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2019-2020 School Year 

Short-Term Programs Calendar and Class Descriptions

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Your are now viewing the Short Term Programs course description for Distance Learning- Summer Book Club.


Book Club Image

Featuring: A Blind Guide to Normal by Beth Vrabel

Course Description:

 The Summer Book Club is a unique opportunity for students from across the state to get to know each other while engaging in literacy activities. This summer's book, A Blind Guide to Normal, by Beth Vrabel, picks up 1 year from where last summer’s feature book left off.  This coming-of-age story follows Ryder as he transitions from his safe haven at Addison School for the Blind back into a public middle school. Journey through every possible obstacle that middle school can bring, and learn a little about self-determination and self-acceptance along with Ryder and his new friends. Students need not have read the first book in order to understand the events of this one. Students will acquire the book in their chosen format and read along with the designated timeline. With each section of chapters read, students will answer questions and engage in discussion via Google Classroom.


Students will participate independently throughout the summer.  However, students must begin the course with their TVI prior to the end of school.

Target Audience:

Students in grades 6-8

Learning Objective:

Students will develop literacy skills by reading the assigned book, analyzing elements of fiction as they pertain to the piece, and providing relevant and meaningful contributions to a group discussion using an online platform.


Approximately 7 weeks

(Students will read the book on their own time and pace, but there will be a structured timeline for students to complete each course section)

Important Note:

Students will need access to the book prior to beginning the course.

They can obtain the book through the following services:

Bookshare: audio version, or ePub version in iBooks

BARD-Texas Talking Book Program:  Braille and Audio Reading Downloads

If you have already completed a referral on a student for the 2017-2018 school year, email or call us to add this class to the existing referral. No additional referral paperwork is needed for these students.

For additional information about this course please contact Kathi Garza at   or 512-206-9446.

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accessibility distance class graphic

Accessibility: What It Means and Why It Matters

Target Audience:

This course is designed for students in grades 7-12. It is designed for the users of screen readers particularly, however, students with low vision who are learning to manipulate text in order to adjust the size can also benefit from the information in this course.

Course Description:

Students in public schools today are faced with the challenge of accessing information in a variety of ways that are constantly evolving. Gone are the days when teachers relied solely upon textbooks to teach and assign homework. Teachers today pull from a variety of sources to increase student engagement: videos, websites, and social media resources, for example. They often aggregate course content on a learning management system like Google Classroom or Canvas. While this is an exciting time in education, it means that students with visual impairments are faced with the challenge of not only learning course content, but also understanding how to access content.

In Accessibility: What It Means and Why It Matters, students will learn about the core tenets of accessibility, structure and navigability. Students will begin learning about these concepts and how they apply to Microsoft Word and then consider how the same concepts apply to other document formats as well as Internet navigation. Students will also learn about Optical Character Recognition, PDFs, and how to manipulate print documents they receive in order to access the text. Finally, students will learn about best practices for accessibility in digital books.


Approximately 30 Minutes

Make a Short-Term Programs Referral

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Please use these only if you have difficulty accessing our online forms. Some forms are available here in Spanish.

Absence from Campus Permission

   Permiso de los Padres para Ausencia del Campus

Acceptable Use of Technology Release

 Aviso a los Padres de Usuarios de Recursos Technologicos de TSBVI

Digital Signature Agreement

    Acuerdo de Firma Digital

Elementary Code of Conduct

    Código de Conducta de la Escuela Primaria

Medical/Dietary Form 

Estudiante Historia de la Medicina Dietética

Media Release

    Consentimiento para Medios de Comunicación

Parent Authorizations

    Autorizaciones Para Padres

Rock Wall Activity Permission

   Permiso para Participar de Actividades de Escalada en Pared de Roca

Secondary Code of Conduct

    Código de Conducta de la Escuela Secundaria

Swimming Activities Permission

    Permiso para Participar en Actividades de Natación

TSBVI Standing Orders Permission

    Protocolos de tratamiento de la TSBVI

Visitor Permission

    Permiso Para Visitantes


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School Year Permission Forms

In addition to the forms below some classes may require additional releases for specific activities.

