Eagle Update January 2019

Eagle Update January 2019

ADMINISTRATION Mr. Jon/Ms. Aundrayah

WEBSITE: opens in a new windowwww.kssb.net           TWITTER: opens in a new window@KansasBlind       FACEBOOK: opens in a new windowhttps://www.facebook.com/KSBlind/

Help us contact you!

We hope everyone had a safe holiday season. We’ve had a few storms hit the Kansas City area this year, which requires us to consider safety and reminds us that having updated contact information is important.  While we rarely close, there are times when this becomes necessary. We will notify you directly, by email, when this occurs. You can also check our website, Facebook, and Twitter pages at the locations listed at the top of this page. You can update your contact information when your email or phone number changes by calling the office at 913.305.3015. The office can then make those changes in our system and make sure the dorm, the nurses, and teachers are able to reach you, when necessary.

Crisis Drills

KSSB conducts regular crisis drills for tornadoes, fire, and intruders. The Kansas Board of Education has established a Safe and Secure Schools Unite at the Department of Education to help schools review their crisis and safety plans. Each school is responsible for meeting established standards which can be found here:  https://www.ksde.org/Kansas-Safe-Schools

We are fortunate to have a FEMA-approved tornado shelter now that can hold all adults and students in one place. We have updated our fire alarm system throughout our campus, and new doors that are easy to lock from the inside have been installed in our school buildings.


Like all schools, KSSB is pursuing accreditation from the State Board of Education. KSSB has developed a strategic plan that outlines our vision, our mission, values, and goals.  You can find a copy of the strategic plan here:  opens in a new windowhttps://drive.google.com/file/d/1tGBbGn-NwhRc4DNdsMNeDhPoariqUqJ_/view?usp=sharing

Mark One Electric Donation for Sensory Room

Mark One Electric has donated $10,000.00 to the KC Blind All-Stars in support of a new sensory room. We are extremely grateful for this generous gift. Room 23 will be the home of the new  sensory room

Playground Proposal

Our current swing set is very old, and the Head Start playground is too small for most of our students. Our nonprofit, the KC Blind All-Stars  is seeking funding for a new playground that would be more functional for our students and also make the south side of our campus more attractive.

Image:  A rendering of a new playground shows yellow canopies, swingsets, sensory play centers, drums, and new fencing.

A rendering of a playground. 3 yellow canopies covering swing set and other equipment. 4 additional stations with equipment. Sand covering the ground


  • January 25th/26th: Wrestling/Cheer Tournament, Illinois School for Blind
  • February 14th: STEAM workshop (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math)
    • KSSB will host a coding event of our own on the eve of the Braille Challenge in our library from 6:30p-8:00p.
  • February 15th: Regional Braille Challenge @ KSSB
  • March 2nd: Regional Braille Challenge @ Derby
  • March 8th: No School/End of 3rd Quarter
  • March 11th-15th: Spring Break
  • March 29th-30th-31st: Boys/Girls Weekend @ KSSB
  • June 3rd-21st: .Extended School Year @ KSSB
    • Student applications available since January 7th!


Lila Taylor

My students have started to become more mobile.  They are really showing a determination to move.  Walking during transitions and other routines within the classroom has increased.  Their distance has got better and better.  Skills are emerging and the student are showing a real involvement in their routines.


Cindy Huffman/Christian Puett

We have recently begun study of weather.  We are studying weather that is more relevant to where we live such as thunderstorms, tornados, blizzards, and rain.  We have been watching videos of storms and talking about how we can stay safe during storms.  It is important to know where to go in your house if there is severe weather!  The students enjoyed doing science experiments by making tornadoes in bottles and making our own rain.

Image:  An elementary student is squirting shaving cream into a cup of water to make clouds.

A student sitting at table with a clear plastic drinking cup. The student is squirting shaving cream into the liquid in the cup. Foam appears on top.

Image: An elementary student proudly displays her rain cloud science experiment.  There is a plastic cup filled with water, topped with shaving cream with blue color dripping down into the water.

Student sitting at table with a plastic clear cup filled with blue liquid, topped with white foam and blue food coloring dripping on the foam.


Christy Bowen

The elementary class has been working on their balance by getting into various positions on a therapy ball.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Image description:  students are balancing on their stomachs on therapy balls with their feet off the ground and one hand up in the air. 

6 students in the gym lying on exercise balls with one arm on the floor and one arm raised to the ceiling. Body extended over the exercise balls so they are balancing on their stomachs.

Image description:  two students are in a push-up position while balancing on therapy balls

2 students in the gym lying over the top of large plastic exercise balls. Elbows bent and resting on the floor, heads up and body extended so that knees over the exercise balls.


Jenny Eichner

Happy New Year from the music therapy room! The secondary group has dropped the ball and are learning about the Hoberman Sphere! This is an expandable and retractable sphere that uses scissor joints to do so. Students have learned that it consists of 20 triangles, 12 pentagons, and 6 circles going around the entire sphere. Among some other science and math facts about this sphere, the students are exploring possible ways to use the sphere. This week, they have played a game involving physics where as long as they keep rolling the sphere between them all, it will stay open. If it stops moving, it shrinks down to it’s smaller sphere. More information can be found starting with Wikipedia: opens in a new windowhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hoberman_sphere 

Image Descriptions: Secondary students playing a game to keep the Hoberman Sphere open by rolling it between them in a circle.

