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 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 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.
This Week In Junior-High Sports:
JH-Boy's Basketball
11/9, Monday, 4pm, Away @ St. Marys
11/11, Wednesday, 4pm, Away @ Union Colony
Jr-High Boys Basketball
The jr-high boys basketball team is midway through the season and they are jumping higher than frogs out of hot water.  They are off to an amazing start at 6-0.  It is fun to watch these boys play basketball and exciting to think about their high school future, playing at LCHS with each other, against teams in the Patriot League.  Go Eagles!
Jr-High Forensics (6th graders welcome) 
There is a large jr-high interest in forensics. Liberty Common is looking for someone who has expertise in this field that would be able to help build a strong speech and debate program.  The goal is to build a program at the jr-high level this year and add a high school program possibly next year.  If you are interested or know someone who is familiar with the National Forensics League (NFL), please have them contact  Mr. Knab


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.  

The Eagle's Nest

Volume 19
   Issue 12      

November 9, 2015

Newsworthy Announcements; Events, Activities and Reminders: 

Reminder: Hearing and Vision Testing is this Friday, November 13th for K-3rd, 5th and anyone new to the district.  Please remember to have your student wear or
bring their glasses to school.  Any questions, please direct to Jen Hopkins, Health Tech, Liberty Common School.  
Liberty Road Runners Honor Our Veterans 
Liberty Road Runners, a running club for 4th-6th graders, participated in the with the Veteran's Day 5k. It was a beautiful fall day at the CSU oval. Thanks to all who participated.    

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.  

The Grandparents Day Planning Committee is seeking volunteers
The Grandparents Day Planning Committee is seeking volunteers! Please consider contributing to making a very special day for students and their grandparents.

This beloved Liberty tradition has been successful for five previous years because of the help of parents.  We need you!  Don't let the students and grandparents down!  There are many positions still needed and four different opportunities to help...
Opportunity #1: Decorate and PrepareThe committee is asking for 15 adult volunteers, at the elementary, for up to three hours from 4PM to 7PM the evening before the event. Come help set up the gymnasium and decorate!  This is a fun time for all because you get to see the gym transformed from athletic to warm, inviting, and beautiful.  If you cannot commit to three, full hours...any amount of time is appreciated. We are looking for a few good dads to help as well with some of the heavier lifting of tables and risers...To sign up, please follow the link for the SignUp Genius.
Opportunity #2: Participate and EnjoyWe are also seeking 15 adult volunteers the morning of the event, at the elementary to assist with a multitude of tasks from food service, prep, and clean-up to acting as a host to help seat grandparents and direct them through the school...Although we ask that parents do not attend the event due to building capacity, this is an opportunity for 15 parents to get to be a part of the truly unique and cherished event. Please follow this link to insure the day runs smoothly and participate in its success.
Opportunity #3: Contribute and Revel. The upper school always puts on a grand show...The exceptional performances from the music department to the social dance club are something to behold!  With the remarkable diligence and planning skills of the students, only three parents are requested to assist with the event! There is one position open to help at the upper school and enjoy all the students have worked so hard to organize.  Please follow this link to assist them.
Opportunity #4: Provide and be content. The committee is also seeking contributions of food for the day of the event.  From 8:30am to 3:30pm, the committee, the parent volunteers, and students host approximately 700 grandparents. Thanks to parent owners of local businesses, Paninos and Mountain Vista Golf Course, we do not have to ask for all donations to serve breakfast and afternoon snacks to 700 people...However, we do appeal to the parent community of both schools to help with contributions of some food for the grandparents to enjoy.  If you cannot contribute your time, feel content that your donation of a delicious item for grandparents to enjoy will be greatly appreciated...Follow this link for how to donate and what is needed.
Thank you in-advance for your help...Everything is appreciated.   Be a part of an amazing Liberty tradition.

Any questions can be directed to Erin Mihulka.

Save the date for Liberty's Annual Spring Gala-our premier fundraising event!

Friday, April 8th

Exciting New Venue- 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 an Etsy Business? DONATE
Do you have Broncos tickets? DONATE
Do you have Travel Points? DONATE
Do you have Gift Cards you don't need? DONATE
Do you have a Home Improvement business (house painting, furnace repair, etc.)? DONATE

Can you donate any of these items?
A basket just perfect for a cruiser bike
Individual Sports Training
Photography class
Any brand-new electronics (Kindle, iPad, etc.)

