This is the most frequently asked question we get now that students are going back to school. COVID-19 does pose a lot of challenges for all of us, at home and at school. However, the slower pace of learning at home, the individualized approach and let’s face it, the lighter rigors of academics at home versus at school, are not all bad things for students with concussion.
Research does not say a student with a concussion CANNOT look at a computer screen or a book. Research says that symptoms may flare when a student with a concussion is doing something mentally taxing – like looking at a computer screen or a book. So the recommendation, for both at home and at school, is to help a student with a concussion be MINDFUL of their symptoms and to take more frequent eye/brain/water breaks (5 to 10 minutes every hour or 2) throughout the day. Obviously, a student learning from home has more flexibility in how they “pace” their learning which gives them more control over how they manage their symptoms. A student at home may start earlier in the day, may end later in the day, may rest during the early afternoon when symptoms are most pronounced and may really kick into high gear at 10:00 pm if that is when energy is highest.
Students recovering from a concussion, while learning from home, requires some flexibility and creativity ~ but it is not necessarily a bad thing. Do not forbid your child from reading or looking at a computer when learning from home: instead help your child learn to “read” their symptoms, learn when and how to take more frequent “pacing” breaks and learn to learn in smaller increments.
Get Schooled On Concussions (GSOC) provides return -to-learn resources FOR educators, BY educators. Since the majority of students with concussion resolve within 1 to 4 weeks, and are back to school (with symptoms) within days, GSOC feels that classroom teachers play a pivotal role in welcoming students back into the classroom, helping them to manage symptoms so they can learn and adjusting the workload immediately, within the first 4 weeks of a concussion, to promote the best chance for a smooth and seamless recovery.
Schools, districts or states can purchase a subscription to GSOC which includes:
Tier 1 (classroom teacher) and Tier 2 (related service provider) educational resources via:
Web-based access to video tutorials on the academic support of concussion management in elementary, middle and high schools.
Web-based access to 20+ Lessons/Curriculum for the classroom teacher on how to support students with concussion in the general education classroom.
Web-based access to 11+ Lessons/Curriculum for the Related Service Provider (school nurses, counselors, school mental health, administrators) on how to support students with protracted concussion
Highlights a web-based access to the Teacher Acute Concussion Tool (TACT) delivering Return to Learn curriculum just-in-time for academic support of a student in the classroom, customized for each teacher.
The TACT requires no advanced training of school professionals.
The TACT builds capacity of educator’s knowledge, confidence and competence around how to provide immediate, relevant and flexible academic supports “just in time”.
“Just-in-Time” training refers to the ability to provide teachers with information just at the time of the concussion; no advanced training needed. Customized support is delivered via email to the teacher.
The TACT is a tool used for teacher training at the time they get their first student with a concussion. It customizes how the teacher should adjust the classroom environment for the student with a concussion based upon HOW the teacher teaches, WHAT they teach, WHEN they teach and AMOUNT of technology and reading. Email supports continue for 3 subsequent weeks.
The TACT does not need, use or keep any student-specific information.
The TACT is intended for use in the first 4 weeks post-concussion.
GSOC has the ability to support schools to pivot quickly with web-based Return to Learn educational materials for families and students in the event of distance learning during the 2020-2021 academic year.
No, actually the TACT only requires the teacher to answer 7 or 8 questions; it will take a teacher less than 5 minutes to answer the questions and they will receive a customized email in their inbox within minutes.
No, the TACT is purely a tool to teach teachers how to support students with concussion in the classroom. A teacher is informed of a student with a concussion via your standard school process (usually an email from the school nurse, counselor or a call from the parent). Once the teacher is informed of the student with a concussion, they are encouraged to go to the GSOC state subscription link and put in the password. The teacher answers the 7 or 8 questions about how they teach, what they teach, and answer when in the day they have this student and when in the semester it currently is. The customized email is delivered. The TACT does not need or ask for student identifying information. The TACT never has any information about a student so it is not a HIPAA or FERPA compliance issue.