The Eagle's Nest
Eagle Mosaic


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 20                                           
January 21, 2014
What's Happening at LCS
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. 21|Jr. High Girls Basketball @ St. Joseph School
Jan. 23|Public Information Night, 6:30 p.m., LCS
Jan. 24|Liberty T-shirt Day
Jan. 23|Jr. High Girls Basketball vs. Immanual @ Home 
Jan. 28|Character Assembly|Speaker: Dakota Collins from Rocky Mtn. Slack Line
K-3rd: 8:10-8:45
    4th-6th: 8:55-9:35 

Jan. 31|Free Dress Day/Bronco Spirit Day
Feb.10-Feb.14|Scholastic Book Fair-in LCS Library,
CLICK HERE to volunteer at the Book Fair

Feb. 21|Liberty's Winter Sock Hop-6:00-8:00p.m.
CLICK HERE to volunteer
CLICK HERE for donation sign-up

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.       

Sign Up Now for the 23rd Annual Fort Collins Cotillion-Winter 2014  

Wherever you go, whatever you do, whoever you meet...

Social skills are essential for success.


Reminder to sign up soon on line.  First class starts January 26th!  


Values that match up with your school and family values in a fun and friendly setting.  Dancing instruction, manners, etiquette for our modern technological age and dinning instruction (what is that fork for anyhow??).


"Acquiring social and emotional competencies fosters the ability to recognize and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, appreciate the perspectives of others, establish and maintain positive relationships, make responsible decisions, and handle interpersonal situations constructively."

Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning


NEW LOCATION: Hilton Fort Collins

Classes held Sundays in January, February and March


Club Cotillion for 4th-5th grade Students

Social Skills Essentials for 6th-8th grade Students

Advanced College Prep for 9th-12th grade Students


Information at 


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.     


Mark Your Calendar to Support Liberty Sports



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.


Picked Your Pink Bag Project?

Liberty's Spring Gala Committee needs YOUR help!  


Thursday mornings from 8-9:30a.m., the Spring Gala Steering Committee is in the Teacher's Lounge ready with Pink Bag Projects waiting for you!

The bags are filled with simple projects which require minimal time to complete.  You are welcome to work on your project in the Teacher's Lounge during that time, or take your project home to finish.  Simply return your completed project in its fabulous Pink Bag to the LCS front office when you are done!

Questions? Please contact Jodi Fraser (988-1570) or Qeryldine Hofinger (219-4374)  





On January 14th, students from the 4th to 8th grades participated in the Liberty Common School Geography Bee.  After a competitive match, Joshua Rohrbaugh (7th Grade edged out 2nd place finisher Robert Pershau (6th Grade) for the school title.  Joshua will now seek to qualify for the statewide bee in April.  Please congratulate Robert and Joshua and all of our competitors for their impressive mastery of U.S. and world geography! 


Robert Pershau, second place winner, Dr. Robinson and Joshua Rohrbaugh, first place winner, at the Liberty Common Geography Bee


Class of 2026.  New members of Liberty's Legion of Thirteen traveled to the elementary school last Friday to visit Liberty kindergarteners and invite them to someday become "Thirteeners" themselves.   The Legion of Thirteen is an exclusive Order of LCHS students who have completed thirteen years of education at Liberty.   The high-school seniors gave white "challenge keys" to the kindergarteners.  In twelve years, these students will be eligible to exchange their white keys for the iconic red key and gold ribbon awarded at the Legion of Thirteen induction ceremony, which for them, will occur on January 10th, 2026.  Please click on the video link to see the kindergarteners receiving their challenge keys.  

LCS Kinders get their Legio XIII Challenge Keys Jan 17, 2014
Liberty kindergarteners receive their white "challenge keys" from members of Liberty's Legion of Thirteen.  The keys challenge kindergarteners to graduation from LCHS in 2026.




In This Issue
What's Happening at LCS
History of Liberty Common High School. Part V
Spring Gala
Liberty Common Charter
Grandparents Corner
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

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  



February 20, 2014  
6:00 pm
Teacher's Lounge
Liberty Common School
       1725 Sharp Point Dr.      



