We serve Blind and Low-Vision students with tailored educational programming to meet their individual IEP goals.
Our on-campus program works with students aged 3 to 21, and we serve children from birth to 21 years old in their home communities and local school systems through our Outreach programming and the Maryland Instructional Resource Center.
Early Learning Program
The Preschool and Kindergarten program serves children, ages three through five years of age. The purpose of the program is to promote readiness for school-age programs in the most integrative setting possible. Typically developing students, without disabilities, are included as an integral part of the daily program. Activities and materials from the curriculum are modified to meet the Maryland Early Learning Standards and support the development and learning of all students.
The program is licensed through the Office of Child Care.
1st -12th Grade
Students are placed according to their individual needs. Direct instruction in functional academic skills as well as in the areas of the Expanded Core Curriculum for students who are blind or low vision. It is designed to address specific skill needs of students, address learning issues and facilitate a successful return to their local school system.
Our program follows an academic curriculum based on the Maryland College and Career Ready Standards.
What we believe
At MSB, we believe that we have a responsibility to students, families and the state of Maryland to support the most appropriate educational placement of students with vision loss, ages birth to 21.
At MSB, we believe that many students are best served among their peers in their neighborhood schools, and we support this by providing a wide spectrum of services year-round via our Outreach Department.
At MSB, we believe that placement at our school should be considered when data from the Local Education Agency (county or non-public placement) and the IEP Team is determined to be in support of a specialized school placement.
MSB Application Process
Once the local county IEP team makes a referral to the Maryland School for the Blind, the admissions team will send the IEP team and family the full application. The application has sections for the parents/guardians and LEA representative from the IEP team to fill out.
The application will contain additional documentation that is required for an admission review such as the current IEP, assessments and medical forms.
Once all documents have been turned in to MSB, the student will enter a review process.
The possible outcomes of the review are:
- Enrollment Recommended: We have everything we need and will schedule with the county on an enrollment date.
- Deferred Decision: We cannot make a decision at this time as we need more information or documentation.
- Enrollment not Recommended: This can happen for various reasons, including but not limited to (a) we do not have enough data to support MSB as the Least Restrictive Environment for this student, (b) this student’s vision needs are not sufficient to require this placement, or (c) the student has additional needs that cannot be met at MSB.
There is no tuition and no cost to the family of MSB students.
You may initiate this process by filling out the referral form. Most referrals come to us from your Local Education Agency. All students must undergo an admissions process at MSB, which involves your students IEP team, school and health paperwork, and evaluation and review by the Admissions Team.
Yes. Many of our students are working on the requirements to obtain a high school diploma, including passing the required state assessments, as part of our Pre-K-12th grade Academic Program. MSB does serve students with additional disabilities in programs that focus on life skills. MSB also has an Early Learning Inclusion Program that serves students from Pre-K to Kindergarten who are learning alongside typical peers.
No. more than 70 percent of MSB students are day students and return home every evening. Residential students go home every weekend. The residential program is only open when school is in session, 185 days per year. Students reside in their homes on weekends, during major holidays, and during school closings.
Absolutely! In fact, this is encouraged so that parents can see what their children are capable of doing and learn strategies to help their child continue using these skills at home.
Of course! We welcome you to visit our campus and see the programs we have to offer. You can also view our virtual tour anytime.
How to make a referral for Special Education Services
- A parent/guardian makes a written referral at the public school the child is currently attending.
- The special education team at the school meets with the guardian and, if the team agrees, requests assessments.
- For special education services based on a visual impairment, eligibility is not based on a doctor’s recommendation or documentation, but rather on how the visual impairment impacts the student’s education. A Teacher of the Visually Impaired (TVI) will be called in to assess the student and make recommendations. Some children only require accommodations and modifications to the classroom environment, while others will require special education services.
- The IEP (Individualized Education Plan) team will meet to discuss the findings and make recommendations.
- If the student begins to receive services through an IEP, they will be provided with a TVI in their current school. This is the ideal situation that most students benefit from.
- If the student receives special education services through an IEP in their school and this is not sufficient to meet their vision needs and allow them to access their education, the IEP team should meet and make a referral to the Maryland School for the Blind. This should be based on data and after trying multiple options of service delivery, keeping in mind that MSB is a more restrictive placement.