OSSB Panther News

February 7, 2022


February 2022

  • 17 - No Little NC Practice
  • 17 - Dismissal at 2:30 pm
  • 18 - NO SCHOOL/ Records day for teachers
  • 21 - NO SCHOOL/ Presidents Day
  • 22 - Braille Challenge Day at OSSB
  • 24 - Parent-Teacher Conferences 4:00-8:00 pm. Conference Sign Up Form Coming soon!
March 2022
  • 4 - Dismissal at Noon
  • 17 - Little NC Meet at OSSB
  • 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
Weekly lunch menu.

Unique Self-Portraits at OSSB

Students at OSSB recently created self-portraits inspired by African American artist Bisa Butler. In her work, Ms. Butler says she is telling "the African American side— of this American life. History is the story of men and women but the narrative is controlled by those who hold the pen." (quote courtesy of Bisa Butler's website)

A photograph of each student was traced onto a piece of clear acetate (This was done by the teacher or an adult or, in some cases, older students traced their photos). Students learned how to mix their skin tones using acrylic paint. They ripped the painted paper into pieces and glued it over a cut-out version of their photo. Students painted their hair color and clothing color on a separate sheet of clear acetate that was then cut out and attached to the traced portrait. Finally, Mrs. Smith added painted details, and some of the older students completed their own. Portrait backgrounds were painted by students who included colors and designs meaningful to them.

Later, OSSB students wrote artist statements that shared information about themselves to go with the artwork. ~Mrs. Rachelle Smith, Art Teacher

Black History Month - Remembering OSSB Alumnus, Rahsaan Roland Kirk

Rahsaan Roland Kirk was born August 7, 1935, in Columbus, Ohio, in a neighborhood called Flytown. He died on December 5, 1977, after suffering from a stroke.

Kirk became blind at the age of two and went on to study at the Ohio State School for the Blind until 1952. By age 15, he was playing saxophone with rhythm and blues bands on the weekend. He had a knack for playing two or three saxophones at the same time. He would be able to play actual chords, or harmonize with himself by using circular breathing. He was seen performing on stage wearing three different saxophones around his neck, switching between or sometimes playing all three at once!

Rahsaan Roland Kirk was known to speak publicly about Civil Rights and African American History. Several different record labels produced his music, and he performed live up until his death at the age of 42.

The picture shows Kirk onstage with a red light tint, wearing a hat and sunglasses and playing two saxophones at the same time. There is a tactile portrait on the OSSB Wall of Fame in the original building done by J. Leon, and that is shown below. ~ Mrs. Sunny Kallstrom

Link added on 2-8-22 is a YouTube video of Rahsaan Roland Kirk performing his composition, Serenade to a Cuckoo. You can listen to him introduce the song, and play many instruments, such as a nose recorder, flute, mini harmonica, and holding a tenor saxophone.

clay relief of Rahsaan Roland Kirk playing three saxophones
Rahsaan Roland Kirk: Serenade to a Cuckoo

Going On Safari with OSSB Preschool Students!

Our preschool students have started a new theme called "Going on Safari".

We have learned about passports, packing for a trip, and we are learning about many of the animals we would encounter if we were to go on a safari.

  1. Picture 1 is of a girl wearing her safari hat. The students were able to design the hats however they would like. Some glued leopard print paper to theirs.
  2. Picture 2 is of a boy with his lion mask. We used a paper plate with the center cut out and glued a stick to the plate as a handle so each child could put the plate mask up to his/her face. Then we glued strips of paper around the outside like the lion's mane.
  3. Picture 3 is of a girl with her pretend binoculars. We used rolled-up paper taped together to make binoculars to search for animals on our safari trip. We looked for lions, giraffes, rhinos, and many more animals.

We are having a lot of fun learning about animals that we don't usually see in Ohio - unless we are at the zoo! ~ Mrs. Kimberly Brinkman

OSSB Students Learn About Hoops

Basketball started at OSSB as an alternative for wrestling because wrestling was canceled again this year due to COVID. Mr. Lee Mascarello, wrestling coach and OSSB Paraprofessional, spoke with the kids and found out that they would like to play basketball as a varsity sport this year. Mr. Lee and Mr. Heath coached OSSB students this year.

