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 28                                           
March 24, 2014
What's Happening at LCS

March 25|Liberty Lecture Series| Taxonomy of Aesthetics 

6:30-7:30 p.m. LCHS 

March 27|BOD Mtg. 
     

March 28|Liberty T-shirt day 

   

April 4| Spring Gala-6-11p.m. Embassy Suites, Loveland  

 

April 8| 3rd & 4th Grade Concert-6:30 p.m., LCS   

 

April 10| May Lunch Calendars Due to Front Office 

 

April 11|Kindergarten Roundup for Kindergarteners entering Kindergarten 2014-2015   

      

April 18|Good Friday, NO SCHOOL  

 

April 25/26|5th & 6th Grade Dessert Theatre, 6:00p.m.     

 

Please note:

The Liberty Common Board of Directors has approved the 2014-2015 School Calendar.  Please mark your calendars for the following: 

First day of school: Aug. 25, 2014

Thanksgiving Break: Nov. 26-Nov. 28 

Christmas Break: Dec. 22 - Jan. 2

Spring Break: March 16 - March 20   

Last day of school: May 22, 2015 

 

 




Liberty Common Elementary School
TCAP Schedule

3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th Graders

Please do not plan any vacations or medical/dental appointments on testing days.  Attending school during these days is of utmost importance and we greatly appreciate your support.  

  

 


Taxonomy of Aesthetics.
   The next Liberty Lecture will focus on art and will take place on Tuesday, March 25th from 6:30 - 7:30PM in the LCHS Great Hall.   

 

 

Attendees will learn about various classifications of art, artistic relationships and art appreciation.  LCHS instructors Megan Ellis and Rex Seiple will walk the audience through key characteristics of classical and modern art, providing commentary on art history, appreciation and theory.  They will also underscore the intensity of art instruction in the Core Knowledge Sequence. The pair provided a preview at a recent LCHS staff meeting, which was received by the faculty and administration with great enthusiasm.

 

As with all Liberty Lectures, this interesting lesson is open to the general public and is intended for adults and students alike.  

Enrollment for 2014-2015 School Year
Please contact the office, 482-9800, ext. 3114, if your child will not be returning to Liberty for the 2014-2015 school year.  We are preparing for next year's enrollment and like to give new students and their families as much notice as possible.


In This Issue
Principal Writing
Primary Classroom Placement
Still Time to RSVP for Liberty's Spring Gala
LCS Summer School
LCHS Summer Enrichment
Liberty Common Athletic News
Grandparents Corner
Liberty Common Charter
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  

 

  
  March 27, 2014    
6:00 pm
Teacher's Lounge
Liberty Common School
       1725 Sharp Point Dr.      
Front-Office Fundraising.
"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.


 

  

   

 

  
Good At Math
By: Bob Schaffer, Principal LCHS
When it comes to mathematics instruction, Liberty hits it out of the park. Results prove it.

(EDITORIAL NOTE:  I have intentionally loaded this column with hyperlinks to good articles and documents which add fuller explanation to Liberty's math strategy.  I urge fellow parents to become familiar with the philosophy behind our math program, and other opinions about mathematics education.)  

Years ago, when Liberty wanted to build a second-to-none math program, the school's Board of Directors didn't ask which state teaches the best math.  No; it pursued the best math program on the entire planet.  
 
This quest acquainted Liberty with the research and conclusions of Liping Ma about why Chinese students consistently outperform American ones.  Ultimately, this led us to Singapore Math.  

The conceptual strategies of Singapore Math align perfectly with Liberty's philosophy wherein we declare as school policy "it is not enough to assert something is true, instead teachers (and students) must be able to prove why something is true every step of the way, based on concepts the students already know and understand."  

Singapore Math is used at Liberty through the 6th grade.  This sets a sturdy foundation for junior-high and high-school math.

We reject the common practice of "math discovery," and favor direct instruction instead.  At Liberty, repetition, memorization, math facts, homework and frequent assessment are embraced.  We see great benefits in developing math automaticity.

