A message from administration on withheld diplomas

Dear Liberty

We are aware of several social media posts by students and others stating that some students did not receive their diplomas because they wore heritage sashes as they crossed the stage. Yes, they did not receive their diplomas directly after the ceremony, but they will after meetings with administration.

During the ceremony, diploma covers are handed out and the diplomas are collected by students after the ceremony. The students referenced did not immediately receive their diplomas because they did not follow the rules of participation set by the Board of Education and the administration.

Board policy states that “The Board of Education will establish the date for graduation ceremonies, while the administration will determine the place and program details, including attire.” and “The Building Principal may set other rules and conditions for participation in the graduation ceremony and related activities. All such rules will be provided to students and parents/guardians in advance.”

The students and parents/guardians were told in a letter from Liberty High School Principal on May 22, and again on June 14  that “Students may only decorate the top of their cap. No other changes, decorations, or additions are allowed other than what is school issued (e.g. National Honor Society sashes).”

The students were also told before the event that they may not wear the sashes during the ceremony, but may keep them with them for pictures afterward.

A majority of the students followed these instructions, but others wore unapproved sashes, including heritage sashes as well as a superhero sash across the stage.

We celebrate the diversity that can be found among our Liberty Redhawks and were glad to see all of the wonderfully decorated caps highlighting students’ heritage, families and personalities. We appreciate the journey all of our students and their families have taken to reach this accomplishment, and don’t want to take away from that. However, the regulations on attire are set to focus on the academic and civic accomplishments, along with adhering to the decorum of a formal ceremony. The diplomas were withheld because these students did not follow the directions.

Students will receive their diplomas during meetings with the administration where they can have informative and restorative conversations about graduation rules and conditions.

We are proud of all that our students have accomplished and wish them all the best in the future.

Sincerely,
Dr. Patrick Sullivan, Superintendent
and
Derek Adams, Liberty High School Principal

Eighth graders move on up

The Liberty Middle School Eighth Grade Moving Up ceremony on Tuesday, June 25, was a time of reflection, celebration, acknowledgement and looking toward the future.

The event featured songs, speeches and several recognitions.

A student speaks on stage as administrators and staff members watchThe following department awards were presented:

  • Art: Stephanie Amaya Bonilla, Karla Aucaquizhpi Perez, Samuel Blandon Cardona, Gabriel Bossert, Olivia Bruce, Beverly Caal Chub, Solanlly Cruz Guevara, Yarel Diaz Lopez, Ezra Dilworth, Sophia Duarte, McKayla Figueroa, Brooke Golzak, Leah Herbek, Shea-Leigh Kristiansen, Belle Gandulla, Tyler Juron, Anai Perez Sanchez, Adriana Ponce Agredano, Gimena Quiroz Ramirez, Melanie Rodriguez, Anthony Salazar Gomez, William Vargas Martin, Cody Winters, Jade Guaillazaca Lopez, Jayla Ramon and Kourtney Perry.
  • Music: Tyler Juron  for Band, Shea-Leigh Kristiansen for Chorus and Belle Gandulla for Orchestra.
  • Physical Education: Adriana Ponce, Shea-Leigh Kristiansen, Starriah Harris, Bailegh Steinberg, Tyler Juron, Jared Briggs, Colton Allen and Mason Williams.
  • ELL Department: Brandon Amador, Angeliz Arruaga Munoz, Karla Aucaquizhpi Perez, Justin Hernandez Gomez, Gimena Quiroz Ramirez and Antonio Salazar Gomez

A staff member reacts as an award is presented to two studentsThere were also two awards for those who go above and beyond for the student community.

  • The Fogelski “Lend a Helping Hand” Awards: Cody Winters and Gabriela Aquino Garzon.
  • Mrs. Weiner’s Helping Hands Award: Sherlyn Rodriguez Flores and Alyssia Boyles

Numerous memorial awards were also handed out as follows:

  • The Lorraine Carrington Perseverance Award: Sophia Duarte
  • The Lori Bauman Most Improved Awards: Sophia Travis and Mia Molina
  • The Sydney Benton Award for High Academic Achievement and Community Activity: Shea-Leigh Kristiansen
  • The Barbara Sims Citizenship Award: Mason Williams
  • The Glenna Stieglitz American Ambassador Award: Beverly Caal Chub
  • The Herb Conrad “Prepared and Responsible” Award: Nysaiah Davis
  • The Joan Greck Strong Character Award: Starriah Harris
  • The Barbara Sochinski “Helpful to Students & Staff Award” Award: Gimena Quiroz-Ramirez
  • The Renee Friedman “Kind Heart” Award: Leah Herbek

People pose for a photo in front of a banner.Four students also received awards from state officials.