On Stage: In the Heights.  Our friends at the Eagle Rock School (charter) in Estes Park have invited everyone in the Liberty community to see their production of Lin-Manuel Miranda's Tony-award winning production of In the Heights. The dress rehearsal is free Wed March 19th at 1PM at the Lincoln Center here in Fort Collins.  Eagle Rock School is especially reaching out to music, theatre, social studies, and Spanish teachers because In the Heights provides an excellent springboard for conversations in any of those disciplines. It's also just extremely fun to watch, having won Best Musical (among many other awards) at the Tony Awards, and has been hailed by critics since its debut.  Reserve tickets by emailing theatre instructor Brighid Scanlon Tickets for the regular performances (March 20th-22nd) are pay-what-you-like by reserving at the Lincoln Center website. Proceeds benefit the Eagle Rock Graduate Fund. For more information about the show, please visit, or call 970-586-7498.



Liberty Spring Gala Committee Needs YOU!

We are in need of five or six more volunteers to join our Procurement (Donation) Committee.  These incredible volunteers contact around 20 businesses each to request sponsorships, item donations or monetary donations for this year's fabulous Spring Gala.  This is a great opportunity to volunteer for school that can be done on your own time!  If you can put your skills to use for Liberty, please contact our Procurement Committee Chair, Rebecca Hicklin at  Thank you!  

History and Philosophy at Info Nights
By: Bob Schaffer, LCHS Principal 

Anyone interested in sending their kids to Liberty should

attend a public-information  presentation this week or next. In fact, due to a  change in Liberty's enrollment policy, they must attend one in order to be moved up through the enrollment-lottery process.


Liberty's policy and approach to enrolling new Liberty families has changed making these meetings noteworthy. If you know of anyone wanting to get their kids into Liberty, please urge them - strenuously - to come to one of the following info nights:


This week's info nights are on Tuesday, January 21st and Thursday 23rd from 6:30-8:00 PM in the Elementary Gymnasium. Next week's info night is Tuesday, January 28th from 6:30 - 8:30 PM at the high-school Great Hall.


Attendance at either location satisfies the requirements of the new policy for students enrolling in any grade K - 11. The kindergarten lottery for the 2014-15 school year will be conducted on January 27th. The lottery for grades 7 - 11 will be held February 3rd.  


The reason Liberty's Board of Directors has adopted the new policy is a solid one. Parents must have a clear understanding of the school's philosophy before they choose the school. They ought to find broad agreement with the school's expectations for academic rigor, behavior, and curriculum.


As such, the content of the public-information nights is different than in years past. Mr. Churchill and I are spending more time discussing school's philosophy and its history in these new presentations.


The Board also established a new Parent-Education Committee to furnish additional strategies to help all Liberty parents and faculty develop a deeper understanding of these things. It is a critical undertaking under any circumstance, but especially right now. Here's why.


Over the coming years, public schools throughout the country will be consumed and overwhelmed, indeed sidetracked, by the latest national fad to hit public schools. Known as the Common Core Standards, this political effort to influence classroom curriculum represents a massive nationalization of public education.


These new standards are not good. An obscene amount of public funds is being spent to force them on all children.


The effort represents dumbed-down ambitions for public education. These government standards are more skills-oriented, and less intellectually oriented. They are aimed at workplace jobs and community-college readiness, not selective-university readiness.

The new national Common Core Standards are not internationally benchmarked. The underlying dogma informing these new standards drifts from the classical philosophy of our school.


Schools that are not well grounded in their philosophy, mission and purpose will easily get swamped. The Common Core Standards laws bring with them new testing requirements which regrettably apply to all Colorado public schools including Liberty.  


This will inevitably raise critical questions throughout our Liberty family, throughout the broader Northern Colorado community, the state and nation. Therefore, everyone associated with our institution needs to be familiar with the terms of the conflict, and prepared to advocate the commonsense approach of our Core Knowledge Sequence, and our classical college-preparatory high-school curriculum.  


Everyone needs to understand what we teach at Liberty and why. They also need to understand why it is best for Liberty to maintain the school's relative autonomy in management, curriculum and vision.


