Liberty Common Elementary School 
1725 Sharp Point Dr. 
Fort Collins, CO 80525 
Fax: (970)482-8007

Attendance Line:
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, and A Gilder Lehrman Affiliate School  

Board of Directors  
You may contact all members of our Board of Directors at [email protected] or by telephone:
  • Patrick Albright: 232-8257
  • Joel Goeltl: 593-8556
  • Paulette Hansen: 282-8455
  • Jeff Webb: 545-9636
  • Denise Benz: 420-4184
  • John Rohrbaugh: 225-2259

Next Board of Directors Mtg., 

November 19, 2015, 6:30 p.m. 

Liberty Common Elementary


  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. 

Mark Your Calendar
October 19|Internet-Safety Night, 6:30 a.m. , LCHS Great Hall
October 23|
Parent/Teacher Conferences, NO SCHOOL|No Chess Club
October 26| Character Assembly, Responsibility: Speaker, Wes Kenney, the Director of the Fort Collins Symphony
attend 8:10-8:45 October 26|
Public Information Night, 6:30
October 30|Chess Club
October 30|Liberty T-shirt Day
November 1|Daylight Savings Time Ends. Don't forget to set your clocks back so your student will not be late to school.
November 12|"Liberty Lecture," Dr. Gary Wolfram, 6:30 p.m., LCHS
November 13|Hearing /Vision Screening
November 19|BOD Meeting, 6:00 p.m., LCS
November 24|Grandparents Day
November 25-27|Thanksgiving Break, NO SCHOOL
CLICK HERE for 2015-16 School Calendar

Dan Knab, Athletic Director
LCS Sports News

GO EAGLES - CLICK HERE to access our webpage.
This Week In Junior-High Sports:
Lunn announcement
 10/19/15, Monday, 4pm Home vs Dayspring Christian
10/22/15, Thursday, 4pm Away @ Loveland Classical


Please mindful of our requests of no cell phone usage in the office, building or classroom.  Using cellphones in these areas is disruptive to business and learning. Thank you.  

Lost and Found Overflowing

Now is the time to check our Lost and Found for missing water bottles, lunch boxes, jackets, code clothes, sports uniforms, notebooks and even shoes.  All items not claimed by
October 26th, will be donated. Thank you. 
Health Tips From Liberty Common Health Office
To reduce the chance of you or your child contracting a case of head lice, start by not sharing items that touch the head. Though it may be tempting to share personal belongings (especially for kids), doing so can lead to the spread of head lice. Avoid sharing:
  • combs and brushes
  • hair clips and accessories
  • hats and bike helmets
  • scarves and coats
  • stuffed animals/ toys
Ask your child to keep their belongings-especially hats, coats, scarves, and other clothing inside their backpack zipped up.

Thank you,

Jen Hopkins

Liberty Common School Health Technician
482-9800 extension 3113
[email protected]

The Eagle's Nest

Volume 19
Issue 9    

October 19, 2015

Newsworthy Announcements; Events, Activities and Reminders: 

Dear Parents,
With Conferences starting this week, I wanted to remind you all that PowerSchool is a great conduit to view student grades, access upcoming events in the daily bulletin, check attendance, and see how much lunch money you have left.  We have worked hard to keep our website as well as all PowerSchool information up to date to keep you all in the loop and informed as much as possible.  If you have not done so already, please access PowerSchool so that you can attend your parent conferences informed.  If you are unsure on how to log in, make sure to contact the front office.  They are here to help. 
The more we know, the more we can all work together to help your children.
Thank You,  
Liberty Administration
Keith (Casey)Churchill
Who are these rock stars that performed two songs from the popular group ABBA at last Friday's Liberty Got Talent Show?  
Teachers by day, rock stars by night.

 Left to right: Mrs. Gowing, Mrs. Jergens, Mrs. Clemens, Mrs. Wood, Mrs. Cihiwsky, Mrs. Grandprey and Mr. Ronen.  

Annual LCS Food Drive  Liberty Common students went above and beyond demonstrating amazing citizenship during the 2015 LCS Food Drive.  Meeting their goal by collecting 2614 non perishable items, students earned a Free Dress Day.  See chart below for classroom totals.  A big Liberty thank you to Girl Scout Troop 3123, who assisted with promotion of the Food Drive and ideas on nutrition and reducing hunger in Larimer County.  Food collected was given to Larimer County Food Bank. Thank you to all who participated.   

School Picture Retakes
TIME - 7:45 am to 8:30 am 
If you were absent or are new to the school you may purchase a new package or have one taken for the records, yearbook and ID.
If you had a picture taken but didn't purchase a package you may have a new picture taken and purchase a package.
If you purchased a package and want a retake you must return the original package in full with reason for retake clearly stated on package.

