New teachers were welcomed to Liberty Central School District on Wednesday, Aug. 30, with a full day of introductions, instruction and icebreaker activities.
The 16 newest Redhawk faculty members met in the High School Media Center where they signed in, got their Chromebooks and were treated to breakfast.
The day began with opening remarks by Superintendent Dr. Patrick Sullivan, who also introduced the administrative team. He then outlined the philosophy of having permission to “fail forward,” meaning it is OK to fail at something as long as the failure is accepted and used as a stepping stone for future success.
The teachers learned about the district’s Five-Year Strategic Plan, as well as the annual District Comprehensive Improvement Plan and building level plans, and discussed why they were important. They also received an overview of the Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR) process, SchoolTool, the DESSA social/emotional learning screener and other educational digital platforms, Leader in Me, Special Education, English as a New Language and Students in Temporary Housing, as well as technology information such as passwords, security and help desk information. The mentor-mentee program, required for all first-year teachers, offered at Liberty was highlighted during the orientation.
As a way to get to know each other early in the day, teachers paired up and were given 10 minutes to learn more about each other and then introduced their partners to the rest of the group.
The interaction continued throughout the day, especially during the program led by Betsy Conners, a PLC consultant. She addressed issues such as culturally sustaining education, professional learning communities, learning standards, learning targets and essential questions, and offered several group activities to help bring home her messages.
The day concluded with a look at “Overview of The First Days of School” by Harry Wong, which explains why some practices stand the test of time and offers suggestions on how to use them.
The teachers then wrote a letter to themselves, asking them what is their “Why” and where they expect to be at winter break, in respect to their strengths, accomplishments, instructional strategies and more. These letters will be returned to them at the end of the school year, offering them a chance to reflect on their first year at Liberty.
The goal of the new teacher orientation was to increase understanding of the processes and procedures at Liberty, inline with the coherence pillar of the strategic plan.
The Liberty Central School District’s Community Forum on Wednesday, Aug. 30, offered the chance for the public to hear updates on the five-year strategic plan and related plans, learn more about new programs in the district and more.
Superintendent Dr. Patrick Sullivan welcomed about two dozen community members, offering updates on the plans created to help facilitate Liberty’s improvement and commitment to its mission and vision.
Sullivan highlighted the videos created to promote the four pillars of the strategic plan, Coherence, Curriculum, Multi-Tiered Systems of Support and Culture, and explained what each pillar means and how they impact the Liberty school community.
Coherence helps ensure all three buildings are moving in the same direction on procedures and instruction. Curriculum alignment across grades and subject matters helps ensure students have a consistent and cohesive learning experience. A strong MTSS model allows each student to get the level of support they need, where they need it. Culture’s pillar is two-fold—it focuses on the culture of Liberty, found in its mission “to empower each student to contribute and thrive in a diverse community by pursuing their potential,” and the cultures of those who make up the Liberty community. More on the strategic plan can be found on the strategic plan page of the website.
Sullivan then updated the audience on last year’s District Comprehensive Improvement Plan, which along with building level plans, support the initiatives in the strategic plan.
All three buildings saw progress toward their goals last year, with Liberty Elementary surpassing its goal of having 58.58% of the students being at watch, at level or above level as reported by STAR Reading and Early Literacy testing.
He also unveiled the three priorities for this year’s DCIP:
- Provide an accessible, culturally responsive, relevant, engaging, vertically and horizontally aligned PK-12 curriculum, that makes connections to our students and community.
- Provide a MTSS (multi-tiered system of supports) for behavior and attendance that cultivates wellness and safety for students, staff and families.
- The district will create a positive, welcoming student centered environment that celebrates diversity and inclusivity to empower students, staff and families.
Curriculum was also a large portion of the presentation. Sullivan outlined several of the programs used, including IntoReading and IntoMath for kindergarten through eighth grades,, Math180 and Reading 180 intervention curriculum, Frogstreet for pre-kindergarten, STEM-focused Woz ED, and the Level Up Village program, which connects students with others across the globe.
The Business Incubator class, a high school elective which began last year, will be put on hold because of staffing changes, but the district’s goal is to bring the class back once a full time business teacher is hired.
Liberty has also been certified to offer the Seal of Civic Readiness at the high school to provide “civic education that empowers all students to make informed decisions for the public good as members of a culturally diverse, democratic society in an interdependent world.”
