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LIBERTY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL IS ALL REMOTE. In-person instruction resumes Jan. 27

LIBERTY MIDDLE SCHOOL IS ALL REMOTE. In-person instruction resumes Jan. 25

Free meals for kids, teens| COVID-19 | The 2020-21 School Year

All Things Liberty Night is Thursday, Nov. 5! Attend with Zoom

The second annual All Things Liberty Night will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 5, and everyone’s invited.

This virtual event will include conversation about All Things Liberty with Assistant Superintendent Dr. Patrick Sullivan and  Elementary Assistant Principal/Director of Community Schools Robert England. You’ll also be able to comment and ask questions.

We’re excited to share news about our students and staff and all the good things happening in the elementary, middle and high schools as we navigate this challenging school year and hope that the evening will inspire ongoing conversations between school leaders and our parents, students, and community members on the subjects that matter most to you.

The evening will include information about  “Three Frameworks” – Technology, Behavioral Supports, and Professional Learning Communities – which are the foundation of the district’s commitment to be the best teachers, administrators, mentors, and advocates to our students.

Representatives from several of the district’s community partners will also be on hand to talk about their services. Guest speakers include:

  • Linnette Vargas Gonzalez, Community Health Worker, MiSN (Maternal Infant Services Network)
    MiSN is a non-profit health network established in 1990 to improve birth outcomes and reduce ethnic and racial disparities leading to infant mortality, maternal mortality, preterm birth and low birth weight babies. MiSN is dedicated to family and community health and wellness across the lifespan.
  • SueAnn Boyd, Cornell Cooperative Extension Sullivan County
    Since 1913, Cornell Cooperative Extension has responded to the needs of local residents with unbiased, research-based information, tools and education. Extension staff and volunteers deliver educational programs, conduct applied research, and encourage community collaborations on topics including agriculture; nutrition and health; youth and families; finances; energy efficiency; community development and sustainable natural resources.

How to attend All Things Liberty

An RSVP isn’t required, but is requested. Please RSVP here.

Attend via Zoom

The Zoom link will go live shortly before 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 5.

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We’ve gone mobile! Download the free LCSD mobile app today!

A cell phone open to the Liberty Mobile App home screen, which shows the Liberty Shield and several icons
The free LCSD mobile app is available at the App Store and the Google Play Store

The brand new Liberty Central School District mobile app has launched and it’s free!

The new app provides one more way to to receive news and information about Liberty’s programs, students, and events, and enables the district’s website to run more efficiently on smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices.

With the app, users can quickly and easily navigate through current news and events, retrieve contact information from the staff directory, check athletic schedules and more. The app also provides a gateway to School Tool, Parent Portal, School Messenger and the district’s Facebook page.

The district considered the needs of parents, students, teachers, staff, community members and alumni as the app was designed.

The app is customizable so users can choose to access information specific to Liberty Elementary, Middle or High School and can set it to only receive the alerts and notifications they request.

The free app will work with Apple and Android phones and is available on smartphones and mobile devices through the App Store and Google Play. Search “Liberty Central” to find it.

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Tips for a fun and safe Halloween from the NYS Department of Health

This year, the best way to celebrate Halloween is to have fun with the people who live in your household. Decorating your house or apartment, carving pumpkins, playing Halloween-themed  games, watching spooky movies and trick-or-treating through your house or in a backyard scavenger  hunt are all fun and healthy ways to celebrate during this time.

