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 18 Issue 17                                                             
December 15, 2014
What's Happening at LCS

Dec. 15    |5th and 6th Grade Choir Concert-6:30           
                 |6th Grade Band Concert-6:30
Dec. 16    |Character Ed. Assembly|Cooperation

                  4th-6th Grades-8:10-8:45
                  K-3rd Grades-8:55-9:35
Presentation by The Studio dance troop. Directed by Alicia Nightengale, Performance/Competition Director and Music Department Director.  Click Here for more information about The Studio. 

Dec. 17 and 18| Jr. High Girl's Basketball Tryouts:
                           3:30pm - 5pm, LCS gym
Dec. 19    |Liberty T-Shirt Day
Dec. 22-Jan. 2|Winter Break-NO SCHOOL 



PLEASE VISIT LOST & FOUND BEFORE WINTER BREAK.  All items not claimed by 3:00 p.m. on 12/19  will be given to a local charity. Thank you. 
5th and 6th Graders Invited
Attention all 5th and 6th graders!  Any student interested in participating in this year's 5/6 Musical - Peter Pan - needs to attend an informational meeting in the Choir Room at 3:15 on Tuesday, December 16th.  This meeting must be attended with a parent and will give you all the information you need in order to audition for the musical in January.
Liberty Celebrates the Lego Robotics Team the High Tech Cyclones

Pictured here in the back row is Coach Matt Larsen, Kade Kreikemeier (4th), Matthew Stalcup (5th), and Coach Kellie Kreikemeier. In the front row is Marcus Jauch (4th), Eli Jobman (4th), Jett Nielsen (4th) and Conner Larsen (4th).


Another Liberty Lego Robotics team competed at the Preston Qualifier on November 22nd for their first time also. They are the High Tech Cyclones, a 4th & 5th grade rookie team. The team worked really hard, put a lot of time in and made much growth for their first year!! They didn't come away with a trophy but they experienced first hand one of the FLL Core Values that are the cornerstones of the program. This Core Value was "What we discover is more important than what we win". The FLL program is a great way for kids to explore science and technology. They are given the opportunity to try to solve problems and learn to work together. They also gain great experience by performing and presenting in front of numerous adult judges. What a great way to learn while having fun!!
Liberty Lecture

Attention Parents:

 

Liberty Common School is excited to host a talk by Daniel T. Willingham.  Please join us on March 27th at 6:30 PM to hear a talk by Daniel T. Willingham a professor and author from University of Virginia.  He is an advocate of the Core Knowledge Curriculum and teaching our students content to comprehend the literature they read.  

 

Dr. Willingham has worked closely with ED Hirsch to cognitively explain why and how what we do works.  He will be discussing literacy and what we can do as parents and educators to make sure our students are reading.  Dr. Willingham does an incredible job of making the cognitive sciences accessible to all participants. 

 

Tickets are on sale now at  http://libertycommon.ticketleap.com/daniel-t-willingham/. 

 

We will have Dr. Willingham's new book for sale that evening and a book signing after the presentation.  Hope you can all make it to this educational evening.

 

Click Here for lecture flyer.

 

Attention Parents of Incoming Kindergarteners
If your child is a sibling of a student currently enrolled in Liberty, and will be attending kindergarten in the 2015-2016 school year, please make sure that they are on the sibling waiting list.  We will begin running the lottery for the general public on January 26, 2015.
Please contact Julie Russell, LCS Registrar at 482-9800, ext. 3114, to get on the list.

Register Now for 2nd Semester Liberty Chess Club
Chess pieces

Liberty Chess Club will meet the following Fridays from 3:15-4:15.

January 16, 23,30

February 6, 20, 27
March 6, 13, 27
April 10, 17, 24

CLICK HERE to print registration form. Return completed form with payment to the Front Office.
Spring Gala 2015-Save the Date!
We want you to attend this year's Liberty Annual Spring Gala! Please mark your calendars so you don't miss this spectacular event! The Spring Gala will be held on Friday, April 10th, 2015 at the Embassy Suites in Loveland and
we hope to see you there! 
In This Issue
What's Happening at LCS
Peter Pan
Lego Robotics
Liberty Lecture
Incoming Kindergarteners
2nd Semester Liberty Chess Club
Save the Date for Spring Gala
Healthcare Reminder
Support Our Eagles
Quiet Zone
Gift Cards
Community Bulletin Board
Liberty Receives Awards
History of Liberty
Donor Drop Box
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.

