Panther Place Residential News

Fall Edition 2019

Welcome Students and Families!

We are pleased to welcome both returning and new families to the 2019-2020 school year. We look forward to communicating with you as the year progresses so you can share in your child’s success in the OSSB Residential Program!

In August, we mailed each family our first annual Residential Welcome Packet. It included a welcome letter with dorm and staff contact information, an overview of student progress tracking and a packing list. We also provided a Residential Program Overview detailing program information and policies.

If you have any contact information or address updates to share, please contact the Residential Services Department.

Meet the Director

This year we are pleased to welcome Daniel Custer to the Residential Team. Daniel will serve our department as the Director of After School Programming and Student Resources.

Daniel has spent his career working in the non-profit and afterschool sector with disadvantaged youth. After graduating from The Ohio State University with a degree in Human Nutrition & Dietetics in the College of Education & Human Ecology, he completed a full-time year of service with AmeriCorps at Children’s Hunger Alliance. There he led afternoon nutrition and physical education in Columbus afterschool programming throughout the city. Daniel then accepted a role working directly with youth at Boys & Girls Clubs of Columbus focusing on nutrition and wellness in the Westside and Milo-Grogan communities. In 2014, he opened a teen-focused Boys & Girls Club on the South Side of Columbus focusing on teen employment and post-secondary opportunities. One year later, Daniel and the teens moved into the Reeb Avenue Center and opened the South Side Boys & Girls Club – a full-service afterschool program serving kids in the community from ages 5-19 years old. After serving as a Site Director for two years, Daniel transitioned into the role of Director of Programs & Club Operations at Boys & Girls Clubs of Columbus from 2016-2018. In this role, Daniel oversaw the operations of ten sites and increased organizational impact by doubling youth attendance. In 2019, Daniel joined Ohio School for the Deaf and Ohio State School for the Blind in a Special Projects role providing grant and funding support across both campuses before accepting a position as Director of Afterschool Programming & Student Resources.

Daniel’s hobbies include attending concerts, building furniture in his DIY garage-workshop, cheering for the Ohio State Buckeyes and spending time with his cockerspaniel-poodle mix dog, Charlie.

New Residential Staff

With every new school year comes exciting changes. This year we welcome the following new team members to the Residential Department:

Student Goal Tracking and Progress

This school year, the Residential Team will be implementing an enhanced process that will evaluate the student’s individual progress within the after school setting. This process has already begun starting with the 30-day evaluation which assessed your student in the areas of daily living skills including hygiene, clothing management, housekeeping, and food management. Once the initial evaluation was complete, Youth Leaders established individualized goals and are currently tracking weekly progress of the student’s efforts in attaining the skill. Progress reports will be sent home at the end of each quarter so that family members are able to continue the skill acquiring process at home!

After School Program

The after-school program has just started Session Two of quarterly programming. There are a total of 12 clubs being offered including Jewelry, Blind Soccer, Improv, Cooking, Fitness, Game On, 3D Models, Explorer's, Podcast and Playgroup. We are also continuing Homework Center and adding a reading/homework incentive program.

Stepping into Adult Life

The Secondary Transition Employment Program or STEP is a program that students participate in during the school day that continues on during Residential hours. Currently in the dorm, STEP students work on meal planning, grocery shopping, packing lunches, preparing dinners, completing laundry and maintaining a clean space to live in. STEP students create their own rec calendar each month and plan their own trips and leisure activities based on their interests. In the upcoming months, they will be working on community integration, social and emotional skills, building appropriate relationships, and money management. Students are working during the day to earn money, and will be learning to budget their money and “pay bills” in the evenings.

Recreation and Leisure

September and October were busy months for fall fun!

Residential students enjoyed the following all campus recreation activities:

Halloween Bash

We had a spook-tacular time in the OSSB gymnasium on October 29 as students celebrated Halloween early during the Halloween Bash. Students dressed in costume and enjoyed dancing and treats. Top prizes were awarded during group games including "Bone-Chilling Relay Race" and "Best Boo Contest". The night ended with a trip through our second annual "Haunted Hallway" where students traveled through themed rooms for a frightful good time. A special thank you to students from STEP who helped make the event a success!

Pigeon Roost Farm

Pumpkins, a petting zoo and just plain fall fun were found at Pigeon Roost on October 23.

Hot Dog Roast

Students were in for a real treat on October 9 when the The Lion's Club hosted their second annual hot dog roast near the ravine. The evening was complete with campfire s'mores.

Upcoming Events

Thanksgiving Social

Thursday, Nov. 21st, 6pm

OSSB Dining Hall

Residential students will celebrate the holiday season early with a Thanksgiving Social on Thursday, November 21. Students will work with peers and staff to create a delectable desserts to share at the event. Advanced preparation will include researching recipes, grocery shopping and baking.

Winter Concert

Thursday, Dec. 12th, 6:30pm

5220 North High Street

Columbus, OH

The Ohio State School for the Blind Music Department is pleased to present the 2019 Winter Concert on December 12. Formal dress attire is encouraged of student participants; residential students participating in the concert should return with dress clothing on December 8. Dinner will be hosted in the gymnasium from 4:30-6:00 pm. Please watch for additional details including an invitation and RSVP request for this special event. We look forward to seeing you!

Residential Winter Party

Wednesday, Dec. 18th, 6pm

Rec Room

There will be plenty of holiday cheer for all at the annual Winter Celebration on Wednesday, December 18. Students will have an opportunity to participate in karaoke, festive games, cookie decorating, crafts and a season photo booth. Light snack and refreshments will be available.