The Eagle's Nest 
  Liberty Common Elementary School
1725 Sharp Point Drive
Fort Collins, CO 80525

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 34                                                                             
May 4, 2015
Important Dates
May 4th-May8th|Teacher Appreciation Week
May 5th|Orders for Peter Pan DVD are due. See link below for order forms.
May 6th|Bike To School Day-Please ride your bike to school. Riders will receive a trinket from City of Fort Collins Safe Routes to School Program. If your student does not have a bike helmet, please contact Jill Ronen, (970)482-9800, ext. 3110. 

May 11|5th & 6th Grade Band/Choir Concert, 6:30 
May 14| End of the Year Awards Ceremonies

Times                    Grade                  

8:15-9:15              K                            

9:30-10:30           1-2                         

11:00-12:30         Lunch (wood side)

12:30-1:30           3-4                         

1:45-2:45              5-6                         

**Please note: If your student is receiving an award,  you will be notified by his/her teacher.  Perfect Attendance will be calculated on the last day of school and certificates mailed to the student's home by May 29th. Any questions re: perfect attendance, please direct to Jill Ronen at    
May 21|BOD Meeting, 6:00 p.m.
May 21|Olympic Day-(No hot lunch will be served)
May 22|Last Day of School, 1/2 day, 11:00 release
May 22|4th Quarter Ends
June 5|Final Report Cards mailed home
June 18|BOD Meeting, 6:00 p.m.

Peter Pan Dessert Theatre DVDs on Sale. Order your DVD of the performance now!  Star Painter Productions video recorded the performance and is selling individual DVDs for $15.00. Please complete the order form prior to May 5th.  Attach payment and drop it off at the Front Office.  DVDs will be delivered to the school by May 19th.  CLICK HERE for a DVD order form.  Don't miss out on this opportunity to watch the performance again and again.  Perfect for Grandparents or out of town family. Order now.  

Tennis Nets Media Attention
A recent tennis-news publication featured Liberty's tennis team (grades 6 - 8) and included a fun picture of the kids.  In the article, supermom Mrs. Tricia Diehl, discusses how the team formed and about the team's bright future (see further on in the sports section). Big thanks to all of the volunteers who have stepped up to help build a pretty exciting tennis program and a fantastic opportunity for Liberty student/athletes.

Important Dates
School Year
Classes Begin|Aug. 24
Thanksgiving|Nov. 25-27
Winter Break|Dec. 21-Jan. 1
Spring Break|March 14-18
Last Day of School|May 27
Student Not Returning to Liberty?
If you know that your student will not be returning to Liberty Common for the 2015-2016 school year, please contact Julie Russell at 482-9800 ext. 3114, as soon as possible.  There are many anxious parents waiting for a spot. To ensure a smooth transfer of your child's records, you may pick-up dis-enrollment paperwork in the office.  Thank you. 
3rd-6th Graders Encouraged to Participate in Standardized Testing   
Liberty's participation in the State of Colorado's standardized testing begins soon. Liberty's participation in the State of Colorado's standardized testing begins soon.  Although Liberty is opposed to Common Core, we are encouraging students to take the state tests.  Ridgeview Classical School Principal, Mr. Anderson, recently wrote a wonderful perspective that mirrors our stance on the tests.  Please CLICK HERE to read Mr. Anderson's article. 

Only 3rd-6th graders will be taking the tests.  Attending school during these days is of utmost importance and we greatly appreciate your support.  Please do not plan any vacations or medical/dental appointments on testing days. CLICK HERE to view the schedules.  Be sure to scroll thru the entire document to know when your student will be testing.  Thank you. 
Masonic Award Goes To........
Sydney Taylor, 5th grader was recently awarded the Masonic Outstanding Student Award. Her teacher,  
Mrs. Schupp, nominated Sydney for the award.  Congratulations, Sydney!


