Table of Contents

Policy 500.27 – Protection of Athlete and Student Head Injuries

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Board Policy

  1. The Board of Education is committed to the safety and protection of athletes and students with head injuries. The Board recognizes the need to establish protocols for management of concussions and traumatic head injuries, including notice to the parent or legal guardian regarding the risks associated with continued participation after sustaining a concussion and the protocols for safe return of students following injury.   Therefore, to implement reasonable precautionary measures to protect athletes and students who may have sustained a concussion or traumatic head injury, the Board authorizes the adoption of a head injury policy consistent with applicable state law.  
  2. The Board authorizes the Superintendent and District Administration to develop administrative regulations consistent with this policy, subject to review and approval by the Board.   




For the purpose of this regulation:

  1. “Appropriate health-care professional:” means a health-care professional who is licensed under Title 58, Occupations and Professions; who is trained in the evaluation and management of a concussion; and has, within three years, successfully completed a continuing education course in the evaluation and management of a concussion.
  2. “Sporting event”: means any of the following activities that is organized, managed or sponsored by an organization:  game, practice, a sports camp, a physical education class, a competition, or a tryout.   It does not include: 1) a lift ticket or a pass or competition organized, managed or sponsored by a ski resort; 2) free play or recess taking place during school hours.
  3. “Concussion” or “Traumatic head injury”: means an injury to the head arising from blunt trauma, an acceleration force, or a deceleration force, with on or following observed or self-reported conditions, including but not limited to:  disorientation, loss of consciousness, dysfunction of memory, or other signs of neurological dysfunction such as seizures, lethargy or vomiting.    




Applicability; Notice; Signature; Training - 500.27-2

  1. Policy—500.27 is applicable for athletes and students participating: in sporting events, including competitive sanctioned sports or emerging sports sponsored by the UHSAA and intramural sports organized or managed by Canyons School District.  
  2. The school administration shall be responsible to inform parents or legal guardians of this policy and to obtain parent or legal guardian signatures for all athletes and students participating in a “sporting event.”
  3. Each parent or legal guardian must sign an acknowledgment that they received written information regarding the signs, symptoms, and risks of a concussion.
  4. An athlete or student may not participate in any “sporting event” until the parent or legal guardian has signed an acknowledgement and it is returned to the school.
  5. The school administration is responsible that each coach, teacher, employee, or volunteer responsible for supervising athletes or students in “sporting events” receives concussion or traumatic heard injury training and a copy of the head injury policy.



Removal from Activity; Notification - 500.27-3

  1. An athlete or student who exhibits signs, symptoms or behaviors consistent with a concussion or traumatic head injury (such as loss of consciousness, headache, dizziness, confusion, or balance problems) shall be immediately removed from a “sporting event” and shall not return until cleared by an appropriate health-care professional. (For additional symptoms, Exhibit 1—Signs and Symptoms).
    1. A district nurse may assess a child who has sustained a suspected head injury during school hours.
    2. A district nurse who does not have specialized training in the management of concussions may not provide a written statement permitting the child to resume participation in free play or physical education.
    3. If the district nurse does not have specialized training in the management of concussion the child should be referred to an appropriate health-care professional trained in the evaluation and management of concussion.
    4. District nurses may receive training in the evaluation and management of a concussion as funding allows.
  2. A coach, teacher, or program supervisor shall immediately notify the school administration if a student is suspected of suffering from a concussion or head injury.
  3. The administrator shall notify the parent or legal guardian of the student’s injury. If the parent or legal guardian cannot be reached, and the student is able to be sent home, the administration is responsible to:
    1. Ensure that the student will be with a responsible individual, who is capable to monitor the student and understands home care instructions, before allowing the student to go home.
    2. Continue efforts to reach the parent or legal guardian;
    3. Refer the student to a medical emergency evaluation, if there is any question about the status of the student, or if the student cannot be monitored appropriately. The administrator or his/her designee is responsible to accompany the student or remain with the student until a parent arrives.  
    4. Provide supervision of other students for whom the administrator/designee is responsible when accompanying the injured student.
  4. Students with suspected head injuries should not be permitted to drive home.



Appropriate Health-Care Professional - 500.27-4

  1. The appropriate health-care professional must certify successful completion of a continuing education course in the evaluation and management of a concussion.
  2. If appropriate health-care professional certifies the student did not sustain a concussion then the student may be released to return to play in the sporting event.
  3. If appropriate health-care professional certifies the student did sustain a concussion then the student must progress through the return to play protocol.



Return to Play Protocol - 500.27-5

  1. An athlete or student must obtain approval of an appropriate health-care professional before return to play in any “sporting event.” The appropriate health-care professional must sign an authorization (i.e., UHSAA – Post Concussion Instructions and Return to Play Clearance Form”) to document the authorization.    
  2. Progression is individualized, and will be determined on a case-by-case basis. Factors that may affect the rate of progression include: previous history of concussion; duration and types of symptoms; age of the student, and the sport/activity.   An athlete/student with a prior history of concussion or one who has an extended duration of symptoms may be progressed more slowly.
  3. Possible transitional accommodations for athletes or students with sports-related head injuries may be considered in consultation with the school administration (i.e., staying home or limiting school hours) to address a student’s cognitive needs as activities requiring concentration and attention may worsen symptoms and delay recovery. 


Document History

Revised. – 5.4.2021.  Policy – 500.27 – Protection Athlete and Student Head Injuries was updated to include emerging sports as allowed by the UHSAA and a minor reorganization placing definitions at the beginning of the policy and an update to Exhibits and applicable forms.

Revised. – 6.18.2013.  Policy – 500.27 – Athlete and Student Head Injuries was revised be updated to incorporate recent statutory amendments regarding training protocols and regulations for district nurses assessing head injuries and concussions.   

Adopted. – 9.20.2011.  Policy – 500.27 — Athlete and Student Head Injuries was adopted to comply with a state law requirement requiring a public or private school to adopt a concussion and traumatic injury policy consistent with Utah Code Annotated §26-53-101 (2011). 


This online presentation is an electronic representation of the Canyons School District’s currently adopted policy manual. It does not reflect updating activities in progress. The official, authoritative manual is available for inspection in the office of the Superintendent located at 9361 South 300 East Sandy, UT 84070.



Definitions - 500.27-5