Links to online forms

Absence from Campus Permission Form

Acceptable Use of Technology Agreement

Elementary Code of Conduct

Media Release Permission Form

Parent Authorization Permission Form

Rock Wall Permission Form

Secondary Code of Conduct

Standing Orders Permission Form

Swimming and Boating Activities Participation Agreement

Visitor Permission Form

Medical/Dietary Section of the Application

The Medical Dietary form is part of the online application. This form is intended to be downloaded for completion by parents. The completed version is given to the student's TVI to help the TVI complete the application.

Medical Dietary Form - English

Estudiante Historia de la Medicina Dietética

Forms to be downloaded, completed and emailed to the Short-Term Programs office

Adrenal Crisis Plan - only if applicable

Anaphylaxis Emergency Action Plan - only if applicable

Asthma Action Plan - only if applicable

Diabetes Action Plan (Type I or II) - only if applicable

Health Care Provider’s Order for Student Medication  - if your student takes medication (over the counter or prescription, including supplements and vitamins)

Life Jacket Waiver - only applicable for students with a history of seizures

Retinal Precautions Information and Waiver Form- Important for all parents to read. Waiver is available if applicable.

Seizure Management Plan - only if applicable

Technology and Personal Items Inventory - for all students (especially important to list and lable technology and devices)

    Lista de Ropa / Artículos Personales del Estudiante


Parent Information Documents

Campus Map

Health Center Letter to Parents - Important for all parents to read. We have made changes to our procedures.

    Carta del Centro de Salud a los padres

Immunization Requirements

Homesickness Tips

    Consejos para evitar la nostalgia del hogar

School Year Packing List - What to Bring

    Lista de Embalaje del Año Escolar- Qué llevar 

Student Attendance while at TSBVI

Transportation Guidelines 

When should your child stay home?

Forms for specific classes

City Travel for COMS and Their Students

City Travel Packing list

Night O&M Permission 

Special Activity release

Travel Letter to COMS

Elementary Independence Weekend: Outdoor Adventures

Equine Release 

Candlelight Ranch Liability release

Special Activity release

Health & Well-Being: An Introduction to Sexuality

Sexuality Education Information and Permission - online

High School Independence Weekend: Outdoor Challenge

Equine Release

Candlelight Ranch Liability release

Special Activity release


Downloadable PDFs of Online forms

Please use these only if you have difficulty accessing our online forms. Some forms are available here in Spanish.


Return to Short-Term Programs referral and admission information





 I understand that I have a right to feel physically and emotionally safe while attending TSBVI and that everyone else here has the same right. I understand that we all have to follow the same rules while we are here for that to work. I agree to follow all school and dorm rules and adhere to the TSBVI Code of Conduct, whether I am on campus, in the dorm, or off campus.
* Required

1. I agree to treat everyone I meet at TSBVI with respect.
This includes teachers, other students, school staff, and members of the community. I understand that treating others with respect means treating them the way that I want to be treated.

2. I agree to participate in all activities with a positive attitude.
I understand that I have a right to my feelings and opinions, but I will express them in a way that treats other people with respect.

3. I agree to respect other people’s personal space. This means:

a. I will not touch them without their permission, even playfully.

b. If someone asks me to stop doing something to them I will immediately stop.

c. If someone touches me in a way that makes me feel unsafe or uncomfortable, I will advocate for myself by telling them to stop. If they don’t stop I will ask an adult for help. If what they did upset me, I will tell an adult what happened.

d. I understand that violence is not an acceptable way to express anger. If I get angry I will ask an adult to help me resolve the situation.

4. I agree to respect other people’s emotional space. This means:

a. I understand that any form of bullying is not acceptable, even if it is mild or playful.

b. I will not say things meant to hurt other people’s feelings. If I’m really frustrated with someone, I will ask an adult to help me resolve the situation.

c. I will not use words meant to hurt other people’s feelings. I will not use words that single out others based on their appearance, race, religion, background, or personal preferences.

d. If anyone says anything to me that makes me feel unsafe or uncomfortable, I will advocate for myself by telling them to stop, and I will ask an adult for help.

e. If someone asks me to stop what I’m saying, or expresses in any way that they don’t like the way that I’m talking to them, I will stop.

f. I will not use bad words.

g. I understand that emotional space includes talking in person, on the phone, using email, and texting.

5. I understand that TSBVI staff are here to help me. I will talk to staff members if I have a problem.

6. I agree to respect other people’s property. This means:

a. I will ask for permission to use things that don’t belong to me, whether they belong to other students or TSBVI. I understand that taking something that doesn’t belong to me without asking is stealing, and stealing is against the rules.

b. If I need something that I don’t have I will ask an adult to help me get it.

c. I will use school property only for its intended purpose.

d. If something breaks, I will take responsibility by immediately notifying an adult.