The upcoming public-information nights are good opportunities for those wanting to join the Liberty family. They are also good opportunities for those of us who are current Liberty parents who might want to refresh their understanding of the truly great school at which our kids are privileged in attending.


The History of Liberty Common High School, Part V
By Bob Schaffer, Director of Secondary Schools (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.  

The History of Liberty Common School
By:  Bob Schaffer (Founding Parent)

The school would offer a classical liberal arts curriculum building upon the Core Knowledge Sequence and it would accentuate math, science and engineering.  Committees of parents were convened to further develop the curriculum and the course schedules.

Public meetings were held to describe the school, its goals and plans.  Administrators described the kinds of teachers they would hire and who from the current school would go to the high school building.  A relaxed high-school Dress Code was developed and elated 9th graders were allowed to try it out for their second semester at the old Liberty Elementary School.  

The House System was developed.  Ninth and eighth graders committed to attending LCHS were assigned to one of three Houses:  Domus Scientiae, Domus Virtutis or Domus Prudentiae.  They began working on House projects such as House crests, logos, mottos and events.

Still, one question loomed over all of these discussions and activities:  Where would the new high school be located?

Hopes for a high-school property adjacent to the current school were fading.  Visions of a single Liberty campus were becoming dim.  All options considered turned into dead ends.  The school was now well into 2010 - the year the high school was scheduled to open, but there was no building in hand.

A building located about one mile south of the elementary school had been occupied by a charter high school for a few years and had been abandoned for a few years more.  Would that building work?

Peter Kast approached the building's owners, got a key allowing the Board to wander through the dusty vacant facility.  After the walkthrough, the Board huddled in the parking lot looking on the abandoned school as the winter sun set over its roof.  The group began mulling numbers and options.  If the price came down and with some minor remodeling, this facility could work.  The Board decided to pursue the building at 2745 Minnesota Drive.

Director of the Elementary School, Casey Churchill organized the move from LCS to LCHS and the expansion at LCS.  It was an enormous undertaking of brilliant coordination.
Director of the Elementary School, Casey Churchill organized the move from LCS to LCHS and the expansion at LCS.  It was an enormous undertaking of brilliant coordination.

It quickly became apparent the poor economy looming over Liberty's expansion was  simultaneously working to the school's advantage as a buyer in the real-estate market.  The price of the building was, by the month, dropping further below its original asking price.  With the help of an investment corporation FCCS, LLC, headed up by local developer and charter-school backer Troy McWhinney, a solution materialized allowing The Liberty Common School to lease the building and purchase it a few years later.

Tenancy stretched the Liberty budget to its limit, but the numbers added up - barely.  With solid enrollment and aggressive fundraising, the Board believed it could make ends meet.

A Letter of Intent was signed in February of 2010.  Once an agreement was finalized, the landlord opened the building right away so parents could take a tour.  From that moment, excitement punctuated all the work and countless hours required to get the building ready to open by August 18th of 2010.

Teachers needed to be hired.  After attending numerous job fairs and accepting applications from around the world, a first-rate team of LCHS educators was assembled.  

The high school's roster of inaugural instructors was announced:  Jared Dybzinski, Dr. Charles Hubbeling, Dawn Karr, Marques Kem, William Kranz, Kay, Kay Lannen, Jerry Lavin, Torgun Lovely, Duane Staton, Dr. Barbara Werner, Ken Vetter, Sarah Aguilar-Francis, Megan Ellis, Connie Logsdon, Dave Lunn, Susan Porter, Donny Reeves, Wade Torgeson and Erin Voorhies.  

LCHS opened under the direction of Headmaster Russ Spicer(left)
and Director of Secondary Schools, Bob Schaffer

Chairman of the Colorado State Board of Education, former U.S. Congressman and State Senator, and founding parent Bob Schaffer, who had been hired as project manager for the high-school expansion, was named Director of Secondary Schools. Along with Headmaster Russ Spicer, the pair would direct the opening and operation of Liberty Common High School.  

