Talking to Children about COVID-19

The LCSD Guildance Department, along with the National Association of School Psychologists and the National Association of School Nurses, share this advice on how to talk to children and young adults about COVID-19:

Children and young adults also need factual, age appropriate information about the potential seriousness of disease risk and concrete instruction about how to avoid infections and spread of disease.

Teaching children positive preventive measures, talking with them about their fears, and giving
them a sense of some control over their risk of infection can help reduce anxiety.

Be calm and reassuring

  • Children will react to and follow your verbal and nonverbal reactions.
  • If true, emphasize to your children that they and your family are fine.
  • Remind them that you and the adults in at school are there to keep them safe and healthy.
  • Let ythem talk about their feelings and help reframe their concerns into the appropriate perspective.

Make yourself available

  • Children may need extra attention and may want to talk about their concerns, fears, and questions.
  • It is important that they know they have someone who will listen to them and make time for them.
  • Tell them you love them and give them plenty of affection.

Avoid excessive blaming

  • When tensions are high, sometimes we try to blame someone. Avoid stereotyping any one group of people as responsible for the virus.
  • Be aware of comments other adults are making around your family. You may have to explain what comments mean if they are different than the values that you have at home.
  • Avoid watching or listening to news broadcasts that might be upsetting when your children are present.
  • Speak to your child about how many Internet stories about COVID-19 may be inaccurate and based on rumors.
  • Constantly watching updates on the status of COVID-19 can increase anxiety. Avoid this.
  • Be aware that information designed for adults can cause anxiety or confusion, particularly in young children.

Maintain a routine

  • Keep to a regular schedule, as this can be reassuring and promotes physical health.
  • Encourage your children to keep up with schoolwork and extracurricular activities, but don’t push them if they seem overwhelmed.

Be honest and accurate

  • Giving children guidance on what they can do to prevent infection gives them a greater sense of
    control over disease spread and will help to reduce their anxiety.
  • In the absence of factual information, children often imagine situations far worse than reality. Don’t ignore their concerns.
  • Encourage your child to practice every day good hygiene, such as proper handwashing,  sneeze or cough into the bend of their elbow, and don’t share food or drinks.
  • Encourage your child to eat a balanced diet, get enough sleep, and exercise regularly.

Childcare Volunteers Needed for Children of Essential Workers

Volunteers are still needed to staff two childcare centers for the children of essential workers. Several Liberty families have requested this service, which provides free childcare to support the critical work of healthcare workers and first responders as  we contend with the COVID-19 pandemic.

County school districts are working in cooperation with the Sullivan County Child Care Council, Sullivan County Government, SUNY Sullivan and Sullivan BOCES to provide this service

There are two childcare locations, SUNY Sullivan in Loch Sheldrake and the Catskill Regional Medical Center in Harris. If you can volunteer, please fill out this Volunteers for Childcare Survey

Information about 3rd quarter at LHS

Dear Parents/Guardians and Students:

I hope this letter finds you safe and well. The challenges of our current unforeseen and unprecedented COVID-19 situation are many, as are the decisions that have yet to be made. The district and building staff are working diligently to offer the best distance education experience possible during our leave from school.

● Students should continue the educational process through our distance learning platform, Google Classroom.
● Teachers are being flexible and understanding in order to support students towards completing their assignments.
● Teachers and Counselors are available to provide support through a variety of modalities including email, Google Classroom, Google Hangout Meets, as well as others.
● The dates of March 30 and March 31 are days set aside for teaching preparation and teachers will not be available.
● Our Spring Break remains April 6 through April 14. Students should still be completing any work assigned by their teacher.

The information below provides recent decisions and updates. We will continue to provide additional information as it becomes available to us or we are provided with the information to make educated decisions.

Third Quarter Marking Period Changes
● In order to provide the fairest and most equitable representation of our third quarter marking period, we will conclude as of the last student day in the quarter, which was March 12, 2020, instead of the original date of April 3, 2020. Assignments that students were able to complete or given the opportunity to make-up will be counted as part of their grade. Any assignment(s) not meeting this requirement will not be counted against students. An incomplete will be given to any student who under specific circumstances was not able to complete their assignments during the third quarter marking period. A plan for completion would be developed. You should receive the report card during the week of April 6.

Senior Grade Point Average (GPA)
● The Senior Grade Point Averages have traditionally been determined at the conclusion of our third quarter marking period. This will be the case in this instance as well as it is still the most equitable decision possible.

