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 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. 

Mark Your Calendar

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.
December4|***Note date change
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|Character Assembly
8:10-8:45: (4th-6th grade
8:55-9:35: Kinder-3rd grade

December 14|
Music Concert
6th Grade Band
5th and 6th Grade Choirs
6:30 p.m., LCS

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

December 17|BOD Mtg. , 6:00 p.m., LCS.
December 18|T-shirt Day
End of 2nd Quarter 
December 21-Jan. 1|Winter Break

CLICK HERE for 2015-16 School Calendar

Attendance Policy
Please call our attendance line by 8:30 am if your child will not be attending school due to illness, appointment or is out of town.
The number is 482-9800, option 2.

If you need to take your child to an appointment during school hours, please come to the Front Office, sign them out and we will call them out of class.

All students who arrive after 8:00 a.m. must be signed in at the Front Office.  It is important that a reason be included on the sign-in sheet.

If your student is ill and you want any/all homework, please contact the teacher my email as early as possible and homework will be available after 3:00 pm in the Front Office. 
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. 

Dan Knab, Athletic Director
LCS Sports News

GO EAGLES - CLICK HERE to access our webpage.
This Week In Junior-High Sports:
This Week In Junior-High Sports:
JH-Boy's Basketball 
11/23, Monday, 4pm, Away @ St. Joe's

JH-Girl's Basketball Tryouts
12/16 & 12/17, 3pm - 5pm, Elementary Gym

Jr-High Boys Basketball 
The boys team has fought back to a 9-1 record with three games remaining in the regular season.  Mark your calendars for the spirit game on 9 December.  Come cheer the team on and marvel at the exceptional talent this team has to offer.

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

Thank you to all who have generously donated to the Liberty Common Clothes Closet.  Currently, the Clothes Closet is in desperate need of  girl and boy pants, all sizes and in good condition. Please refrain from bringing in shorts and shirts, until our supply runs low.  Remember the Clothes Closet is open 8 am-4 pm and items may be traded in or purchased for $1.00. 

Liberty Common School provides two Handicapped Parking spaces for those in need.  Please do not park in these spaces unless you have a Handicapped Parking Pass.  These spaces are not to be used for short term parking, for example,  picking up an ill child or returning a student after an appointment.  Thank you for your consideration of others.  

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 14   

November 23, 2015
Newsworthy Announcements; Events, Activities and Reminders:

Kindergartener Roma Walters, pictured here, wearing her pilgrim hat at dinner. Roma and fellow kindergarten students recently made pilgrim hats in Mrs. Shockley's class.

Purgamonster team members from left to right are: Ellen Benz Elise Benz, Aarav Shah, Tyler Cox. Back Row: Sebastian Borch, and Tristian Cox. They were coached by Josh Cox, Carrie Cox and Harry Shah. Way to go Purgamonsters!

Saturday, November 21st, Liberty Common First Lego League (FLL) robotics team, the Purgamonsters, competed at Preston Middle School FLL Qualifiers. The Purgamonsters faced a tough competitive field of 24 teams from Northern Colorado. The Purgamonsters worked hard this season to build an autonomous robot to perform tasks on a themed playing field, identified a problem and unique solution in the world of trash during the project section, all while learning to work as a team, guided by the FLL Core Values. Team Purgamonster took 2nd place in the FLL Core Values category and received an invitation to the FLL state competition.

Team Robotic Eagles(in green t-shirts):
Josie McElwain (5th grade),Camden Mills (6th grade),Bridger Moore (5th grade),Colin North (4th grade),Eric North (6th grade) and
Cole Young (5th grade). Team Robo-Carrots(in blue t-shirts) 
Francesco Arndorfer (4th grade),  Riley Carlson (4th grade), Harlen Montez (4th grade), Jett Nielsen (5th grade), Tony Ortiz (6th grade) and Matthew Stalcupp (6th grade). 
Two of Liberty's own teams competed in the 2015 FLL Lego Robotics Trash Trek Challenge Tournament on Saturday, November 21, 2015 hosted by Liberty Common School.  Both teams triumphantly competed and finished with excellent results.

