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“Look – His Name Is Cooper!”

“Look – His Name Is Cooper!”
Bob Schaffer, Headmaster
Liberty students at the Aristotle elementary campus got to meet Elliot’s new brother on Tuesday.  Little Cooper Wood is the fourth child of Mrs. Graceanne and Mr. Leighton Wood.
baby in stroller and big brother showing off
Elliot, a first grader, was beaming beyond compare when he saw me pass by at lunchtime.  He lifted a blanket covering the stroller, pointed in at a sleeping cherub, and said (screeched really), “Look, his name is Cooper!” 
Cooper was unphased.  I asked Elliot the baby’s age.  Turning to his father he asked, “Dad, how old is he?”   
Sure, a few weeks is probably a long time for a first grader to track.  Mr. Wood told me Elliot hasn’t wanted to come to school since meeting Cooper just one month ago.  He’d rather stay home caring for the newest sibling. 
So, the entire Wood family showed up for Elliot’s lunch period.  Elliot immediately took charge and doted over “his baby.”  It was about the most adorable scene one could possibly behold.
“We love this school,” Mr. Wood said to me while an extremely proud Elliot was showing his brother to any kid who would come over to take a look – an exuberant display of fraternal love (just look at the nearby photo!). 
Congratulations to the whole Wood family.  Little Cooper is their latest masterpiece.  Like all babies, he represents hope for the whole community.  He, too, deserves the option of one day attending the greatest school we can assemble. 

Big, Better Times Ahead

Fortunately for Cooper, Liberty’s Board of Directors, administrators, support staff, and faculty have been planning for bigger and better times ahead.  I expect we’ll be able to make a pretty grand announcement, possibly later this month, about a contract our Building Corporation hopes to sign on a property that will host our expanding junior-high cohort starting in August of 2025. 
That’s when current fifth-graders at Elliot’s Aristotle Campus will have finished sixth grade and merge with their fellow rising seventh graders from the Plato Campus.  The combined numbers will greatly exceed current capacity in the high-school building on Minnesota Drive.
Moreover, we need for the expanded junior-high ranks to be completely out of the high school in order to accommodate them, two years later in 2027, when they’ll form up the largest freshman class in LCHS history. 
Planning for all of this has been underway for over three years.  The pace has quickened through the current school year and is becoming, for some of us, nearly all consuming.  There are incredibly complicated facets to the mapping, staffing, remodeling, and especially the financing. 

Borrowing For Cooper’s Future

Oh, it’s about to get expensive.  That reality was well reckoned and accepted when the Board voted to add the Aristotle Campus.  The Board agreed then, as we all do now, that children like Elliot, Cooper and their two other siblings make expanding an easy gambit.
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We’re confident we can pay for the rather astonishing plans I hope to announce within weeks; but we’ll have to borrow – a lot – through bond financing to pull it off.  The market is not the best right now.  We’ll likely be in debt right up to our allowable borrowing capacity.
The going will get pretty tough through the first few years.  We’ve been in penny-pinching times before.
Expansion, however, accommodates increased enrollment in grades six through twelve as today’s 5th-grade cohort leads the way toward eventually crossing the LCHS graduation stage in 2031.  At that time, expanded enrollment will generate requisite income. 
Once fully realized, and assuming stable year-to-year state-funding increases, it won’t take long for our monthly debt service to become easier to manage.   That could actually happen much sooner, if...

Fundraising-Campaign Launch

 Perhaps the most compelling time to contribute to LCS is now.  We’re about to launch the largest fundraising drive ever.  Once understood, the cause is actually exciting.
Every dollar we can raise from donations for facilities expansion is a dollar we will not have to borrow.  Every dollar we don’t borrow computes to at least two dollars we won’t have to spend on interest payments over the life of our bonds.  In other words, a few hundreds of thousands of dollars donated now will save us millions in the long run.
photo of family with baby
We’ll make this case and amp up appeal strategies soon enough.  For now, just know that a small contribution to the next phase of our “Raise The Torch” campaign will go a really long way.  A large contribution can erase loads of debt burden for years to come.
Early debt relief compounds in sustained savings and results directly in higher teacher pay, upgraded supplies and materials, better security, and excellent facility improvements – more education for every LCS student. 
Please give serious thought and considerable prayer to ensuring our mighty parent-owned charter school becomes the greatest school we can assemble for thousands of Northern Colorado children.  Truly, there are countless reasons for every Liberty family to go big in this fund drive.
Elliot, however, articulated perhaps the sweetest one.  “Look, his name is Cooper!”


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