LES staff member tests positive for COVID-19 over Thanksgiving recess | No interruption in instruction

The district learned this evening, Nov. 30, that a Liberty Elementary School staff member tested positive for COVID-19 over the recent Thanksgiving recess. The staff member has not been on school grounds since Nov. 24.

Instruction has not been interrupted and Liberty Elementary School will open as scheduled tomorrow, Tuesday, Dec. 1.

The district is working closely with Sullivan County Public Health Services and will follow its guidance regarding what, if any, additional steps need to be taken. We will continue to keep the community informed if the situation changes. Notifications about COVID-19 are posted on the district website and sent directly to Liberty staff and families.

Parents and guardians of students who may have been in close contact at school with an individual who has tested positive are contacted by a building principal, administrator, or school nurse. Contact tracers from Sullivan County Public Health Services will also reach out to people at risk for contracting the coronavirus and advise them of what steps to take.

Privacy laws restrict us from identifying anyone who has tested positive for the coronavirus. The health and safety of our students and staff is always our first priority, and we will continue to keep you informed.

Please contact your building administrators if you would like more information about our health and safety procedures. Questions about COVID-19 should be directed to your family physician or to Sullivan County Public Health Services at 845-292-5910.

Winter athletic season faces another delay

The winter sports season has been delayed to at least January 19, 2021, by Section IX. The letter below from Liberty’s Athletic director, Peter Bianco, is being sent to all high school and middle school students.

The entire coaching staff at Liberty wants you to know that we are doing our best to see that there is a winter sports season. We know how important this is to so many of our students. Contact your coaches to find out about off-season workouts or if you have any questions.


November 25, 2020

Dear Liberty Community,

I want to take a moment and say thank you for all your patience and understanding as information continues to evolve in regards to the start of Varsity, Junior Varsity, and Modified Athletics for this school year.

As always, our first and foremost priority is to ensure the safety of our student athletes at Liberty. Athletics had been anticipated to start on November 30, 2020 with Low and Moderate Risk Sports, however, as the present data and projections surrounding COVID-19 continue to evolve,
Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association (OCIAA) has decided to put all official Athletic participation on hold until at least January 19, 2021.

There has been a noticeable uptick in COVID 19 cases in all of our communities, which led OCIAA to make this determination. Please note that this decision was a difficult one, but deemed necessary as new data becomes available.

Off-season workouts will still be available to Liberty students wishing to be involved. Coaches have worked hard to create a safe environment to keep our students at Liberty active through this time of uncertainty.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Enjoy your holiday and have a pleasant Thanksgiving.

LIBERTY PRIDE!

Yours in Sport,

Peter Bianco, CAA
Athletic Director

Substitute teacher, last in LES on Nov. 17, tests positive for COVID-19

The district has learned that a substitute teacher has tested positive for COVID-19.

The substitute was last in Liberty Elementary School on Tuesday, Nov. 17. Contact tracing has been completed and 10 individuals were found to have been in direct contact with the substitute teacher. Those individuals have been advised to quarantine as per Sullivan County Public Health guidelines.

The substitute was also working in the elementary school on Monday, Nov. 16, but health officials deemed that the substitute was not considered contagious that day.

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 when a member of our school community tests positive for the coronavirus.

Staff members and parents and guardians of students who may have been in close contact at school with a person who has tested positive are individually notified by a building principal, administrator or school nurse. Contact tracers from Sullivan County Public Health Services will also reach out to people at risk for contracting the coronavirus and advise them of what steps to take.

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. 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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Three members of LCSD school community test positive for COVID-19 | Liberty High School goes all remote, reopens Dec. 2

On  Thursday, Nov. 19, the Liberty Central School District was notified that three members of the LCSD community have tested positive for COVID-19, resulting in the closure of the High School for in-person instruction through Tuesday, Dec. 1.  All classes will be held remotely.

The high school will be closed tomorrow, Friday, Nov. 20 and all classes will be taught remotely. The high school will reopen to students for in-person instruction Wednesday, Dec. 2.

The elementary school and the middle school remain open for in-person instruction and students should attend classes as scheduled.