The New York State Department of Health suggests these creative ways to celebrate more safely:

  • Organize a virtual Halloween costume party with costumes and games.
  • Have a neighborhood car parade or vehicle caravan where families show off their costumes  while staying socially distanced and remaining in their cars.
  • In cities or apartment buildings, communities can come together to trick-or-treat around the  block or other outdoor spaces so kids and families aren’t tempted to trick-or-treat inside – building residents and businesses can contribute treats that are individually wrapped and placed on tables outside of the front door of the building, or in the other outdoor space for grab and go trick-or-treating.
  • Consider non-candy Halloween treats that your trick or-treaters will love, such as spooky or glittery stickers, magnets, temporary tattoos, pencils, bookmarks, glow sticks or mini notepads.
  • Create a home or neighborhood scavenger hunt where parents or guardians give their kids candy when they find each “clue.”
  • Go all out to decorate your house this year. Have a neighborhood contest for the best decorated house.
  • Carve and decorate pumpkins at home.
  • Play Halloween-themed games with members of your household.
  • Watch spooky movies.

If you do celebrate outside your home follow these  simple Do’s and Don’ts to keep your family and your community safe and healthy.

Do:

  • Enjoy virtual celebrations or socially distanced activities that are outdoors as much as possible.
  • Trick-or-treat only with your household family group. Consider a  family costume theme!
  • Always stay socially distanced from those who are not living in your household.
  • If you give out treats, avoid direct contact with  trick-or-treaters. Give treats outdoors. Set up a station with individually bagged  or packaged treats for kids to take.
  • Participate in one-way trick or-treating where individually wrapped goodie bags are lined  up for families to grab and go while continuing to social distance (such as at the end of a driveway or at the edge of a yard).
  • It is best to take candy only if it is individually wrapped in a sealed wrapper or baggy, and is available to grab and go placed separately from other candies, so kids can easily pick up treats without touching candy another child will take (e.g., no bowls).
  • If setting a grab and go station, set it six feet from your front door, so  trick or treaters know they will not be in close contact with  anyone at the location.
  •  All individuals over age 2 and able to medically tolerate a face covering must wear face coverings or cloth masks. Most Halloween masks won’t be sufficient to meet Department of  Health guidance, so ensure you wear a face covering that provides adequate protection.
  • Incorporate your face covering into a costume, but remember, a face covering must always be made of two or more layers of breathable fabric that covers the mouth and  nose and doesn’t leave gaps around the face.
  •  Wash your hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer before, during and after any activities.
  • Consider carrying hand sanitizer or leaving some out for your treat-or-treaters to use.
  • Only give out, or pick up, commercially wrapped treats that  are sealed.

Don’t:

  • Trick-or-treat or leave out candy if you are sick, live with someone  who is sick, have been exposed to someone known to have  COVID-19 in the last 14 days, are under isolation or quarantine, or have traveled internationally or to a state affected by the NYS Travel Advisory in the last 14 days.
  • Participate in traditional trick-or-treating where treats are handed out at the door and where you cannot stay socially distanced.
  • Pick out candy from a bowl or receive candy directly from someone’s hands.
  • If there is crowding in front of a home, or if treats are directly  taken from a bowl or directly handed out from someone’s hands, skip that house.
  • Trick-or-treat in crowded streets or neighborhoods where social distance cannot be maintained. Avoid crowding in elevators, hallways or stairwells.
  • Trick-or-treat in large groups.
  • Take candy from someone else’s bag.
  • Host or attend a party or event, indoors or outdoors, over the mass gathering limits set for your area. Events lasting several hours or that have people who have traveled from other areas where transmission is higher put your family most at risk of COVID-19. If you do go to an event and see a large crowd, or if there are others there who are not wearing face coverings or staying socially distanced, you should leave.
  • Wear a Halloween mask instead of a face covering, unless the  Halloween mask meets the face covering guidance.
  • Wear a Halloween costume mask over a cloth face mask; it can  make it difficult to breathe. Instead, skip the costume mask this year and choose a cloth face mask that compliments your costume.
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LHS student, attending classes remotely, tests positive for COVID-19 | Instruction at High School continues without interruption

The district learned Thursday, Oct. 22, that a Liberty High School student has tested positive for COVID-19.

The student attends school from home on a fully remote schedule and has not attended in-person classes this school year. The student participated in an outdoor activity on the High School campus on Oct. 15 where masks were worn and social distancing was observed, and health officials say the student was not contagious for the virus at that time.

