District confirms case of scabies at LES

On Thursday, Sept. 28, district officials were informed that a student at Liberty Elementary School has a confirmed case of scabies.

Scabies is an infestation of the skin by a human itch mite. These mites burrow under the person’s skin where it lives and lays its eggs. The mite is transferred person to person by PROLONGED contact of the skin to another person. Prolonged, meaning, people who sleep together, household members and sometimes people who share towels (athletes), bedding.

Scabies usually is expected when there is a rash and intense itching. It is curable, but you have to get a prescription from your doctor after the doctor gives the diagnosis of scabies. There is no “over-the-counter” medication for this. Sometimes it may take a couple of treatments to totally cure the infestation. All people in the home of a person that has been diagnosed need to be treated.

If you suspect you or your child may have scabies, please contact your doctor and be tested. If you have any questions, please feel free to call Sullivan County Public Health Services at (845) 292-5910 or your primary health care provider.

This notification, along with the following information on symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of scabies will be sent home to all parents.

Symptoms

The primary symptom of scabies is severe itching, which often is so bad that it keeps people awake at night. The itching is caused as the female mite burrows into the skin, lays eggs, and produces toxins that cause allergic reactions. Small red bumps (that look like tiny pimples or tiny bites) can form on the skin.

The most common area for scabies to develop on the body are warmer sites such as skin folds, areas where clothing is tight (like the belt line or the buttocks), on the penis or around the nipples.

Excessive scratching may lead to bacterial infections of the skin in people who have scabies.

Diagnosis

Scabies is diagnosed when a doctor looks at the rash on your skin to determine whether or not you have mites, eggs or fecal matter from the mites under your skin.

Treatment

 

Scabies is treated with a lotion that is applied to a clean body and the lotion must be left on for eight hours, usually overnight, and then washed off. The person must put on clean clothes. All clothing, bedding and towels used by the people in the home should be washed in hot water and dried in a hot dryer. Seven to ten days after this, a second treatment of the body with the same lotion is usually given. Although itching may continue for two weeks after the treatments, it does not mean the infestation is still active. Another option is a pill, ivermectin, which is as effective as the creams and does not make a mess. The medicine is given twice over a week.

Anyone who is diagnosed with scabies needs to be treated. In addition, anyone who has had close contact with the person in the past month should also be treated. A family should all be treated at the same time to prevent reinfestation.

 

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LHS is investigating bullying allegations

Administrators are currently looking into bullying allegations among athletes at Liberty High School.

The district places the highest priority on student safety and, to that end, would like to make sure alleged incidents such as these never happen again. School administrators will be tightening its supervision of after-school sports in the locker rooms and will be addressing the issue with all of its athletic teams.

The district’s athletic handbook states that we demand an atmosphere that is free from all forms of harassment and/or violence.

In accordance with the Dignity for all Students Act, or DASA, the district condemns and strictly prohibits all forms of discrimination and harassment including bullying, taunting or intimidation, against students by students and/or employees on school property, which includes school buses, school sponsored events such as extracurricular events or activities and, in certain circumstances, off-school-property.

If you or your child has any information pertinent to this matter, please contact the district’s DASA Coordinator, Patrick Sullivan, at (845) 292-5400 ext. 5112 or psullivan@libertyk12.org. Students with first-hand information may also anonymously submit it to a school administrator through Anonymous Alerts.

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Please vote on Oct. 10

Voters will hit the polls on Tuesday, Oct. 10 from noon to 9 p.m. to fill a vacant school board seat.

The Liberty Central School District Board of Education will hold a Special Meeting and Election at the high school’s auditorium on Tuesday, Oct. 10 to elect one candidate to fill one open seat on the board.

The two candidates who will appear on the ballot (in this order) are:
• Marta Illing; and
• Joyce Teed

The elected candidate will fill the seat previously held by Dan Parkhurst, who retired earlier this summer. The candidate will serve on the board of education from Oct. 11, 2017 through June 30, 2018.

Read the legal notice for this Special Meeting and Election.

Learn more about voter qualifications.

Eligible voters must be:
• A U.S. citizen;
• A district resident for at least 30 days or more by October 10 (this must be your primary, permanent residence);
• At least 18 years old as of Oct. 10; and
• Registered to vote by Oct. 5.

