Concussion Information for Teachers and School Staff

School Concussion Discussion Image Whether parent, coach, teacher or other school-based professional, we share a common goal: to return a student with a concussion back to the classroom as safely and as quickly as possible.

A child’s primary “job” or responsibility is to attend school and learn. Unfortunately, academic challenges are common after a student sustains a concussion. Although not every concussed child plays sports, every child is a student and the initial focus after concussion should be a return to school before return to sports.

The following resources are designed for school-based professionals such as school administrators, guidance counselors, nurses, school psychologists, school resource officers and teachers, to support getting children back to learning after a concussion.

Increase your concussion knowledge

Concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury, induced by biomechanical forces, caused by a blow or jolt to the head or body. It temporarily disrupts the normal functioning of the brain. Concussion is not a structural injury, so standard radiological tests are often normal.

Most people recover completely from a concussion in days or weeks, but symptoms can last much longer. Over-exertion, re-injury and academic or emotional stress can aggravate symptoms and prolong recovery.

Allowing the student to re-enter academics in a graded and monitored fashion is ideal in minimizing these stressors. A student who has comorbidities prior to their concussion, such as learning disorders or migraine headaches, often has a slower recovery period. 

At Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, we use a five-step process called “Return to Learn” to manage a concussed student’s return to school. Information in this section is broken down by a child’s needs from the school generally, in the classroom specifically, and by their developmental stage.

Watch the following video for answers to frequently asked questions about the "Return to Learn" plan.

CDC resources

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also provides information for school professionals who provide support to youth affected by concussion. Visit the CDC’s HEADS UP to Schools website for more.


Next Steps