Coronavirus News: NY school finds success after restarting in-person learning

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Tuesday, August 11, 2020
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One New York school district has found success after restarting in-person learning for students in early-July.

VALHALLA, New York (WABC) -- One New York school district has found success after restarting in-person learning for students.

School during the pandemic. It's an unusual sight.

When the pandemic hit, the school at Blythdale's Children Hospital went online, but in-person learning for its 155 students started up again in early July much to Horace McFarlane's delight.

"I missed social studies," student Horace McFarlane said. "It's my favorite subject but I like science as well."

School offers these students a sense of normalcy in spite of their medical issues amid the coronavirus pandemic.

"This has been an extremely daunting task but one that is rewarding when you see the smiles ... best feeling," Mt. Pleasant, Blythdale School District Superintendent Emily Hersh said.

About half the students are in-patient. And aside from class instruction, all students receive some sort of therapy.

This can involve close contact, and yet there have been zero cases of COVID-19.

The students here attend half-day sessions. The other half of the day is done remotely from home.

It's a model many schools are considering, and here it has worked.

"I think we have a lot to share and what we have done shows it can work, obviously these are children ... in need of caution," Chief Medical Officer Dr. Scott Klein said. "I think we have guidance we can give to other schools."

McFarlane has re-learned to walk and eat after a battle with a form of Leukemia.

The socialization, education and therapy here, are all essential

Hundreds of nursing homes still aren't allowing visitation amid coronavirus pandemic

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