School assists concussed students with recovery


Dan Friedman

Concussions are frequent in sports such as football. If a student gets a concussion, they may be held out of physical and classroom activities for an extended time.

Amanda Kravitz, Sports Editor

Get hit in the head with a lacrosse ball. Take a bad fall while skiing. Go head to head in a football game. All of these can cause a concussion within moments of impact. Getting a concussion does not just mean sitting in a dark room with no electronics, but it can mean weeks of not being able to do school work or play sports.

If a student gets a concussion, depending on how serious the symptoms are, he or she can be excluded from physical and classroom activities for extended periods of time. Although concussions are painful for everyone involved, the high school has an efficient way of handling affected students.

Senior Caroline Kaplan has had a concussion since Nov. 21, 2018. Although her symptoms have improved dramatically since then, she has had to make serious alterations to her school schedule.

“In school, for a very long time, I couldn’t really do anything,” Kaplan said. “I couldn’t read or even really think at all without being in pain. I barely went to any classes, except for Spanish and English. Outside of school, I wasn’t allowed to play sports or do any physical exercise.”

According to Kaplan, she was cleared to participate in English class and Spanish class because both classes were heavily discussion based with little to no textbook reading.

Concussions are a serious injury that have to be cared for very delicately. The high school offers multiple ways for students to get back on track during recovery.

The high school offers a program called Bridge for Resilient Youth in Transition (BRYT) to provide support for students who have been absent for long periods of time. Concussed students utilize this program to ensure that they do not fall too far behind in their classes.

Junior Natalie Kramer has had a concussion for a few weeks. She visits BRYT frequently to make sure she stays on top of her work.

“I go to BRYT during my tutorial block. I use the time to catch up with the teachers in BRYT and plan any days when I need to retake a test, or something like that. I also will use the time to catch up on any missing work that I need to do.”

Kramer said that there are always people and teachers working in the BRYT room. She feels supported by the teachers, who help make the process of reintegrating back into a regular school schedule much more manageable.

While there are other forms of support in the school, such as nurses and teachers, BRYT offers students support and a room for a break. Kaplan uses BRYT for school assignments and daily work.

“In the beginning, when my concussion was much worse, I couldn’t do a lot of the assignments from my teachers. So I would come to BRYT and work for 20 minutes and then take a long break to let my brain relax and to prevent it from overworking-which was super frustrating,” Kaplan said. “More recently, since my symptoms have been a lot better, I go to BRYT and get my work done or take makeup tests. For some classes, the teachers in BRYT help out the kids with more of the basic homework. They help coordinate with the teachers for making up assignments.”

Junior India Stevenson has a less severe concussion, so she does not participate in the BRYT program. However, the school has helped her through it despite the fact that her concussion is less serious.

“I think the school is helpful when it comes to dealing with concussions because they have their own protocol,” Stevenson said. “They are also reputable for dealing with concussions; even my doctor knew that the high school takes special measures to help students with concussions. The high school also doesn’t push you to do anything until they are sure you’re ready.”

Kaplan feels that the school has handled her concussion well. Although she wants to get back to the way things were before her concussion, the school has continued to support her.

“I think the school is really helpful. Sometimes, it can almost feel like a little too much help because I just want to get back to where I was before the concussion. It sucks because I’ve played sports every single season that I’ve been at the high school, and I can’t play right now,” Kaplan said. “When the school is constantly reminding you that you can’t participate in sports or that college essays are due soon, it is really stressful. But all my teachers have been putting my health before my grades and they have been really helpful.”