Approximately 70% of students should recover from their concussion within 4 weeks. However, 30% of students may experience a prolonged recovery. Current research demonstrates high levels of cognitive activity (thinking) following concussion can prolong recovery in some students. Therefore, it is important for schools to implement appropriate academic adjustments and progress monitoring upon notification of a student’s concussion, to alleviate prolonged concussion recovery.

In 2013, BrainSTEPS created a nationally recognized Return to Learn Concussion Management Team (RTL CMT) model intervention for school building teams to manage student concussions. These specialized school-based teams are trained to support students returning to the demands of school while promoting recovery for the initial 4-6 weeks post-concussion. For students who do not recover within that timeframe, schools agree to make an online student referral to their local Intermediate Unit BrainSTEPS team for higher level consultation, training, and annual monitoring of learning and behavioral needs. rainSTEPS annual monitoring occurs even if full concussion recovery takes place.

To date, over 3,000 RTL teams have been trained. RTL CMTs consist of at least two monitors (one Academic Monitor & one Symptom Monitor), as well as additional team members who agree to manage the student’s educational support needs over the course of recovery. RTL CMTs also evaluate data from the academic and symptom monitoring tools weekly to make decisions regarding the need to adjust academics until recovery.

This online training is free to any Pennsylvania or Colorado school and lasts approximately 5.5 hours. Once a school trains a Return to Learn Concussion Management Team (RTL CMT) under our model, all school staff in the district are invited can then view this training.

By forming a Return to Learn Concussion Management Team, your school will receive:

  • Official BrainSTEPS & Department of Education created Return to Learn Protocol
  • Return to Learn Fidelity of Implementation Checklist
  • Return to Learn Concussion Monitoring Toolkit which includes:
    • Academic Monitoring Tool
    • Symptom Monitoring Tool Elementary
    • Symptom Monitoring Tool Middle/High
    • Teacher initial individualized initial academic adjustment letters based on phase of recovery
    • Parent Letters
  • Ongoing support for formation of district wide implementation of procedures and policies from the Program Coordinator via regularly scheduled state online meetings.
  • Consultation and training support from regional BrainSTEPS Teams.
  • BrainSTEPS annual monitoring for all referred students (even if recovered) annually until graduation to ensure as the brain develops, new cognitive or behavioral issues are supported.

Return to Learn Concussion Management Teams & BrainSTEPS Teams Are Not the Same

BrainSTEPS Teams:

  • Consultation and training available for all severities of student acquired brain injuries (TBIs and nonTBIs) including concussions

Return to Learn Concussion Management Teams:

  • School-based and are only trained to manage student concussions for the initial 4-6 weeks post-concussion.

Return to Learn Concussion Management Teams (files to be uploaded. Example files for now)

Steps To Register a Concussion Management Team

Return to Learn Concussion Management Team Training Info

Pennsylvania's Concussion Return to School Protocol


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