Thank you Brooklyn Cardenas, for your amazing art work. Other students' submissions will be rotated throughout the year.   
December 5, 2016
Volume 20,
Issue 15
Liberty Common School  
1725 Sharp Point Drive, Fort Collins, CO 80525
Phone: 970-482-9800 | Fax 970-482-8007 |
Attendance Line: (Please call by 8:30 AM) 970-482-9800 Option 2 
Office Hours:  Monday -  Friday 7:50AM - 4:00 PM
Mark your Calendar 
Galapagos Islands
L iberty Lecture is tonight, December 5th, 6:30 – 8:00PM in the LCHS Great Hall.  Presenter Mrs. Dawn Karr will discuss the biology of this fascinating place, including lessons learned on Liberty’s recent summer trip to the Galapagos Islands.  All students, parents, grandparents, and neighbors are urged to attend.

D ecember 6|  3rd and 4th Grade Choir 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 26-Jan. 6| Winter Break

Major Dates- 2016-17 Calendar
  • 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

T-Shirt Days
  • Dec. 22nd
  • Jan. 27th
  • Feb. 24th
  • March 31st
  • April 28th
  • May 19th

Update from Liberty Common Board of Directors
Liberty Common students are better at Singapore Math than students in Singapore. The mathematics department reported to the board that last school year, a group of fifteen- year-old Liberty students took the OECD/PISA test, a test used to establish international benchmarks. Our students scored significantly higher than the mean for U.S. schools, and our scores even topped those reported by Singapore, from where our mathematics curriculum originates. The only group that scored higher than our students was Shanghai, China. Congratulations to our math department and our students!
The Poudre School District bond is currently in the recount phase. The initial count shows the bond passing by 123 votes, which is within the margin to trigger an automatic recount. The final results are expected this week.
The annual fundraising campaign is in progress. We greatly appreciate our community’s generosity. Contributions can be made online by simply CLICKING HERE. 

