OSSB Panther Paws News

Monday, January 18, 2021



  • 19th - In-Person Learning resumes at OSSB - Monday - Thursday, Hybrid on Friday
  • 19th - Goalball Practice begins
  • 29th - Quarter Ends

Sight Savers America Provides Video Magnifiers to OSSB Students

Two OSSB students received a special surprise on December 24th, courtesy of our friends at Sight Savers America. The OSSB/PTSF was pleased to work once again this year with Sight Savers America (SSA), a non-profit out of Alabama providing free low vision equipment to students! According to SSA's website, "An Electronic Video Magnifier dramatically enhances contrast, magnifies objects up to 118 times and opens up a new world of opportunity for children with severe visual impairment. EVMs are more expensive than the average family can afford and are not covered by any type of medical insurance. After donating the devices to each child, SSA provides a comprehensive follow-up program, contacting families twice a year with a commitment to repair or replace the equipment until the child turns 19."

The OSSB Parent Teacher Staff Foundation worked with Dr. Greg Hopkins this fall to determine two students who would benefit from an EVM at home. My'Keyia of Columbus, and Lyric of Worthington received their new devices on Christmas Eve. Thank you Sight Savers America!!!

Updated COVID-19 Policies

Due to recent updates and guidance from the CDC, Governor DeWine, Ohio Department of Health, and Franklin County Public Health OSSB has updated some of our COVID-19 policies.

Click here to view our COVID-19 Policies. Updated sections include:

  • Screening and Isolation
  • Flow Chart (see chart at bottom of newsletter)
  • FAQ's

Highlighted policy changes:

  • OSSB will remain in hybrid learning even if Franklin County changes to a "purple" level.
  • Students and staff must now isolate for 10 days, this is reduced from 14 days.
  • If your student is exposed in the classroom, they may not need to isolate.

OSSB teachers are included in Phase 1B of Ohio's COVID vaccine distribution plan.

If you have questions about COVID or our policies, please contact our COVID Coordinator, Tobbie Reeves-Valentine, RN, BSN:

Phone: 614-907-2284

Email: covidreporting@osdb.oh.gov

New Tactile Mural at OSSB A Gift from Local Artist/Educator

When students come back to the OSSB building tomorrow, they should notice a new piece of art on the south wall of the connector hallway near the OSSB gymnasium. This tactile mural was created especially for our students to feel and learn about some of the history of the Ohio State School for the Blind. (Mural is shown in the background of this newsletter)

Stephanie Welch-Grenier, a Central Ohio Teacher of the Visually Impaired, and Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist spoke with several staff members and then began to create the colorful mural with raised images. She created the mural using real objects like the knobs from an oven, and a braille clock for teaching how to tell time. Stephanie also used wood, clay, casting materials and acrylic paint. This fall, she and her husband received special permission to come into the building in the evening to install the mural. It features notable things throughout OSSB's history as the oldest public school for the blind in the country. Braille labels are placed on the raised mural and it includes the words, "We are talented. We are industrious. We are strong. We are independent. We are OSSB."

Stephanie started out doing art therapy for children with autism part-time, a number of years ago - that is when she began donating her time and talents to creating murals for all to enjoy. She also worked at the Lighthouse for the Blind in Florida before moving to the Columbus area. When the OSSB building is open to visitors again one day, I hope students will share this special piece with their families and community members. ~Mrs. Kaplan

Inauguration Day Safety and OSSB Campus

On Wednesday, January 20th, the 46th President of the United States will be sworn into office. This historic day creates lots of feelings in light of recent events in Washington D.C.

The safety of our students is always our top priority. OSSB will proceed with the planned schedule where residential students return on Monday, January 18th, and in-person hybrid classes will start Tuesday morning, January 19th.

If a safety situation were to take place in downtown Columbus, the school buildings will take all steps to ensure the safety of our students and staff. If an issue were to occur near the campus, the school building would follow the typical safety and lockdown procedures. We do not anticipate any safety issues on campus related to the Inauguration in Washington D.C.

If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to your school administrator.

OSSB Student to receive "Fur-ever" Friend

The Suffield Fire Department in Northeast Ohio recently posted a message on Facebook, trying to help a young man get a helper dog - that young man is OSSB student, Ryan! He will be finishing high school soon, and according to the article, would like to get a 'Fur-ever friend". Check out the video below to see more.

Fitness Fridays Each Week on Zoom

OSSB staff will continue offering Fitness Fridays in 2021. Each week, new and exciting exercise routines will be offered. To maximize health benefits, full and active participation is a must. Be ready to sweat! We encourage everyone to join. It will be fun!

Mrs. Henry, Ms. Gilliland, Mrs. Kallstrom, and Mr. Lee

Physical Education Class Zoom Meeting

Join Zoom Meeting


Meeting ID: 998 911 7625

Passcode: Fq36nR

Disclaimer: The following information is being provided for informational purposes only. Listed events are not sponsored or endorsed by the Ohio State School for the Blind. OSSB does not guarantee the veracity of the information or data provided at these events. In no way is OSSB instructing students and families to participate in the described events.
OSSB Parent Teacher Staff Foundation Facebook Page

Did you know that OSSB receives support from the OSSB PTSF, a non-profit Foundation? Find out more at www.ossbfoundation.org or click on this link.

Big picture
A panoramic view of the new OSSB mural