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 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.

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.

Two students, not on campus since Oct. 2, test positive | No interruption to instruction | Risk of transmission deemed very low

The district has learned that two Liberty High School students have tested positive for COVID-19.

One of the students has not attended school in person this school year. The other student has not been on school grounds since Friday, Oct. 2, at which time the student was not considered by the Sullivan County Department of Health to be contagious.

The Department of Health confirmed the students’ positive test results on Wednesday, Oct. 7.

The DOH has assured the district that the risk of transmission of COVID-19 to any members of the Liberty school community was extremely low and they are not advising any other district individuals to quarantine or be tested. The students will remain in quarantine until they are released from quarantine by the Health Department.

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. If at any time a student or staff member has been exposed to COVID-19 they will be alerted by Sullivan County Department of Public Health contact tracers, who will 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. Notifications are archived on this website’s Notification Notebook and reported to state and county dashboards. (Due to reporting criteria and timelines, some information on the two dashboards may differ slightly.)

All Liberty students are temperature checked upon arrival and staff members are screened for symptoms and risk factors at the start of each school day. 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.

Please contact the nurse in your child’s school for the latest guidelines 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 administrators. Any additional questions, including information about testing procedures, should be directed to Sullivan County Public Health Services at 845-292-5910.

Mask update | Gaiters, bandanas and scarves are out, ear loops and ties are in

Effective Oct. 5, 2020, gaiters, bandanas and scarves will no longer be considered an acceptable face covering for Liberty students and staff.

In order to better ensure everyone’s health and safety and to prevent the spread of COVID-19, proper face masks must be worn. The face mask  protocol applies to students and staff in Liberty Elementary, Middle and High Schools.

Face masks can be disposable or reusable and must:

  • Be secured with ties or ear loops
  • Fully cover the nose and mouth
  • Fit snugly and comfortably against the side of the face

If you have any questions about the district’s health and safety protocols please contact your the principal.

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LHS Principal Derek Adams recognized with 2020 Award of Excellence

A man at a cluttered desk
LHS Principal Derek Adams is a recipient of the 2020 Award of Excellence.

Liberty High School Principal Derek Adams has been selected by the Mid-Hudson School Study Council to receive one of this year’s 2020 Awards for Excellence in Administration.

Each year, the Mid-Hudson School Study Council honors those in the education field who display excellence in their field.  Mr. Adams was selected among the nominees submitted by school districts in the seven counties comprising the Mid-Hudson region.

In the past, a celebratory dinner has been held to honor winners from the award categories of support staff, administration, school board service and pupil personnel services. Due to current restrictions on gatherings the MHSSC is unable to host such an event in person this year, but the  honorees will receive a commemorative medal and certificate from the Mid-Hudson School Study Council to be presented by their local school district.

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