Eagle Update January 2020

Student Holding Up A KC Chiefs Mask And Wearing A KC Chiefs Shirt.

DATE: January 30, 2020 

Mr. Jon Harding/Ms. Aundrayah Shermer

The Highlights of the month… 

Kansas City Proud – – –  Students from the Extended Day Program traveled to Union Station to celebrate the AFC Champion Chiefs.  The gigantic, lighted 3-D display allowed students to explore the historic building and, most importantly, participate with Chiefs Kingdom Fans in this memorable event! Image: Sign reads “KC heart AFC CHAMPS!”

Student standing to the right and left of the KC heart AFC CHAMPS! Sign.

Students participated with the rest of Kansas City on the final Red Friday of this phenomenal 2019-20 season wishing the Chiefs good luck in the Super Bowl.  KSSB is a recognized Red Friday Spirit School for the Kansas City Chiefs.  

Chiefs Red Friday Spirit - Large group of Students and staff in KSSB wearing red Chiefs shirts and holding signs. "Fight for your Right", "Believe in each other", and "Bring it home KC".

Highlights from the classroom…

Christy Bowen

With winter comes the annual floor hockey games in PE.  A great way to get exercise while having fun and learning about teamwork.

Two teams playing field hockey. A student using stick to send a puck to the goal while the goalie, fends off the point.

In the Life Skills Program, our KSSB students actively practice daily life skills such as cooking, cleaning, laundry, and interacting with professionals in the community. A smiling student is having a delightful visit with the school nurse. A young child is practicing how to add clothes to the washing machine. 

Student in wheelchair smiling at a smiling lady in nurses uniform.Student in a wheelchair holding a blue laundry basket on his lap and placing clothes into a washing machine.

Tim Schierbeck

Transition students are starting to learn how to use a variety of technologies and machines to produce designs on products like coffee cups, hats, and t-shirts.  Using the new Maker Space equipment, students are learning how to create and sell everyday products. We look forward to purchasing fun items from the student-led KSSB Enterprises in the near future. 

Mug with Kansas School for the Blind and 2019 Vision Symposium and the KSSB sunflower logo imprinted.       An electronic cutting machine that looks like a printer. It uses a blade and roller to cut out designs.        A adult holding up a red t-shirt with KSSB, heart, KC Chiefs printed on the front.

Highlights from the ECC…

Christy Bowen

The KSSB Swimming Pool is under renovation. With the pool drained, the students had a great time investigating the pool without water. They explored the pool by walking on the bottom of it, to determine its depth, length, and width. 

Several students standing on the bottom of an empty pool.

Snow days and winter fun was the theme for January. The snow kept falling during the month of January, bringing several inches of snow and closed down schools, and it was perfect for making snowmen! The students at KSSB braved the cold weather and explored the frozen flurries.   When finished, they all enjoyed snow ice cream and cups of hot chocolate.

Student in a warm yellow, white and blue winter coat, holding the stick arm of his snowman.

Highlights from the Community…

In January, a student from the Career Exploration class went to the Wyandotte County Historical Museum in Bonner Springs to speak with the docent (a person who acts as an instructional and informative guide). The docent explained the required qualifications, job duties, and their favorite (and also the less enjoyable) job tasks. The student then explored the museum exhibits, including the Native American History of Wyandotte County, the Kansas City Fire Department Historical Artifacts, and the One-Room Schoolhouse exhibit. The student gathered greater with the numerous hands-on displays available.

Student with hands on an exhibit of blue, yellow, white, and red beads.

A collaborative meeting was held between the Wyandotte County Unified Government and the Kansas City Area Transit Authority (KCATA). The purpose of the meeting was to identify ways to improve infrastructure to help our students travel through the neighborhood. The following improvements were approved: 

  • Two new APS (accessible pedestrian signals) on State and Minnesota; 
  • New sidewalks on 11th from State to Minnesota; 
  • New signage outside KSSB’s campus to create public awareness and slow traffic.

Improvements will begin in the spring after the weather improves. We are grateful to those who advocated for our students in making these small but important changes.

Several people, students and adults posing for this photo.

Highlights from the Extended Day Program…

Sue Pollan

The Extended Day program participates in winter sporting opportunities at Snow Creek in Weston, MO. Volunteers from Midwest Adaptive Sports are giving our students ski lessons. This year the students are divided into two groups and always look forward to their four sessions of skiing/snowboarding. Everyone enjoys this fantastic opportunity to learn how to ski and snowboard. Students who are not interested in skiing will have an opportunity to participate in the tubing events scheduled in February. Stay tuned for more exciting pictures!

Students in snowboarding skis, standing on the slope at night.

Highlights from the From Across the State…

To celebrate January Braille Literacy month, KSSB Field Services Specialists Bob Taylor and Molly Reardon took the STEM Club on the road. They traveled to the Topeka area and partnered with local TSVI’s and COMS. Activities included coding, robotics, and circuitry activities for students who have a visual impairment. And of course, social time was a must.  

Students sitting at a table creating circuits.  Student tactually exploring a cubetto coding tool. A square shape with pegs placed in a sequence.

