Student entrepreneurs enjoy Mini-Economy Day

Dozens of children and adults clambered over tables in Liberty Elementary School’s cafeteria last week after participating in the school’s annual Mini Economy Day where squishy stress balls, glove buddies, key chains and other products developed and sold by nearly 100 students littered the floor.

But the products were just the most visible part of the mini-economies that students developed in their classrooms over the past months, and while some items may be left behind, their teachers and principals hope the skills and knowledge the students learned will persist.

The mini-economy is a form of economics instruction in which students participate in a classroom economy in order to simulate real world economic activity. In a mini-economy, students earn play money in a variety of ways and spend it at a class market operated by their classmates.

The mini-economy program teaches students about entrepreneurship, economics, and government through establishing a unique classroom currency, performing classroom jobs and starting their own classroom business.

Students determine needed resources and purchase them, calculate expenses and profits, apply for classroom business licenses and even convert between currencies when they come to Market Day, which has its own currency and exchange rate to the classroom money.

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Nominations sought for the Wall of Fame

The Liberty Central School District is currently accepting nominations for its Wall of Fame, which the district established to honor outstanding Liberty alumni who have made a lasting contribution to the district. Nominees will be judged on exceptional accomplishments or significant contributions within their school, community or personal life.

Inductee(s) will have a plaque displayed on the Wall of Fame, located in the David E. Panebaker Auditorium lobby at Liberty High School. The district will recognize the honorees during a special ceremony and breakfast reception prior to graduation in June.

The district will accept nominations until 3 p.m. Jan. 27, 2017.

Do you know someone who deserves to be honored on the Liberty Wall of Fame? Nominate them!

Nomination forms are also available at the District Office, 115 Buckley St., Liberty. Contact Alyssa Pagano at 845-292-5400 ext. 2055 for more information.

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Boilers now working properly following overnight malfunction

The heat is back on at Liberty High School, but it will take some time for temperatures to rise back to normal. The boilers turned off at some point last night, causing temperatures to drop to the mid-fifties.

The problem was discovered just before start of the school day, and technicians were immediately called in to repair and restart the heating system. Students are being permitted to wear their coats in school until normal temperatures are reached.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the superintendent’s office at (845) 292-6990.

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Stairwell temporarily blocked off for valve repair

On Friday, Dec. 16 at approximately 10 a.m., two custodial workers from Liberty High School repaired a leaking pipe located above the stairwell in school’s 200-wing.

The problem was discovered around 9:50 a.m., and the custodial crew was immediately called in to repair a worn out gasket, which was determined to be the source of the leak.

The stairwell was cleaned and reopened by 10:30 a.m.

In light of recent discussion on social media regarding a frozen pipe explosion, we feel that it is important for community members to have a clear understanding of what actually took place. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Superintendent’s Office at (845) 292-6990.

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District welcomes McKinney Vento Act Grant Coordinator

Resources available for students in temporary housing

One of the hardest parts about Dr. Debra Fuchs Nadeau’s job is trying to change the mental image that most of us think of when we hear the word “homeless.”

Many of us visualize an older man or woman, sitting outside and holding up a sign,” she said. “But that’s not always the case.”

As the McKinney Vento Act Grant Coordinator for Students in Temporary Housing for the Liberty Central School District, Dr. Fuchs Nadeau is responsible for helping students who are living in temporary housing work through the challenges and stressors of homelessness – but that’s not to say the students and families she works with are actually out on the street.

Family homelessness takes many forms. The term “homeless children and youth” includes students who:
• lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence;
• continually spend the night at a friend or family members home or live in hotels, motels, trailer parks or camping grounds;
• live in emergency or transitional shelters, are abandoned in hospitals, awaiting foster care placement; or
• otherwise does not have a fixed, regular or adequate nighttime residence with proper sleeping accommodations.

