Irwin Newsletter April 12

Upcoming Events

April 15: Musical Theatre Class from 3:30-4:30pm
April 15: Rec. Swim, Open Gym, Fitness, Rec. Center & Study Hall from 6:30-8:00pm
April 15: Introduction of fishing mentors, pole and casting in commons from 6:30-7:45pm
April 16: Self-Defense at Forge Combat Academy from 6:00-8:30pm
April 18: N.W. Children’s Theatre “The Royal Trickster” from 5:00-9:00pm
April 23: Orientation and Mobility Class in the Irwin Commons from 4:00-5:30p
April 23: Self-Defense at Forge Combat Academy from 6:00-8:30pm
April 25: Tandem cycling from 3:15-5:30pm
April 29: Musical Theatre Class from 3:30-4:30pm
April 29: Rec. Swim, Open Gym, Fitness, Rec. Center & Study Hall in form 6:30-8:00pm
April 30: Archery from 6:00-8:30pm

Quarter 4, Week 1: Scientific Words

Acid: a molecule capable of donating a positively-charged hydrogen ion, or capable of forming a covalent bond by donating an electron pair.

Anticipate: to predict an event or a result based on current events or past experiences.

Catalyst: a substance which speeds up a chemical reaction but does not change the outcomes of the reaction.

Combustion: a high-temperature reaction involving a fuel and an oxidant (usually oxygen), commonly associated with the process of burning.

In SEL groups students reviewed their goals for the year with their Accountabillibuddy.  They discussed if they are met, need to change, or develop a plan for how to complete their goals.  Students also completed their spring DESSA self-assessment.  You will be sent home your final DESSA assessment to complete on your student today.  Please return them with your student next week.

Students have begun meeting with Ms. Langley to discuss their next year’s schedule.  Within the next week, all students should have an idea of what they are taking and how their classes impacts graduation requirements and timelines.  Feel free to contact your students advocate to learn more.

In weekly assembly, students reviewed the PBL timeline and grading rubric.  They are also being introduced to the idea of “think of the end result first”.

WSSB Students give back

An exciting day occurred on April 11, 2019 when the Student Body Government was able to deliver a $150 donation to the Shriner’s Hospital for Children. This money was the culmination of WSSB students “Paying it Forward” with the money they received from the annual Pay-day Assembly. The students were awarded an amazing tour of the hospital and got to see the 7th story play deck, the educational floor, and they got to see how prosthetics are made.

STudent Council in front of Shriners Hospital Students on 7th floor of Shr

WSSB Counseling Center Webpage

Hello! I have started a Counseling Center page on the WSSB website for students, staff, and families. Available at: I will periodically post updates to the Counseling Center page so please check it out from time to time! This week’s post is about challenging negative self-talk.

Thank you,
Miss Billie Jo Thomas
School Psychologist/Counselor
Washington State School for the Blind
Pronouns: She, Her, Miss
Schedule: Mon-Thurs 8:45-5, Fri 7:30-3:30
(360) 947-3325

Host needed for WSSB International student

Starting in late August 2019, WSSB is planning to have an international exchange student from Bulgaria join us for the entire school year.  In order for her to attend WSSB, the exchange student needs to have a host family to live with on weekends and during school breaks.  WSSB supports the education side of the situation while host families handle everything else in conjunction with the PAX Academic Exchange program.

We just received notification of this student and here is what she’s shared with us so far.  She likes to play chess, read, play goalball, act, is responsible, gets good grades, and currently attends a school for students with visual impairments.  If you are interested in hosting a student or have questions regarding this program, please contact Joy Snodgrass at .

WSSB has enjoyed having students from Bulgaria, Liberia, and Palestine over the past few years.  The richness these students have brought to our school community is something our staff, students, and hosts have all benefited from greatly.

Weekly Recreation Pictures

Dima stuffing Eggs Tori making pucnh for spring dance

Adelyn Stuffing Eggs

Get PAID to improve smart phone apps

User Research International in Redmond, WA is currently working on a research study to improve the accessibility of messaging apps for smartphones. Teens, age 13-18, and adults, are invited to participate in the study to provide feedback on how apps could be improved. The study is 90-minutes and either takes place at the participants home or in a Seattle office. Gratuity is $150 for time and feedback.

To sign up participants can either email or fill out this survey:

Regional Offerings

Skills Longview camp applications are here! Participants will explore recreation and consider the conservation issues at Lake Sacajawea in Longview, WA. Activities correlate to the Expanded Core Curriculum (ECC), and campers can learn and practice those skills by participating in a variety of outdoors activities including:

  •   Exploring
  • Hiking
  •   Wayfinding
  •   Boating
  •   Fishing
  •   Socializing
  •   Laughing

The camp will take place at Lake Sacajawea in Longview, WA from Aug. 5-9, 2019.  Camp hours are 9:00am to 3:00pm.  The age range is 9-15.  Additional information and the application can be found on the DSB website or Facebook page using the following links.

Website –

Facebook –

DSB Youth Services Tacoma LEAP and Skills The applications for LEAP and Skills Tacoma are now available.

