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Children at the NIH Clinical Center

NIH Children’s School

En español

Since 1953, the NIH Children’s School has provided education for pediatric patients participating in clinical research at the NIH Clinical Center.

The school is funded by the Federal government and is free for all pediatric patients in grades kindergarten through 12. The school is staffed by teachers from the Interim Instructional Services unit of Montgomery County Public School of Maryland. The primary goal is to maintain the continuity of education for each pediatric patient.

School contact information

  • Location: Hatfield Clinical Research Center, Building 10/Room 1-1679, on the 1NW pediatric unit
  • Telephone: 301-496-2077
  • Fax: 301-480-3727
  • E-mail: school@nih.gov

Who may attend?

Instruction is available to inpatients and outpatients undergoing treatment at NIH, including patients living at The Children’s Inn, other sponsored residences, or in private accommodations. Patients in regular K-12 education programs, patients in special education programs, General Educational Development (GED) candidates, and patients preparing for college admission examinations can all use the school. The school also offers English as a Second Language (ESL) classes.

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Where do patients receive instruction?

Teachers provide instruction in the school’s classroom located in Building 10/Room 1-1679 on the 1NW Pediatric Unit, or in Room 1-3640 on the 1SW Behavioral Health unit. When necessary, children may be taught in their rooms or in the Pediatric Clinic. Each patient on the 1NW Pediatric Unit receives up to two hours of instruction each weekday on a one-to-one basis with his or her teacher(s). Patients on the 1SW Behavioral Health Unit may receive up to four hours of instruction each weekday. Instruction will vary depending on students’ health and learning needs.

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How do students enroll in the NIH Children’s School?

Pediatric patients can enroll in the school by making a request to a social worker, nurse, or physician. The patient or caregiver(s) may also visit the school or contact the school directly by phone, fax, or e-mail. Upon the patient’s arrival on the unit, the school Director will contact the patient and his or her caregiver(s) about educational needs.

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When is the NIH Children’s School open?

The school is open year-round except Federal Government holidays and emergencies. The school observes Montgomery County Public School’s Winter and Spring breaks.

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Does the NIH Children’s School cover the same subjects as the patient’s home school?

The primary goal of the school is to assist each pediatric patient to maintain academic continuity and progress with her or his home school program. The teachers assigned to the patient will contact the home school for assignments and other information needed during the patient’s stay.

If materials aren’t provided by the patient’s home school, teachers can create age and cognitively appropriate coursework based on the Montgomery County Public Schools’ curriculum. Children who are at the hospital for a day or a week and who have not brought school assignments will be offered materials that reinforce skills at their functional level through stories, worksheets, internet resources or games.

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How do patients get credit for school attendance during their hospital stays?

Most patients’ home schools recognize attendance at the school, completed assignments, and exam results. Arrangements can be made for exams to be administered by an NIH teacher. Upon discharge from the NIH Clinical Center, a qualitative assessment is provided to the home school. The NIH Children’s School does not issue grades or create a transcript.

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Issues or Concerns

Please contact Bridget Moore for any issues or concerns regarding the services provided by the NIH Children’s School.

We look forward to working with you!

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This page last updated on 08/31/2022

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