The December edition of “LES News” is on the air!

“LES News,” a video newcast brought to you by our Liberty Elementary students with the expert assistance of teacher Tamika Terry, is a great way to learn about some of the terrific things happening in the elementary school.

Here’s the latest edition, along with some of the students’ earlier broadcasts:

Dottie Davison, beloved asst. cook, retires after 47 years

A group photo of adults gathered around a try of cookies
Dottie Davison, who retired after 47 years with the LCSD, baked a batch of her famous peanut butter cookies on her last day of work.

For 47 years, Asst. Cook Dottie Davison has been a welcoming face on the lunch line, serving an estimated 4.5 million meals (and countless from-scratch peanut butter cookies) to our students.

Tuesday,  Nov. 26 was her  last day, and staff and students gathered in the high school cafeteria to wish here a happy retirement and present her with her very own Liberty letterman jacket. The High School Honor Chorus also serenaded the beloved Mrs. Davison.

A woman
Mrs. Dottie Davison

“Many, if not most of those gathered here were not even born when Dottie started her career in September 1973,” said School Lunch Manager Dara Smith. “Many historic events have happened over the course of time that Dottie worked here, good things and bad, fashion trends, up and down economies, you name it, but one thing that we have always counted on is a hot meal from the folks in our school kitchens and this Lunch Lady right here.”

A plaque honoring Mrs. Davison will also be hung in the cafeteria honoring her limitless commitment to our students.

The Liberty Cookie Recipe

Generations of Liberty students and staff will tell you that few cookies can compare to Mrs. Davison’s Famous Liberty Cookie, a classic peaunut butter cookie she often baked for students. She generously shares the recipe here:

a handwritten recipe on lined paper
Mrs. Davison’s Liberty Cookie recipe, in her handwriting. The top recipe is for a large batch, the bottom list of ingredients makes a “for home’ batch.

Liberty Cookies
(Makes about 7 dozen)

4 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups shortening
1 1/2 cups peanut butter
3 cups sugar
1/3 cup boiling water
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Add a little bit of oil if the peanut butter is dry. Roll in 1 1/2 inch balls. Flatten with a fork.
Bake at 350 degrees about 15 minutes.

Music Department releases Winter Concert schedule

The Liberty Central School Music Department is pleased to announce the schedule for the upcoming winter concerts. All performances are in the Liberty High School David Panebaker Auditorium beginning at 7 p.m.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019– MS 5/6 Winter Concert (snow date December 4)

Wednesday, December 11, 2019– MS 7/8 Winter Concert (snow date December 12)

Monday, December 16, 2019– HS Winter Concert (snow date December 17)

All performances are free and open to the public. 

Please contact Timothy Hamblin, Director of Music, for further information. He can be reached by phone at 292-5400  ex. 2021 or  by email at thamblin@libertyk12.org 

What’s the difference between half day and full day Pre-K?

Many parents and guardians may wonder which is better: full day Pre-K or half day Pre-K.  The answer is “neither.” There is a difference and that difference is in the length of the day.  The full day Pre-K program offers students more time to socialize with friends at school. It’s not the length of the day, but the experience itself that matters for your Pre-K child.  At Liberty Elementary School, we strive to provide all Pre-K students with a high quality Pre-K experience that is focused on social interaction and language development.

Students in the full and half day Pre-K programs receive the same opportunities for instruction through daily structured play.  All Pre-K children engage in a variety of well-designed social activities such as literacy learning centers, construction sites, science exploration and experiments, dramatic play, songs, games, movement and interactive applications on classroom technology.  Students interact and speak with their peers and teachers throughout their day, which helps promote language strong language skills.

One of the top priorities of Pre-K is to engage students in language usage.  Whether a child is enrolled in a full day or half day program, parents and/or guardians can help at home by engaging their child in conversation.  Every moment of the day is an opportunity to notice everything around you, ask and answer questions and facilitate learning!

Student entrepreneurs enjoy Market Economy Day at LES

What are the advantages and disadvantages of a market economy?
What skills are needed to be an entrepreneur?
How can I balance creating a quality product while making a profit?