How do I determine if I’m registered to vote in Liberty?
Residents of the district who are registered to vote in a general election are eligible to vote at school district meetings and elections without further special school district registration.

If you are not a registered voter with the Board of Elections you may register at the school.  School registration of voters is valid for a period of four years. If the resident has not voted within that period, they must re-register. All new residents must register to vote.

Check Your Voter Status

Find Polling Place

How can I register to vote?
District residents who wish to register may do so from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, except weekends and holidays, at the office of the district clerk in the Liberty Central School District Office, 115 Buckley St. Valid ID and current proof of residency required. Please call District Clerk Tania DeFrank at (845) 292-6990 if you unsure if you are a registered voter. The voter registration deadline is October 5, 2017.

Can I vote by absentee ballot?
To vote by absentee ballot, you must fill out an application. Absentee ballot applications are available at the office of the district clerk from Sept. 13 through Oct. 9. The district clerk must receive completed applications seven days prior to the vote if the ballot is to be mailed to the voter, or absentee ballot applications can be completed up to 4 p.m. on Oct. 9 if the ballot is to be picked up in person. Anyone can pick-up multiple absentee ballot applications, but only the voter can personally pick up an absentee ballot.

Absentee ballots are available for voters who are residents of the district, but who will not be able to physically vote in their designated polling place (e.g. college students, those with a disability.)

Absentee ballots are due by Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2017 by 5 p.m.

Where and when do I vote?
The district Special Meeting and Election will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2017. Polls are open from 12 -9 p.m. and are located in the Liberty High School gymnasium, located at 125 Buckley St., Liberty, NY 12754.

Who can I contact for more information?
For more information contact the Tania DeFrank, District Clerk,  District Office Building, 115 Buckley St., Liberty, NY 12754. Telephone (845) 292-6990 or email at tdefrank@libertyk12.org

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Students receive Triple C Award

Three powerful words–character, courage and commitment—form the foundation for an upstanding man or woman. These words represent Liberty’s core values and form our mission to help students pursue their dreams and contribute and thrive in a diverse community.

We’d like to recognize and congratulate fifth-grade students Kimberlin Malaga Gonzalez and Hannah Wormuth for receiving the Attorney General’s Triple C Award for Character, Courage, and Commitment (Service.)

Developing the next generation of leaders: a look at TSTT

Students in grade 9-10 have an opportunity to participate in the Today’s Students Tomorrow’s Teachers (TSTT) mentoring program at Liberty Central School District.

TSTT is for students who are interested in a career that involves teaching, coaching or leading. TSTT mentors these students by preparing them with effective leadership skills while still in high school.

The program is part of a school initiative that supports and mentors students who would like to pursue a career in education. The program’s advisor, Lisa Adrian-Davies, helps to identify, recruit, and mentor those current students who after college may return to Liberty classrooms as teachers and school leaders.

TSTT has received national recognition for its successful career partnership model and was cited by former US Secretary of Education, Richard W. Riley as “an innovative program that embodies many of the goals and objectives for educational excellence and should serve as a model for other regions in the nation.”

TSTT serves more than 300 high school students and over 300 college students who come from nearly 50 high schools in Connecticut, New York, Virginia and Massachusetts. According to its website, TSTT has a proven track record places increasing the number of minority and economically disadvantaged students on the teacher track.

Additionally, TSTT students can qualify for a minimum 50 percent tuition scholarship from its growing roster of partner colleges.

TSTT program features include:
• Career Development Workshops
• Teaching with Technology Conferences
• Teacher Mentors
• Tutor Training
• Job Shadowing
• College Guidance and Visits
• SAT Preparation
• Summer Internships
• College and Career Counseling Assistance

Why join TSTT?
“There is a great need for strong and effective leadership in our community,” Ms. Adrian-Davies said. “All students in Liberty Central School District are emerging leaders, and TSTT can help them develop a deeper understanding of leadership concepts from different perspectives.”

TSTT members meet regularly in the high school and may take part in TSTT excursions such as college visits, career and leadership based workshops, and conferences. Soon they will begin weekly tutoring sessions with middle school students and students who speak English as a Second Language.

