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Shining Star School For Patients

Children who are hospitalized or who live with chronic illness benefit from keeping much of their regular routines from their lives outside the hospital. Attending school, working on school academics, and completing schoolwork are a healthy part of a child’s life routine. Participating in school activities can give children hope of returning to normal events.

To meet this very important need for normalcy and development, SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital has its very own school, the Shining Star School. Shining Star School helps promote general academic development, social and emotional development, as well as the overall well-being of individual children and groups in the hospital setting. Patients are encouraged and welcome to participate in Shining Star School.

Learn More About Shining Star School

  • Assists the student in maintaining academic progress while hospitalized or in treatment 
  • Provides normalcy for the school-aged patient whose regular school routines are interrupted 
  • Distracts from pain and anxiety 
  • Individualizes instruction 
  • Coordinates instruction with student’s school 
  • Bases lessons on school assignments and/or learning goals 
  • Supports student’s transition back to the community
  • The teacher assesses the child’s educational needs 
  • The teacher collaborates with the child’s school for assignments and learning goals 
  • If assignments are unavailable, the teacher will create an educational plan and materials to meet a child’s needs, including consideration of the child’s medical condition 
  • The child may receive school services at the bedside or in the classroom (when appropriate) 
  • The teacher, along with volunteers, will work with the patient to help that child be successful with schoolwork and learning goals
  • The teacher will be part of the team that supports the child’s transition into homebound or traditional school
  • Inform the school of the child’s hospitalization and expected length of stay 
  • Tell your child’s physician and/or nurse you want your child to participate in the school program
  • Complete permission forms to allow the Shining Star School teacher to communicate directly with your child's school
  • Bring textbooks and/or other materials from the school as soon as possible
  • Encourage your child to complete his or her assignments
  • Communicate with your child’s school about special needs upon the child’s return to school
  • Children enrolled in Kindergarten – Grade 12 (high school senior) who have been hospitalized for four or more days
  • Children whose chronic illness requires frequent admissions to the hospital
  • Children whose treatment requires they regularly miss part or all of a school day
  • Children referred by a physician or medical care provider

Families may request to participate by asking a member of their child's care team like a doctor, nurse, or a child life specialist, or by calling 314-268-2700 ext. 4858 or 4858 from any hospital phone, or sending an email to

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