KSSB Field Service Specialists provide Orientation and Mobility Instruction in their local region. Anna Cyr created lessons for a preschool student to learn about how to use tactual map that represents a space in her school building. One of Debby Moody’s students is demonstrating how accurately he uses his cane while traveling on a set of stairs. 

Student looking at camera while using hands to explore a velcro board with strips to create a square.     .Student climbing stairs with his cane.

The Kansas Deafblind project provided a Make-It-and-Take-It Workshop for pre-school teachers in the Kansas City area. Each participant learned about the purpose, types, and implementation of Tactual Object Calendar Systems for students who have both a vision and hearing impairment.  

A group of adults standing on layered seating holding black velcro boards for object calendars.

Upcoming Events…

Kansas Sunflower Braille Challenge

It is right around the corner – so lets all Leap for Braille in 2020!  KSSB is looking forward to both signature events (Kansas City and Derby) and gosh do we have our fingers (and toes) crossed for NO weather issues this year!!!   Please encourage your child to participate, and you are welcome to join us to celebrate braille literacy. Please see the schedule of the day included in the Eagle Update.

Leap For Braille 2020 Event Schedule

Thursday, February 13, 2020

  • 5:15 pm Check-In (Gymnasium)
  • 5:30 pm Dinner (Cafeteria)
  • 6:30 pm Student and Family Activities (Library, Dorm, Gym) 
  • 8:00 pm Return to Edlund Dorm for the Evening  

Friday, February 14, 2020

  • 8:00 am Registration (Gym)
  • 8:45 am Opening Ceremony (Gym) 
  • 9:15 am Student Session 1 *PARENTS to Edlund Downstairs   
  • 10:15 am Student Session 2 *PARENTS to Edlund Greatroom 
  • 11:15 am Student Session 3   *PARENTS to Brighton Maker Space
  • 12:00 pm LUNCH – Service and seating in the Gym and Cafeteria. 
  • (Please bring your participant back to the Gym for next activity.)
  • 1:00 pm Entertainment- Drum (Gym) Safari and Student Session 4 
  • 2:30 pm Closing Ceremony (Gym)

The Kansas City regional sends best wishes to the Wichita Regional held on Saturday, February 29, 2020! 


KSSB Family Forum

KSSB’s first and (hope to be annual) Family Forum. Families – you are invited to a 1-day progressive and interactive conference – just for you.  

When:  April 25, 2020 – 9:30-3:15 

Where:  Memorial Union, Emporia State University – 1200 Commercial St, Emporia, Kansas. Campus Map 


  • Keynote: Kristen Smedley: Parent and Author of the book “Thriving Blind: Real Stories of People Succeeding without Sight.” 
  • Madeline Bowen: Working Healthy: Navigating SSI, Medicaid and Employment  
  • Amy Gaumer Erickson, Ph.D.:  “Mastering Intrapersonal and Interpersonal Skills” 
  • KSSB Student: Developing Entrepreneurship through Student-led “KSSB Enterprises.
  • Anthony Blades: Parent and presentation of  “Creating Tactual Learning Opportunities for Children who have Significant Needs.”  

For more information, go to the KSSB Family and Student Events webpage.  Please use the Family Forum Google Form to register for this event.


Extended School Year – Summer 2020 – Register Soon!

And believe it or not, Summer is right around the corner.  KSSB will offer Four programs during the Summer 2020 session.  These include:  

  • K-S.E.E. PROGRAM, Ages 5-15, June 8-26, 2020 – KSSB’s most popular summer program for students from across Kansas.  Participants accepted into this program must plan to attend all three weeks for the full benefit of this unique program. Students 10 years and up are eligible to reside in the KSSB Extended Day Program, and all students in KSEE go home on the weekends.  
  • VOCATIONAL PROGRAM, Ages 16-21, June 8-26, 2020 – The goal of the KSSB Summer Vocational program is to offer experiential learning related to job exploration, development of job skills, and understanding workplace culture. All areas of the Expanded Core Curriculum are embedded within the KSSB Summer Vocational Program. All participants in the Vocational program go home on the weekends.   
  • KS-P.R.E.P. PROGRAM, Ages 16-18, June 8-26, 2020 – This is a special focus program.  Participants accepted to this program must be a current High School student attend their local districts for a majority of the time during the academic year.  This program provides advanced Expanded Core Curriculum experiences in a residential setting for participants who do not have the benefit of living in the dorms throughout the year. Students accepted into this program reside the entire three weeks on campus, including weekends.  
  • HAYS-L.I.F.E. PROGRAM, Ages 10-18, June 21-26, 2020 – Lifetime Independence Focused Education.  This summer program is for students who live in the Central to the Western part of Kansas and may or may not be ready for three weeks in Kansas City.  All areas of the Expanded Core Curriculum are embedded within the Hays LIFE program. All participants in this program reside on the Fort Hays State University campus for this week-long program.  Exceptions for students who live in the Hays community are considered for the residential component.   

Link for more information and student application:  

Parents/Guardians – please watch for the student application to come home for your signature.  There are several pages that you will need to review and sign. These include medication information and release for pictures, social media, medical care, etc.  Please contact Aundrayah Shermer at ashermer@kssdb.orgcreate new email for any information or questions about the Extended School Year programs.  

Back To Top