A message from the superintendent on safety

Dear Liberty,

Spring is here and our schools are brimming with activity.

We welcome and encourage our community to support our students in their athletic, academic and fine art endeavors. However, we are all responsible for making sure our campuses remain a safe place in which to learn.

I want to remind you of the steps that we take to help keep everyone safe on our school campuses.

We appreciate the support our athletes receive, but there are certain rules spectators must follow. We adhere to the New York State Public High School Athletic Association guidelines, which encourage positivity, support and sportsmanship. The full NYSPHSAA policy can be found here.

We also do not allow any tobacco, alcohol, marijuana or other drug use on school grounds.

And while we love our pets, they aren’t allowed on our campuses.

Staff members are onsite during all contests and they will ask those who violate our policies to be in compliance or they will be asked to leave.

Interior safety is also important. Entry to our buildings requires keycard access. Visitors are restricted to a single point of entry in each building. All visitors are required to show a valid ID at an automated kiosk before entering any of our school buildings, and visitors will be buzzed in. Read more at https://www.libertyk12.org/visiting-procedures/

All classrooms require keycard access as well, and doors are expected to remain closed and locked when occupied.

Through our updated door lock system, school officials are able to immediately lock all doors if there is an emergency. As part of the lockdown system, digital signs throughout common areas will help inform students and staff of what is happening. There are also strobe lights inside and outside the building, which will help alert of emergencies and advise those outside the building not to enter. If an emergency occurs, the Liberty Police Department is able to monitor school cameras if a lockdown takes place.

We have also continued our partnership with LPD, placing a school resource officer in each building. They regularly patrol and check for vulnerabilities and are a valuable resource to students and staff.

When it comes to safety, we do have a plan. Our district safety plan, which is updated yearly, can be seen at https://www.libertyk12.org/district-wide-safety-plan/. Our faculty and staff are trained in what to do in the event of an emergency, and our schools have emergency drills several times a year.

As always, we encourage our school community to be proactive in safety with the adage “see something, say something.” We have long had an anonymous alert system, where safety concerns could be reported, at https://asp.schoolmessenger.com/liberty/quicktip/.

Safety for our students and staff is always one of the top priorities for Liberty Central School District, and we appreciate our community’s support.

Sincerely,
Dr. Patrick Sullivan
Superintendent

End-of-year sports awards ceremonies planned

All modified and JV athletes and their family at invited to the year-end sports award ceremony to be held on at 4 p.m. May 30 in the high school auditorium. Following the awards ceremony, there will be an informal barbecue in the high school cafeteria to celebrate the hard work of the modified and JV athletes.

The annual Block L Banquet will be held at 6 p.m. June 6 in the high school gymnasium. More information will be provided as the event gets closer

A message from the superintendent regarding ‘give back’ days

Dear Parents and Guardians,

In order to be prepared for winter weather and other circumstances, there were seven snow days built into the 2023-2024 school calendar. Since we have only used four snow days so far this year and April is underway, it appears that there is a good chance we will not use the remaining days for inclement weather. As a result, the built in ‘give back’ days in the school calendar will be used. These dates are designed to work around state assessments, Regents and exam preparation.

If we use no additional inclement weather days prior to April 25, there will be no school on the following days*:

  • Friday April 26, 2024
  • Thursday May 23, 2024
  • Friday May 24, 2024

*PLEASE NOTE that in the event additional days are needed for inclement weather at any time for the remainder of the school year, some of the dates listed above will remain as regular school days and your child will need to be in attendance at school. If any changes are made to the calendar, we will share the information through School Messenger and on our website at www.libertyk12.org.

Sincerely,

Dr. Patrick Sullivan
Superintendent of Schools

Two from Liberty to be honored by MHSSC 

Liberty High School English Teacher Michele Clark and Liberty Central School District Board of Education member John Nichols will be honored by the Mid-Hudson School Study Council later this spring.

Michele Clark

Michelle ClarkClark will receive a Teaching Excellence Award, which is “designed to recognize those teachers who have demonstrated excellence in achieving the educational mission at their BOCES, district, or campus level,” according to the MHSCC.

Clark, who has taught English for 30 years, 25 of them at Liberty, will be honored for her commitment to her students and the school community.