Mr. Churchill, Sydney Taylor and Mrs. Schupp, celebrate Sydney's achievement outside the Masonic Temple.  


Summer Math and Reading Camps and Individualized Tutoring Coming to Liberty. Plan and Register Now
reading 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 summer Reading and Math Camps and individual tutoring of students entering grades 1st-6th.  Space is limited, so register now!

Click Here for Reading Camp Information and Registration Form.
Click Here for Math Camp Information and Registration Form.
Click Here for Individualized Tutoring Information and Registration Form.

7th Grade Summer English Program  
Attention Sixth Grade Parents: Liberty Common High School Summer English Program-Get on Track and Get Ahead!

Did your student struggle to manage the various, demanding language arts this year: grammar, vocabulary, writing, etc.?  Are you worried that waiting until next school year to revisit these areas will only result in a deeper hole at the next level?  Is your student going to be new at Liberty next year, and are you worried whether he/she will be ready for the cumulative nature of Liberty's English curriculum-especially the rigorous grammar training?  Maybe you just want your child to refine and bolster his/her language skills, guided by close instruction and support.  Regardless of the reason, this summer's four week English "booster" is the perfect, economical opportunity.  The cost is much less than typical tutoring, the tutor-to-student ratio is small, and the instructor is Mr. Dybzinski, head of Liberty's English department.  Regardless of whether your student is ahead or behind, he will set your child up for more English success.  Furthermore, he plans to have much fun in the process!  CLICK HERE for the flyer.
Please Visit Lost and Found

Please take a few minutes to visit our Lost and Found. As you can see, from this photo, it is bursting at the seams with a plethora of items.  Remember items not claimed after 2 weeks are donated to charity.
End of the Year Medication Pickup
Dear Parents/Guardians,
Medications cannot be sent home with students at the end of the school year.

Parents must pick up all medications on or before the last day of school.

If medications need to be picked up before the last day of school, the needed number of pills can be counted out and kept in the original RX container. The remaining medication can be taken home in a plastic bag.

Emergency or as-needed medications (Epi-pens, Tylenol, Inhalers, etc.) must also be picked up.

The school nurse will follow DEA procedures and deliver all medications not picked up to the DEA to dispose of properly.

If medications will be brought back to the school in the fall, you may obtain a medical permission form from the health tech in your school.

If you have any questions please contact our Health Tech, Jen Hopkins at 482-9800, ext. 3113.


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.

Job Openings at LCS

Dear Parents,

Liberty will begin hiring for upcoming 2015-2016 positions starting in April.  We could use your help.  Please spread the word to anyone you know that would be a good fit for Liberty.  Here is a link to our website listing all available positions.



Liberty Administration

French/Spanish Instructor Needed at LCHS
Mrs. Tricola, French and Spanish teacher at LCHS, recently announced
that she will be moving out of town, and LCHS is looking for a perfect candidate to fill her teaching role beginning in August.  CLICK HERE to see the job posting, and to view open job postings for a school business manager, a high-school science instructor, and a cross-country coach.  If you know anyone who might be a good match for any of these jobs, please direct them to this link right away. 

Raising Kids Who Read Books Available  

Thanks to all Liberty Common staff and parents that attended Daniel T.  Willingham's informative lecture on Friday, March 27th.  Dr. Willingham was a dynamic speaker who displayed a strong commitment to Core Knowledge. We hope you can join us for future speakers such as this. If you missed the lecture, and would like to purchase Dr. Willingham's book, Raising Kids Who Read, books are available for sale in the front office for $20.00 (cash or check). Please stop in to buy your copy today.  

Library Deadline


  • No books checked out after May 8th.
  • All library books due May 15th.





Homework About Homework
By: Bob Schaffer, LCHS Principal
It's a unanimous response.  Ask any Liberty student whether they have
too much homework and the answer is "yes."

Put the same question to LCHS graduates, as I did last week, and you'll get a deeper, more reflective reply.  Following are a few examples.