Team Robotic Eagles coached by  Jennifer McElwain, Lynette and Marty Mills received 4th place robotic performance, exclusive demo invitation, and State Qualifying invitation to the FLL Lego Robotics state tournament in January 2016.

Team Robo-Carrots coached by coached by Matthew Stalcupp and Lance Ortiz received 2nd place Core Values and State Qualifying invitation to the FLL Lego Robotics state tournament in January 2016.

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.

History of Liberty Common School
For the past three weeks, we have run, "How Did We Get Here?" by Dr. Maureen Schaffer. Dr. Schaffer did a superb job of detailing the events that took place to develop Liberty Common School as we know it. For the next two weeks we will run "The History of Liberty Common High School" by Mrs. Michelle Provaznik and Mr. Bob Schaffer, and founding parents. 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 our children. Our hope is that you feel the same.

The History of Liberty Common High School
Part 4 of 5
By: Mrs. Michelle Provaznik and Principal Bob Schaffer (Founding Parents)

In May of 2013, Liberty Common High School graduated its first senior class. This was the culmination of an epic effort started in 2008 when Liberty Board of Directors Chairman Craig Horton and Board Member Michelle Provaznik attended a charter-school conference in Denver.

The information the pair gathered at the conference, along with general statewide excitement about the growing success of charter schools in Colorado, provided impetus to explore expanding Liberty Common School to a full K-12 school.

This was not the first time Liberty's parent leaders considered a high-school expansion. In fact, the idea had been pondered twice before, but failed to garner enough support from the Board of Directors or administration due to a variety of issues including financial feasibility.

In 2008, things were different. Liberty Common School's kindergarten-through-ninth-grade program had been awarded numerous state and national commendations for academic achievement. The school's students consistently earned top academic-performance scores in the Poudre School District, and across Colorado. The school had achieved national "Blue Ribbon" status, and was regarded as a premier nationwide example of excellence by the Virginia-based Core Knowledge Foundation.

Liberty's reputation as the top-performing school naturally attracted the attention of new parents throughout the region. Enrollment had swelled to 581 students in grades K-9. The school was more than completely full. The number of families on the lottery list waiting to enroll their children at Liberty numbered well over fifteen hundred.

That year, the Board of the Poudre School District voted to change the grade configuration for neighborhood junior-high and high schools throughout the district. Where the district's high schools previously consisted of grades 10-12, high schools would now expand to include ninth graders.

The change in the district's configuration would apply direct competitive pressure on Liberty's ninth grade. The writing was on the wall: Liberty either needed to expand to include a high school, or watch its ninth grade wither on the vine.

Craig Horton and Michelle Provaznik presented their high-school ideas to their colleagues on the Board of Directors. Though the initial response was lukewarm, the Board formed a committee to explore and evaluate the feasibility of expanding the school through twelfth grade. Craig was selected to chair the Expansion Committee.

The Committee's first step involved holding a community meeting. In October of 2008, a notice went out to all parents about the idea of creating a high school. Over 80 people attended the meeting.

Not only were parents of Liberty students interested in the formation of a high school, prospective Liberty parents were interested in the expansion of the K-8 grades in the hopes their children might be called from the extensive lottery list to fill new slots that would be created in the elementary grades.

The goal of the Expansion Committee was to create a comprehensive business plan to show the feasibility of the whole-school expansion. Seven subcommittees were formed, involving over fifty parent volunteers. The subcommittees were chaired by the following parents:

* Athletics: Dan Knab
* Character Education: Mark Sutherlin and Kendra Mosely
* Curriculum: Michelle Provaznik
* Facilities: Tricia Diehl and Peter Kast
* Finance: Dan Provaznik
* Marketing/Enrollment: Melanie Seilbach
* Scheduling: Angela Horton and Krissy Kopren

The subcommittee efforts centered upon creating a high school from the ground up. At the time, there was no blueprint or instructions to refer to, so the committees performed extensive research to develop curriculum, sports programs, campus policies, facilities, etc. The highest goal was to avoid any compromise of Liberty Common School's core mission - teaching the kids already in its system.

