Students interview author via Skype

Liberty Middle School students got the chance to meet author Tui Sutherland via Skype on May 13. Tui is the author of 40+ books for children and teens, ranging in age from sticker books and easy-to-reads to middle-grade and young adult novels. Her latest series, Wings of Fire, is a big epic ten-book dragon fantasy.

LMS provides Warm Feet for Warriors

Teacher stands with sock drive donations

When Wayne Bank’s Liberty Branch Specialist, Kim Murphy volunteered to attend the Liberty Middle School Career Day, students and staff from the school decided to return the favor.

After the Career Day that Wayne Bank attended, they thought we might want to reciprocate and support Wayne Bank’s ‘Warm Feet for Warriors’ sock drive.

The school put flyers around the school; Wayne Bank put flyers in their branches. The socks started coming in, many times in multi-packs. The school counted over one hundred pairs.

The socks will soon sent to Soldiers’ Angels for distribution to current service members and veterans.

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. 

Liberty welcomes Mr. Chewens home

After a year in the Middle East, Liberty Middle School teacher John Chewens was welcomed home by the students, staff and board members with a surprise assembly.

Following a performance by the school’s band, Mr. Chewens former and current students reflected on what had been lost – and gained – this past year.

While students and staff undoubtedly missed Mr. Chewens, they reflected on how they were able to tighten the bonds of their friendship despite his absence. Mr. Chewens had been keeping in touch with his class through letters and video chats. Much of what he was experiencing, such as sandstorms, were incorporated into student lessons. Students and staff also sent him regular packages.

And Mr. Chewens also had a surprise of his own. He presented the Superintendent of Schools Dr. Augustine E. Tornatore with a flag.

LMS Read-A-Thon funds will go toward Carnival Day

The Liberty Schools PTA is once again hosting the Liberty Middle School Read-A-Thon. Proceeds from the event will be used toward the school’s Carnival Day in June.

All students are strongly encouraged to participate. Students are asked to pledge their participation and return their reading logs in a timely fashion, as minutes and money raised will earn them points and prizes.

Participants will be eligible to receive credits for the upcoming BOGO Scholastic Book Fair. Participants will also be entered in a drawing for a special lunch with guest author Charles R. Smith Jr. The student who earns the most money will win a Kindle e-reader.

The Read-A-Thon ends April 11.

For more information about the middle school’s Read-A-Thon, please contact athalmann@libertyk12.org. Students and their parents will be given information to review at home.

3-8 state assessments set for spring

This spring, our students in grades 3-8 will again take assessments aligned to the state’s new learning standards. The 2019 testing will be scheduled over two consecutive days on the following dates:

  • New York State grades 3-8 English language arts (ELA) exam: April 2 and April 3
  • New York State grades 3-8 math exam: May 1 and May 2

Over the course of the past few years, the New York State Education Department has made adjustments to the tests in response to concerns from parents and educators about the state exams.

Some of those changes affect the testing experience for students. For example, there are fewer questions on the tests and students are now allowed as much time as they need to complete the tests within the regular school day.  According to state officials, more New York educators now participate in developing the tests. In addition, state lawmakers approved a bill in January that separates teacher/principal evaluations and grades 3-8 state ELA and math test scores.

Please keep in mind that no single test provides a complete picture of your child’s abilities. When combined with grades, classroom activities, and unit quizzes and tests, annual assessments can provide important information about a student’s academic growth. State assessments also provide valuable information about the performance of our school. However, it is important to note that state test results do not have any impact on student grades or promotion.

As always, we encourage our students to do their best on all learning opportunities they participate in at school. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the main office of your child’s school.

Guys and Dolls coming to Liberty April 5-6

Liberty High School’s spring musical, “Guys and Dolls,” will take the stage April 5-6 featuring the exploits of street gamblers Nathan Detroit and Sky Masterson, and the women who try to reform them.

The show will take place at 7 p.m. in the high school auditorium.

The show, with music and lyrics by Frank Loesser and book by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows, debuted on Broadway in 1950. A 1955 film adaptation starred Marlon Brando and Frank Sinatra. The show features the song “Luck Be a Lady” and many other tunes.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students/senior citizens. Tickets may be purchased at the door on a first-come, first-served basis.

Cast members are under the guidance of Emily McConnell (Director), Timothy Hamblin (Music Director), Dan McConnell (Orchestra Director), Kathleen Johansen (Lighting/Sound), Mike Diehl (Set Design), Jenn Desrochers (Costumes and Props) and several parent volunteers.

The cast list is below, organized by character name and student.

  • Nicely-Nicely: Cascio Fonseca
  • Benny Southstreet: Tyler Black
  • Arvide Abernathy: Anthony Carrion
  • Nathan Detroit: Michael Perez
  • Sky Masterson: Tanner Parks
  • Rusty Charlie: Chase Racette
  • Lt. Brannigan: Gabe Desrochers
  • Angie the Ox: Melanie Graham
  • Sarah Brown: Emily Kinne
  • Miss Adelaide: Chloe Ricco
  • Mimi: Kat Fonseca
  • Agatha: Ysabel Manzi
  • Martha: Gabby Fontana
  • Allison: Jordan Raynor
  • General Cartwright: Rory Magie
  • Ferguson: Corrine Hellerer
  • General Cartwright: Tatiana Hinkley
  • Waitress: Abigail Kelly
  • Havana Guest: Emily Lutz
  • Hot Box Ladies: Jordan Raynor, Corrine Hellerer, Katarina Fonseca, Tatiana Hinkley, Brooke Nichols, Abigail Kelly, Emily Lutz, Melanie Graham

Percussionist takes students on musical journey

On an exciting March morning, seventh- and eighth-grade students from Mr. Wheeler and Mr. Bradley’s social studies classroom file into the gymnasium. A circle of Djembes, Doumbeks and conga drums greet them.

Under the instruction of world-renowned percussionist Jeff Haynes, the students begin to play.

As Mr. Haynes whips around, a rhythm slowly starts to take shape.

“I feel good, don’t you feel good?” he asks the class. “I know you’re ready, family!”

Before long, the students loosen their form and the music begins to flow. And then, as if by magic, a dynamic and harmonious jam session erupts, echoes down the hall and catches the attention of the class passing by.

This jam session is one of many that will take place in March.  Over the course of the next two weeks, Mr. Haynes will collaborate with the social studies teachers in a lesson that takes students on an educational and musical journey through history.

But the students’ drum sessions extend beyond the curriculum. Learning how listen to each other and work together to build a melody enhances their confidence and fosters a sense of greater connection between them, observes Mr. Wheeler.

The lesson culminated with a special school wide performance at the end of the month featuring students drumming to spoken word. View a four minute clip from the performance here.

Importance notice regarding give back days

When snow/inclement weather days are not used, the district “gives them back” by closing school on days that were originally scheduled to have school in session. Although Liberty Central School District has ten days snow days built into the calendar for the 2018-19 school year, as of March 14, we have used four.

While no one can accurately predict what the winter has in store for us, at this point it seems likely that we will not require all of the remaining snow days.

Read below to review the district’s plan to give back this year’s unused snow days.

  • School will be closed on Friday, March 22.

If the district does not use any additional snow days by April 12, the following days would also become give back days:

  • Tuesday, April 23
  • Wednesday, April 24
  • Friday, May 24
  • Thursday, May 23
  • Friday, May 17

Please note that in the event that additional snow/inclement weather days are used during the remainder of the school year, some of the dates listed above will have to remain as regular school days and your child will need to be in attendance at school. Additional information will be sent home to parents and posted to the district’s website if changes are made.

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