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Mount Pleasant-Blythedale: A School Like Any Other

MOUNT PLEASANT, N.Y. – The Mount Pleasant – Blythedale School is a school for children and adolescent's with special needs. Attached to the Blythedale Children's Hospital, Mount Pleasant- Blythedale is a transition school for those receiving therapy and medical care. It is the only school in the State of New York that is designed to educate a hospital population.

"I call this the safest place on earth," said Rosemary Williams, the visual impaired specialist who has been with the school for 25 years. "Kids always want to be here because they don't have to worry about any other issues of everyday life, no one dreads getting off the bus to come here."

However, the school is not just a place to hang out and have fun. There is one ultimate goal: to learn. The school currently has 119 students enrolled from grades K-12 and 23 pre-kindergarten students.

The students come from school districts across Westchester County and also areas of Rockland, Orange and New York County. Each student enters the school to learn while they are receiving treatment at the hospital in order to ensure that they stay up-to-date on their studies.

"We follow all New York State guidelines for our curriculums," said Emily Hersh, principal of Mount Pleasant-Blythedale. "We have our Regents exams, we're pretty much a school just like any other."

The public school features a typical school day schedule. On top of their typical school subject courses, the students receive individual educational help based on their needs.

Since most students cannot leave the facilities during their stay, the school brings the recreation to them. Thanks to donations from various parties, the school grounds are filled with games, various computers and electronic equipment, and a playground facility, all of which is handicapped accessible.

"We want to provide our students the opportunity of a normal education in order to allow them to become productive citizens no matter their destination," Hersh said.

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