Policies and Procedures Handbook
Created by the Resource Center
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Last Updated: 12/19/2012
Garrett County Board of Education
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Oakland, MD 21550



Administrative Procedure


Proper education on the signs, symptoms, prevention and treatment of concussions is a major health and safety issue with interscholastic athletics. Concussions may have an impact on a student’s physical and academic performance for weeks after the occurrence.  For that reason, it is imperative that coaches, parents/guardians, student-athletes, students, and other school personnel work together to educate and facilitate recovery from a concussion.  


During the 2011 session, the Maryland General Assembly enacted legislation requiring the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) to develop policies and provide recommendations to strengthen concussion awareness throughout the State.  MSDE, in collaboration with MPSSAA, as well as other state and local agencies and health care providers, issued the framework from which this procedure was developed.


Concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury, or TBI, caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head that can change the way the brain normally works. Concussions can also occur from a blow to the body that causes the head to move rapidly back and forth. Even a "ding," or what seems to be a mild bump or blow to the head can result in a concussion.

Licensed health care provider means a licensed physician or physician assistant, a licensed psychologist with specialty training in neuropsychology (neuropsychologist); or a licensed nurse practitioner.

Return to play means participation in a non-medically supervised practice or athletic competition after a period of exclusion. 

Student-athlete means a student participating in any try-out, practice or contest of a school team.

School personnel means those directly responsible for administrating or coaching interscholastic athletic programs within a school or county and those employees of the school or school system.

Student means any child that is enrolled in and attending Garrett County Public Schools.

CDC means Center for Disease Control

Coach’s Education

Each coach must receive annual training in concussion risk management. This training must contain at a minimum:

  1. Nature and risk of a concussion or head injury

  2. Criteria for removal from and return-to-play

  3. Risk of not reporting injury

  4. Understanding Concussions

  5. Recognizing Concussions

  6. Signs & Symptoms

  7. Responses and Action Plan

Coaches must annually submit a certificate of completion from a coach training program that meets the above criteria as a condition of employment before assuming coaching duties. 

The following are a list of resources that should be at every practice or competition where a student-athlete could possibly sustain a concussion.

  1. On field quick reference guide kept in team medical kit or other accessible area

  2. Clipboard with affixed to it:

A.    Signs and Symptoms of concussion

B.    Concussion Action Plan

  1. Remove the athlete from play.

  2. Ensure that the athlete is evaluated by a health care professional experienced in evaluating for concussion. Do not try to judge the seriousness of the injury yourself.

  3. Inform the athlete’s parents or guardians about the possible concussion and give them the fact sheet on concussion.

  4. Keep the athlete out of play the day of the injury and until a health care professional, experienced in evaluating a concussion, says the athlete is symptom-free and it’s OK to return to play.

C.    Important emergency numbers

  1. Copies of the “MSDE Notification of Probable Head Injury” form

Concussion Awareness for student-athletes, parents/guardians and school staff

Each high school shall provide student-athletes, their parents/guardians, athletic staff and coaches’ information sheets describing:

  1. Nature and risk of a concussion or head injury

  2. Criteria for removal from play and return to play

  3. Risks of not reporting the injury and continuing to play

  4. Appropriate academic accommodations for students with diagnosed concussion

Every student-athlete and at least one parent or guardian must verify in writing that they have received information on concussions and sign a statement acknowledging receipt of the information.  Student-athletes will not be able to practice or participate in any sport without signed verification.

Removal and Return-to Play

  1. Student-athletes suspected of sustaining a concussion shall immediately be removed from practice or play.

  2. Student-athletes shall not return until cleared by a licensed health care provider that can provide sports physical examinations and are trained in the evaluation and management of concussions.


  1. Trainers and/ or athletic directors will maintain a student’s documentation of concussion awareness, student’s sports physicals, follow-up and treatment plans for students with a concussion as well as other sports related treatments by the trainer.

  2. Records will be maintained in individual student files.

  3. Files will be maintained in a locked filing cabinet in the trainer’s area.

  4. Records shall be maintained until the student graduates or withdrawals from the school. The records will then become part of the student’s school records and maintained for 6 years or until the age of 21.

Academic Intervention

  1. School trainers and /or coaches will make school health services aware of any athlete sustaining a known or possible concussion during a sporting event or practice. 

  2. The school nurse will work with the appropriate school staff and others to make accommodations for the student’s return to school.

School Health Services Staff

  1. School health services staff will use concussion signs and symptoms to monitor students that are seen in the health room for possible head injury.

  2. The completed signs and symptoms sheets will become part of the students health file.

  3. Parents/guardians shall be notified of any students complaining of head injury no matter how slight.


SB 771 and HB858 which amended sections 7-432 and 14-501 of the Annotated Code of Maryland, the Maryland State Department of Education.


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Pupil Personnel Services 472.313
Adopted 11/13/2012 PL