Grandparents Day 2016 
T hanks For Grandparents and Liberty Common
A couple weeks ago, appropriately during the week of Thanksgiving, Liberty held the seventh-annual Grandparents Day event at the elementary and the upper schools.  This year, 630 seats  were set up in the elementary gym and almost every seat was filled. The upper school was standing-room-only and drew  the highest attendance of any year previous!
The traditional event is held to honor the generation who raised those of us who are Liberty parents, and who inclined us to make one of the  most important decisions as parents – to educate our kids at Liberty Common.  We  recognized the importance of school choice, the benefits of charter schools, and the freedom  to make educational choices for our children.  Many of us make these choices because our parents raised us with their own exceptional values.  We give thanks to our parents for molding us into the best parents we can be.
At the elementary, grandparents were served not just breakfast, but a truly delicious hot
breakfast.  The entire gymnasium is transformed into a beautiful dining hall with fall decor, table  linens and tealights.  Children in 5th and 6th grade emceed the entire event.  Speakers talked about  fascinating parts of life and the honor of being a part of Liberty Common. Bands played, choirs performed.
At the high school, tables of snacks, hot coffee and tea are laid out with beautiful décor.  The most  talented musicians, choirs, and dancers performed, speakers shared their experiences at the most exceptional school we could imagine our children attending.  All of these blessings have been made possible by to our parents – our children's grandparents.
What does it take to make this happen – to feed and entertain 600 - 800 grandparents in an all-day  event, at two separate campuses?  Answer:  Volunteers.
Each year, it all starts with the Grandparents Day Planning Committee meeting the first week of September.  A small group of dedicated parents meets every week 
to review action items and organize further delegation.  Everything from the invitations to  wrapping flatware with decorative fall motifs is covered and is also done by volunteers - not  just parent volunteers, but student volunteers, too.  
One student representative at the upper school organizes many other students to help the committee with everything from that flatware wrapping  to rushing hot-sausage gravy from the elementary kitchen to the chafing dishes in the gymnasium.  In this one event, we are handing down the values of grandparents - hard work and responsibility - to our children, passing the torch from one generation to the next.  
Some examples of what goes into this beloved event:
  • The student rep for the Grandparents Day Planning Committee, Erin Mallory (LCHS ’17), recruited and secured 35 high-school student/volunteers to arrive at the elementary at 7:15AM the day of the event.  
  • Mr. Dan Knab, Liberty’s athletic director, secured athletes to arrive at the elementary the evening before to lift tables and chairs, deliver folding chairs to classrooms, move bleachers, and more.
  • Numerous parent/volunteers committed to helping set up and decorate the night before, as well as help the day of the event with everything from food prep, hosting, clearing the plates for grandparents, cleaning the kitchen, breaking down of the entire setup (in less than an hour to allow for students to eat lunch).
  • Numerous parents volunteered to donate food for the grandparents.
  • Parents washed, pressed, and folded 70+ large-table linens.
  • High-school students stuffed, addressed, and sealed over 1,200 invitations.
  • High-school students wrapped and decorated 700 sets of flatware.
  • Liberty's own Girl Scouts helped decorate all 70 tables at the elementary.
  • Liberty Elementary Student Council and their teacher/advisor practiced and rehearsed their emcee script for the entire elementary event.
  • Parents at the high school collect all food donations, and decorated to serve grandparents.
There's a theme here: All of this is done on a volunteer basis.  All of it is achieved by people wanting to assist and achieve the same goal.  
I won’t write an entire manuscript on every detail of the event, but one thing that most certainly deserves very special mention is the answer to, "Where does the hot breakfast for 600+ grandparents come from?"  The answer again:  Volunteers.  The Beck family, John and Marie , owners of Panino’s Restaurant, have for the past five years, approached their business vendors for donations of eggs, milk, sausage, butter, biscuits, orange juice, fruit, etc.  For five years straight, no matter the obstacles or challenges, the Beck family has risen to the occasion.  
John and Marie have not only secured donations of all of the food, they rose at 4:00AM to cook the hot sausage, gravy, and eggs.  They also provided pizza from Paninos to all the student/volunteers at their pre-event training session, as well as the athletes and Girl Scouts who volunteered the night before the event. They trained 35 high-school  students to assist with serving and other roles for the event.  These truly amazing Liberty parents should be thanked by everyone for their generosity and incredible hard work.  
I am thankful for all of our parent/volunteers. I am thankful for all our student/volunteers. I am thankful for grandparents.  I am thankful for Liberty Common School.
These are people and things for which we can all be thankful.  Please CLICK HERE to visit Amy Feist’s ( the elementary event photographer) website for a professional and talented memorialization of the elementary portion of the event.  Please CLICK HERE to visit Liberty's Facebook Group for additional photos, including some from the high school.
Several people deserve special mention – people for whom we should all be thankful. Serving on the Grandparents Day Planning Committee were Cheryl Armstrong, Marie Beck, Trula Berg, Jen Hopkins, Sarah Hunt, Michelle Johanson, Kim Kent, and Sarah Kent .  Assisting the committee was Mr. Casey Churchill, Mr. Bob Schaffer .  Additional praise goes to Gena Hepworth who couldn’t attend the committee meetings, but never failed the committee with extra help the day before the event, the night before the event, and before the sun rises the day of the event.
Other event heroes were Amy Feist with Amy Adell Photography , the Johanson Family and Mountain Vista Golf Course , the Osborne Family, Roy and Vedra of IAVCO Independent Audio Visual Company , LCHS Community Outreach Officer Erin Mallory and all of the other high-school students she recruited and organized: Katherine Mallory, Annie Williamson, Maddie Webb, Lili Bacchli, Isaac Krapes, Bethany Ortiz, Brendan Koson, Olivia Wagner, Brody Garrett, Alyssa Huggins, Lucas Emerson, James Conrady, Lillian Hoyer, Misty Hirsch, Rachel Garland, Cate Molenaar, Maddy Dekleva, Mikayla Hraban, Halley Miklos, Emma Daharsh, Johnny Berg, Stratton Wotowey, Mary Schaffer, Allison Salehi, Aidan Allen, Nisha Chatnani, Ryan Zonnefield, Zach Harker, Evan Walter, Madison Hathaway, Bretta Lichtenwalner, Amanda Huggins, Ben Seiple, Anne Dutton, William Morrison, Jonathan King, Joseph DuToit, and Genesis Knab .
Numerous parents signed up to help the day of the event and the evening before the event.  We couldn’t have had such a coordinated, seamless event without you.  Thank you to the parents who donated food. Thank you to the athletes from the upper school who did the heavy lifting, the night before the event, and Mr. Dan Knab for recruiting, directing, and assisting his athletes with the heavy lifting. 
Hearty thanks to:  Our guest speakers, Mr. Jeff Siener and Mrs. Laurel Van Maren ; Mr. Richard Rencher and  Mr. Don Rappenecker , for their hard work with all the 
maintenance required to make our school campuses functional, safe, and beautiful; all of our talented music, band, and choir teachers; all of the wonderful teachers who open their classrooms and their hearts to grandparents; all of the donors and sponsors; Mountain Vista Golf Course - The Johanson Family; Lamar’s Donuts; Roma; US Foods; Shamrock Foods; Pepsi; Sara’s Sausages .

