LCS COVID Response


  Current Covid Cases (Over the Last 14 days)  

 Elementary School K-6  High School 7-12
 5 1


Schoolwide Update:
Friday 10 Sept 2021


Quarantines Possible.  Given reportable possible COVID cases involving Liberty students, agents of the Larimer County Department of Health & Environment (LCDHE) may contact families regarding quarantining students who may have come in contact with infected-positive cases.  In the opinion of LCDHE workers, some school-related activities – band, choir, physical education, athletics – pose transmission risks that may compel heightened quarantine responses.  Instructions and recommendations on these matters will be provided in a quarantine-order letter sent by LCDHE.   Under LCDHE’s protocol, students who are vaccinated against COVID-19 are exempt from quarantine orders.  Parents of vaccinated children may have to reply to a quarantine order to inform LCDHE workers of their status, and exemption.  These communications must take place with LCDHE workers as the school only assists, but does not manage or issue LCDHE quarantine orders, vaccination records, or the administration of other general medical cases. 

Watch for Symptoms, Stay Home.  If your student develops any symptoms consistent with COVID-19, follow isolation guidelines.  Stay home from work/school and avoid other activities around other people.  Symptoms include:  Feeling feverish, having chills or temperature of 100.4°F or greater ● Loss of taste or smell ● New or unexplained persistent cough ● Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing ● Sore throat ● Runny nose or congestion ● Muscle or body aches ● Headache ● Fatigue ● Nausea, vomiting ● Diarrhea.


Schoolwide Update:
Friday 20 August 2021
Dear Families of Liberty Common School (k-12):
 
Since last week’s school communication to all LCS families (Wed 11 Aug) regarding pandemic mitigation (CLICK HERE), a new federal bulletin was issued, days ago, by which a COVID-related mandate extends to school-bus passengers. That order can be found by CLICKING HERE. 
 
If you plan for your child to ride an LCS bus for shuttling between campuses, and/or in transit to an offsite event, please ensure she or he wears a facemask in compliance with the federal mandate. The school will furnish extra masks for students needing one (but our supply is certainly not unlimited).
 
Though explaining the new bus-related mandate is the main purpose of this communication, it also serves as an opportunity to restate the School’s COVID protocols, and procedures. With the school year starting Monday, all LCS families are advised of the following accordingly.
 
Liberty Common School operates on the universal premise that it is the right and responsibility of parents to direct the education and upbringing of their children. As such, unless compelled under threat of force by some governing authority of valid jurisdiction, the school will not act to undermine the inviolable authority of parents. 
In due deference to parents, Colorado’s state government has affirmed it will honor the judgment of citizens in responding to localized pandemic circumstances. The state has issued public-health opinions, and recommendations for Colorado residents to consider which the school supports for individual evaluation, and response. 
 
Some federal public servants have also issued similar recommendations, and opinions. For example, the government agency Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides guidance and commentary relative to current outbreaks (CLICK HERE) including E.coli, salmonella, listeria, and COVID-19.  Adhering to these state and federal approaches, the school fully supports, and respects the authority of parents to direct healthcare behaviors for their family members – including children attending our school – which to them, are judged to be most prudent. 
 
LCS maintains ongoing communication with local public-health workers, and is prepared to assist them if lawfully forced to manage student-quarantine orders throughout the year. The opinions and guidance of the Larimer County Department of Health and Environment are POSTED HERE for all LCS families to consider in their healthcare decision making. 
It is unacceptable for students to be at school if they are not feeling well, or displaying any symptoms of illness. This is not a new, COVID-related protocol, and it was the number-one strategy in successfully containing the spread of illness in our school last year.
 
Children should be kept out of our school buildings if they exhibit any one the following symptoms:
 
  • Fever
  • Loss of taste and small
  • New or unexplained persistent dry cough
  • Tiredness
  • Sore throat
  • Runny nose
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
 
Any student exhibiting any of these symptoms – even if just one of them – at school will be sent home immediately (they’ll be masked up, and isolated while waiting). It is imperative that parents be proactive, and well ahead of the school in isolating symptomatic students. 
 
