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  

April 5|Kindergarten Concert, 6:30 pm
April 5|
WatchDOG, Ryan Banning
April 7|
WatchDOG, Brien O'Malley
April 8|
Kindergarten Roundup
April 8|
Liberty Common Gala, 6 pm-11pm, Hilton Fort Collins.
April 14|
WatchDOG, Azer Yalin
April 15-16|
5th and 6th Grade Dessert Theatre

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
  • Aislinn Kottwitz: 217-5925
Next Board of Directors Mtg., 
March 24, 2016 
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. 
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:

Monday, 3/28, 4pm, Track Meet @ Liberty Common
Saturday, 4/2, 9am, Track Meet @ Severance  

Kindergarten Store Donations
Every February the Kindergarten classes begin learning about money. To provide a real-life experience, we open a toy store in each kindergarten classroom. We could use help stocking our stores. If you have any gently used toys or books that are cluttering your house, the kinders would greatly appreciate them. Please drop donated toys by one of the Kindergarten classrooms.
The Kindergarten Teachers 

5-K Coming Soon

Alexa's Hugs 5K & Family Fun Run Join us for our first annual 5K, Family Fun Run/Walk, and Family Safety Expo and support a local nonprofit.

Alexa's Hugs is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization with the mission of providing positive encouragement for seat belt and vehicle safety.

Our Seat Belt Challenge grew from four schools (4,000+ students) to eleven schools (14,000+ students) in the last two years.

Our programs include safety events, "Click It To Win It," "Design Your Own Hug," the Seat Belt Challenge, and seat belt reminders we call "Hugs."  Hugs are made for the general public and customized for schools so our message of vehicle safety is shared no matter where you see us!

Our collaboration with Safe Kids Larimer County, Ford Driving Skills for Life, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, local safety agencies, and more, assures that you are supporting an organization that doesn't go it alone.  We are willing to work with others to achieve our goals of improving vehicle safety.

We're achieving results that matter.  In 2014, we saw an improvement in observed seat belt use of 8.6% in four local high schools.  In 2015, that number rose to 10.7% increase in seat belt use at eleven northern Colorado high schools.  There is more room for improvement, but we are making great progress in improving the safe driving habits of local teens!

Your support of Alexa's Hugs allows us to continue to offer these valuable programs in northern Colorado.  WE THANK YOU!

Fossil Ridge High School
Saturday, May 7 2016, 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
5400 Ziegler Road, Fort Collins, CO 80528
CLICK HERE to register
The Eagle's Nest

March 28, 2016 
Volume 19 
  Issue 27    
Gala 2016 Fast Approaching. Be a Part of This Fun Evening.

It's not too late to get in on the fun at Gala 2016.  Visit the website today to register, if you haven't already, and check out all the exciting items that will be at the auction.  The generosity from Liberty families, volunteers, and the community has been astounding this year... meaning loads of fabulous treasures for you to check out.   
Click Here to sign up.

Gala Volunteer Opportunities
CLICK HERE for general Gala Volunteer Opportunities.
CLICK HERE to assist with Teacher Treasure Sales.  
Major Dates Have Been Finalized
2016-17 Calendar
  • Classes Begin-Aug.  29
  • Labor Day-Sept. 5
  • Parent/Teacher Conferences-Oct. 28
  • Thanksgiving-Nov. 23-25
  • Winter Break-Dec. 26-Jan. 6
  • Martin Luther King Day-Jan. 16
  • Professional Development Day-Feb. 17
  • Presidents'Day-Feb. 20
  • Spring Break-March 13-17
  • Good Friday-April 14
  • Last Day of Classes-1/2/Day May 26
Connections by
Cherie Pedersen,

3rd Grade Teacher at Liberty Common School

"But there's so much to learn," he said, with a thoughtful frown.
"Yes, that's true," admitted Rhyme; "but it's not just learning things that's important. It's learning what to do with what you learn and learning why you learn things at all that matters."

"That's just what I mean," explained Milo as Tock and the exhausted bug drifted quietly off to sleep. "Many of the things I'm supposed to know seem so useless that I can't see the purpose in learning them at all."

"You may not see it now," said the Princess of Pure Reason, looking knowingly at Milo's puzzled face, "but whatever we learn has a purpose and whatever we do affects everything and everyone else, if even in the tiniest way."
The Phantom Tollbooth                                                                                         
When I first started teaching, I would hear it said that we needed to provide background knowledge. What background knowledge? Like Milo, I felt that there was so much for students to learn. Then I read E.D. Hirsch's book Cultural Literacy. Finally, someone answered my question. The Core Knowledge sequence outlines the background knowledge students need to be literate.

Through teaching science, history, geography, Latin, math, music, art, and literature, we are providing the background knowledge needed for students to be able to comprehend what they read and hear. E.D. Hirsch in his article Reading Comprehension Requires Knowledge of Words, and the World explains how background knowledge impacts reading comprehension.

Prior knowledge about the topic speeds up basic comprehension and leaves working memory free to make connections between the new material and previously learned information, to draw inferences, and to ponder implications. A big difference between an expert and a novice reader-indeed between an expert and a novice in any field-is the ability to take in basic features very fast, thereby leaving the mind free to concentrate on important features.