From Johns Hopkins University, Anna Garcia (LCHS '14) wrote, "For me, the main difference between homework in high school and homework in college is that rather than having small problem sets due daily (in high school), there are 30-40 question problem sets due weekly (in classes such as math and science).  It really is a kind of forced studying and the best teachers focus their homework problems to helping you prepare for the content in tests.  In math this means problems, in history this means explanation and prompts that test one's understanding.  

"As far as amount goes I think it is comparable to what I am doing in college just separated differently as in all of my homework is due now on Thursday or Friday."  

Here's from Christiana Spicer (LCHS '13/Legio XIII) at University of Nebraska.  "The homework load at Liberty, for me, was incredibly beneficial. While not all of the assignments were judicious, the vast majority were. The main homework at Liberty is from the math and English departments. These are the two subjects that I scored highest on for my ACT, and I believe that it has to do with the fact that I understood them better due to the assignments that Mr. Lovely and Mr. Dybzinski assigned to me throughout junior high and high school. I was taught a lot in the classroom, but doing math problems outside of class, and reading books and writing papers about them, are the things that taught me more than any classroom setting could have.

"Beyond that, having homework in high school taught me time management that has benefitted me throughout college. On top of all of my extracurricular activities (at Liberty), I had to find time to finish my homework at night, which meant that I was using every spare minute that I could. I carried this into college and find it easy to finish my assignments on time because of my time management.

"Some nights, the homework load at Liberty was too much, but other nights we wouldn't have any. It all depended. As long as students are diligent with their time, the homework is manageable, and in my opinion, incredibly beneficial not only for high school but also for college and beyond."

Emily Yeh (LCHS '13) at Brown University had this to say:  "Liberty's homework load is above average.  Sure, this may make students cringe.  But if you really think about it, isn't that what you want?  Above average?  

"During my Liberty experience, the homework policy served me in two primary ways: (1) as a means to further understand the material, and (2) as an opportunity to learn how to manage my time.  Concerning the former: homework was usually relevant and meaningful.  I enjoyed the readings and even sometimes the math assignments.  However, I find the latter lesson equally important.  

"In college, I have learned the importance of not only understanding how, but knowing when.  Although this concept can be applied to almost any life phenomenon, I believe that academic success in college is greatly affected by mastering time.  Time may be one of the most precious, or at least unique, gifts that this life has to offer.  Therefore, why not learn how to both manage it and value it through high school homework assignments?   This is just one of the many things that Liberty has helped me to learn!"

These three comments reflect, almost verbatim, the school's guiding philosophy on homework and reading as stated in the LCHS Student/Parent Handbook FOUND HERE and the LCS Policy Manual FOUND HERE.  

Homework is a fundamental part of our general academic program. It prepares primary students for high school and secondary students for college, and for entry into the working world upon graduation. It also helps develop a strong work ethic and personal organizational skills.

At the elementary school, figure on ten minutes of homework per night per grade.  This is not a rule, only a guideline.  In other words, if your student is in the third grade, thirty minutes of homework per night on average should be about right.  This is in addition to their required-reading expectations.

Once in the ninth grade, the homework load climbs - steadily - and varies according to the difficulty of one's elective-course choices.  We're wary of busywork and insist homework assignments be strictly limited to meaningful exercises that prepare students for essential classroom success.

The immediate educational purposes of a prudent homework load are 1) To reinforce skills and concepts learned in class, 2) to develop study skills and habits, 3) to practice skills and knowledge in ways that are not readily accomplished in the classroom; and, 4) to inform parents of what is being taught in the classroom.

Homework assignments should be expected Monday through Thursday of each week and on some weekends.  In addition to regular homework assignments, we expect each child to read, or (in the younger grades) be read to at least three times a week and preferably every day.

The amount of reading homework varies for each grade. Teachers will inform students what is expected for their grade level. As cited in A Nation at Risk, "the single most important factor for determining whether children will go to college is being read to as a child."