In an effort to keep students safe during drop-off and pick-up times, please refrain from using cell phones.  The front, middle and back drop-off and pick-up areas are designated NO CELL PHONE AREAS.   



Please call our attendance line by 8:30 a.m. if your    child will not be attending school due to illness, appointment or is out of town. 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 included on the sign-in sheet.  

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

Healthcare Reminder
If your student is sick with a fever of 100 degrees or higher or is throwing up or has diarrhea, he or she is NOT ALLOWED to attend school. Your child may return to school if they are not throwing up or fever-free(WITHOUT FEVER REDUCING MEDICINE) for 24 hours.
Board of Directors
Sarvjit Gill            227-4202
Joel Goeltl           593-8556
Paulette Hansen 282-8455
Jeff Webb            545-9636
Bill Werst             631-8379
Denise Benz       420-4184
John Rohrbaugh 225-2259
You may contact all members of our Board of Directors at
 
 
  Dec. 18, 2014 
6:00 p.m. 
Teacher's Lounge
Liberty Common School

1725
Sharp Point Dr.

Support Our Eagles

Quiet Zone
Please remember that the front office is an office of business and the use of cell phones is prohibited.  We also ask that conversations be kept to a minimum so that front office staff can provide quality customer service to students, staff members and other parents.  Thank you.

Remember to Use Gift Cards Over the Holidays

LCS Community Bulletin Board Ready for Postings

In an effort to help build more community within our school, we have designed a community board on our website.  This community board is to be used by families within our school to share services.  After registering, you will be able to log on and begin viewing and posting items for sale, services provided, events, help wanted, etc.  What a great way to connect with other families.  A big thanks to Terra Drobny in our IT department.  She did a great job designing and developing this forum for us to use.

CLICK HERE for the Community Board website. 
Two Distinguished Awards Given to Liberty 
Liberty Earns 2014 John J. Irwin Award.  Colorado Commissioner of Education Robert Hammond announced last week that, for the umpteenth year in a row, Liberty Common students have received the John J. Irwin Schools of Excellence Award for demonstrating excellent academic achievement. On the school performance framework that is used by the state to evaluate schools, Liberty exceeds expectations on the indicator for academic achievement over three years. Congratulations to students, parents, faculty and all Liberty staff.  John J. Irwin was a colleague and friend of LCHS Principal Mr. Schaffer who said, "If John were alive today, I know he would be very proud of Liberty's students and faculty, and he would be honored to have his good name associated with our school."

Distinguished Improvement Award.  Last week, Colorado Commissioner of Education Robert Hammond announced Liberty has received the 2014 Governor's Distinguished Improvement Award for demonstrating excellent student growth. On the school performance framework that is used by the state to evaluate schools, Liberty exceeded expectations on the indicator related to longitudinal academic growth over three years. Congratulations to students, parents, faculty and all Liberty staff.  We have received this award and the John J. Irwin Award each year since the inception of these awards.

History of Liberty Common School

How Did We Get Here? 

Part 2 of 5

By Dr. Maureen Schaffer 

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 next two weeks, we will 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 Dr. Maureen Schaffer (Founding Parent)

The huge demand for the educational program offered at Washington Core Knowledge School prompted the school's founders to begin drafting an application for a Core Knowledge charter school.  By the summer of 1995, unresolved issues about the permanence of Washington Core and the authority of the parent board over the academic program spurred a full-scale charter effort.

Meeting after work and on weekends, parents meticulously defined and documented the charter school's mission, goals, curriculum, governance, budget, facility plan, employee relations, and more.  On October 31, 1995, the Core Knowledge Charter School (CKCS) Partnership submitted its application to the PSD Board of Education.

