Superintendent’s Memo #203-15

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

COMMONWEALTH of VIRGINIA
Department of Education

August 14, 2015

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Steven R. Staples, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT: Survey on Policies on Concussions in Student-Athletes

The Virginia Commission on Youth, a bipartisan commission of the Virginia General Assembly, is conducting a study on the implementation of student-athlete concussion policies.  This study originated from legislation introduced during the 2015 General Assembly by Delegate Luke Torian (House Bill 2006) and Senator Richard Stuart (Senate Bill 998).  The legislation, as introduced, would have required each school division to establish a management plan for the implementation of and compliance with its policies and procedures on the identification and handling of suspected concussions in student-athletes.  The Senate Education and Health Committee and the House Education Committee members reviewed these bills, determined that further study of this issue would be appropriate, and requested the Commission to study the provisions set forth in the legislation. As part of the Student-Athlete Concussion Study, the Commission, in partnership with the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE), is requesting school divisions submit the following information:
  1. Your school division’s policies/procedures on the identification and handling of suspected concussions in student-athletes;
  2. A description of how your school division’s concussion policies are provided to student-athletes’ parents/guardians as well as the methods used for collecting information from parents/guardians acknowledging receipt, review and understandings of your policies;  
  3. The methods utilized by your school division to ensure compliance with your division’s concussion policies; and
  4. The name and title of your school division’s representative responsible for overseeing student-athlete concussion policies and their contact information.

This information may be submitted by e-mail to aatkinson@vcoy.virginia.gov.  If it is more convenient, this information may also be sent by mail to the Virginia Commission on Youth, General Assembly Building, 201 North 9th Street, Suite 269, Richmond, VA 23219 or faxed to 804-371-0574.  This information should be submitted to the Commission no later than Tuesday, September 8, 2015, to afford the Commission time to analyze the information prior to the 2016 General Assembly Session.

The Code of Virginia, at § 30-177, states that “The Commission may request and shall receive from every department, division, board, bureau, commission, authority or other agency created by the Commonwealth, or to which the Commonwealth is party, or from any political subdivision of the Commonwealth, cooperation and assistance in the performance of its duties.” The Commission and VDOE sincerely appreciate your support with this effort.  It is critical that the General Assembly have this information to assist in making informed policy decisions.  Please feel free to contact Amy Atkinson, Executive Director of the Commission on Youth, at 804-371-2481 or at aatkinson@vcoy.virginia.gov if you have any questions.  Thank you for your attention to this matter.

SRS/CAC/kfg

Attachment:

  1. Implementation of School Division’s Student-Athlete Concussion Policies Study Plan (PDF)