The High School remains open and Sullivan County Public Health Services (SCPHS) has not called for the quarantine or testing of any Liberty students or staff members as a result of this student’s positive test results. Contact tracers from SCPHS reach out to individuals who may be at risk for contracting the coronavirus via interaction with someone who has tested positive, and advise them of what steps to take.

The health and safety of our students and staff is always our first priority, and we will continue to keep you informed when a member of our school community tests positive for the coronavirus via our mass messaging system and the district’s website. Notifications about COVID-19 are posted on the district website and sent directly to Liberty staff and families.

Privacy laws restrict the disclosure or confirmation of any personally identifiable information and we cannot identify anyone who has tested positive for the coronavirus.

For more information about our health and safety procedures please contact your building principal. Any additional questions, including information about testing procedures, should be directed to your healthcare provider or Sullivan County Public Health Services at 845-292-5910.

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Middle School on brief “Stay Put” on Oct. 20 | Two adults charged with trespassing on parking lot

At approximately 2:45 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 20, the Middle School was put on a  brief “stay put” as LMS School Resource Officer James Simon investigated the presence of an unauthorized car in the Middle School’s back parking lot. 

Additional officers from the Liberty Police Department were called to the scene. Two adults were charged with criminal trespass and public lewdness. The car was towed.

The stay put was lifted and scheduled activities at the middle school resumed. 

During a stay put, instruction and classroom activities continue, but hallways are kept clear and students and staff stay where they are.

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Middle School student, not on campus this school year, tests positive for COVID 19

The Liberty Central School District Office learned on Monday, Oct. 19, that a Middle School student has tested positive for the coronavirus. The student has not attended in-person classes this school year.

Sullivan County Public Health Services (SCPHS) has not called for the quarantine or testing of any Liberty students or staff members as a result of this student’s positive test results. Contact tracers from SCPHS reach out to individuals who may be at risk for contracting the coronavirus via interaction with someone who has tested positive, and advise them of what steps to take.

The health and safety of our students and staff is always our first priority, and we will continue to keep you informed. Health notifications about COVID-19 are posted on the district website and sent directly to Liberty staff and families.

If you would like more information about our health and safety procedures please contact your building principal. Any additional questions, including information about testing procedures, should be directed to your family’s doctor or Sullivan County Public Health Services at 845-292-5910.

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Middle School student, last on campus Oct. 6, tests positive for COVID-19 | LMS classes continue as scheduled

The district learned late Friday, Oct. 16 that a Liberty Middle School student has tested positive for COVID-19.

At the time of test the student was already in quarantine and had not attended school during  an infectious period. The student was last in school on Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020. Sullivan County Public Health Services is not recommending that any additional Middle School students or staff quarantine.

Liberty Middle School remains open and no interruption in instruction is expected. The district will continue to follow the guidance of Sullivan County health officials.

The health and safety of our students and staff is always our first priority, and we will continue to keep you informed via our mass messaging system and the district’s website. Notifications about COVID-19 are posted on the district website and sent directly to Liberty staff and families.

Privacy laws restrict the disclosure or confirmation of any personally identifiable information and we cannot identify anyone who has tested positive for the coronavirus.

For more information about our health and safety procedures please contact your building principal. Any additional questions, including information about testing procedures, should be directed to Sullivan County Public Health Services at 845-292-5910.

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LES student tests positive for COVID-19 | School expected to remain open

A Liberty Elementary School student has tested positive for COVID-19, and one LES classroom will go to remote learning for two weeks while the student’s classmates and several teachers are in quarantine as directed by the Sullivan County Department of Health.

The district learned late Friday, Oct. 16 that the student, who was last in school Wednesday, Oct. 14, had tested positive. The teacher and students in the affected classroom were immediately contacted by district officials.

The student also rode the Brown Sneaker bus on the afternoon of Tuesday, Oct. 13 and the afternoon of Wednesday, Oct. 14. The parents/guardians of students who were on that bus were also contacted.

