Gradual Return to Activity Plan

As symptoms improve, students can add more physical and mental activities. The Concussion Management Team will provide you with a Gradual Return to Activity Plan that will indicate the temporary accommodations needed for optimal healing. Students must be cleared by a healthcare provider before beginning the plan.

The plan has two components: Return to Academics and Return to Play.


For a student with concussion, the physical, cognitive, and emotional challenges of school are immense. Too much stimulation, particularly soon after the injury, can negatively impact the brain’s recovery. It’s critical that students gradually ease back into school work.

Stepped progression
A typical Return to Academics (example in RESOURCE LIST) starts with a couple of days at home, progresses to partial days, and works up to full days. But each concussion is different. Sometimes students will do fine for a while and then need to drop back a step. Watch for new or recurring symptoms, and communicate them to the Concussion Management Team.

During the healing process, you will need to make accommodations like limiting homework, having a classmate take notes, or finding a darker, quieter spot for the student to work.(See Accommodation Suggestions in RESOURCE LIST.)


A Return to Play Plan lists the steps needed to safely get back to full athletic activity. Your school’s certified athletic trainer or other healthcare provider will oversee this step-by-step process. Returning to play before a concussion is fully healed puts a student at risk for a repeat concussion, increased chance for long term problems and, in rare cases, even death.