Is your child ready for pre-k/kindergarten?

As the calendar pages flip toward September, you might be asking if your child is ready for school. Whatever age your child is when they start school, you can help them enter the classroom with confidence by being your child’s first and most important teacher. To ensure the best possible school experience, there are skills and tasks that all children should be comfortable with before entering the classroom.

1. Teach independence

The more things a child can do on their own, the more time they, and their teacher, will spend on classroom activities. Practice having your child:

  • Use the toilet by themselves.
  • Put on coats, boots and shoes with minimal assistance.
  • Make choices: red or blue crayon; blocks or dolls.

Bradley Strait, principal at The Learning Community, a pre-K through grade 2 school in the Broadalbin-Perth Central School District, recommends making incremental changes toward Independence

“Set your child up for success,” he said. “Instead of letting them pick an outfit from their whole wardrobe –and risk them picking shorts when it’s snowing outside – lay out two weather-appropriate outfits and let them choose which one to wear.”

2. Read together

Children have to learn to read before they can read to learn. Learning the alphabet is the first step.

  • Sing the alphabet song together.
  • Point to written letters as you sing.
  • Point out the letters in your child’s name.
  • Choose books about your child’s interests.
  • Visit your local library and let your child choose books to read with you.

3. Count together

Recognizing numbers and understanding their relationship to one another is a basic foundational math skill.

  • Count steps together while you walk up and down a flight of stairs.
  • Count pieces of cereal or crackers as you put them in a bowl (or as you eat them!).
  • Ask your child “how many?” when you see groups of items that number fewer than 10.
  • Practice sorting and classifying—big, small, near, far, under, above, colors— as a way to reinforce early math skills.

4. Look for social opportunities

In preschool and kindergarten, children are learning social skills such as sharing, communicating and listening. Look for opportunities for your child to practice.

  • Make playdates.
  • Go to library story times.
  • Visit local playgrounds.

5. Establish—or reinforce—routines

Help your child become accustomed to routines by establishing a set of activities to do every morning upon waking and every evening before bedtime.

  • Get dressed.
  • Brush teeth after meals.
  • Put dirty clothes in a laundry hamper.
  • Read before bed.

6. Engage your child in conversation

A three-year-old might not yet have a robust vocabulary, but they can still express their needs, wants, hopes and fears in their own way. And the more you talk with them, the more words they will learn.

  • How do you feel?
  • Why do you like this toy?
  • Why are you scared?

Why is pre-K and kindergarten important?

Children benefit from early-education programs, like prekindergarten or kindergarten, because they learn academic and social skills that lay a solid foundation for the rest of their years in school. Kids who attend early-education programs receive higher reading, math and cognition test scores into early adulthood and earn more money over the course of their lifetime compared with those who did not have the benefit of early education.

Is my child not ready for school—or is it something else?

If you have questions about what your child should be able to do at their age, speak with your child’s pediatrician, call the early intervention office in your county or contact the school for support. The sooner kids get the help they need, the sooner they’ll be able to thrive at school.

So your child will be going to school!

Whether it’s preschool or kindergarten that your child will be attending, change can be unsettling for everyone involved. Before school starts, there are a few things parents should know and can do to help ease their family into a new school routine.

Visit the school

The more time your child spends at the school they’ll attend—especially with you—the more comfortable they’ll be when they start attending school by themselves.

  • Arrange a tour at your local elementary school or early learning center.
  • Attend concerts or other public events that interest your child at the school.
  • Play on the playground.

Know the rules

It’s true: Schools have lots of rules and policies, all geared toward ensuring a safe and healthy environment for students and staff. Check out school handbooks or websites to be familiar with rules that you know will impact your family, such as:

  • Pick-up and drop-off times and locations.
  • Parking.
  • Food for classroom parties/birthdays.
  • Safety policies, such as propping doors open.
  • Visitor and volunteer rules and policies.

Attendance matters

Regular attendance builds the school-going habit and helps children develop relationships with teachers and school staff. But there are other reasons daily, on-time attendance is important.

  • Teachers schedule their time in the classroom to the minute; late arrivals can disrupt learning and distract other students.
  • Early grades lay the foundation for future learning, and regular attendance helps children develop the reading, writing and math skills they will need in the future.
  • If your child says they don’t want to go to school, talk to your child’s teacher as soon as possible—you might be able to help address a small issue before it becomes a big problem.

