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 18 Issue 19                                                               
January 12, 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|6th Graders attending LCHS next yr., registration materials due to the Front Office.
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
Jan. 27|Citizenship Character Assembly, speaker is Carson Maczuzak from the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society to talk about the upcoming Penny Drive held in February.
Stairway to Knowledge
Liberty Common School is home to many talented people including Mrs. Tracy Nichols, one of our fabulous art teachers. During winter break, Mrs. Nichols, designed and installed book titles on the 6th grade stairs.  Next time you are in the building, please stop and view this beautiful and creative addition to our building. Thank you Mrs. Nichols!

Winter Carnival is February 20th

For this year's winter carnival, we're bringing back the popular Sock Hop!  Friday, February 20th6:00 - 8:00 p.m. in the gym. All attendees are welcome to dress up in your favorite "greaser" outfit or poodle skirt and dance the night away to a live band!


Volunteers will be needed to help with decorating, running stations, serving food and clean up. We also need donations of items for the various stations.  Look for a sign-up genius coming soon!


Food will be available for purchase the night of the carnival.


Thank you so much for your support. We look forward to having a great time!


Please contact Hannah Knecht @ or 988.4809 if you are willing to help organize the carnival!     


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.
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, Raising Kids Who Read What Parents and Teachers Can Do, for sale and book signing after the presentation In Raising Kids, Willingham explains this phenomenon and provides practical solutions for engendering a love of reading that lasts into adulthood.

We hope you can all make it to this educational evening.
 Click Here for lecture flyer.


The Gala Committee is always welcoming new members.  


Here are a few ways to get involved:

  •          Donate an item, service, or become a sponsor.  Donations may be left in the front office with a completed donation form.  Contact us to learn about becoming an event sponsor.
  •          Join us Tuesdays at 8am on January 13th, 20th, and 27th in the teachers' lounge. We'll be preparing for the gala in a variety of ways.  From data entry to decor, we'll have projects of all sorts! 
  •          Pink Bag take-home projects- Thanks to all that have already helped with pink bag projects!  A fresh new crop of pink bag projects have arrived in the front office!  Sign out your bag today-many hands make light work! 
  •          Collect fabulous items for the silent auction- Contact us to learn how to help.  This opportunity is perfect for those looking to volunteer on their own schedule. 


Jodi Fraser:  970-988-1570 or 

Qeryldine Hofinger:  970-219-4374 or 



Yearbook Orders Now Available



The last day to guarantee a yearbook and to add personalization to your yearbook is February 6th.

Click on this link for easy, convenient online ordering: 


Questions???? Contact:

Mrs. Clouser (


2015 Classroom Spelling Bee Participants
Congratulations to the following students who will be representing their classrooms in the school-wide Spelling Bee competition, Thursday, January 15th, beginning at 3:15, in the library.  Good luck to all.

Hirsh: Eleni Armatas,Siener: Henry Halgren,
Ronen: Ruby Richardson,Cardenas: Meghan Satterwhite,Galeener: Ryan Green,Schupp: Dakota Montenero,Canfield: Elizabeth Skalicky,Duroux: Maddie Giles,Huey: Katie Magloughlin
In This Issue
Contact Us
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
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. 
Kindergarten Volunteers Needed

Mrs. Horton and Mrs. Trout, kindergarten teachers, are needing volunteers on Tuesdays and/or Thursdays any time throughout the day.  Volunteers do not need to be parents of kindergarteners to assist in the classrooms.  Please email Angela Horton or Connie Trout of interested.
Gift Card Program Sets Sights On Next Goal

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 contributors:

Linda Morita & Jonathan Cushman; Walt & Dorothy Weibler (grandparents); George & Susan Gentry (grandparents); Robert Gronlund; Nancy & George Allen (grandparents); Susie & Jack Ellis; Virginia Taylor (grandparent); Duane Wiens; Kim & Ben Haugestuen; Alana & Ryan Lane; Thomas Sawyer (grandparent); Rebecca Finkel & Olve Peersen; Carole & Tom Dougherty (grandparents); Vlad Shilo; Kay & Bob Nystrom.
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.
Mirroring by Casey Churchill, LCS Principal

When adults thank a stranger, hold a door for a person in need, wash their hands, put a napkin in their lap for dinner, children notice.  Liberty teaches the Foundation Stones and Capstones through modeling, the literature we read, and the history we teach.  We can learn from others how to properly behave.  Parenting is an apprenticeship of sorts.