“Clark is more than just a teacher; she is a dynamic educator who continuously innovates and enhances her craft,” Superintendent Dr. Patrick Sullivan wrote in nominating her for the award. “Her dedication to professional development and her willingness to explore new teaching methodologies have resulted in engaging and effective lessons that resonate with her students.”

High School Principal Derek Adams agreed, writing in his nomination letter: “In the classroom, Michele exhibits exceptional educational talent, employing effective instructional practices that not only engage students but also yield tangible results in terms of academic growth and achievement.”

Her excellence goes beyond the lessons, Sullivan wrote, calling her “a caring individual who prioritizes building meaningful relationships with her students and colleagues alike.”

“She creates a supportive and inclusive learning environment where every student feels valued and empowered to succeed,” he added. “Her genuine care and concern for her students extend beyond the classroom, as she actively participates in extracurricular activities and mentorship programs to further enrich their educational experience.”

Adams’ noted Clark’s work as Allusions co-advisor, where creative writing, poetry and artistic work come together in the annual Allusions publication.

She is also a leader for her peers, Adams wrote. She is a department facilitator and hosts weekly professional learning community groups to improve her department. “She exemplifies leadership qualities that inspire others and contribute to the professional development of the entire faculty,” he wrote. “She embodies the highest ideals of teaching excellence and is truly deserving of this prestigious honor.”

John Nichols

John NicholsNichols, who has served on Liberty’s school board for more than a decade, including time as board vice president and five years as president, will receive a School Board Service Award. The award is “designed to recognize those individuals who through their selfless efforts have helped guide, support, promote and serve the school districts and communities they represent,” according to the MHSSC.

“The mission of the Liberty Central School District is to empower each student to contribute and thrive in a diverse community by pursuing their potential,” Sullivan wrote in his nomination letter for Nichols. “After reading our mission, I am honored to state that Mr. John Nichols has exemplified our mission throughout his work as a Liberty Central School District Board of Education member.”

Nichols’ goals, Sullivan wrote, “are to provide students with the opportunities and resources to help our students achieve, uphold fiscal responsibility, and represent the entire Liberty Community.”

And that is something Nichols has done well, Sullivan wrote.

Nichols “always stresses the importance of leveraging our resources to expand our curriculum, supports each student that walks through our hallways and relays the voice of his constituents,” Sullivan wrote.

Sullivan also pointed out Nichols’ dedication to students and tradition. In his role as board president and a volunteer firefighter, Nichols, a 1985 LHS graduate, helped the district safely resume the homecoming bonfire during the 2021-22 school year.

Fiscal responsibility is also important to Nichols.

“Mr. Nichols has a strong understanding of our school budget, and he continuously balances fiscal responsibility and innovation,” Sullivan wrote. “(He) continuously supports our Strategic Plan from his Board of Education capacity and has advocated for a minimal tax increase for our school community for several years,” calling him “a true champion for our students, faculty, staff and taxpayers.”

“Liberty would not be on its trajectory if it wasn’t for Mr. Nichols’ leadership,” Sullivan wrote.

The awards will be presented at the MHSSC’s Annual Meeting & Awards Celebration on Wednesday, May 8, in the Fieldstone Auditorium in North Rockland School District

This year, the MHSCC split its awards into two ceremonies. LHS Teaching Assistant Nancy Katzenberger was honored this fall as one the recipients of the MHSCC’s Support Staff Award for Excellence in Education.

Liberty Partnerships Program to offer free summer program

Liberty Partnerships Program will host its free summer program for students at Liberty, Monticello and BOCES in grades through 11 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, July 8-Aug. 1, at SUNY Sullivan Community College.

Activities will include life skills, English language supports, team building, elective service learning reading project, sustainability, healthy relationships, career supports, culinary arts, farm to table and healthy culinary choices. Programs will be offered by SUNY Sullivan Community College, Cornell SNAP-Ed, PPGNY, Follow Us to Success, Hope Farm and SUNY Sullivan Student Activities.

There will be free transportation from Liberty High School daily.

To download an application, available in English and Spanish, visit https://www.facebook.com/SullivanLPP/. For more information, contact LLP at 845-434-5750, ext. 4264, or at LPP@sunysullivan.edu.