Students who would like to learn more about TSTT can contact Lisa Adrian-Davies at LAdrianDavies@libertyk12.org or (845) 292-5400 ext. 4209.

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LCSD to show Screenagers on Oct. 25

As curriculum in the classrooms becomes more innovative, our students are learning through a combination of strategies that often include a digital device. Did you know that the average child spends over six hours a day looking at screens? While much of this timeframe is devoted to schoolwork, screen time can negatively impact students and adults, too.

But are you watching kids scroll through life with their rapid-fire thumbs and a six-second attention span?

In an effort to start the conversation about teens and technology, the Liberty Central School District will host a screening of the documentary Screenagers as part of the Liberty Networking Groups’ “Healthy Series.”

Come and learn effective strategies to empower teens to use technology responsibly on Wednesday, Oct. 25 at 6:45 p.m. in the Liberty High School auditorium.

The documentary Screenagers explores the impact of digital addiction on teenagers’ development as well as on their emotional and mental health, and offers pragmatic solutions for parents to teach their children how to best navigate these uncharted digital waters.

While this event is free, RSVPs are strongly encouraged.

In the film, physician and filmmaker Delaney Ruston takes a deeply personal approach as she probes into the vulnerable corners of family life, including her own, to explore the struggles over social media, video games, academics, and internet addiction. Through poignant and unexpectedly funny stories, along with surprising insights from authors, psychologists, and brain scientists, Screenagers reveals how tech time impacts kids’ development and offers solutions on how adults can empower kids to best navigate the digital world and find balance.

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LPP helps prepare for life after graduation

Middle and high school students are encouraged to take advantage of the Liberty Partnerships Program (LPP,) an after-school and summer program implemented by SUNY Sullivan.

The program is designed to promote college readiness and career development among eligible students who need some additional assistance to help them meet their goals.

LPP is a New York State Education Department funded program. It serves students who need assistance in completing homework, preparing for tests, getting organized and thinking about and planning ahead for life after graduation. In an effort to keep students engaged in school and graduating, they will provide tutoring and mentoring, help with goal setting, informational presentations on college and career preparation, job shadowing, and college and career site visits.

Parents of LPP students will have the chance to attend workshops on such topics as college admissions, financial aid, preparing for college, and motivating youth toward academic achievement.

LPP is  open to students who attend the Fallsburg, Liberty and Monticello Central School Districts.

They have a great lineup of community partners, including the Hurleyville Makers’ Lab, Catholic Charities, and Sullivan Agencies Leading Together (SALT).

In order to join LPP, families will need to fill out an application. If you have questions about the application, contact your guidance counselor or LPP@sunysullivan.edu.

 

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Introducing the Healthy Series

The Liberty Central School District, together with the Liberty Network Group, will be hosting a series of free movie screenings and/or discussions in effort to build a healthier Liberty.

The more we know, the healthier we are. Please mark your calendar for any or all of the following events.  Specific information about each event will be announced on www.libertyk12.org.

The following sessions will take place at Liberty High School. RSVPs are strongly encouraged.

  • Sept. 21: “Exploring Addiction in Liberty” – a community discussion on substance abuse prevention and resources from 7-8 p.m.
  • Oct. 25: “Screenagers” – a community screening of an important film regarding impact screen time and its effect on the developing adolescent mind from 6:45-8 p.m. 
  • February 15: “Sugar Rush” – a community screening of an film about sugar, how easy it can be to overconsume sugar and its effect on young children from 6:45 – 8 p.m. Dental hygiene, diabetes, blood pressure and BMI screenings will also be available.
  • March 15: “Movement and Math Night” – Let’s get moving and experience math in a whole new way from 7-8 p.m. This event will be fun for the whole family!
  • May 17: “Liberty Fit Family Health Expo” – the healthy series finale from 6-8 p.m. This will be a night to remember! Featuring cooking demos, movement, community health organizations, raffles, giveaways and inspiration to live a healthier life!
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LCSD to examine addiction in Liberty

On Thursday, Sept. 21, the Liberty Central School District, together with the Liberty Networking Group and a host of other local organizations, will host ‘Addiction in Liberty,’ a discussion that will bring together district staff, students, parents, researchers and health care experts to examine the roots of our community’s addiction crisis and discuss solutions for combating addiction in Liberty.

