Budget development continues

At the March 19 Board meeting, School Business Official Georgia Gonzalez identified the district’s expenses and potential budget additions for 2019-20.

Click here to view the March 19 presentation. 

The budget is guided by the district’s strategic plan, which focuses on advancing curriculum and programs, meeting student social and emotional needs and providing safe and welcoming schools for all students. The budget is being developed by a budget committee, comprised of district leaders, educators and board of education members.

While the proposed budget for 2019-20 is still under development, the district expects that current programs and services will be maintained next year.

Potential budget additions that have been discussed include an after-school tutoring program at the middle and high school and field maintenance equipment for the soccer, softball and baseball fields.

School safety and operational effectiveness continue to be central to the district’s planning. Budget considerations for next year also include an additional school resource officer (SRO) and a new truck and/or maintenance equipment for the buildings and grounds department.

The district is projecting increased costs in areas such as employee health insurance premiums and workers’ compensation insurance. State aid is one of the district’s main revenue sources, but for many years, it has been below the level prescribed by law. As of press time, the district estimates a revenue deficit of $359,432.

On March 19, Mrs. Gonzalez outlined three ways the district could make up for the deficit in revenue for 2019-20. Those options include:

  • reducing expenses;
  • expending unappropriated fund balance* (see note below); or
  • increasing the tax levy.

The district will finalize its budget proposal in April. The Liberty Central School District Board of Education will adopt the proposal on April 23, and district residents will vote on the proposed budget on May 21.

Budget development at Liberty will continue until the district adopts its budget on April 23. Mrs. Gonzalez will present additional information on the budget during the board’s April 9 and 11 meetings. Regular budget updates will continue to be posted to the district’s website for those who are unable to attend board meetings.

*If revenue collected for the school budget remains at the end of a district’s fiscal year, that money becomes part of its fund balance. Districts must adhere to state laws that govern how fund balance can be spent. Options include applying it to a future budget in the form of revenue, earmarking it for anticipated future needs and/or saving it for unexpected emergencies.

Liberty celebrates Harriet Forshay Day

There’s not a student or parent at Liberty Elementary School who doesn’t know Harriet Forshay. For years, twice a day, Monday through Friday, you’ll find Harriet at the school’s crosswalk with her giant stop sign and hilarious hat.

On March 27, Liberty Elementary School students, staff, administrators and school resource officers joined together to thank Harriet for her many years of service as a crossing guard, protector and motivator. In this part birthday/part “thank you” celebration, students and staff lined the halls wearing their craziest hat.  

Harriet was showered with hugs and presented with flowers, a cake and a brand new hat from the Liberty Police PBA. 

Press play on the video below for a look at the celebration:

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LMS Read-A-Thon funds will go toward Carnival Day

The Liberty Schools PTA is once again hosting the Liberty Middle School Read-A-Thon. Proceeds from the event will be used toward the school’s Carnival Day in June.

All students are strongly encouraged to participate. Students are asked to pledge their participation and return their reading logs in a timely fashion, as minutes and money raised will earn them points and prizes.

Participants will be eligible to receive credits for the upcoming BOGO Scholastic Book Fair. Participants will also be entered in a drawing for a special lunch with guest author Charles R. Smith Jr. The student who earns the most money will win a Kindle e-reader.

The Read-A-Thon ends April 11.

For more information about the middle school’s Read-A-Thon, please contact athalmann@libertyk12.org. Students and their parents will be given information to review at home.

Jack Simons to be inducted to the Wall of Fame

Jack SimonsThe Liberty Central School District is proud to announce this year’s inductee to its Wall of Fame. One outstanding individual will be honored at a special ceremony at Liberty High School on Friday, June 28.

This year’s inductee is Jack Simons, Class of 1951.

Upon graduating from Liberty High School, he served his county in Korea and was later awarded the Combat Infantry Badge and the Purple Heart. He was employed at the U.S. Post Office in Liberty for 12 years and Prudential Insurance Company for 22 years.

