Parents Of Immunocompromised Girl Say Long Island School District Refused Requests For Adequate Remote Option

Are children who have medical issues getting the education they deserve during the pandemic? More and more families are demanding schools to more.

Parents Of Immunocompromised Girl Say Long Island School District Refused Requests For Adequate Remote Option

MILLER PLACE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Are children who have medical issues getting the education they deserve during the pandemic? More and more families say no and are demanding their schools do more to include them with remote learning.

CBS2’s Jessica Layton introduces us to a Long Island family who says they’re getting pushback from their school as they fight for their daughter’s safety.

With her bright smile and sequined sweatshirt, you may not be able to tell right away that 11-year-old Ava Cozenzo is a fighter.

“I went for my routine sonogram and the entire room filled with silence and I knew immediately something was wrong,” said Ava’s mom Danielle Cozenzo.

It was then they learned Ava would be born missing half of her heart. The rare and serious condition called hypoplastic left heart syndrome continues to put the 6th grader at risk.

Danielle and her husband Chris vowed to give their little girl, who loves music and basketball, every shot to succeed. But they never dreamed one of the biggest fights of their lives would be against their public school system.

“I never, ever, ever expected this kind of pushback,” said Ava’s dad Chris Cozenzo.

Since Ava’s medical condition is so fragile, her pediatric cardiologist said in-person learning would be too dangerous for her and her siblings during the pandemic.

“If we put Ava in a school setting, what do you fear could happen?” Layton asked Dr. Sean Levchick.

“She’s gonna get exposed unnecessarily to, potentially, a life-threatening illness,” Dr. Levchick said.

Unlike last year, the Miller Place School District isn’t offering a remote option so the immunocompromised child can take courses virtually with her classmates. Instead, it’s two hours of tutoring a day for Ava and one hour daily for her brother and sister.

“Very upsetting… because I would like to get an education, also, like the rest of the kids,” Ava said.

The debate over whether districts should have to offer a virtual option is heated across the Tri-State Area.

In New Jersey, nearly 30,000 people have signed a petition of behalf of parents for a virtual choice.

While New York City schools offer a “Medically Necessary Instruction” program, it’s only an hour of lessons a day, five days a week.

Ava’s parents said they started having conversations with the district about their concerns for this school year six months ago – and they’ve hit nothing but roadblocks.

“What is their reason?” Layton asked Danielle.

“Money,” she said.

Layton took the Cozenzo’s concerns to the superintendent, whose office referred us to its public relations agency.

After a back and forth that lasted several days, they sent a statement saying in part:

The district is committed to providing each student with the educational services within the scope of the law. New York State law requires the district to provide five hours per week of homebound instruction for students in grades K-6 and ten hours per week for students in grades 7-12.

Layton got on the phone again and asked for specifics about how the district is reaching out to help the family. They reiterated they could not comment further.

The Cozenzos hope to prevail on behalf of Ava and all immunocompromised children.

“This is not an ‘I can’t’ from the district. It’s an ‘I won’t,'” said Danielle.

“There’s no end where I’m willing to take this. It’s my family. It’s my daughter,” said Chris.

CBS2 asked Gov. Kathy Hochul’s office about options for children with medical issues and the hours of schooling they’re entitled to. They referred us to the State Education Department.

We reached out, but did not get a response before this story aired.

CBS2’s Jessica Layton contributed to this report.

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Cowboys Dominate NFC East Rival Eagles 41-21

The Cowboys (2-1) had a 19-1 edge in first downs late in the first half, but the Eagles were down just 20-7 at the break.

Cowboys Dominate NFC East Rival Eagles 41-21

ARLINGTON, Texas (CBSDFW.COM/AP) – Dak Prescott threw for three touchdowns in his first home game since he suffered an ankle injury on the same field almost a year ago, Trevon Diggs returned an interception 59 yards for a score and the Dallas Cowboys dominated the Philadelphia Eagles 41-21 on Monday night, Sept. 27.

Ezekiel Elliott ran for a season-high 95 yards and two touchdowns, and tight end Dalton Schultz had the first two-TD game of his career.

Except for a fumble in the end zone that gave the Eagles (1-2) their first touchdown, Prescott was efficient, going 21 of 26 for 238 yards without an interception in the first NFC East game for both teams.

Prescott’s first game at AT&T Stadium since the season-ending compound fracture and dislocation of his right ankle in Week 5 last year against the New York Giants was also the return to full capacity, with 93,267 inside and the retractable roof open at the $1.2 billion facility.

The Cowboys (2-1) had a 19-1 edge in first downs late in the first half, but the Eagles were down just 20-7 at the break. After Javon Hargrave forced Prescott’s fumble and caught the ball for the score, the Eagles stuffed the QB on a fourth-down sneak at the other end.

Diggs stepped in front of a pass from Hurts to the sideline on the third play of the second half and ran untouched for his first career TD while becoming the first Dallas player with a pick in each of the first three games since Everson Walls in 1985.

Diggs and Cincinnati’s Logan Wilson share the NFL lead with three interceptions.

Hurts had completions of 41 yards to Quez Watkins, 38 yards to tight end Dallas Goedert and 27 yards to tight end Zach Ertz while finishing 25 of 39 for 326 yards with two TDs and two interceptions. Plenty of the Texas native’s passing yards, and the second TD, came with the game out of reach.

Prescott’s 19-yard touchdown pass to Schultz put the Cowboys ahead for good at 14-7 late in the first quarter, and a 2-yarder to Cedrick Wilson on fourth down essentially put the game away at 34-14 early in the fourth.

Any doubt was erased when rookies Micah Parsons and Osa Odighizuwa shared a sack of Hurts on a desperation try on fourth-and-9 midway through the fourth quarter. Odighizuwa had his first career sack in the first half, dropping Hurts for an 11-yard loss.

Schultz, who led Dallas with 80 yards receiving, scored again on a 22-yarder in the fourth quarter.


Jimmy Johnson, who coached the Cowboys to a pair of Super Bowl titles in the 1990s, made a rare appearance on their home field when he was presented his Pro Football Hall of Fame ring at halftime along with safety Cliff Harris and receiver Drew Pearson. All three were inducted this summer.

Johnson started his speech by thanking owner Jerry Jones and ended it with the famous line he first shouted after an NFC championship game win over San Francisco during the 1992 season: “How ’bout them Cowboys!” Johnson and Jones split acrimoniously after another Super Bowl title to finish the 1993 season. The two hugged before Jones put the ring on Johnson.


Eagles: LG Isaac Seumalo was taken off on a cart after injuring his right foot in the fourth quarter. The Eagles were already without LT Jordan Mailata (knee) and RG Brandon Brooks (chest strain). S K’Von Wallace injured his left shoulder in the first quarter trying to tackle Elliott and didn’t return.


Eagles: Defending AFC champion Kansas City visits Sunday with the Chiefs coming off consecutive losses for the first time since October 2019.

Cowboys: Carolina visits Sunday with the Panthers seeking their first 4-0 start since the 2015 season, when they started 14-0 and lost to Denver in the Super Bowl.

(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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