  • Adriana Ponce Agredano and Colten Jay Allen earned the NYS Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli Academic Achievement Award, which is presented each year to students who have excelled academically and have shown leadership potential by volunteering their time to serve the school or community.
  • Tyler Juron and Belle Gandula were presented the NYS Attorney General Letitia James Triple “C” (Courage, Character, Commitment) Award. The Triple C Awards program acknowledges the commitment, character, and courage of New York’s “most exceptional young people. Whether succeeding in academic pursuits, participating in community service, displaying leadership skills, or overcoming personal obstacles; these students provide us with hope for a brighter future,” the award states.

Following the awards, all eligible eighth graders crossed the stage to receive the certificates of completion and officially become high schoolers in the Class of 2028.

A recording of the event can be found at https://events.locallive.tv/events/147991.

More photos can seen be on the LCSD Facebook and LCSD Instagram pages.

Fourth graders honored as they say goodbye to LES

A student hugs a teacherOn the morning of Tuesday, June 25, Liberty Elementary School fourth graders accepted their final awards and took their final trips across the stage in the gymnasium as they participated in  the Moving Up Ceremony

The event celebrated the achievements and hard work the students put in in their years at LES before they took their next steps in their academic lives—going to middle school.

Principal Robert England reminded students that what they have been learning, not just reading, writing and arithmetic, but social-emotional lessons through the Leader in Me framework, is something they would carry with them throughout their lives.

A teacher hands a certificate to a studentAfter recognizing student liaisons Amaya Burton and Henry Vogler, several awards were presented,  as follows:

  • Music: Band: Alec Feliciano, Alannis Flores, Ana Hernandez, Josslynn Letohic, John Matute and Caleb McNett; Orchestra: Dean Harte, Melanie Hernandez Santiago, Lilith Lynker, Anthony Philippe, Henry Vogler and Ivan Zheng; and Chorus: Joseph Geoghan, Dean Harte, Ana Hernandez and Josslynn Letohic.
  • Academic Excellence: Darius Dawkins, Blake Dennison, Damaris Jadan Pangolo, Josslyn Letohic, Lilith Lynker, Caleb McNett, Tierney Meddaugh, Levi Poley, Masharib Uddin and Henry Vogler. A student points to where family is in the crowd as a teacher presents a certificate
  • Academic Achievement: Annabella Buryiak, Joel Cruz Lopez, Crisnelly D’Oleo Garcia, Parker Gissentaner, Mairely Gonzalez Manzueta, Nayeli Hernandez Soperanez, Laurel Hook, Ryleigh LaMantia, Helen Lucero Bonilla, John Matute, Marline Mott, Cailynn Pate, Anthony Philippe, Anabella Ramos, Esmeralda Santiago Sharpe and Mirey’ah Steele.
  • Citizenship: Dean Harte, Ana Hernandez, Anastasia Kelly, Caleb McNett and Isabella Puente.
  • NYS Attorney General’s Triple “C” Award: Amaya Burton and Tierney Meddaugh.
  • NYS Comptroller’s Award: Henry Vogler.

After the awards were presented, the approximately 125 fourth-graders walked across the stage to receive their certificates of competition, signifying they have graduated from elementary school and are now considered fifth graders.

Students and families embrace in congratulations in the gym.The final portion of the program was perhaps the most emotional and the most fun, for the students, staff and families—the traditional showing of the fourth grade video, produced by fourth-grade teacher David Philips. As the students sang along with many of the tunes, a video screen displayed photos and videos from their time at LES. The video is something the students will look forward to seeing again in eight years during the senior walk.

As the lights came back up, families in the balcony were invited to the floor to congratulate their children on a job well done in elementary school.

A recording of the ceremony can be found at https://events.locallive.tv/events/149092.

More photos can be on the LCSD Facebook and LCSD Instagram pages.

Superintendent offers update on Strategic Plan

Dear Liberty,

As we close the year, I want to offer an update on the progress of our Five-Year Strategic Plan. The plan was implemented in the 2022-23 school year, and as with any effective plan, it must be reviewed regularly and adjusted accordingly.

In February 2024, a team of administrators, faculty and staff reviewed the progress we have made and set a plan on how to continue moving forward.

I’d like to highlight some accomplishments we have made in each of our four pillars.