The district is also offering Mandarin as a world language class for eighth graders, and as an exploratory class for high school. This was done, in part, because of difficulty in finding Spanish language teachers, Sullivan said.
The Liberty Police Department and Liberty High School’ Liberty Law Enforcement and Discovering Success Program, or LEADS, will also continue this year, giving students who have an interest in entering law enforcement fields after graduation a chance to get an inside look at the career.
ENL Newcomer Program
To help meet the needs of the growing English as a New Language learners, the district has also created an in-house ENL Newcomer Program, where high school students who have limited or no English language skills are given extra support to develop their language skills before moving to mainstream, English-language based classes.
Social and emotional wellness is also a priority for the district. That is why the district will introduce the DESSA Screener by Aperture, a way to check the social and emotional wellness of students to ensure they get the support they need. Gaggle, a tool that monitors the district’s computer network and notifies the administration if and when a child is in emotional distress.
Safety procedures and systems were reviewed, and initiatives such as increased supplies to support the school resource officers and reviewing and changing traffic patterns to make pickup and drop off safer were outlined.
Projects in progress
Two projects in progress were also reviewed — an upcoming capital project proposal and a new logo for the recently renamed Liberty Redhawks. Progress on both have been made over the summer with the goal of each being revealed in the coming weeks and months. Both take time, Sullivan said. The district wants to make sure all financial, safety and curricular needs are met before finalizing the capital project plans, and the mascot committee is “working diligently to create a logo that we all can support and be proud of,” Sullivan said.
The forum was translated by high school TESOL teacher Susana Alvarado.
The first day of school for students is Sept. 7. For the most up-to-date information, visit www.libertyk12.org. Feedback and questions can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The forum’s goal is to inform and update the public about what is happening at the district, inline with the culture and coherence pillars of the strategic plan.
Dear Parents/Guardians and Students:
I hope everyone is enjoying all of the pleasures summer has to offer! Please attend to the information below to help us prepare for the 2023-2024 school year. Families’ current information on file in our student management system has been sent home. If there are any changes, please write them on that sheet and either email (email@example.com), drop it off, or fax (845-292-7262) to our main office.
Please follow the directions below to complete our annual process of supplying you with our high school acknowledgments, agreements, handbooks, and documents through FamilyID (now called ArbiterSports). If you have previously used FamilyID with us, the system keeps track of your information in your FamilyID profile. You enter your information only once for each family member for multiple uses and multiple programs including athletics.
Previous Registrants Process:
If you have previously registered on Family ID, please use this link to complete the required acknowledgments for this year.
New Registrants Process:
At any time, you may log in at www.familyid.com to update your information and to check your registration(s). To view a completed registration, select the Registrations tab in the blue menu bar at the top of your screen. If you need assistance with registration, please call my office at 845-292-5400, ext. 2005.
All the best,
Derek Adams, Principal
Dear Liberty Elementary School Parents
All parents must complete the beginning of the school year registration process for their children online at Arbiter Sports.
A parent/guardian should register by clicking here. This registration link is for Elementary students only.
Follow these steps:
- To find your program, click on the link provided by the Organization above and select the registration form under the word Programs below the picture of the school.
- Next click on the blue Register Now button and scroll, if necessary, to the Create Account/Log In blue buttons. If this is your first time using Arbiter Registration, click Create Account. Click Log In, if you already have an Arbiter Registration account.
- Create your secure Arbiter Registration account by entering the account owner First and Last names (parent/guardian), email address and password. Select I Agree to the Terms of Service. Click Create Account.
- You will receive an email with a link to activate your new account. (If you don’t see the email, check your email filters (spam, junk, etc.).
- Click on the link in your activation email, which will log you into ArbiterSports.com
- Once in the registration form, complete the information requested. All fields with a red* are required to have an answer.
- Click the Continue button when your form is complete.
- Review your registration summary.
- No Payment Required
- Click the blue Submit button. After selecting Submit, the registration will be complete. You will receive a completion email from Arbiter confirming your registration.
At any time, you may log in to Arbiter Registration at www.arbitersports.com to update your information and to check your registration(s).
To view a completed registration, select the Registrations tab in the blue menu bar at the top of your screen.
- If you need assistance with registration, contact ArbiterSports at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-311-4060.