College Courses
● Our dual enrollment Sullivan Community College Courses are proceeding with their required curriculum as specified by the college. Students are still required to complete the coursework in the allotted time in order to receive college credit. All of our teachers are being flexible and understanding in order to support students towards completing their courses.

Thank you for your continued support. If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our Teachers, Counselors, Mr. Peters, Ms. Barrow or me. We are here to support our students through their educational journey, regardless of the situations that arise.

Stay safe, and healthy.

All the Best,

Derek Adams
Principal
Twitter and Instagram- @LibertyHS_NY

 

Estimados Padres / Tutores y Estudiantes:

Espero que esta carta te encuentre sanos y salvos. Los desafíos de nuestra actual situación COVID-19 imprevista y sin precedentes son muchos, al igual que las decisiones que aún no se han tomado. El distrito y el personal del edificio están trabajando diligentemente para ofrecer la mejor experiencia de educación a distancia posible durante nuestra salida de la escuela.

● Los estudiantes deben continuar el proceso educativo a través de nuestra plataforma de aprendizaje a distancia, Google Classroom.
● Los maestros son flexibles y comprensivos para ayudar a los estudiantes a completar sus tareas.
● Los maestros y los consejeros están disponibles para brindar apoyo a través de una variedad de modalidades que incluyen correo electrónico, Google Classroom, Google Hangout Meets, entre otros.
● Las fechas del 30 y 31 de Marzo son días reservados para la preparación de la enseñanza y los maestros no estarán disponibles.
● Nuestras vacaciones de primavera permanecen del 6 de Abril al 14 de Abril. Los estudiantes aún deben completar cualquier trabajo asignado por su maestro.

La siguiente información proporciona decisiones recientes y actualizaciones. Continuaremos brindando información adicional a medida que esté disponible para nosotros o se nos proporcionará la información para tomar decisiones informadas.

Cambios en el período de calificación del tercer trimestre
● Para proporcionar la representación más justa y equitativa de nuestro período de calificación del tercer trimestre, concluiremos a partir del último día del estudiante en el trimestre, que fue el 12 de Marzo de 2020, en lugar de la fecha original del 3 de Abril , 2020. Las tareas que los estudiantes pudieron completar o se les dio la oportunidad de recuperar se contarán como parte de su calificación. Cualquier tarea que no cumpla con este requisito no se contará en contra de los estudiantes. Se dará un formulario incompleto a cualquier estudiante que, en circunstancias específicas, no haya podido completar sus tareas durante el período de calificaciones del tercer trimestre. Se desarrollaría un plan para completarlo. Debería recibir la boleta de calificaciones durante la semana del 6 de Abril.

Promedio de Puntaje de Grado Calificaciones – Senior (GPA)
● Los promedios de puntos de grado de Seniors se han determinado tradicionalmente al final de nuestro período de calificaciones del tercer trimestre. Este será el caso en este caso y seguirá siendo la decisión más equitativa posible.

Cursos Universitarios
● Nuestro doble matrícula Sullivan Community College continúan con su plan de estudios requerido según lo especificado por la universidad. Los estudiantes aún deben completar los cursos en el tiempo asignado para recibir crédito universitario. Todos nuestros maestros son flexibles y comprensivos para ayudar a los estudiantes a completar sus cursos.

Gracias por su continuo apoyo. Si tiene alguna pregunta o inquietud, no dude en comunicarse con nuestros maestros, consejeros, el Sr. Peters, la Sra. Barrow o conmigo. Estamos aquí para apoyar a nuestros estudiantes a través de su viaje educativo, independientemente de las situaciones que surjan.

Manténgase seguro y saludable.

Cordialmente,

Derek Adams
Principal
Twitter e Instagram- @LibertyHS_NY

LHS Staffer Tests Positive for COVID-19, Last Contact with School was March 13

The Liberty Central District learned today, March 24, that a member of the school community has tested positive for COVID-19.

This positive diagnosis of an adult is the district’s first confirmed case of COVID-19. The adult, who is recovering at home, works in the High School and was last on school grounds on March 13. The district has been closed to students since March 12, and all school buildings are being thoroughly sanitized and disinfected.

The Sullivan County Department of Health has been notified. As positive diagnoses of  COVID-19 rise throughout New York State, it is likely that reports of persons testing positive with COVID-19 will continue to emerge in our local communities as well.

