The Eagle's Nest
Eagle Mosaic
  

 

Liberty  
Common 
Elementary 
School 
Common Knowledge, Common Virtues, Common Sense 
A National Charter School of the Year, A Nationally Recognized Blue Ribbon School,
 A Certified Official Core Knowledge Site School, A John Irwin School of Excellence ,
A Gilder Lehrman Affliate School  
Volume 17 Issue 18                                          
January 6, 2014
What's Happening at LCS
Jan. 8|Registration deadline for Love and Logic Class (See announcement below)
Jan. 10|February Lunch Calendars Due
Jan. 16|BOD Mtg. 6:00, LCS
Jan. 17|Spelling Bee after school in Library 
Jan. 20|Martin Luther King Day, NO SCHOOL  
Jan. 21|Public Information Night, 6:30 p.m., LCS
Jan. 21|Liberty Lecture Series, Soak Up Some Solar Radiation, 6:30-7:30, LCHS
Jan. 23|Public Information Night, 6:30 p.m., LCS

February Lunch Calendars are due, Jan. 10th. by 4:00 p.m. Please CLICK HERE for a calendar. 

  

Chess piecesSchedule and Registration Now Available for 2014 Chess Club.CLICK HERE for information and sign up.

NOTICE:  Lottery Policy Changed.  Message to current lottery-list parents:  The Liberty Common Board of Directors has made a change to our enrollment policy and process.  Effective January 1, 2014, the parent or guardian of a child currently on the Liberty Common School/High School lottery list must attend one Parent-Information Session.  The next such sessions are scheduled at the high school on Monday, January 13th, Wednesday, January 15th, and Tuesday, January 28th; and at the elementary school on Tuesday, January 21st ; and Thursday, January 23rd.  All meetings start at 6:30 PM and last about two hours.  Effected parents may attend a meeting at either campus location to satisfy this requirement.  Those who attend a Parent-Information Session will be given priority position on the lottery over those who do not attend a session.  The Board believes it is vital that all parents are given the opportunity to understand Liberty's unique educational approach prior to enrollment in the school. If you have questions as this policy change relates to grades K-6 please inquire at the elementary school. 

 

A big Liberty Common thank you to all the students and parents who bestowed gifts upon all of us in the front office. From yummy treats to a delicious Tai food lunch, we were spoiled and appreciate your thoughtfulness and generosity. May your 2014 be filled with peace, laughter and love.                 

 

 

 

In today's fast-paced and technology driven society, parenting can be difficult and overwhelming.  Start 2014 off right by learning stress-free and chaotic-free parenting skills. Enroll now in the six-week parent-training program, Parenting The Love and Logic Way.

 
In only six-weeks learn effective and proven parenting strategies covering everything from getting your kids out of bed in the morning, to establishing household expectations, discipline and positive relationships with teens.

 

Our expert instructor is Liberty mom, Mrs. Shannon Yockey.  Cost is $125.00 per individual, $175 per couple, which includes workbooks and materials. All profits from the class will go to professional development for LCS and LCHS faculty and staff.  

   

Classes will be held on Tuesday evenings, Jan 14th - Feb 18th 2014 from 6:30-8:15 at Liberty Common School, 1725 Sharp Point Drive.  This class is open to all parents with children of all ages. Please register by printing out registration form CLICK HERE

and submitting payment to the front office. 

For more information about the class, contact Shannon Yockey at (970) 224-2080 ext.1. Class size is limited and you must register by Wednesday, January 8th.


 

 

Hello Liberty Dads and Granddads,

 

We all know that one of the most precious gifts we can give to our children and grandchildren is our time.  The WatchD.O.G.S. (Dads of Great Students) program we started at Liberty this fall encourages fathers to make a positive impact on their students lives and the Liberty Common by volunteering at least one school day per year.  Thus far, we have had over 40 dads spend a day in the classroom.  We would like to double that number for the second semester. Granddads are welcome too.