Families of students who meet the eligibility requirements should contact Dr. Fuchs Nadeau to discuss your rights and protections under this federal program, which include:
• the right to either remain in their school of origin or to attend school where they are temporarily residing;
• assistance in obtaining records from previously attended schools;
• full participation in all school sponsored events and programs; and
• immediate enrollment in the school’s free breakfast and lunch program.
As coordinator, Dr. Fuchs Nadeau assists the Student Services Department in ensuring that the needs of students in temporary living situations are met.

Although Dr. Fuchs Nadeau said she believes the number of students living in temporary housing is rising—both at Liberty and in districts across the state—it can be difficult to get an accurate assessment of how many students are in need.

The Liberty Central School District, with the support of McKinney Vento grant funds, regularly tracks homeless youths in order to give them the help that they need, from school supplies, personal care supplies and laundry vouchers to mentoring and tutoring.

If you or someone you know could benefit from the assistance under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act, please contact Dr. Fuchs Nadeau (DFuchsnadeau@Libertyk12.org) or Director of Student Services Dr. Kathleen Bressler (KBressler@libertyk12.org.) All information is confidential.

What is the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act?

The McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act is federal legislation that discusses the public education of children and youth experiencing homelessness. Under McKinney-Vento and state law, students are considered homeless if they lack a nighttime residence that is fixed, regular, and adequate.
To help determine if a student is eligible, the school district asks two questions when a student enrolls.
1. Is your current address a temporary living arrangement?
2. Is this temporary living arrangement due to loss of housing or economic hardship?
Eligible students can receive services under the McKinney-Vento Act which entitles them to immediate enrollment in school, transportation, and other services.

If you believe you may qualify for services under the McKinney-Vento Act please contact Dr. Debra Fuchs Nadeau, Coordinator for Students in Temporary Housing at (845) 292-5400 ext. 2309 or the district’s Central Registration office at (845) 292-5400 ext. 2331.

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District receives results of water quality testing at LHS

A letter from Superintendent Dr. William Silver:

As you may know, this September Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a new law that requires public schools in New York to test all water outlets currently or potentially used for drinking or cooking purposes for lead levels.

Per the law, if the lead level from a water outlet exceeds the state’s action level of 15 parts per billion (ppb), the district will take immediate action to remedy the problem. To put this number into perspective, the NYS Department of Health uses the 15 ppb action level to promote remediation of a water outlet rather than to identify a health-based or exposure level.

Like many school districts around the region, Liberty Central School District test results show elevated levels of lead in several water outlets. At this point, we now have preliminary results for all three schools. The results are available on the district’s website, www.libertyk12.org.

At Liberty High School, 189 water sources were tested and 33 showed elevated levels of lead, most of which were sinks in the science labs.

As a precaution, all of the affected sinks have signs posted on them and all of the drinking fountains have been shut off. The district will collaborate with engineers and environmental specialists to determine next steps, which could include the replacement or remediation of water pipes and fixtures. As a follow-up, additional water tests will be conducted to determine if the replacement/remediation was successful.

The health and safety of students and staff is a top priority for the Liberty Board of Education and school administration. We will continue to test all our school buildings and will keep you updated as we learn more.

According to the EPA, lead in drinking water is rarely the sole cause of lead poisoning. Additionally, human skin does not absorb lead in water so even if water contains lead over the state’s action level, it is safe for hand washing, cleaning, or science applications. For more information about lead levels and drinking water, visit the EPA’s website.

Please be assured we are taking the necessary steps to address the situation and to ensure the safety of our students and staff throughout the district.

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Expressions Café turns cafeteria into a coffee house

Dozens of students, parents and community members enjoyed coffee house treats and the talents of Liberty High School students at the first Expressions Café of the 2016-17 school year on Dec. 1.

Expressions Café is a free, non-censored, open mic night and photography show organized by the Liberty High School Art Department. It is open to all student poets, musicians, artists and performers and seeks to provide a welcome space for artistic expression, experimentation and development across all genres. Artists of all levels and mediums who seek to share their creative work are encouraged to take part.

