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SECTION 1: HANDBOOK INTRODUCTION

1.1 Welcome Statement

It is a pleasure to welcome you to the Kansas State School for the Blind. To all of you, whether you are a new employee or not, we wish to express our sincere hope that you will find your time here rewarding. Every job is important at KSSB and you will play a key role in the continued growth of our school. We urge you to read this handbook, as it contains a great deal of important information about KSSB, its procedures, programs and benefits. Should you have any questions concerning this handbook, please feel free to discuss them with your Supervisor or Human Resources.

1.2 History of KSSB

The Kansas State School for the Blind (KSSB), governed by the Kansas State Board of Education, is an excellent example of the long-standing commitment by the State of Kansas to special education.

The first organized classes for Kansas blind children was held on October 7, 1867. There were nine children in attendance. By 1900, the enrollment at KSSB had increased to more than 50 students, and with few exceptions, the enrollment has fluctuated from 60 to 80 students. Blindness is the rarest of disabilities and can occur in all age ranges, all socioeconomic and ethnic groups, and at all intellectual levels. Therefore, it is not uncommon for the general public to have had little contact with a person who is blind or visually impaired.

KSSB is located on land in Kansas City, Kansas, formerly owned by the Delaware and Wyandotte Tribes. In 1853, the Wyandotte Tribe purchased 36 sections from the Delaware Tribe. A member of the Wyandotte Tribe, Mr. William Johnson, disposed of his real estate to the original town company. In 1866, the City of Wyandotte deeded the land to the State of Kansas for the purpose of serving the blind.

This agency, in cooperation with other public and private schools, serves as an important part of the continuum of services to the children and youth of Kansas. Admissions are made cooperatively with the student's local school district and the child's parents. There is no charge for tuition or board for Kansas citizens. The local school district is responsible for the transportation costs; however, the State of Kansas refunds a percentage of these costs.

The parents are financially responsible for a nominal annual activity fee (for extracurricular activities, yearbook, and other miscellaneous items), clothing, spending allowances, and other personal items. Should families have need of financial assistance, the request will be reviewed.

At KSSB, students are provided the adapted technique and technology needed to allow them to develop the academic, technical, and social skills which are important to compete in a sighted society.

Although some students board at the school during the Fall and Spring semesters, and possibly for the Extended School Year Program (summer), strong family ties are maintained. Most residential students return home at least twice a month and sometimes more. Students who reside in the local community (day students) are transported home daily during the school year. This agency is very cognizant of the sacrifices made by parents of student boarders. In exchange for sending their child to a residential school, parents have a right to expect that their child receives an intensive education resulting in the ability to live independently in the sighted community. Successful graduates are evidence that this trust has been kept over the years.

1.3 School Vision

"The right help, at the right time, in the right location for students with visual impairments"

1.4 School Mission

KSSB is a catalyst and leader in the development of exemplary programs and practices in vision services in Kansas. We build local capacity throughout the state via strategic partnerships to ensure learners with visual impairments are able to assume responsible roles in society and lead fulfilling lives.

1.5 Handbook Purpose

We feel that employees are happier and more valuable if they know what they can expect from our Agency and what our Agency expects from them. This handbook will familiarize you with the privileges, benefits, and responsibilities of being an employee at KSSB. We expect you to incorporate that information into your day-to-day job performance. Please understand that this Handbook can only highlight and summarize our Agency's procedures and practices.

1.6 Methods of Communication

Important notices and items of general interest are communicated by email and posted on our bulletin boards. These areas are also the place where Human Resources posts important information regarding legal rights, including information about equal employment opportunity laws and wage and hour laws. Make it a practice to review them frequently. This will assist you in keeping up with what is current at KSSB.

1.7 Human Resources Department

The Human Resources Department professionals are available to answer your questions, field your complaints, and assist in making our Agency run more smoothly. In fact, the procedures in this Handbook often refer you to the Human Resources Department for more information or to obtain help. Phone numbers are:

· 913/210-8113 (Voice Only) or 913-645-5358 (Voice or Text) HR Director

· 913/305-3004 KSSB Human Resources Professional II

All employees are required to furnish various documents during their employment with KSSB. Some of these documents are furnished on a one time basis, i.e., social security card, driver's license, etc. All personnel files are reviewed to decide if the required information contained therein is current and meets state and federal guidelines. Employees should understand that misrepresentation or omission of facts on their employment papers is grounds for dismissal. If an employee has questions regarding KSSB and/or the State of Kansas' policies or procedures, it is the employee's responsibility to contact his/her supervisor or the Human Resources Department to clarify or request additional information. Staff is required to abide by all rules and regulations of KSSB.

All employees of the school, not under a letter of employment for a specified time (school year) period, are "employee's at-will" of the school. The school reserves the right to discharge any employee with notice. The contents of this handbook are presented as a matter of information only. While KSSB believes wholeheartedly in the plans, policies, and procedures described herein, they are not conditions of employment. KSSB reserves the right to modify, revoke, suspend, terminate, or change any or all such plans, policies, or procedures, in whole or in part, at any time, with or without notice. The language used in this handbook is not intended to create, nor is it to be construed to constitute, a contract between KSSB and any one or all of its employees. Any policies herein that might be in conflict with state or federal regulations will be superseded by state and federal guidelines. Staff is encouraged to obtain a copy of his/her department policies and to keep all employment information in a safe and accessible place for future reference.