Draft policy on concussions on the way

Concussions are quickly becoming an issue in all sports, especially those that involve youth.

Concussions are quickly becoming an issue in all sports, especially those that involve youth.

That was one of the reasons Wolf Creek Public Schools (WCPS) trustee Donna Peterson approached the rest of the board earlier this year with the idea of the division generating its own policy surrounding concussions.

At the board’s meeting on Nov. 17, trustees received an update on where the process stands from superintendent Jayson Lovell.

A draft of the new administrative policy has been reviewed by division staff and school principals based on input and research from various sources. The policy includes direction for coaches and staff regarding actions to follow when learning a student or athlete has been diagnosed with a concussion.

“There have been a number of avenues where we have gotten advice on this issue that is rather delicate and been getting a lot of attention lately,” Lovell said.

“The issue is still emerging and will continue to unfold. Based on that, staff reviewed other policies and standards in Alberta and developed a draft that has been vetted and will be ready for implementation for September 2017.”

One significant point of the policy is that it has been designed so there is a sign-off, authorization and acknowledgement of the risks associated with playing sports and with returning to action.

Survey says

Over 1,800 responded to the WCPS Thoughtexchange survey that wrapped up last month. Close to 5,000 thoughts shared and about 137,900 stars were assigned to those thoughts in the second phase of the survey.

Lovell explained to trustees that it was hoped the final ‘discovery’ phase results would have been available before the meeting, but it’s anticipated that the comprehensive information and data regarding trends and ideas from the survey will be in front of trustees at their meeting in December.

Art attack

Trustees approved a new plan to have student artwork placed on display at the WCPS division office and in the board room.

Designed to celebrate and share the ideas of students from around WCPS, the program will see schools requested to submit three to five pieces of art with the student’s name, school and grade, with the option of including an outline or meaning of the piece.

Submissions will be made twice each school year, in January and September, with the first set of submissions set for this January.

Other business

Trustees approved the WCPS three-year plan, though it will not be publicly available until it is approved by Alberta Education, which has a deadline of Nov. 30. It isn’t known how long it will take for the department’s approval.

Administration provided trustees with an update as to where the division is regarding the Provincial Achievement Tests (PAT) and Diploma Exam results for 2015-16. While the results are fairly positive across WCPS, with improvement seen in many subject areas, there remains room for further growth throughout the district as some subject areas remain below the provincial averages.

That work on improving those outcomes is being done with each school principal and teachers through developing strategies aimed at reaching specific goals.