Please refer to guidelines on back of package as what justifies a retake.
Order forms for new packages are available in the office. OR
Click on pre order fall school portraits and have credit card ready. Access Code : LCE2015MU 

Internet-Safety Night.
Parents, mark your calendars now for our annual Internet-Safety Night on Monday, October 19th from 6:30 - 8:00 PM in the LCHS Great Hall.  The presentation is targeted for Liberty students grades 5th - 8th.  Parents, and all other students, are welcome to attend, too.  Those who attended last year's presentation had lots of positive comments.  The same detectives from the Fort Collins Police Department will be on hand to facilitate the meeting and educate students about risks, dangers, and hazardous trends regarding Internet usage, social media, and electronic communications.
Liberty Lecture - Economics.  Parents, grandparents, students,
Hillsdale College's Dr. Gary Wolfram, is the first "Liberty Lecture" speaker of the school year on Thursday, November 12th.  
neighbors and friends:  Please plan to attend the school-year's first "Liberty Lecture" on Thursday, November 12th from 6:30-8:00PM in the LCHS Great Hall.  Dr. Gary Wolfram, professor of economics at Hillsdale College, will be our special-guest presenter covering hot topics in economics.  Dr. Wolfram will discuss economic trends that relate to poverty, job creation, income, and politics. The event is being organized by LCHS students and is open to the public.

Can You Hear Me Now? 
Hearing and Vision Screening Eight Volunteers Still Needed 
Dear Parents,

The Health Office is in need of at least 8 volunteers from about 7:50am-12:40pm on Hearing and Vision screening day, November 13th. Prior experience not necessary, but is helpful.  Volunteers need to stay the whole time, because it is cumbersome to train half way through the day. Light snacks and waters will be provided.
Please CLICK HERE to volunteer.
Honor Our Service Men and Women
All Service Photos Due This Week  
Every November, for Veterans Day, we like to honor our men and women veterans and those that are currently serving our country with a display of thanks.  To make our bulletin board a great presentation of respect and appreciation, we are needing pictures of our soldiers, seamen and airmen.  Please bring any photos of service men or women to the office. Include their name, where they served or are currently serving and their relation to our Liberty Common student(s).  Photos will be accepted until October 23rd., and will be returned.  Photos can also be sent via email to [email protected]
Family Discussion Hour
by Liberty Common Elementary School Principal, Casey Churchill

Family Viewing Hour was a policy established in 1975 by the Federal
Communications Commission. This policy forced all television networks to only show "family friendly" television shows during prime time hours (7-8 PM). The Family Viewing Hour was over turned in 1977 after the courts declared this policy unconstitutional. After  the political drama ended, television stations voluntarily offered family friendly shows such as the Cosby Show or Happy Days.

This tantalizing television trivia brings a few Liberty beliefs to light. The first of which is that we do not condone television watching. As a literacy school, we believe that our students should be reading and studying each night. To become a better reader, one needs to read. The more we can reduce watching television, the better. Our 4th grade team even goes as far as to conduct a "no television/computer games challenge" to see how many kids are able to go without the television. If our students are going to be good readers, they need to practice reading. Please make sure students are completing their nightly reading from the reading lists. Reading lists are published here.

Daniel Willingham, a cognitive psychologist and author, discusses knowledge in the digital age in his new book, Raising Kids Who Read. He points out the tremendous hourly use of digital media and the effects it has on our children. He encourages parents to find ways to motivate students to read since the draw to brainless digital media is so tempting.

The second Liberty belief is that as parents who believe in the premise that it is our right and responsibility to direct the education and upbringing of our children's education, we recommend hosting family discussions about all the incredible things our kids are learning here at Liberty. Liberty families could dedicate time each night to conduct "family discussion hour". Our students are learning so much it is astounding. What better way to learn a few things yourself than to ask them about their day. Liberty teachers practice this every day. They are constantly reinforcing meaningful classroom discussions to draw out newly learned vocabulary words. Students participate in classroom discussion using the newly learned words giving them ownership of these words.

The entire family could sit down in the living room to share their day. Simply ask, "What did you learn?" No more, "Nuttin" from the kids. All family members engaging in a high level conversation about what happened throughout the day and exciting new content learned will reinforce subjects taught here at Liberty. This will allow students to implicitly learn newly learned vocabulary words. For example, "I know you are reading Robin Hood in your class. What happened between Friar Tuck and Robin Hood today? What vocabulary words did you recognize while reading? Did you learn any new vocabulary words while reading?" These specific questions will only enhance and reinforce the work done at school.

We have a very big battle to fight for our children. The brain can become lazy if we allow ourselves to sit and zone out in front of the tube. As parents, we need to build a new culture around reading and create an everlasting impact on our children's literary future.

    VS. THIS 

Important Grandparents Day Update 
GPD Chair Mrs. Erin Mihulka: 

Hello Liberty Families!  By now, most families will have received their official invitation to Grandparents Day (GPD), 2016.  The invitations have been sent to all families on Liberty's roster at the elementary and the upper schools as well as to all grandparents who have previously attended the function and submitted their address.
If your family or grandparent has not received an invitation, please  email Erin Mihulka to be added to our address list.  However, grandparents do not need an invitation to attend, nor do they need to RSVP.  There are extra invitations in the elementary-school front office.
This GPD is the sixth-annual event and promises to be a unique, special day for students and their grandparents.