The three individuals who tested positive were last on Liberty campuses Nov. 17. Two of the individuals were in the high school; one individual was in the elementary school.

Contact tracing by Sullivan County Public Health determined that a substantial number of Liberty High School staff members will need to quarantine, making it impossible to adequately staff the building for in-person instruction.

Quarantine requirements at the elementary school affect a single classroom and students who may have ridden the bus with the individual who tested positive for COVID-19.  The affected classroom has been closed and students in the class will receive remote instruction through Tuesday, Dec. 1.

Parents and guardians of students who may have been in close contact at school or on a school bus with an individual who has tested positive will be individually notified by a building principal, administrator, or school nurse. Contact tracers from Sullivan County Public Health Services will also reach out to people at risk for contracting the coronavirus 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 via our mass messaging system and the district’s website when a member of our school community tests positive for the coronavirus.

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 how to be tested for COVID-19, should be directed to your healthcare provider or Sullivan County Public Health Services at 845-292-5910.

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Sullivan County Public Health clarifies when to quarantine, isolate as COVID-19 rates increase

The Disease Control (Epidemiology) team at Sullivan County Public Health Services is urging local residents who have come into close contact with someone who has COVID-19 to quarantine for the recommended 14 days. The renewed urgency comes as cases of the disease caused by the novel coronavirus have spiked sharply both locally and statewide in recent weeks.

On Nov. 16, a total of 25 new positive cases were reported, up from 100 active cases on Friday Nov. 13, and up from 35 active cases just over a month ago.

“This is indicative of an increase in community wide transmission,” said Nancy McGraw, Sullivan County Public Health Director. “The best tools we have to contain additional outbreaks is prevention – consistent mask wearing, hand-washing or hand sanitizer use, limiting time in groups, and that people understand the importance of quarantine and isolation.”

When to quarantine

Health Department staff remind residents that quarantine is used to keep someone who has been exposed to the virus (and who might be contagious even without symptoms) from spreading it to others.

Quarantine is for people who been in contact with someone who has COVID-19 and requires staying at home for at least 14 days while monitoring symptoms. During this time period an individual could develop active infection and become contagious. The average incubation period is 5 to 7 days, but it could take up to the 14th day.

A “close contact” means that you were within six feet of a COVID-19 positive patient for more than 15 minutes, provided care to someone with COVID-19, had direct physical contact, shared utensils or cups, or were directly sneezed or coughed on by someone diagnosed with COVID-19.

If you become symptomatic and get tested you should be on quarantine until those results come back. That includes if you have had a rapid COVID-19 test and a PCR.  Individuals must wait for both results to come back prior to resuming normal activities. A negative rapid test does not mean you are cleared; both tests must come back negative.

When to isolate

Isolation is for people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and requires people to stay in their homes for at least 10 days while monitoring symptoms.

“People in quarantine should stay home, separate themselves from others, and monitor their health,” said Ms. McGraw.  “Please note that if you get tested during quarantine, you will still need to complete the full period even with a negative COVID test result.”

Testing

There are two types of tests for COVID-19. Viral tests tell you if you have a current infection, and antibody tests tell you if you’ve been previously infected.

Antibody tests should not be used to diagnose a current COVID-19 infection. An antibody test may not show if you have a current COVID-19 infection because it can take 1–3 weeks after infection for your body to make antibodies. It is a “snapshot” in time and will not give you lasting immunity to COVID-19 either, which many people falsely believe is true.

We do not know how much protection (immunity) antibodies to the virus might provide against getting infected again. Confirmed and suspected cases of reinfection have been reported, although not common.

In general, these tests aren’t reliable enough for individuals to act based on the results.

An analysis of publicly available data on infections from the new coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, that causes the respiratory illness COVID-19, yielded an estimate of 5.1 days for the median disease incubation period, according to a new study led by researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. This median time from exposure to onset of symptoms suggests that the 14-day quarantine period used by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for individuals with likely exposure to the coronavirus continues to the most predictable.

Source: Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health

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2020 Wall of Fame induction postponed to June 2021 | Morgan Hardy, NYU asst. professor, to be honored

A portrait of a woman
Morgan Hardy, a 2004 Liberty High School graduate, will be inducted to the Wall of Fame this June

The induction celebration of Liberty High School alumni Morgan Hardy, the 2020 recipient of the district’s Wall of Fame honor, has been postponed until June 2021.