  • The first pillar is coherence, which is a shared understanding of our purpose and work. We have made progress in reviewing the data to help us improve our practices. Most importantly, we have created a Professional Learning Plan that gives us a roadmap to better align our professional learning with the Strategic Plan.
  • The next pillar is curriculum, what we teach our students. It is important for students to have a consistent method of learning, which is why we are aligning curriculum across grades and subject matters. That helps students have a clear understanding of the learning goals, which will build year to year. ELA and reading is aligned kindergarten through eighth grades, and Social Studies and Science curriculums are aligned K-6.  Math curriculum is aligned K-6, and the district is expanding the math curriculum to K-7 in 2024-25, with the introduction of algebra for all eighth graders. Work will also continue on implementing full curriculum mapping, setting mastery standards and entry and exit criteria for grade levels, expanding  enrichment opportunities and more.
  • The third pillar is MTSS, or Multi-Tiered System of Supports. MTSS addresses academic as well as social-emotional needs so we can best help our students learn. We continue to have regular K-8 academic screener sessions for math and reading and have implemented the Leader in Me framework for all students. We have also adjusted our monitoring and intervention programs to help our students succeed. Social-emotional learning is a very important part in ensuring a well-rounded education for our students. That is why we implemented the DESSA SEL screener and expanded the use of an SEL screener for all grades. We will continue to use the data to better align MTSS across buildings.
  • Culture is the final pillar of our Strategic Plan. These are the values that impact how our school operates. The mission, vision and beliefs of our district are at the heart of what we do. We have continued to communicate these internally and externally at meetings and forums. We also seek input through surveys and focus groups. We also know it is important that the school is part of the community, which is why we were happy to continue to host our All Things Liberty event in the fall and were pleased to re-introduce the Winter Festival in February.

There are three years left of our Strategic Plan. I am happy with the progress we have seen so far, but we know we still have much work to do. To read more about our Strategic Plan, as well as see updates, visit the Strategic Plan page on our website.

I thank you for all of the support you have shown. If you have any questions, please email questions@libertyk12.org.

Sincerely,

Dr. Patrick Sullivan
Superintendent

A message from the superintendent about ParentSquare

Dear Liberty Families,

We are excited to announce we have adopted a new form of school-to-home communication at Liberty Central School District called ParentSquare. This unified communications platform is designed to keep parents and guardians informed and encourage greater engagement and connection with LCSD.

Invitations to sign up for Parent Square will be sent shortly to all parent or guardian email addresses on file with the district. If you do not receive the invitation, visit www.parentsquare.com/signin and register your account using the phone number or email address on file with the district.

View this video on how to get started.  The video is available in Spanish here. 

All district and school, grade level and classroom information will be sent to your computer or phone via email and/or text. For even more convenience, download the ParentSquare app (available for free for iOS and Android devices).

Have questions? Click the question mark in the top right corner of the desktop version of Parent Square or the Help tab on the app (tap the triple bar icon at the top left) to find answers to most of your questions.

More information will be provided during open house nights in each of the buildings.

We hope to see you there.

Sincerely,

Dr. Patrick Sullivan

Superintendent

A message from the Superintendent and Lemonade management on parking at LES

Dear Liberty families,

When picking up or dropping off students at Liberty Elementary School, the Lemonade Grocery market parking lot is not to be used. It is also not to be used during special events.

Using the Lemonade parking lot creates a safety hazard for the children and families alike.

Lemonade has expressed interest in allowing the district to use the parking lot at no cost, with the condition that the district provides insurance. However, after speaking with our insurance company, that was not possible.

Lemonade has indicated they will do their best to warn noncustomers who park in their lot and ask them to move before towing or booting cars.

With this change, here’s how families can pick up and drop off their child moving forward:

  • At morning arrival, join the car Line from 7:35 to 8 a.m. Stop at  the child’s designated entrance and remain in your car. We’ll do the rest!
  • Avoid the morning rush by dropping off children early between the 7:15 and 7:35 a.m. each morning.
  • At afternoon dismissal, please drive onto campus beginning at 2:40 p.m. for pick up.
  • Free parking is available at the two nearby municipal lots on School Street. Limited parking can also be found on Main Street.
  • Many Liberty families are eligible for bus transportation, which is among the safest and most reliable ways to get to school. For more information, call the district office at 845-292-6171.

During special events, visitors should enter the main parking lot and attendants will guide drivers to their parking location.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation as we work together to keep our children safe!

