Enjoy the Eagle Update for October 2019

Four Carved Pumpkins On Display.

Image Description: Four pumpkins on a table. Pumpkin 1: a black spider painted on the front. Pumpkin 2: carved missiles flying out of a plane.  Pumpkin 3: It has two eyes carved in the shape of pumpkins and a mouth in the shape of a bat. Pumpkin 4: The side of the pumpkin is in view with the words Dorm Monsters written in black and carved in braille.

DATE: November 4, 2019

Mr. Jon Harding/Ms. Aundrayah Shermer

Highlights of the month – Coding and Space Camp

Halloween celebration:  The students planned a celebration to mark Halloween. They decorated the activity room on the first floor of the dormitory. The biggest hit was the pumpkin carving contest. Students and staff wore costumes and enjoyed treats and fun.

Coding: KSSB students are reviewing computer science modules as a part of a coding curriculum being developed through the Council of Schools for the Blind (COSB). Each week during the technology club, the students go through the draft modules and provide feedback about clarity, adaptations, and overall experience with the coding activities. The students are learning a great deal about coding and the development of effective lesson planning.

Space Camp: Three KSSB students and two chaperones traveled to Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center. They participated in a variety of astronaut simulations. Please read the  opens in a new windowStudent Reflections on Space Camp blog or the  opens in a new windowOverview of Space Camp Week for more details.


…from the classroom

This month’s classroom highlight is Halloween themed lesson. In Sandra Craig’s math class, the students practiced their skills and understanding of 1st quadrant coordinates by playing a board game similar to Battleship but, instead of seeking ships, you’re looking for candy.

Image description: A teacher is wearing a KC Royal baseball hat and shirt. A student is wearing a pointed tipped brown hat with a yellow sunflower on the brim. On the table is a raised line graph, labeled in large print and braille numbers on the left and bottom of the page. Using grid coordinates, students find pieces of candy on the chart.

A teacher and student finding candy on a coordinated grid.

…from the ECC

Students at KSSB practice volunteerism or Service Learning. Through Service Learning opportunities, students give back to the community but practice components of the Expanded Core Curriculum. Each student in Ms. Bowen’s independent living course provides 2 hours of community service during the semester. So far, one student has cleaned the pews at his church, one student has played the piano at a nursing home, and two students have picked up trash at a local park.

Image Description: Two photos. On the left a student with black hair, mustache, and beard. On the right is a student with short blond hair wearing a blue shirt. Both are holding plastic trash bags filled with garbage and standing next to blue barrel-shaped garbage cans. Green trees, light pole, and a park bench are in the background.

Student with a trash bag full of garbage found at the park.     Student holding clear plastic trash bag filled with garbage.

The students in Ms. Bowen’s 1st-hour FACS class sponsored a pancake breakfast on Thursday, Oct. 24. About 50 staff and transition students came to the breakfast where they ate pancakes, fruit, and coffee or juice. The class prepared flyers ahead of time to advertise the event. They purchased supplies at the store, and the morning of the breakfast, they were up and ready to work by 5:30 am! The students did a fantastic job stirring pancake batter, flipping pancakes, dishing up fruit, serving the pancakes, and collecting the money. They intend to use the profits to eat out for breakfast at a local restaurant. I wonder if they’ll order pancakes.

Image Description: Students are in the kitchen standing ready for the pancake breakfast. Juice bottles, diced fruit in cups, syrup, butter, Reddi Whip, and griddle prepped for the mix. A student is standing by the cash register to accept donations.

Student in kitchen ready for the pancake breakfast customers.

… from the Transition Program

Students at KSSB are developing skills to support their transition to college or a career. The Transition students in Mr. Schierbeck’s class created a small Eagle Enterprise to provide lunches once a week on campus. They developed a small business website describing their menu and an online order form so the customers can place their orders in advance. Students create their inventory list, go shopping, and make lunch items on the day of the sale. The cost of the lunch item for each staff member is $5.00 for a sandwich, chips, cheese stick, and a soft drink. Students take pride in delivering a delicious lunch to the customer’s office or classroom. The students are creative and building skills in entrepreneurship – Look for more Eagle Enterprises near you!

