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.
Events Calendar
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 5|Liberty Lecture at LCHS. Topic: Galapagos
December 6|3rd-4th Grade Concert-6:30 p.m.
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. 

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.

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

November 14, 2016 
Issue 12   
Volume 20 

Only 4 Volunteers Desperately Needed for Vision and Hearing Screening, 
November 18th. 
  • No experience required.
  • Volunteers must be available for the entire screening time so the day runs smoothly. 
  • Snacks will be provided for our wonderful volunteers.
Volunteer by CLICKING HERE.

Thank you,
Natalie Dybzinski, RN, BSN
School Nurse Consultant
Liberty Common School
Jen Hopkins, LCS Health Tech.
Grandparents Day is fast-approaching - volunteers needed.

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.

Monday, December 5th, 2016 from 8-10 am 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.
*Deliver your amazing sweet contribution and description to the Teachers' Lounge at the Lower School by 10 am on Monday, December 5th.
* Winners will be asked to deliver the exact same dessert at 10 am at the Hilton Hotel on March 3rd, so please make it repeatable. 

News from Dr. Maureen Schaffer, Founder of Liberty Common School
History of Liberty-Part 2 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 four 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)
The huge demand for the educational program offered at Washington Core Knowledge School prompted the school's founders to begin drafting an application for a Core Knowledge charter school, under the newly passed Colorado Charter Schools Act.  By the summer of 1995, unresolved issues about the permanence of Washington Core and the authority of the parent board over the academic program spurred a full-scale charter effort.
Meeting after work and on weekends, parents meticulously defined and documented the charter school's mission, goals, curriculum, governance, budget, facility plan, employee relations, and more.  On October 31, 1995, the Core Knowledge Charter School (CKCS) Partnership, the organization formed by founding parents for the purpose of establishing a new charter school, submitted its application to the PSD Board of Education.
Rather than proceed with negotiations, the PSD board requested more and more information, explanation, and detail.   The CKCS board, led by parent Chairman Phil Christ, diligently responded to each request, but to no avail. On December 11, the PSD board voted to deny the charter application without ever having met to negotiate with the parents.

Undaunted, the CKCS board appealed the decision to the Colorado State Board of Education.  In February, the State Board sided with the parents and instructed the PSD board to negotiate an agreement in good faith with the charter group.  Weeks of meetings ensued.   

It appeared the two sides were slowly coming together.  However in an eleventh-hour surprise, the PSD board suddenly voted to "approve" the charter with several major restrictions, not previously discussed:  The charter would be limited to two years, enrollment would be capped at 300 students, and the school would be limited to a K-6 program, thereby eliminating the school's innovative junior-high program.  

PSD further directed the charter school to find space in a non-district building and execute the charter contract with PSD no later than June 1. The constraints made it virtually impossible to open the school.   
Disappointed, the CKCS board filed a second appeal with the State Board of Education.  In an apparent attempt to quash the charter school, PSD unleashed its attorney. A paper war erupted as the lawyer threw legal obstacles in the path of the charter school.  The charter group managed to fend off the legal challenges and was finally granted a hearing before the State Board.

At the April 23 hearing, the final punch was landed when PSD announced it had filed suit against the State Board of Education and CKCS Board of Directors!  Concerned the lawsuit could result in an injunction preventing the charter school from opening, the State Board recommended the charter group try to open a school with PSD's restrictions.

From page 1 of PSD's lawsuit against charter school parents filed in  Larimer County District Court April 22, 1996.

Dozens of outraged parents criticized the legal shenanigans at the next PSD board meeting. PSD director Bob Bacon (who subsequently was elected a Colorado State Senator) denied the district had sued parents and accused charter supporters of promulgating a big lie.[1]  But PSD President Mike Liggett, an attorney, confirmed the lawsuit had indeed named five parents - Phil Christ, Randy Everett, Timothy Gilmore, Cheryl Olsen, and Maureen Schaffer - as defendants.  
The clock was ticking down to the June 1st deadline. Charter parent Mr. Peter Kast, a commercial realtor, conducted yet another survey of potential properties to accommodate the PSD-imposed school configuration.  A near match was identified.   However, two adjustments to the restrictions would be necessary:
       1) Increase the charter length to five years to           amortize building improvements.
       2) Increase the enrollment cap to 364 students to meet the annual lease and maintenance obligations.

The charter group entreated PSD to consider adjusting the restrictions.  The PSD board refused to consider the request. "The Board of Education will not take any further action," came the response in a May 3rd letter to the CKCS board.
The June 1 contract deadline expired, and PSD dropped its lawsuit against the parents. The clock had run out.  There would be no charter school in 1996. 

[1] Vaughan, Kevin. "Parents assail board over charter school." The Fort Collins Coloradoan, May 14, 1996.

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

New Information for Jr.-High Girls Basketball. 
The first practice is December 12th at 3:30pm in the elementary gym. 7th-grade and 8th-grade girls who want to play basketball this winter for Liberty Common need to add their names to the sign-up sheet in Mr. Knab's office. If your daughter has never played basketball or only has limited experience, consider playing this year. There is a competitive level for everyone and the girls get to participate with other girls in their class.

This Week In Jr.-High Sports:
7th-grade boys basketball
Monday, 11/14, 4pm, Away @ Weld Central
Tuesday, 11/15, 4pm, Home vs Platte Valley
Thursday, 11/17, 4pm, Home @ University School
8th-grade boys basketball
Monday, 11/14, 4pm, Home vs Weld Central
Tuesday, 11/15, 4pm, Home vs Platte Valley
Thursday, 11/17, 4pm, Away @ University School