Thank you all for being a part of our wonderful event and exceptional school.
Erin Mihulka , Chairperson, Grandparents Day Planning Committee  
The History of Liberty Common High School
By: Mrs. Michelle Provaznik and Principal Bob Schaffer (Founding Parents)
Part 5 of 5 

The central question was obvious:  Now that Liberty has the authorization to expand, can it afford to actually do it given the dire financial situation and the volatile economy at hand?
Convinced there is no greater priority than the education of their children and buoyed by the strong support for a high school among the Liberty parent population, the Board decided to go forward with the plan.  Though optimistic, the Board instructed the administration to build a high school while pinching every penny in order to make the finances work.  Salaries for all Liberty personnel were frozen until further notice.

Peter Kast, who negotiated and secured Liberty's flagship elementary-school building, answered the school's newest call for help in finding a suitable building; and the search for a new high school facility was on.

What shall the high school be called?  After convening student focus groups and consulting the parent population, it was decided to stick with a brand name that carried with it a nationwide reputation for academic excellence:  Liberty Common High School.

The school would offer a classical liberal arts curriculum building upon the Core Knowledge Sequence and it would accentuate math, science and engineering.  Committees of parents were convened to further develop the curriculum and the course schedules.

Director of the Elementary School Casey Churchill organized the move from LCS to LCHS and the expansion at LCS. It was an enormous undertaking of brilliant coordination.

P ublic meetings were held to describe the school, its goals and plans.  Administrators described the kinds of teachers they would hire, and who from the current school would go to the high-school building.  A relaxed high-school Dress Code was developed and elated 9th graders were allowed to try it out for their second semester at the old Liberty Elementary School.

The House System was developed.  Ninth and eighth graders committed to attending LCHS were assigned to one of three Houses:  Domus Scientiae, Domus Virtutis or Domus Prudentiae.  They began working on House projects such as House crests, logos, mottos and events.

Still, one question loomed over all of these discussions and activities:  Where would the new high school be located? Hopes for a high-school property adjacent to the current school were fading.  Visions of a single Liberty campus were becoming dim.  All options considered turned into dead ends.  The school was now well into 2010 – the year the high school was scheduled to open, but there was no building in hand.

One mile south of the elementary school stood a building that had been occupied by a defunct charter high school for a few years and had been abandoned for a few more years since. Would that building work?

Peter Kast approached the building's owners, and obtained a key allowing the Board to wander through the dusty vacant facility. After the walk through, the Board huddled in the parking lot looking on the abandoned school as the winter sun set over its roof. The group began mulling numbers and options. If the price came down, with some remodeling, and with additional classroom expansion over a few more years, this location could work. The Board decided to pursue the building at 2745 Minnesota Drive, and to continue searching for other options.

It quickly became apparent the poor economy looming over Liberty’s expansion was simultaneously working to the school’s advantage as a buyer in the real-estate market.  The price of the building was, by the month, dropping further below its original asking price.  With the help of an investment corporation FCCS, LLC, headed up by local developer and charter-school backer Troy McWhinney, a solution materialized allowing Liberty Common School to lease the building and purchase it a few years later.

Tenancy stretched Liberty’s budget to its limit, but the numbers added up – barely.  With solid enrollment and aggressive fundraising, the Board believed it could make ends meet.

A Letter of Intent was signed in February of 2010.  Once an agreement was finalized, the landlord opened the building right away so parents could take a tour.  From that moment, excitement punctuated all the work and countless hours required to get the building ready to open by August 18th of 2010.

