Superintendent's Scoop: Paul Olson

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Superintendent

Dear Families and School Partners,

 

First, North Dakota Vision Services/School for the Blind (NDVS/SB) would like to extend warm greetings and well wishes to everyone.  As NDVS/SB begins the school year, there isn’t any need to list all of the shared hopes and concerns we all have. Everyone is well aware of the challenges that Covid-19 has created, however NDVS/SB vows to do the best to support children under these circumstances. As you know, NDVS/SB provides a great deal of outreach support directly to students, families, schools and other organizations across the state. The hope is that the majority of services will continue to occur on-site in homes and schools with the appropriate safeguards in place.

NDVS/SB teachers and specialists have begun to schedule periodic virtual appointments to consult with families, observe and teach children and collaborate with partners. Although NDVS/SB hopes for stability and even improvement with the pandemic, we will be prepared and ready to serve children in ways that fit your needs including in-person (with appropriate safeguards in place) or virtually.  The goal is to assure that all children with a visual impairment become as independent as possible in the Expanded Core Curriculum areas like technology, daily living skills, braille, etc. 

Nothing replaces the rich, hands-on interaction between a teacher of the visually impaired and child, but it is the belief of NDVS/SB that we can provide many services using online video sessions with Zoom, Microsoft Teams or even Facetime. You can decide the platform that works best for you, if you choose to have virtual services.  There may even be a few benefits—one being fewer missed appointments in the winter due to bad weather and roads.  NDVS/SB will work with you to determine how and when to best provide both on-site and virtual services.

If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to one of our regional coordinators or adult service coordinators. You may also contact me directly by calling (701) 795-2717 or by emailing me at polson@nd.gov

We are here with you and for you!

Paul Olson--Superintendent

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