7 students in the library standing around a Hoberman sphere expandable ball.


Penny Kimberling

What an exciting time to be at KSSB! Students arrived to find that we have made some necessary changes to our schedule. Mr. Taylor is stepping back into the classroom as technology and history instructor. He is already implementing some new ideas. The students are thrilled to have the tech superstar on hand. I have moved into the Orientation and Mobility instructor position with the some help from Judy Imber and Aundrayah Shermer. We are working at a fever pace to get a schedule established. Please bear with us as we are exploding at the seams with new students.  We now  have 35 O&M students. I am excited to remain as the classroom instructor for the Language Arts classes where we will continue to work on grammar, writing and reading skills. We’ve once again implemented the comprehension wall, thus encouraging the student to use reading strategies. As we read, the students begin to interject the various ideas for each category on our board. Many are beginning to recognize how these comprehension strategies encourage them to engage with the text.

Image Left:  Showing the comprehension wall: making connections, summarizing, visualizing, determining importance,, question, synthesizing, monitoring and clarifying, analyzing author’s craft and context clues categories.

A wall with laminated papers pinned to it with topics of comprehension such as inferencing, sequencing, etc.


Christy Bowen

The students have been working on a variety of household skills such as folding laundry, making beds, and cleaning.  The students are encouraged to share these skills at home!

Image description: Two pictures show a young man at various stages of folding a towel.

A student standing at bed with a white towel lying flat as he uses two hands at each near corner as he starts to fold the towel.        A second the student with the towel folded in half - length wise.


Sandra Craig

There are three issues to consider when graphing inequalities: the starting point, whether or not the starting point is also a solution, and what direction the graph moves.  Trying to graph an inequality on the Braillewriter can be a challenge.  To simplify this, the Distance Learning Algebra students used the APH Number Line Device.  To begin, a plain peg was placed marking the starting point.  Putting a small foam ring over that peg indicated that the inequality also had an ‘equal to’ component.  And to complete the graph, a directional (triangle) peg was inserted at the extreme end of the board – to the right for greater than and to the left for less than.  Image Above Right: The photo, taken by a student using his iPhone, shows the graph of the inequality, x ≤ -1


Kim McCall

The Life Skills class has been learning about how matter changes since returning from Winter break. This week we experimented with changing matter through cutting and temperature. We cut whole apples and sheets of paper creating smaller pieces as well as adding heat/cold temperatures to water creating steam and ice.

The Life Skills class is also excited to have a brand new student join our group this semester. His name is Chris and he travels all the way from Garden City, KS to be with us. Welcome Chris!

Image description (picture below): Student is using a knife to slice an apple into pieces.

A student is sitting at a table with a large tray. He is chopping the white insides of a red apple into small sections.                                  2 students standing at the counter. Both have hands hovering over the humidifier as the steam rises from the machine.


Image description (picture above right): Two students are facing each other and using their hands to feel the warm steam coming from the top of a room humidifier.


Tim Schierbeck/Lori Smith

The transition program has jumped right into the new year.  Students are moving into the cottage and some people are getting their first experience in the apartment.  Some students are getting new job experiences, and some are getting ready to take new college and TEC level classes.  Everyone is keeping busy learning new skills.  Several Transition students are preparing for their last semester of school.  They are beginning the process of looking for jobs and transportation back in their home communities.

The Transition staff is working on plans for home visits during the second semester.  We would like to work with parents and the young adults, to help them look for ways to improve independence in their daily lives.  Supporting Transition students as they move away from a school based life and develop a life in their home community is an important part of transition.


Sue Pollan

The transition students attended a Midwest Adaptive Sports event at Snow Creek this week.

They had to go through the process of filling out several forms in order to attend. A few experienced electronic signatures for the first time. Everyone enjoyed the tubing hill and were treated to hotdogs, chips, cookies and much needed hot chocolate around the campfire. The other dorm students were busy with taking down Christmas decorations, arts and crafts, decorating for Valentines, cheerleading, wrestling, tech club and various other activities.

Image description (Below):  Students smiling after making it down the very big hill at Snow Creek.      

5 students in red snow tubes lined up in a single row. The sky is dark and beams of light illuminate the area from a single pole.         

Field Services

Julie Ituarte, SE Kansas

In response to a request for J.A.W.S. training, Julie Ituarte collaborated with Vince Cianfrone from Nanopac to provide a training on J.A.W.S. in the SE Region for 3 students, 2 TSVI’s and 2 paraprofessionals. One group participated in person at the Greenbush  Educational Service Center, while another group participated using zoom. The training covered J.A.W.S. with Google docs and Microsoft Word. The focus was on introductory keyboard commands for editing a document and using J.A.W.S. to navigate a web page.  The students were sent home with suggested areas to emphasize in order to hone their J.A.W.S. skills.

Image description: 2 students and 1 teacher sitting around a circle table with computers open in front of them. Two adults standing behind them looking on.

2 students and 1 teacher sitting around a circle table. 3 computers and a folded cane on the table. A man stands in between the seated teacher and male student wearing a grey jacket. A female adult standing and leaning against the wall to the right of the female student seated at the table.  

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