For more information about Expressions Café and upcoming events, contact Kathleen Lambert-Johansen at KJohansen@libertyk12.org.

“This is the first year in Expressions history that we’ve welcomed so many new performers,” she said. “We want to keep that going!”

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Schooltool mobile app available

Schooltool has announced the creation of a Mobile App which allows
parents to access their Parent Portal account from their
Smartphones.

Parents and legal guardians of Liberty students have the ability
to access school-related information about their children through
a web-based application called Parent Portal. Parent Portal is an
extension of the district’s current student database system,
Schooltool.

The information that is accessible through Parent Portal includes
schedules, grades, progress reports, report cards, attendance
records and, in some cases, class assignments. Parents can also
e-mail teachers directly from Parent Portal pages if they have
questions or comments.

The district is excited to announce that parents and students in
all grades will now be able to access Parent Portal through their
smart phones. Get assignments, grades and attendance information
instantly in one view.

The mobile app can be downloaded at the following links:

Once the app is downloaded, enter the following URL:
https://st-ly.mhric.org/liberty/
Your username and password is the same as the one used for the
Parent Portal website

For parents: In order to access the Parent Portal
mobile app, you must be an existing Parent Portal account holder.
Not registered for Parent Portal?
C
ontact your child’s school main office.

For students: In order to access the Parent
Portal mobile app, you must have activated your Google account
through your school.

Set up and activation for the schooltool Parent Portal creation is
an ongoing process. We ask for your patience as the district
diligently works toward getting accounts established.

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Liberty Elementary School honors and thanks veterans

During a Wednesday morning assembly at Liberty Elementary School, students gathered to honor and thank local community veterans.

Third- and fourth- grade students greeted each veteran as they entered through an honorary arch of flags.* Following a short breakfast reception, veterans were introduced and presented with hand-made gifts and songs.

During the assembly, elementary school principal Jackie Harris explained that it has been a school goal to demonstrate more patriotism and as such, every class sings patriotic songs such as this one after saying the Pledge of Allegiance at the start of each school day.

Students and teachers lined the gymnasium floor waving flags, singing songs, shaking hands, and most importantly thanking the men and women for their service.

Thank you to the following veterans for coming to the school’s celebration:

• Billy Bivins
• Chris Constant
• Christopher DaSilva
• Arthur Flynn
• Robert Gruedfender
• Bruce F. Grund
• Elijah J. Henderson Jr.
• Aaron John
• Clarence Kratz
• Felix Marty
• Scott Michael
• Regina Murphy
• Robert Owens
• Randy Peers
• Jim Pozzani
• Timothy Smith
• Alan Wilinken
• Jennifer Williams
• Toby Williams

*Liberty Elementary School would also like to thank the VFW Post 5808 for donating the flags to the third- and fourth-grade classes. As a lovely surprise, students were able to keep to the flag they waved during the veterans’ entrance.

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Sugar skulls sweeten Hispanic tradition

Honoring those who have died, connecting with their spirits and enjoying each other’s company, this is the theme of a well-known Mexican holiday.

Liberty Middle School students from Señora Canola-Murphy’s class celebrated those who have come before last week with a Day of the Dead celebration.

Señora Canola-Murphy says the celebration takes students away from a traditional classroom environment, but it is a wonderful opportunity to learn through a hands-on approach.

Every year, Señora Canola-Murphy incorporates Day of the Dead into her lessons and this year the tradition continued – with a twist!

Students had the opportunity to make authentic Mexican sugar skulls but also got to pick the brain of pastry pro Kim Simons and helped her decorate a large cake.

During each class, Senora shared a little history of the Day of the Dead and demonstrated how to decorate a sugar skull to take home. Stations were set up with piping bags of icing, sprinkles, glitter and colored sugar for students to add some shimmer and individuality to their designs.

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