I recently read an article about how to teach children manners and kindness.  The article talked about mirroring.  When we see someone else stub their toe, we flinch.  When we see someone eat something sour, we smirk.  Why is that? 

These reactions are because we empathize with the person even though we didn't stub our toe or eat something sour ourselves.  We all have brain cells called mirror neurons.   These are special brain cells that fire not only when an individual performs an action, but also when the individual observes someone else do the action. 

Studies have been done with macaque monkeys that monitored brain activity when the monkey watched the researcher grab his/her own food.  The neurons began to fire in the monkeys' premotor cortex.  These are the same neurons that fired when the monkeys grabbed the food by themselves.  This study showed that mirror neurons appear to let us "simulate" not just other people's actions, but the intentions and emotions behind these actions.  This has led to new insight on how we develop empathy.

Liberty staff practices this mirroring and it should be a part of your everyday practices at home as well.  From the classroom to the home we should model proper behavior so our students begin to mirror what we do.  Students should be exposed to literature that models good behavior, they should see parents and teachers that are courteous and polite, or we can model random acts of kindness.
Even in the classroom we see mirroring.  We want students to mimic high level questions and conversations of the teacher and other students.  We want to see students replicating these questions and give thorough answers that are articulate and in complete sentences.  The simple idea of infusing high domain vocabulary in our everyday conversations is the premise behind this mirroring.  Students hear these words being used so they understand the meaning and can use on their own.  These are all great ways to get students to implicitly learn these academic skills.

Our Students Council and the high school House Systems demonstrate leadership skills and character traits that all others should mimic.  In November, the student council collected 3214 food items to donate to the Fort Collins Food Bank.  What a great example of helping others in need and allowing the rest of the school to mirror this behavior on their own. 

As parents and teachers, we should always remember that the children are watching.  If we are polite and kind to everyone, our children will reflect that behavior.  Our children will mirror what we do.
Board of Directors Upcoming Voting Issue and Vacancy Notice
Per the procedures outlined in Liberty Common's by-laws, there will be a motion and a vote to amend Liberty Common School's by-laws at this Thursday's BOD meeting.   Since there are families at Liberty Common who reside in Windsor, Loveland, or other nearby school districts, this by-laws change will enable those parents to run for the Board of Directors.  We will also propose that Grandparents of Liberty Common students are also eligible to be a candidate for the BOD, assuming they meet all the other criteria.
Bill Werst
BOD Chairman 

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.


The qualifications to be a BOD member include the following: 

  • 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, Casey Churchill at, or Bob Schaffer at .


The History of Liberty Common High School
By: Mrs. Michelle Provaznik and Bob Schaffer, (Founding Parents)
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 "The History of Liberty Common HijgSchool" by Mrs. Michelle Provaznik and LCHS Principal, Bob Schaffer, founding parents.  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 High School
By: Mrs. Michelle Provaznik and Principal Bob Schaffer (Founding Parents)

In May of 2013, Liberty Common High School graduated its first senior class.  This was the culmination of an epic effort started in 2008 when Liberty Board of Directors Chairman Craig Horton and Board Member Michelle Provaznik
attended a charter-school conference in Denver.  

The information the pair gathered at the conference, along with general statewide excitement about the growing success of charter schools in Colorado, provided impetus to explore expanding Liberty Common School to a full K-12 school.  

This was not the first time Liberty's parent leaders considered a high-school expansion.  In fact, the idea had been pondered twice before, but failed to garner enough support from the Board of Directors or administration due to a variety of issues including financial feasibility.  

In 2008, things were different. Liberty Common School's kindergarten-through-ninth-grade program 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.  The school had achieved national "Blue Ribbon" status, and was regarded as a premier nationwide example of excellence by the Virginia-based Core Knowledge Foundation.

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 more than completely full.  The number of families on the lottery list waiting to enroll their children at Liberty numbered well over fifteen hundred.

That year, the Board of the Poudre School District voted to change the grade configuration for neighborhood junior-high 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 ninth graders.  

The change in the district's configuration would apply direct competitive pressure on Liberty's ninth grade.  The writing was on the wall: Liberty either needed to expand to include a high school, or watch its ninth grade wither on the vine.  

