The health and safety of student-athletes is a primary concern of Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS). MCPS has full-time certified athletic trainers (ATCs) at every high school, and coaches must pass multiple health and safety related courses in order to retain their certification. Moreover, the school system has numerous plans, procedures, and protocols that address various health and safety related issues.
But an effective health and safety program is a two-way street. Parents and student-athletes, as well as school personnel, must have a fundamental knowledge of important health and safety related factors, and must exercise fundamental precautions. In this respect, there are systemwide requirements and expectations for coaches, athletic trainers, parents, and student-athletes.
The Health/Safety portion of the Athletics Web Page includes the following sections. Note that many forms and documents are contained in more than one section. For instance, the MCPS Concussion Plan is located in both the Coach/ATC – Systemwide Plans and Procedures section as well as the Concussions section.
For a comprehensive view of all Health and Safety-Related forms and documents, refer to the Summary of MCPS Health and Safety Forms, Documents, and Procedures. This document includes a list of all documents associated with systemwide plans, procedures, and information related to the health and safety of student-athletes. The materials in this section are intended primarily for school personnel, including coaches and certified athletic trainers (ATCs).
Parent/Student – Required Safety-Related Forms and Required Reading lists all forms that must be signed by parents and student-athletes. These forms and documents include a participation contract, physical evaluation, parent permission to participate, medical emergency card, baseline testing consent, and acknowledgement of receipt of information. Also included are resources that parents and student-athletes are required to read prior to participation. Documents include information on concussions, sudden cardiac arrest, baseline concussion testing, and concussion information.
Student-Athlete Health and Safety PowerPoint is a PowerPoint developed by MCPS that is presented to all student-athletes before the season starts or early in the season. The PowerPoint is presented by coaches, and provides student-athletes with a review of fundamental health and safety related issues.
Concussions and Baseline Testing includes the MCPS Concussion Plan, the MCPS Baseline Testing Plan, and several information sources related to concussions and head injuries. Also included are Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletics Association (MPSSAA) recommendations on limiting contact exposure for contact and collision sports, including basketball, field hockey, football, boys’ lacrosse, girls’ lacrosse, soccer, and wrestling.
Heat Index is a resource for coaches and athletic department personnel to determine the precise heat index in “real” time. Based on the reading, practices or contests might be adjusted according to heat guidelines outlined in the MCPS High School Athletics Handbook.
Heat and Hydration includes the MCPS Heat Plan, Fall Heat Plan Q and A, Heat Restrictions, and other heat and hydration related information.
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) includes information from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS), and MPSSAA on MRSA and MRSA prevention strategies.
Performance Enhancing Substances includes numerous documents and information primarily from the NFHS regarding steroids, dietary supplements, and other substances that purport to enhance performance.
Sudden Cardiac Arrest includes information from the MSDE, American Heart Association, and the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation.