Liberty CSD is not able to accept pre-payment of school taxes for federal tax purposes

A new federal tax bill was signed into law on Dec. 22, 2017 that caps the allowable deduction for state and local income, sales and property taxes at $10,000 beginning in 2018.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo subsequently signed an Executive Order designed to help New York taxpayers pre-pay their 2018 property taxes before Dec. 31, 2017 in order to potentially claim the deduction before the new federal tax law goes into effect.

The Governor’s Executive Order does not authorize school districts to collect 2018-19 real property taxes.

Unlike towns and counties who typically issue their tax warrants in December and collect in January, the majority of school districts in New York State issue their tax warrants in August and collect in September. To  that end,  the Liberty Central School District is not able to provide estimated tax bills for the 2018-19 school year since the district will not adopt a budget and tax levy for the upcoming school year until the May 15, 2018, school budget vote date.

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Interact spends holiday season serving others

Members of the Liberty High School Interact Club is conducting a school-wide toiletry drive. Proceeds will be split to assist the Monticello Federation for the Homeless and solders who have been stationed overseas.

Students find the hard work of raising funds, purchasing gifts and delivering them very rewarding, Mrs. Penny Medina said. “Mrs. Medina is an English as a Second Language teacher at Liberty High School and also acts as the Interact Club’s advisor.

The mission of the Interact Club aims to show students how to overcome obstacles, such as distance and cultural barriers while learning to embrace other children and teenagers like themselves around the world.

The Interact Club at Liberty High School is sponsored by the Liberty Rotary Club. Together, members from both groups made a holiday monetary donation to a Rotary Club in Moca, Puerto Rico to help purchase toys for 300 families that were displaced from the hurricane this past fall.

Art connects students across continents


Mrs. Tracie Euker’s fourth grade art classes have recently embarked in an international post card exchange with fourth grade students from El Gimnasio Femenino, a school complex in Bogotá, Columbia.

Earlier this year, Mrs. Tracie Euker connected with El Gimnasio Femenino art teacher Patricia G. Didier through the internet. Together they designed an international post card exchange project to allow their students to experience the universal culture of art.

“We wanted our students learn about the similarities between us, despite our cultural differences,” said Mrs. Euker. “The exchange also assists the Columbian students with their English skills and teaches our students about the Columbian culture and language.”

What’s more, said Mrs. Euker, is that all of the students are experiencing the good, old fashioned thrill of giving and receiving tangible mail a practice that is sadly almost extinct in today’s digital age.

Through the exchange, American and Colombian students designed their art cards with symbolism popular to their culture and on the back wrote about themselves, their families, and hobbies and in some cases hopes and dreams.

Students say they have learned many things about their Columbian friends such as their favorite food, hobbies and cultural traditions.

Mrs. Euker and Mrs. Didier hope the students learn valuable life lessons from the exchange and continue to keep in touch wither their new international pen pals through the universal language of art.

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A guide to temperature related school closings

When very cold weather strikes, the Liberty Central School District
receives many questions from families and staff asking whether
school will be delayed or closed due to cold temperatures or wind chill alone.

Under certain conditions, outlined below, the superintendent of
schools may determine that school should be delayed or closed for
the safety of the district’s students and staff.

There are no “rules” for delays or closings; those decisions are up to each local school district. The district considers a set of internal weather guidelines to help determine whether temperatures are safe to hold classes. We rely on guidance from the National Weather Service to make our

These guidelines take into account the amount of time
it takes for exposed skin to develop frostbite based on the wind
chill and temperature.

Typically, when wind chills are in the light blue area of the
chart, school is not delayed. Of course, other factors may also be
considered (such as snow or bus problems), but these parameters
provide a general guide.

When temperatures do not warrant closing, families can help their
children prepare for the weather by dressing them warmly, in
layers, with a hat, scarf, gloves and appropriate footwear.

