Return to Learn is a popular term in Concussion Management. But, what exactly does Return to Learn mean? Return to learn is the magic that teachers possess to help students with concussion manage their symptoms during the school day (so they feel comfortable enough to be at school to hear instruction) and it is the  fluid,  flexible and generous academic adjustments teachers give students throughout the 1 to 4 weeks of recovery from a concussion. To date, a school’s comfort level with Return to Learn has varied greatly. By default, some medical providers have tried to provide generalized academic recommendations to schools.  Roles and responsibilities have become blurred. Educators need to feel empowered to use their acquired pedagogical skills to drive decision making. Educators are the experts in ALL things in the field of education. For a Return to Learn protocol of be robust, it needs to be school-based and school-directed. In the end, a RTL protocol must be sustainable BY the school.

Setting up a systemic RTL protocol is difficult  because students with concussion are a moving target. Some students need to miss a few days of school, while others never miss a day of school at all. Some students have trouble with reading while other students have trouble with math. Some students struggle with lights; other students struggle with noise. No two concussions are exactly alike,  yet there are some generalities that can be applied to all.

The majority of concussions (70%) typically resolve within 28 days (Zemek et al., 2016). Therefore, believes the time and place to provide academic supports are within the first month post-injury, in the classroom setting. Get Schooled on Concussions has taken the science of concussion and has translated it into a common and comfortable language (and philosophy) for the educator,  already known in the field of education as the 3 tiered system of support: Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) or the Response to Intervention (RTI) approach. The Get Schooled On Concussions Return to Learn Concussion Lesson Plan booklet supplements our three types of training.

The RTL Concussion Lesson Plan focuses the majority of content within the Universal/General Education Classroom – Tier 1 Level. At this level, we focus on the training and empowering of all teachers to feel comfortable and confident when directing the hour to hour, day to day academic informal decisions that need to occur in the classroom for a student following a concussion.

Micro Training:

  • “How to Support Students with Concussion in Your Classroom”
  • Target Audience: All Teachers and support staff
  • This Get Schooled on Concussion  training helps general education teachers understand concussion and its impact on learning and behavior in the classroom; specifically related to mental fatigue, slow processing speed and poor short-term memory. Teachers will learn practical strategies for adjusting work output, quizzes and tests in a manner consistent with level mastery and advancement, credit attainment and grades.
  • The TACT (Teacher Acute Concussion Tool) is the electronic way in which this Tier 1 curriculum gets delivered to the classroom teacher via email “just in time” => at the time of the concussion.

Being able to provide training to all teachers is difficult. Get Schooled on Concussion has developed the Trainer of Trainer Coaching Model where individuals can be trained to coach teachers as they support students with concussion throughout the school year. The Trainer of Trainer Coaching Model provides individuals with in-depth training on how to offer continued academic support to students with protracted recovery (students who progress from Tier 1 to the more targeted – Tier 2/Related Service Providers Level of support).

Trainer of Trainer Coaching Model: 

  • “Building A Network of Support for Teachers Who Support Students with Concussion in the Classroom”
  • Target Audience: School Nurses, Counselors, Mental Health, other Related Service Providers
  • This Get Schooled on Concussion training helps school nurses, counselors, mental health professionals become the return to learn coaches for classroom teachers as they provide supports to students with concussion in their classroom. This training builds skill and confidence in how to provide academic supports for a longer time and/or in a more formalized Tier 2 manner (i.e. When to write a 504 Plan; How to write a 504 Plan; What a 504 Plan is not).

As administrators begin to pay equal attention to Return to Learn as they do to Return to Play, they are faced with different challenges. Real systemic Return to Learn requires the concerted training of a whole new set of professionals (classroom teachers) and it requires orchestrated communication between sports departments and academic departments.

Macro Training:

  • “Is Your School District Prepared for Return to Learn; Not just Return to Play?
  • Target Audience: Superintendents, Administrators, Athletic Directors, School Nurse Directors, Counselor Directors, Mental Health Directors, Risk Management
  • This Get Schooled on Concussion training is an interactive consultation with the decision-makers in a school district. Over the course of one 8 hour day, the trainer and administrators will take a deep dive into the district’s procedures and policies as they pertain to concussion, both for RTL and RTS.  Points of Vulnerability (POV) will be uncovered and solutions suggested. The Macro team will be left with a “School Inspection Report” that outlines areas of strengths and points of vulnerability. The “School Inspection Report” includes an Action Plan to help the district plan next steps.

The Return to Learn Concussion Lesson Plan is a training tool used in all of the Get Schooled on Concussions trainings. A school or district may order additional Return to Learn Concussion Lesson Plans after participating in one of our three trainings.

Schedule a Training or Order Additional Concussion Lesson Plans