Craig Horton and Michelle Provaznik presented their high-school ideas to their colleagues on the Board of Directors.  Though the initial response was lukewarm, the Board formed a committee to explore and evaluate the feasibility of expanding the school through twelfth grade.  Craig was selected to chair the Expansion Committee.

The Committee's first step involved holding a community meeting.  In October of 2008, a notice went out to all parents about the idea of creating a high school.  Over 80 people attended the meeting.  

Not only were parents of Liberty students interested in the formation of a high school, prospective Liberty parents were interested in the expansion of the K-8 grades in the hopes their children might be called from the extensive lottery list to fill new slots that would be created in the elementary grades.

The goal of the Expansion Committee was to create a comprehensive business plan to show the feasibility of the whole-school expansion.  Seven subcommittees were formed, involving over fifty parent volunteers.  The subcommittees were chaired by the following parents:

*    Athletics:  Dan Knab
*    Character Education:  Mark Sutherlin and Kendra Mosely
*    Curriculum:  Michelle Provaznik
*    Facilities:  Tricia Diehl and Peter Kast
*    Finance:  Dan Provaznik
*    Marketing/Enrollment: Melanie Seilbach
*    Scheduling:  Angela Horton and Krissy Kopren

The subcommittee efforts centered upon creating a high school from the ground up. At the time, there was no blueprint or instructions to refer to, so the committees performed extensive research to develop curriculum, sports programs, campus policies, facilities, etc.  The highest goal was to avoid any compromise of Liberty Common School's core mission - teaching the kids already in its system.

While much of the expansion effort focused on the high school, the largest part of the expansion was, in fact, the addition of a third track for the grades K-6, which increased elementary-school enrollment and staff by 50%.  The needed classroom space for the enrollment jump necessitated moving grades 7-12 to a second campus.


Another public meeting was held on January 6, 2009 to gauge community interest. Many parents were interested in the expansion and signed their students up for the waiting list.  Several members of the Poudre School District (PSD) Board of Directors were persuaded to attend.  Their initial reaction seemed supportive.  If the expansion was to occur, PSD's approval would be required.

Ultimately, at a meeting of the Liberty Board of Directors, administration, and parents on February 5, 2009, the Expansion Committee recommended Liberty expand and add a high school.  The Committee's presentation showed that not only was the expansion feasible, but that Liberty would, in fact, be in financial jeopardy if the ninth grade was lost at the hands of the PSD grade reconfiguration.  

With very conservative enrollment estimates, the findings showed that expansion of grades 9-12, simultaneously with the addition of a third track of K-8 was not only possible, but would allow Liberty to thrive.  The Expansion Committee was thrilled to have founders Dr. Randy Everett and Dr. Maureen Schaffer speak in favor of the expansion.

On February 19, 2009, Liberty's Board petitioned the Poudre School District to amend Liberty's Charter and to add a third track of K-6th grade, add a tenth grade, and phase in an eleventh and twelfth grade in subsequent years.

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

Many exchanges and meetings between the district and Liberty ensued. Craig Horton, Michelle Provaznik, and John Rohrbaugh were asked to present the case for the Liberty expansion at a PSD Board meeting.   Ultimately, the PSD Board agreed to pursue negotiations with a vote of 6-1.  Final negotiations proceeded. 


In August of 2009, 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 formally approved the expansion, implementing it was hardly a foregone conclusion.  An acute economic recession had stricken the nation and hit Colorado's School Finance Act pretty hard.  All public schools in the state were notified there would be a punishing rescission of previously allocated state funds - funds upon which Liberty was counting.  Furthermore, it was announced the state would reduce spending for the next year on the order of 6% or more.  

Tim Ricketts, Liberty's business manager was asked to run
Tim Ricketts, business manager at Liberty Common School worked with the BOD finding complicated financial solutions that allowed the high school to become a reality.
multiple versions of financial scenarios anticipating every conceivable budget situation. The Board had to make a serious decision involving a long-term financial commitment amid the state rescission, the budget reduction, and a hazardous economy.  

The central question was obvious:  Now that Liberty has the authorization to expand, can it afford to actually do it given the dire financial situation and the toxic economy 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 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 flagship elementary-school building, answered the school's newest call for help in finding a suitable building, and the search for a new high school facility was on. 

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 carried with it a nationwide reputation for academic excellence:  Liberty Common High School.

To be continued.....