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  

May 19|WatchDOG, Jon Nelson

May 19|End of the Year Awards-
You will be notified by your student's teacher if your child is receiving an award. Perfect Attendance will be calculated on May 18th and parents will be notified.  Mr. Churchill will announce names at the Award Ceremony.  If the student maintains Perfect Attendance thru the last day of school a certificate will be mailed to the student's home by May 29th.  Any questions re: perfect attendance, please direct to Jill Ronen at [email protected]

May 20|WatchDOG, Mark Irby

May 20|T-Shirt Day

May 26|BOD Mtg.

May 26|Olympic Day-
No lunch will be served. Microwaves not available.

May 26|WatchDOG, Rodney Good, Mike Hersh, Wes Cardenas.

May 27|Last Day-11:00 Release, no lunch will be served.
Please note:
No bus service between schools will be provided on the last day of school.

May 27|Free Dress Day 

Class Of 2016 Graduation. 
Friday, May 27th, 6:00PM,  Timberline Community Church, Main Auditorium.

Sunscreen Guidelines
Although sunscreen is allowed at school, teachers or staff passing it out, as well as sharing among students is prohibited.  Students must bring their own sunscreen for use at school.  Sunscreen will not be provided at Olympic Day. 

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
  • 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. 
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
Liberty Sports News
Next Week: Look here for summer camp information for all sports!
This Week In Junior-High Sports:

Congratulations to the Liberty Common girl's soccer team. Lauren Gamlin scored the only goal that Liberty would need to knock-off Resurrection Christian to secure their back to back championship victory.  The game was played in Estes Park on Friday night and the atmosphere was electric.  This is the second year that this team has not been beat.  The high school is looking forward to inheriting strong talent next year.  Great season, ladies!

The Eagle's Nest

May 16, 2016 
Volume 19  
  Issue 33      
Olympic Day; Next Thursday

Don't miss out on your chance to volunteer before school is finished for the year.  Join us in celebrating a fantastic year and participate in the fun and games.  Please CLICK HERE to sign-up and volunteer. 

Thanks to all Book Fair Volunteers
Amorette Helm, Tami O'Malley, Maia Elmore, Kim Kent, Jill McKinnon, Melanie Sedlak Hoffmann, Kara Jones, Heather Jones, Shannon Crowe, Laura Turner, Kathleen Petersen, Kelli Carter, Kim Arnett, 
Joy Mitchell, Kit Kirby, Deanna Ortiz, Denise Benz, Maribel & Matt Larsen, Amie Schissler, Elke Tidwell, Kathy Taylor, Karisa Taylor, Kristy Cleaver, Tara Greenacre, Kit Kirby, Rachel Lagowski, Audrey Hodges, Neshamah Leili-Biss, Jen Riley, Stephanie Staples, Lesley Halley, Stefania Arndorfer, Sheila Smith.

Lost and Found Overflowing

Please take a few minutes to visit our Lost and Found.  As you can see from this photo, it is bursting at the seams with a plethora of items.  Remember, items not claimed by May 27th., will be given to charity.  Thank you.   

Please complete and return Family Info. Update Form.
By now you should have received a 2016-17 Family Information Update Form in the mail.  The form is a light purple.  By completing this form you are helping us enter your family's information in our data base over the summer and be ready to go on August 29th.  Please contact the Front Office if you didn't receive or have any questions. 
News From the Health Office
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)  Register here by Monday, June 6. Questions, contact our school nurse at [email protected].

Medication Reminder. Please remember to pick up any medications or supplies your student may have in the health office by 10AM on Friday, May 27th (the last day of school!), or they will be disposed of.  You are always welcome to pick them up anytime before that if your child will not be needing them at school.

News from the Board of Directors
What a great year it has been! We are so thankful for the wonderful Liberty Common School community.

At our May 12 Board meeting, we heard from our music department. They are very proud of our students, as they should be. The music department provides an outlet for our children to sing, play instruments, and express themselves onstage as they bring musical theater to life. One new opportunity was the chance 4th graders had to try out all of the instruments before they committed to selecting one to play in band. (See article in the sidebar)

We are very grateful for all of the long hours it takes to help our students make such beautiful music.

One of our Board committees has been working to create a collection of articles to be distributed to all families this August. The collection titled, What Every Liberty Parent Should Know, will include articles written by experts such as E.D. Hirsh Jr. as well as Liberty administrators, teachers, and parents. This assembly of articles explains the foundation of many of our philosophies. It will give you a solid background of how the school functions and why. Look for it this fall.

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.