Architects and contractors worked throughout the summer remodeling the building.  The administration shopped at auctions for used school furnishings and equipment.  New lockers - cherry red ones - were ordered that would eventually line the empty hallways.  New lunchroom tables were ordered, too.  There was no turning back now.  LCHS would open on time.

The night before LCHS was set to open, students grades 7 - 10 came together at Liberty Elementary School for the last time.  Elementary Director Casey Churchill lit a lamp that was carried by students at the head of a 2.2-mile long procession along the Poudre River then West up to the high ground upon which Liberty Common High School sits.  
On August 17, 2010 the "Lamp of Liberty" was carried 2.2 miles from Liberty Common Elementary School to Liberty Common High School.  The flame lit a ceremonial campfire at the high school and was later carried into the building to illuminate the high school.
On August 17, 2010 the "Lamp of Liberty was carried 2.2 miles from Liberty Common Elementary School to Liberty Common High School.  The flame lit a ceremonial campfire at the high school and was later carried into the building to illuminate the high school.

The flame from the lamp was used to light a bonfire on the school grounds.  The ribbon was cut by the Board of Directors.  Flags of the United States and Colorado were posted in the entryway.  The lights in the school came on.  LCHS was opened.

At 7:45 a.m., on August 18th, 2010, 250 scholars in grades 7 - 10 began the first day of school at Liberty Common High School.  Two U.S. Flags flown over the U.S. Capitol that day in honor of the opening of the high school are on display in the school.  

Spring Gala Auction Donations Needed!

Liberty's Annual Fundraiser, the Spring Gala, will set sail this year on Friday, April 4th, 2014 and we want to have you on board!  Our Donation Committee is currently collecting a wide-variety of auction items.  They've already received an amazing donation of a week's stay at an incredible home close to the beach in fabulous Costa Rica!

Do you own or work for a business that could donate items or services that could be auctioned?  Perhaps you have sporting event tickets or a vacation rental you can donate?  Maybe some artwork or new digital gadgets?  Perhaps a gift card to a local business?  All donations are appreciated!

To donate, simply fill out a donation form ( and bring it to the LCS office or contact Jodi Fraser (988-1570) or Qeryldine Hofinger (219-4374)

To volunteer on the procurement committee, CLICK HERE

Know Your Charter? The answer to today's quiz is "a."   Liberty's educational philosophy is agency education.  Its metaphor is a journey that begins with gaining knowledge and ends in self-reliance
Liberty's Winter Sock Hop- February 21st
Mark Your Calendars for a Rockin Good Time

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?

Liberty's educational philosophy is agency education.  Its metaphor is a journey that
a)        Begins with gaining knowledge and ends in self-reliance
b)        Unfolds as students direct their learning according to their interests and abilities
c)        Begins as a blank slate and is directed by teachers who fill the slate with                   knowledge.   
d)        Begins after the Trojan War and ends in Ithaca

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


Grandparents Corner by Jan Dougherty
Updates:  We have a new Snack Shack at the elementary school to replace the old one.  Thanks go to Tom Allen for ordering it.  We are working on getting grab bags organized for the Spring Gala.  If you have something you want to donate, you may take it to the office at the elementary school.  If you have any coupons to such places as  Pottery Barn, Bed, Bath & Beyond, etc, please leave them at the front office as well.  Please save the date:  April 4th, 2014 , at the Embassy Suites in Loveland, for the 5th Annual Spring Gala.

We grandparents want to thank our wonderful teachers, staff, and administration for their dedication and hard work to provide the best education for our grandchildren.  We give a great amount of gratitude to you knowing that our grandchildren are not only learning excellent academics, but a building solid foundation in character by your dedication.

Some quotes for encouragement. "Words have the power to persuade...which can be healing for eternity."  Kenneth Parlin  "The men who are lifting the world upward and onward are those who encourage more than criticize." Elisabeth Harrison  "History has demonstrated that the most notable winners usually encountered heartbreaking obstacles before they triumphed.  They won because they refused to become discouraged by their defeats."  B.C. Forbes

Grandparents Club Social Event. 
Thursday, January 30th at The Olive Garden in Fort Collins, 5:30 p.m.. For reservations, please contact Walter and JoAnn at 970-226-4473, or by e-mail