OSSB Panther Paws

January 3, 2022


January 2022

  • 4 - World Braille Day
  • 13 - Optional College Credit Plus Information Night via Zoom 6:30-8:00 pm
  • 14 - End of 2nd Quarter
  • 17 - NO SCHOOL/Martin Luther King Jr. Day
  • 20 - Little NC's Paperwork Due
  • 31 - Little NC's Sports Begins

January 4, 2022 - World Braille Day

Find out more about World Braille Day by visiting these websites:

New OSSB Sign - It Lights Up At Night!

We are excited to have this brand new, sharp-looking sign at the front entrance of OSSB! Special thanks to Mr. Danny Ransey and his team, who made this happen for the students, staff, and the community.
brick frame around a black sign with white letters that says Ohio State School for the Blind

Science Dioramas Tell The Story

Ms. Kester's class recently completed a science unit on ecosystems. Each student chose an ecosystem (freshwater, saltwater, tundra, grassland, or rainforest) and then searched the library and internet for information on that ecosystem. Next, each student was required to research and write an essay on the animals, plants, and landforms found within their chosen ecosystem. Once their report was finished, each student created a diorama complete with animals, plants, tactile elements, and pictures. Please make sure you stop by OSSB's library to view the awesome dioramas. They can be found to the right of the library's entrance.

EDGE Students Learn About Giving Back

The OSSB Post-Secondary EDGE program, under the direction of Mrs. Fisher and Ms. Bailey, collected food donations in December. They were able to send baskets home with 7 students and had another basket delivered. The special baskets were full of holiday family meal items, snacks and, a Kroger gift card. Students were so happy to spread holiday cheer and give to others to end 2021.

~Students from EDGE

OSSB Forensics Season Comes To A Close

The Forensics team consisted of five (5) members for the 2021 academic year. Forensics, typically a spring sport, occurred earlier this year. We began practices on October 5 with the culmination of our hard work ending in a three-day virtual competition during the week of December 6.

Hope B. returned to compete in the Great Speeches category for her second year. She chose a historical farewell speech given by George Washington. She placed first overall.

First-year students competing were: Kurtacee G., Sara P., Monty H., and Chris M.

Kurtacee placed sixth in the poetry category with several poems tying together the theme of strong, independent women.

Sara and Monty together placed third in duo, a memorized category, with their piece called, “The Interrogation.”

Chris had the hardest competition in impromptu which is a category requiring the participant to be able to think on their toes. He was only given his speech topic five minutes before he was expected to present. Topics in this category can range from just one word to quotes. The speaker must talk for at least three and a half minutes to qualify.

Overall, Ohio had tough competition and few players. We did well, with most of the participants competing in other sports in addition to Forensics. We are hopeful to have a full roster next year.

Photos show Sara and Monty competing (zoom screenshot), and the OSSB Forensics team. Missing from the second photo is Monty.

Forensics team is shown left to right, Hope, Chris, Sara, and Kurtacee.  Not shown is Monty.

OSSB Cafeteria Menu - Week of January 3rd

Big picture

OSSB Staff Member, Mr. Prater, in the News!

Mr. James Prater, a member of the maintenance staff at OSSB, was recently featured in Ohio Civil Service Employee Association's (OCSEA) "Never Quit" magazine series. Mr. Prater reflected upon how public service is important to him and how he and his teammates worked diligently through the pandemic at OSSB. Thank you, Mr. Prater, for all of your hard work and commitment to OSSB!

Photo shows Mr. Prater with OSSB students during Mobility Week standing in front of a Gator. For more about Mobility Week, go to the OSSB Panther Paws October 18, 2021 edition.

** Updated Link to This Moment In Time

This moment in Time - a memory book created with Ms. Claudia Retter and OSSB art teacher, Mrs. Rachelle Smith. The book includes artwork and stories written by OSSB students, as well as quotes and reflections from current and former staff and students. We are currently working to make braille copies of the book available, and hope to have an audio version available soon too. To view and/or order your own copy of the memory book - click here.

OSSB Podcast News

The December podcast is LIVE!

SoundCloud Link

iTunes Link

Little North Central (NC's) Sports Begins January 31st

It is time to sign up for the 2021-2022 Little NC's short for Little North Central Association of Schools for the Blind! Little NCs offers K-6th students the opportunity to participate in cheer, competitive swim, basketball and goalball teams from January 31st - March 17th, 2022.

In March, we will host our competition against Indiana School for the Blind and Visually Impaired and Kentucky School for the Blind on the OSSB campus.

  • swim and goalball practice on Mondays and Wednesdays
  • cheerleading and basketball practice on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Sign up your student(s) by January 20th, 2022 using this link (or return a hard copy to the front office). Please rank your child's first, second, third, and fourth choices. Sports in high demand may not handle all student requests. The goal is to schedule each student, requesting more than one sport, the opportunity to participate in at least two activities.

Once rosters are finalized, your student will be added to the correct sport(s) in FinalForms, giving parents the ability to sign the required concussion and sudden cardiac arrest program before the first day of practice on January 31st.