Teamwork works

Once you’ve made the decision to enroll your child in school, think of their teacher and school as a partner. You all have the same goal for your child: to be happy and successful.

Talk with your child about what’s happening in their world away from home and take advantage of the many ways schools share information with families.

  • Parent-teacher conferences.
  • Parent-teacher organizations or school community councils.
  • Read through papers sent home.
  • Check out teacher and/or school websites, if they have one.
  • Find out how your child’s teacher prefers to communicate: email, phone, text message app.

Remember, you’re all in this together. If there is something happening at home or school that you think is, or could, negatively affect your child, let their teacher know. They can’t help if they aren’t aware. They can work with you and your child to find solutions or accommodations to make school a positive place were your child can learn and grow.

A message about the measles

The following letter was sent to school officials and parents from Sullivan County Public Health Services on April 22.

As you may know, areas of New York State are currently experiencing a measles outbreak, including the lower Hudson Valley and parts of New York City. Measles spreads easily and can be dangerous to anyone who is not vaccinated. If you have questions about measles or the measles vaccine, do not hesitate to call the New York State Measles Hotline at 888-364-4837.

Sullivan County has had two confirmed cases of measles but the individuals are no longer contagious.

What people can do

Locally, anyone who is concerned about their risk if exposed to measles should locate their immunization records. Those born before 1957 are presumed to be immune. Prior to 1989, it was common to only receive one MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella vaccine shot). Two are recommended for full (up to 97%) immunity and protection. Most people should have had two MMRs, but there will be residents who are either immune compromised and cannot receive it, or are too young to be fully vaccinated (infants and young children, pregnant women without MMR history).

The best course of action is for the parents and adults to look into their medical histories and then speak to their health care provider. If they are unsure of their immunity, they can have what’s known as a titer test to see if they are immune and then, if low, get a booster MMR.

The Sullivan County Public Health Department strongly recommends that:

all school nurses and parents ensure that children and are up-to-date with their immunizations per the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practice (ACIP) guidelines;

you be alert to signs and symptoms of measles and other vaccine preventable disease (VPD); and

schools should maintain current and accurate immunization records for all students. Additionally, schools should maintain a detailed list of students who are not fully protected against VPD.

Recognizing symptoms

Measles is a highly contagious respiratory disease (in the lungs and breathing tubes) caused by a virus that is spread by direct contact with nasal or throat secretions of infected people (when a person infected with the measles virus breathes, coughs, or sneezes). Measles is one of the most contagious viruses on earth; one measles infected person can give the virus to 18 others. In fact, 90% of unvaccinated people exposed to the virus become infected. You can catch measles just by being in a room where a person with measles has been, up to 2 hours after that person is gone. And you can catch measles from an infected person even before they have a rash.

Common symptoms

Symptoms usually appear 10-12 days after exposure but may appear as early as 7 days and as late as 21 days

after exposure. Measles typically begins with high fever, cough, runny nose (coryza), and red, watery eyes (conjunctivitis.) Two or three days after symptoms begin, tiny white spots (Koplik spots) may appear inside the mouth. Three to five days after symptoms begin, a rash breaks out. It usually begins as flat red spots that appear on the face at the hairline and spread downward to the neck, trunk, arms, legs, and feet. Small raised bumps may also appear on top of the flat red spots. The spots may become joined together as they spread from the head to the rest of the body. When the rash appears, a person’s fever may go up to more than 104° Fahrenheit. After a few days, the fever subsides and the rash fades.

People are considered infectious from four days before to four days after the appearance of the rash. Immunity takes approximately 2 weeks after vaccination for full protection if someone has low immunity or has only had one MMR and receives a second MMR.

What we’re doing

We have sent a letter to all summer camp operators through the NYS Department of Health office in Monticello and all Sullivan County youth summer recreational youth camps. We are placing posters and flyers in the lobbies of County buildings and local businesses. We are conducting outreach to various community groups and would be happy to schedule something as resources allow. I have met with and am in communication with BOCES Superintendent Robert Dufour. Should it become necessary to conduct immunization clinics or push out communications for the public to be aware of, our offices have a plan in place to ensure immediate notification of all districts or a specific school as appropriate.