“The reality is it’s here, just as it is in many other places,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Augustine E. Tornatore. “We must continue to take the advice of health experts and practice social distancing, proper hand-washing, and other preventative measures to halt the spread of COVID-19 and flatten the curve.”

COVID-19 causes mild to moderate flu-like symptoms, including fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Many people with COVID-19 recover fully at home. Older adults and people who have serious underlying medical conditions may be at higher risk for more serious complications.

Child Care for Essential Workers Offered

By Executive Order, the public school districts of Sullivan County, in collaboration with the Sullivan County Child Care Council, have developed emergency child care plans for essential workers.

Essential workers include first responders, healthcare workers, food manufacturers, supermarket workers, food preparation workers, commercial truck drivers, transit workers, carriers of critical and essential materials, construction workers, manufacturing workers, specialized equipment workers related to health or safety of the public and nonprofit and social service agencies providing support to families, and employees in related fields.

The plan is meant to serve those essential workers for whom child care has become a burden during the response to COVID-19. If you meet the definition of an essential employee and have child care needs, access to free childcare via the CARES Child Care Scholarship from the Office of Children and Family Services is available to those who qualify.

Essential workers that currently have their children in licensed/registered child care or need child care may apply here.

You will be contacted by the Sullivan County Child Care Council, Inc., within one business day. They will follow up on the next steps to gather information about your household and help you identify a participating child care provider or work with your current registered or licensed child care provider.

Grades 3-8 assessments suspended for 2019-20 school year

The New York State Board of Regents and state Education Department announced Friday, March 20, that the elementary- and intermediate-level state assessments for Grades 3-8 have been suspended for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year.

“It is most important that during the time of closure, schools are able to continue to focus their efforts toward local school and community needs, as they have been doing, and not be concerned about state assessments. NYSED has applied for federal waivers for testing, accountability and reporting requirements,” Board of Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rosa and Interim State Education Commissioner Shannon Tahoe said in a statement.

The U.S. Department of Education announced Friday that states may cancel any scheduled standardized tests for this school year.

This suspension applies to the following New York state testing programs:

  • New York State Grades 3-8 English Language Arts Test;
  • New York State Grades 3-8 Mathematics Test;
  • New York State Grade 4 Elementary-Level Science Test;
  • New York State Grade 8 Intermediate-Level Science Test;
  • New York State English as a Second Language Achievement Test (NYSESLAT) in Grades K-12; and
  • New York State Alternate Assessment (NYSAA) for students with severe cognitive disabilities in Grades 3-8 and high school.

The state has not yet issued guidance on end-of-June Regents exams and The College Board’s Advanced Placement exams.

Volunteers sought to provide childcare to children of first responders, health care workers

The State of New York, in an effort to support the critical work of healthcare workers and first responders, has required school districts to establish child care services for them.

Sullivan County school districts are working in cooperation with the Sullivan County government, SUNY Sullivan, Sullivan BOCES and the Sullivan County Child Care Council to implement a countywide plan to serve the child care needs of our health care workers and first responders.

There will be two central locations, SUNY Sullivan and the Catskill Regional Medical Center. These sites will be available for drop in care on a daily basis. It is anticipated that this plan will be fully implemented sometime between March 23 and March 27, 2020.

We  need volunteers to supervise these two sites. Plans are already underway to provide games, movies and other forms of engagement for the child care sites.

If you would like to volunteer, please email Assistant Superintendent Dr. Patrick Sullivan at psullivan@libertyk12.org  and provide your name, the hours and dates that you are available, and your contact information, including email and phone number. You may also call 845-292-5400 ext. 2031.

March 19: School Closure Updates from the Asst. Superintendent

Dear Liberty Community,

This week, the Liberty Central School District distributed school work and student meals to our Elementary, Middle, and High School students.

If you were one of the many families who were unable to pick up your child’s school work, please be assured that we are working on a plan to get it delivered to you as soon as possible. We will announce those details shortly.

Here are a few additional updates:

  • If you do not have access to the internet, please call 845-292-5400 ext. 2031.
  • We are providing breakfast and lunch to our students while school is closed. Meals are available for pick up 9-11 a.m. each weekday morning at the High School and are being delivered by Rolling V bus drivers along their regular routes. If you have not been able to receive meals, please call 845-292-5400 ext. 2031.
  • We have received inquiries regarding Third Quarter grades. More information pertaining to these topics will be shared soon.

