COVID-19: Information and district updates

Student Meals, Classwork, BOE meetings |  Childcare for Essential Workers | Teachers Ready for Distance Learning| District Preparedness | About COVID-19| Shopping Assistance

By order of the Governor of the State of New York, all New York schools, including the Liberty Central School District, was closed from mid-March through the end of the 2019-20 school year to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

An Isolation and Quarantine Order was issued by the Sullivan County Manager to help reduce community transmission of COVID-19.

We recognize that this extraordinary situation presents an array of difficulties for our students, employees and families, and we know you have many questions:

Are you serving student meals?

Throughout the summer, breakfast and lunch can be picked up 9-11 a.m. at the High School loading area (near the parking lot basketball court.) Adults can pick up meals for children, or children are welcome to come on their own.

What about schoolwork?

Google Classroom assignments for Middle and High School students was made available now. Students accessed this work with their Chromebook.

We also suggest that you keep your children engaged in learning. Read with your children, help them with their classwork, and explore many free online educational resources available. We will be sharing links to our teachers’ favorite websites on the district website, too.

If you do not have internet access, please call 292-5400, ext. 2031.

What does “closed” mean?

The District is minimally staffed, so it may take us longer than usual to answer your messages.

The closure includes all school buildings.

As of May 18, 2020, the Liberty High School and Liberty Middle School grounds and athletic fields re-opened for limited use to students and the community. Please remember that social distancing protocols remain in place, and masks must be worn if social distancing cannot be practiced. District residents are welcome to use the grounds during daylight hours. The grounds close at dusk.

The High School basketball court and the Elementary School playground, however, will remain closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Will the Board of Education meet?

Due to the recent restrictions on gatherings and advice to socially distance, Liberty Central School District Board of Education meetings will be held remotely via Zoom, a web-based video conferencing tool.  You can join meetings from a phone, computer, mobile device, or tablet. The community can call into the meeting and be addressed to provide public comments during the Public Comment section part of the agenda. 

Prior to each meeting, a link and access code will be posted on the front page of this website. Meetings can also be joined by calling a dedicated phone number.

Please be advised that we cannot guarantee that information that you provide to Zoom is kept confidential nor do we guarantee that the data transmitted is secure.

To request a recording of a recent meeting contact District Clerk Tania DeFrank at 845-292-5400 ext 2051 or email tdefrank@libertyk12.org.


CHILDCARE FOR ESSENTIAL WORKERS

By Executive Order, the public school districts of Sullivan County have developed emergency child care plans for essential workers. Essential workers include first responders, healthcare workers, food manufacturers, supermarket workers, food preparation workers, commercial truck drivers, transit workers, carriers of critical and essential materials, construction workers, manufacturing workers, specialized equipment workers related to health or safety of the public, and nonprofit and social service agencies providing support to families, and employees in related fields.

Completion of the Child Care Survey for Essential Workers is the first step to identify the need within the county. You will be contacted directly by the program coordinators with further information.


District Updates During the Closure

TEACHERS PREPARE “JUST IN CASE” Homework

March 13, 2020

The Liberty Central School District is prepared to meet the needs of our students and staff in the event of a school closure as a result of COVID-19.

There have been no reports of coronavirus in the Liberty community, but as a precaution teachers will send students home with packets of homework on Monday, March 16. Middle and High School students will also receive instructions on how to complete work electronically. Please set the packet aside; it only needs to be done if Liberty schools are closed for a period of two week or longer.

If you are a parent or guardian of a middle or high school student and you do not have internet access, please call 845-292-5400, ext 2031 during school hours so we can make sure your child has academic materials.


COVID-19 and District Preparedness

March 12, 2020

As we continue to monitor developments regarding coronavirus COVID-19, I want to provide you with some additional updates. There are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our school community, but we are learning more every day about this evolving public health issue. Please be assured that we are being proactive in our planning as we prepare for possible disruptions to our instructional program, including a school closure.

What happens if a student or staff member has COVID-19?

In the event we are notified that a student or staff member has a confirmed case of COVID-19, the school or schools associated with that case would be required to close for an initial period of 24 hours. If that happens, the Liberty Central School District would work closely with the NYS and the Sullivan County health departments during those 24-hours to determine precautionary actions and the scope and duration of any closure. 

These decisions will be made on a case by case basis, as necessary, and the district will communicate this information immediately to all our Liberty families.

Proactive Measures

Liberty teachers will spend Friday, March 13, a scheduled superintendent’s conference day and a day off for students, to compile 10 days of work (two weeks) for their students should an extended closure take place. 

This work will be sent home with students on Monday, March 16. Please set this work aside for completion in the event of an extended school closure.

  • For our elementary students the work will include a packet of printed worksheets and reading assignments.
  • Our middle and high school students all have Chromebooks, so their work will be available digitally via Google Classroom. Some middle and high school teachers may also elect to provide their students with printed assignments.

If you are a parent or guardian of a middle or high school student and you do not have internet access, please call 845-292-5400, ext 2031 so we can make sure your child has academic materials.

Meanwhile, we continue steps to ensure the health and safety of students and staff. Here are some of the ways we are addressing COVID-19 concerns:

  • We are in continued conversations with county and state health officials and are following the recommendations of these experts.
  • Our school nurses are on alert for flu-like symptoms, cough, fever and other symptoms.
  • We have provided resources on proper handwashing and encouraged faculty and staff to remind students about the importance of hygiene. We have also asked them to limit sharing between students and to allow extra time for handwashing.
  • Rolling V, our bus company, has enhanced its rigorous cleanings of buses.
  • Our dedicated custodial staff is paying special attention to hard surfaces and highly-trafficked areas. We are well equipped with cleaning supplies.