The measles vaccine

The measles vaccine is a safe and effective measles vaccine that can prevent suffering and death has been available for more than 50 years. For more information click here or visit https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/parents/diseases/child/measles.html.

High community vaccination rates help protect people who cannot get vaccinated because they are too young or have specific health conditions.

Where to obtain vaccination

MMR vaccines are available at your local health care provider or by calling a local federally qualified health center, such as Refuah Health Center in South Fallsburg (845) 482-9394; and Hudson River Health Care in Monticello (845) 794-2010. The federally qualified health centers see uninsured or underinsured patients on a sliding fee scale and by appointment. They may require patients new to their centers to have a well visit first, before a vaccine can be given. In addition, the Greater Hudson Valley Health Care System operates four primary care centers as well in Callicoon, Livingston Manor, Monticello and Bethel.

Our monthly immunization clinic for uninsured or children receiving Medicaid is available at Sullivan County Public Health Services. The next immunization clinic is May 8 from 5-7 p.m.

We want to reassure school officials and parents that the greatest number of persons who are fully immunized will provide the broadest protection for residents and minimize any outbreak if measles exposures do occur in Sullivan County.

For more information please visit http://sullivanny.us/Departments/Publichealth/Measles or call Sullivan County Public Health Information Line at 845-513-2268 or the New York State Department of Health Measles Information Line at (888) 364-4837.

 

Sincerely,

Nancy McGraw, LCSW, MBA, MPH
Public Health Director
Sullivan County, NY

Resources

  • Top 4 Things Parents Need to Know about Measles: https://www.cdc.gov/measles/about/parents-top4.html
  • Las 4 cosas principales que deben saber los padres sobre el sarampión: https://www.cdc.gov/measles/about/parents-top4-sp.html
  • FAQ about Measles: https://www.cdc.gov/measles/about/faqs.html
  • New York State Department of Health Communicable Disease Reporting: http://www.health.ny.gov/professionals/diseases/reporting/communicable
  • NYS school vaccine schedule: https://www.health.ny.gov/prevention/immunization/recommended_vaccinations.htm
  • Centers for Disease Control recommended Vaccine Schedules: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/index.html
  • NYS Outbreak Control Guidelines for Vaccine Preventable Diseases: http://www.health.ny.gov/prevention/immunization/providers/outbreak_control_guidelines.htm
  • Measles information: https://www.health.ny.gov/publications/2170/

The next board meeting is April 23

The next regular Board of Education meeting will be on Tuesday, April 23, 2019 at 6:30 pm.  The Board anticipates to enter into executive session immediately and the regular meeting is expected to resume at 7 p.m.  The agenda will be available on Monday April 22, 2019 at Board Docs

Sports Roundup (Week of April 8th)

Monday, April 8

Softball

Liberty 9, Goshen 10

The Liberty Varsity Softball team battled to the end but came up just short in a 10 to 9 loss at Goshen this afternoon. In a very exciting last inning, Goshen robbed two base hits from Liberty including a homerun when their left fielder went over the fence taking a homerun away from Jerikah Fleischman. The catch preserved the Goshen victory.  Kelsey Morgans went 4-4 with a homerun, triple and two singles. She scored 3 runs and drove in 3 to lead the offense. Katy Decker had a single and double with two runs scored. Jerikah Fleischman added a double. Liberty’s record is 0-1.

Wednesday, April 10

Boys Spring Track

The Liberty Boys Spring Track team hosted O’Neill and Fallsburg on a cold and windy day. The Indians overwhelmed an undermanned Fallsburg team  120 to 6 but lost to their archrivals 0’Neill 66 to 70.

Sophomore Zach Haberzettl ran the 3200 for the first time and placed third! Senior Ashton Barrett placed first in the high jump, triple jump and long jump. Sophomore Miguel Campos won the 3200, placed second in the 1600 and third in the 800.Senior Jake Lesczynski won the 400 IH. Junior Kevin Raymond won the 110 high hurdles and was third in the 400. Junior Breckin Cheh won the shot put. Junior Rich Jandik won the discus. Eighth grader Rayshawn Reynolds was third in the 200 and high jump. Junior Kymanni Dennis was second in the 200. Senior Lucas Carrion was third in the 100. Sophomore Troy Willis placed second in the 400. Freshman Gabe Desrochers was third in the 400. Junior Francisco Miguel was second in shot put. Freshman Wayne Kratz was third in discus.

