Below is a list of support programs and services available to LPS students and families. These services are provided on school campuses by our LPS School Social Work Department, other departments within the Liberty School District, as well as by local social service agencies in the community. Some of these programs and services are not provided on every LPS campus. If you would like to inquire as to whether your student or family can participate in any of these programs or services, please feel free to contact your school’s social worker.
Liberty Public Schools partners with the Harvesters Community Food Network, Northland Childhood Hunger Initiative, as well as several local churches throughout the Liberty community, to offer BackSnacks to LPS students at participating campuses. The BackSnacks Program is a unique program which provides students whose families are struggling financially with food for the weekends. Each week throughout the school year, students bring home in their backpack a sack full of healthy, kid-friendly snacks and meals. The goal is to assist families with providing their students the nutrition that they need on the weekends when these students are not receiving their meals through the school meal program. BackSnacks are sent home every Friday, or the last day of the school week, throughout the school year.
Every August, Liberty Public Schools kicks off the new school year with a Back-to-School Event. During this event, LPS students and families are provided with free school supplies assistance, haircuts, a meal, as well as entertainment. This event also includes a community resource fair where many of the local social service agencies and resources sponsor a booth to educate LPS families about their assistance programs and services. LPS students and families receive an invitation to attend this event from their school social worker and are placed on a reservation list in May of the previous school year.
Bundle Up Birds Coat Drive
Each year, Liberty Public Schools sponsors a coat drive in order to provide LPS students and families with coats, hats, scarves, and gloves to keep them warm throughout the winter months. LPS employees, fellow LPS families, as well as members from the Liberty community, donate new and gently-used coats, hats, scarves, and gloves to donation collection boxes found near the front of each school building throughout the month of October. All winter gear that gets donated is then provided to LPS students and families in-need by each school's counselor or school social worker. Any additional coats that remain are then donated to local social service agencies to give to other community members in-need.
Liberty Public Schools Social Workers provide support, recommendations, education, assistance, and speak out on behalf of LPS students and families. LPS School Social Workers help families navigate the school system and it's various special programs, as well as to navigate various agencies and social services in the community. School Social Workers may also advocate for programs, services, or policies for under-served students or populations of students whose needs may not already be being met by the school, school district, or community.
Free or Reduced School Lunch Program
Liberty Public Schools offers free or reduced meal prices to students whose families qualify according to the state income eligibility guidelines. LPS School Social Workers refer struggling families in-need of financial assistance to receive their student's meals at a free or discounted price rate through this program. To apply, download a Free or Reduced Lunch Application or request a paper copy from your student's school. Completed applications may be submitted to your student's school at anytime throughout the school year.
Individual and Group Counseling
Liberty Public Schools Social Workers provide LPS students and families with individual and group counseling services. School Social Work counseling services include brief individual therapeutic intervention to help students to be successful in the school environment as well as brief crisis intervention support to parents and families. The School Social Work and Counseling Departments also often work together to facilitate therapeutic life skills groups with students including lessons on such topics as social skills, anger management, friendship, divorce, grief and loss, and self-esteem enhancement.
Liberty Public Schools Social Workers conduct home visits as needed to the homes of LPS families who have been referred for school social work services. During these home visits, School Social Workers build rapport and align themselves with the family, listening to their struggles and assessing for strengths, needs, and unidentified resources. Home visits are an important tool to help School Social Workers understand how a struggling student and/or family functions within their systems and environments, helping School Social Workers to identify the most suitable interventions and determine ways to best empower families to meet their family's needs and address their barriers to success.
Liberty Community Christmas Tree
Liberty Public Schools partners with the Liberty Parks and Recreation Department's Liberty Community Christmas Tree Program to provide holiday assistance to LPS families. Families who are eligible for this program reside within the Liberty Public Schools attendance zone and attend Liberty Public Schools. School Social Workers refer LPS families who are in-need of financial assistance for the holidays to this program. Families are then adopted by local community members who donate food and presents and deliver them to their adopted family's home, helping them to provide for their family's needs during the holidays. Visit the Liberty Community Christmas Tree website for more information.