Sports schedule, and results, for the week of April 22-28, 2024

Our athletes will be in action in baseball, softball, tennis, golf and track and field this week. 

Here are the schedule and results, if available. Livestream links are included where available.

Monday, April 22

3:30 p.m.: Girls Varsity Golf vs. Sullivan West Central at Villa Roma Country Club

4:15 p.m.: Varsity Softball vs. Ellenville at Berme Road Field
Result: Ellenville 13, Liberty 1. Ellenville’s Victoria Bonitz struck out 9 batters while allowing just three hits as the Blue Devils took down Liberty 13-1 Monday afternoon. The Redhawks’ Angie Wheeler, Aaliyah Williams and Elaina Ramirez each had singles. Liberty’s record falls to 3-3 with the loss.

4:30 p.m.: Varsity Baseball vs. Sullivan West Central at Sullivan West – Lake Huntington

4:30 p.m.: JV Baseball vs. Sullivan West Central at Liberty High School

4:30 p.m.: JV Softball  vs. Onteora at Liberty High School.

Tuesday, April 23

3:15 p.m.: Girls Varsity Golf vs. Ellenville at Shawangunk Country Club

4 p.m.: Boys Varsity Golf vs. Fallsburg at Sullivan County Golf and Country Club.

4:15 p.m.: Modified Softball vs. Fallsburg at Liberty Elementary School

Wednesday, April 24

4 p.m.: Boys Varsity Tennis vs. Washingtonville at Monticello High School

4 p.m.: Boys and Girls Varsity Track and Field vs. Monticello at Liberty High School.

4:30 p.m.: Varsity Baseball vs. Beacon City at Liberty High School.

4:30 p.m.: Varsity Softball  vs. Beacon City at Liberty High School

Thursday, April 25

3:30 p.m.: Girls Varsity Golf vs. Monticello at The Monster at Resort World Catskill.

4 p.m.: Boys Varsity Golf vs. Monticello at The Monster at Resort World Catskill.

4 p.m.: Boys and Girls Modified Track and Field vs. Sullivan West Central at Sullivan West – Jeffersonville.

4:15 p.m.: Modified Baseball  vs. Eldred at Liberty High School.

4:15 p.m.: Modified Softball vs. Eldred at Eldred High School

4:30 p.m.: Varsity Baseball  vs. Port Jervis at Liberty Middle School

4:30 p.m.: JV Baseball  vs. Beacon City  at Liberty Middle School

4:30 p.m.: Varsity Softball vs. Port Jervis at Liberty High School

4:30 p.m.: JV Softball vs. Beacon City at Liberty Elementary School.

Friday, April 26

3 p.m.: Boys Varsity Golf vs. John S. Burke Catholic at Hickory Hill Golf Course.

4 p.m.: Boys Varsity Tennis vs. Warwick Valley School District at Warwick Valley Middle School.

Saturday, April 27

9 a.m.: Wildcat Tournament: Varsity Softball vs. Livingston Manor at Livingston Manor High School.

11 a.m.: Wildcat Tournament: Varsity Baseball vs. Hancock-Deposit at Livingston Manor High School.

1 p.m.: Wildcat Tournament consolation games

3 p.m.: Wildcat Tournament championship games

Sunday, April 28

No events scheduled.

The schedule is subject to change. Check the Liberty schedule on the Section 9 website for the latest. 

BOE approves $68M budget proposal; vote is May 21

On Tuesday, April 16, the Liberty Central School District Board of Education approved a $68 million budget proposal to put before the voters on Tuesday, May 21. The proposal for the 2024-25 school year enhances curriculum and improves programs without increasing the tax levy.

This is the sixth consecutive year there is no proposed tax levy increase.

“This budget proposal continues our commitment to fiscal responsibility while providing the increased programming and support our students need to contribute and thrive in a diverse community by pursuing their potential,” Superintendent Dr. Patrick Sullivan said.