 

If you still need to signup for the program, the easy steps to do so can be found by CLICKING HERE .  

  

If you have already registered but not picked a date to come to school yet, take this opportunity to complete that final step.  If you have already already enjoyed one day at school, please think about signing up for another.  2014 is here, why not give your child the gift of a day at school with them that they will certainly remember and appreciate?

 

Wishing you a Splendid New Year,

 

Todd Arndorfer and the Liberty WatchDOGS Leadership Team

 

 

Liberty Common High School Sports

 

       

  

In This Issue
What's Happening at LCS
News Tidbits
BOD Update
History of Liberty
LCS Shuttle Servic
Liberty Common Charter
Grandparents Corner
Lecture Series
Fundraising Opportunities
Contact Us
Liberty Common School
1725 Sharp Point Drive 
Fort Collins, CO 80525
Phone: 970-482-9800
Fax: 970-482-8007

Office Hours: 7:50-4:00 p.m.


Our attendance line is (970)482-9800, option 2, please call by 8:30 a.m.

If you need to take your child to an appointment during school hours, please come to the Front Office, sign them out and we will call them out of class.

All students who arrive after 8:00 a.m. must be signed in at the Front Office.  It is important that a reason be written as this determines if the tardy is excused or not.  

Please note that you may go to your student's classroom and wait for them to be dismissed only after 2:50 p.m.

If your student is ill and you  want any/all homework, please contact the teacher by email as early as possible and homework will be available after 3:00 p.m. in the office. 

If you have any questions about these policies please contact Mrs. Ronen at jronen@libertycommon.org

Board of Directors
Sarvjit Gill            227-4202
Joel Goeltl           593-8556
Paulette Hansen 282-8455
Jeff Webb            545-9636
Bill Werst            631-8379
Amy Redstone    378-1170
John Rohrbaugh 225-2259

 

You may contact all members of our Board of Directors at  

  

  

January 16, 2014  
6:00 pm
Teacher's Lounge
Liberty Common School
       1725 Sharp Point Dr.      

 

  

News Tidbits

Library in Use and off limits to families and students Monday- Friday 3:20- 4:30 with an after school booster.  We apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate your consideration.     

 


School Closures-
LCS adheres to Poudre School District's school closures due to inclement weather causing hazardous road conditions.  If PSD schools are closed due to hazardous road conditions, so is LCS.  If PSD delays the start of the school day due to snow or ice, so will Liberty.   CLICK HERE for up-to-the-minute PSD snow-day announcements.    


  

News from the Board of Directors
by:  Amy Redstone, Board Chair

The Liberty Common Board of Directors recognizes that the high-quality education received by our children today is not automatically self-sustaining; only through the informed commitment of parents, teachers, and the Administration can it continue to exist. Today, our children are fortunate to attend a school which offers curricular rigor in all grades and teaches common sense character values. However, the Board also believes that Liberty's educational approach is at risk due to an erosion of committed and aligned parents. We also face the threat to educational quality from the Common Core State Standards. In this Monday Notes entry and in an upcoming one, we will discuss these two concerns and the Board's plan to address them. Let's start by looking within.

 

As a parent-led school, Liberty will need a future generation of directors, committee members, and an enthusiastic boatload of parent volunteers working both inside and outside the classroom to support and run the school well into the future. These parents must understand what makes Liberty successful in order to perpetuate it, sorting out erroneous approaches, which undermine learning, from valid ones. To support this goal, the Board has implemented a change to our enrollment policy. As of January 1, 2014 parents with children currently on the lottery list will be asked to attend one of several parent information sessions. Those who attend will have priority placement on the list over those currently on the list who do not attend. In addition, all parents who wish to put their child's name on the lottery list in the future will need to attend an information session. This represents a change from the previous policy which required only online enrollment and no parent education at all to get on our lottery list.