Over the next few days, contact tracers from Sullivan County Public Health Services will also contact anyone deemed at risk or in close or prolonged contact with the student who tested positive for COVID-19 and will advise them of what steps to take.

At this time, all other Liberty Elementary students are expected to continue to attend in-person classes as scheduled, and the Middle and High School both remain open. However, additional measures may be required as details emerge, and we will follow the advice of health officials.

We will keep the community informed via our mass messaging system and the district’s website.

Liberty Elementary School is divided into small Learning Pods, and interactions are limited to students within their Pods. This Learning Pod system enables health officials and district leadership to readily identify individuals who may be exposed.

The health and safety of our students and staff is always our first priority, and we will continue to keep you informed. Health notifications about COVID-19 are posted on the district website and sent directly to Liberty staff and families.

Details about our health, safety, and sanitizing protocols can be found in the Liberty Central School District Reopening Plan, which is posted on the district website. Privacy laws restrict the district from disclosing or confirming any personally identifiable information and we cannot identify anyone who has tested positive for the coronavirus.

Please also refer to the PreK-Grade 12 COVID-19 Toolkit for guidance from the New York State Department of Health about when to stay home and when, after a COVID-19 diagnosis, your student can return to school.

If you would like more information about our health and safety procedures please contact your building principal. Any additional questions, including information about testing procedures, should be directed to Sullivan County Public Health Services at 845-292-5910.

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Pandemic Food Benefits (P-EBT) for school-aged children explained

An imaged of a PEBT benefits card
Eligible families should receive a P-EBT card sometime in October.

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act authorized the payment of Pandemic-EBT (P-EBT) food benefits to households with children who would have received free school lunches if not for a school closure.

These temporary food benefits of $420 per eligible child are to help cover the cost of meals children would have received meals at school from March-June 2020. The goal of the program is to help families by providing food for children while they are not in school due to the COVID19 pandemic.
P-EBT benefits have begun to be distributed, leading to some confusion for families who do not participate in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP.)
Because the Liberty Central School District is a district in which all students receive free school meals, all of our students are eligible for the P-EBT benefits. The benefit is based upon enrollment as of the end of March 2020. Therefore, Liberty’s 2020 graduates will likely be included.
The $420 benefit will be automatically added to the accounts of those who already participate in SNAP. For those who don’t, a new card will be mailed  for each child in the household regardless of income.
If your family received SNAP or Temporary Assistance (TA) benefits for March 2020 you should have already received your P-EBT food benefits, which were issued to your family’s current EBT card in May and June.

FAQs about Pandemic Food Benefits

Do I need to apply for P-EBT food benefits?

No. P-EBT food benefits will automatically be issued to eligible children.

If your family received SNAP or Temporary Assistance‒TA for March 2020, and you have children age 5-18 who receive free or reduced-price school lunch, you should have already received P-EBT food benefits, which were automatically issued to your family’s EBT card in May and June.

If you have children who receive free or reduced-price school lunch, but your family did not receive P-EBT food benefits in May and June, you will automatically get P-EBT food benefits for each school-age child in your household.

Information about when and how to access P-EBT food benefits will be mailed to households with eligible children through October.

Are my child/children eligible?

All children who would have received free or reduced-price school lunches for the days their school was closed due to COVID-19 are eligible. This includes:

  • All children attending Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) schools where all children attending public schools in the district received free or reduced-price school lunches. The Liberty Central School District is a CEP school.
  • Children who attend private, parochial and charter schools and who received free school lunches.
  • Three and 4-year-old children attending Universal Pre-K and who received free school lunches.
  • Young adults ages 19 to 21 who are still in school and who received free school lunches.
  • Foster children who received free school lunches.
  • Children who are non-citizens and who received free school lunches.

Do my preschool children qualify?

Yes. Children ages 3 and 4, who attended pre-kindergarten and who received free school lunch through the National Free Lunch Program are  eligible.

