Eagle Mosaic
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 BOD@libertycommon.org 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
  • Aislinn Kottwitz: 217-5925
Next Board of Directors Mtg., 
February 18, 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
January 25|
Public Information Night, LCS, 6:30 p.m.
January 29|Liberty T-shirt Day
January 29|6th Grade Movie Night, 5:30 p.m.

Feb 5|Chess Club
February 8-12|Volunteer Appreciation Week

February 9|1st and 2nd Grade Concert, 6:30 p.m.
February 12|Teacher Professional Development Day.  NO SCHOOL
February 18|BOD Mtg. 6:00 p.m., LCS Teacher's Lounge
February 19|Winter Carnival, 6:30 p.m.
February 19|Free Dress Day
February 19|Chess Club
February 22-26|Penny Wars

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.
Liberty Sports News
This Week In Junior-High Sports:

JH-Girl's Basketball
Monday, 1/25, 4pm, vs Ridgeview (Home)
Thursday, 1/28, 5pm, vs Immanuel (Home - 'B' team only)

Liberty Common High School is currently seeking to hire two spring coaches immediately.  We are looking for a baseball coach and a women's soccer coach. Both sports require a coach that has excellent knowledge and experience and has a history of working with high-school student-athletes.  Please forward this information on to anyone who you may know that would be a good fit for Liberty Common High School.  Mr. Knab is currently taking resumes for these two positions.  All questions can also be directed to Mr. Knab at dknab@libertycommon.org. 
Thank you.

Booster-Club Committee Forming. If you have any interest in athletics and are considering deepening your support for the school by volunteering, Mr. Knab suggests joining the LCHS Booster Club.  This is a parent-run club that is very instrumental in the success of our athletic programs.  There is a lot of work that has been put into this club, but most of the weight has been carried by a very small few.  Our vision is to build the LCHS Booster Club to a number of people that would make the work light.  Being at every athletic contest is not required.  Members can go to the games or events that interest them....and free of charge.  Thank you for considering this opportunity.  If you are interested, contact LCHS Booster Club President, Rebecca Finkel. 


Host an International Student.  Think about enriching your family's life by hosting an international student from Europe, Asia or Latin America.  The Council for Educational Travel USA is now looking for Liberty families willing to welcome a high-achieving international student into their home for the 2016-2017 school year.  Each student arrives with a passport, visa, spending money, health insurance and the dream of life with an American family.  Each host family volunteers to provide a loving environment, a comfortable bed, three meals a day and transportation to school and some activities.  Contact Community Coordinator Jodee Loury by email  soon to help you select just the right student for your family - or call or text at 970-690-8424.


The Eagle's Nest

Volume 19
       Issue 21

January 25, 2016   
National School Choice Week

This week is National School Choice Week.  If you know of anyone interested in how charter schools work and the philosophy of Liberty Common School, please urge them to attend a public-information night tonight at 6:30PM at the elementary school.  LCS principal Casey Churchill will expound on the virtues of school choice, the advantages of the Core Knowledge Sequence, and the history of Liberty Common School in particular.

CLICK HERE to view the video of The Fort Collins City Council last week as it adopted an Official Proclamation honoring National School Choice Week.  LCS principal Mr. Casey Churchill received the commendation on behalf of the school.   
Make sure to come to the Front Office any time this week to pick up your FREE National School Choice Week Scarf.

It is the time of year when The Board of Directors seeks parental input on your child's educational experience at Liberty.  The Board values your opinion and strives to do its very best to be one of the top schools in Colorado.  A general survey focusing on our institution as a whole will be distributed to all families via email February 1, 2016.  The following week, on February 8, 2016, families will receive an individual teacher/class survey.  If you have more than one child attending Liberty,  please complete a survey for each of your students.  Please take a few minutes to fill out these surveys.  If you have any questions regarding the surveys, please call the front office at (970)482-9800.  We value your feedback.   

by Casey Churchill, LCS Principal

Every now and then I receive questions from parents about our gifted and talented program.  Unlike other local schools, Liberty does not have a gifted and talented program.  Our school sets rigorous academic standards and students and staff work hard to achieve them.  With a school philosophy based around the premise that it is the right and responsibility of the parents to direct the education and upbringing of their children, we feel that challenging students to their top potential does not rest solely on the school.  We play a part but so do the parents.