During colder months, the district makes some adjustments in
response to the weather to ensure students and staff are safe and
as comfortable as possible:

• Rolling V, our transportation provider, begins preparing district buses as early as 4 a.m. to make sure the engines start and heaters work so that students have as warm a ride to school as possible. Drivers are careful to
arrive at bus stops as close to “on time” as possible;
• Custodial and maintenance staff ensures temperatures inside
classrooms are comfortable and are on standby to respond to any
facilities issues that may arise; and
• Recess and all physical education activities are held indoors.

Instructional time is valuable for all of our students to be able
to achieve at the highest levels. We hope that this information is
helpful for our students, families and staff to know more about
our decision-making process and the steps we can all take to
continue our teaching and learning even when it’s very cold out.

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District mourns the loss of elementary school student

The Liberty Central School District community was deeply saddened to learn of the unexpected death of a Liberty Elementary School student on Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2017.

Our school has a crisis intervention team made up of professionals trained to help with the needs of students, parents, and school personnel at difficult times such as this.

Today, a support team of school psychologists, counselors and social workers worked with our staff members to provide counseling and support to students.  Additional support will be available the rest of the week and will continue after the winter break. Letters have been sent home to families from each school building.

Each school building has counselors available for students or staff who may need or want help or any type of assistance surrounding this loss. We encourage parents to also feel free to use our resources.

If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to the main office of your child’s school building.

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How your child can make the most of college visits

Planning to visit the colleges on your list? Learn what to do in advance to make the most of the experience. Our friend Alissa Scott from Parent Today recently reached out to the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, University of Albany and Hudson Valley Community College for some advice on making college visits effective.

Importance of college visits
The bottom line is all schools look great on paper – but not every school is a good fit for every student.

“You can look at websites, viewbooks and other online resources, but naturally, an institution puts its best foot forward in print and online,” said Tim Lee, UAlbany’s director of undergraduate admissions. “When you visit a campus, you’ll have that ‘A-ha!’ moment. You’ll see that wow factor.”

What to look for in a college
With so many options it can be difficult to decide which colleges you’ll spend your time visiting.

So it’s a good time to do some serious thinking, according to Hudson Valley Community College’s Communications and Marketing Specialist Teresa Farrell.

“I would say students should do some self-reflection on what kind of things they want out of their own college experience in an abstract and a concrete sense,” Farrell said. “That can mean everything from academics, campus life, sports and activities to a general feel of the types of experiences they want their college experience to include.”

Here are some things she said students should consider:
Does the college have the academic programs the student is interested in? How about internships and industry connections?
What are the faculty and staff like? Do professors seem to be available outside of class to help students who need it? How about opportunities for mentorship?
Do they have a good structure in place for transfer agreements/employment opportunities?
Financially, what is the range the family is willing to spend? How are they going to cover the cost? What kind of financial aid will the school offer? What is the student eligible for?
Does the college have clubs, activities or sports that the student is interested in?
Does the school offer support services such as academic, health and wellness that would be relevant to the student?

Questions to ask
If you’re visiting a college and participating in a campus tour, many of the basic questions will probably be answered. And, if you do some research beforehand, you can already familiarize yourself with things like the size of the school, majors offered, the types of clubs students can join.

“Spend your precious time on campus asking things you cannot find on a school’s website,” said Heather D. Hansen, associate director of undergraduate admissions at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. “Ask students about their experiences. Stay away from questions like, ‘How is your engineering program?’ Do some research and be able to ask more specific, insightful questions while on campus.”

And do a little people-watching, Lee said.

“I always tell folks to go over to the school’s campus center, buy a cup of coffee and something light to eat and sit and observe,” he said. “You’ll notice the types of students that attend the institution and get an unfiltered look into the campus.”

“It’s also a good idea to check out the town/surrounding area,” Hansen added.

Other tips
Whether you’re visiting multiples schools in a weekend or several during a season, don’t rely on your memory.

“Take pictures with your smart phone,” Lee suggested. “Take notes if you’re attending a presentation. While you might be able to visualize some specific parts of your trip, it could get lost if you visit five colleges in a weekend. Record notes or take notes while you’re on campus.”
And if the sun isn’t shining, don’t fret.

