School Budget 101

Want to learn the fundamentals of how the district builds its
proposed budget each year?

View the Budget 101 video:

The annual school district budget vote and Board of Education
elections will be held from 12-9 p.m. on Tuesday, May 17 at the
Liberty High School Gymnasium, 115 Buckley Street, Liberty.

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New vaccination requirements

New York state now requires students entering seventh and 12th
grades to be vaccinated against meningococcal disease.

Does your child need to be vaccinated before the start of the
2016-17 school year to meet this requirement?
The answer depends on more than just your child’s age and grade
level. When, or if, a child has previously been vaccinated for
meningococcal disease will determine when shots will be necessary
under the state’s new requirements that go into effect Sept. 1,

• One dose of meningococcal vaccine before seventh grade. If a
student had the first dose as a sixth grader, then another dose is
not required until grade 12.

• A total of two doses are required before grade 12. Most students
entering grade 12 received their first dose when they were younger
and will be due for their second dose, or booster. This booster is
needed because protection from the vaccine decreases over time.

• The only teens who will not need a second dose before grade 12
are those who received their first dose on or after their 16th

Parents are encouraged to check with their children’s physicians
prior to the start of the new school year to determine when or if
they need to be vaccinated.

In October, Gov. Andrew Cuomo approved a law that requires
immunizations against meningococcal disease for children at ages
11 or 12 and again at 16 years of age or older, as recommended by
the national Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.

Students not up-to-date will not be allowed to attend school until
they are vaccinated.

Meningococcal disease is a severe bacterial infection that can
lead to meningitis (inflammation of the lining covering the brain
and spinal cord) and bloodstream infections such as septicemia.
Symptoms of the disease include a high fever, headache, vomiting,
a stiff neck and a rash. The meningococcus bacterium is treatable
with antibiotics, but each year it causes approximately 2,500
infections and 300 deaths in the United States. Those who contract
the disease may experience permanent brain damage, hearing loss,
kidney failure, loss of arms or legs, or chronic nervous system

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found the
highest rates of meningococcal disease to be among preteens,
teens, and young adults, as well as among infants with certain
medical conditions. The new law targets many in this age group and
aligns with the CDC’s recommendation to vaccinate 11- to
18-year-olds against meningococcal disease.

Learn more about meningococcal disease and the meningococcal
disease vaccine at the links below:

Meningococcal disease information (Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention)

Meningococcal disease fact sheet (New York State Department of

Childhood and Adolescent Immunizations (New York State
Department of Health)

Recommended vaccinations for children aged 11-19 years (New York State Department of Health)

State law requiring immunizations against meningococcal disease
(New York State Assembly)

Copyright 2016, Capital Region BOCES School Communications
Portfolio; All rights reserved. For more information or permission
to use, call 518-464-3960.

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State designates Liberty as a Focus District

The New York State Education Department recently notified the Liberty Central School District that it is has been designated as a Focus District and is eligible for extra support and services to meet student needs.

The state evaluates the performance of schools across the state, and Focus Districts and Focus Schools are among the lowest performing on the grades 3-8 English language arts and math state assessments. In addition to the district designation, both Liberty Elementary School and Liberty Middle School have been identified as Focus Schools.

“As a district with focus schools, we will concentrate our school improvement efforts on closing achievement gaps in order to help all students reach their learning potential,” Superintendent Dr. William Silver said. “Additionally, our faculty and staff will be offered professional development sessions on quality instructional practices, how to support student behavior positively, and how to be culturally sensitive to our students to support their learning.”

The state bases the district and school designations on the performance of specific sub-groups of students in grades 3-8 on English language arts and math state assessments. These sub-groups include racial or ethnic groups, low-income students, English language learners (ELL) and students with disabilities.

The Focus designations for Liberty Central School District and its elementary and middle schools were given to the following specific subgroups:

  •  Liberty Central School District: “Economically Disadvantaged” and “Students with Disabilities”
  • Liberty Middle School: “Black,” “Economically Disadvantaged,” and “Students with Disabilities”
  • Liberty Elementary School: “Economically Disadvantaged,” “Hispanic”

As newly identified Focus District and Focus Schools, administrators will be required to develop a District Comprehensive Improvement and School Comprehensive Education Plan, undergo a visit and review from the State Education Department and will receive funds to improve the assessment and graduation rates of four state-identified subgroups: “Black,” “Hispanic,” “Economically Disadvantaged,” and “Students with Disabilities.”

While the state designations are determined on a single state assessment that happens at only one point in the school year, the district uses several measures throughout the school year, including state assessment results, to ensure that students are making academic progress, Dr. Silver said.

