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Donna Bigelow works on an assignment with her daughter Mary Kate Monday afternoon. Mary Kate needs help with some work because she doesn't have the strength to lift her arms, but she is able to participate in classroom discussions.

Staying connected at a distance

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On Monday morning, Mary Kate Bigelow and her third-grade classmates were hard at work unscrambling words. But while Mary Kate could see the other students and hear the chatter of the classroom, she couldn't turn and whisper with a friend. Couldn't ask for help or share a joke.

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Mary Kate was miles away from the rest of the students, sitting in front of a small white laptop computer in her Rosemount home.

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