The discussion will take place Thursday, Sept. 21, from 7-8 p.m. in the high school’s media center. The discussion is open to all community members.  This marks the beginning of a series of free workshops, panels and discussions in effort to make Liberty a healthier place.

The Sept. 21 discussion will be facilitated by Catholic Charities Director of Prevention Services Martin Colavito. Martin has worked in the substance abuse field for 30+ years. His predominant focus has been on community organization with an emphasis on substance abuse treatment and prevention, especially in the poor inner city neighborhoods.  He provides a “Too Good for Drugs” and “Too Good for Violence” evidenced based curriculum to schools. Martin’s unrelenting passion, enthusiasm, dedication and determination to improve the quality of living for the marginalized youth living in poor inner city neighborhoods is remarkably contagious.

Discussion will include:

  • What is addiction to substance abuse and how can it be prevented?
  • What resources are there for prevention?
  • How do we face the epidemic and help the addict to make our community healthier?
  • What do we need to do in Liberty?

RSVPs are not required but are encouraged. Send your questions and RSVPS to apagano@libertyk12.org.

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SED releases 2017 NYS ELA/math test scores

Background

On Aug. 22, 2017, the New York State Education Department (SED) released district and school results for the 2017 NYS ELA/math tests.
As in the past, students’ scores on the tests are converted into a scoring range of 1-4 meant to indicate their degree of proficiency in the Common Core standards for the grade level. Scores at levels 3-4 indicate proficiency (4 means that a student excels in the standards), while levels 1-2 indicate a student is below proficiency.

Summary of Results

For ELA, the statewide percentage of test-takers scoring at proficient levels (3 and 4) in 2017 increased by 1.9 percentage points to 39.8 percent, up from 37.9 percent in 2016.

For math, the statewide percentage of test-takers scoring at proficient levels (3 and 4) in 2017 increased by 1.1 percentage point to 40.2 percent, up from 39.1 percent in 2016.

Grades 7 and 8 saw the biggest change in student proficiency on the ELA this year, with Grade 7 proficiency increasing by 6.4 percentage points to 41.9 percent and Grade 8 proficiency increasing by 4.6 percentage points to 45.5 percent.

In grade 6, ELA proficiency dropped from 34.4 percent in 2016 to 32.4 percent in 2017. All other grades saw increases in proficiency.
Overall, black students had a 2.8 percentage point increase in those achieving proficiency in ELA, while Hispanic students had a 2.4 percentage point increase. In both cases, the increases were greater than those seen by white students, who had a 1.1 percentage point increase statewide. As a result, the achievement gap in ELA that separates the proficiency of black and Hispanic students from their white peers closed slightly statewide.

A U.S. Education Department waiver eliminated unnecessary double testing by allowing accelerated math students to participate in high school math Regents exams instead of the grade 8 math test. For some schools, this change may have resulted in a decrease in the total percentage of students scoring proficient in grade 8 math – not because students’ actual proficiency decreased but because the total testing pool for grade 8 math was smaller.

While the statewide percentage of test-takers scoring at proficient levels (3 and 4) in math increased, there was an average 1.4 percentage point decrease in proficiency in grades 4, 6 and 8 compared to 2016 (see chart below for percentage point decreases).

Additional Takeaways

The 2017 tests are comparable to the previous year’s tests. This is more of an “apples-to-apples” comparison because no significant changes were made to the assessments from last year.

Overall, students scoring at the proficiency level increased statewide. Grades 7 and 8 saw the biggest improvement in student proficiency on the ELA this year, with Grade 7 proficiency increasing by 6.4 percentage points to a total of 41.9 percent of students scoring in the proficiency range, and Grade 8 proficiency increasing by 4.6 percentage points to 45.5 percent of students scoring in the proficiency range.

Test Refusals

According to SED, the test refusal rate statewide for 2017 was approximately 19 percent, which was a decrease of two percentage points from last year.

According to state data, students who refused the test in 2017 were much more likely to be from low-need or average-need districts; much more likely to be white; less likely to be economically disadvantaged; and much less likely to be an English Language Learner.

A district-by-district breakdown of the total number of students who opted out is available as an Excel spread sheet here.

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