These are the questions our young entrepreneurs at Liberty Elementary School asked themselves leading up to their Market Economy Day on June 14

Market Economy Day is a third grade tradition that seeks to increase the financial literacy of the next generation of future entrepreneurs. By using a school store as a means to teach challenging subjects like finance, business and investing, teachers seek to train a new group of future business owners and creative thinkers.

In this unique form of instruction, students frequently encounter situations that provide the opportunity to relate economic terms and concepts to real classroom situations. The instruction leading up to Market Day focuses on the basics of economics, entrepreneurship customer service and money management.

Free meals for kids starts July 1 in Liberty

To ensure no child is left hungry over the summer, the Liberty Central School District will serve nutritious summer meals to at no cost from July 1 of this year through August 23. Participating sites (listed below) will provide free, nutritious meals to kids and teens 18 and under.

Meals will be provided to all children without charge. There are no income requirements to participate in this summer program.

This is the sixth year that Liberty has offered the program. Meals will be provided to all children without charge. There are no income requirements to participate in this summer program, and students do not have to be enrolled in Liberty Central Schools.

Francis A. Hanofee Park
136 Sunset Lake Road

From July 1 to August 16, breakfast and lunch will be served each weekday at Hanofee Park. Breakfast will be served 8:30-9:30 a.m. Lunch will be served 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Liberty Middle School
125 Buckley Street

From July 1 to August 23, the district will also provide breakfast and lunch each weekday at the Liberty Middle School. Breakfast will be served 7:30-9 a.m. Lunch will be served 11:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m.

Both sites are considered “restricted open sites,” meaning that children who do not attend the day camps or summer school programs that take place at Hanofee Park or Liberty Middle School are welcome to visit either location for a free meal.

For additional information, please contact the district’s business office at (845) 292-6171.

Learn more about the NYSED Parent Dashboard

The New York State Education Department (NYSED) is developing a Parent Dashboard to increase transparency and make information about school performance and other school-level data easier for parents and the public to access. This is part of New York’s ESSA plan.

NYSED is gathering feedback from parents and stakeholders to guide the work of developing the Parent Dashboard. NYSED will use this feedback to identify the data that is most useful to parents and the public.

Click here to review frequently asked questions and watch a brief video about the Parent dashboard. 

Is your child ready for pre-k/kindergarten?

As the calendar pages flip toward September, you might be asking if your child is ready for school. Whatever age your child is when they start school, you can help them enter the classroom with confidence by being your child’s first and most important teacher. To ensure the best possible school experience, there are skills and tasks that all children should be comfortable with before entering the classroom.

1. Teach independence

The more things a child can do on their own, the more time they, and their teacher, will spend on classroom activities. Practice having your child:

  • Use the toilet by themselves.
  • Put on coats, boots and shoes with minimal assistance.
  • Make choices: red or blue crayon; blocks or dolls.

Bradley Strait, principal at The Learning Community, a pre-K through grade 2 school in the Broadalbin-Perth Central School District, recommends making incremental changes toward Independence

“Set your child up for success,” he said. “Instead of letting them pick an outfit from their whole wardrobe –and risk them picking shorts when it’s snowing outside – lay out two weather-appropriate outfits and let them choose which one to wear.”

2. Read together

Children have to learn to read before they can read to learn. Learning the alphabet is the first step.

  • Sing the alphabet song together.
  • Point to written letters as you sing.
  • Point out the letters in your child’s name.
  • Choose books about your child’s interests.
  • Visit your local library and let your child choose books to read with you.

3. Count together

Recognizing numbers and understanding their relationship to one another is a basic foundational math skill.

  • Count steps together while you walk up and down a flight of stairs.
  • Count pieces of cereal or crackers as you put them in a bowl (or as you eat them!).
  • Ask your child “how many?” when you see groups of items that number fewer than 10.
  • Practice sorting and classifying—big, small, near, far, under, above, colors— as a way to reinforce early math skills.

4. Look for social opportunities

In preschool and kindergarten, children are learning social skills such as sharing, communicating and listening. Look for opportunities for your child to practice.

  • Make playdates.
  • Go to library story times.
  • Visit local playgrounds.

5. Establish—or reinforce—routines

Help your child become accustomed to routines by establishing a set of activities to do every morning upon waking and every evening before bedtime.

  • Get dressed.
  • Brush teeth after meals.
  • Put dirty clothes in a laundry hamper.
  • Read before bed.

