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
  • Denise Benz: 420-4184
  • Aislinn Kottwitz: 217-5925
  • Kelly Notarfrancesco: 295-4643
  • Jeff Webb: 545-9636
Next Board of Directors Mtg., 
November 17, 2016, 6:00 p.m. 
Liberty Common Elementary   
District Advisory Board Seeking Liberty Representative
The DAB (District Advisory Board) has had another exciting first quarter and is looking forward to some new ventures in our partnership with PSD.

Liberty is seeking a primary and secondary representative designated for DAB.   

If interested, in representing Liberty,  please contact  Mr. Churchill.
Public-Info Night.   Do you know anybody interested in sending their kids to Liberty (either campus); or just learning more about the school's history and philosophy?  Please urge them to attend our Public-Information Night tonight, November 7, 2016 from 6:30-8:30PM in the LCHS Great Hall.  This is an informative presentation for all parents wanting to know more about why we teach what we teach, and why we do what we do.  For hopeful families waiting on the Liberty lottery list for any grades K - 11, attending one of these presentations puts you into the "upper tier" of those waiting for the next open-enrollment spot. 
Events Calendar
November 10|
December Lunch Calendars Due.  Calendars will not be taken  after Nov. 10th.  CLICK HERE
to print out lunch calendars. 

November 11|Chess Club  
November 17|BOD Mtg., 6:00 pm
November 18|Hearing/Vision Screening.  Volunteers  are
needed CLICK HERE   to volunteer.
November 18|Liberty T-Shirt Day
November 18|Chess Club
November 22|Grandparents Day. 
November 23-26|No School-Thanksgiving Break  
November 28|Character Assembly-Self Control. Representative from Ascent Climbing will speak. 
(K-3rd) attends: 8:10-8:45 
(4th-6th) attends: 8:55-9:35  

December 2|
3rd and 4th Grade Choir Concert, 6:30 p.m.
December 5|
Liberty Lecture at LCHS. Topic: Galapagos
December 9|
Chess Club
December 15|
BOD Meeting, 6:00 p.m.
December 16|Free Dress Day
December 19|5th and 6th Grade Band and Choir Concert, 6:30 p.m. 
December 19|Character Assembly-Cooperation. Members of the US Pro-Circuit Cyclist Team, Jelly Belly, will speak.
(4th-6th) attends: 8:10-8:45 
(K-3rd) attends: 8:55-9:9:35  
December 26-Jan. 6|Winter Break 

Major Dates
2016-17 Calendar
  • Thanksgiving-Nov. 23-25
  • Winter Break-
    Dec. 26-Jan. 6
  • Martin Luther King Day-Jan. 16-NO SCHOOL
  • Professional Development Day-Feb. 17-NO SCHOOL
  • Presidents'Day-Feb. 20-NO SCHOOL
  • Spring Break-March 13-17-NO SCHOOL
  • Good Friday-April 14-NO SCHOOL
  • Last Day of Classes-1/2/Day May 26

Kindergarten Sibling List.  
If your child is a sibling of a student currently enrolled in Liberty, and will be attending Kindergarten in the 2017-2018 School Year, please make sure that they are on the Sibling List.  We will begin running the Kindergarten lottery during the week of January 23, 2017. Please contact Julie Russell,
LCS Registrar at 482-9800, ext 1114,
to get on the list. 

High School Fall Musical 2016 Theater Production,
 "Guys and Dolls"
Tickets are now on sale for the Fall Music Theatre Production, "Guys and Dolls!" Show times are this Friday, November 11, at 7 p.m., Saturday, November 12, at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. at LCS. Tickets are $10 for general admission and $5.00 for students and LCS/LCHS Faculty.   To purchase tickets, CLICK HERE: 

Distracted-Driver Simulation
The Mission-Support Battalion of the U.S. Army is bringing its Distracted-Driving Trailer to LCHS throughout the day on Thursday, November 17th.  LCHS students of driving age will be permitted to visit the trailer during study halls, lunchtime, and after school to experience a state-of-the-art driving simulator and learn about the immediate hazards of common motorist distractions such as cellphones, dashboard displays, food, noisy passengers, etc.  Faculty and parents will also be able to try out the simulator.  Just look for the gigantic Army trailer in the LCHS parking lot - CLICK HERE to learn about it beforehand - get in line, and see for yourself how vulnerable you (and your passengers) are to typical driving distractions that, last year in America, caused over a half-million auto accidents.

Lecture Was Riveting
Our first LCHS Liberty Lecture of the year was last Tuesday and featured CSU professor Indrajit Ray who spoke on the subject of computer security and privacy (
CLICK HERE   for more information).  A nice crowd of students and parents showed up and learned a lot.  Mark your calendars now for our next Liberty Lecture scheduled for Monday December 5th.  Topic: Galapagos.  Mrs. Dawn Karr will give a presentation on the biology of this fascinating place, including lessons learned on Liberty's recent summer trip to the Galapagos Islands.  Watch Monday Notes for more details as we get closer to the event.