Basketball was a game originally designed with sighted people in mind, so what would be the accommodations that a blind or low vision person would need to play this game? Here at OSSB, players use an auditory cue on the hoop which helps the kids hear where the hoop is even though they cannot see it. They also use bounce passes so that the kids can get their hands ready and have auditory feedback on where the ball is.

The kids could not play basketball against other schools this year, so they just practiced the rules of the game in the gym. Even if the kids did not get to play against other schools, it was a good thing for the kids to get to try, and it will be up to the students if they want to play basketball here at OSSB again next year.

~ Jonathon M.S. - OSSB Senior

Little NC's Elementary After School Practice Schedule

Little NC's February Calendar schedule of practices

Unique Boutique Valentine's Day Special!

This is the Horticulture class with an announcement from the student-operated business, Unique Boutique. We are having a Valentine’s Day special! For a limited time, you can get a gift set with a heart-shaped rose bath bomb, a rose oil roller, and a valentine’s day card for $7. You can get it all in a seasonal gift box for $10. The valentines' cards come in print and braille and can be bought individually for $1.50. Order online using the link below. Thank you and have a relaxing day.

"These student-made bath bombs are some of the fizziest, longest-lasting, moisturizing bath bombs I've ever purchased! Great job!" - a satisfied OSSB staff member


-The Horticulture Class

Joey, Helena, Jonathan, Allen, Jayden, Trevon, Brady, Junior

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.

State Support Team #11 Shares Resource Directories for Students and Families

Did you know that Ohio has 16 regional State Support Teams (SST's) working with families and districts across Ohio? In Central Ohio, "State Support Team Region 11 provides high-quality professional development and technical assistance to school districts and families in the Central Ohio region. These supports focus on compliance with federal and state laws related to the education of children with disabilities, and assistance in improving the academic achievement of all students." SST 11 recently shared their Resource Directories for families:
  • 2022 Summer Resource Directory
  • 2022 Colleges-Universities Resource Directory
  • 2022 Family Resource Directory

Need help finding your local State Support Team? Look for your Family Engagement Specialist and team on the Ohio Department of Education Website.



Strategies to Help Engage Struggling Readers with Learning Differences - with Bookshare and Understood.org

FEBRUARY 8, 7:00 pm EST

With school closures, classroom quarantines, and staffing shortages, how can you ensure your child with learning differences can continue to develop reading skills and learn?

Join Bookshare, Understood.org, and two students with their parents, to share reading strategies, tips, and resources that can support students with learning differences such as dyslexia, in the classroom and at home.

This webinar is intended for parents of children who struggle to read and is open to the public. Bookshare is a FREE ebook library funded by the US Department of Education that empowers students with reading barriers such as dyslexia, cerebral palsy, visual impairment, and blindness to read in ways that work for them.

Register Here

Interactive Video Series Featuring Michelle Motil

Register for “Yes We Can: Journey Towards Independence,” a new, interactive video series on Feb. 23 at 4 p.m. Join Michelle Motil and her guide dog, Tonne, for a new, interactive video series designed to show how she lives an independent, quality life as a person who is DeafBlind. Each 30-minute episode includes pre-recorded segments, followed by a live dialogue with Michelle, who is eager to share her experiences and connect with viewers. Tying these episodes together is Expanded Core Curriculum (ECC), which includes foundational skills essential for people with disabilities.

Information courtesy of the Outreach Center for Deafness and Blindness


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, Feb. 8, 2022, and 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

Clovernook Boxing Clinic

Come out and learn the fundamentals of boxing with Clovernook Center. We've teamed up with Imhoff School of Boxing and Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center for another free boxing clinic for children who are blind or visually impaired. Reserve your spot today by signing up with the link below.

The previously scheduled boxing clinic on Feb. 5 has been rescheduled to Feb. 12.

Register Today

Clovernook Ski Clinic at Perfect North Slopes

Hit the Slopes with our Ski Clinic

Join Clovernook Center at Perfect North Slopes Sunday, Feb. 20, 2022. A morning and afternoon session will be led by specially trained ski instructors and includes the equipment rental. No experience is necessary - and the event is free! Space is limited and is filled on a first-come, first-served basis so sign up today with the link below.

Register Today

Winter Sports for the Blind - Click on Flyer below for more information

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

Background photo shows the student self-portraits currently hanging at OSSB. The art was inspired by African American artist, Bisa Butler.