Please keep a copy of the State’s “How Sick is too Sick” guidelines close at hand, linked here on the school website. Students who are symptomatic should remain home from school until they are symptom free for 24 hours. 
 
To ease student congestion, elementary-school students may enter the building upon arrival. Please drop off your k-6 child between 7:30 and 8:00AM on school days. Building doors will open at 7:40AM allowing students to enter the building and settle in for the day. There will be no staff on duty before 7:30AM. As such, diligent adherence to this drop-off window is essential.
We will also conduct a staggered release at the end of the day. Classroom instructors will dismiss students in a staggered manner in one-minute intervals to reduce exiting congestion in the hallways. Please be patient as we navigate this new release, and monitor its effectiveness.
 
We expect families to consider the most appropriate way to protect their children while balancing their individual tolerance for risk.  Our intent is to provide the freest delivery of high-quality, in-classroom education for our students and staff, while layering sensible virus-mitigation practices that honor parental authority, and preferences. This best maintains a large community of respect, mutual admiration, and judicial harmony. 
 
These layered practices include:
  1. Needlepoint bipolar ionization fully installed to disinfect and sanitize the air in both buildings -- CLICK HERE for more information including a “How It Works” video.
  2. Enhanced the capacity of HVAC units to allow more fresh air into both buildings.
  3. Student desks are maximally distanced in classrooms.
  4. Students are prompted in frequent hand washing, and sanitization.
  5. Sick, symptomatic students, and staff may not enter either school building.
  6. High-frequency deep-cleaning, including surface sanitization throughout both campuses.
  7. CDC-mandated mask wearing for school-bus transit.  
  8. Vaccines available in the community for those who wish to be vaccinated.
  9. This list of multi-layered mitigation tactics is not exhaustive.
Valid opinions on the efficacy of wearing masks in school relative to COVID vary widely, and therefore present a potential for viewpoint polarization within any school community. We, and Liberty’s Board of Directors, have received opinions spanning a spectrum of conclusions. Respecting each family’s authority to direct the best course for their children is an infrangible canon, consistent with state and county strategies, in navigating risk while fostering the school’s prime imperative – promoting the highest levels of knowledge acquisition for the students whose families have chosen to educate them at our excellent school. 
 
Please feel free to contact your student’s instructors if you feel you need assistance in coaching your child toward adherence with your family’s intentions regarding mask wearing in school.  Please feel free to contact your student’s building principal if there is some unique situation with which you believe extraordinary assistance might be helpful.
 
Informational updates on LCS’s COVID-19 responses are reported at the school’s website – CLICK HERE – and conveyed weekly (Fridays) in Liberty Common Sense newsletters.
 
We appreciate everyone’s commitment and grace in working with the Liberty staff and administration for an optimal school year. We are committed to providing frequent and timely communications as pandemic protocols and procedures evolve.
 
In our happy part of the world, every family has multiple options to consider when choosing the best academic setting for their children. Accordingly, every employee of Liberty Common School is honored by the families who have chosen this institution to assist them in the education and upbringing of their children. Thank you for your ongoing partnership in this virtuous endeavor.
 
Sincerely,
Liberty Administration and Staff


Tear Down This Wall!
By: Torgun LovelyLCHS Principal and Casey Churchill, LCS Principal

Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” This memorable line was delivered by President Ronald Reagan during the Berlin Wall Speech in West Berlin in June of 1987. The Berlin Wall had separated West and East Berlin since 1961. I remember that speech from the 80s and I feel like this explains a lot about what is happening here at Liberty this summer. While we may not be unifying Germany, our students have been separated by barriers since August of 2020.
Last year at this time, we were emailing families about all the risk reduction measures taking place around the school to ensure students could attend Liberty for in-person learning. This summer we are “tearing” these measures down. The 2021-2022 school year is going to be a normal year. The “Desk Masks” are down, face masks will be optional, there will be no remote learning, and schoolwide events such as our elementary-school festivals, carnivals, and concerts as well as high-school and junior-high dances, game nights, sporting events, concerts, and theater performances are being planned. This coming year is going to be great!
There are a few things we discussed as a staff at the end of the year and decided to keep. While the pandemic caused definite setbacks in regard to a few policies and procedures, some systems we liked. At the elementary school, we liked the idea of the students coming in the building directly when they arrived. This coming year, we will ask parents to drop off students no earlier than 7:30 AM. We will then let them in the building at 7:40 AM. This allows students plenty of time to settle in for the day. No more storming the halls to get to class. At the high-school drop-off and pick-up will go back to normal with the Stoa open before school starts and after school ends.
We also greatly appreciated the parent support in keeping students home when they are not feeling well. The Liberty staff did the same thing. This was likely the number-one factor that kept in-person learning sustainable for the entire year. We need to work as a community to continue this habit. When sick students stay home, they can heal and return faster than if they had come to school. Rest is the number-one cure leading to recovery. We highly encourage all families to continue to follow this policy. With that said, we will no longer be giving perfect-attendance awards at the end of the year. This end-of-year award has had a perverse effect on overall school attendance.
Keeping the buildings clean is also a top priority. Our custodial staff will continue to maintain a clean and healthy school environment for our students, and staff. Students are encouraged to play a role in this endeavor by thoroughly washing hands throughout the day. The school was outfitted last year with needlepoint bipolar ionization. This system will continue to clean the air even after the pandemic is over. These are good ongoing good practices we will keep for years to come. 
The pandemic has shined a light on the success and benefits of charter schools. While other large districts struggled to get their feet about them due to pressures from unions and a democratic disorganized management system, Liberty was able to pivot on a dime. We used our money wisely and made necessary changes to ensure students were in-person. There was no learning loss at Liberty last year. No summer schools need to be developed to get students caught up from the pandemic. Our students have received the prerequisite knowledge to move on to the next grade level.
We are excited to have our students and families back to Liberty come August. We are working hard this summer to make building improvements before the first day of school. At the elementary school, we have installed new carpet in several rooms, reroofed above the gymnasium, resurfaced the gym floor, installed new windows upstairs, and landscaped the back of the school. At the high school, we have installed air-conditioning systems in the original part of the building, installed new carpet in a couple rooms, refinished the Colosseum floor, repainted several rooms, and done a deep cleaning of every classroom. Our buildings have never looked better. 
Summer camps and enrichment activities were successful with classes full of students eager to continue their learning over the summer. Mrs. Nichols started the summer with an art camp where the class participants created fun whimsical paper mâché birds. We also hosted reading and math classes for students in grades 1-6. Thank you to Mrs. HarmonMrs. MurphyMrs. WoodMrs. Howe, and Mrs. Cardenas for teaching the academic camps this summer. Mr. DybzinskiMr. HultinDr. RobinsonMr. SkerjanecMs. Erdevig, and Mrs. Deitrick helped students bridge gaps as well as take care of a couple of required courses in some cases. These academic classes have been critical in helping students get needed academic enrichment during the summer. Our teachers worked hard last year and they haven’t stopped. They work over the summer as well to ensure our students are ready for the next year.   
Our students need normalcy after last year. We hope Liberty Common families are enjoying summer with life back to normal while they relax and unwind. We can’t wait to see our students’ “full” faces in August. Classical education was meant to be taught face- to-face, not via remote learning or through a polycarbonate “desk mask.” Expressions of joy or confusion are necessary feedback when teaching. Not having masks or shields will allow students to better interact with the teacher and with their classmates. We have torn down the walls! See you all at our elementary-school Back-to-School Social on August 19th, and our high-school Torch Trek on August 20th.

 


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