Sincerely,

Dr. Patrick Sullivan

LCSD Superintendent

and

Lemonade Management

LES back-to-school carnival to be Aug. 27

A flyer in English for the event in the postA flyer in Spanish for the event in the post Liberty Elementary PTA and the LES Lighthouse Team will host a back-to- school carnival at the Liberty Elementary School field from 3 to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 27.

The free event, open to LES students and families only, with a maximum of two adults per family, will include a bounce house, games and music. For more information email libertypta@libertyk12.org.

A message from the superintendent on the extreme heat

Dear Liberty,

With the extreme heat expected to continue throughout this week, we want to remind our students and staff to take steps to help combat the heat.

The first is to stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water and avoid caffeinated beverages. Water bottle filling stations can be found throughout the school buildings. We encourage everyone to bring their own reusable bottles.

Another step is to wear lightweight, light-colored and breathable fabrics, such as cotton.

The Middle School’s air conditioning is on. At the Elementary School and High School, which do not have air conditioning, the district is taking steps to provide additional cooling, including air movers in the hallways, box fans in classrooms, shades are being kept down and windows and classroom doors are open to help with air circulation.

Outdoor activities will be limited to less-strenuous activities while the heat advisory is in place.

Regents exams and finals are continuing at LHS, with additional air circulation being provided at testing locations.

The district is closed Wednesday, June 19, because of the Juneteenth holiday.

The district may consider early dismissal at the Elementary School if the district believes the extreme heat will cause an unproductive or unsafe learning environment.

Any changes to the schedule will be communicated via our normal emergency closure channels, such as School Messenger, our website www.libertyk12.org and local media.

If you have any questions, please email questions@libertyk12.org.

Sincerely,

Dr. Patrick Sullivan

Superintendent

LCSD District-wide Safety Plan available for review

The Liberty Central School District’s District-wide Safety Plan is available for review on our website and at the district office at 115 Buckley St. in Liberty. It will be available for public comment through July 18, 2024.

Comments may be submitted to questions@libertyk12.org or to the Liberty Central School Office, 115 Buckley St, Liberty NY 12754.

A message from the LHS principal on graduation

Dear Parents/Guardians and Students:

All of our Senior events have been completed! Seniors were given the opportunity to pick up their graduation tickets and return their Chromebooks after the senior walk. Please contact Audra Santillo by Friday, June 21, if you have not received graduation tickets. Chromebooks can be returned between 8 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. during any school day through Wednesday, June 26. Below are our graduation reminders. See you then!

LHS Live Graduation Ceremony: Friday, June 28, 2024

  • Where: LHS Football Field
  • Weather related back up plan:
    • Plan B – Shift into the gymnasium depending on weather and field conditions. If shifted into the gym, only the seven (7) ticket holders may attend. Extra tickets can be exchanged from one graduate to another if they will not use them all.
  • Times:
    • 4:30 p.m. for Graduates in orchestra to rehearse.
    • 5:00 p.m. for all Graduates to rehearse.
    • 6:00 p.m. for guest arrival. Seven (7) guests per graduate for field seating.
    • Additional guests may attend to sit outside of the track fencing if held on the football field. If shifted into the gym, only the seven (7) ticket holders may attend. Extra tickets can be exchanged from one graduate to another if they will not use them all.
    • 7:00 p.m. Ceremony
  • Guests enter through the Middle School Gymnasium entrance (just like football games).
  • Each guest must bring their ticket to the track entrance gate.
  • Any change to the event due to weather will be made by 3 p.m. on June 28.
  • Save any flower bouquets for your graduate until after the ceremony.
  • Graduates will be mailed a 5×7 photo of them receiving their diploma at graduation.
  • Individuals requiring handicap access should park by the red administration building where golf carts will be stationed for transport to the field.

Directions and Tips for our Graduates:

  • Wear your cap and gown, and remember your tassel, sashes, and cords (school issued).
  • Students may only decorate the top of their cap (the brim of the cap cannot be decorated and nothing should hang off of the cap). No other changes, decorations, or additions are allowed other than what is school issued (e.g. National Honor Society sashes).
  • Wear comfortable shoes. You’ll be walking through grassy, unlevel areas, and stepping onto metal bleachers.
  • Bring anything you may need to help your cap stay on or keep your hair in place (bobby pins, etc.)

Reminders and Tips for our Parents/Families/Guests:

  • Please stay in your seat throughout the ceremony. We will mail you the professional picture taken by our photographer with the opportunity to order more.
  • Save any flower bouquets for your graduate until after the ceremony.
  • Please give the ceremony the dignity and respect it deserves by adhering to the specifications of the event.

All the Best,
Derek Adams
Principal

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