OSSB Panther Paws

October 4, 2021 - Weekly Newsletter



  • 4 - Forensics Competition Tryouts after school - 3:30 - 4:30 PM
  • 4 - Varsity Swim Practice begins
  • 11 - NO SCHOOL/Columbus Day
  • 13 - Special Ed Book Club - registration info in this newsletter 7:30 - 9:00 pm
  • 14 - Parent-Teacher Conferences - check with your child's teacher about a virtual or in-person conference 4-8 pm
  • 14 - OSSB Parent Teacher Staff Organization - Zoom meeting All are Welcome! 7:30 pm
  • 15 - Student Dismissal at NOON
  • 25 - End of 1st Quarter
  • 27 - Residential Life Presents 'Trunk or Treat' more details coming soon
  • 28 - Dismissal at 2:30 pm
  • 29 - NO SCHOOL/Staff Records Day


  • 12 - NO SCHOOL/Veteran's Day
  • 15 - NO SCHOOL/Scope Day for Teachers
  • 23rd - Calendar Update- Tuesday November 23 is a 12:00 early dismissal, not 2:30 as previously indicated. Students will be dismissed to transportation at noon for the Thanksgiving Break. The updated calendar will be sent in a future newsletter.
  • 24 thru 26 - NO SCHOOL/Thanksgiving Break

International Day of Peace

Students at OSSB participated in setting up an art display in honor of International Day of Peace held on September 21st. Students made koi fish windsocks and hung them in the connector hallway windows. They also took pictures with their fish in front of OSSB’s tactile mural. Koi fish are a symbol of peace and are displayed in Japan to celebrate Children’s Day. ~Mrs. Rachelle Smith, OSSB Art Teacher

Photo shows students Cheyenne, Elijah, Dezziree, and Avett with their koi fish in front of the tactile mural at OSSB. Photo courtesy of Mrs. Rachelle Smith

Big picture

OSSB Forensics Tryouts TONIGHT!

Hello Panthers!

Coach Johnson and Coach Traucht would like to welcome you to the 2021-22 Forensics competition! Be a part of our team, and showcase your incredible public speaking skills in various topics and categories. Please join us for Forensics Tryouts on October 4, 2021 from 3:30 PM to 4:30 PM in room 203. If you have an idea of a topic or category, please come prepared to present. Before joining us, you can contact Mrs. Traucht (atraucht@osdb.oh.gov) or Ms. Johnson (yjohnson@osdb.oh.gov) if you need more information.

If you want to participate but need motivation, here are some topics to consider:

  • a quote or motivational saying
  • excerpt from a favorite book
  • scene from a movie
  • personal growth story
  • your favorite person/place/thing

Due to travel restrictions, all competitions will be held virtually. We will represent The Ohio State School for the Blind by respecting our teammates and our opponents.

Dates to remember:

Season Dates: Begins October 4 and ends December 9, 2021

Virtual Competition November 8 through the 10th

Good luck! We look forward to seeing students on October 4, 2021, at 3:30 PM.

To read the complete letter from Coach Johnson and Coach Traucht, click on the link below.

Stop By The OSSB Canteen!

OSSB vending students have opened the canteen in the school lobby to gain work experience. We sell Mountain Dew, Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, root beer, Wild Cherry Pepsi, Sprite, fruit snacks, and beef sticks. Because of COVID, vending students and Mr. Grim are being careful about opening the canteen.

The reason that we have the canteen and vending program is because of the federal law called the Randolph Sheppard Act. This is a federal law which mandates a priority to blind persons to operate vending facilities on federal property.

The students are getting work experience and improving their money skills. Students in vending clean, and stock the canteen and the vending machines. ~ article written by high school student, Jonathon M.S., a member of Mr. Kelley and Mr. Strickler's Journalism class this semester.

Donate to the OSSB Read-a-thon

Thanks to all who participated in the OSSB Read-a-thon! We hope you had fun reading this fall, and continue to enjoy reading throughout the school year! Want to make a donation? Click HERE for secure PayPal/Credit Card donations.

Music Bouncing off the Walls at OSSB!

Last week, OSSB students and staff enjoyed a quick Marching Band performance as the OSSBMB marched through the hallways of OSSB. High School band members encouraged school spirit in preparation for the OSSB track meet, held last Wednesday and Thursday. See videos below.

Photo shows OSSB students and staff standing in their classroom doorway, listening to the OSSB Marching Band!

OSSBMarchingBand 9 30 21 #1
OSSB Marching Band - OSSB Hallway 9-30-2021

September Podcast Edition

Welcome to the September edition of the OSSB podcast. We are so happy to share with you all the exciting events at the Ohio State School for the Blind. This month we welcome back Hot Diggety Dog Day. Students in Mrs. Fitchelman’s class are working hard preparing and offering hotdog combo meals to our staff. Proceeds will benefit all student activity in that class this year, and students gain valuable skills for working with the community. In other news:

  • Emmie and Larry from the podcast team will bring you some interesting facts about the month of September
  • Jonathan will tell us the calendar events for September and October
  • Dr. Amanda Pickerill, OSSB School Psychologist joins the podcast team and gives up the lowdown on Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) and how we are addressing SEL at OSSB
  • Ms. McCumber’s class is back at it again this year with coding. Her class will share what they are up to.
  • Allan is doing something very interesting - he is providing color commentary for Westlake High School's football games. Search for Westlake High School Football on Youtube to hear his excellent work.
  • Coaches Ron Heath and Rachel Bailey bring us up close to the NCASB 2021 track championship

LISTEN on SoundCloud

LISTEN on Apple PodCasts

Varsity Swim News

Varsity swim practices begin on Monday, October 4th and will tentatively finish on December 9th. Just like last year, our final swim meet will be virtual.

