OSSB Panther News

February 28, 2022


March 2022

  • 1-9 ACT Testing
  • 4 - Dismissal at Noon
  • 14, 16 and 17 - Little NC Competition 3:30 - 4:30 pm
  • 28 thru April 1 - NO SCHOOL/Spring Break

** Calendar change: Please note that there has been a change to our calendar in May.
  • May 12 - Dismissal at noon
  • May 20 - Dismissal at 2:30 pm

It's Cornhole and Shuffleboard Time in APE (Adapted Physical Education) - Scenes from OSSB on Monday, February 28th

Black History Month - Remembering Dr. Laurence Jones

Dr. Laurence C. Jones was born in 1884.

In 1909 Dr. Jones founded the Piney Woods School. He had wanted to provide a space for poor black children and children of slaves in rural Mississippi. It started with one 16-year-old student around a tree stump and grew each day. The students at school were required to work, grow food, build and repair the grounds, and tour in musical groups.

During the 1920s, Dr. Jones noticed there was no program to educate young black children who were blind. He had seen children who were blind begging on the streets or abandoned with no one to care for them. Dr. Jones believed all children deserve an opportunity for education, so he added the education of blind children to the school’s purpose.

In 1945, Helen Keller visited the school and, being impressed with the work there, helped the school to receive funding and move to a new campus in Jackson, Mississippi. The Piney Woods School then became the Mississippi School for Blind Negroes, a sister school of the Mississippi School for the Blind. The two campuses merged in 1974.

OSSB Podcast - February 2022 Edition is Live

The OSSB Podcast February 2022 edition is up and ready for listening. Check out the student's work on the SoundCloud or iTunes links below! And thanks for your support.

SoundCloud Link

iTunes link

OSSB Varsity Basketball Clinic Wrap Up

Hey Panthers,

We were excited to try a new sport this season due to the public health situation, as we debuted Basketball as a Varsity sports clinic. We learned some of the basic rules, skills, and a general understanding of the game of Basketball. Although it was challenging and even frustrating at times, our student-athletes showed real persistence, determination, and grit as they gained skills and improved every practice.

We concluded the season with a skills competition, and we were pleased to report that every player received a first or second-place award. Coach Heath and I had so much fun running this clinic, and I hope our panthers enjoyed it as well.

Basketball Awards

Around the World Shooting Award 1st Place - Adyah

Free Throw Shooting Award 1st Place - Carter

Free Throw Shooting Award 2nd Place - Harry

Dribbling Obstacle Course Award 1st Place - Jayden

Timed Layup Drill Award 1st Place - Monty

Timed Layup Drill Award 2nd Place - Harry

Thank you so much for all your effort!

Coach Lee Mascarello

Photo shows Monty ready to shoot the basketball, while Harry and another student stand at the ready. Photo courtesy of Mr. Mascarello.

A young man wearing a black basketball jersey and gray pants and black tennis shoes holding a basketball. He is ready to make a jump shot while friends stand nearby

Valentine's Dinner in the OSSB Dorms

Residential students in the older girls' dormitory chose to make Valentine's dinner this year. Jayla and Sara were in charge of coming up with the menu, shopping for the items, and cooking it. All of the girls enjoyed a special dinner of spaghetti and meatballs, garlic bread, various desserts including chocolate-dipped strawberries, and sparkling grape juice. The students really enjoyed their evening!

~Ms. Bunce, OSSB Youth Leader

OSSB Lunch Menu

OSSB Lunch Menu

"Camping on the Braille Trail" - 2022 Braille Challenge held at OSSB

On February 22 at OSSB, students participated in the Braille Challenge that reminds us why braille was created and how important it is to students who are blind. There are one or more regional Braille Challenges in each state. The Braille Challenge was set up by the National Braille Institute and has been a big event in the United States for years.

If a contestant places high enough during the Braille Challenge, they compete in California's National Braille Challenge.