To benefit Liberty with your donation, please contact Kelly Notarfrancesco: [email protected] or Click Here for Gala Donation Form. Simply print out the form and bring it along with your donation to the front office of either school. Or email Kelly to arrange for a donation pick up.

Be a Gala Sponsor.  Benefit our amazing school and see your business's name in lights. Highlight your business to the nearly 500 Gala attendees and reach the nearly 1000 LCS students and their families by becoming a Gala sponsor. Many opportunities for tax-free advertising. Please contact Maia Elmore: [email protected]

News from Dr. Maureen Schaffer, History of Liberty Common School
History of Liberty Common School
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
Part 2 of 5
By Dr. Maureen Schaffer (Founding Parent)

The huge demand for the educational program offered at Washington Core Knowledge School prompted the school's founders to begin drafting an application for a Core Knowledge charter school.  By the summer of 1995, unresolved issues about the permanence of Washington Core and the authority of the parent board over the academic program spurred a full-scale charter effort.
Meeting after work and on weekends, parents meticulously defined and documented the charter school's mission, goals, curriculum, governance, budget, facility plan, employee relations, and more.  On October 31, 1995, the Core Knowledge Charter School (CKCS) Partnership submitted its application to the PSD Board of Education.
Rather than proceed with negotiations, the PSD board requested more and more information, explanation, and detail.   The CKCS board, led by Chairman Phil Christ, diligently responded to each request, but to no avail. On December 11, the PSD board voted to deny the charter application without ever having met to negotiate with the parents.
The Colorado State Board of Education consistently sided with the parents who fought to 
 open Liberty Common School.
Undaunted, the CKCS board appealed the decision to the Colorado State Board of Education.  In February, the state board sided with the parents and instructed the PSD board to negotiate an agreement in good faith with the charter group. 
Weeks of meetings ensued.  It appeared the two sides were slowly coming together.  However in an 11th hour surprise, the PSD board suddenly voted to "approve" the charter with several major restrictions, not previously discussed: the charter would be limited to two years, enrollment would be capped at 300 students, and the school would be limited to a K-6 program, thereby eliminating the school's innovative junior high program.
PSD further directed the charter school to find space in a non-district building and execute the charter contract with PSD no later than June 1. The constraints made it virtually impossible to open the school.
Disappointed, the CKCS board filed a second appeal with the State Board of Education.  In an apparent attempt to quash the charter school, PSD unleashed its attorney. A paper war erupted as the lawyer threw legal obstacles in the path of the charter school.  The charter group managed to fend off the legal challenges and was finally granted a hearing before the state board.
At the April 23 hearing, the final punch was landed when PSD announced it had filed suit against the State Board of Education and CKCS Board of Directors!  Concerned that the lawsuit could result in an injunction preventing the charter school from opening, the state board recommended the charter group try to open a school with PSD's restrictions.
Dozens of outraged parents criticized the legal
PSD Board Member Bob Bacon and the rest of
the PSD Board filed a lawsuit against the parents who were trying to open a Core Knowledge charter school
shenanigans at the next PSD board meeting. PSD director Bob Bacon denied they had sued parents and accused charter supporters of promulgating a "big lie."   But PSD President Mike Liggett confirmed the lawsuit had indeed named five parents: Phil Christ, Randy Everett, Timothy Gilmore, Cheryl Olsen, and Maureen Schaffer, as defendants.
Peter Kast, commercial realtor and Liberty Parent 

The clock was ticking down to the
June 1st deadline. Charter parent Peter Kast, a commercial realtor, conducted yet another survey of potential properties to accommodate the PSD-imposed school configuration.  A near match was identified.   However, two adjustments to the restrictions would be necessary:
  1. Increase the charter length to 5 years to amortize building improvements.
  2. Increase the enrollment cap to 364 students to meet the annual lease and maintenance obligations. 
The charter group entreated PSD to consider adjusting the restrictions.  The PSD board refused to consider the request. "The Board of Education will not take any further action," came the response in a May 3rd letter to the CKCS board.
The June 1 contract deadline expired, and PSD dropped its lawsuit against the parents. The clock had run down.  There would be no charter school in 1996.