The Eagles Nest    
Thank you Brooklyn Cardenas, for your amazing art work. Other students' submissions will be rotated throughout the year. 

November 7, 2016 
Issue 11   
Volume 20 
News from Dr. Maureen Schaffer, Founder of Liberty Common School
History of Liberty
Part 1 of 5

Liberty Common School has a unique history that is important for all to know. There were many hardships and roadblocks encountered along the way. The Founders persevered to make our school what it is today, but it wasn't easy. We are fortunate to have had such persistent pioneers with a vision to make one of the best charter schools in Colorado.
For the next three weeks, we will run, "How Did We Get Here?" by Dr. Maureen Schaffer.  Dr. Schaffer does a superb job of detailing the events that took place to develop Liberty Common School as we know it. 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 children.  Our hope is that you feel the same.
The History of Liberty Common School
By Dr. Maureen Schaffer (Founding Parent)
Liberty Common Elementary School first opened its doors in September of 1997, but the story of The Liberty Common School dates back much further.
In the early 1990s, true educational choice was non-existent in Poudre School District.  Parents without resources for private school sent their children to neighborhood schools.  Nebulous curricula were largely determined by individual classroom teachers, leading to gaps and repetition in student learning. Dissatisfied, small groups of parents began to read, research, and meet throughout PSD in search of better options.
One young couple, with a seemingly insatiable interest in education issues, emerged with a solution.  After months of research, Dr. Randy Everett and his wife, Ruth Ann, identified several fundamental elements they believed most parents desired in their children's schooling:
    Parental choice in education
A core curriculum of specific content knowledge
Solid, content-driven skill instruction
Teaching the values of a democratic society
School-based management
Randy and Ruth Ann took their message on the road, placing advertisements in the local paper, and speaking in living rooms and meeting halls throughout the county.  Soon, hundreds of parents had joined the cause.

In the spring of 1993, Dr. Everett submitted a proposal to the PSD Board of Education to establish an Elementary School of Choice organized around the Core Knowledge Sequence.  The educational community fought the proposal with gusto.  District teachers testified before the school board, pronouncing the Core Knowledge Sequence too difficult to teach or learn.  In spite of this strong opposition, the school board approved the request, and the Washington Core Knowledge School opened with 125 students that fall.  This progressive episode in PSD's history is documented on pages 62-63 of The Schools We Need by E.D. Hirsch.

Washington Core Knowledge School flourished. Parents painted the run-down school building and gathered curriculum resources. Courageous teachers joined the team, and students began to outperform their peers at neighborhood schools.  In two years, enrollment had nearly doubled, and the waiting list numbered in the hundreds.

To meet this high demand, the school board allowed Washington Core to further increase enrollment and move into a portion of the old Fort Collins High School building.  In a monumental construction effort led by parent volunteer Carol Christ, the high school building was converted to an elementary school over the summer of 1995.  Things were going well for Washington Core, or so it seemed.

The school district notified Washington Core that its two-year pilot program had ended.   Faculty would now be determined by the district, rather than the school's parent board.  Sadly, the district immediately fired two teachers, replacing them with "tenured excess" teachers from within PSD.

The founding parents were dismayed.   How could the school retain its integrity, if PSD brought in teachers who were not committed to the school's curriculum?   Fortunately, the Colorado legislature had provided an answer - the Charter Schools Act.

News from Liberty's BOD
Rumor has it.....................

Some of you might have heard rumors recently about Liberty Common School purchasing the vacant lot adjacent to the high school.  Well it isn't a rumor. LCS Board of Directors voted to approve the LCS Building Corporation to go into negotiations to purchase the property earlier in the year.  At that time it did not work out but recently the property went back on the market.  Fortunately, this time everything aligned and the closing on the parcel of land happened last Tuesday, November 1st.

Where did the money come from?
The money came from the general fund reserves. The school is required to have a certain amount of money held in reserve to be in compliance with TABOR and our facility bond. These reserves have restrictions on them and cannot be spent. The remaining reserves are unrestricted or non-appropriated. State statute allows for a maximum of 15% of operating expenses to be in the general fund non-appropriated reserves.

Why did the board decide to purchase the property?
There were multiple reasons but two that were unanimous across the board.
1-       This piece of property is the last remaining undeveloped piece of land adjacent to the high school.  This keeps open the opportunity for future expansion of LCHS.
2-       The general fund unrestricted reserve was over the maximum allowed by law.  Some of these reserves were used to purchase the property.  Land is a non-depreciating asset so the school's assets remained the same, it just moved from cash to land.

Does this jeopardize the school's financial position?
The answer is no, the school still has over 48 days of unrestricted cash on hand. This means that the school has enough money to cover current operating expenses in case there is a future state budget cut in per pupil funding.

