Blind students move in at Janesville school

Wisconsin School for the Blind and Visually Impaired takes students from around the state

Published On: Sep 04 2012 07:06:46 PM CDT   Updated On: Sep 04 2012 07:28:41 PM CDT
JANESVILLE, Wis. -

Students throughout the state are heading back to school, and for students attending the Wisconsin School for the Blind and Visually Impaired in Janesville, Tuesday was also move-in day.

Unpacking boxes and getting one's dorm room ready isn't the typical first day of school for a 16-year-old.

"I'm looking forward to doing school work and just being with friends and stuff," said high school student Colton Albrecht.

For five years, Albrecht has been an active student at the Wisconsin School for the Blind and Visually Impaired in Janesville.

"Last year, I did student council, yearbook, forensics. I did the play, wrestling, goal ball, track; that's about it," Albrecht said.

Despite his busy class schedule and after-school activities, it's tough for the oldest of five to be away from his home in Monona Grove.

"I come down on Wednesdays to eat dinner with him, and I have to schedule a time to do it because he's so busy," said his mom, Holly Albrecht-Holt. "Preparing to leave him is so difficult, bur knowing that he's going to be in an awesome location it fills my heart, and I know he's going to be OK."

After registering for classes and reuniting with his roommate, Albrecht said he's ready to start his junior year.

"I brought the Playstation, but I forgot the games at home. I'm kind of sad about that. But I brought stuff, so it feels like I'm at home," he said.

Albrecht and the other students go home every weekend to be with their families.

Principal Patrick Byrnes said the school typically has 50-60 students ranging from kindergarten through high school.

He said students come from all over the state. The school's curriculum goes beyond the classroom to include some life skills, such as how to get dressed, cook meals and get around using a cane.