Indeed, our students take on a challenging, rigorous curriculum. This is one of the many things that make Liberty a great school. With such a rich and rigorous curriculum, the students need time to work at home. We are aware that the student is involved with other interests and activities outside of school.

The staff and administration attempt to coordinate schedules and calendars so the students are not inundated with work on the same day. It is understood that homework will be given and will vary depending on the work assigned on a given day, the students' organizational skills and study habits, and the nature of the assignments.

Students are expected to learn how to use their free time effectively to complete the required work at each grade level. Parents are expected to support their children in this endeavor.  Advanced classes entail additional homework time.  

At the high school, each academic department has its own homework policy. Students are expected to know the policy for each of their classes. Students are expected to show responsibility in preparation for tests and perseverance in completing quality assignments.

To get a better understanding of homework expectations and goals at Liberty, please read through the school's homework and reading policies, and
Homework at Liberty.
In their own words: Click on this video link to watch Liberty students discuss their experiences and opinions about homework (recorded last Thursday).
to watch this informative video of LCHS students and instructors discussing this subject.   

It is helpful for all students, and sometimes parents, to remember that the hard way through high school is the easy way through college.

Liberty Common State Fair
Nothing's fine as an Iowa swine, except perhaps Liberty Common High School's Junior-High Theatre production of Rodger and Hammerstein's "State Fair."  Join us Friday and Saturday, May 8th and 9th at 7 p.m., in Liberty Common School's Auditorium (1725 Sharp Point Drive). Tickets are available online and at the door: Ticket prices are $5 for students, and $10 for general admission.

Three Liberty 6th grade Girls are Pretty Brillant
This spring three Liberty 6th graders took part in a 12-week workshop designing real world lighting solutions for a Habitat for Humanity home.  Carolyn Carpenter, Elizabeth Skalicky and Sunny Taylor, worked with mentors from the CSU Society of Women Engineers to develop engineering designs and will help with the lighting installation this summer through Women Build.  For info on this and other STEM programs for elementary through high school girls visit


LCS Sports News
Summer Is Coming.   Check out the Jr.-High and High-School Off-Season Summer Information Packet by CLICKING HERE.  Included, is information for next fall.  If there is specific information you are looking for and don't see it, please email me at

First-Place At World Festival
Liberty's 5th Gear robotics team members are 5th grader Sydney Reinke and 8th graders Michael Hofinger, Taylor Reinke, Joshua Rohrbaugh, and Mikey Werst.  Team mentor is sophomore David Rohrbaugh.  Coaches are Liberty parents Melissa Reinke, Janelle Rohrbaugh, and John Rohrbaugh.   

From April 22-25, the Liberty robotics team "5th Gear" competed at the FIRST Lego League (FLL) World Festival in St. Louis, Missouri.  Of nearly 27,000 teams worldwide, only 105 top teams earned the right to compete at the World Festival.  The 5th Gear team was considered for awards in six of the nine judging categories and was awarded the first-place robot-design-programming award (per FLL rules, a team can win only one judging award).  In the robot-game competition, the team finished 9th overall and 2nd among U.S. teams.  They were also one of ten teams (five U.S.) considered for the overall champion's award.  As a part of their FLL research project, the team members worked with children's author Julia Cook and are contributing authors to the upcoming book, "The Technosmart Idea and Activity Book," which will be published worldwide in May.  Team members are Liberty 5th grader Sydney Reinke, and Liberty 8th graders Michael Hofinger, Taylor Reinke, Joshua Rohrbaugh, and Mikey Werst.  The team's mentor is Liberty 10th grader David Rohrbaugh.  Coaches are Liberty parents Melissa Reinke, Janelle Rohrbaugh, and John Rohrbaugh.


Liberty's robotics competitors won a first-place award for robot design and programming at the St. Louis World Festival.


1st Choice Before and After School Care Offer

A.S.K Offers Summer Camp