The part-time kindergartners have their own GPD event on Monday, November 23rd.  All other students (both the elementary and high school) will spend time with their grandparents on Tuesday, November 24th.
Please keep in mind that beyond volunteering for a select number of positions, we ask that this day be reserved for only grandparents and their grandchildren who are students at Liberty.  If children do not have a grandparent able to attend, an older, influential person in their life may be a good alternative, but we ask that parents do not attempt to fulfill that role.  We host and serve a hot breakfast to 500+ grandparents alone at the elementary and simply cannot support parents as well.

For those families new to Liberty, or for answers to any question, please review our event webpage -  CLICK HERE - where you'll find plenty of information and FAQs:

VOLUNTEER SIGNUP:  To make this event seamless and extraordinary, a small group of committed parents have been meeting every Friday morning for weeks and have carried out many action items to prepare;  but the planning committee needs more help.  We really do need your help.  Please click the links below to volunteer to assist with this wonderful Liberty tradition.


Volunteer For GPD At The Elementary- CLICK HERE.
Volunteer For GPD At The High-School-CLICK HERE.


Thank you in-advance for your support and help with Grandparents Day!

Erin Mihulka
Parent Volunteer, Chairperson GPD Planning Committee
Why Liberty? A project of the Parent-Education Subcommittee
Why Liberty?
Spreading the word about our unique philosophies is something our Board of Directors and founding parents believe is paramount to the success of our community. It is the responsibility of each parent to understand our philosophy and the policies that support it.  To that end, we will post relevant articles, written by an expert in that domain. Please make the time to read and absorb them. We kick off the series with the following article describing a component of our literature policy by Dr. Maureen Schaffer, founding parent.

Why Do Liberty Students Do So Much Reading?
Part 1 of 3 By: Dr. Maureen Schaffer 

Most American schools dedicate several hours each week to "literacy." A majority of time is spent teaching children the fundamentals of reading strategies, such as making inferences, predicting, classifying, and "looking for the main idea." The purpose of these exercises is to bolster test scores, independent of real knowledge. In contrast, Liberty strives to develop the appreciation of language, increase specific knowledge, and provide meaning to students through the achievement of Primary Literacy, Mature Literacy, and Moral Literacy.

Primary Literacy
Primary Literacy begins with phonic recognition. Our Charter states, "Children will be provided deliberate, coherent, direct instruction in letter-sound correspondences. Practices which teach children to rely on word-memorization (the look-say method) and guessing (through illustration and/or context) will be avoided."

Once phonetic decoding skills are introduced, fluency must be developed. Fluency allows students to focus their mental energies on comprehension rather than decoding. Fluency takes practice - a lot of it. Select stories from Open Court and Accelerated Reader (AR) are used for development of fluency at Liberty. While necessary for practicing early literacy skills, these books can bore students and may not develop language appreciation.

Children need to discover at an early age the peculiar satisfaction that comes from experiencing form in language, as in nursery rhymes and poetry. When this occurs, children will continue to prefer the sound of beautiful or interesting language as they later select books for meaning.

Furthermore, we believe young children should be shown incrementally what is outside their realm of experience. Children who are exposed to complex speech patterns learn to express themselves earlier and more fluently than those spoken to in careful sentences.

In the early grades nursery rhymes, poetry, fairy tales, and captivating stories, beyond the students' own reading abilities, are read aloud to children. In addition to the development of language appreciation, this practice fosters the desire in children to master the difficult skill of reading in order that the students might gain personal access to the exciting world of stories.

For more information on Liberty's approach to literacy, see Policy 7.13 Reading and Literacy and Policy 7.14 Literature Acquisition.

Liberty's Annual Spring Gala-our premier fundraising event is scheduled for Friday, April 8, 2015 at the Hilton Fort Collins.

The Gala Team is currently collecting donations of items for both our silent and live auctions.
Do you have something you could donate to benefit our school? We appreciate all donations and remember, Gala donations are generally tax-deductible.
  • Do you have time in a vacation home? DONATE
  • Do you have Broncos football tickets? DONATE
  • Do you have autographed sports memorabilia? DONATE
  • Do you have gift cards you don't need? DONATE
  • Do you have Legos you bought on sale, but ended up never giving to the child you thought you'd give them to? DONATE
Can you donate any of these items?
  •     A wire basket just perfect   for a cruiser bike.
  •     A tour on My Handle Bar
  •     Food from any of the local area food trucks
  •     Any brand-new electronics (Kindle, iPad, etc.)
To benefit Liberty with your donation, please contact
Own a business and want to be a Gala Sponsor? Benefit our amazing school and see your name in lights? Please contact Maia Elmore