LEAP – this will be our second year providing LEAP In the Tacoma area. LEAP is a program designed for the student who is of age to participate in our other programs (YES 1 and 2, bridge, swag) but is not quite ready to participate and could benefit from more skill building in the areas of self-presentation, social skills and awareness, and independent living. LEAP is a day program that aims to teach these students those skills and challenge them. This year we will be working on social skills, using public transportation and self-presentation. We will be supporting the students through volunteer opportunities in the community where they will gain skills through their duties and will walk away with things they can put on their resumes! We will also be incorporating some fun rec opportunities throughout our week.

Skills – Skills is for our BVI students ages 9-13. This year our theme will be on conservation. We will be exploring marine biology, environmental science, and maritime history with 2 days at the Foss waterway seaport. One day will be participating in learning activities on shore, and one day we will be on water exploring commencement bay. We will also be biking, kayaking, and playing beep kickball. This should be an awesome experience for our younger students to learn about careers in environmental science, meet friends, and have fun!

Application deadline: June 1, 2019

Contact: Jen Scheel, or 360-999-3138

DSB Youth Services Planning for the Future Families of children who are blind or visually impaired have a lot of questions. This workshop brings together some of the many resources families can access to ensure their children can achieve academic and professional success. In addition to learning about the programs, camps, and workshops offered by DSB Youth Services, families will be introduced to the services provided by: • Department of Services for the Blind Vocational Rehabilitation • Edmonds School District • Washington Council for the Blind Families • Washington Talking Book and Braille Library Families will also be introduced to the next generation of dog guides.

Who: Families of Blind and Low Vision children and youth of all ages and abilities.

When: Tuesday, April 30, 2019 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Dinner will be provided.

Where: Hazelwood Elementary School 3300 204th St SW Lynnwood, WA 98036

RSVP: April 25, 2019.

Contact: Janet George at or call 206-906-5530.

(Reshare) Upcoming NWABA Events:

    • Beeping Easter Egg Hunt, Vancouver WA, April 13th
    • Edmonds, Paralympic Experience, April 26
    • Vernon Paralympic Experience, April 27 (Facility is pending)
    • Seattle Paralympic Experience, April 28 (Rainier Community Center)
    • Medical Lake Paralympic Experience May 3rd

(Reshare) Everett Easter Party and Beeping Egg Hunt:  For Visually Impaired Kids and their Families (blindfold egg hunt for sighted siblings) Sunday April 14, 2019 at 3:00 pm at the Cascade Boys and Girls Club in the Lions Park – 7530 Cascade Dr. Everett, WA. Candy, Prizes, Refreshments, Accessible Games, Braille Books Bring you cell phone or camera for photo opportunities with the Easter Bunny & Guide Dog Puppies in Training FOR FUN AND FOR FREE! RAIN OR SHINE! Hosted by and Register with Colette by April 7, 2019. (360) 391-5880 or

(Reshare) DSB’s Skills Camp Vancouver: Applications are now available! Blind or low vision youth, ages 6-11, have the opportunity to participate in a week filled with learning, making new friends, renewing acquaintances, and a lot of fun! SKILLS Vancouver is a day camp focused on areas of the expanded core curriculum:

      • Independent Living
      • Social Interaction
      • Use of Technology
      • Self-determination
      • Recreation and Leisure

WHEN? June 24-27, 2019 from 9:00am – 3:00 pm  and June 28, 2018 from 9:00am to 1:00pm.
WHERE? Washington State School for the Blind Vancouver, Washington  2214 E 13th Street  Vancouver, WA 98661
COST? No cost to participants!
REGISTRATION: To apply for SKILLS Vancouver: Application deadline is May 10, 2019.
CONTACT: Marcie Ebarb, Youth Services Specialist, at or (360) 947-3286.

(Reshare) Des Moines Very Special Easter Egg Hunt for children who are visually impaired and their families, sponsored by the Green River Valley Pioneers.  The day will start with a social time for families to visit and enjoy refreshments.  There will be Clowns, Balloons, the Easter Bunny, and a select group of Guide Dog Puppies and their handlers.  Then the Hunt will start  with Beeping Eggs for visually impaired children (which they trade in for goodies!), and candy-filled eggs for the sighted siblings.  The Green River Valley Pioneers Club is a unit of  Washington State Chapter 30 Pioneers which is also part of the Legacy West Pioneer Region.  The Club consists of volunteers who are active or retired from the Telecommunications Industry.   **PLEASE BRING A BASKET FOR EACH CHILD IN YOUR FAMILY (to collect eggs in)!**
When: Saturday, April 13 from 10:00-Noon
Where: Wesley Homes Retirement Community, “The Gardens” building, lower level, 815 S 216th St., Des Moines, WA  98198
WSSB provides equal access to all programs and services without discrimination based on sex, race, creed, religion, color, national origin, age, honorably discharged veteran or military status, sexual orientation, gender expression, gender identity, disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability. Questions and complaints of alleged discrimination should be directed to the Director of Human Resources, 2214 E. 13th Street, Vancouver, WA, 98661, 360-696-6321,