7. I have read and signed the Student Acceptable Use of Technology Agreement. I understand that:

a. I will use electronic devices appropriately, including my personal phone, tablet, computer, etc. and any devices that belong to TSBVI. Appropriate use means not using them during meetings or instructional activities (unless approved for instructional purposes), and not using them after the dorm curfew. I understand that if I violate this rule, my phone or tablet may be confiscated, and my parents may be called.

b. I will not post pictures of myself or other students or share personal information about myself or other students online. This includes all forms of social media like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.

c. I will not participate in any inappropriate activities online.

d. I will not communicate with anyone that I don’t know online unless an adult knows about it and approves.

e. I will immediately report any requests for identifying information (my name, location, etc.) or any other inappropriate online communication to a TSBVI staff member.

8. I will not engage in inappropriate physical contact with anyone while attending TSBVI.
I understand that appropriate displays of affection with other willing students while at TSBVI are limited to holding hands and side-hugs.

9. I will attend school and residential activities on time and observe curfews in the dormitory.

10. I will not have or use alcohol, drugs, or tobacco products on or off school property.

11. I will not have any weapons or dangerous objects.
This includes pocket knives, and I will not weaponize any object, even playfully.

I understand that:

1. Violation of any of these rules could result in me talking with the principal or being sent home.
2. I may be required to pay for any property that I damage and may receive consequences for that behavior.
3. My parents may be notified of disciplinary action taken by school officials, even if I am over the age of 18.
4. I have the right to appeal any disciplinary action that I disagree with to the principal and superintendent.

Before Summer Programs Attendance (Prevention)

  1. Involve children in the decision to spend time away from home.A sad cloud with rain drops falling down

  2. Educate children, almost everyone misses something about home, it’s normal.

  3. Practice being away from home (such as overnight visits with grandparents).

  4. Practice corresponding (emails provide an opportunity to feel closer to home).

  5. Learn about the new environment with your child.

  6. Get to know the people in the new environment.

  7. Encourage children to make new friends.

  8. Refrain from expressing your own anxiety about the time away from home to your child (parents can share their own separation anxiety with other adults).

  9. Use a calendar with your child to maintain objectivity about their real length of time away from home.  

  10. Tell your child you want them to have fun. Be enthusiastic and optimistic about your child’s away from home experience.


Remedies for Homesickness (Intervention)

  1. Do something fun, such as play with friends, to forget about homesick feelings.

  2. Do something to feel closer to home (write an email, look at family photos, write a family experience story).

  3. Talk to someone who can help you feel better (counselor, teacher, friend).

  4. Think about the fun things you will be doing at camp, the things you enjoy.

  5. Remember your time away from home is actually pretty short (use a calendar).

  6. Think about what your loved ones would say to you to help you feel better and be successful at attending summer programs.

  7. Bring a little bit of home with you (favorite stuffed animal, blanket, pillow).

  8. Keep busy (you’ll have less time to feel homesick if you keep busy with friends and activities).

  9. Don’t dwell on home and loved ones at the times of the day when you might be or feel the most alone (bedtime, quiet time).


Do’s (and maybe a couple of don’ts)

  1. Cartoon of a happy cloud with a rainbowDo tell your child that you believe in their ability to stay at summer programs until the final day.  This will increase your child’s possibility of success!  

Demonstrates your confidence in the child’s ability to cope.

Does not plant the seed of homesickness.

Does not point the child to an escape route which bypasses coping strategies.

Does not paralyze enthusiastic and supportive teachers and staff who may be told by a child, “My parents said I could come home early if I didn’t like it here”.   

  1. Do speak to your child by phone, if you must, prior to a fun activity instead of right before bed when they will feel the most alone. The TSBVI residential instructor can help you find the perfect time.

  2. Do remember that talking about homesickness prior to departure does not cause homesickness. Preparation is the key to success.

  3. Do speak to staff if you are having concerns about your child’s homesickness and give them time to intervene.

  4. Do remember that this time away from home is not the best opportunity for a drug holiday for your child.



The following guidelines describe procedures for the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired to provide financial support to local school districts when their students attend a Short-Term Program (STP) class at TSBVI.