The most important thing you can do to protect yourself and others continues to be the standard preventive practices for influenza. This includes regular handwashing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds

Please know that, as always, the health and safety of our students and staff is our highest priority, and we will remain vigilant in our efforts to prevent the spread of this illness. Our administrators, faculty and staff have been asked to take this matter of public health seriously but to do so without causing alarm for our students.

Again, we will continue to share updates and resources on a regular basis and until this public health challenge is behind us. 

I appreciate your continued patience and support as we navigate this difficult time together.

Dr. Augustine E. Tornatore
Superintendent of Schools


Protecting Students, Staff from the Spread of COVID-19

March 10, 2020

With the recent news of confirmed cases of COVID-19 caused by the novel coronavirus in the Hudson Valley, Liberty Central School District officials are continuing to monitor information from local, state and federal officials.

Health officials emphasize that the general risk to the public remains low but we all need to be vigilant and cautious. There are many steps that students, staff and community members can take to minimize the spread of all respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19. The NYS Department of Health urges the following:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

LCSD school nurses, teachers, and other faculty members are regularly reminding students about the importance of the above measures. Additionally, our custodial and maintenance teams are sanitizing our schools daily. High touch areas – such as door handles, handrails and elevator buttons – are cleaned and sanitized several times each school day. Rolling V, the district’s transportation company, has also stepped-up cleaning protocols and is sanitizing school buses every day.

Meanwhile, the district is preparing to meet the needs of our students and staff in the event the virus affects our community. Should a student or staff member be diagnosed with or presumed to have come in contact with COVID-19, it is anticipated that the district will close the effected buildings for 1-2 days to thoroughly sanitize and disinfect. The district is also prepared to provide students with classwork and is reviewing methods of remote instruction should an extended closure be necessary.

In the event of a school closure related to COVID-19, the district will first use our remaining “snow days.”

The state Department of Health has made quarantine mandatory for individuals returning to the U.S. from a known high-risk exposure area. Based on this, any Liberty student, family member or employee who has traveled to such an area should notify the school principal before coming to school. If the district becomes aware that a student or staff member is diagnosed with COVID-19 we will notify staff and parents.

Please also note that exposure to COVID-19 can occur from any person-to-person contact and is not limited to a particular race or ethnicity.

More information about COVID-19 is available from the state Department of Health.

We appreciate the support of our Liberty families and will share more information as it becomes available. As always, the health and safety of our students and staff is our highest priority, and we will remain vigilant in our efforts to help prevent the spread of this illness.

Dr. Augustine Tornatore
Superintendent of Schools


Important Information about Novel Coronavirus

Feb. 28, 2020

The Liberty Central School District is aware that many of our parents and guardians have concerns about COVID-19, caused by the 2019 Novel Coronavirus,  a relatively new virus that causes mild to moderate flu-like symtoms.

Novel Coronavirus is not currently a concern for the general public and is not actively circulating among New Yorkers. Therefore, there is no need to cancel school or social events, and there is no need for students or school staff to wear surgical masks at school.

Please be assured that the district has infectious disease protocols in place and has been taking steps, such as cleaning and disinfecting throughout its schools, to minimize the spread of viruses and other illnesses.

The district is closely monitoring this fluid situation and following guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, the New York State Department of Health, the Sullivan County Department of Health and the New York State Education Department.

If the district becomes aware that a student or staff member is diagnosed with COVID-19, it will immediately notify alol staff, parents and guardians. If a student or staff member shows respiratory symptoms, we will follow our current practices for handling respiratory illnesses.

How Does Novel Coronavirus Spread?

Health experts believe the virus probably spreads from animals to humans and from person to person. It’s not clear yet how easily the virus spreads from person-to-person.
The virus was first found in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. This virus had not been found in humans before. There are thousands of diagnosed cases in China and new cases being diagnosed in a number of countries including the United States.

Symptoms

Data suggests that COVID-19 causes mild-to-moderate illness and symptoms like the flu, including fever, cough, and difficulty breathing.

Prevention

There are currently no vaccines available to protect against this virus. The New York State Department of Health recommends the following ways to minimize the spread of all respiratory viruses, including COVID-19:

  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing. If you use a tissue, throw it in the trash.
  • Routinely clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • The CDC recommends travelers avoid all travel to China.
Travelers to, from China

As of Feb. 2 new screening protocols are conducted for individuals entering the US from China at designated airports.
Schools may have students who have traveled to Asia, including China. Students should not be excluded from school or school activities based on race, country of origin, or recent travel, or a family member’s recent travel.
Schools may only exclude a student if a local health department deems that a student must comply with a quarantine order or the student is symptomatic of a communicable or infectious disease.
If you recently traveled to Wuhan, China and feel sick; or you develop symptoms within 14 days of traveling there, you should:

  • Seek medical care right away. Call ahead and tell them about your travel and symptoms.
  • Avoid contact with others.
  • Stay home, except for seeking medical care.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Wash hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.

Shopping Assistance Available During COVID-19 “PAUSE”

People unable to leave their homes for essential shopping can get help from the Sullivan County Emergency Community Assistance Center.

“This new Assistance Center will ensure those who are unable to leave their homes can receive the assistance they need,” said County Manager Joshua Potosek. The center will also help connect people with other services and resources.

Call the Assistance Center at 845-807-0925. Assistance will be prioritized to senior citizens, the physically disabled, and others unable to shop for food, medicine and other necessities. The center is also seeking donations and volunteers.