The purpose of this guideline is to safeguard students and student athletes by:

  1. Educating students and student athletes, school personnel and parents/guardians about concussions.
  2. Requiring that the student is removed from the activity and the student athlete is removed from play when a concussion is suspected. In the event a student is suspected to have incurred a concussion, it will require a licensed health care professional to provide clearance for the student to return to full participation in school and the student athlete to return to play or practice.
  3. Implementing the concussion management requirements specified by the Illinois Elementary School Association.


This guideline applies to:

  1. Any activity students are engaged in during the school day on or off school property such as recess, physical education etc.
  2. Athletic play occurring during Ancona-sponsored sports programs regardless of whether the sports program is intramural, interscholastic, after school or provided during the summer (e.g. summer sports camp).


A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that interferes with normal brain function. A student athlete does not have to lose consciousness to have suffered a concussion. Signs and symptoms of a concussion include the following:


Signs Observed Symptoms Reported
Appears dazed or stunnedHeadache or “pressure in head’
Appears confusedNausea
Forgets sports playsBalance problems or dizziness
Is unsure of game, score, opponentSensitivity to light or noise
Moves clumsilyDouble or fuzzy vision
Answers questions slowlyFeeling sluggish or slowed down
Loses consciousness (even briefly)Feeling foggy or groggy
Shows behavior or personality changesDoes not “feel right”
Can’t recall events prior to hit or fallConcentration or memory problems
Can’t recall events after hit or fallConfusion


Any student who exhibits signs, symptoms or behaviors consistent with a concussion shall be immediately removed from the activity, game or practice and shall not return to the activity or play until cleared in writing by a licensed health care professional. Parents will be notified immediately and the student will be referred to a facility for appropriate medical evaluation.


If any of these signs below are observed in the student suspected of having a concussion, 911 should be called and parents notified:

  • One pupil (the black part in the middle of the eye)larger than the other
  • Drowsiness or cannot be awakened
  • A headache that gets worse and does not go away
  • Weakness, numbness, or decreased coordination
  • Repeated vomiting or nausea
  • Slurred speech
  • Convulsions or seizures
  • Difficulty recognizing people or places
  • Increasing confusion, restlessness, or agitation
  • Unusual behavior
  • Loss of consciousness (even a brief loss of consciousness should be taken seriously)


For purposes of this guideline, the student suspected of having a concussion needs to seek treatment from a heath care professional who is licensed to practice medicine in all its branches in Illinois and certified athletic trainers. It is critical that qualified health care professionals conduct an evaluation of the student and develop a plan of care for treatment. This plan will provide the family and school guidance as to the recommended activity level for the student recovering from a concussion. Academic recommendations may include attendance, breaks, visual and audible stimulus, workload, testing and physical exertion. See Ancona’s Return to School form to be completed by the health care provider.


All cases of suspected concussions will be documented on the CDC’s Concussion Signs and Symptoms Checklist – see https://www.cdc.gov/headsup/pdfs/schools/tbi_schools_checklist_508-a.pdf


The parent/guardian of each student and the student athlete shall receive annually a concussion guideline fact sheet and they shall submit written verification(s) that they have read the information. A student athlete may not participate in practice or competition prior to the school’s receipt of this written verification. See https://www.iesa.org/documents/general/IESA-ConcussionSign-Off.pdf


Coaches will complete a concussion awareness training program prior to the beginning of each sport. In addition, teachers, administrative staff, nurse consultant and parents can complete the free online training course at https://www.cdc.gov/headsup/youthsports/training/

Adapted from:



Additional resources: