Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind host Virginia’s top education official

Published: Sep. 28, 2022 at 7:43 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - The Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind hosted Virginia’s top education official.

"You can read about things, you can talk to people on the phone, you can go on websites but...
"You can read about things, you can talk to people on the phone, you can go on websites but there's nothing like being in person and meeting faculty and meeting students and seeing how lives are being touched by what's happening in our classrooms, and especially here."(WHSV)

The commonwealth’s Secretary of Education Aimee Guidera stopped by to learn more about the facility and the needs there. This was Guidera’s first visit to the school.

She said what she learned today, she’ll apply in decision-making in the future.

“You can read about things, you can talk to people on the phone, you can go on websites but there’s nothing like being in person and meeting faculty and meeting students and seeing how lives are being touched by what’s happening in our classrooms, and especially here,” said Guidera.

During Wednesday’s tour, the group discussed how the institution is very unique. The students learn subjects like math, science and art, along with Braille and American Sign Language.

The group discussed how the institution is very unique. Students take math, science, English and art classes, but they also take braille and American Sign Language.

On top of that, they take life skills courses that touch on things like how to pay bills or rent and cooking.

The school is nationally recognized for those real-life preparations, and many students travel from across the commonwealth to learn at VSDB.

“This is just a treasure and such an important resource for our families and for students across the commonwealth. We had a chance to see children from Staunton, all the way down to Woodbridge, and Roanoke and across the commonwealth,” said Guidera.

During the tour, staff talked about the highs and lows of their jobs. Some struggles are hiring; finding staff focused on a subject and trained to teach deaf or blind students can be a challenge.

The staff said they, along with the students, are really looking forward to their Blind Soccer Match against Maryland School for the Blind. That game is on Oct. 6 at 1:30 p.m.