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, 6:00 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. 

My Fair Lady.  Liberty Common High School Performing Arts presents the Fall High School Production, My Fair Lady! Performances are Friday, November 13, 7 PM and Saturday, November 14, 7 PM , at Liberty Common Elementary School. Tickets are $5 for students and $10 for adults and can be purchased online by clicking here or at the door. You won't want to miss this incredible performance!
Mark Your Calendar

November 5|Mr. Churchill's Birthday. 
November 6|Picture Retakes.  Skillman Photography will begin taking pictures at 7:45 a.m.
November 7|Lil Dribblers
November 9|
3rd & 4th Grade Soccer-3:15-4:00
5th-6th Grade Soccer- 4:05-4:50 
November 10|December Lunch Calendars Due
November 12|"Liberty Lecture," Dr. Gary Wolfram, 6:30 p.m., LCHS
November 13|Hearing/Vision Screening
November 13|Chess Club
November 14|Lil Dribblers
November 16|
3rd & 4th Grade Soccer-3:15-4:00
5th-6th Grade Soccer- 4:05-4:50 

November 19|BOD Meeting, 6:00 p.m., LCS
November 20|Chess Club
November 20|T-Shirt Day
November 21|
Lil Dribblers
November 23|
3rd & 4th Grade Soccer-3:15-4:00
5th-6th Grade Soccer- 4:05-4:50 

November 24|Grandparents Day
November 25-27|Thanksgiving Break, NO SCHOOL
November 30|Character Assembly
8:10-8:45 (K-3rd grade)
8:55-9:35 (4th-6th grade)
December 1|3rd and 4th Grade  Concert, 6:30 p.m.
December 3|
3rd & 4th Grade Soccer-3:15-4:00
5th-6th Grade Soccer- 4:05-4:50 

December 4|Chess Club
December 4
|5th Grade Movie Night
December 11|Free Dress Day
December 11|Chess Club
December 14|5th Grade Band and 5th and 6th Grade Choir Concert
6:30 p.m.

December 15|
3rd & 4th Grade Soccer-3:15-4:00
5th-6th Grade Soccer- 4:05-4:50 

December 18|T-shirt Day
End of 2nd Quarter 
CLICK HERE for 2015-16 School Calendar

Dan Knab, Athletic Director
LCS Sports News

GO EAGLES - CLICK HERE to access our webpage.
Lunn announcement This Week In Junior-High Sports:
JH Boy's Basketball
  • Mon., 11/2, 4pm, Home vs. Westridge
  • Thurs., 11/5, 4pm, Home, vs. Saint Johns
Jr-High Boys Basketball
The jr-high basketball team has two home games this week. They are playing very fast basketball and are a lot of fun to watch. 

As the weather starts to get cooler, please remember to send jackets, gloves and hats with your child. Students will go outdoors unless it is raining or the temperature is below 15 degrees. Thank you. 

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.  

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]
Julia Yalin and Isabelle Knowles recently participated in a Chess Tournament. Julia took Second Place and Isabelle took third. Way to go Liberty Ladies.  
Chess pieces

The Eagle's Nest

Volume 19
Issue 11    

November 2, 2015

Newsworthy Announcements; Events, Activities and Reminders: 

Public-Info Nights. Know anyone registered on the lottery list, or interested in getting on it to possibly attend Liberty?  Urge them to attend one of two upcoming public-info nights.  The briefings cover both campuses, and attending puts students further ahead in the lottery queue. The next public-info night is tonight, November 2nd 6:30-8:30PM at the high school in the Great Hall.  

Vote In School-Board Election.
Local school-board elections conclude on Tuesday, November 3rd.  Liberty Common School is chartered by the Poudre School District (PSD).  Please
CLICK HERE to see how PSD Board candidates responded to a recent questionnaire compiled by The Colorado League of Charter Schools.  The League asked all candidates to respond to multiple questions relating to charter schools.  These responses are linked for voter-education purposes.  The school does not endorse any particular candidate or response.  The school strenuously encourages all parents to vote, and to be actively engaged in the selection of political leaders.  For further candidate information CLICK HERE.  For procedural voting information CLICK HERE.   

School Picture Retakes
TIME - 7:45 am to 8:30 am 

*Your student may wear non-code clothes for pictures and then will need to change into code clothes for the remainder of the school day.* 
  • 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 
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.

Kindergarten Sibling List. If your child is a sibling of a student currently enrolled in Liberty, and will be attending Kindergarten in the 2016-2017 School Year, please make sure that they are on the Sibling List.  We will begin running the Kindergarten lottery during the first week in February.  Please contact Julie Russell, LCS Registrar at 482-9800, ext 3114, to get on the list.  