Liberty differs from most junior-high and high-schools in that we seek to maintain a conceptual, skill-based approach to Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II.   Most American schools embrace an "integrated" discovery-based approach that attempts to introduce concepts by prompting a student's natural curiosity.  The approach tends to deemphasize the rigor of assigning students homework on a nightly or even regular basis.

While the integrated approach can be sound, the actual implementation in American has regrettably defeated the tactic's purpose.  For example, math education in the U.S. tends to become infused with various political, social and environmental problems in an attempt to relate prevailing math-free dogma to math.  

Instead, Liberty believes arming the student with algorithm-based math (which is indeed more difficult to learn) better prepares her and him for the college-level work they'll be expected to undertake after moving on from Liberty Common High School.  Stringing together a conceptual approach, skill-based automaticity, and mastery of the traditional algorithms gives our students a relevant and powerful advantage for college.

Moreover, we find this strategy actually equips the student with multiple approaches to solving problems.  It broadens one's reasoning capacity.  We believe Liberty's policy makes sense - especially at a focused college-preparatory high school like ours - regardless of whether the student pursues a math-dependent major in college.

Mathematicians Alice Crary and W. Stephen Wilson lay out an excellent argument and justification for this philosophy in a New York Times article they jointly penned on the topic.  Their findings are offered within the context of understanding how the new Common Core State Standards threaten sound strategies to mathematical education.

As parents committed to directing the education and upbringing of our children, we certainly have to be vigilant in maintaining higher - internationally benchmarked - academic expectations for our students.  While the rest of America embraces "common" lower math standards for schoolchildren, Liberty must insist upon extraordinary ones for ours.


Primary Classroom Placement by Casey Churchill, LCS Principal
It is the time of year when activities begin to wind down in each class and for the school in general. While most thoughts are still on finishing this year out strong, some are thinking about next year. One thing that the parents and students start to think ahead about is who their teacher or teachers will be for next year.

 

The Kindergarten placements have already taken place. Key considerations for placement of our new little ones include gender balance and birthday balance. It is important to not have classes with all early or all late birthdays.

 

For students entering 1st - 6th grade, the current teacher determines what teacher the student will have for the next year. On occasion, a discussion with the academic support team or administration occurs to assist in the decision-making process as well. Liberty teachers take this responsibility very seriously and put a great amount of thought and energy into making the placements.

 

Please note that younger siblings of any K-6 students will not automatically be assigned the same teacher that the older sibling had. Placement considerations include:

 

  • The student's learning style
  •  Reading ability
  •  Academic strengths and weaknesses
  •  Personality
  •  Behavior
  •  The number of boys and girls in each class
  •  Peer relationships
  •  Equal distribution of new students.

 

Our faculty looks long and hard at this information and ultimately attempts to properly place each student into the classes for the next year. The teachers have just spent nine months working with the students and have developed a great understanding of them. It is important that we support their decisions.  

 

The class rosters will be released one week prior to the Back to School Social.  

 

If for some reason there are serious concerns that you feel need to be taken into consideration, you may submit an appeal to Mr. Churchill by April 11, 2014.  Again, please understand that any appeal should occur for only serious matters of concern. Those matters shall be given careful consideration, but there is no guarantee that a change of placement will occur. Thanks for your cooperation and understanding with this matter.

 

Liberty's Annual Spring Gala

Come Sail Away for

Liberty's Annual Spring Gala,

Friday, April 4th!

 

Join us Friday, April 4th from 6-11pm at the Embassy Suites in Loveland for our night of fun and celebration! Consider staying overnight and enjoy a discounted room rate from ES! Simply reference Liberty's Gala when booking your reservation!

 

 

Tickets are still available, but must be purchased by Friday, March 28th!

 

The Spring Gala is an exciting and important fundraiser for Liberty each year! Charter schools receive only 85% of the funding of traditional public schools, so please show LCS your support by attending the Spring Gala this year.