Some schools like to boast their gifted and talented program. They sport the shiny bumper stickers that say, "Proud Parents of a Gifted Student". Does this mean that the regular program at their school is subpar?  When smart students are in schools with low standards, they become bored and unchallenged.  These students are then given tests to qualify them for the Gifted and Talented services.  This makes the teachers and the parents feel better, but is it really best for the students?  When schools begin ability grouping students to meet the needs of a variety of abilities they show that they do not have a robust, coherent educational program, nor do they have a vision for the best curriculum for all students.  

The Liberty BOD Policy states, "Our goal is to provide a rich and balanced educational opportunity for all students.  High standards are at the heart of our expectations, although we recognize every student has unique abilities, interests, and motivations.  Parents encourage their child's success by monitoring progress in school and at home, and by participating as fully as possible in the Liberty community.  Class work and homework are designed to challenge each student to make the most of his or her talents."

When schools develop a program to enrich the curriculum for a few special students, it shows that the curriculum was not rich and rigorous enough for any of the students.  This is done to cover up a school-wide curriculum deficit.   All children deserve a rich, coherent curriculum that benefits all students.  By holding all students accountable to a high standard at Liberty, we are able to challenge the students on the high end, motivate the average student to become better, and set a trajectory for success for the students that are struggling.  At Liberty, teachers will say that students are more successful because they are able to listen to these higher level conversations between high achieving students and the teacher.  Students implicitly learn taught concepts through these conversations.  For example, a struggling student will understand how a math problem is solved if they hear another student or teacher explain it in class.  Classes that contain students at various academic levels help fuel the discussions helping all students succeed.   
Liberty Common School follows the Core Knowledge Sequence and researches other teaching methods and curriculum to provide the best education possible within a public school system.  We have a large percentage of potentially gifted and talented students at Liberty Common Elementary School (approximately 38% of our students perform at or above the 95th percentile on major benchmark tests per testing season), and the majority of these students find Liberty challenging and rewarding.

Liberty offers many opportunities to students to further excel - both within the classroom and through extracurricular activities such as athletics, Odyssey of the Mind, Lego Robotics, forensics, club activities at the junior high and high school level, and geography and spelling bees, among others.  Keep an eye out for any upcoming Liberty sponsored extracurricular activities in the Monday notes.  

Thanks for all your help at home reinforcing all the instructional material we present here at Liberty every day, and thanks for sharing your gifted children with us and with all the students in their classroom.

Classroom Disruptions
At An All-Time High

Recently, the Front Office and teachers have experienced an increased number of telephone calls and emails from parents requesting that messages be delivered to students. Messages include: change of carpool, bus arrangements, change in doctor appointments, reminders about after school activities and question whether or not their child has hot or cold lunch.
While we understand that plans do change, relaying messages to students during the school day interrupts their learning and the learning of others. In an attempt to reduce the number of interruptions to the classrooms and the teachers, we will now be using our paging system after school. Please inform your student of this change and encourage them to pay attention to the after school announcements.
If your child orders hot lunch, please use your PowerSchool Parent Portal to view the dates chosen. Also, hot lunch rosters are posted in each homeroom. For parents of 3rd-6th graders, we also encourage you to use student planners as a method of communicating. If your child is ill and needing homework, please contact the teacher by email as early as possible and homework will be available after 3:00 p.m.
Please rest assured that communicating with teachers about scholastic matters and personal issues that may impact their school performance, is still encouraged. Thank you for your cooperation to ensure minimum disruptions to our students' learning environment.

