Create a supportive and concussion aware school culture
Having a school culture that is concussion aware and supportive involves putting processes in place that prioritize the needs of the student. This is essential to supporting students who have had a concussion. Everyone plays a role in helping to create a safe and supportive environment to enable students to return-to-school after a concussion.
Get the right people on board
- Approach your school’s principal and/or administration to work together towards a more aware and supportive school environment.
- With your principal and/or administration, identify individuals in your school who are passionate about concussion and want to help students. This could be a teacher, school coach or guidance counsellor.
- A team approach to helping students with concussion is key.
- Take an interdisciplinary approach by engaging students, families and school personnel to help with problem solving.
- Create a concussion committee which meets on a regular basis and whose goal is to create a concussion supportive culture. Don’t forget to engage families, student peers and expertise from the healthcare community.
- Leverage the parent and student councils to have a collaborative voice in fostering and supporting concussion management.
- Identify a central point-person within the school for the student as part of the reintegration process. Interacting with many different individuals to get the help and support they need can be stressful and confusing for the student. Having a central point-person to help them can be a good strategy.
It is important for the school principal and administration to be aware of the seriousness of concussion and to reinforce support for students.
A principal can:
- Support the identification of a central point-person (or a group of people/committee) to take a leadership role in helping students with concussion return-to-school in a safe way.
- Authorize assessment/evaluation accommodations throughout the student’s recovery process.
Getting the right people on board: The role of a central point-person
A central point-person is someone who can provide reliable centralized support for students who may experience an increase in symptoms during the school day or who may need to problem solve and strategize about workload and team communication.
Hear Maddy talk about the importance of her central point-person.