Summer Programs (Extended School Year)


 ESY School Dates:   June 3 - 20, 2024 (South Dakota Road Trip)
                                        July   8 - 26, 2024 (South Dakota Road Trip)

Questions or inquiries about the Summer Program may be directed to Superintendent Jessica Vogel: or 605-626-7829
The deadline to apply for 2024 Summer Program is April 12.

Week 1:  June 3-7       ECC Focus Topic:  Social Interaction
Week 2:  June 10-14   ECC Focus Topic:  Assistive Technology
Week 3:  June 17-20   ECC Focus Topic:  Sensory Efficiency
Week 4:  July 8-12      ECC Focus Topic:  Self- Determination
Week 5:  July 15-19    ECC Focus Topic:  Independent Living
Week 6:  July 22-26    ECC Focus Topic:  Career Education

Expanded Core Curriculum Training

The curriculum of the Summer Program (ESY) is designed for students who are blind or visually impaired, with emphasis being placed on training in the “Expanded Core Curriculum” skill areas. In addition to the traditional academic subjects, students who are blind or visually impaired need to learn specific skills to better prepare them for independence. During our Summer Program we include many of the following experiences.

Assistive Technology (electronic magnification, screen magnification, screen reading, scanning and reading, iPads, and refreshable Braille)

Career Education (career exploration, job seeking skills, job shadowing, and work experiences)

Compensatory Academic Skills, including communication (skills needed to access the academic curriculum including concept development, spatial awareness, listening skills, communication mode, and modes for reading and writing (Braille, large print, tactile symbols, and recorded materials)

Independent Living Skills (personal hygiene, food preparation, clothing care, shopping, accessing community services, self-advocacy, money management, time management, and organizational skills)

Orientation and Mobility (cane use, community travel, mobility aids, iPhone use, and public transportation)

Recreation and Leisure Skills (fitness, sports, games, boating, bowling, movies, board games, and swimming)

Self-Determination Skills (self-advocacy skills that will help a student develop problem-solving skills to interact effectively with others to get things done)

Sensory Efficiency Skills (learning to use all senses)

Social Interaction Skills (getting along with others)


On-Campus Summer Program

The Extended School Year Summer Program brings together students from across South Dakota who are blind and visually impaired for learning and fun.

  • Students who are blind or visually impaired, ages 6-21, who reside in South Dakota may attend free of charge.  Students residing outside of the state may attend the program in Aberdeen on a tuition basis.
  • Each student’s summer program may be coordinated with their IEP or 504 Plan or provide summer enrichment instruction of the Expanded Core Curriculum (ECC). If your child’s team determines that he/she needs the “Skills of Blindness” to receive a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE), the Summer Program offered at the SDSBVI can be considered as an Extended School Year (ESY) program.
  • A student may attend one week or any combination of one to six weeks.

Information about your child is obtained from our outreach staff or your home school district, so please make sure they have documents before attending the summer program.

  • copy of his/her IEP or 504 Plan
  • copies of most recent evaluations in any of the following areas: Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Orientation & Mobility, Adaptive Physical Education, Speech & Language, Braille & Tactile Skills, Career Exploration, Recreation & Leisure, Activities of Daily Living, Assistive Technology, and Social Interaction Skills

For more information, please contact Dr. Jessica Vogel  at 605-626-2580 or 1-888-275-3814 or by email at



Family Events

Family Weekend:  

The Outreach Vision Consultants, with financial support from the SD Foundation for the Blind and Visually Impaired, plan for the Annual Family Weekend in Aberdeen, SD.  There are activities for the whole family, including guest speakers, hands-on experiences, and much more. 

Family Swim at the Aberdeen Aquatic Center:  

If you would like more information about either family event, contact Julie VanDover at 605-626-7659 or 605-626-2234 or email:

Transition Week

The SD Rehabilitation Center for the Blind (SDRC) in Sioux Falls will be sponsoring a Transition Week. There will be a variety of activities to promote vocational learning, career exploration, and independence with fun-filled evenings. This is a great way to familiarize students to the skills of blindness and career planning. Students will stay in Sioux Falls and attend classes at SDRC.  For more information or to enroll, contact Kiersten Sombke, Transition Specialist at the SDSBVI at 605-626-2995 or 605-626-2234 or by email at or Kellie Hauglid, SBVI Program Specialist at the Rehabilitation Center at 1-800-658-5441 or 605-367-5260 or your SBVI Counselor.