Funding Needed
The 2016 additions of a new gymnasium, Stoa, new high-school parking lot, vestibule for the elementary school, and elementary storage expansion are indeed exciting developments.  However, it's important for everyone to know that these projects are still not fully funded.  Liberty has borrowed funds sufficient to proceed with construction, but we must raise additional funds for indoor finishing and furnishings along the way.  The price tag is not small.  CLICK HERE for all the details of Liberty's Capital Campaign.  More parent help is needed for multiple strategies to raise money.  For those interested in amplifying financial commitments to the school, volunteers are needed on the school's Fundraising Committee, our Grant-Writing Committee, our Financial Advisory Committee, and in the general pool of volunteers.  To volunteer, send a MESSAGE HERE.  Ongoing contributions can be made securely  CLICK HERE.  Thank you in advance for your generosity and for your ongoing investment in Liberty.

Latin-2 Transition Meeting For Current 7th And 8th-Grade Families.
In an effort to provide more information on the new LCHS Latin-2 requirement for 8th grade and graduation, the LCHS administration will hold an informational meeting this Tuesday, January 26th, 6:30-7:30PM in the LCHS Great Hall.  Members of the LCHS administration, the Academic Advisory Committee, and the Board of Directors will be on hand to comment on the transition and answer questions.

-  The 8th-grade Latin-2 requirement begins with the current 7th-grade class, the class of 2021.

- The Latin-2 high-school graduation requirement will begin with the class of 2021.

- Current 8th-grade students, the class of 2020, are eligible to opt into the updated graduation requirements.

- Members of the Class of 2020 will be asked during course registration (see dates below) to choose their graduation- requirement path.

- Current 9th-11th grade students, the classes of 2017-2019, will be held to the graduation requirements that were in place when they started high school.
Liberty's Annual Spring Gala-Donation Deadline Fast Approaching

Liberty's Annual Spring Gala-Donation Deadline Approaching!
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! The donation deadline is February 1st.

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 classes
  • Any brand-new electronics (Kindle, iPad, etc.)
To benefit Liberty with your donation, please contact Kelly Notarfrancesco: kelly.notarfrancesco@gmail.com 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!

The FREE Winter Carnival is coming soon.
Friday, February 19, 2016! 6-8pm 

Gnarly, live music and dancing, fun games and activities!   
Righteous, pizza and drinks purchased at the carnival!
Parent volunteer sign up and donations sign up coming soon, totally.

Next Liberty Lecture. Attention all perpetual students:  If you consider yourself an intelligent person who enjoys learning, make sure to put on your calendar the next "Liberty Lecture."  On Thursday, January 28, 2016 from 6:30 - 8:00PM in the LCHS Great Hall, Maestro Dave Lunn will deliver a spectacular lecture entitled "New Orleans and the Birth of American Music."  Liberty Lectures are designed for parents, the community, and students.  It's a great way to learn together from authentic academic experts.  Don't miss this one.

Future Liberty Lectures.  Everyone who misses a Liberty Lecture regrets it when they hear from others what they missed.  Put these upcoming Liberty Lectures on your calendars now and make sure you participate in one of the most unique and valuable aspects of our school community:

Tuesday, February 16, 2016 | 6:30-8:00PM | LCHS Great Hall | Topic:  Art:  The Sustenance of Western Tradition | Presenters:  Mrs. Megan Salazar, Mr. Rex Seiple.

Wed, March 30, 2016 | 6:30-8:00PM | LCHS Great Hall | Topic: Living What We Teach: Combating Anti-Intellectualism in Culture and Education|Presenters:  Mrs. Natalie Scarlett and Dr. Bob McMahon of Ridgeview Classical Schools.

Liberty Common Academic
Summer Camps

Dear Parent/s,
Summer will be here before you know it! Liberty Common Elementary School is offering a SUMMER CAMP for reading and literacy, math, and academic individualized tutoring, for students entering 1st.-6th. grades.  Spots are filling up, so register early.

CLICK HERE for information about and to register for  Reading and Literacy Camp.

CLICK HERE for information about and to register for Math Camp.

CLICK HERE for information about and to register for Individualized Tutoring.   

We are excited to offer our summer camp and hope your child can join us!

Keith Churchill
Principal, Liberty Common School