 

Enjoy time with Liberty friends and staff during the cocktail hour and delicious dinner.  The Gala features a few different types of fun-filled auctions, games and events, including a wonderful Silent Auction, Dessert Auction, Teacher Treasures Auction and fun-filled Live Auction.

 

Look at some of the exciting items on which you can bid!

 

 

Full Auction Preview and Frequently Asked Questions Here!  

 

The Gala is important to Liberty and great fun!  Join the excitement and buy your tickets today!

 

RSVP before Friday, March 29th to take advantage of lower ticket prices! 

 

 

Invitations were mailed to all Liberty families OR access the RSVP form online here 

 

Spring Gala questions?  Please contact Qeryldine Hofinger: qerylieq@gmail.com 

   

   

To Volunteer for the Gala Click HERE!  

 

 

Summer School: Liberty Offers Math, Reading and Individual Tutoring
reading Math Research at Liberty Common School has shown that a whole summer without regular math and reading practice can cause a HUGE drop in reading levels and fluency and a drop in math testing and grades.

To combat this trend, Liberty Common School is offering a summer Reading and Math Camps and individual tutoring of students entering grades 1st-6th.  Space is limited, so register now!

Click Here to learn more about the Reading Camp.
Click Here to learn more about the Math Camp.
Click Here to learn more about the individual tutoring program.
Click Here to download a Liberty Common School Registration form.

Other Summer Enrichment Programs
The following summer enrichment programs are now available.  Enrollment is limited is on a first-come, first-served basis.  Please click on the links below for the informational flyer.   Inquires should be directed to the teachers running the sessions.

Summer English Program: Contact:  Mr. Dybzinski (Grades 7th-12th)
Summer Keyboarding Program:  Contact:  Mr. Kranz (Grades 4th-12th)
Summer Math Program:  Contact Mrs. Salehi (Grades 7th-12th)

 

Answer:  Educational values include: (c)  Academic standards, standards for behavior and demeanor


Liberty Common Athletic News

Jr. High  Boys and Girls Track 

 

First Day of Practice - Monday March 24 - 3:30-5:00 pm Liberty Common Elementary

 

CLICK HERE for Track Schedule-2014 Season  

 

CLICK HERE for the sports packet on the Liberty Common website.

All paperwork must be turned in to Mrs. Ronen at LCS before the first day of practice on March 24th.  Once completed paperwork is received, a blue card will be issued by Mrs. Ronen.    

If you have any specific questions ahead of time please contact coach Reeves dreeves@libertycommon.org  or coach Wilcox at  jwilcox@libertycommon.org 

 

What if your son/daughter has played a fall or winter sport?
Parent packets do not need to be filled out again, however, athletes still need a BLUE CARD from Mrs. Ronen or Mr. Knab. If your son/daughter has played two previous sports for Liberty this year, then the spring is free.  Also, there is a family cap of $600 per school year.  "Free-and-Reduced" benefit applications are available in the front office if your family is in need of fee assistance.

 

 

Grandparents Corner by Jan Dougherty
Happy spring! I hope you are planning something really uptown for you and your children.   Never does it fail to give you a special place in their hearts to remember the fun they had during the years they were at home with you.  Make many memorable  entries into their wonderful brains to take with them.  They will share these with their children.  We hope that you are enjoying your children as much as we enjoyed you.  We do not regret one minute of time we spent with you.  Taking time with your children gives them stability, courage, self-worth, and a deep love in their hearts for others.  The quantity of time you spend with them communicates the quality of their worth to you.  Keep up the perseverance in boundaries and discipline, balanced with love.  Thank you again for our grandchildren, we so enjoy them.


Now don't forget to plan on coming to the Spring Gala, April 4th.  We hope to have a superior time with you. 


 

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. 


Educational values include

a)   Human dignity, freedom, social and economic justice

b)   The rule of law, civility, honesty and respect

c)   Academic standards, standards for behavior and demeanor

d)   Christmas vacation, Spring Break, and snow days