Welcome to the Kansas State School for the Blind
We are an agency that is constantly evolving and growing to meet the needs of students who are blind/visually impaired in Kansas. We see ourselves as a “network of services” that includes both a robust Field Services (outreach) team to serve students across the state as well as a campus that offers intensive, short-term services for students.
Our school prides itself on offering students and their families a nurturing environment which challenges all of our children to do their very best work and to learn and practice the importance of being a responsible and respectful person.
Governance and Purpose of KSSB
The Kansas State School for the Blind is governed by the Kansas State Board of Education, and receives guidance on its programs and services by the KSSB Advisory Board, which also functions as its site council. The Kansas State School for the Blind is a special purpose school for students 3-21 years of age who are visually impaired and are referred by their local school district for evaluation at KSSB in consideration of a placement decision.
KSSB is a secondary service provider that assists school districts in their provision of a Free and Appropriate Public Education for their students, through time-limited placements and statewide field services. Regardless of where KSSB services are provided, school districts retain primary responsibility for their students.
KSSB is a member of the Council of Schools and Services for the Blind (COSB). COSB is a consortium of specialized schools who strive to provide quality of services to children who are blind and who have a visual impairment. To learn more about their efforts go to the COSB Website.
The right help, at the right time, in the right location for students with visual impairments.
KSSB is a catalyst and leader in the development of exemplary programs and practices in vision services in Kansas. We build local capacity throughout the state via strategic partnerships to ensure learners with visual impairments are able to assume responsible roles in society and lead fulfilling lives.
To do this, we will:
create places to learn and work where staff and students are happy, recognized
engage all students and staff to achieve high expectations
embed the Expanded Core Curriculum in all of our programs and services.
be a leader in the use of technology to promote access and empower students who are Blind or who have a visual impairment
provide equity of access and opportunity for students and staff to learn, work and succeed
openly communicate and welcome the involvement of all parents, staff and students
Our values, based on our character attributes, are the foundation of our genuine relationships with students, parents and each other. Together, we create safe, positive climates for learning and working—environments that prepare students to be empathetic citizens of the world.
- We care by being compassionate and kind towards all members of our community.
- We are cooperative—committed to working collaboratively and valuing the contributions of others for a common purpose.
- We value honesty by demonstrating integrity in our words and actions. We are truthful and trustworthy.
- We respect differences, and treat everyone fairly and equitably—we are inclusive.
- By treating others, ourselves and our environment with high regard and value, we are respectful
The values governing KSSB’s development will include the following:
- Individuals will be encouraged to strive for their dreams and be supported in developing a plan to reach them.
- We will create an environment where every individual has the opportunity to maximize his/her potential.
- Each person (staff and student) has personal gifts and strengths that should be recognized, utilized and nurtured.
- We expect students and staff to be life-long, self-directed learners.
- We will always work together as a team in collaboration with all stakeholders.
- We will always provide learning experiences that lead to greater independence.
- We will always have high expectations of all individuals in their work and interactions.
- We will always maximize instructional time with students.
- We will always make sure the Expanded Core Curriculum (adaptation skills unique to students with visual impairments) is part of every child’s program.
- We will always treat individuals with dignity and respect and will not tolerate words or actions that demean an individual.
Redesign Administrative Structure
- Expand Field Services staff
- Serve students and schools statewide, via regions
- Provide both direct services and technical assistance statewide
- Develop data collection systems
- Coordinate KIRC, DB Project, and KSSB trainings
Increase Visibility and Communication
- Create an integrated communications plan
- Develop accessible, usable website
- Increase partnerships with community (business, non-profits, schools)
- Promote leadership within advocacy groups (COSB)
- Provide presentations at state conferences
- Expand relationships and fundraising via KC Blind All Stars
Expand Professional Development
- Expand Community of Practice Meetings in regions for TSVIs
- Create On-Demand videos
- Make KSSB’s annual Vision Symposium a valued and widely-recognized
regional event for TSVIs and other professionals.
- Provide mentorship to new TSVIs and COMS in Kansas
Assist Students transition to home and school.
- Ensure every student has s transition portfolio prior to graduation.
- Arrange paid jobs or job experiences for every student.
- Leverage relationships with business and private sector to expand
access to jobs for students.
- Empower parents through training and information.