Dear Parents and Guardians,
This letter is to inform you that as a result of its 2014-15 state test scores, the Liberty Central School District has been named a Focus District for the second year by the New York State Education Department in compliance with Title I of the federally mandated Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).
The state evaluates the performance of schools across the state, and Focus Districts and Focus Schools are among the lowest performing on the grades 3-8 English language arts (ELA) and math state assessments. In addition to the district designation, both Liberty Elementary School and Liberty Middle School have been identified as Focus Schools.
The state bases the district and school designations on the performance of specific sub-groups of students in grades 3-8 on English language arts and math state assessments. These sub-groups include racial or ethnic groups, low-income students, English language learners (ELL) and students with disabilities.
As newly identified Focus District and Focus Schools, administrators and teachers have developed a District Comprehensive Improvement and School Comprehensive Education Plans, and will receive funds to improve the achievement of four state-identified subgroups: “Black,” “Hispanic,” “Economically Disadvantaged,” and “Students with Disabilities.”
Federal law requires districts to allow families with children in Focus Schools to transfer their children to non-Focus Schools. As the district has only one elementary, middle and high school, school transfers cannot be offered.
The district is slated to receive a $50,000 BASIC School Improvement Grant (SIG) for Liberty Elementary School. This competitive 1003g grant – known as a “turnaround” grant – is available only for schools that hold a Title I status. An additional $50,000 will be allotted to the district, to be used toward closing achievement gaps in order to help all students reach their learning potential.
The district will provide details about what it means to be designated a Focus District or Focus School at an informational meeting to be announced at a later date.
We are proud of our district, our students and their achievements. We are committed to helping your child(ren) achieve and will continue to work diligently to prepare all our students for success in their path to become responsible citizens of the 21st century.
For additional information about the district’s Focus designation, please contact your child’s school principal.
Carol B. Napolitano
Interim Superintendent of Schools