Liberty Parks and Recreation Department Youth Scholarship Program
Liberty Public Schools partners with the Liberty Parks and Recreation Department to offer scholarships to LPS students who, without financial assistance, would not have the opportunity to participate in the Department’s youth recreational activities. Eligibility is based on a family's participation in the LPS Free or Reduced School Lunch Program. Families who receive a scholarship receive financial assistance of up to 75% of the cost of the program in which the youth is enrolling. Visit the Liberty Parks and Recreation Youth Scholarship Program website to learn more, or complete a Youth Scholarship Program application.
Linking Families to School and Community Resources
LPS School Social Workers work directly with families to help them meet their family's needs by connecting them with resources that are available in the LPS school district as well as in the community. Some of these school district resources include, for example, linking families with Special Education programs and services, or linking families who have medical needs with the School Nurse. Some of these community resources include housing assistance programs, financial assistance services, food pantries, clothing assistance, and mental health services. A list of just some of these community resources that are available can be found on our Local Resources page.
McKinney-Vento Homeless Services
Through the McKinney-Vento Homeless Services Program, Liberty Public Schools provides assistance for families experiencing homelessness. These services are designed to provide support to the family; address barriers that homeless children and families face in enrolling, attending, and succeeding in school; and ultimately to ensure that each student receives equal access to the same free and appropriate public education available to all children. Some of the services that may be available to assist homeless families include transportation assistance, Free or Reduced School Lunch Program participation, early childhood programs, and other social service resources or referrals. Families who are eligible for these services are living in a vehicle, shelter, hotel, abandoned building, or other temporary residence, often with more than one family residing in the same residence at one time. Children who are in the care of the state and are living in a foster home may also qualify for these services.
Miles of Smiles
Each school year, Liberty Public Schools partners with Miles of Smiles mobile dental clinic. Miles of Smiles provides free, on-campus dental cleanings, exams, and treatment to uninsured or under-insured students and their siblings. Miles of Smiles visits many of our Liberty Public Schools campuses throughout the school year. LPS School Nurses, Social Workers, and Counselors, work together to facilitate this clinic on the school campus and coordinate the provision of these free dental services to the LPS students and families who need them.
Throughout the school year, the LPS School Social Work Department collects donations of basic needs items such as hygiene products, household products, cleaning products, and paper products. The Necessities Closet was created in order to supplement such items that families often do not receive when they visit local food pantries. LPS School Social Workers provide these items directly to LPS families when a need is identified.
Operation School Bell
Liberty Public Schools partners with The Assistance League of Kansas City to provide LPS elementary school students with free new clothing, personal care items, and a book through their Operation School Bell program. LPS Elementary School Counselors and School Social Workers schedule a field trip to Operation School Bell every fall, during which students have the opportunity to shop for several school-appropriate outfits with Assistance League volunteers. The number of students asked to attend from each school is determined by the Assistance League and is based on each schools' percentage of students who participate in the LPS Free or Reduced School Lunch Program. The specific students invited to participate is determined by LPS School Counselors and Social Workers and is based on known need and permission given by each student's parents or guardians.
Youth Mentor Program
Adults who work for Liberty Public Schools, as well as other adults from the community, volunteer to be matched as Youth Mentors to Liberty Public Schools students. Youth Mentors meet with their assigned student for one hour each week throughout the school year. Mentor sessions are scheduled to occur during the school day in a quiet and private location on the student's school campus. During mentor sessions, the mentor couple plays games, talks, works on homework, eats lunch, and socializes. Youth Mentors serve as role models for personal, academic, and professional life choices. They strive to build a meaningful relationship with their student while working to raise their student’s self-esteem, develop their character, set goals to guide them on a path toward success, and most of all, ensure that their student knows that someone at school truly cares about them.