 

Parents currently on the lottery list will soon receive an email inviting them to attend one of several information sessions. At these sessions, Principals Churchill or Schaffer will discuss the philosophical underpinning, the Thinking Framework, and the specific curricular approaches that undergird Liberty's success. The Board believes that explicit parental education and buy-in prior to enrollment is the best way to sustain Liberty in the future. While not required, current Liberty parents are welcome and encouraged to attend one of these sessions.

 

In an upcoming Monday Notes entry, we will discuss the threat to Liberty from outside its walls and what we can do about it.

 

Amy Redstone, Board Chair

 

 

The History of Liberty Common School

By:  Bob Schaffer (Founding Parent)

 

Liberty Common School has a unique history that is important for all to know.  There were many hardships and roadblocks encountered along the way.  The Founders persevered to make our school what it is today, but it wasn't easy.  We are fortunate to have had such persistent pioneers with a vision to make one of the best charter schools in Colorado.  

For the past three weeks, we have run, "How Did We Get Here?" by Dr. Maureen Schaffer.  Dr. Schaffer does a superb job of detailing the events that took place to develop Liberty Common School as we know it.  Our hope is that by sharing our history, we will better value the efforts by our founders to get where we are today.  It is because of their vision and foresight that we have the top elementary and high school in the state of Colorado.

We continually thank our founding parents for their hard work and dedication.  We could not have asked for a better educational system to educate children.  Our hope is that you feel the same.   

 

By 2008, The Liberty Common School had been awarded numerous state and national commendations for academic achievement.  The school's students consistently earned top academic-performance scores in the Poudre School District and across Colorado.

 


Liberty's reputation as the top-performing school naturally attracted the attention of new parents throughout the region.  Enrollment had swelled to 581 students in grades K-9.  The school was completely full.  The number of families waiting on the lottery list to enroll their children at Liberty numbered well over a thousand.

That year, the Board of the Poudre School District voted to change the grade configuration for neighborhood junior high schools and high schools throughout the district.  Where the district's high schools previously consisted of grades 10-12, high schools would now expand to include 9th graders.  This had a direct, threatening impact on Liberty.

The change in the district's configuration would apply direct competitive pressure on our 9th grade.  The writing was on the wall:  Liberty either needed to expand to include a high school, or watch its 9th grade wither on the vine.  Liberty's Board of Directors appointed an Expansion Committee to study the feasibility of both options and design a plan for expansion - upward and outward.

The Expansion Committee ultimately recommended expanding into high school, but the question of feasibility required further evaluation.  The highest goal was to avoid any compromise of The Liberty Common School's core mission - teaching the kids already in its system.

On February 5, 2009, Liberty's Board petitioned the Poudre School District to amend the Charter and to add a third track of K-6th grade and add a 10th, 11th and 12th grade.

 

 

A resolution of the Board said it all:  "The purpose of completing our high school

Tim Ricketts, business manager at The Liberty Common School worked with the BOD finding complicated financial solutions that allowed Liberty Common High School to become a reality.

program is to offer high school education that is college preparatory in nature, specifically builds on the Core Knowledge Curriculum, effectively continues to foster the reading, writing, mathematical and thinking skills particular to Liberty's current offering, continues the Liberty approach to character education, is small in size, extends the economics, history, science and mathematics foundation that Liberty has established, and makes use of learning opportunities inherent in the thinking framework currently employed at Liberty."

Though many exchanges and meetings between the district and Liberty were necessary, in August of 2008, Liberty received a letter from PSD's Board president Larry Neal indicating the district was pleased to move forward on an addendum to the Charter allowing the expansion and the new high school to go forward.

Even though the district had approved the expansion, it wasn't a done deal.  A serious economic recession had stricken the nation and hit Colorado's School Finance Act pretty hard.  All public schools in the state were notified of a financial rescission of allocated funds.  Furthermore, they were told the next school year would come with a spending reduction on the order of 6% or more. 