Please have physicals completed and final forms updated.

We will have morning practices for residential students, and afternoon practices for day students. We have a large amount of students interested in swimming this year, and this will help with the safety of our students. This will also provide more focused instruction.

  • Morning practices will run from 6:00am – 7:15am
  • Afternoon practice will run from 3:30pm – 4:45pm

If you cannot pick up your day student at the pool by 5pm, I will escort him/her to the front lobby to await pickup. Looking forward to another great swim season. Go Panthers! ~Coach Grim

2021 White Cane Week Coming to OSSB

Stay tuned for more information about activities coming to OSSB in honor of White Cane Day, October 15th, 2021. The Orientation and Mobility office has created a shirt to raise funds to help cover the costs of OSSB's White Cane Week. See their flyer below. To learn more about White Cane Day, and the White Cane Law, check out the Braille Institute.

OSSB Sensory Garden Work Day

OSSB Staff members and other volunteers joined Lions Club Sensory Garden Committee members, Lion Eileen and Lion Bob this past Saturday to clean up the Sensory Garden at OSSB. Volunteers weeded, raked, trimmed and helped do some edging as they prepared the beds for winter. These volunteers help long-time OSSB Maintenance staff member, Jeanene Creiglow to keep the gardens looking their best.

The OSSB Sensory Garden was initially developed as a Lions Club exhibit at the Ameriflora '92 horticultural event at Franklin Park, billed as the first International Flower Show in America. After the exhibit closed, members from Lions District OH5 helped relocate plants to the OSSB campus. Lion Ralph Stacey and Lion Eileen tended to the gardens for many years, and the students have benefitted through their sense of touch, smell, sight and sound.

Following new building renovations in 2012, the sensory gardens are located in the green space in between the OSSB dorms, the new building, and the entrance to the original building near the Carillon. This is also where you can catch the OSSB Marching Band practicing in the summer and fall.

Photos show a work group at OSSB on October 2nd, and a close up view of lavender growing in the sensory garden.

Photo shows OSSB Staff, Lauri Kaplan, Al LaBarre and Ceil Peirano with friends of the OSSB Sensory Garden and volunteers during Saturdays garden work day.
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.
Ohio Blind Soccer and Columbus Crew Event Flyer for October 11th from 11am-12:30pm.  RSVP to Katie Smith at katharineatkinso6@gmail.com  call or text Katie at 513-460-9785
Ohio's Vax-2-School Lottery Begins

Scholarship contest now open for Ohio residents ages 12-25 who receive at least one dose of a vaccine. Entries may be submitted at ohiovax2school.com or by phone from 9am to 8pm by calling 1-833-427-5634. $2 million in prizes available.

Is Your Student Transitioning from School to a Supported Day Program? Check Out This Virtual Learning Opportunity

Adult Day Program Virtual Tour Flyer - download actual flyer in button below.

Columbus Recreation and Parks- Therapeutic Rec Blind Sports/ Rec FALL PROGRAMMING

Envision Fall Event

Hiking, Campfire, Pumpkin Carving on October 20th from 4:30-6:30 pm

· Youth (3-17) 4:30-6:30pm

· Location: Ottawa 3200 Indian Village Rd. Columbus, OH 43221

· Other Activities: Pumpkin Carving, Apple Cider, Smore's and Doughnuts

Blind Soccer

· Location for Sept. practice: Blackburn Community Center 263 Carpenter St. Columbus, OH 43205

Oct 26th

· Youth 6-7:00 pm


Bird's Harvest on November 4th

· Youth (3-17) 4:30-5:30pm

· Location: Wyandot 3228 Indian Village Rd. Columbus, OH 43221

· Activities: How birds harvest in the fall. Hiking and Crafts

RSVP through the link below or the emails below:

Link: https://forms.gle/aKuPDMt33iDj8jw76

Outdoor Ed: outdooreducation@columbus.gov

Envision & Soccer: Katharineatkinso6@gmail.com


State Support Team Region 11 is excited to host Jonathan Martinis, Senior Director for Law and Policy for the Burton Blatt Institute at Syracuse University, for four, 1.5-hour virtual speaking engagements focused on education, employment, and independent living for people with disabilities.

This series includes 4 sessions on 4 different dates. You will be able to register for all sessions from this page. The first session is on October 6th from 6:00 - 7:30 pm. This special event will be recorded. Registered attendees will be sent a free copy of "Supported Decision Making: From Justice for Jenny to Justice for All!"

Register here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/education-employment-independent-living-with-jonathan-martinis-tickets-168723633931

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

Newsletter Background Photo shows koi fish hanging in the connector hallway at OSSB. They were created for International Day of Peace - see article in this newsletter. Photo courtesy of Lauri Kaplan.