Rather than proceed with negotiations, the PSD board requested more and more information, explanation, and detail.   The CKCS board, led by Chairman Phil Christ, diligently responded to each request, but to no avail. On December 11, the PSD board voted to deny the charter application without ever having met to negotiate with the parents.

Undaunted, the CKCS board appealed the decision to the Colorado State Board of Education.  In February, the state board sided with the parents and instructed the PSD board to negotiate an agreement in good faith with the charter group.

Weeks of meetings ensued.  It appeared the two sides were slowly coming together.  However in an 11th hour surprise, the PSD board suddenly voted to "approve" the charter with several major restrictions, not previously discussed: the charter would be limited to two years, enrollment would be capped at 300 students, and the school would be limited to a K-6 program, thereby eliminating the school's innovative junior high program.

PSD further directed the charter school to find space in a non-district building and execute the charter contract with PSD no later than June 1. The constraints made it virtually impossible to open the school.

Disappointed, the CKCS board filed a second appeal with the State Board of Education.  In an apparent attempt to quash the charter school, PSD unleashed its attorney. A paper war erupted as the lawyer threw legal obstacles in the path of the charter school.  The charter group managed to fend off the legal challenges and was finally granted a hearing before the state board.

At the April 23 hearing, the final punch was landed when PSD announced it had filed suit against the State Board of Education and CKCS Board of Directors!  Concerned that the lawsuit could result in an injunction preventing the charter school from opening, the state board recommended the charter group try to open a school with PSD's restrictions.

Dozens of outraged parents criticized the legal shenanigans at the next PSD board meeting. PSD director Bob Bacon denied they had sued parents and accused charter supporters of promulgating a "big lie."   But PSD President Mike Liggett confirmed the lawsuit had indeed named five parents: Phil Christ, Randy Everett, Timothy Gilmore, Cheryl Olsen, and Maureen Schaffer, as defendants.

The clock was ticking down to the June 1st deadline. Charter parent Peter Kast, a commercial realtor, conducted yet another survey of potential properties to accommodate the PSD-imposed school configuration.  A near match was identified.   However, two adjustments to the restrictions would be necessary:

1.    Increase the charter length to 5 years to amortize building improvements.
2.    Increase the enrollment cap to 364 students to meet the annual lease and   maintenance obligations.

The charter group entreated PSD to consider adjusting the restrictions.  The PSD board refused to consider the request. "The Board of Education will not take any further action," came the response in a May 3rd letter to the CKCS board.

The June 1 contract deadline expired, and PSD dropped its lawsuit against the parents.
The clock had run down.  There would be no charter school in 1996.

TUNE IN NEXT WEEK FOR THE NEXT EXCITING INSTALLMENT!

 

Donor Drop Box
As a tuition-free, public-charter school, Liberty receives less funding from the Poudre School District than do regular public schools.  To help Liberty remain the best school around, we rely upon free-will contributions from parents, grandparents, and alumni; and upon the generosity of community members who support Liberty's innovative brand of high-quality classical education.  
 
This week, the Liberty Board of Directors, the school administration, faculty, and staff extend sincere thanks and humble gratitude for the following recent contributor:

            ~A donation in loving memory of Mrs. Elsie Doheny by Tom and Kathy Allen

Your generosity and thoughtful support of Liberty Common School give to our students academic advantages they would not otherwise enjoy.  Thank you for your leadership in public-education reform, and specifically toward achieving Liberty Common School's ongoing mission of academic excellence and fairness.

 
All donations to Liberty Common School are tax deductible (Federal non-profit ID # 84-1404585).  To volunteer on the Liberty Fundraising Committee CLICK HERE.  To volunteer on the Liberty Grants Committee CLICK HERE. To volunteer for the annual Liberty Spring Gala fundraiser event (Friday, April 10th, 2015 at the Embassy Suites in Loveland) CLICK HERE.  To make an online donation CLICK HERE.  For more information about contributing to Liberty Common School, please  CLICK HERE to visit the "Support Liberty" options at the school's website.