Last week, the younger students participated in proofreading, reading comprehension, and a spelling contest. Students in grades 5-12 participated in reading comprehension, speed and accuracy, proofreading, charts and graphs, and dictation. In the Braille Challenge, there are different levels, and at OSSB, we had 28 contestants across the six levels. The first level is Explorer, and this is people who are just getting exposed to braille. At this level, you do a lot of tactile activities to get the concepts of reading braille with their fingers. The next level is Apprentice. This group is for young and new braille readers, and they use contracted and uncontracted braille. Grades 3-4 are considered Freshman; Sophomores are grades 5-6. Junior varsity is grades 7-9, and Varsity is 10th-12th grades. At each level, the content becomes more difficult. The students who competed worked hard, and we are proud of their commitment and work ethic in preparing and competing.

Students who were not in the Braille Challenge also had an enjoyable day. We had a school-wide activity based on the theme of the Ohio Braille Challenge, "Camping on the Braille Trail." Different stations were set up around the school, and each station had activities related to camping. A big thanks to all of our creative and hardworking staff who helped put this together!

Students learned how to set up camp equipment such as tents, tables, chairs, camp stoves, and much more. Students told camp stories, played games, and relaxed in a tent in the library. Students worked with our Orientation and Mobility instructors and searched for clues while using a braille compass and monocular. Our Multi-Purpose Room had some fun camp activities, while the art room held activities for crafting camp items from yarn. Finally, camp food was prepared all day in our Independent Living Skills classroom.

A huge shout out to all of OSSB for a wonderful Braille Challenge camp day.

~Jonathon M.S., High School Senior with Mr. Dan Kelley

Students not participating in the Braille Challenge spent the day exploring several different campus activities revolving around this year's theme, Camping on the Braille Trail. See Photos below! Want to see more photos from the Braille Challenge in PhotoCircle? Email Mrs. Kaplan for the PhotoCircle link. lkaplan@osdb.oh.gov

OSSB EDGE Program - Applications due March 4th!!

The EDGE (Employment Development Growth Education) Program at OSSB is accepting applications for the 2022-23 School Year through this Friday. EDGE is "a year-long program for young adults with visual impairments as they enter into post-secondary life." The program, housed at the Ohio State School for the Blind, works with students who have chosen to defer receiving their high school diploma until after this final year of post-secondary education. For more information, please contact Mrs. Tamara Fisher. Applications are due by March 4, 2022.

EDGE Flyer 2023.docx

2022-2023 EDGE Applications.docx

OSSB Summer Camp Flyer - Registration is Open - Click on the Flyer Below to Register

OSSB Summer Camp 2022

2022 Summer Camp registration is open until March 18, 2022, or until sessions are full.

If you have any questions, email OSSBsummercamp@ossb.oh.gov

OSSB Summer Offerings

Zoo Adventure Camp: June 6-June 10 (Grades 3rd-4th)

STEM Camp I: June 6-June 10 (Grades 5th-7th)

STEM Camp II: June 6-June 10 (Grades 8th-12th)

Measuring Up with Math Camp: June 13-June 17 (Grades 3rd-7th)

Theatre Camp: Making a Musical: June 13-June 17 (Grades 7th-12th)

Eco Braille Camp: June 27-July 1 (Grades 3rd-7th)

Sports Camp-Water Wars: July 10-July 15 (Grades 9-12th)

ECC/ADL Camp: July 18-July 22 (Grades 7th-12th)

Sports Camp-Water Wars: July 25-July 29 (Grades 6th-8th)

Band Camp: August 1-August 5 (Grades 7-12th)

*must have Band Director's permission if not an OSSB student*

Click Here for Registration Link

Goalball Season is Here!! March 14th Tryouts

Goalball 2022

Welcome to another incredible season of goalball. Below is a list of important dates and other information you need to know if you are interested in participating this year.

· Physicals and Final Forms

· All physicals must be completed by a physician and returned to the school to participate. The student is not allowed to be at practice at all without a physical.

· All Final Forms information must be completed before the first day of practice

· We have a large number of students interested in goalball this season. We are only allowed to take 6 athletes (6 boys and 6 girls) to championships. We will have tryouts starting on the first day of practice.

· Dates and Traveling (tentative):

· March 14th: First day of practice

· Possible additional clinic in April (more information will follow)

· April 29 – 30th: Conference Championship at Illinois School for the Visually Impaired

· Attendance: you must be at every practice: this is a quick season!

