Smith discusses concussion protocols; BOE announces grand opening for LaPorte Track

Published 9:40 am Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Star Photo/Curtis Carden                           Physical therapist Danny Smith addresses the Elizabethton BOE on concussion procedures taken at Elizabethton High School.

Star Photo/Curtis Carden
Physical therapist Danny Smith addresses the Elizabethton BOE on concussion procedures taken at Elizabethton High School.

It was smooth sailing for the first Elizabethton City Schools Board of Education meeting taking place within the school year.
School officials convened inside the Mack Pierce Board Room Thursday to go through a variety of first readings and basic discussions for board policies.
One of the board policies brought up during the meeting was Policy 6.413, discussing prevention and treat of sports-related concussions.
Physical therapist Danny Smith, who works hand-in-hand with Elizabethton High School and other athletes in the area, told the board that concussion treatments have been a key talking point recently, with Gov. Bill Haslam signing a measure into effective Jan. 1 in 2014 to address concussions and pulling an athlete when needed if they are experiencing concussion symptoms.
Smith went on to add that the system in place locally has been met with rave reviews across the state and asked the board to revise two measures in the policy:
* do away with an online course for coaches to diagnosis concussion symptoms via an online test and rather do a course working with a medical physician for better education.
* change language within the policy to practice and supervised practice instead of just athletic activity or competition, which BOE member Dr. Grover May also agreed with.
Smith went on to add that students receive a preseason concussion screening and that steps are being taken to make sure students’ safety is OK. The board praised the efforts by Smith and coaches and approved the motion to tweak the language.
In his comments to the BOE, Dr. Corey Gardenhour announced that a grand opening for LaPorte Track – the new name for the recently renovated track and field area on the Elizabethton High School campus – will be held on Friday, Sept. 9, at 9:30 a.m. with the Betsy Band and student body on hand.
Gardenhour also applauded the efforts of the school system employees, volunteers, churches, businesses and organization that assisted with the recent Back-2-School Bash.
“We had over 100 volunteers from churches and 80 staff members volunteer,” he said. “It was a great event and we want to thank (Dr. Myra) Newman for organizing everything.”
As far as what the future holds, Gardenhour added a debrief meeting from the event has already been held and work is already underway to prepare for next year.
“There are some things that went very well, some others we can work on,” he said. “We still have some money left over with a couple of bills to pay, but I think we’re in a great spot for next year.”
Around 25 to 30 backpacks were leftover at the middle school level, Gardenhour added, which were dispersed to students thanks to the use of counselors.
The superintendent also added that the school system will be moving ahead with a volunteer initiative with the local senior center and credited the work of public relations director coordinator Bekah Price for her work in helping the website and social media outlets for the school system be better for accessibility to the public.

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