LEETONIA- Student athletes in football and soccer this fall will have an opportunity to participate in a program that will help detect concussions.
Assistant Athletic Director John McIlduff told the school board Thursday night that the high school is working with the East Liverpool City Hospital to implement ImPACT (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing), a computer-based testing program for concussion management. The program uses a baseline assessment of an athlete's mental actions and skills that can be used following a head injury to determine when a player can return to the field.
McIlduff said the program is voluntary and consent forms have been sent home to parents. Testing will take place at the high school in October.
There is no cost to the school or to parents for the testing, McIlduff noted, but if an athlete is injured, the parent will have pay for the doctor's visit in East Liverpool.
According to information provided by McIlduff, the 10- to 15-minute test is non-invasive and set up in a video game format. It tracks information such as memory, reaction time, speed and concentration. If a concussion is suspected, the athlete re-takes the test and the results of both tests are given to a local or family doctor to evaluate and determine when the athlete can return to the field.
In other business, Yvette Graham from the Nutrition Group, which manages the cafeteria, reported to the board that she will be conducting Wellness Wednesday events for the elementary students in which she will offer a different selection of vegetables on the second Wednesday of each month in the cafeteria as part of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. She said each child who participates receives a sticker that will hopefully generate discussion at home.
Additionally a concerned parent requested the board and school administration work harder to secure technology that will help improve the education of her ill daughter, who has lost the use of her writing arm. She said that her daughter has been assigned a scribe and permitted use of a laptop, but is not developing skills in spelling, grammar or punctuation. She is seeking the ability to scan curriculum into the laptop so her daughter can work on her own.
Schools Superintendent Rob Mehno said the administration is continuing to work on the issue to find a solution.
Also at the meeting, the board accepted from 1970 alum Ray Goerig a donation of a Japanese handcrafted wooden miniature of a bear catching a fish to be displayed in the trophy case.
The board also approved for the 2012-2013 school year Trevor Greenfield as the play/musical director and athletic supplemental contracts to Bill Knight, head track; Dave Adams, assistant track; Jim Green, baseball; John McIlduff, softball; and Patrick Kiliany, seventh-grade basketball.
The board also accepted a $100 donation from Paul Sevenich to the golf team and granted permission to Leetonia Shale for use of the main gym for an informational meeting on Oct. 13.
The next regular board meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Oct. 25 in Room 20 of the K-12 campus.
Kevin Howell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org