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  

Character Award Presenters
Ripple Effect Martial Arts were our guests at Liberty Common School today for our Character Assembly.  Ripple Effect staff presenting were:
Master Greg Macy, Master Instructor
Mr. Macy earned his 4th degree Black Belt in November 2014.  He has trained in Martial Arts since the age of 7 and earned his 1st Degree Black Belt at the age of 13.  Mr. Macy attended Colorado University, majoring in Chemistry and went on to start his first company in the Water and Power industry in 2003.  It has been his life-long dream to own and operate a Martial Arts school based on the values and life-changing principles that marked his earliest training at Mile High Karate in Lakewood, CO.  
Mr. Sean Robinson, Head Instructor
Mr. Robinson is a 3rd Degree Black Belt and started at Ripple Effect Martial Arts in December 2013. He has his Bachelor's Degree in Finance and Accounting that he received at CSU. He started Martial Arts when he was 10 and earned his Black Belt when he was 13.

If you mention that you are from Liberty, you can receive a free week of martial arts classes at Ripple Effect.
Also, you can reach Master Greg Macy at

April 25|Public Info. Night, LCS, 6:30 p.m.
April 29|T-Shirt Day
April 29|Chess Club
April 29-30|LCHS Spring Play
May 2-6|Teacher Appreciation Week
May 2-6|Spirit Week***
See agenda below***
May 2-6|Scholastic Bookfair
May 6|May Fest
May 6|WatchDOG, Wes Cardenas.
May 6|Chess Club
May 9|5th/6th Band/Choir Concert.
May 19|End of the Year Awards
May 20|T-Shirt Day
May 26|BOD Mtg.
May 26|Olympic Day
May 26|WatchDOG, Rodney Good, Mike Hersh, Wes Cardenas.
May 27|Last Day-11:00 Release, no lunch will be served.
May 27|Free Dress Day 

Chess pieces
Please Note: Chess Club only has three more sessions:
April 29
May 6

Congrats to this group of 6-12th graders (pictured) who are now have certifications through the American Heart Association in CPR/AED, ready for their summer jobs and saving lives!
Due to high interest and attendance, we are going to offer one more of these classes at the beginning of the summer for those who are interested.  Must have a minimum of 10 students in the class and will be capped at twenty:
Class takes place
Monday, June 13th, 9am-Noon 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)

by Monday, June 6. Questions, contact our school nurse at

 Hamlet for Five Actors. Friday April 29th and Saturday April 30th, 2016 at 7:00PM.

Following last year's successful production of the extra-curricular theatre company is back with an even more ambitious project: Hamlet for Five Actors. This 100 minute edit of William Shakespeare's Hamlet has been edited by the director, Natalie Scarlett, to be performed by only five actors who each play several roles. This energetic style of performance keeps both the actors and the audience on their toes as we journey with the title character through his unraveling. The staging is meta and the design, by art teachers Megan Salazar and Rex Seiple, is timeless. Come see our exceptional students of acting and literature take on one of the western canon's masterpieces in this truly innovative production at the Liberty Common Elementary School gym. Tickets are $10.00 general admission and $5.00 for any student.

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., 
May 12, 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. 
Liberty Sports News
This Week In Junior-High Sports:

Girls Soccer
Monday, 4/25, 4pm, @ Rez (Loveland Sports Park)
Tuesday, 4/26, 4pm, @ Weld Central
Wednesday, 4/27, 4pm, Home, vs Estes Park

Future High-School Baseball Players.  Parents of current 6th - 8th graders interested in learning more about the LCHS baseball program, please come to a meeting on Wednesday May 4th  at 6:00 PM at the high school to meet LCHS head baseball coach Nathan Thurlow and his coaching staff to discuss the summer baseball program, and plans for this summer and next summer.

For parents of current 3rd - 5th graders playing baseball this summer, please e-mail your information to Coach Thurlow at   Especially, if you are involved in coaching a team with Liberty Common students, Coach would like to make himself available to meet with the various Liberty Common teams during the summer as he develops the high-school program and the program for future players on the high-school team.  
Stay tuned to the Liberty Common Athletic Booster Page for rescheduled dates.
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

April 25, 2016 
Volume 19 
  Issue 30    

Liberty Common School Annual Report Now Available.  CLICK HERE TO VIEW.

News from Tracy Nichols, Art Teacher at Liberty Common School  
Notes from the Art Teacher
Who is the K-4th grade Art teacher?
I'm Tracy Nichols and have been teaching Art at Liberty for about seven years. My husband is an IB Art and Theory of Knowledge teacher at Poudre High School. We moved to Fort Collins after teaching at Seoul Foreign School in S. Korea for 10 years. I was a 3rd Grade Classroom Teacher for half our time in Korea and a Middle School Art Teacher for the other half. Here at Liberty I teach five different grades with 17 different groups of students I see a couple times a week.
Using index cards for a team architecture building project. 

4th Grade Clay mask relief sculptures. 
Chinese Brush Painting Chinese Art.
Clay clay demonstration. 