Liberty won the 4 by 800 relay with the team of Miguel Campos, Jake Lesczynski, Jose Luna and Juan Romero.

Girls Spring Track

The Girls Varsity Track team scored an 84-55 win over division opponent O’Neill and defeated Fallsburg 107-8 on yet another cold, windy day.

The girls swept shot put, discus, and triple jump.  Eleisha Graves won shot and disc. Brooke Roth was first in 100 hurdles, long and triple jumps. Brianna Roth was 1st in high jump, 2nd in pole vault and 3rd in the 1500. Alyssa Kavleski was 2nd in the 100, 200 and triple jump. Mya Reynolds was 1st in the 200 and 3rd in the 100. Katrina Blais was 2nd in 400 hurdles and 3rd in 100 hurdles.  Sydneigh Fleischman was first in the 3000 and 3rd in triple. Angel Giarrantano-Rogers was 2nd in discus and 3rd in shot. Jerikah Fleishman was second in shot. Kelsey Morgans was 2nd and Chloe Ricco 3rd in the 400. Areli Vega was 3rd in 400 hurdles. Alexandra Riley was 2nd in the 3000. Jordan Raynor was 3rd in discus.

The 4×800 relay of Jerikah, Sydneigh, Katrina and Alex placed first.

Thursday, April 11

Softball

Liberty 37, Fallsburg 1

Gabby Magie had a double, three singles and scored six runs to lead Liberty’s 24-hit attack in their victory over Fallsburg.  Kylie Bachman added a double and three singles of her own while Areli Vega and Katy Decker each scored five times.  Kelsey Morgans had two more doubles and a single, scoring three runs and driving in four.  Taylor Arpino pitched a 1-hitter and struck out eight in her five innings of work. Liberty’s record is 1-1.

Friday, April 12

Softball

Burke 4, Liberty 0

Although they played a solid game defensively, Liberty fell in a pitcher’s duel 4-0 to Burke Catholic.  Katy Decker pitched a complete game, giving up just 3 earned runs while scattering nine hits and striking out 4.  Brooke Nichols reached base each of the three times she was up with a walk and had a stolen base.  Gabby Magie and Ana Barragan each had a hit for the Indians. Liberty’s record is 1-2

Saturday, April 13

Softball

Sullivan West Tournament – Game 1

Liberty 10, Monticello 9

In the bottom of the 6th inning, Ana Barragan scored the go ahead run on a double by Katy Decker completing a huge rally and giving Liberty a 10 – 9 win over Monticello. Liberty had trailed 9 – 1 in the 4th inning.  Decker went 4 – 4 with three doubles, 2 RBI and a run scored. Taylor Arpino went 3 – 3 with 3 RBI and 2 runs scored while Gabby Magie had a double, single and two runs scored. Liberty improves to 2 – 2.

Sullivan West Tournament – Championship Game

Liberty 16, Sullivan West 0 (5 innings)

Katy Decker threw 5 scoreless innings giving up just three hits while striking out six leading Liberty to a 16-0 victory in the championship game of the Sullivan West Tournament.  Jerikah Fleischman had a double and triple with 4 RBIs to pace Liberty’s offense.  Lily Alejandro went 2-3 with 3 RBIs while Kylie Bachman had a double with two runs scored.  Decker reached base 4 times with a double (her 4th of the day), two walks and a HBP.  Liberty’s record is now 3-2.

 

Draft 2019-20 budget contains modest additions to address student needs

Preliminary plan calls for 0 percent tax levy increase

 

At the board of education meeting on April 9, School Business Official Georgia Gonzalez presented a draft $48,393,178 budget for 2019-20 that continues all current student programs and includes some modest program additions and other investments to meet student needs and improve security.

View the April 9 presentation here.

During her presentation, Ms. Gonzalez estimated a district revenue projection for 2019-20 that would decrease by $455,935 over the prior year. The budget committee is proposing to reduce the budget through decreases in costs related to attrition (retirements) and the use of unappropriated funds (revenue left over from prior year’s budgets.)

The draft proposal includes improvements that represent the district’s goal to increase student outcomes by providing a quality instructional foundation with extra enrichment and support to meet student needs. The proposals below are driven by shifts in enrollment and student needs in the classroom, after school hours and on the athletic fields.

