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Core-Knowledge Networking

Core-Knowledge Networking
Casey Churchill, Principal Aristotle Campus

Liberty Common School has been a leader in the Core Knowledge© community ever since opening its doors in 1997.  The reason for its success is the fidelity to the Core Knowledge© Curriculum and its focus on academic rigor.  The school continually assesses all we do to make sure students are getting meaningful instruction in all areas.  The focus is on both skills and content.   To continually grow and share the knowledge with others, Liberty held the first-ever Colorado Core Knowledge Network Conference in 2014, hosting approximately 180 teachers from around Colorado and neighboring states. 

On Fri 16 Feb 2024, we will build on this success and host the Colorado Core Knowledge Network Conference for the third year in a row.  We have invited teachers from all over Colorado to come to LCS and share Core Knowledge© lessons and content.  We are very excited to hold this networking opportunity.  Attendees will gain valuable insight on what other schools are doing and we can share all the great things we are doing at Liberty Common School. 

One of the benefits of teaching Core Knowledge© is the power of networking.  Not only can teachers talk about instructional pedagogy but the content we teach.  The content in most other non-Core Knowledge schools varies from teacher to teacher, so discussions are confined to behavior management and instructional pedagogy.  Very rarely, if ever, do we see content-specific professional development in regular American schools.

Remarkably, content presentations are revolutionary and rare.  When attending professional-development meetings locally or around the state, LCS administration has found there is very little discussion or professional-learning opportunities for teachers to hone their skills in specific content domains. 

Since non-Core Knowledge schools and teachers are choosing the content (content they want to teach), no one has anything in common to share.  Teachers are left discussing learning skills, student behaviors, habits, pedagogical practices, equity, diversity, inclusion, belonging, etc.  These topics do little to elevate teacher knowledge. In turn, the students’ exposure to academic rigor drops. 

Tracy Lee Simmons is the author of Climbing Parnassus, a writer and journalist who has written widely for the New York TimesThe Washington PostThe New York SunThe Weekly Standard, The New CriterionCrisis, and the Sewanee Review along with other newspapers and magazines. He served as associate editor for National Review under William F. Buckley Jr. He holds a master’s degree in classics from Oxford and was the recipient of the 2005 Paideia Prize award given by the CiRCE Institute for lifetime contribution to classical education. He will discuss the decline of academic focus in some schools and the importance of better educational choices. 

This year, we are excited to have Simmons speak on Thu 15 Feb 2024 to members of the community at the Stadium Club in the CSU Canvas Stadium at 6:30PM.  All are welcome. Everyone in the LCS community is urged.

This is a free event to educate families about educational choice and the American decline of academic focus.  This is one event you will not want to miss.  We have invited other classical schools in the area to join us and showcase their schools.  Spread the word!

On Fri 16 Feb 2024, Simmons will be our keynote speaker at the Colorado CK Network event welcoming teachers from all over Colorado.  High-schooll and elementary teachers will be joining us and have prepared content presentations.  Participants will hear a variety of Core Knowledge content presentations.  Here are a few titles: Teaching Science Classically, The Founding Fathers, Etiam Nunc – Even Now, Punic Wars, and How Art Tells the Stories of Civilizations

Liberty Common School has made a concerted effort to elevate academic achievement in our community.  This shift in focus can be seen in the Liberty Common Sense newsletters, Festival of Ideas, Liberty on Tap, and the Colorado Core Knowledge Network

I look forward to sharing all the great things we are doing here at Liberty and I hope to learn more about other schools in the area.  Liberty Common School is not only a leading school in Fort Collins, but in the state.  We hope this tradition of sharing knowledge will spread far and wide for years to come.