What is Mrs. Nichols' K-4th grade Art class like?
Some people ask me if I just make up the Art lessons. Yes and No. No, because there is a Core Knowledge Art Curriculum just like there is a CK Language Arts, Science, Music, and History Curriculum. It's really excellent, extensive and I love following it. 

Like the rest of the Core Knowledge Curriculum, the writers defined what most scholars agree are some of the most important and big game changing things that a well-educated person needs to know in a subject area. Then they divided it up into the age appropriate K-8 grade levels. 

And then yes, because I get to choose what projects to do that best present the CK curriculum. Our normal Art Class is pretty directed. I see my time with the students as kind of like a piano lesson. A student doesn't go to their lesson to play around on their instrument but they learn how to focus on specific skills. Student's time in Art class is pretty short so we focus on specific goals.
Here are some of our Guest Artists sharing some special work they did outside of school. It's exciting to see what inspires the students to create! 

What is a Guest Artist?
This idea was inspired by adults telling me that they didn't like art class when they were kids because they had to do what the Art teacher assigned and they were frustrated by not being able to take their ideas in different directions. I've also had a few students like that. Well, that's a bit of a slippery slope. In the short classroom time, students need to do the assignment to practice the skill and demonstrate the criteria like in any other subject area. But I tell students that they have lots of time outside of class at home to experiment. So I encourage them to take their very cool ideas in their own directions at home and bring it in to share it with me or the class as a Guest Artist. (I even offer materials if they need it.) 

Guest Artist is a quick Show and Tell. It needs to be something that they made outside of school that they've worked on at least an hour or more. The Guest Artist sits on the front and describes three important things:
1. What they made and how they made it.
2. What was their inspiration or why they made it?
3. What was their favorite part of making it?

Lastly, they take two questions or comments from their classmates. (By this time, they're usually beaming.)

What is Free Art Day?
To give some free choice in Art class throughout the year and as a behavior incentive, I have a Free Art Day each quarter. I set up each table with different art supplies, paints, clay, oil pastels, drawing and sketchbooks, marshmallows and toothpicks, pipe cleaners, scented markers, tapestry needlework, beading, planks, straws and connectors, stacking index cards, etc. I tell the students that Free Art Day is not Art recess, but they are FREE to choose what kind of art they want to build and make on this day. It's awesome to see what the students make!

Reading in Art class?
I love to read aloud while my art students are settled into their work. To reinforce the CK curriculum and tie into their classroom learning, we read from the What Every nth Grader Needs to Know, or books from the school Library; Fables, Idioms, Myths, Poetry, Biographies related to the topics they're learning in their school year.
Sometimes we listen to music. I really like Mozart because it tends toward the rhythms of our resting heart rate. This is a really good thing in Art Class.
The focus for Core Knowledge is Literacy and this is a great way to 'kill two birds with one stone'. And who doesn't love a good story or a good idiom?
These are a couple of my oil paintings and paper cuttings.

This is my Art History Timeline.
Let's Wrap this up.
From teaching the Core Knowledge Curriculum and its inspiring way of teaching the scope of history starting in 1st grade, I designed and published an Art History Timeline Staircase poster last year that I use every day with my classes and share with people all over. I also love to do my own art; plein air (outside) landscape oil painting (in the summers) and papercuttings (in the winters).

I love teaching Art and working with your children here at Liberty. They are so bright, hardworking, and bursting with curiosity! I get to end each day with a line of Kindergartners giving me hugs and fist bumps. Think about volunteering in Art class next year! Look for the Art Room sign up at the start of the year. It's a lot of fun!

Treatment Of Charter Schools
An article appearing in the Fort Collins Coloradoan newspaper last Friday describes how Fort Collins charter schools receive only slight consideration in a massive new spending proposal under consideration by the Poudre School District Board of Education.  The proposal is only a draft right now, but is being finalized at the Board's meeting scheduled for May 10, 2016.   CLICK HERE to link to the story.  Liberty Board vice-chairman

Mr. Patrick Albright has been leading discussions with PSD officials and is advocating a plan equitable to charter schools.  He is also mentioned in the article.  Charter-school parents are urged to contact PSD Board members and share citizen opinions.  Details follow:
In the current proposal, the Poudre School District is allocating only $150,000 to Liberty Common School of the $375,000,000 proposed bond it will ask voters to approve this November.  $40 million of the bond is slated for improvements to existing schools, while most of the remainder is slated for new construction.  Liberty Common has requested a total of $1.2 million from the $40 million, which is a much fairer amount relative to the percentage of PSD students that Liberty Common educates.  On Liberty's behalf, Mr. Albright has been working to improve the conditions and the amounts allocated to the charter schools. All seven members of the PSD Board of Education met with Patrick to discuss the bond. They were all willing to talk, and seemed positively disposed to at least consider our requests.  Please bear this in mind when making your comments to the board members.  Be polite, respectful, and rational.  Persuade sensibly, don't browbeat. The entire PSD board can be emailed at Individual board-member contact information can be found by CLICKING HERE  

Masonic Award Goes To......
Henry Halgren, 5th grader,  was recently awarded the Masonic Outstanding Student Award. His teacher, Mrs. Hickman nominated Henry for the award.
Congratulations Henry!   