The proposed $68,034,294 budget increases spending 2.62%, or $1,737,992, and would fund all current student programs and services. The district’s allowable calculated tax levy limit increase is 5.24%; however, because the governor’s budget proposal allocates a 3.06%, or $1,686,000, increase in state aid to Liberty, the district is able to put forth a proposal with a tax levy of $17,760,162, the same as the current year’s budget.

The proposed spending increase is attributed to increases in such recurring expenses as insurance, energy costs and maintenance materials, as well as proposed expansions to curricular and extracurricular opportunities.

One of the pillars of the district’s five-year strategic plan is curriculum. Several program expansions proposed in the 2024-25 budget would support that pillar, including expanding the Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) math curriculum to seventh grade, adding Syracuse University Project Advance college credit courses, as well as introducing more computer science and AI-related programs across grades.

The proposal also includes the addition of a Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)-certified teacher, creating an administrative athletic director position, and converting two part-time teacher aide positions into one full time teacher aid. An update to the middle school library’s innovation lab is also in the proposal.

“This budget proposal keeps us focused on the elements of our strategic plan so that we can continue to prepare our students for a successful future,” Sullivan said.

Polls will be open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, May 21, in the High School Media Center. The time and location are changes from past years. More budget information will be available on the district’s budget page.

Bethel Woods to host summer arts programs

Bethel Woods Center for the Arts will host a series of summer program on the grounds of the historic 1969 Woodstock Festival for students age 5 to 15.

Guided by Bethel Woods Teaching Artists, “Peace. Love. Arts. You.” programs invite children to hone in on the specifics of various arts modalities, from art and music to film and theater, while weaving together Bethel Woods themes of community, caring and creativity.

P.L.A.Y. All Day weekly programs will be held July 11 to Aug. 19, with no program July 4.

  • Children ages 5 and 6 will enjoy outdoor exploration, storytelling, social play and creative fun.
  • Programs for children ages 7-9 will have themes focusing on cumulative skill-building in music, fine arts, story-telling and theater.

    There will also be weeklong programs for students ages 10-12.

    • Design Lab will be offered July 15-19, were student will explore design and print techniques to communicate a message effectively in creating a self-promotional poster.
    • Animation Lab will be July 29-Aug. 2, where students will be introduced to the fundamentals of 2D and 3D animation and gain hands-on experience in the center’s new computer lab.
    • Game Lab, from Aug. 12 t0 Aug. 16, will have participants play and build games collaboratively with peers and teaching artists from the professional gaming community.

    For children ages 10-15 there will be two-week immersive programs.

    • Rock Camp will take place from July 1-12, with no program July 4, and will focus on classic rock instruments and styles. Student musicians will collaborate to form the “ultimate rock ensemble.”
    • Film production will be the focus July 15-26. Navigating the filmmaking process from scriptwriting to post-production, students will unleash their imagination and bring their unique visions to life on screen.
    • Rock Opera will be the offered July 29 to Aug. 9. Students will explore the history and artistry of rock opera as inspiration to create their own performance, choosing their own track of pit orchestra, art crew or stage performers.
    • The final two-week session will be on fine arts, from Aug. 12-23, when students will gain experience in the foundational aspects of drawing, painting, sculpture, printmaking and more.

    For more information or to register, visit https://www.bethelwoodscenter.org/programs/kids.

    In fulfilment of Bethel Woods’ mission to provide extraordinary experience and access to the arts, tuition assistance is available up to 100%. For more information, email education@BethlWoodsCenter.org.

    Funding for PL.A.Y has been provided by Nellie and Robert Gipson of the Tianaderrah Foundation, the William and Elaine Kaplan Family Foundations, the Cornelia T Bailey Foundation, the John N. Blackman Sr. Foundation, and the County of Sullivan through the Sullivan County Youth Bureau. Additional funding has been provided by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Governor and the New York State Legislature and by Bethel Woods Center for the Arts members and donors.

    Library to host escape room for middle schoolers

    The Liberty Public Library will host an escape room for Middle School students from 3:15 to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 30.

    Students in Grades 5-8 will solve logic puzzles to escape and win the game.

    Registration is required. It can be done at the front desk or online at https://libertypubliclibrary.libcal.com/event/12223321. Space is limited.

    The library is at 189 North Main St. For more information, call 845-292-6070 or visit the library’s website.

    Post navigation