Association’s, the Public High School Athletic Association’s and professional and international guidelines.

When a head injury occurs, students must follow a five-step, return-to-play protocol, with a 24-hour waiting period between each step. Only the chief school medical officer may approve participation in full-contact practice at stage four, according to the new policy.

The district also is looking to incorporate Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing — or ImPACT, a computerized concussion evaluation system — into its athletic programs to create base-line testing for each student and to test for symptoms once a head injury is suffered.

School Board Vice President Barbara Staebell asked if coaches also were required to follow a protocol for reporting injuries if a trainer is not present.

“I want an assurance that all coaches will do the same thing,” she said.

Athletic representatives assured that procedures are in place for coaches to report injuries.

Also during the meeting, the board heard a report from Depew High School Principal Carol Townsend about the summer Credit Recovery Program, and she said that 33 students attended and 30 course credits were recovered. She added that an attendance policy should be put into place, a new computer program that incorporates teacher instruction may be beneficial, one teacher certified in subject areas should be present each day and alternatives are needed for math and science to address the need for more direct instruction and labs.

Superintendent Jeffrey Rabey also offered a report on the Race to the Top funding received by the state, saying that Depew is in line to receive $88,387. He cautioned that the amount may be reduced as more projects are outlined.

The board’s next meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 2, in the boardroom at the Terrace Education Center, 591 Terrace Blvd.

e-mail: LJohnson@beenews.com

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