Student Activities

Student Council

This student organization is open to students in the 7th grade or beyond. In addition to group meetings to develop and set up on campus events and activities, this group also participates in community service projects. For more information, please contact Dr. Jessica Vogel, Superintendent at


In addition to individual and small group music classes, including piano and instrumental training at all levels, students in 7th grade or older also have the opportunity to participate in the annual music contest at NSU, sponsored by the South Dakota High School Activities Association.  For more information, please contact Dr. Jessica Vogel, Superintendent at


The object of this Association is to promote speech training in the secondary schools of the visually impaired and to arrange annually for an interscholastic Forensic Festival. To further this purpose, guidelines of the Association shall specify rules and other data necessary and convenient for the orderly conduct of contests in the following fields of speech: 1) eight-minute speech, 2) four-minute speech, 3) serious interpretation, 4 ) humorous interpretation, 5) poetry reading, 6) Serious prose reading, 7) Humorous Prose Reading, 8) duo, 9) great speeches, 10) impromptu, and 11) open. Visit the NCASB Forensics website at  For more information, please contact Dr. Jessica Vogel, Superintendent at  


Goalball is a game played by two, three-man teams at a time. Each player wears a blindfold while playing the game. The object of the game is to roll the goalball, which has bells in it, past the members of the opposing team and their goal line. When this is accomplished, a goal is scored. For more information, please contact Dr. Jessica Vogel, Superintendent at


Each school year our students participate in the recreational and leisure activity of bowling. Our local bowling alley accommodates us with several afternoons of bowling. Some of our students use bowling ramps and gutter guards, and others bowl without accommodations. Bowling is a lifelong activity all people can do and our students thoroughly enjoy this unit of instruction. For more information, please contact Christy Hulscher at

SPURS (Special People Using Riding Skills)

Our students participate in SPURS during the fall and spring once a week. This program helps students with strength, balance, coordination, self-confidence, stress relief, and the enjoyment of being around horses. SPURS may be integrated with therapy programs in the IEP or as part of SDSBVI adaptive PE classes. For more information, please contact Christy Hulscher at


Our swimming program is offered to elementary and secondary students integrated in our PE classes. We utilize the pool at Northern State University Barnett Center. We work on beginning to advance swimming skills, water aerobics/exercise, and games and leisure. Some of our students compete in Special Olympics or North Central Association of Schools for the Blind competitions. For more information, please contact Christy Hulscher at

Track and Field

September is when our students participate in track and field. Students run on a track with or without a wire, throw the shot put, standing long jump, running long jump, triple jump, and three consecutive jump. We travel either to Minnesota or Kansas schools for the blind for meets. Students must be in the 7 th grade or 14 years old to participate. For more information, please contact Christy Hulscher at

Special Olympics

The SDSBVI takes part in Special Olympics events during the fall and spring of the year. Students participate in bowling at the local and state level in October/November of each year. Currently, both of these tournaments are held in Aberdeen. In the spring students take part in aquatics and track and field events. Students usually attend the city, regional, and state aquatic events, and the regional and state track and field events. Visit the South Dakota Special Olympics website at:  For more information or to volunteer, please contact Katie Fischer at


For more information on any of our residential activities, please contact Heather Steele-Henning at or at 605-626-2016.

Teen Center
Our Teen Center was funded by our Student Council and has music, air hockey, Power Showdown game, and pool table. It is a great place for the students to just hang out.
Playing in the Gym
The students enjoy rollerskating, working out, running/walking, riding bikes in the winter, and building awesome forts.
Game Night
We love to play bingo, cards, and board games; both Braille and large print versions. Computer and Wii games are also a big hit with the students.
Shopping/Treat Night
The students go shopping weekly for things they might need or want and we often end the excursion with a treat at their favorite places.
Movie Marathons
The students love to unwind on Fridays with a movie marathon of their favorite movies and popcorn. The older students compete to see who can stay up the latest!
Playground Fun
Outside play activities on our wonderfully accessible playground.
Sledding and snow shoeing are enjoyed by the students.
Special Outings
We have football and basketball fans and the NSU Athletic Department generously allows our students entry to their games at no cost. We also attend concerts, plays, and other age-appropriate activities for our students. NSU and the Aberdeen community are very good friends to us.
The Shrine Circus is a real favorite with our students. Everyone always wants to ride on the smelly elephants!
The Student Council Overnight Party is the culmination of Student Council activities for the year. The goal is to chow down on good food and stay up as late as you can. The younger students can’t wait until they are old enough to participate in Student Council!
The Arts in the Park festival is held across the road at Melgaard Park in early June. The students love to get their yearly "junk food fix" at the festival while listening to different music acts throughout the weekend.
Going on a trip to Sica Hollow each fall is another favorite with our students. We take a picnic lunch and wander on the hiking trails throughout the park. The trick to truly enjoying the day, in all of its fall glory, is to pick a weekend when the leaves are turning the beautiful reds, greens, and golds for which Sica Hollow is famous.
Eagle Day at Sand Lake National Wildlife Refuge is another special day for our staff and students. We pack lunch and head to the Refuge for their program and hopefully view an eagle or two.
Seasonal parties are a major activity and really anticipated by both students and staff. We kick off the school year with a picnic sponsored by the Aberdeen Lions and Lioness Clubs. The students and staff look forward to reconnecting with the members, but most of all the great food! The students’ favorite activity with the Aberdeen Lions and Lioness Clubs is the annual Christmas pizza party and Santa stopping with gifts makes their Christmas with us very special. In fact, many Lions Clubs around the State are very generous. Through our Christmas Sharing project, students make their own personalized gifts for their buddies in the Aberdeen Lions and Lioness Clubs as well as for their parents.
Saturday night "Glow Bowl" at The Village Bowl is another way for students to have fun and socialize in the community.
All in all, the Residential Program is a busy, safe, and fun place for our students to live and grow.