Catasauqua Area School District Athletic Director Thomas Moll told school board members during Tuesday's workshop meeting the baseline and concussion tests performed with the assistance of ImPACT Applications Inc. software have been helpful in assessing sports-related head injuries.
The board is expected to approve a contract with ImPACT Applications Inc. at Monday's board meeting.
Students who participate in sports programs within the district are required to undergo a baseline test.
According to the contract, which is on the agenda for board approval Monday, ImPACT will provide 300 baseline tests and 120 post-injury tests.
School board member Carol McCarthy asked Moll if the tests have successfully diagnosed concussions.
Moll said the computer-based tests are useful.
"It's kept kids off the field longer," said Moll. "I don't think there is anything negative to doing this. It gives doctors data to go off of."
According to the ImPACT website, the software program provides "computerized neurocognitive assessment tools and services that are used by medical doctors, psychologists, athletic trainers and other licensed healthcare professionals to assist them in determining an athlete's ability to return to play after suffering a concussion." The company is based in Pittsburgh.
The test, which takes 20-minutes to complete, measures an athlete's attention span, working memory, sustained and selective attention time, response variability, nonverbal problem solving and reaction time. The test also includes a demographic information and health history questionnaire and asks questions relating to current symptoms and conditions.
During Monday's board meeting, the school board will also hear a presentation from the Medical Academy Charter School, located at 330 Howertown Road, which is set to open this fall.
School district Superintendent Robert Spengler said the charter school will present to the board its professional development, assessment and school safety plans. During the presentation, board members will be permitted to offer input. The charter school will then seek approval of its plans from its own board of directors.
Also at Monday's meeting, the board will establish school tuition rates for nonresidents, remove and reapprove substitute teachers, approve substitute support staff and will approve an intent to retire and extracurricular positions.
Approval of Sheckler Elementary School, Catasauqua Middle School and Catasauqua High School student handbooks is also on the agenda, as well as approval of Shannon Van Spanje as a CMS guidance counselor.
Board members will, in addition, vote on the approval of planned courses of study and a new CHS advanced placement world history textbook.
The meeting will be held 7 p.m. in the district administration office board room.