- Phone support is available Monday through Friday 6 AM – 5PM MST, Saturday 8 AM – 4PM MST* and Sundays 10 AM – 6PM MST*
- *Saturday and Sunday phone hours are for Arbiter Registration calls only. All other support issues are supported via email.
Dear Liberty families,
I hope your summer was enjoyable. We are excited to welcome back our students on Sept. 7.
Earlier this summer, we sent out a letter outlining our goals for the district, as well as expectations for students, families and visitors. That letter can be reviewed on our website.
Before the school year begins, I wanted to offer some updates on programs for the 2023-24 school year.
ENL Newcomer Program
This year we are introducing an in-house ENL Newcomer Program. This program offers high school students who have limited or no English language skills extra support to develop their language skills before moving to mainstream, English-language based classes. This program was previously offered through Orange-Ulster BOCES, but we feel an in-house program will help build a sense of Liberty Pride in our multi-language learners.
Seal of Civic Readiness
We are offering the Seal of Civic Readiness at the high school. The New York state initiative aims to provide “civic education that empowers all students to make informed decisions for the public good as members of a culturally diverse, democratic society in an interdependent world.”
This curriculum fits squarely into our mission “to empower each student to contribute and thrive in a diverse community by pursuing their potential.” Our students will be able to receive the Seal of Civic Readiness, a formal recognition that a student has attained a high level of proficiency in terms of civic knowledge, civic skills, civic mindset and civic experiences.
Liberty has traditionally only offered Spanish as a language class. This year, we also offer a section of Mandarin, the Chinese language that is the second-most spoken in the world, and the first among native speakers. We are excited to offer this new class to our eighth graders. It will be offered as an exploratory class for our high school students.
We will be putting on hold our Business Incubator program for this year, because of staff changes. We hope to bring back the popular entrepreneurship program next year under new leadership.
Thanks to all of the community, student and staff input, we were able to choose a new mascot at the end of last year. We are now the Liberty Redhawks. Our old indigenous imagery is in the process of being removed where possible. Some of the old imagery will remain until a new logo is designed. We had hoped to unveil a new logo this summer, but we are working diligently to make sure it is the best representation of Liberty pride. Legacy items that contain the “Indians” name or logo, such as athletic banners in the gymnasium, can remain, but we are encouraged to display them differently.
This year, we are offering Safe Arrival, a digital platform that will help streamline our attendance management system. Parents and guardians will be able to digitally notify the school in advance about an upcoming absence, or rapidly respond to excuse an absence after the fact.
SafeArrival can be accessed through the SchoolMessenger App, which can be downloaded from the Apple App Store, Google Play or links on SchoolMessenger.com or on the SafeArrival website, go.schoolmessenger.com. Parents can sign up for an account via the app or website by selecting Sign Up and following the instructions.
If a student isn’t reported absent in advance, the automated notification system will attempt to reach a parent or guardian at multiple contact points until a reason for the absence is provided. If the parent or guardian is unable to be reached via the automated system, office staff will follow up.
We are also switching from the teacher-parent two-way communication tool Remind to School Messenger chat, also accessible through the School Messenger App.
Additional Communication Tools
As always, I encourage you to be engaged with your student’s educational process. There are many ways to do that. We encourage parents and guardians to register for the SchoolTool Parent Portal by contacting their student’s school’s main office. The portal is available https://st-ly.mhric.org/liberty/ or by downloading the SchoolTool Parent Portal app by searching SchoolTool, and using using the same address and login and password as the website.
We use SchoolMessenger to reach out to families via phone, email and text. To ensure you get important updates and information from Liberty, make sure your phone number, email address and cellphone number are up-to-date with the district and you haven’t blocked our messages on your devices.
You can also download the Liberty app, available on the Apple App Store and Google Play by searching “Liberty Central.” The app includes links to important news and information about the district.
I also encourage you to visit our website, www.libertyk12.org, often. If you can’t find what you need, use our calling guide to get you in touch with the correct person. As always we welcome feedback and questions via our email@example.com email.
Dr. Patrick Sullivan
Liberty Central School District
Our athletes will be in action in soccer and football this week.
Here is the schedule and results, if available. Livestream links are included where available.
Monday, Aug. 28
No events scheduled.