The district will collaborate with the state in closely monitoring the growth of students the state identified as at risk of falling behind in school.

“We are proud of our district, our students and their achievements and will continue to work diligently to prepare all students for success in their path to become responsible citizens of the 21st century,” Dr. Silver said.

For additional information about the district’s Focus designation, please contact your child’s school principal.

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MathCON motivates students

Math isn’t usually a favorite subject for most, but several students
at Liberty Middle/High School say that a little competition helped
change their tune.

In February, students recently took part in the initial round of
MathCON to test their knowledge.

MathCon is a national math competition for students in grades 5-12
across the United States. The 700 top-scoring students get invited
to compete in the final round of MathCon 2016 in Chicago.

133 Liberty students competed, along with approximately 42,000
other students across the United States. The following students
were given Honorable Mention:

Grade 7
John Nolan
Tyler Black

Grade 8

Jarod Hellerer
Balvina Garcia
Destiny Pearson
Ean Blank
Eun Bin Kim
Gabriella Fontana

Grade 9
Kelsey Morgans
Asabelle Fleischman

Grade 10
Britany Clark

Grade 11
Joseph Decker
Joseph Greco

Grade 12
Patrick Burke
McKinnley Conklin
Jessica Hewlett
Danielle Rabadi

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Rotary honors teacher, BOE member

The Liberty Rotary Club has announced that it will honor Liberty
High School teacher Penny Medina and Liberty Board of Education
member Daniel Parkhurst during its Annual Recognition Brunch on
Sunday, April 3 from 1-3 p.m. at the New Hope Community Banquet Hall
in Loch Sheldrake, New York.

Mrs. Medina will be one of four recipients of the Hummingbird
Award, which honors individuals who demonstrate that one single
person can make a difference in everyday life. The Hummingbird
Award stems from a fable about a devoted hummingbird who “does
what it can” by attempting to extinguish a fire with just one drop
at a time. As adviser of the district’s Interact Club, she
consistently works tirelessly to improve her part of the world and
encourages her students and peers to do the same.

Mr. Parkhurst will be one of five recipients being recognized as
the club’s newest Paul Harris fellows. The Paul Harris Fellow
recognition acknowledges individuals who contributed at least
$1,000 to the Rotary Foundation of Rotary International.

These donations, as well as Sunday’s brunch, will go toward the
club’s Haiti Clean Water Project, which helps provide clean
potable water to Haitian families in need.

Suggested donation for the brunch is $15 per person. Additional
donations will be accepting for the club’s clean water project.
RSVPs are due by Monday, March 28.

To purchase a ticket or request more information, please contact
Liberty Rotary Club Treasurer Gary Siegel at (845) 798-2188 or

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BOE elections on May 17

On Tuesday, May 17, Liberty Central School District voters will
choose three district residents to serve on the Liberty Board of
Education from July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2019.

Residents must collect at least 25 signatures from qualified
school district voters to be placed on the ballot. Petitions must
be filed by 5 p.m. April 18, 2016 in the district clerk’s office,
115 Buckley Street, Liberty. Contact District Clerk Tania DeFrank
at (845) 292-6990 for a nominating petition.

The three seats for re-election are currently held by Andrew
Kavleski, John Nichols and Philip Olsen.

The Liberty Board of Education is comprised of nine school
district residents elected by voters. Each board member is elected
to a three-year term. Board members are not financially

The Board is the official policy-making body of the school
district. It is responsible for carrying out the laws and
regulations pertaining to the education of children living within
the district. The Board adopts district policy, curriculum,
programs of study, and approves the hiring of all personnel, as
well as establishing the conditions of employment.The Board is
also responsible for maintaining district facilities, establishing
an annual budget, and setting a tax levy.

To qualify for Board membership, an individual must be:

1. able to read and write;

2. a citizen of the United States;

3. at least 18 years of age;

4. a qualified voter of the district; and

5. a resident of the school district for at least one year prior
to election.

No employee of the school district may be a member of the Board,
except as permitted by law. No more than one member of a family
shall be a member of the same Board of Education.

For more information, contact District Clerk Tania DeFrank at (845) 292-6990 or

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Making reading fun

Making reading fun for middle school students can often be a tall
order. Reading may be one of the most important skills students
learn, but not every student learns to read the same way.

As young children grow increasingly immersed in digital devices,
creative teachers from Liberty Middle School are proving there are
plenty of great ways to get children excited about reading on
their own for fun.

Take Heidi Wodjat, for example. As an AIS reading teacher, her
primary goal is to make reading an easy, engaging and enjoyable
experience for students.

