Another fantastic Liberty school year is coming to a close, and along with it, a chance to look back upon a year of solid academic achievement for our students. The Liberty Board of Directors and administration could not be happier with the accomplishments of our students, instructors, support staff, and parents.
Liberty Common School has become a premier school in northern Colorado due to the proper partnership of parents, professional staff, and hardworking students. We are thankful to all who helped make this year so successful.
The elementary school continues to thrive with 612 students, 60 staff, and 1200 on the high school and elementary lottery list. Liberty Common Elementary school is a model example of how a school should operate. This past year, the Core Knowledge Foundation showcased our school to the nation more than ever. Schools visited and teachers have been calling to see and hear about all that great things we are doing.
Last year, Liberty started the first ever Core Knowledge Colorado Network. This year we passed the torch to Twin Peak Charter Academy in Longmont. On February 13th, about 200 teachers traveled to Longmont to share ideas and learn about the rich Core Knowledge content. This was a great opportunity for us to see another CK school and continue this annual tradition of networking with other CK schools in Colorado. Networking provides our teachers an opportunity to meet and learn from other teachers. We thank the teachers for their teamwork throughout this process as this accomplishment has again placed Liberty on the map.
Teachers have embraced our new data mining system, Pearson Inform. Inform integrates with our grade book system, Powerschool providing teachers with a one-stop venue to analyze student test data. This provides teachers with the information we need to help intervene with students that are struggling. The teachers have found the Inform interface easy to access testing data. The quicker we can learn about student skill deficits the quicker we can deliver the interventions students need to be successful. Our goal is to close this achievement gap and get all students access to the rich curriculum we teach.
Lastly, Liberty has successfully navigated our way through the new online state testing. We understand and agree with the dissatisfaction of Common Core State Standards and the online state testing. Liberty Common School, as a public charter school, still needs to abide by the law and conduct these tests. We thank all the parents that allowed their children to take these tests. This is the right choice even if you are not in agreement with CCSS or CMAS. Liberty's stance has been and always will be to fulfill our obligation to the state. If we disagree, then we should fight that battle at the Capital. While opting out didn't penalize Liberty this year, this will not always be the case. We encourage parents to have their children take these tests in the future to show the state all the great work we are doing here. I am confident our students' scores will remain at the top again this year.
Liberty's mission is to provide a contextual body of knowledge which will in turn provide students with a rich domain vocabulary. This rich vocabulary, along with strong phonetic instruction, allows our student to both decode and comprehend what they read. Literate students make quality citizens. Quality citizens make for a more democratic society. Liberty elementary is on track with our mission.
At the high school, we're more than enthusiastic about the way our fourth year is finishing out. Liberty's third senior class is graduating in style, and they've set the bar high in our third year with a full high-school roster.
In addition to academically outpacing their peers at all other Colorado high schools, our seniors have certainly put LCHS on the map. Yes, we've bragged much about how they earned the highest composite ACT score in the entire state, and how they set the all-time ACT state record - and why not?
Our seniors have been commended and celebrated in the halls of Congress, in both chambers of the Colorado State General Assembly, at the county courthouse, in the city-council chamber, and in local, state and national media.
That achievement and attention, along with being rated by US News & World Report as the best high school in Colorado, has flung wide open the doors of opportunity for the senior class, and for all LCHS students who follow. We're now a routine target for nearly every college recruiter covering the West.
Talk about superb young leaders; our seniors have built and established many new traditions that will define our institution and its students for many years to come. Their fine example has taught those behind them well.
What's just as impressive is the followership at Liberty. As the seniors march off, onward and upward from Liberty, the junior class is stepping up in a marvelous way. Next year's House leaders and School Captains are installed, and they are already working on plans for the next school year.
And let's not forget our junior-high students. Rounding out their final years of the Core Knowledge Sequence has prepared them well for high school. This year's 7th & 8th graders proved to be a fun cohort making the kind of academic progress we expect to see at Liberty, while simultaneously maintaining some hallway spunk - right through to the end.
Their road to maturity is an enthralling thing to behold, and we can't wait to see how they lead the high school over the next four and five years.
As a parent-run school, Liberty's high expectations have pushed students and staff alike. This was a year of particularly hard work, expansion, and invention. It's hard to imagine it turning out much better.
On behalf of the faculty, staff and administration, we offer our sincere and humble thanks to all Liberty parents. Your leadership, guidance, volunteerism, financial support and prayers have contributed mightily to what we're convinced is the best public education Colorado has to offer.
To the fifteen students moving on from Liberty, we wish you a fond farewell. To all returning Liberty students, we're already looking forward to seeing you again on Monday morning, August 24th.
In the meantime, enjoy the summer break. You've earned it.