He was a former Liberty Town Supervisor, president of the Greater Liberty Chamber of Commerce, president and chairman of the Town of Liberty Democratic Committee and treasurer of the Sullivan County Democratic Committee.

Mr. Simons was awarded the Veterans of Foreign War’s Citizen of the Year in 1998 and the Greater Liberty Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year in 2001.

It is with pride that we honor Jack Simons as the 2019 Wall of Fame Inductee.

Mr. Simons’ legacy will be celebrated during an evening reception on Friday, June 28. The induction will take place at 6:30 p.m., prior to the Class of 2019 Commencement Ceremony.

Pre-k registration is now open

Is your child turning four-years-old before Dec. 1 this year? Enroll him or her in our half- or full-day prekindergarten program for the 2019-20 school year! Liberty is now accepting applications for pre-k registration.

Application instructions

Register to make an appointment by April 1, 2019.  Make your appointment today by calling (845) 292-5400 ext. 2331 and plan to bring the following materials to your appointment:

  • birth certificate
  • proof of residency (i.e. utility bill or rental lease)
  • immunization records (including proof of lead screen)
  • copy of recent physical exam (must include all school physical requirements; please check with your pediatrician)
  • custody papers (if applicable)

About the program

There are two half-day pre-k classes that are held Monday through Friday from  8-10:30 a.m. and 12-2:35 p.m. There are also two full-day pre-k classes that are held Monday through Friday from 8:05 a.m. to 2:40 p.m. The pre-k program will accommodate up to 72 students total (36 students in full-day pre-k; 36 students in half-day pre-k.)

The district will continue to accept reservations until all 72 spots are filled; however; the lottery for full-day pre-k is expected to take place during the first week of April.

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Tell us your thoughts; survey launches March 25

All Liberty parents and guardians are invited to take the Diagnostic Tool for School and District Effectiveness (DTSDE) Survey beginning March 25.

Required by the state for Focus and Priority Schools, the survey asks about leadership and capacity, school leader practices and decisions, curriculum development and support, teacher practices and decisions, student social and emotional developmental health, and family and community engagement.

Keep an eye on your e-mail for a personal invitation and survey link. You can also take a paper survey in English or Spanish.

The survey will be open from March 25 through April 19. School employees and students in grades 3–12 are also being invited to participate.

We administered a DTSDE survey during the 2016-17 and 2017-18 school years and heard from almost 1,200 students, parents and teachers each time. We used that feedback to help ensure the district is meeting your needs, and want to learn more about what practices and programs you and your child(ren) will benefit from at Liberty.

The link will also be posted on Facebook and will be sent out through our text messaging system. Paper surveys are available in both English and Spanish in the main office of your child’s school.

Students will participate at school, using their student IDs for access.

All responses are strictly confidential. K12 Insight’s final reports will share only the overall results, not individual responses.

All responses are completely confidential. Help us ensure all students receive an education that opens up a bright, successful future!


Survey links

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Board appoints Dr. Sullivan Assistant Superintendent of Schools

Headshot of a man wearing a black blazer, grey collared shirt and grey and black striped tieIt’s been a big week for Liberty Middle School Assistant Principal Patrick Sullivan.






On March, 18, he earned his doctorate in educational leadership from Manhattanville College. On March 19, he was appointed Assistant Superintendent of Schools by the Liberty Board of Education.

The Liberty Central School District Board of Education is pleased to announce Dr. Patrick Sullivan  as the next Assistant Superintendent of Schools, effective July 1, 2019.

In the four years since Dr. Sullivan joined the Liberty Central School District, no grass has grown beneath his feet. He joined the district’s administrative team in 2016 as Assistant Director of Student Services. In 2018, he became Assistant Principal of Liberty Middle School.

During his time at Liberty, Dr. Sullivan implemented several initiatives to improve educational and emotional supports as well as safety and security.

Dr. Sullivan completed his undergraduate degree at St. Lawrence University and later earned a Master of Science in Education from Long Island University and a Certificate in Advanced Graduate Studies in Educational Leadership and Administration from Long Island University.