Due to COVID, we ask that students wear a mask while not participating in vigorous activity. This means when students are waiting to enter a game, listening to coaches for directions and any breaks in physical activity. Students must bring a water bottle and socially distance.

Day students and their families, unfortunately, we cannot accommodate late pick-ups again this year; please consider this when signing up your child for sports. Because of this change, day students must be picked up between 4:45-5:00 pm each day after practice. Students in swim will be picked up at the natatorium on the back half of campus; all other sports will have pick-up at the front doors. Alternatively, families can request students to stay overnight in dorms if space is available.

We are excited to have athletics for elementary students again this year!

Class Project Shares Information About OSSB

In Mr. Schwamburger's 12th-grade Economics class last November, students had to create a commercial or advertisement about OSSB. Jonathon made this 30-second ad. Check it out below!

- YouTube
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.


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 accuracy of the information or data provided at these events.

OCDBE Postsecondary Transition Webinar - January 8 10:00am - 12:00pm

Register for the webinar below by going to the following link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/PSTransitionJan8

College Credit Plus

College Credit Plus (CCP) is Ohio’s dual enrollment program that provides students in grades 7-12 (during the 2022 - 2023 academic year) the opportunity to earn college and high school credits at the same time by taking courses from Ohio colleges or universities. The purpose of this program is to enhance students’ career readiness and postsecondary success, while providing a wide variety of options to college-ready students, at no or limited costs to students and families (https://www.ohiohighered.org/content/college_credit_plus_about).

If your student is interested in participating during the 2022-2023 academic school year, please click here. This is programming is made available to families every year.

American Printing House for the Blind ConnectCenter

"The APH ConnectCenter includes FamilyConnect, CareerConnect, and VisionAware – a hub of websites that offer curated advice and resources to assist children, parents, adults, job seekers who are blind or visually impaired, and their associated professionals, leading to greater independence and success in their lives."

They have several webinars coming up this month, check out:

ParentConnect: A family support Group offered in partnership with the Virtual Parent Support Group Chicago Lighthouse for the Blind
January 5, 2022, 7:30 – 8:30 PM EST
APH FamilyConnect and the Chicago Lighthouse are pleased to offer this virtual support group for parents and families of children who are blind or visually impaired. These monthly sessions are for families to connect with and learn from each other about the joys, challenges, and adventures of raising children with visual impairments and blindness.
Register Here for ParentConnect: A family support Group

APH ConnectCenter launches Career Conversations
Thursday, January 6, 2022, 6:00 – 7:00 PM EST
Join APH CareerConnect for the launch of our Career Conversations series. Richard Rueda, Digital Content Manager, and guest cohosts will welcome, introduce, and engage with working blind and low vision professionals from all backgrounds. Doctors, lawyers, teachers, Musicians, Scientists, and many others will step onto the CareerConnect stage on zoom beginning this January and throughout 2022.

Register Here for Career Conversations

Information shared from APH Connections mailing. Find out more information at the FamilyConnect website.

Whole Child Network Seeking Family Members

The Ohio Department of Education is seeking 150 diverse education professionals, community partners, and family members to join the groundbreaking Whole Child Network. The network will be a place where members can learn from each other, share successes and share best practices that support the whole child.

Selected members will:

  • Participate in whole child webinars;
  • Learn and share whole child best practices; and
  • Participate in a community of practice with peers.

The Ohio Department of Education will consider applicants in the following categories:

  • District and school administrators;
  • Early childhood through grade 12 teachers and paraprofessionals;
  • School student support staff, such as counselors, social workers, psychologists, school nurses and related services, food service and transportation and safety personnel;
  • Representatives from state and local agencies;
  • Professionals from the higher education community; and
  • Families and caregivers of early childhood through grade 12 students.

The Ohio Department of Education is seeking participants that reflect the diversity of Ohio’s schools and communities.

Apply to join the network by Jan. 22, 2022 and share with others! For more information, contact wholechild@education.ohio.gov.


Everyone is welcome family and friends. There is no age requirement. We just want to get everyone out on the ice and to fall in love with the game/ skating. **If seriously interested in blind ice hockey contact John Haferman to get your own skates and pads. Contact info below.

Blind Ice Hockey Schedule

Day: Sunday’s

Address: Chiller North 8144 Highfield Dr. Lewis Center, OH 43035

· JAN 9. 2:00-3:30PM

· JAN 23. 2:30-4:00PM

· FEB 13. 4:00-5:30PM

· FEB 27 3:30-5:00PM

· MAR 13 2:30-4:00PM

· MAR 27 2:30-4:00PM


Katie Smith


Email: Katharineatkinso6@gmail.com


John Haferman

Phone: 614-769-0282

Email: JMHaferman@Columbus.gov

Ohio State School for the Blind

Director of Teaching and Learning - Michelle Wagner

5220 N. High Street

Columbus, Ohio 43214



Questions about the newsletter? Contact Lauri Kaplan at lkapan@osdb.oh.gov