“It’s important to me that I show my students that reading can be
fun. My biggest goal is that students say they enjoy reading
before they leave my classroom,” Mrs. Wodjat said.

Currently, her students are learning how to infer. When readers
infer, they use their prior knowledge and textual clues to draw
conclusions and form unique interpretations of text. Using clues
to “read between the lines” helps a reader reach a deeper

Using single stripes of color to represent each ingredient, artist
Dan Kenneally creates abstract paintings of well-known sandwiches
which requires the viewer to draw inferences to discover which
sandwich is featured.

Following this activity and using the same concept in reading, students
from Mrs. Wodjat’s class are learning how to infer so that they
can go below the surface details to see what is actually implied
within the words of the story.

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New WOF inductees chosen

Liberty Central School District is pleased to announce that trio of
distinguished Liberty High School alumni are set to be inducted into
the district’s Wall of Fame this June.

Dr. Austin H. Cantor, Dr. Michael Schwartz and Mr. Melvin I. Urofsky
will be honored June 25 at 8 a.m. for their various achievements
during and after their time at Liberty High School.

The induction ceremony will be held outside the David E. Panebaker
Auditorium at Liberty High School, followed by the Class of 2016
Commencement Ceremony.

Dr. Cantor, a member of the class of 1960, is an
author, researcher and Associate Professor at the University of
Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. He is best
known for his research in selenium nutrition for poultry, the use
of enzymes in poultry diets and the effect of enzymes and organic
sources of trace minerals on egg production, shell quality and
bone strength.

Dr. Schwartz, class of 1977, is an oral surgeon
specializing in temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder and cancer
reconstruction at The New York Center for Orthognathic and
Maxillofacial Surgery (NYCOMS). Dr. Schwartz has also taken part
in several missions to Latin America, where he provides essential
oral surgical services to those in need.

Dr. Urofsky, class of 1957, is an author, lecturer and professor of law and public policy and professor emeritus of history at Virginia Commonwealth University. Urofsky is best known for his award-winning book, Louis D. Brandeis: A Life, which took 45 years to write. He is the recipient of the
National Jewish Book Award and Ambassador Book Award, among many

The Wall of Fame is located in the lobby of the David E. Panebaker
Auditorium at Liberty High School, and plaques honoring the
inductees will be mounted there.

The Wall of Fame was created and developed in 2011 by the Liberty
Board of Education as a way to honor highly successful Liberty
Central School District alumni, past employees and community
members who have made a lasting and outstanding contribution to
the Liberty Central School District and to the Liberty community.
Inductees are selected by an anonymous committee consisting of
community stakeholders, Board of Education members, faculty and

Nominations will be accepted for the 2017 class beginning in July
and will be accepted and considered on a yearly basis.

For more information about the Wall of Fame, or to learn how to
nominate an individual for next year’s class, please contact
Alyssa Pagano at or 845-292-5400 ext. 2055.

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LHS holds table tennis tournament

Students from Liberty High School celebrated good sportsmanship and
Liberty legacy at the school’s annual ping pong and badminton
tournament on Thursday, February 25.

The tournament, hosted by the high school’s athletic department,
is an annual fundraiser for the Ron Francisco Scholarship that is
given every year to the student who best embodies a true sense of

“Ron Francisco was a Liberty physical education teacher who
embodied the spirit of physical education,” physical education
teacher Erin Alvord said. “He appreciated the well-rounded student
who gave his or her best effort, demonstrated empathy as well as

The Ron Francisco Scholarship given to a student-athlete who
demonstrates these qualities and served as captain of his/her team
for at least one season. Athletic ability aside, this scholarship
is given to someone who respects physical education and takes it
seriously, explained Alvord.

This year’s tournament raised $130.

Congratulations to ping pong tournament winners Jessalyn Goetz and
Sen Ten Dong and badminton tournament winners Grant Harman and
Shane Black.

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SC BOCES sponsors March Book Madness

Move over sports fans, a new kind of bracket is coming to town. The
Sullivan County BOCES March Book Madness has officially begun.

Book Madness, in the spirit of college basketball’s popular
tournament known as “March Madness,” is literary competition
hosted by Sullivan County BOCES where students across the county
pit title against title and decide which will advance to the next
round. In the end, only one will be left standing.

Several librarians worked to create a bracket of 64 of the latest
and greatest young adult books and have pitted them against each
other in 32 pairings.

Participants can read and vote on their favorite books throughout
the tournament; and winners will advance to the next round until
the final winner is crowned Sullivan County’s favorite book of

March Book Madness is open to students from all schools. Books are
available in the library or online. All brackets are available on

For more information, students should contact their school

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