LCHS opened under the guidance of Director of Secondary Schools Bob Schaffer who was soon after named high-school principal by the Liberty Board of Directors.

Teachers needed to be hired.  After attending numerous job fairs and accepting applications from around the world, a first-rate team of LCHS educators was assembled.

The high school’s roster of inaugural instructors was announced:  Jared Dybzinski, Dr. Charles Hubbeling, Dawn Karr, Marques Kem, William Kranz, Kay Lannen, Jerry Lavin, Torgun Lovely, Duane Staton, Dr. Barbara Werner, Ken Vetter, Sarah Aguilar-Francis, Megan Ellis, Connie Logsdon, Dave Lunn, Susan Porter, Donny Reeves, Wade Torgeson and Erin Voorhies.

The Chairman of the Colorado State Board of Education, former U.S. Congressman, former State Senator, and founding Liberty parent Bob Schaffer, who had been hired as project manager for the high-school expansion, was named Director of Secondary Schools. Along with Liberty’s headmaster the school’s new administration would direct the opening and operation of Liberty Common High School.  (In 2011, Schaffer was named LCHS principal).

Architects and contractors worked feverishly throughout the summer remodeling the building. The administration shopped at auctions for used school furnishings and equipment.

Director of Elementary Education (later named principal) Casey Churchill, orchestrated “the big move.”  Classroom supplies and furniture were boxed up, labeled and carted off to the new school.

Hordes of volunteers showed up (on what always turned out to be the hottest summer days) to unload trucks and set up classrooms.  New lockers - cherry red ones - were ordered and would eventually line the empty hallways (The lockers did not arrive until two months into the school year.  There was no carpet in the school until the second semester).

New lunchroom tables were ordered, too. There was no turning back now. LCHS would open on time with its leading class of 10th graders. In three years, these pioneering students would become Liberty's first graduating class - the inaugural Class of 2013.

The night before LCHS was set to open, students grades 7 - 10 came together at Liberty Elementary School for the last time. Elementary Principal Churchill made remarks encouraging the excited students assembled there, and then lit a ceremonial lantern that was carried by student leaders at the head of a 2.2-mile long procession along the Poudre River then West up to the high ground upon which Liberty Common High School sits.

The lantern carried the flame of Liberty's first "Torch Trek."  The traditional event has been reenacted by Liberty students each year since.
The Liberty Common's Canned Food Drive was a big success.  The number of cans needed to collect for a free dress day was 2016 and 4032 for the Teacher Surprise. The total amount of cans collected in one week was 4102.  Great work to you all.  We are all so proud of your efforts.  The canned food drive is a great way to demonstrate being a good citizenship to our community by providing food for families that are in need.  Great job everyone!
Amazon Smile 
Amazon Smile.  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.
Amazon Smile.  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.
The Time is Now to Sign Up for Chess Club
 Chessmates at Liberty Common
All grades welcome!
Beginner and Advanced Groups
Fridays 3:15 - 4:15PM

Meet in: Art Room

Jan 20, 27
Feb 3, 10, 24
March 3, 10, 24, 31
April 7, 21, 28

Cost: $65 for 12 weeks of class and chess instruction.

Each class includes 30 min of instruction and 30 min of playtime taught by an experienced
chess coach.

Registration: Online at >SCHOOL CLUBS > Liberty Common
Fill out Form and make payment.

Question or Comments?
Contact Us:

Chessmates Chess Club

(970) 658-9976 (call or text)

Refund policy: Any participant may receive a full refund until after the second class is completed. After the second class there
will be no refunds granted, or partial credits given, for any reason.

Temperatures Are Dropping.  Please Check Lost and Found for Missing Coats, Hats, Gloves and many other items

Support Liberty 

Board of Directors
Paulette Hansen:  282-8455
Patrick Albright:  232-8257 
Joel Goeltl : 593-8556 
Jeff Webb : 545-9636 
Denise Benz : 420-4184 
Kelly Notarfrancesco:  295-4643
Aislinn Kottwitz : 217-5925

Upcoming Board Meeting- December 15, 2016,  LCS 6:00PM

You may contact all members on our Board of Directors at .