Students at New York's only public school located in a hospital head back to class

VALHALLA, Westchester County (WABC) -- Wednesday marked the first day of classes at Mount Pleasant Blythedale School, the only public school district in New York created to educate a hospital population.

The school's motto says it all: Where students can learn while their bodies heal.

All 140 students are patients at Blythedale Children's Hospital in Valhalla, and many enroll while receiving inpatient treatment and are then bused to the school when they transition to long term rehabilitation.

"It's all helping children have access to learning, which is very typical, during what might be a time in their life a very untypical situation," Superintendent Emily Hersh said.

The curriculum at the Pre K-to-12 school follows state guidelines.

"Students are experiencing everything within their grade level that they would typically be exposed to if they were to attend their community school," Hersh said.

Parents are grateful for the opportunity.

"This place is beyond words," Yonkers mom Aileen Carmody said.

Her daughter Leah has a brain tumor and suffers from short-term memory loss, and Carmody says the fourth grader couldn't wait for the start of school.

"She's a happy-go-lucky child, but here has brought the best out of her," she said.

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