Tuesday, Aug. 29
No events scheduled
Wednesday, Aug. 30
No events scheduled
Thursday, Aug. 31
No events scheduled.
Friday, Sept. 1
No events scheduled.
Saturday, Sept. 2
1 p.m.: Varsity football vs. Highland at Highland High School.
Results: Liberty 6, Highland 41
Sunday, Sept. 3
No events scheduled.
The schedule is subject to change. Check the Liberty schedule on the Section 9 website for the latest.
Families of students in the Liberty Central School District are eligible to receive up to $30 per month toward their internet bills, as well as a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer or tablet.
The money is provided as part of the Affordable Connectivity Program. All households with a child who was approved to receive free or reduced price school meals under the National School Lunch Program or the School Breakfast Program, within the last 12 months, including children who attend schools participating in the Community Eligibility Provision, are eligible for ACP benefits.
Families whose household income is at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or participates in certain federal assistance programs, such as SNAP, Medicaid, SSI or WIC, or Tribal assistance programs may also qualify.
Lifeline program participants also automatically qualify for the ACP.
Families can sign up and find fully covered plans at GetInternet.gov (mobile-accessible and available in Spanish) or by calling 877-384-2575.
Dear Liberty families,
I hope you are having a wonderful summer, so far. As the school year quickly approaches, I just wanted to share some reminders of our policies and procedures as well offer some updates.
Goals for the year
Each year, Liberty creates a District Comprehensive Improvement Plan, which sets our goals and priorities for the school year. Our priorities for 2023-24 are:
- Priority 1: Provide an accessible, culturally responsive, relevant, engaging, vertically and horizontally aligned PK-12 curriculum, that makes connections to our students and community.
- Priority 2: Provide a MTSS (multi-tiered system of supports) for behavior and attendance that cultivates wellness and safety for students, staff and families.
- Priority 3: Create a positive, welcoming student centered environment that celebrates diversity and inclusivity to empower students, staff and families.
The full DCIP is being finalized and will be available on our website once complete. There you will be able to see the details on how we plan to reach the goals set out in the plan, in tandem with our five-year strategic plan.
The most important thing students can do to improve their academic outcomes is to be in school on time, every day. Studies have shown that students can suffer academically if they miss 10 percent of the school year. That’s only 18 days, or two to three days a month.
We know students will get sick, and we don’t want them to school when they can share their illness with others. But we do want to see our students at school as often as possible. We encourage parents and guardians to schedule appointments at times that have the least impact on a student’s attendance, and we advise against scheduling vacations at times that will interfere with the school year.
Advance notice of students’ absences is encouraged when possible, so that teachers may plan for those absences and provide work ahead of time, when possible. If advance notice isn’t possible, a parent or guardian should notify the main office of their student’s building to inform them of the absence before the school day begins. More information about our attendance policies can be found in our student handbooks.
Chain of Command Calling Guide
If you are looking for information or have a concern, it can be difficult to know who the best person to contact may be. That’s where our Chain of Command Calling Guide can help. Following the chain of command can help us address your concerns in the most efficient way possible.
The guide is included in the back of our calendar, which will be mailed out soon, as well as online at https://www.libertyk12.org/contact-us/command-calling-guide/. General questions or concerns can also be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dignity for All Students Act
We aim to provide a safe, welcoming, considerate and caring environment for all students who attend Liberty Central School District. Not only is it the right thing to do, it is also the law.
Liberty has policies and procedures to address any harassment, bullying or discrimination against students. You can read more about it, as well as how to report any related concerns, on the DASA page on our website.
Ensuring the safety of our staff and students is a top priority. That is why we require all visitors to check in at the main office of the building they are visiting, using a valid ID. They will receive a visitor badge that is good for that day and only that building. If visitors will be at several buildings, they must receive a badge for each building they enter.
Our procedures haven’t changed since last year. To review our full visiting procedures, visit https://www.libertyk12.org/visiting-procedures/.
I also want to remind you of our upcoming community forum from 6 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 30, in front of the high school entrance. There, we will talk about updates for the 2023-24 school year, as well as review our five-year strategic plan—what we’ve done so far, and what will be happening in the coming months. Will also answer any questions you may have. We invite all families to attend.
Enjoy the rest of your summer, and I hope to see you on Aug. 30.
Dr. Patrick Sullivan