Tim Ricketts,

Liberty's business manager was asked to run multiple versions of financial numbers anticipating every conceivable budget scenario.  The Board had to make a serious decision involving a long-term financial commitment in the midst of volatile economic uncertainty.  The central question was obvious:  Now that Liberty has the authorization to expand, can it afford to actually do it given the economic downturn at hand?

Convinced there is no greater priority than the education of their children and buoyed by the strong support for expansion among the Liberty parent population, the Board decided to go forward with the plan.  Though optimistic, the Board instructed the administration to build a high school while pinching every penny in order to make the finances work.  Salaries for all Liberty personnel were frozen until further notice.

Obtaining suitable classroom facilities for The Liberty Common School would not have happened without the leadership of Liberty parent and charter-school champion Peter Kast.
Peter Kast
, who negotiated and secured Liberty's current building, was called again to help find a suitable building, this time for a high school. Peter agreed to help and the search for a new high school was on.  Several buildings were considered in the neighborhood of the elementary school, but none of them were panning out.

What shall the high school be called?  After convening student focus groups and consulting the parent population, it was decided to stick with a brand name that carries with it a reputation for academic excellence:  Liberty Common High School.   

 

 

To be continued....

 

Reminder to Families Utilizing LCS Shuttle Service

Please note:  There is limited outdoor supervision at the high school campus during the afternoons; therefore, it is the parents' responsibility to ensure that students are met promptly upon the arrival of the shuttle from the LCS campus. The shuttle arrives at the LCHS campus at approximately 3:15 p.m. Failure to do so on a regular basis will result in loss of bus riding privileges for the academic year.

 

Thank you for your attention to this important safety issue.

 

The Critical Nature of the Liberty Common School Charter-Test Yourself
Liberty's Board and Administration subscribes to this view: It is the right and responsibility of parents to direct the education and upbringing of their children. To help you accomplish this goal, we encourage you to learn the foundational principles contained within Liberty's charter. In upcoming Monday Notes, you'll find a new quiz question pulled right from our charter. Test yourself. The correct answer can be found in the notes as well.  The charter can be found on our website. 

How Well Do You Know Liberty's Charter?

The primary focus of the Principal is
a)        Excellence and fairness in education
b)        Educational excellence and supporting teachers
c)        Community relations and supporting teachers
d)        Chauffeuring E.D. Hirsch, Jr. at the Core Knowledge Conferences

The correct answer can be found somewhere in this edition of Monday Notes.

 

Grandparents Corner by Jan Dougherty
The Grandparents Club is having a social event on Thursday, January 30th at The Olive Garden in Fort Collins.  Friendly interaction will begin at 5:30 pm.  Supper is at 6:30pm.  We would love to have many of you come and enjoy a simple night out relaxing and enjoying stories about our, (of course) grandchildren.  For reservations, please call Walter and JoAnn at 970-226-4473, or let them know by e-mail, gpc@libertycommon.org
 
Liberty Common Lecture Series
Soak Up Some Solar Radiation.  It's safe to say our first two Liberty Lectures were outstanding events.  The third one will be, too.  LCHS's Dr. John Allen is a distinguished atmospheric chemist whose career research involved the effects of solar ultraviolet radiation exposure on humans.   Find out if your brand of sunscreen really works, and what happens if it doesn't - directly from a foremost expert on the topic.  Mark your calendar now for Tuesday, January 21st 6:30 - 7:30 PM in the LCHS Great Hall.

 

Charter Quiz Answer:  The primary focus of the Principal is educational excellence and supporting teachers.  


 

Giving Back to Liberty
Other Fundraising Opportunities.
"Cartridges for Kids" gives us cash for your old printer cartridges, cell phones, ipods, video games and consoles, laptops, GPS devices, PDAs, digital cameras and DVDs.  "Box Tops for Education," Campbell's soup labels and Morning Fresh Dairy bottle caps also provide our school with additional funding.  Drop-off point is in the front office.