School/Academic Expectations During Post-Concussion Recovery

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Follow these guidelines unless otherwise directed by treating healthcare professional.


Goals/Key Ideas

Teacher/Guidance Actions

Student Actions


Complete Rest

  • Contacted by school nurse
  • Explanation of injury and current plan of care
  • Out of school. No schoolwork.
  • Strict limits re: use of electronics
  • No physical/Sports activity


Significant deficits in processing speed, memory, etc...? May be vision difficulties.

Cognitive activity as tolerated*

Develop list of three categories of assignments:

  • Excused: Not to be made up
  • Accountable: Responsible for content, not necessarily, process- may have accommodations or alternate form.
  • Responsible: Student will complete and be graded, when able.

Goal is to help student keep up with learning as much as possible but not necessarily to be completing assignments that are non-essential to acquisition and basic demonstration of knowledge. The longer the recovery process, the more that should be eliminated or altered.

  • In school as tolerated*
  • Homework as tolerated*
  • Get copies of notes, handouts?
  • Communicate with teachers about progress and plans
  • Be patient with slow recovery. Do not push so much that symptoms occur or increase. Rest eyes and just listen, or see nurse to rest if feeling worse. Go home if symptoms still worsen.
  • No physical/Sports activity- including gym/PE/recess. No playing wind instrument- music class as tolerated*


Gradual increase of time and energy, slowly resuming workload

  • Prioritize assignments with student, taking into account make-up work and new work. Assist with timelines
  • Continue to use above categories.
  • Provide extra help as needed regarding missed material and mastery of concepts
  • Full classroom attendance as tolerated*
  • Progress back to homework completion- then tests as tolerated*- if memory is okay
  • Coordinate with teachers about catching up, keeping up
  • No Physical/Sports activity as above


Resumption of normal activities

  • Monitor completion of assignments
  • Communication between teachers, parents, and guidance re: assignment completion, student’s ability to work at pace of peers, and grades.
  • Resume normal academic activities
  • Communicate with teachers/guidance re: progress toward being caught up
  • Start graduated return to play with guidance from healthcare professional
  • “as tolerated” means as long as the activity does not produce or increase the concussion symptoms
  • ** Duration varies greatly from one student to another. The stage a student is at is determined by the healthcare professional managing the student’s concussion.