As we reported in an earlier FR Alert, the Youth Sports Concussion Safety Act was signed into law on August 3, 2015. The Act includes a number of new requirements relating to student concussions for school districts, charter schools, and private schools with students participating in interscholastic athletic activities. A bill that would delay the effective date of the Act, SB 219, has passed the Senate unanimously and is working its way through the House. Once it passes the House, the Governor has up to 60 days to sign the bill into law. If approved, the deadline for complying with the Act will be delayed until the start of the 2016-17 school year.
Until SB 219 passes, schools and school districts that are not in compliance with the Act are at risk of heightened liability if a student suffers a concussion. Moreover, even if the legislative delay is passed, we advise that schools and school districts move forward with implementing not only the changes required by the Act, but also additional recommendations regarding students who suffer concussions or suspected concussions. These recommendations will help protect students from further injury and mitigate liability on behalf of the school or school district.
To help schools and school districts comply with this advice, Franczek Radelet has developed a comprehensive package that includes materials aimed at both complying with the Act as passed and implementing our additional recommendations. The package includes:
- A comprehensive checklist with steps that schools and school districts should take to address the requirements of the Act and our additional recommendations.
- A model school or school board policy including all requirements of the Act and our additional recommendations.
- An agreement to participate in athletics form to be signed by all students and parents who will participate in athletics, including all requirements of the Act, current IHSA concussion information notices, and other terms we recommend to educate students and parents and help mitigate school or school district liability.
- A concussion parental notification form to be used to notify parents when a student suffers a concussion or suspected concussion.
- A return to play, learn, and physical education activity form to be completed by the parent, a qualified athletic trainer or physician, and the school administration before a student is allowed to return to play, learn, or physical education activity following a concussion or suspected concussion.
- A collection of emergency access plan resources to help a school or school district prepare the emergency action plan required by the Act for addressing concussions.
The concussion package is tailored depending on whether the school or school district serves elementary, middle, or high school students, or some mix of those grade levels. The package is available for purchase at a flat fee of $500.