Ms. Hardy, a 2004 graduate of Liberty High School, is an Assistant Professor of Economics in the Social Science Division of New York University. She teaches in Abu Dhabi, Accra Ghana, and previously at Brown University where she obtained her PHD in Economics.

Her research is in development economics, with a topical focus on firms and labor markets, involving field experiments and original data collection in Africa. In doing this research Ms. Hardy has managed millions of dollars in prestigious grant money. She has received an NSF/IGERT fellowship for interdisciplinary training  and fieldwork as well as a Hewlett Foundation/IIE. She speaks world-wide and has been published in London and in US economic journals.

Ms. Hardy meets regularly with African and Mid-Eastern policy makers and officials, as well as the world bank, discussing her insights to help improve programs aimed at aiding in sustaining rapid population growth avoiding famine, conflicts and uncontrollable migration.

At Liberty High School she participated in musical performances, attended Stagedoor Manor, created sets for Forestburgh Playhouse and worked at Apple Pond Farm’s center for renewable energy. After graduation she attended Columbia University, where she pursued neuroscience and theater directing but drifted into Philosophy. She read about Africa and became obsessed with inequality, and global poverty, ultimately switching to economics.

Ms. Hardy’s induction to the Liberty Central School District’s Wall of Fame is tentatively scheduled for June 25, 2021, when the 2021 honoree (yet to be named) will also be inducted.

Posted on Categories District News

Couldn’t attend All Things Liberty Night? Watch the presentations here

If you missed the second annual All Things Liberty Night on Nov. 5, no worries. You can watch the presentations here:

The virtual event included conversations about All Things Liberty with Assistant Superintendent Dr. Patrick Sullivan and  Elementary Assistant Principal/Director of Community Schools Robert England.

The evening also included 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.

A triangle illustrating Liberty's Three Frameworks
Liberty’s Three Frameworks

Updated student expectations for virtual learning begin Nov. 5

Our students and teachers are becoming experts at virtual learning, and we’re proud of how everyone has adapted and adjusted to this new way of attending classes.

To make the learning experience even better, we’ve updated the Student Expectations for Virtual Learning. These new protocols go into effect Thursday, Nov. 5.

Student Expectations for Virtual Learning

  • Students are expected to show their video and be visible for every class unless otherwise indicated by their teacher. Find directions for How to Blur Your Background here
  • Students cannot enter a class’ virtual session until the scheduled time and must exit once the period is over (or as soon as the teacher ends the session).
  • Students should not attend a virtual session in a private location (i.e. bedroom).
  • Sessions may not be recorded.
  • Class sessions are for students, not family and friends.
  • Students are to stay on mute until the teacher directs them to unmute.
  • Students are to be prepared as if they are physically present.
  • Students are to stay engaged, be an active listener, and contribute.
  • Students are to be respectful in all chats and other types of digital correspondence.
  • Chat should be used for school based language/conversation only.
  • Students are to be respectful during class. Listen to the teacher and your classmates.
  • Students are to use the virtual class sessions to learn new materials, revisit assignments and ask for help.
  • If a student witnesses a classmate not meeting an expectation, they are to notify the teacher immediately.
  • Students are to follow the Code of Conduct as if they are in school.

Middle School Student, not on campus since Oct. 13, tested positive for COVID-19

The district has just learned that in mid-October a middle school student tested positive for COVID-19. A family spokesperson recently provided the district with this information.

The student, who attends school on a hybrid schedule, exhibited cold-like symptoms while at school on Oct. 13 and was sent home.

Subsequently, a test for COVID-19 was administered by a health care provider and the student tested positive for the coronavirus. Those results were not shared with the district.

The student has not returned to school and will continue to attend classes remotely until the student is given clearance to return to school by the Department of Health.

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 when a member of our school community tests positive for the coronavirus.

Notifications about COVID-19 are posted on the district website and sent directly to Liberty staff and families. Contact tracers from Sullivan County Public Health Services 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.

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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