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February is in full swing and spring break will be here before we know it! Here's a look at what our schools and community have been up to and what lies ahead. If you haven't already, click on the icons below to follow us on social media. 
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Enroll Now!

Registration for all grade levels K-8 is now open for the 2022-2023 school year.

REGISTER HERE

This is for families looking to have their children attend their home school (the school in their neighborhood). Students attending their home school this year do not need to re-register for next year. However, if students are attending through open enrollment, they must reapply.
 

The following documentation is needed for registration:

  • Child's birth certificate
  • Immunization record or religious beliefs exemption form
  • Photo ID for parent/legal guardian
  • Copy of child's withdrawal form if child is coming from another school in Arizona
  • Proof of residency or notarized shared residency affidavit.       
For families enrolling kindergartners in the 2022-2023 school year, we still strongly encourage you to attend our Kinder Roundup events in February. It's a great opportunity to tour your school and meet teachers and staff.

Festival of the Arts

Save the date for March 2! Make plans for this special evening, which will feature student visual and performing arts from each of our seven elementary schools. 

We are excited to bring our community together to showcase our students and celebrate their artistic efforts. The Festival of the Arts will be held on Wednesday, March 2 from 5:00-7:30 p.m.

We hope to see you there!

Key February Dates

As a reminder, there will be no school on February 18 as well as February 21. Teachers will be using the 18th as an in-service day, learning additional skills to further equip them to help your children. The reason students don't have school on the 21st is due to Presidents Day.

Have You Heard the Buzz?

Congratulations to the winner and runner-up of the district’s spelling bee. Sixth grader Lillian Heier (pictured right) was the winner. Eighth grader Elizabeth Lynch (pictured left) was the runner-up.

Both girls are from Estrella Mountain Elementary and each will advance to the regional spelling bee on February 12 at Youngker High School. Should either advance from there, the state spelling bee is March 19. The National Spelling Bee will be held in early June in Washington, D.C. 
 

Teacher Spotlight:
Jim O'Connell

Physical education doesn't look like your mom or dad's gym class these days.         At least if you have Mr. O'Connell as a teacher at Freedom Elementary.

Get a Glimpse Inside Liberty Elementary School District

It's not too late to sign up for the District's second Patron Bus Tour.

RSVP HERE

This unique opportunity is coming up Thursday, February 10. The first Patron Bus Tour visited Las Brisas Academy and Westar Elementary.
 

This upcoming tour will visit LESD’s newest school, Blue Horizons, and then Freedom Elementary. Your bus tour guide is none other than Superintendent, Dr. Lori Shough. Once at the schools, you’ll be greeted by students and the principal for each campus. 
 

At the schools, you’ll have the opportunity to get a tour and see the great work of our teachers and students in person. The tour is designed to be informative, showcasing each school’s signature program. It’s also a great opportunity to ask questions. 
 

The tour will begin at the LESD District office, 19871 W. Fremont Road in Buckeye. Check-in for the tour is from 8:00-8:15 a.m. The entire tour experience will wrap up around 10:45 a.m. 

Get Involved!

You can make a difference in our schools! The teachers, students and staff greatly appreciate the time you are willing to share. As a member of one of our Parent-Teacher Organizations (PTOs), you will add greatly to the educational experience of our students. 

Click on your school below to get involved in the PTO:

Board Budget Priorities

As you are likely aware, the loss of the override election back in November, means certain budget changes will be required. The district must cut $850,000 from next fiscal year’s Maintenance and Operations budget.

The budget committee met over several weeks to study the challenges and propose some initial options to balance the budget. Each school staff reviewed the budget interests and offered feedback and additional ideas for consideration.

The Governing Board also held four budget study sessions/community meetings at which staff and parents shared their input on how to prioritize the district’s spending directly with the Board. We recently brought forward all the recommendations to the Liberty Elementary School District (LESD) Governing Board. 

On Friday, January 14, the Board prioritized the following budget options to balance the budget:

  • Increase target class size by one in grades K-3, increase by four in grades 4 and 5, and increase by two in grades 6-8 

  • As a result of larger class sizes, compensate certified teachers by additional two percent in the form of a one-time stipend for next school year and as part of the ongoing base salary in future years if the override election passes next year 

  • Reduce extracurricular activities, double activity fees and continue to allow for scholarships for those activities

  • Decrease instructional minutes for special area classes

  • Study a four-day school week

  • Dip into reserves if needed

The four-day school week will require further research before the Board makes a decision on this potential budget cut.

CLICK HERE to provide input on your interest in a four-day school week.

The LESD administration will further study that option and bring back its findings to the Board. Our goal is to continue to include staff and community in upcoming decisions and keep you all informed as those decisions are made. We believe it is important you know what direction the district is going to balance the  budget for the upcoming school year.

The Right Formula

The Liberty Elementary School District is proud to announce that three teachers within the district were recently nominated for awards from the University of Arizona’s Center for Recruitment and Retention of Mathematics Teachers.

The Center presented awards at its annual event called the MEAD (Mathematics Educator Appreciation Day) Conference. Liberty’s own Kelli Barton, Denise Murphy and Allison Ryal-Bagley were all named finalists. 

Denise Murphy, who has spent a decade teaching third and fourth grade at Liberty Elementary, was named a runner-up in the ‘Mid and Veteran Career’ teaching category. She will receive an award plaque and a $25 cash reward.

“This recognition means the world,” said Murphy, who added that she is truly grateful for the teachers and coaches who have been learning beside her and pushing her to better her craft of teaching mathematics.

Murphy is part of a team rewriting the math curriculum for the district. “Saturday workshops and long nights at school are part of this process. There are many other teachers who deserve this recognition, as well.  I absolutely have not been doing this all alone and I am truly appreciative of all who have helped me behind the scenes,” said Murphy.


The importance of a strong math education can’t be understated. “Math is everywhere you look.  It is part of our everyday world.  Therefore, it's important for our students to connect to the real world around them through mathematics.  If we give our kids problems to solve that represent their world, they are better able to make those connections and utilize those connections to build mathematical awareness everywhere they go,” said Murphy.


Congratulations to all of the teachers nominated. Liberty is proud of you!

Making an Impact

Congratulations to Gabriela DeSantiago and Ruby Shamblin, fifth grade teachers at Las Brisas Academy, for being awarded a Westside Impact Innovation Grant.

The teachers wrote a collaborative proposal for KP Ten Frame Tiles, which are a hands-on manipulative that help students develop a deeper understanding of a variety of concepts related to the 'base ten system' and beyond.

We are so proud of our teachers’ collaborative efforts and can’t wait to see these powerful tools in action with students!

Putting the 'U' in BLUE

The community came together on January 27 to celebrate the full opening of the Blue Horizons Elementary campus. The school currently houses kindergarten through fifth grade, but will welcome grades 6-8 next year.
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