Google Classroom for Secondary Students

The primary platform used at the secondary level is Google Classroom. However, some teachers are using additional platforms to support your child’s learning:

The Structure

Teachers are posting assignments and providing minimal deadlines of 2-3 days. If your child is having difficulty meeting deadlines please contact the teacher via email or through the Google Classroom platform. Please know that our teachers will be flexible as we are all learning a new way of educating.

Feedback/Assessment

Teachers will provide feedback and assignment grades as students complete their digital work. Depending on the assignment, the turn-around time for a grade may differ.

Educational Resources

Our teachers shared some helpful educational links to enhance at-home learning. We’ll continue to share more resources during the extended school closure:

Prek- Grade 8

If a student needs their login information for Freckle or MyOn, please email your child’s teacher.

Grade 9-12

        Social and Emotional Well-Being

        We thank everyone for their continued understanding, patience and support.
        With Liberty Pride,

        Dr. Patrick Sullivan
        Assistant Superintendent

          COVID-19 UPDATE from the Superintendent: Student meals, classwork while school is closed

          Click here for the district’s previous COVID-19 updates

          March 17, 2020: By order of the Sullivan County Manager, all Sullivan County schools, including the Liberty Central School District, are closed through April 3, 2020 to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

          We recognize that this extraordinary situation presents an array of difficulties for our students, employees and families, and we know you have many questions about this extended closure:

          Are you serving student meals?

          Yes. Beginning Wednesday, March 18, student breakfast and lunch will be available Mondays-Fridays. To help us plan, please call 292-5400, ext. 2031 to let us know if you’ll be participating in the meal program.

          • Students who walk to school can pick up meals 9-11 a.m. at the High School loading area (near the parking lot basketball court.)
          • Rolling V drivers will deliver meals at their regular bus stops between 9:30-10:30 a.m. each day. Drivers will beep and wait two minutes before moving on.

          What about homework?

          Packets of work can be picked up 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Wednesday, March 18  and Thursday, March 19 at the Elementary, Middle and High Schools. Please stop by your child’s school during those hours. (High school teachers have also contacted students with details about specific assignments.)

          Google Classroom assignments for Middle and High School students are available now. Students can access this work with their Chromebook.

          We also suggest that you keep your children engaged in learning. Read with your children, help them with their classwork, and explore many free online educational resources available. We will be sharing links to our teachers’ favorite websites on the district website, too.

          If you did not receive the classwork packet or do not have internet access, please call 292-5400, ext. 2031.

          What if my student left an important item at school?

          Chromebooks, instruments and vital personal belongings can be picked up 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Wed., March 18  and Thurs., March 19. Parents and students will not be permitted in the school buildings, but we will do our best to get it for you.

          What does “closed” mean?

          Only essential LCSD staff are reporting to work, so it may take us longer than usual to answer your messages.

          All school events cancelled through April 3, and the closure includes all school grounds, playgrounds and fields. Spring athletics are cancelled through May 1.

          Will the Board of Education meet?

          BOE meetings will be held via video conference through May. We’ll share an access code so the public can join from home.

          How will you keep us updated?

          We will continue to share updates on our website (www.libertyk12.org), our Facebook page, and through our school messaging system.

          What we don’t know

          The governor has stated that in order for schools to apply for the 180 day waiver, schools must use their vacation days and snow days. This may change. It remains unclear how spring break and other school holidays will be affected, and we don’t know for certain when school will reopen. Other possible variables include SAT, ACT, and Regents scheduling. We will share updates as soon as we know more.

          Thank you again for your continued patience as we navigate this challenging time together.

          With Liberty Pride,

          Dr. Augustine E. Tornatore
          Superintendent of Schools

          School is CLOSED March 16-April 3

          To our Liberty Schools community,

          March 14, 2020: Sullivan County Manager Josh Potosek has issued an emergency order closing all schools, including the Liberty Central School District, now through April 3.

          Given that this is a rapidly evolving public health issue, school leaders have decided that this is the most prudent action available to limit the spread of COVID-19.

          As the coronavirus continues to disrupt our day-to-day lives, the topmost priority of the Liberty Central School District remains steady: To keep our students and staff healthy and safe.

          We will provide further updates soon regarding student work and meals. As always, we appreciate your patience and understanding.  #LibertyPride

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