Does this reduce the amount of money that is available for teacher salaries and instructional material?
Reserves are just that, reserves. These funds were not part of the operating budget. State statute does not allow for the operating budget to have on-going deficits that dip into the General Fund reserves. These reserves cannot be used for on-going operational expenses such as payroll/benefits or lease payments.
If you have any additional questions please feel free to contact the Board Treasurer, Joel Goeltl, at

10 Volunteers Desperately Needed for Vision and Hearing Screening, 
November 18th. , 7:45- 1:15

We are getting ready for our annual Vision and Hearing Screenings and are looking for 10 Volunteers for Friday, November 18th.  and are needed from  7:45 am to approximately 1:15 pm.  Experience is appreciated but not required.  It is important to have volunteers that are available for the  ENTIRE  event so that the screenings go smoothly. Snacks will be provided for our wonderful volunteers.  Please sign-up by CLICKING HERE if you are interested in volunteering. 

Thank you,
Natalie Dybzinski, RN, BSN
School Nurse Consultant
Liberty Common School
Jen Hopkins, LCS Health Tech.
Grandparents Day is fast-approaching - volunteers needed.
By now, most families have received their invitation to Grandparents Day (GPD), November 22, 2016. There are extra invitations
in the elementary-school front office. However, grandparents do not need an invitation to attend, nor do they need to RSVP.

We ask that this day be reserved for students and their grandparents (or an older, influential person in the student's life), but we ask that parents do not attempt to fulfill that role.  We host and serve a hot breakfast to 550+ grandparents alone at the elementary and simply cannot support parents as well.

Volunteer Signup: To make this event seamless and extraordinary, a small group of committed parents have been working tirelessly behind the scenes, but we are asking for more help.

Please click the links below to volunteer and assist with this wonderful Liberty tradition.

Volunteer for GPD at the elementary school.

Thank you in advance for your support and help with Grandparents Day.

Gala Desserts Auction

Calling all bakers and dessert lovers.

Each year at the Spring Gala, the Dessert Auction is a deliciously successful fundraiser. This year we hope to put the icing on the cake by inviting all of you to participate. 
Here's the scoop:
Monday, December 5th, 2016 from 8-10am in the teachers' lounge, each family is invited to bring their favorite dessert along with a mouth-watering description.

We will hold a scrumptious tasting for the teachers and invite them to vote for their favorites. 10 winners will be invited to donate that same dessert for the Spring Gala Dessert Auction.
Some sweet tips:
*Desserts can be home-made, store-made, or restaurant-made.*We suggest gourmet, rich, and decadent desserts... the ones you just have to dig into.

*Please avoid making pound cakes, cookies, pies and fondant decorated cakes.
*Each dessert will be photographed, so make them jaw dropping.
*Winners will be asked to deliver the exact same dessert at 10am at the Hilton Hotel on March 3rd, so please make it repeatable. 

Have an item or service to donate for the Gala 2017 auction?

CLICK HERE to pledge your donation of an item, service, or a cash donation online. Then , bring your donation labeled with your name and  a brief description to the front office at the school.
Orget a donation form from the office and return it to the school with your donation.   
Not sure what to donate?
Gift cards - restaurants, car care, health/beauty, etc. 
Travel- timeshares, airline miles, bed and breakfast stay, condo stay, family recreation 
Your own time and talent! Fly fishing, cooking, etc.
Have a business?
Donate an item or service and gain exposure for your business at the same time. By making a cash donation, you'll become a sponsor and get additional visibility for your business.

Thank you for your support of our fantastic school!

Contact us at:
Qeryldine Hofinger: 970-219-4374
Jodi Fraser: 970-988-1570

We are excited to announce a new and easy way for you to generate donations for Liberty.  Earn money for Liberty while you shop through AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support Liberty every time you shop, at no cost to you. When you shop at , you'll find the same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as , with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price back to Liberty. 
  • Simply go to and enter "Core Knowledge Charter School Foundation."  CKC School Foundation is the technical name for our non-profit organization.  You will not find us by searching for 'Liberty.'
  • The AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases back to Liberty.

Liberty Pom Cheer & Dance Team
Would your student like to be a part of the first Liberty Common Pom Cheer & Dance Team? The Liberty POMS is a new student formed club that would like to invite all 4th through 6th graders to join. The idea is to promote school spirit by cheering on the other sports teams at home games/events and to give students another option to participate in a school related activity. Practice times, costs and other details will depend on the amount of students that participate and if there is someone willing to coach. If your child is interested in participating, and/or if there are any parents who would be interested in coaching, please contact Jen Stalcup, ASAP at (970) 250-6297 or
Sports News by Dan Knab, Liberty Common Athletic Director

Girls Basketball . 7th-grade and 8th-grade girls who want to play basketball this winter for Liberty Common need to add their name to the sign-up sheet in Mr. Knab's office.
This Week In Jr.-High Sports:

7th-grade boys basketball 
Tuesday, 11/9, 4pm, Away @ Valley Middle School
Thursday, 11/10, 4pm, Home @ Highland Middle School
th-grade basketball
Tuesday, 11/9, 4pm, Home vs Valley Middle School
hursday, 11/10, 4pm, Away @ Highland Middle School
First high-school home basketball game is 11/30 at 4PM. CLICK HERE for all jr.-high and high-school
basketball schedules.