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
Scholastic Book Fair,
May 2-6, 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

Volunteer at our Feelin' Groovy Book Fair!
Volunteer at our spring Book Fair - a far-out celebration of reading with hundreds of fun, engaging, affordable books for kids to discover.

Join our volunteer team to help with one or more of the following tasks:
* Bring creative flair to signs and decorations
* Secure community sponsorships
* Help serve food and refreshments
* Organize and merchandise displays
* Offer a helping hand - set up or pack up
* Help shoppers of all ages find their perfect book

We are so grateful for your support.  Please CLICK HERE and volunteer for the Scholastic Book Fair.

Spirit Week May 2- May 6, 2016
Monday- Pajama Day
Students may wear pajamas to school. Slippers are acceptable, but students should bring alternative shoes for P.E. and recess. Students should not be in spaghetti straps or tank tops. Pajama pants should be full length or past the knee. NO pajama shorts. 

Tuesday- Theme Day (Class)
Students will be encouraged to join with their homeroom classmates in choosing a class theme for this day. Each classroom teacher will communicate to students and parents the theme of dress for this day. Look for more information in your child's classroom Monday Note!

Wednesday- Sport and Hobby Day

Students may wear clothing to represent their favorite professional sports team.  They may wear clothing to represent their own sports team or hobby. Please adhere to the dress code length requirements for shorts or skirts and no tank tops or spaghetti straps. 

Thursday- Super Hero Day
Students may wear any super-hero themed dress for this day. Students should not be in spaghetti straps or sleeveless shirts. Pants should be full length or to the knee. No weapons or depictions of violence, please. "We use our powers for good....not evil"

Friday - Crazy Hair Day
Students should be in dress code clothing. If hair color is used, it must be completely washed out by the following Monday.
*** Spirit week activities are optional but encouraged. Dress code on any of the above days is acceptable. ***

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 for current 6th Graders. 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
or Dan Knab at
Future 5th grade parents and students, please mark your calendars for the evening of April 26th.
Future 5th grade parents and students, please mark your calendars for the evening of April 26th! Liberty Common is conducting its first ever Instrument Placement Night for next year's  5th graders and their parents.

If your child is interested in playing a musical instrument in band next year, this is a great opportunity to try out different instruments, and be evaluated by a professional musician to find the best match for your child. If you are not sure whether a band instrument is the right choice for your family, if you are debating which instrument to choose, or even if you want to make sure you have made the right choice, this night is for you!. The available musicians will also be able to answer any questions you might have.

The placement night will be held at Liberty Common Elementary School on the evening of Tuesday, April 26th at 6:00PM. This is an optional event, but encouraged if you are thinking about joining 5th grade band next year! Please contact Amy Clemens ( with any questions. 

Band Volunteers Needed.  Parent organizers of Liberty's first Instrument Placement Night at the elementary school are in high need of student volunteers (and parent volunteers, too).  We have several instructors lined up to demonstrate their instrument to incoming band students, and will evaluate each student to determine suitability for the instrument. Students will rotate through the different instructors so that they will be able to try all instruments.  Each instrument instructor will need help with sanitizing and getting the instruments ready for the next incoming group of students. This is what volunteers are needed for.   It is hoped this first Instrument-Placement Night will be a real improvement to Liberty's band program.  The number of helpers for instructors are as follows:  Clarinet (2); Saxophone (2); and, one each for the following:  Flute, Trumpet, Trombone, Baritone, and French Horn.  Volunteers should arrive between 5:30pm and 5:45pm at LCS.  Questions:  Contact project coordinator Mrs. Bridgette Albright  by phone at (970) 214-4298.


Buy Bricks, Leave Legacy.  Every student wants his/her name engraved into a special brick and placed permanently into the walkway and glorious garden leading to our new gym at LCHS.  Just think, a hundred years from now, their great-great grandchildren (yes, it's amazing, they will all be attending LCHS) will look down as they walk to the gym and say, "that's my great-great grandma who went to Liberty way back in '16 - as in 2016!" And if you really love your child, you'll buy a really big brick because it's the best way of really proving it.  Your donation is tax deductible. This is also a great way to permanently honor graduates, past Liberty students, future Liberty students, grandparents, special moments, anniversaries - anyone and anything worthy of honoring.  All proceeds help complete and furnish the gym.  To purchase a Legacy Brick simply CLICK HERE.  Questions?  Email Mrs. Tiffany Green
 parent/volunteer extraordinaire who stepped up to manage this awesome campaign. 
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.

Please Display Citizenship and Respect
Spring gala parking spot
This year's Liberty Gala was a huge success.  Thank you to all that were able to attend.  One of the most popular items of the Live Auction is bidding on Liberty Common parking spots. This year's spots went for $1400-$2000.  Please demonstrate citizenship and respect (two of our Character Traits) and do not park in these parking spots even for a short period or to drop something off.  The spot is clearly marked. Thank you.