OSSB Panther Paws

August 24, 2021 - Back to School

Ohio State School for the Blind

Michelle Wagner, Director of Teaching and Learning

Alison Brewer, Assistant Director of Teaching and Learning

Lou Maynus, Superintendent

Al LaBarre, Executive Director of Statewide Services

A blue backpack is shown with school supplies sticking out of open zippers. a green mesh cup holds pens and pencils. Text reads Back to School 2021-22

Welcome Back!

We are excited to welcome students back to OSSB on August 24th for our first day of school. See more information in this newsletter about:

  • Important OSSB Phone Numbers
  • Important Dates
  • Final Forms Registration
  • Cafeteria Menu for this week
  • additional articles that may be of interest!

We will be sending out weekly newsletters again this year thru Smore so you may need to add the email address to your contacts so the weekly newsletter doesn't go to your spam folder. Let us know what information is helpful to you, and always remember if you have questions to contact the school office at 614-752-1359. See you soon!

A Few Important OSSB Phone Numbers...

OSSB Front Office - report attendance

office 614-752-1359

Student Health Services (nurses)

office 614-468-8889

cell 614-679-2852

Covid Reporting Line

cell/text 614-907-2284




  • 24 - 1st Day of School for Students!
  • 25 - Track and Field Practice begins


  • 6 - NO SCHOOL/Labor Day
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Questions about Final Forms Registration?

OSSB began using Final Forms to complete all registration materials this year, online. We are hopeful this hasn't been too stressful, and that going forward each year, it will be much easier to update changes and cut down on paperwork! Didn't get the mailing? Need assistance with online registration before your child comes to school? Please contact Meridion Hutchinson at the OSSB front desk, 614-752-1359.

Final Forms Link here

OSSB COVID-19 Pooled Testing

Hello OSD and OSSB Families,

Our COVID-19 Screening Testing Program with Thermo Fisher and Color began Thursday, May 13, 2021 and is an important measure to combat COVID-19 during the 2021-2022 school year. In order for your child to participate, you’ll need to register them for testing. This is a two-step process.

Step One:

Step Two:

All questions included in registration are required for state public health reporting. Testing is not required, but highly encouraged to keep our school community safe. We’ll test on campus weekly. Results will be available in 24 to 48 hours and we will follow-up directly if the pool in which your student participated has a positive result.

For more information on testing with Thermo Fisher and Color, including self-swab testing and receiving results, head to their Support FAQs.

If you have any additional questions, please feel free to reach out to our COVID Coordinator, Tobbi Reeves-Valentine at covidreporting@osdb.oh.gov or at 614-907-2284. Thank you for your participation to keep our community safe and healthy.

OSSB Hearing Screenings in September

In accordance with Ohio guidelines for school hearing screenings, OSSB will be providing hearing screenings for all students during the first few weeks of school. Each child's screening will take just a few minutes.

Annual hearing screenings are important for a number of reasons: hearing is important for speech, language development, reading, and learning. A hearing screening can detect if your child needs further hearing testing or medical management for earwax or fluid that can interfere with normal hearing. A hearing screening only provides a snapshot of how your child performs on the day the test is administered and is not a substitute for a complete hearing evaluation by a clinical audiologist.

If your child passes their hearing screening, a notification letter will be sent home. If your child does not pass the screening next week, you will be contacted for the referral, and a re-screen will be scheduled later in the fall at OSSB.

If you have any questions or concerns prior to the screening, please feel free to reach out to OSSB educational audiologist, Mandi Hinton (hinton@osdb.oh.gov).

Resources and Workshops for Families/Students

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.

Columbus VisionWalk in Gahanna this Saturday, August 28th, 2021

Since its inception in the Spring of 2006, VisionWalk has raised over $57 million to fund sight-saving research. As promising treatments move into critical human studies, the need for research funding is greater than ever.

The Columbus VisionWalk raises awareness and funds for sight-saving research for blinding retinal diseases and is a free, family-friendly event which includes activities for children, refreshments, entertainment and more.

Creekside Plaza in Gahanna

123 Mill Street

Gahanna, OH 43230

Gahanna Festivities begin at 9:00am with a presentation at 10:00am, and the walk beginning at 10:30am. Find out more on their website - https://give.fightingblindness.org/columbusvisionwalk or their Facebook Page.

USABA Monthly - Follow USA GoalBall Teams at the Tokyo Paralympic Games

The USA Men's and Women's Goalball Teams are ready to take on the world's best at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games and you can follow all the action on NBC Sports Network and NBCOlympics.com. Live broadcast coverage will be available on NBCSN and live streaming of all goalball matches will be shown on NBCOlympics.com. If you can't watch the live stream, the USABA Twitter account will provide goal-by-goal coverage during each match with daily recaps posted on usaba.org.

Wednesday, August 25th through Friday September 3rd, 2021!

Sign Up for Learning Aid Ohio

Supplemental learning support for students with disabilities

$1,000 fall learning grant available for qualifying students! Spots are limited!
Applications open Friday, August 13 - August 30th, 2021. Awards will be determined by need and will be announced on Thursday, September 16. For more information, go to the

Learning Aid Ohio website

information provided from Learning Aid Ohio website

APH 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.

ParentConnect: A Family Support Group offered in partnership with the Virtual Parent Support Group Chicago Lighthouse for the Blind
First Wednesday of each month
September 1, 2021, 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. These sessions are open to families.
Register HERE.

Newsletter Background Photo shows a wooden abacus.