6. Engage your child in conversation

A three-year-old might not yet have a robust vocabulary, but they can still express their needs, wants, hopes and fears in their own way. And the more you talk with them, the more words they will learn.

  • How do you feel?
  • Why do you like this toy?
  • Why are you scared?

Why is pre-K and kindergarten important?

Children benefit from early-education programs, like prekindergarten or kindergarten, because they learn academic and social skills that lay a solid foundation for the rest of their years in school. Kids who attend early-education programs receive higher reading, math and cognition test scores into early adulthood and earn more money over the course of their lifetime compared with those who did not have the benefit of early education.

Is my child not ready for school—or is it something else?

If you have questions about what your child should be able to do at their age, speak with your child’s pediatrician, call the early intervention office in your county or contact the school for support. The sooner kids get the help they need, the sooner they’ll be able to thrive at school.

So your child will be going to school!

Whether it’s preschool or kindergarten that your child will be attending, change can be unsettling for everyone involved. Before school starts, there are a few things parents should know and can do to help ease their family into a new school routine.

Visit the school

The more time your child spends at the school they’ll attend—especially with you—the more comfortable they’ll be when they start attending school by themselves.

  • Arrange a tour at your local elementary school or early learning center.
  • Attend concerts or other public events that interest your child at the school.
  • Play on the playground.

Know the rules

It’s true: Schools have lots of rules and policies, all geared toward ensuring a safe and healthy environment for students and staff. Check out school handbooks or websites to be familiar with rules that you know will impact your family, such as:

  • Pick-up and drop-off times and locations.
  • Parking.
  • Food for classroom parties/birthdays.
  • Safety policies, such as propping doors open.
  • Visitor and volunteer rules and policies.

Attendance matters

Regular attendance builds the school-going habit and helps children develop relationships with teachers and school staff. But there are other reasons daily, on-time attendance is important.

  • Teachers schedule their time in the classroom to the minute; late arrivals can disrupt learning and distract other students.
  • Early grades lay the foundation for future learning, and regular attendance helps children develop the reading, writing and math skills they will need in the future.
  • If your child says they don’t want to go to school, talk to your child’s teacher as soon as possible—you might be able to help address a small issue before it becomes a big problem.

Teamwork works

Once you’ve made the decision to enroll your child in school, think of their teacher and school as a partner. You all have the same goal for your child: to be happy and successful.

Talk with your child about what’s happening in their world away from home and take advantage of the many ways schools share information with families.

  • Parent-teacher conferences.
  • Parent-teacher organizations or school community councils.
  • Read through papers sent home.
  • Check out teacher and/or school websites, if they have one.
  • Find out how your child’s teacher prefers to communicate: email, phone, text message app.

Remember, you’re all in this together. If there is something happening at home or school that you think is, or could, negatively affect your child, let their teacher know. They can’t help if they aren’t aware. They can work with you and your child to find solutions or accommodations to make school a positive place were your child can learn and grow.

Future nutritionists, botanists emerge at LES

In an effort to empower children to make healthy food choices, develop an awareness of how fruits and vegetables are grown, and increase physical activity, Liberty Elementary School teacher Christy Green joined forces with our friend Bee Moser from Cornell Cooperative Extension to offer an exciting extra-curricular class for all second graders.

Fun, engaging and undoubtedly educational, the class featured a perfect mix of structure and informality. Students were happy to share their personal healthy pursuits, from making an apple pie with mom using fresh apples from the yard to trying – and enjoying – a chickpea from the school’s salad bar.

The goal of the 60 minute class was to teach students about the parts of a plant by focusing on the different parts that we commonly eat – root, stem, seed, flower, fruit, and leaf. Following a brief discussion, students put their knowledge to the test in a game that called for students to match a fruit or vegetable with the part of the plant it is known as. (For example, a carrot is a root, celery is a stem, corn is a seed, broccoli is a flower, etc.)

Together, Ms. Green and Ms. Moser hosted a healthy taste test.  Students were asked to describe size, shape, color, smell and texture of the food before taking a bite. As an added charm school-esque bonus, students learned the importance of a “no thank you bite” and how to discreetly dispose of a food they don’t like using a napkin.

After planting kale seeds in an  ice cream cone (because it’s compostable), students ended the class with a little exercise.

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