PAWS (Providing Assistance With School) Program

The PAWS Program at the DanceBlue Kentucky Children's Hospital Hematology/Oncology Clinic was created to be the educational liaison between the school, the family, and the medical team, on behalf oPAWS program participantsf the patients we serve. The PAWS Program was established in August 2014 through the generous support of two non-profit organizations: Cowboy Up for a Cure and DanceBlue: For the Kids.

For more information on available services or if you have questions, please contact:

Courtney N. Emery, MEd, NBCT    
School Intervention Specialist 
Phone: 859-218-3442

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
- Nelson Mandela  

The PAWS Program is the link between a patient’s family, their school, and their medical team.  

Mission: To be the educational liaison, on behalf of the patients and families, under the care of the Pediatric Hematology/Oncology team at the University of Kentucky and to be the trusted guide that brings calm in the chaos of an unexpected illness. 

Vision: To be the leading, trusted educational resource in the state of Kentucky that clearly communicates and establishes educational plans to ensure the academic success and school re-integration for the patients we serve.  

Patients under the care of the University of Kentucky Pediatric Hematology/Oncology team can receive services from The PAWS Program.  Referrals for the program can be made through the patient’s assigned Social Worker.

This program targets oncology patients in Kindergarten through 12th grade; however, is available for consult on pre-school and college-age students. 

When a patient is referred to The PAWS Program, they will be assigned a School Intervention Specialist, who will work closely with the patient’s school, family, and medical team. The goal of these services is to minimize negative educational issues that arise due to the diagnosis, treatment plan, and frequent absences.

The services provided by The PAWS Program vary based on a patient’s individual needs. Some of the services include:

  • Faculty In-Service - to educate staff on diagnosis, treatment plan, school implications, and recommended accommodations.
  • Peer In-Service - to educate the classmates on a patient’s diagnosis, treatment plan, and how to be a good friend during this difficult time.
  • School Meetings - School Intervention Specialist can attend school meetings (IEP, 504, etc), to offer insight on the educational impact of the patient’s diagnosis and treatment plan
  • Coordinate Homebound Instruction - School Intervention Specialist will work with the child’s medical team and school district to ensure proper documentation is submitted so that homebound services can begin.
  • Identify Online Resources/Programs - Some online resources/programs can be found under the “helpful links” tab on this website. In addition to these resources/programs, the School Intervention Specialist will work with your child’s school district to identify resources/programs that can be used as a supplement from the district, to minimize the educational gaps that occur while on treatment.
  • Neuropsychological Evaluation - Certain types of cancer and treatment regimens can cause cognitive change and developmental delays for our patients. If you have seen changes or delays in your child, you can discuss your concerns with the School Intervention Specialist. A referral for a neuropsychological evaluation may be helpful to determine if cognitive deficits exist.
  • Consultation - The School Intervention Specialist is available for consultation as situations arise

Helpful Links for Teachers &  Parents

Educational Games & Activities for Patients

  • Virtual Learning Connections: Educational Websites and Online Learning. Target Age Group: K-8th Grade 
  • Power My Learning: A FREE website to personalize learning. Activities are aligned with Common Core. Target Age Group: K-12th Grade 
  • Scootpad: Personalize and Accelerate Learning. Target Age Group: K-8th Grade 
  • Quizlet: Online flashcards to work on a wide variety of content.  Students can also create flashcards. Target Age Group: 3rd-12th Grade