Modes of Travel and Payment Procedures

Students typically travel to TSBVI and home again using one of the following modes of transportation:

TSBVI Weekends Home Buses:
Students may ride one of the TSBVI Weekends Home buses to or from TSBVI whenever the buses are scheduled to run. There is no cost to the district or family.

Public Transportation by airplane:
When students travel to or from TSBVI by plane, TSBVI will purchase the ticket after consultation with the local district and/or parent. There is no cost to the district or family.

Public Transportation by Greyhound bus:
When students travel to or from TSBVI by bus, the local district will purchase the ticket after consultation with TSBVI (about appropriate travel times) and the parent. The district may request reimbursement for this expense after the trip is complete by submitting an invoice for the total cost to our Business Office (attn: Cindy Adcock). The invoice must be submitted within 30 days of the completion of the class for which it applies. Be sure the student gets to the station in enough time to get a seat, because having a ticket does not guarantee a seat.

Personal Transportation (parent, school, or other private arrangements:
Local districts should provide reimbursement to the driver in accordance with their own local procedures. The district may request reimbursement for mileage after the trip is complete by submitting an invoice for the total cost to our Business Office (attn: Cindy Adcock) at 1100 W. 45th St., Austin TX 78756. The invoice must be submitted within 30 days of the completion of the class for which it applies.


Additional Considerations

1. TSBVI will not reimburse costs associated with getting to the transportation pick-up and drop-off points. This includes, for example, travel to get to the TSBVI van or to get to the airport or Greyhound bus station.

2. TSBVI will not pay a more expensive choice for transportation if an effective and efficient alternative is available. For example, if a TSBVI van travels within 50 miles of a student’s home, payment will not be provided if the student chooses instead to take the plane or be driven by family. Similarly, TSBVI will not reimburse districts that decide to transport students in their own bus if a more economical transportation method is available. If parents have a rationale for their child to use a more expensive form of transportation, they can discuss this with the Short-Term Programs principal.

3. TSBVI will not pay for an escort to accompany a student for any form of travel.


November 2012

Packing: All luggage and containers carrying items the student brings, such as bags, backpacks, school equipment and materials, must be clearly marked with the student’s name. As much as possible, all loose items should be packed together, rather than as loose separate items. Please do not use open-top grocery shopping bags.

Spending Money: Each student may bring $10 for spending money to cover the cost of extracurricular, off-campus activities and personal spending, but this is a family decision and is purely optional. We are unable to cash checks or money orders, so please send cash.

Medications: Please send any medications your child may need to take while at TSBVI. All medications must be sent in their originally labeled containers.  Unlabeled or hand-labeled medications are prohibited by TSBVI nursing staff.  Medications will be given exactly as specified on the label.

If your child requires a rescue or emergency medication such as, diastat, epi-pen, inhaler, and/or solu-cortef, it must come with your child properly labeled. Failure to have this medication will result in your child being sent home. 

Homework: (for academic classes only)

Clothing/Supplies:  Below is a suggested list of items. Classroom dress is informal, but neat and appropriate.  Please send enough clothing for the full number of instructional days, as students will not  have the opportunity to do laundry.  Include shoes that can be worn in the gym. Please send clothing that is appropriate for the season.  

TOILET ARTICLES: (Personal hygiene/toilet articles are not provided by TSBVI)

  • Deodorant
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Razor
  • Brush and comb
  • Shampoo and soap
  • Hair dryer, if needed
  • Sunscreen if needed

CLOTHING: (Cut-offs, short-shorts, and biking shorts may not be worn to class)

  • Jeans and/or slacks
  • Shirts/blouses
  • Skirts/dresses as appropriate
  • Shorts if appropriate for weather
  • Shoes (tennis or athletic shoes are strongly recommended)
  • Shower thongs
  • Slippers
  • Bathing suit (if appropriate for season)
  • Underwear
  • Socks
  • Pajamas
  • Robe


  • Backpack
  • Wallet/purse
  • Eyeglasses
  • Coat, warm hat, gloves (if appropriate for the season)
  • Windbreaker, light jacket
  • Raincoat or poncho
  • Sunglasses, sun hat
  • Portable technology currently used in classes


  • Batteries, for equipment/toys/radios
  • Radio
  • Clock
  • Ipod

Personal items such as toys, stuffed animals, family photos or any other items which may help reduce periods of homesickness are strongly recommended.