 Check You Calendar and Volunteer 
Dear Parents,

The Health Office is in need of of ONLY 3 more 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.
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 3 of 3 by, Dr. Maureen Schaffer

Moral Literacy. At Liberty, character education is achieved through a program of expectations, modeling, and study of historical and literary figures.   Stories and other writings in our curriculum are intended to help children achievemoral literacy.  That achievement involves recognizing the virtues, understanding what they are in practice; and developing a desire to do what is right.  How is this accomplished?
First, children need specific illustration of what is good and bad so that what is morally right and wrong can be known and promoted.  Through the power of imagination children become vicarious participants in a story; they share in a hero's choices and challenges and identify with his suffering and triumph.  Because a child's allegiances are based not so much on right versus wrong, but on who arouses his sympathy, it is important to choose stories in which virtue wins over vice, as in fairy tales and other classic works.  Frequent and strong identification with virtuous and victorious heroes allow children to rehearse and strengthen their commitment to goodness. 
Second, reading and literacy promote fascination.  Nothing compares with a story that begins "Once upon a time..."  The imaginative process gives us hope because we want to believe that in the stories of our lives we too can make the right choices.  
Third, reading and literacy create a living link to our culture, its history and traditions. 
Fourth, by teaching a domain knowledge, children will become a part of a common world, a community of moral persons.  Reading affords us the opportunity to do what we can't often do in life - to become thoroughly involved in the inner lives of others.  As with visiting foreign cultures, the sustained involvement with a character in a story enlarges a child's  sympathies and gives them those broad, wholesome and charitable views that are the reward of both travel and reading.
"...Shall we just carelessly allow children to hear any casual tales which may be devised by casual persons, and to receive into their minds ideas for the most part the very opposite of those which we should wish them to have when the are grown up?  We cannot...Anything received into the mind at that age is likely to become indelible and unalterable; and therefore it is most important that the tales which the young first hear should be models of virtuous thoughts..."  PLATO's Republic
For more information on Liberty's approach to literacy, see Policy 7.13 Reading and Literacy and Policy 7.14 Literature Acquisition.

News from Dr. Maureen Schaffer, History of   Liberty Common School 
History of Liberty Common School �
Part 1 of 5
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 three weeks, we will run, "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)
Liberty Common Elementary School first opened its doors in September of 1997, but the story of The Liberty Common School dates back much further.
In the early 1990s, true educational choice was non-existent in Poudre School District.  Parents without resources for private school sent their children to neighborhood schools.  Nebulous curricula were largely determined by individual classroom teachers, leading to gaps and repetition in student learning. Dissatisfied, small groups of parents began to read, research, and meet throughout PSD in search of better options.
One young couple, with a seemingly insatiable interest in education issues, emerged with a solution.  After months of research,
Dr. Randy Everett 
Dr. Randy Everett and his wife, Ruth Ann, identified several fundamental elements they believed most parents desired in their children's schooling:
  • Parental choice in education
  • A core curriculum of specific content knowledge
  • Solid, content-driven skill instruction
  • Teaching the values of a democratic society
  • School-based management
Randy and Ruth Ann took their message on the road, placing advertisements in the local paper, and speaking in living rooms and meeting halls throughout the county.  Soon, hundreds of parents had joined the cause.
In the spring of 1993, Dr. Everett submitted a proposal to the PSD Board of Education to establish an Elementary School of Choice organized around the Core Knowledge Sequence.  The educational community fought the proposal with gusto.  District teachers testified before the school board, pronouncing the Core Knowledge Sequence too difficult to teach or learn.  In spite of this strong opposition, the school board approved the request, and the Washington Core Knowledge School opened with 125 students that fall.  This progressive episode in PSD's history is documented on pages 62-63 of The Schools We Need by E.D. Hirsch.
Washington Core Knowledge School flourished. Parents painted the run-down school building and gathered curriculum resources. Courageous teachers joined the team, and students began to outperform their peers at neighborhood schools.  In two years, enrollment had nearly doubled, and the waiting list numbered in the hundreds.
To meet this high demand, the school board allowed Washington Core to further increase enrollment and move into a portion of the old Fort Collins High School building.  In a monumental construction effort led by parent volunteer Carol Christ, the high school building was converted to an elementary school over the summer of 1995.  Things were going well for Washington Core, or so it seemed.
The school district notified Washington Core that its two-year pilot program had ended.   Faculty would now be determined by the district, rather than the school's parent board.  Sadly, the district immediately fired two teachers, replacing them with "tenured excess" teachers from within PSD.

The founding parents were dismayed.   How could the school retain its integrity, if PSD brought in teachers who were not committed to the school's curriculum?   Fortunately, the Colorado legislature had provided an answer - the Charter Schools Act.