201.006 - School Policies

201.006. School Policies

(A) All school districts and schools must have policies and procedures governing the prevention and management of sports-related head injuries within the school district or school. The School Committee or Board of Trustees, consulting with the Board of Health where appropriate, shall adopt policies and procedures governing the prevention and management of sports-related head injuries within the school district or school following development of a proposal by a team consisting, at a minimum, of a school administrator, school nurse, school or team physician if on staff, athletic director, licensed athletic trainer if on staff, neuropsychologist if available, guidance counselor, and teacher in consultation with any existing school health/wellness advisory committee. Policies and procedures must address sports-related head injuries occurring in extracurricular athletic activities but may be applied to all head injuries in students. Review and revision of such policies and procedures shall occur as needed but at least every two years. At a minimum, these policies shall include:

(1) Designation, by the superintendent or head master, principal or school leader, of the person responsible for the implementation of these policies and protocols, either the Athletic Director or other school personnel with administrative authority;

(2) Annual training of persons specified in 105 CMR 201.007 in the prevention and recognition of a sports-related-head injury, and associated health risks including second impact syndrome utilizing Department-approved training materials or program, and documentation of each person's completion of such training;

(3) Documentation of physical examination prior to a student's participation in extracurricular athletic activities on an annual basis, consistent with 105 CMR 200.100(B)(3) and information for students participating in multiple sports seasons that documentation of one physical examination each year is sufficient;

(4) Procedure for the school to obtain and ensure review, prior to each sports season, of current information regarding an athlete's history of head injuries and concussions using either the Department Pre-participation Head Injury/Concussion Reporting Form For Extracurricular Activities (Pre-participation Form), or school-based equivalent;

(5) Procedure for medical or nursing review of all Pre-participation Forms indicating a history of head injury;

(6) Procedure for the school to obtain and ensure timely medical or nursing review of a Department Report of a Head Injury During Sports Season Form (Report of Head Injury Form), or school-based equivalent, in the event of a head injury or suspected concussion that takes place during the extracurricular activity season;

(7) Procedure for reporting head injuries or suspected concussions sustained during extracurricular athletic activities to the school nurse and licensed athletic trainer, if on staff;

(8) Procedure for identifying a head injury or suspected concussion, removing an athlete from practice or competition, and referring for medical evaluation;

(9) The protocol for medical clearance for return to play after a concussion that at minimum complies with 105 CMR 201.011;

(10) Procedure for the development and implementation of post-concussion graduated reentry plans to school and academic activities, if indicated, by persons specified in 105 CMR 201.010(E)(1);

(11) Procedure for providing information, and necessary forms and materials, to all parents and athletes including the:

(a) annual training requirement,

(b) procedure for the school to notify parents when an athlete has been removed from play for a head injury or suspected concussion sustained during an extracurricular athletic activity,

(c) protocol for obtaining medical clearance for return to play and academics after a diagnosed concussion,

(d) parent's responsibility for completion of the Pre-participation Form, or school-based equivalent, and

(e) parent's responsibility for completion of the Report of a Head Injury Form, or school-based equivalent;

(12) Inclusion in the student and parent handbooks of information regarding the sports-related head injury policy and how to obtain the policy;

(13) Procedure for communicating with parents with limited English proficiency;

(14) Procedure for outreach to parents who do not return completed forms required for students to participate in extracurricular sports and for how to handle situations where a student verifies completion of the annual training requirement but a parent has not;

(15) Procedure for sharing information concerning an athlete's history of head injury and concussion, recuperation, reentry plan, and authorization to return to play and academic activities on a need to know basis consistent with requirements of 105 CMR 201.000 and applicable federal and state law including but not limited to the Massachusetts Student Records Regulations, 603 CMR 23.00, and the Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act Regulations, 34 CFR Part 99.

(16) Instructions to coaches, licensed athletic trainers, trainers and volunteers:

(a) to teach form, techniques, and skills and promote protective equipment use to minimize sports-related head injury; and

(b) to prohibit athletes from engaging in any unreasonably dangerous athletic technique that endangers the health or safety of an athlete, such as using a helmet or any other sports equipment as a weapon;

(17) Penalties, including but not limited to personnel sanctions and forfeiture of games, for failure to comply with provisions of the school district's or school's policy.

(B) These policies and procedures shall be made available to the Department and to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education upon request.

(C) The school or school district shall provide the Department with an affirmation, on school or school district letterhead, that it has developed policies in accordance with 105 CMR 201.000 and it shall provide an updated affirmation biannually by September 30th every odd numbered year upon review or revision of its policies.

(Amended by Mass Register Issue 1266, eff. 8/1/2014.)

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