As a teacher it is exciting to have a student come up and share something they found in a book that connects to content being taught in class. This year the students have found the following connections:
  • Wrinkle in Time -Earth tilting on its axis and spinning; Orion's belt (Astronomy Unit)
  • Trumpet of the Swans - saying "Rome wasn't built in a day."
  • Moffat's Muesum - meteor "shooting star" (Astronomy Unit); Danube River (Rivers Unit);            
                                  Vini Vidi Vici (Ancient Rome)
  • Indian in the Cupboard - "three sisters", longhouses (Native American Unit)
  • Rufus M. - Medula oblagata (Human Body); Long division
  • Middle Moffats - Pompeii (Ancient Rome)
  • Old Yeller - Apache (Native Americans)
  • Fantastic Mr. Fox - ear wax (Human Body)
  • Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe - "Make it Pax" -(Ancient Rome Unit)
  • Charlotte's Web - Magnum Opus (Latin)
  • Little House in the Prairie - Laura crossed the Missouri River (Rivers Unit)
  • Stuart Little - Barges on the river with tow boats (Rivers Unit)
  • Mary Poppins Comes Back - saying "Last straw", constellations (Astronomy Unit)
  • Kavik - saying "Feather in your cap"
  • Cricket in Times Square - Yangtze River; Blue Danube song
These fantastic books are on the LCS 3rd-4th Grade Reading List. We encourage students to choose books from the reading lists for many reasons, vocabulary, rich sentence structure, depth of the story, and its connection to background knowledge.

       Finally, in order to immerse students in word knowledge and expose them to many well-written, diverse and meaningful works of literature, we have supplemented the Core Knowledge Sequence with (primarily) classic works of fiction - stories which have withstood the test of time. In accordance with Liberty's Charter, "The literature suggested by the Core Knowledge Sequence, as well as other literature that will be introduced, is chosen not only for its place in the core body of knowledge, its multi-cultural representation, and its rich use of language, but also because it provides access to deeper meaning of universal human problems, particularly those which preoccupy children's minds." (LCS Literacy Policy)

In Cultural Literacy Hirsch states, "Background knowledge does not take care of itself. Reading and writing are cumulative skills; the more we read the more necessary knowledge we gain for further reading." The Core Knowledge Sequence outlines the background knowledge students need to learn in order to communicate effectively both in reading and writing. The books listed on the reading lists provide rich background knowledge, vocabulary, and sentence structure. But even more than that, they help students see the connection with what they are learning in class. The excitement we see when a student connects content from class with a book he/she is reading is priceless.

"You may not see it now," said the Princess of Pure Reason, looking knowingly at Milo's puzzled face, "but whatever we learn has a purpose and whatever we do affects everything and everyone else, if even in the tiniest way."
The Phantom Tollbooth

News From the Health Office
Immunizations. Starting July 1, 2016, please be aware that parents/guardians seeking non-medical (religious or personal belief) immunizations exemptions for schoolchildren through-12th grade must submit non-medical exemption forms annually according to state law. Medical exemptions only need to be submitted once and require the signature of your child's doctor or advanced-practice nurse. To submit a non-medical or medical go to and follow the instructions. Children with an exemption may be kept out of school during a disease outbreak. If you have any questions regarding this new process, please ask your health tech, or e-mail the school nurse at

Upcoming CPR Class. Class takes place Thursday, April 21, 5:30pm - 8:30pm in the choir room at the elementary school. American Heart Association Certification (good for two years). Heart Saver CPR/AED (adult, child, infant, to include measures for choking) $35/student (this exact class runs in the Fort Collins Recreator for $70/person)  Register here by Monday, April 18.
Questions, contact her at
or Dan Knab at

Don't miss this year's 5th/6th Grade Musical: THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS! 

The chess board is in chaos, being ruled by the malevolent Red Queen, and only the "Other Alice" can set things right!  Join Alice on her journey THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS!
Order Tickets by CLICKING HERE

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

Attention Parents of Liberty Common Rising 6th Graders
Summer English Program.  This summer's four-week English "booster" is the perfect, economical opportunity for students needing a grammar, vocabulary, or writing-skills boost.  For more information  CLICK HERE. The cost is much less than typical tutoring, the tutor-to-student ratio is small, and the instructor is Mr. Dybzinski, head of Liberty's English department.  Regardless of whether your student is ahead or behind, he will set your child up to engage our rich English curriculum at LCHS.  Furthermore, he plans to have much fun in the process.   CLICK HERE to sign up.

Liberty Common and Charter Schools Featured on PBS Show
Liberty Common School was recently featured on Rocky Mountain PBS's "Devil's Advocate" program.  Click on this video link to see the 15-minute segment.

An Opportunity to 
Purchase A Lasting Impression
Legacy Bricks. Purchase a Liberty-Legacy brick to show your support for finishing the gymnasium. 

Bricks are available in two sizes and can be purchased online as well as at the upcoming spring Gala. 4" x 8" is $250, 8" x 8" is $500, 8" x 8" with Eagle logo is $550.

Bricks will be laid in a garden area outside the new gymnasium at the high school. Design your brick and be part of Liberty Common High School's foundation forever.  


Liberty Lecture: "Living What We Teach: Combating Anti-Intellectualism in Culture and Education"
Roll Back The Frontiers Of Ignorance.  Attention LCHS students, parents, grandparents, friends and supporters:  Please attend the next Liberty Lecture scheduled for
Wednesday, 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 | Put this last Liberty Lecture of the school year on your calendar now and make sure you participate in one of the most unique and valuable aspects of our school community.