The draft proposal maintains all existing academic programs; creates a third School Resource Officer position and includes funding for four translation devices which would provide real time, two-way translation; an after-school tutoring program at the middle and high school; additional security cameras at the middle and high school; and field maintenance equipment for the soccer, softball and baseball fields. The proposal also establishes start up funds for a future MakerSpace at the high school.

The district will finalize its budget proposal at the end of the month. 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.

Liberty PTA Scholarship deadline is May 20

Liberty Elementary PTA will award three (3) scholarships in the amount of $500 each to graduating seniors. The scholarship may be used toward tuition, fees, or books.

Students named as Liberty Elementary PTA scholars must:
1. Graduate from Liberty Central School District High School with a cumulative minimum grade point average of 2.5 at the end of 7 semesters.
2. Apply or be accepted to pursue undergraduate study on a full-time basis leading to an Associate or a Baccalaureate degree at a technical or trade school, or post-secondary college or university.
3. Have a minimum SAT score of 1000 or a minimum ACT score of 20.
4. Be available for an interview with the PTA Executive Board if selected as a finalist.
5. Have successfully completed community service hours required for graduation.

 

Applications are available in the high school guidance office.

Technology Integration Specialist

POSITION AVAILABLE: Technology Integration Specialist
HOURS: Full Time Hours
LOCATION: LOCATION: As Assigned
EFFECTIVE DATE: September 1, 2019
PROFESSIONAL: NYS Teacher Certification Required
EXPERIENCE: 3 Yrs +
SALARY: Starting at $49,863 annually and based on experience and the current LFA Agreement

RECRUITING OFFICER: Dr. Augustine E. Tornatore
Email: atornatore@libertyk12.org
DUE DATE: May 8, 2019
APPLY VIA: www.olasjobs.org

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Three board seats available; nominating petitions due April 22

District residents will go to the polls on Tuesday, May 15 to vote on the proposed budget and elect three Liberty Board of Education members for the seats of Matthew DeWitt, John Nichols and Dr. Philip Olsen.

The vote will be at-large, meaning that the three candidates with the highest amount of votes will fill the three vacant positions.

All interested candidates must file a petition and must be:
• a qualified voter of the district;
• at least 18 years old;
• able to read and write;
• a resident of the district for at least one year prior to the election; and
• the only member of his or her household on the school board.

All interested candidates must file a petition and must NOT be:
• a convicted felon;
• a member of another public office position;
• removed from a school district office within one year of the election; and
• a current employee of the district.

Nominating petitions must be signed by at least 25 qualified district voters. Petitions are due to the District Clerk, Tania DeFrank, before 5 p.m. on Monday, April 22, 2018.

Budget news available online

Interested in learning more about Liberty’s proposed 2019-20 budget? Looking for information on the New York State School Tax Relief (STAR) program, tax levy limit law or general budget terms? Visit this page to access glossaries, videos and more.

Please note: Since the development of the district’s annual spending plan is an ongoing process, we recommend that you save this page and open it weekly for updates. 

The district’s 2019-20 budget development presentations and updates are also available online. Following the budget adoption on April 23 printed copies of the budget statement will be available in the main office of each school building in the district, the business office and the Liberty Public Library.

As of press time, the draft proposal carries a 0 percent tax levy increase and maintains all existing academic programs; creates a third School Resource Officer position and a high school MakerSpace and includes funding for four translation devices which would provide real time, two-way translation; an after-school tutoring program at the middle and high school; additional security cameras at the middle and high school; and field maintenance equipment for the soccer, softball and baseball fields.

Voters will also elect three members to the Board of Education. Voters will cast their ballot on Tuesday, May 21 at Liberty High School. Polls will be open from 12-9 p.m.

Absentee ballots are available for voters who are unable to vote in person due to illness, physical disability, hospitalization or travel.

Applications are needed in order to receive a ballot. To request your ballot application, e-mail District Clerk, Tania DeFrank at tdefrank@libertyk12.org or call (845) 292-6990, or visit the District Office at 115 Buckley Street in Liberty. If you want your ballot mailed to you, your application must be received by May 13. If you plan to pick up your application and ballot in person you may do so until May 20.

Absentee ballots must be returned to the district office by 5 p.m. on May 21.

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