Image Description: Two students and two teachers standing in front of a kitchen counter wearing gloves to prep sandwiches.

Two students and two teachers preparing lunch.

…from the community

The students in the Career Exploration Class visit a variety of businesses in the Kansas City area. On a recent trip, the students visited  opens in a new windowCumulus Radio Station in Mission, KS, to learn about the job description of an audio engineer. Students learned how to use audio equipment by recording their voices. Image Description: Students sitting at a counter. Across from the students is a man sitting in front of 4 computer screens, several mics, and a rectangle bar with several buttons or toggle switches.

Three students visiting a radio station.

Some of the students in the Extended Day Program visited the American Royal Association in Kansas City. The owners gave the students a backstage tour where horses and riders were working. Students asked questions and had the opportunity to explore the horses from head to tail. They were amazed by the beautiful braided tails and manes, as well as the size of the horses. The students were fascinated by the height of the fences the horses jumped during a competition. 

Image Description: Several students standing in front of a large brown horse wearing a halter and a black horse blanket. 

Students standing in front of a large horse.

…from across the state

On October 15 each year,  opens in a new windowWhite Cane Safety Day and Blind Americans Equality Day are recognized across the country. To mark this occasion, KSSB staff in partnership with local area TSVIs and COMS, organized several events. 

In North Central Kansas, Anna Cyr organized a White Cane Day Event. Nine students from Hutchinson, Salina, Gypsum, Herington, Ellsworth, and Abilene joined six members of the North Central KS chapter of the NFB to mark the occasion. The participants used beginner coding materials to prepare a “walking map” in downtown Salina from Christ’s Cathedral to Dagney’s Ice Cream and Robby’s Famous Cheesecakes. The participants walked the routes, explored the sculptures in downtown Salina and enjoyed homemade ice cream or cheesecake at their destination.

Image Description: Several people in line to investigate a sculpture in the shape of a hippo. The hippo is colorful in a patchwork quilt pattern and has his mouth open wide to display his sharp spikey metal short and long teeth. 

Exploring a sculpture of a hippo.

In Western Kansas, Menely Hogan organized a White Cane Day Event. Nine students went on an awareness walk through the zoo in Garden City. The students enjoyed getting together and exploring the types of animals. They also participated in hands-on activities provided by the zoo.

Image Description: Several students wearing jackets, and walking along a sidewalk path in the zoo with the tap, tap, tap of their canes. 

Students walking along a path at the zoo. A sign in background reads "Be a Zoo Parent".

In South Central Kansas Debbie Moody organized a White Cane Day Event. Approximately 40 people from pre-school to seniors met for an event at the Sedgwick County Zoo. After a walkabout, the staff at the zoo created a hands-on experience for those in attendance. The interactive lessons included live lizards and snakes and stuffed grizzly bear, lion, and tiger heads. They also investigated python skins, a giraffe skull, femur of the elephant, and a stuffed owl. A professor led a discussion about each artifact.

Image Description: A student is holding his cane in his right hand while using his left hand to explore a giraffe skull and the femur of an elephant.

Student exploring the hands on zoo exhibits.

Under the direction of Judy Imber, Penny Kimberling, Jenny Eichner, and Pam Arbeiter, KSSB held a White Cane Day Event.  Twenty-two students from KSSB met with students from Olathe. They raised awareness about White Cane Day by traveling to and around the mall. The students enjoyed eating lunch with their friends.

Image description: Several students walking with their canes in the mall past several stores. The students are wearing gray White Cane Day Shirts. The letter “W” in the word White is formed by a partially folded cane.

Students walking in the mall with their canes.

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