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 18                                                              
January 5, 2015
Important Dates
Jan. 12|Public Information Night, 6:30 p.m.
Jan. 15|BOD Mtg.
Jan. 15|Spelling Bee after school, in library
Jan. 16|5th/6th Grade Science Fair, projects displayed in gym after school.
Jan. 16|Liberty Common Chess Club begins
Jan. 19|Martin Luther King Day, NO SCHOOL 
Jan. 26-Jan.30|National School Choice Week, make sure to come to the Front Office to pick up your National School Choice Week Scarf
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.

Still Time to Register 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! 
Lecture Coming to Liberty Common This Spring

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 

 
 

 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.

 

 

News from the Board of Directors - Athletics, alternatives to AP, and Latin

The Board of Directors heard a thorough report from Dan Knab, Athletic Director, at our recent meeting. Mr. Knab and his team of coaches are working hard to continually improve our sports programs. Included in the BOD meeting was the approval of a Junior High Cross Country team beginning next year. The coaches are also encouraging Junior High athletes to stay and compete at LCHS where they can compete in multiple sports while still receiving a superior education. Mr. Knab is also working on an updated mission statement and policy to outline Liberty Common's philosophy and the role athletics plays in education.

 

During the History Department annual report they discussed the alternatives to advanced placement (AP) courses at the high School. The History Department is applying to have our Advanced Placement US History (APUSH) and Advanced Placement Government (APGOV) classes approved for concurrent enrollment through Colorado Christian University. This alternate possibility for students to earn college credit will give us more flexibility regarding future concerns related to the AP curriculum. The English department is applying for American Literature concurrent enrollment via the same process.

 

The Board will create two subcommittees to study the pros and cons of requiring Latin II for all 8th grade students starting in the 2016-2017 school year. The committees will be formed during the January Board meeting.


 
Thank you very much
 Liberty Common families
You make a difference.
Questions or Suggestions?
                 Extra gift cards in the front offices
In This Issue
Important Dates
Incoming Kindergarteners
2nd Semester Liberty Chess Club
Save the Date for Spring Gala
Lecture Coming to Liberty
News from BOD
Scoreboard
Healthcare Reminder
Quiet Zone
Community Bulletin Board
History of Liberty
Donor Drop Box
Elections for BOD
Remy Minton
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.

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.

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. 
Thank You
Thank you to all the students and parents who bestowed gifts upon all of us in the Front Office. From yummy treats to beautiful plants, we were spoiled.  We appreciate your thoughtfulness and generosity. May your 2015 be filled with peace, laughter and love.   

History of Liberty Common School

How Did We Get Here? 

Part 3 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.

This  week, we are running the final section of, "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)


It was June of 1996.  Advocates for the Core Knowledge charter school had come up short after being legally out-maneuvered by the school district. The parents faced a $5000 debt for legal filings and newsletters to its growing list of supporters.

The unsinkable charter group wasted no time mobilizing its next charter effort. They "passed the hat" yet again, this time requesting additional donations to hire a lawyer of their own.  The parents contacted local attorney Mike Maxwell to assist in rewriting and negotiating their charter. Maxwell was immediately captivated by the critical nature of the school choice movement. He and his partners donated their time and expertise to the cause.

The name of the new school would be Liberty Common.  At a common school, students of all ages and socio-economic backgrounds could obtain a common education.  But, why Liberty? Liberty stood for parents who would now have educational choice.  Liberty stood for teachers who would no longer have to work in a broken system.  And most importantly, Liberty would symbolize the true freedom that can only be achieved when a student possesses an educated mind.

On October 1, 1996 the charter application for Liberty Common School was submitted to PSD, along with a file drawer of supporting documents, reports, and studies. The new charter provided in-depth rationale for each aspect of the school the parents deemed non-negotiable. Still, negotiations drug on for months.

Finally PSD approved the charter, and a five-year contract signed on February 24, 1997.   Now, the real work would begin!  
The charter group scrambled to simultaneously find a building and hire staff.  Teams of parents conducted interviews at Dr. Everett's Urology Center.  Applicants were quite relieved to learn that physical exams were not part of the drill!