Do young adults ages 19 to 21 who are still in school qualify?

Yes. Young adults who are ages 19 through 21 who were still in school during the 2019-20 school year and who would have received free school lunches  are eligible.

How much will my child receive in P-EBT food benefits?

The maximum monthly amounts you may receive for each eligible child in your household are:

  • March: $68
  • April: $125
  • May: $119
  • June: $108

So, $420 is the maximum amount one child could receive.

When will my child receive the P-EBT food benefits?

Families with children ages 5 through 18 who received either SNAP or TA benefits for March 2020 received their P-EBT food benefits in May and June.

Most, but not all, families with children ages 3-18 who get Medicaid and who get free school lunches received their P-EBT food benefits in July 2020.

All other families with children eligible for P-EBT food benefits should soon receive a P-EBT food benefit card for each eligible child. Eligible children will continue to receive their P-EBT 2020 food benefit cards through October.

How will I receive P-EBT food benefits?

The P-EBT food benefits will be loaded onto an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card.

Most families that receive SNAP or TA benefits already received the P-EBT benefits in May or June, which were were issued directly to your household’s existing EBT card and added to your SNAP balance.

To check your food benefits balance (but not your eligibility for P-EBT food benefits) visit www.connectebt.com or call 1-888-328-6399. Agents acan  answer questions about your SNAP balance but do not have information about P-EBT.

Most families with children who receive Medicaid, who are between the ages of 3 and 18 and who are eligible for P-EBT food benefits will have their P-EBT benefits issued to the Medicaid Common Benefit Identification Card (CBIC) of the parent or to the CBIC of the oldest child in your household. Households with children in this group received a letter in July telling them how to access their P-EBT food benefits using their CBIC.

The parents/guardians of eligible children who did not receive P-EBT food benefits on a SNAP, TA or Medicaid card will receive a P-EBT 2020 food benefit card in the mail. A card will be sent for each eligible child. These cards will be mailed in the child’s name, not a parent’s or guardian’s name.

Eligible children will continue to receive their P-EBT 2020 food benefit cards, including instructions on how to use them, through October. Once your benefits have been used, keep your card in the event P-EBT food benefits are issued again.

All P-EBT cards will have an ID number that starts with the letter “I” and a generic birthdate of 01/01/1900.

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COVID-19 UPDATE: Returning to school after illness

The Department of Health has issued updated guidance for students and school staff regarding when to stay home and when it’s ok to return to school after a COVID-19 diagnosis or exposure to a person with COVID-19.

This guidance is outlined in the NYSDOH PreK to Grade 12 School Guidance Toolkit

The Liberty Central School District will follow all NYS Department of Health, the Centers for Disease Control, and New York State Education Department guidance for allowing students or staff members to return to school after exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19.

If your child has exhibited symptoms, the student may return to school after being seen by a healthcare provider (physician, nurse practitioner or physician assistant) and a negative COVID-19 test, and:

  • Once there is no fever for 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing medicines, and they otherwise have no symptoms and are feeling well.
  • If the student or staff member has been diagnosed with another condition and has a healthcare provider written note stating they are clear to return to school.

If a student is diagnosed with COVID-19 by a healthcare provider, they are not to come to school and should stay home until:

  • They are cleared by either a healthcare provider or by the Sullivan County Public Health Services to return to school

 If a student does not see a medical professional and is tested for COVID-19 within 48 hours of symptom onset, they will be assumed to have COVID-19. Sullivan County Public Health Services may mandate quarantine and begin contact tracing.  The student may return to school only after:

  • It has been at least 10 days since the individual first had symptoms; and
  • It has been at least three days since the individual has had a fever (without using fever-reducing medicine); and
  • It has been at least three days since the individual’s symptoms improved, including cough and shortness of breath.

If a student or staff member has been exposed to someone who is positive with COVID-19, they are not to come to school and should stay home until their quarantine is over and  they are released by Sullivan County Public Health Services.

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