· Excused absences only

· Must be on-time and ready to go at the start of practice at 3:30 pm

· Must remain in good academic standing

· Pickup: if you are a day student, you must have a ride ready to pick you up after practice. Practices will end at 4:45 pm each day. Pickup will be in the front lobby.

· Dorms: if you are interested in staying residential for the season, please get in touch with Ms. Brewer-Wood as soon as possible

· Equipment: Students are required to have their own goggles. Clear ski goggles work best and range from $7.99 and up (Dick’s and Amazon.com both carry goggles). All other required equipment (including bags) will be issued but must be turned in at the very end of the season. Students must also wear tennis shoes and workout clothing to participate: sweatpants and long sleeve shirts work best.

· Parental involvement:

· Cannot help unless hired to be a coach

· Must have all certifications

Please let us know if you have any questions.

Coach Grim and Grim

Photo is from October 2018, and shows former OSSB students, Marwan and Jason, and current student Garrett at the top of the court. Jason is stopping the goalball before the net, and the other two are diving on the floor to defend the goal.

Change to Little NC Competition for Elementary Students

Dear Little NC Parents,

Unfortunately, Kentucky School for the Blind and Indiana School for the Blind and Visually Impaired are both unable to attend our planned March 17th competition. We will instead move to competition during practice times after school on Monday, March 14th for goalball, March 16th for swim, and March 17th for basketball and cheerleading 3:30-4:30 pm for parents and family members to attend.

If you plan to attend, please check-in at the front desk and wear a mask for events in the gym. Please come to the pool directly if swim competition and wear a mask.

Big picture

Be Kind

Random Acts of Kindness is a week that we celebrated in early February to make everyone feel loved and cared for. Doing something nice for someone who typically is alone or seems like they need to just be cheered up a little can make their day a whole lot better! You can be kind everywhere, and anything can be perceived as kind; all it takes is a simple "Hi" sometimes.

Next time you see someone you wouldn't usually talk to, say something to them or give them something nice.

~Kurtacee, Student Council President

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.


APH FamilyConnect and Chicago Lighthouse present a Virtual Parent Support Group

APH FamilyConnect and The Chicago Lighthouse are pleased to offer a virtual parent support group, Wednesday, March 2nd from 6:30-7:30pm central time via Zoom. 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.

This group will provide parents the opportunity to connect, learn, and discuss in a virtual setting and also help them to:

  • Develop strategies to support their children through their diagnosis
  • Receive support from other parents who share their experiences
  • Address parenting challenges in a positive way

Facilitated by: APH FamilyConnect and staff from The Chicago Lighthouse including Dr. Michael Smith, PhD and Marla Garstka, MA.

Register in advance for this program at:https://aph.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJ0rcOyhrzgrHNKIcMlgqoSgQtAOxsHjbKX3

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.


Updates from Katie Smith - BVI Winter Sports for the Blind in Columbus ARCHERY, HOCKEY and SKIING

BVI Winter Activity Sign-Up

Columbus Recreation and Parks-Therapeutic Recreation would like to thank you for participating in our activities. Please fill out this form to sign up below for activities.


Learn to Serve with our Tennis Series

Clovernook Center's Adaptive Sports Program tennis clinic was such a hit, we decided to bring it indoors for the winter! In partnership with Cincinnati Tennis Foundation and TriHealth, there will be two more free clinics for blind and visually impaired children to learn tennis techniques – from serving to volley on Tuesday, March 8, 2022. We'll be using brightly colored, audible tennis balls along with specialty-trained coaches to go at your child's pace. We can't wait to join you on the courts! Sign up for any or all events with the link below.

Register Today

Photo shown in background of newsletter was taken in the gym at OSSB while elementary students where learning how to play shuffleboard, and cornhole.

Ohio State School for the Blind

Michelle Wagner, Director of Teaching and Learning

5220 N. High Street

Columbus, Ohio 43214



Questions about this newsletter? Please contact Lauri Kaplan, Parent Mentor at 614-806-2651 or lkaplan@osdb.oh.gov