Although there was still no school building, one courageous administrator, Dr. Kathryn Knox, took a gamble and signed on as Liberty's first headmaster.  She quickly melded with the team and donated dozens of hours interviewing potential teachers.

A powerhouse staff with a pioneering spirit was assembled, including Connie Behr, Marie Louise Borak, Gretchen Jeffers, Dave Lunn, Beth Olson, Cherie Pederson, Tina Shockley, and Jeff Seiner, some of whom are all still cornerstones of Liberty today.  Teachers joined forces with parents to identify curriculum resources and skills programs to augment the Core Knowledge Sequence.

Meanwhile, parent Peter Kast, worked fervently to pull together a suitable building and financing for the new school.   Pursuing multiple deals simultaneously, Peter never gave up as each financing option ultimately collapsed.   Would anyone lend money to this unknown entity called a charter school?

It was now summer and fall was fast approaching. A building was needed immediately if there was to be sufficient time for renovations.  Peter assembled a small group of investors to purchase the Colgate factory near the detention center and lease the building to the charter school. The deal closed in late June.

The facility question was answered, but substantial reconstruction was necessary to convert the former toothpaste and mouthwash factory into a school. Thirteen Liberty families put up personal assets as collateral for the million-dollar construction loan.  It was now July.  Amazingly, the Neenan Company completed the massive remodel in less than 60 days!

The concrete floors were uncarpeted, and the upstairs remained unfinished. A support column stood in the middle of the small gym.  The performance hall was non-existent. But none of that mattered.

In September 1997, a dream became a reality as Liberty Common School opened its doors to more than four hundred eager young students in kindergarten through 7th grade.  And the rest is history!

STAY TUNED FOR THE NEXT CHAPTER - LIBERTY COMMON HIGH SCHOOL...

 

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.  
 
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.
Board of Directors Vacancy Notice

  Board vacancy

Elections for 2 seats on the Board of Directors for Liberty Common School will be held during the week of April 20, 2015 through April 24th, 2015. Applications must be received by 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 4th, 2015. Board members are elected to three-year terms.  Please Click Here for Board Application. 

 

 

Liberty relies on our parents to help make this school a success. The Board of Directors' responsibilities include: maintaining a strategic vision of the School, creation and promotion of the school's curriculum and teaching philosophies, final responsibility for all School decisions, hiring and evaluation of the administration, and meeting contractual obligations with the Poudre School District.

 

Some of the qualifications to be a BOD member include:

  • Registered voter residing in Poudre School District
  • Attendance to at least one of the BOD meetings during the school year of the election
  • Read and support wholeheartedly the views presented in the following three books:

                 Cultural Literacy by E.D. Hirsch Jr.

                 Why Johnny Can't Tell Right from Wrong by William Kilpatrick

                 The Schools We Need and Why We Don't Have Them by E.D. Hirsch Jr.

  • Submission of Letter of Interest for BOD Membership
  • Submission of Statement of Educational Philosophy
  • Have had a student enrolled at Liberty for a minimum of two years by the time the candidate's term on the BOD would commence
  • Volunteer in the school
  • Embrace the principles of Liberty's Charter and founding books (evaluated through an interview process)
  • Receive a recommendation from principals at either the elementary or the high school

 

After election a BOD member will be expected to:

 

Complete and sign the following documents:

Volunteer Application for the current school year

Volunteer Confidentiality Agreement

Volunteer Oath

Volunteer Agreement

Board of Directors Non-Disclosure and Confidentiality Agreement

Board of Directors Affidavit (subject to a criminal background check)

 

Please Click Here for complete information about running for a seat on the Board.

 

For more information about the election, contact Board Chairman Bill Werst at bill.werst@libertycommon.org, Casey Churchill at cchurchill@libertycommon.org, 

or Bob Schaffer at bschaffer@libertycommon.org .

 

 

Remy Minton To Compete in National PPK Competition
LCS wishes Remy Minton (5th grade) good luck at next weekend's national Punt, Pass and Kick competition at the Panthers/Seahawks game.

Remy's journey to the nationals began with Mr. Reeve's gym class. To advance to the nationals, contestants must win the sectional event and the Broncos regional event and have one of the top 4 scores in their age group nationally.