The New Jersey Department of Education has updated the model concussion policy and fact sheet for student athletes, according to an advisory.

On Sept. 24, 2021, P.L. 2021, c.222 was approved, which amended and supplemented existing protocols and guidance on head injuries sustained by student athletes, as established in P.L. 2010, c.94., which led to the NJDOE to make the updates.

Key Steps and Actions

Each district board of education, charter school, renaissance school project, and non-public school policy must comply with the minimum requirements stated in N.J.S.A. 18A: 40-41.1 – 41.4 regarding the care and treatment of student-athletes, including cheerleaders, who are suspected of having sustained a sports-related concussion or head injury. This policy must be reviewed annually, and updated as necessary, to ensure that the policy reflects the most current information available on the prevention, risk and treatment of sports-related concussions and head injuries developed by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Local Education Agencies may consider providing regular education and training related to concussions for staff including administrators, teachers, paraprofessionals and school counselors regarding concussions and other head injuries.

The updated model policy and guidance for districts on the prevention and treatment of sports-related head injuries and concussions is now available online. The updated concussion fact sheet and acknowledgement form is also available.

The fact sheet is to be distributed annually and signed by the student athlete or cheerleader and their parent or guardian. LEAs and non-public schools that distribute this form are directed to adopt the revised form and distribute the updated versions going forward. If previous versions of the form were submitted for this school year, they are acceptable. If the website of an LEA includes these documents, please verify that the previous version is removed and that it is replaced with a link to the current version.

As a reminder, the A-45 was updated in 2014 to add a space to record instances of concussion and/or traumatic brain injury. School nurses must document if a student is diagnosed with a concussion (as part of an athletic competition or otherwise).

For questions, please contact the Office of Student Support Services via email.