From the Superintendent
To our WSSB Community:
Happy New Year! Here at WSSB we are filled with optimism about new opportunities in life and learning, and grateful for our friends, family, and community. At WSSB, one of the roles we fill is providing a space for community, a space for gathering, and a space for learning centered on the needs of blind and low vision youth. We are incredibly thankful for all of those involved in this work. Thank you to our students, their families, the wonderful and talented WSSB staff, our dedicated volunteers, and our many partners in this work. Thank you.
The 2022-23 school year is buzzing along at WSSB. WSSB welcomed seventeen new students to our comprehensive campus programs at the start of the school year. Seventeen new students are a lot for a small school like ours. Our staff rose to the challenge and welcomed our new students with excitement and enthusiasm for the year ahead. WSSB Outreach programs continue to grow and evolve, providing specialist services for blind and low vision youth, birth to 21, and professional support for families, educators, and support staff. The Ogden Resource Center continues to produce and provide access to braille transcription services as well as braille textbooks and other resources available through the American Printing House for the Blind.
The WSSB Campus in Vancouver is also experiencing change at a variety of levels. Our new Transition Center is currently under construction and expected to be completed in April. The Transition Center will be the new home for WSSB’s Learning Independence for Today and Tomorrow (LIFTT) program and for the Department of Services for the Blind’s (DSB) southwest Washington regional offices. The new year brings the completion of a student-initiated playground update. The playground update includes new swings and a wheelchair accessible swing. Our science lab will also be updated soon to improve lab access for our students.
WSSB is also grateful for the incredible support from Governor Inslee. Governor Inslee’s recently announced budget proposal includes several significant campus and service updates that include a library refresh, temporary campus housing for parents, improvements in digital accessibility, targeted outreach services and supports, and a track and field remodel for our campus.
At WSSB, we are excited about the future. We know that our students can achieve their dreams and make a better world for future generations. It is especially meaningful when others recognize the possibility that exists within each of the students we serve. A local magazine for families in Vancouver published an article about WSSB in their January 2023 edition. This article highlighted the many programs and services WSSB provides for blind and low vision youth throughout Washington. Throughout the article, the story of one of our student’s WSSB experience is shared and the author saved the best part for last. The article concludes with a statement from the student’s mother, “my kid can do anything.” We agree with mom.
May your 2023 be filled with peace, joy, and love. Thank you for supporting the Washington State School for the Blind.
Scott McCallum (he/him/his)
Washington State School for the Blind