News from Bob Schaffer, LCHS Princpal
Hiring The Best Instructors
By:  Bob Schaffer, LCHS principal
Liberty's team of classroom instructors is widely regarded as being among the nation's best.  Our school's rigorous screening and hiring processes contribute to the school's history of consistently attracting and retaining high-quality instructors in classrooms spanning kindergarten through twelfth grade. 
On a near weekly basis, school leaders from throughout the
2nd Grade Teacher Assistant, Beth Huelle and 2nd Grade Teacher, Jenna Allen, participate in Greek Mall Day, a yearly celebration held in all three 2nd grade classes.  
state and country (and on a few occasions, from other nations) visit Liberty to observe our instructors in action.  The first questions these visitors pose are almost always the same:  How do you find these outstanding teachers and how do you persuade them to work here?
Liberty Common School hires only the best professionals in their field and scope of practice.  All applicants are thoroughly and rigorously screened before even being considered for employment. 
An applicant's philosophical alignment with the school is crucial. The sixth of seven principles upon which Liberty Common School's Mission Statement is derived asserts:
Teachers are professionals.  This implies considerable autonomy, mastery, and independence.  Having accepted the academic and philosophic mission of a school, the teacher needs to be free to exercise informed judgment in order to fulfill his or her primary role as an educator.
Liberty Common Elementary Teachers, display their holiday spirit by wearing their favorite ugly Christmas sweaters.
As a charter school, Liberty employs all instructors, administrators and support staff on an "at will" basis.  All employment contracts are individually negotiated with each instructor. 
Kimberly Clouser, Latin Teacher at LCS and LCHS
This means Liberty instructors are hired on a truly professional basis (not on a union-wage scale) earning compensation commensurate with their contribution to the organization and professional growth as determined by thorough and routine professional evaluations.  Annual pay raises are a direct function of demonstrated classroom performance and institutional leadership.
Holding a state teacher license is not required for employment at our school.  We agree with 2012 findings of Colorado Commissioner of Education Robert Hammond and State Director of Professional Licensing Dr. Jamie Goetz that a state-issued teacher license is not an indication of one's ability to teach and is unreliable in affirming one's instructional competence.  
Blake Morgan teaching Physics at LCHS
When Liberty posts job openings, we stress first and foremost the importance of content expertise.  We prefer teachers whose fields of study align with what they will teach to our students.  We recruit in atypical ways. 
For example, when we need an economics instructor, we contact business schools at multiple universities and spread the word directly to economics majors and graduates.  We contact academic institutions, policy organizations and think tanks, even specific prominent college professors we think might best help us alert top candidates to our job posting.
Jeff Siener, 4th grade teacher, has taught at Liberty Common School for 19 years.
To get an interview, an applicant must demonstrate strong background knowledge and an appreciation of classical methods of education and curriculum.  We require a letter of application, a current resume, college transcripts, professional references, and a statement of educational philosophy.  As a result, we typically receive applications from throughout the country for job openings at our school.
Our interview panels are comprised of key administrators, Members of the school's Board of Directors, school founders, grandparents, and parents with professional expertise relevant to the discipline for which we are hiring. 
Dr. Polhemus, Physics teacher at LCHS
The first portion of our interviews covers education philosophy and pedagogy.  Then we quickly dive deeply - very deeply - into the most important part of the conversation - content expertise. 
Our interview documents guide us through fundamental and expert-level academic questions.  Interviewees must demonstrate legitimate mastery of their subject matter, and they must be articulate in their explanations. 
Our inquiries plumb the depths of an applicant's academic preparation and training.  We simultaneously assess how clearly they explain things.  Do they communicate like an adept teacher?
We also mind what a potential employee believes about the principles of education.  Is it more important that students commit key information to memory, or be able to find it when needed?  What is the proper role of parents in a school?  Do you embrace the school's foundation-stone and capstone virtues?  If so, how should these virtues be reinforced through curriculum, in the classroom, and throughout the school?
Connie Trout, one of three Kindergarten teachers, discovers the mysteries of science with two of her students.

Our interviews can last a couple hours; often more.  CLICK HERE to see a video of Liberty instructors recalling their job interviews. 
Those who rise to the top of our interview process are often asked to return to the school and teach a demonstration lesson to our students.  Adult observers typically line the back row taking notes and critiquing the performance.  Participating students fill out a survey after the lesson indicating which aspects of the mock lecture, in their opinion, had the greatest impact.  The lesson is videotaped.
Once we are confident we have divined our top teacher candidate, an invitation is extended to join our organization, and a compensation offer is tendered.  

Upon acceptance of agreeable terms, we announce to the school community the addition of yet another outstanding member of the Liberty Common School faculty.