“Don’t let weather deter a visit,” he said. “Everyone would love an 80-degree day with no clouds in the sky, but if it’s raining or snowing, you may not get the best sense of the campus. Keep an open mind.”

Parent Today is a free email newsletter and companion website designed to help build a stronger bridge between families and the classroom. Parent Today is packed with research-based information that empowers parents and supports teachers.

Parents can sign up for Parent Today through the district’s website,

Football team garners honors (updated)

First year Varsity Football Head Coach John Stephens was named Co-Coach of the year by the Sullivan County Democrat. Stephens took over from John Wilhelm who had built a successful program during his tenure. Wilhelm coached the modified team this year, a move that benefited the program by putting an experienced coach with the least experienced players. Stephens moved up from defensive coordinator to head coach and had his team off to an early 2-0 record. The team suffered a few setbacks but came back to earn a spot in the Section 9 Class B playoff. Liberty had to go to Highland Falls to play the O’Neill Raiders, a team that had soundly defeated them during the regular season. This time the Indians prevailed 57-31 which earned them a matchup with top-seeded Marlboro. Despite Liberty’s best efforts they lost to Marlboro to end their season.

The Democrat also announced their All-Star team and players of the year. Roy Penn-Cosentino was named co-player of the year. This was the second year in a row that Roy earned this honor. At running back Roy amassed 191 total yards which was second in New York State. His 9 yards per carry, however, placed him first in the state! He averaged 199 yards per game and gained more than 100 yards in 7 out of 9 games. Roy also scored 23 touchdowns scoring 144 points. As a receiver Roy posted 153 yards on 7 attempts scoring one touchdown. For his carer Roy gained 3935 yards and scored 58 touchdowns for a total of 436 points.

The Democrat also named their Offensive and Defensive teams. The following Liberty athletes were included:

Roy Penn-Cosentino (RB)
Kymanni Dennis (RB)
Ayden Sinceno (OL)
Jeremiah Olmo (K)

Alex Wilson (LB)
Jon Wilson (LB)
Manny Miranda (DB)

The Section 9 Football Coaches Association also released their All League and All Section team for each class. Liberty had the following athletes named to these teams in Class B.

All League
Roy Penn-Cosentino, Sr., RB/QB/OLB
Jon Wilson, Sr., HB/LB
Alex Wilson, Jr., OL/DL
Kymanni Dennis, Soph., RB/S

All Section
Roy Penn-Cosentino, Sr., RB/QB/OLB
Alex Wilson, Jr., OL/DL

Original student photography for sale to benefit scholarship fund

The Liberty High School art department is holding a photo sale to benefit the school’s visual art scholarships.

Each of the following images in the PDF document is being offered to you by the original artist. Student-artists will print, mat and frame your work with a smile as they see the appreciation of their growing skills.

Signed prints are 8x10” for $15, matted are 11x 14” for $20, framed are 12x15” for $25.

The department’s scholarships are supported solely by the sale of original artwork. Thank you for your viewing -and your support!

Payment can be made via cash or check. Checks should be made out to the LHS Art Department.

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Teachers win grants for eighth grade trip and personal finance class

Teachers win grants for eighth grade trip and personal finance class
Many of our teachers take it upon themselves to identify and apply for extra funding to make extra special things possible for their students. Mr. Cormier and Mr. Hart from the middle and high school, respectively, are no exception.

Liberty Middle School teacher Mr. Ryan Cormier is slated to receive $700 from Target to go towards a field trip fund to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City with 50 eighth graders. Because the museum allows a maximum group of 50 students, Mr. Cormier is not able to bring the entire eighth grade. He will hold a lottery in the early spring; students will be selected at random to attend the trip to New York City.

Liberty High School teacher Mr. Dan Hart is also slated to receive $700 from the KeyBank Hudson Valley Contributions Committee. The monies will go toward purchasing materials in Mr. Hart’s personal finance classes. Mr. Harts plans to use the money for material that will help him teach students about loans, credit and how to properly maintain a checking account.

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Nominations sought for the Wall of Fame for 2018

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. 26, 2018.

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

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

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