Avery County Schools Policy Policy Code: 4270/6145


The Avery County School Board recognizes that concussions and other head injuries may be serious and potentially life threatening and that such injuries may result in serious consequences later in life if managed improperly. The board is committed to practices that reduce the potential for short-term or long-term effects from such injuries. In support of this commitment, the board directs school employees to comply with the concussion safety requirements for interscholastic athletic competition established by G.S. 115C-12(23) as amended in the Gfeller-Waller Concussion Awareness Act of 2011, and to implement and follow all concussion safety requirements set forth in State Board of Education rules and policies. The superintendent or designee shall develop plans consistent with state requirements and shall implement and monitor compliance with this policy. The superintendent is authorized to investigate the use of baseline testing for student-athletes and require that student-athletes undergo such testing prior to their participation in any interscholastic athletic competition.


    A concussion is a traumatic brain injury caused by a direct or indirect impact to
    the head that results in disruption of normal brain function, which may or may not
    result in a loss of consciousness.


    Each year, all coaches, school nurses, athletic directors, first responders,
    volunteers, student-athletes, and parents of student-athletes must be provided with
    a concussion and head injury information sheet that meets the requirements of the
    State Board. Before any student, school employee, volunteer or first responder
    will be allowed to participate in interscholastic athletic activities, including
    tryouts, practices or competitions, he or she must sign the head injury information
    sheet and return it to the coach. Parents also must sign the sheet and return it to
    the coach before their children may participate in any interscholastic athletic
    activity. The principal of each school shall ensure that a complete and accurate
    record of the returned signed sheets is maintained in accordance with law and
    State Board policy.


    Any student-athlete who is exhibiting signs or symptoms consistent with a
    concussion must be removed from athletic activity immediately. Further, the
    student-athlete must not be allowed to return to play or practice that day or on any
    subsequent day until he or she has been evaluated and has received written
    clearance for participation that complies with the requirements of G.S. 115C-
    12(23) and any other applicable law or State Board policy.

Avery County Schools Policy Code: 4270/6145 Page 1 of 3 D. RETURN TO LEARNING

    The superintendent or designee shall develop a plan that meets all the
    requirements of the State Board of Education for addressing the needs of students
    in grades pre-K through 12 who suffer concussions. The superintendent or
    designee shall also arrange for information and professional development to be
    provided annually to all teachers and other school personnel on return-to-learn
    issues and other concerns related to concussion and brain injuries. Parents and
    students must be offered the opportunity annually to provide information related
    to any head injury or concussion the student may have incurred during the past
    year on the health history and emergency medical information update form.


    Each principal or designee shall develop a venue-specific emergency action plan
    to respond to serious medical injuries and acute medical conditions in which the
    condition of the injured student may deteriorate rapidly. All such plans must
    include a delineation of roles, methods of communication, available emergency
    equipment and a plan for emergency transport. The plans must be (1) in writing,
    (2) reviewed by an athletic trainer who is licensed in North Carolina, (3) approved
    by the principal if developed by a designee, (4) distributed, posted, reviewed and
    rehearsed in accordance with G.S. 115C-12(23), and (5) compliant with any other
    requirements of state law and State Board policy.


    Each high school principal shall designate at least one licensed athletic trainer or
    first responder who meets the requirements of state law and State Board of
    Education policy. The principal shall monitor each athletic trainer’s or first
    responder’s compliance with the duties assigned to the position by the State Board
    and any additional duties assigned by the superintendent or designee, including,
    but not limited to attendance at football games and practices and compliance with
    all applicable training and certification requirements.

    To the extent funding and resources are available, the superintendent shall work
    toward having a licensed athletic trainer or first responder available for all school
    practices and games of all high school and middle school sports.


    The superintendent shall require each principal to maintain complete and accurate
    records of actions taken in his or her school to comply with this policy and
    applicable legal authority. Records shall include accounts of any education or
    training as may be required by law or State Board of Education policy.

    The superintendent’s annual report to the board on compliance with laws and
    policies related to student wellness shall include a report on the system’s

Avery County Schools Policy Code: 4270/6145 Page 2 of 3 compliance with laws and policies related to concussions and head injuries. (See Section G of policy 6140, Student Wellness.)

Legal References: G.S. 115C-12(23); S.L. 2011-147; Article 34 Chapter 90; State Board of Education Policies ATHL-000, ATHL-003, SHLT-001

Cross References: Student Wellness (policy 6140)

Other Resources: Matthew Gfeller Sport-Related TBI Research Center at UNC website http://tbicenter.unc.edu/MAG_Center/Home.html; Report to the North Carolina General Assembly: Study of Sports Injuries at Middle School and High School Levels, N.C. Department of Public Instruction (2011), available at http://www.ncleg.net/documentsites/committees/JLEOC/Reports%20Received/Archives/ 2011%20Reports%20Received/Study%20of%20Sports520INJURIES%20at%20Middle %20and%20High%20School%20Levels.pdf

Adopted: 12/10/13 Revised: 7/14/16; 4/28/17

Avery County Schools Policy Code: 4270/6145 Page 3 of 3