Guys and Dolls coming to Liberty April 5-6

Liberty High School’s spring musical, “Guys and Dolls,” will take the stage April 5-6 featuring the exploits of street gamblers Nathan Detroit and Sky Masterson, and the women who try to reform them.

The show will take place at 7 p.m. in the high school auditorium.

The show, with music and lyrics by Frank Loesser and book by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows, debuted on Broadway in 1950. A 1955 film adaptation starred Marlon Brando and Frank Sinatra. The show features the song “Luck Be a Lady” and many other tunes.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students/senior citizens. Tickets may be purchased at the door on a first-come, first-served basis.

Cast members are under the guidance of Emily McConnell (Director), Timothy Hamblin (Music Director), Dan McConnell (Orchestra Director), Kathleen Johansen (Lighting/Sound), Mike Diehl (Set Design), Jenn Desrochers (Costumes and Props) and several parent volunteers.

The cast list is below, organized by character name and student.

  • Nicely-Nicely: Cascio Fonseca
  • Benny Southstreet: Tyler Black
  • Arvide Abernathy: Anthony Carrion
  • Nathan Detroit: Michael Perez
  • Sky Masterson: Tanner Parks
  • Rusty Charlie: Chase Racette
  • Lt. Brannigan: Gabe Desrochers
  • Angie the Ox: Melanie Graham
  • Sarah Brown: Emily Kinne
  • Miss Adelaide: Chloe Ricco
  • Mimi: Kat Fonseca
  • Agatha: Ysabel Manzi
  • Martha: Gabby Fontana
  • Allison: Jordan Raynor
  • General Cartwright: Rory Magie
  • Ferguson: Corrine Hellerer
  • General Cartwright: Tatiana Hinkley
  • Waitress: Abigail Kelly
  • Havana Guest: Emily Lutz
  • Hot Box Ladies: Jordan Raynor, Corrine Hellerer, Katarina Fonseca, Tatiana Hinkley, Brooke Nichols, Abigail Kelly, Emily Lutz, Melanie Graham

Percussionist takes students on musical journey

On an exciting March morning, seventh- and eighth-grade students from Mr. Wheeler and Mr. Bradley’s social studies classroom file into the gymnasium. A circle of Djembes, Doumbeks and conga drums greet them.

Under the instruction of world-renowned percussionist Jeff Haynes, the students begin to play.

As Mr. Haynes whips around, a rhythm slowly starts to take shape.

“I feel good, don’t you feel good?” he asks the class. “I know you’re ready, family!”

Before long, the students loosen their form and the music begins to flow. And then, as if by magic, a dynamic and harmonious jam session erupts, echoes down the hall and catches the attention of the class passing by.

This jam session is one of many that will take place in March.  Over the course of the next two weeks, Mr. Haynes will collaborate with the social studies teachers in a lesson that takes students on an educational and musical journey through history.

But the students’ drum sessions extend beyond the curriculum. Learning how listen to each other and work together to build a melody enhances their confidence and fosters a sense of greater connection between them, observes Mr. Wheeler.

The lesson culminated with a special school wide performance at the end of the month featuring students drumming to spoken word. View a four minute clip from the performance here.

Teachers share best practices at conference day

Teachers stand with Greg Tang, a mathematician Professional development is important to us. It’s what helps our educators stay on top of our educational game!

A handful of Liberty teachers recently spent a professional development day with Greg Tang, the mathematician and mastermind behind some of the district’s favorite education math games and classroom programs.


Those teachers spread the wealth (of knowledge) during the district’s March 15 Conference Day.

With a background in economics, business, and math education, Tang is intent on developing “a more intuitive approach to math, one that combines problem-solving and arithmetic and integrates math with language and art.” In addition to writing engaging picture books, he also develops teaching guides, workbooks, flash cards, and math games.

Teacher stands in front of a SmartBoard

At Liberty, we believe that effective professional development is more than simply sharing new ideas; it also includes a commitment to fully integrate those ideas into the classroom and the school culture.

The district builds professional development into its budget because it keeps teachers up-to-date on new research about how children learn, emerging technology tools for the classroom, new curriculum resources and more.

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