Tim Ricketts, former business manager at Liberty Common School, worked with the BOD finding complicated financial solutions that allowed the high school to become a reality.
While much of the expansion effort focused on the high school, the largest part of the expansion was, in fact, the addition of a third track for the grades K-6, which increased elementary-school enrollment and staff by 50%. The needed classroom space for the enrollment jump necessitated moving grades 7-12 to a second campus.

Another public meeting was held on January 6, 2009 to gauge community interest. Many parents were interested in the expansion and signed their students up for the waiting list.  Several members of the Poudre School District (PSD) Board of Directors were persuaded to attend.  Their initial reaction seemed supportive.  If the expansion was to occur, PSD's approval would be required.

Ultimately, at a meeting of the Liberty Board of Directors, administration, and parents on February 5, 2009, the Expansion Committee recommended Liberty expand and add a high school.  The Committee's presentation showed that not only was the expansion feasible, but that Liberty would, in fact, be in financial jeopardy if the ninth grade was lost at the hands of the PSD grade reconfiguration.  

With very conservative enrollment estimates, the findings showed that expansion of grades 9-12, simultaneously with the addition of a third track of K-8 was not only possible, but would allow Liberty to thrive.  The Expansion Committee was thrilled to have founders Dr. Randy Everett and Dr. Maureen Schaffer speak in favor of the expansion.

On February 19, 2009, Liberty's Board petitioned the Poudre School District to amend Liberty's Charter and to add a third track of K-6th grade, add a tenth grade, and phase in an eleventh and twelfth grade in subsequent years.

A resolution adopted by the Board said it all:  "The purpose of completing our high school program is to offer high school education that is college preparatory in nature, specifically builds on the Core Knowledge Curriculum, effectively continues to foster the reading, writing, mathematical and thinking skills particular to Liberty's current offering, continues the Liberty approach to character education, is small in size, extends the economics, history, science and mathematics foundation that Liberty has established, and makes use of learning opportunities inherent in the thinking framework currently employed at Liberty."

Many exchanges and meetings between the district and Liberty ensued. Craig Horton, Michelle Provaznik, and John Rohrbaugh were asked to present the case for the Liberty expansion at a PSD Board meeting.   Ultimately, the PSD Board agreed to pursue negotiations with a vote of 6-1.  Final negotiations proceeded.

In August of 2009, Liberty received a letter from PSD's Board president Larry Neal indicating the district was pleased to move forward on an addendum to the Charter allowing the expansion and the new high school to go forward.

Even though the district had formally approved the expansion, implementing it was hardly a foregone conclusion.  An acute economic recession had stricken the nation and hit Colorado's School Finance Act pretty hard.  All public schools in the state were notified there would be a punishing rescission of previously allocated state funds - funds upon which Liberty was counting.  Furthermore, it was announced the state would reduce spending for the next year on the order of 6% or more.

Tim Ricketts, Liberty's business manager was asked to run multiple versions of financial scenarios anticipating every conceivable budget situation. The Board had to make a serious decision involving a long-term financial commitment amid the state rescission, the budget reduction, and a hazardous economy.

The central question was obvious: Now that Liberty has the authorization to expand, can it afford to actually do it given the dire financial situation and the toxic economy at hand?

Liberty founder
Peter Kast.
Convinced there is no greater priority than the education of their children and buoyed by the strong support for expansion among the Liberty parent population, the Board decided to go forward with the plan. Though optimistic, the Board instructed the administration to build a high-school while pinching every penny in order to make the finances work. Salaries for all Liberty personnel were frozen until further notice.
Peter Kast, who negotiated and secured Liberty's flagship elementary-school building, answered the school's newest call for help in finding a suitable building, and the search for a new high school facility was on.

What shall the high school be called? After convening student focus groups and consulting the parent population, it was decided to stick with a brand name that carried with it a nationwide reputation for academic excellence: Liberty Common High School.

To be continued.....


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: 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: