3 Tips for Successful Virtual Learning

Lakeside Christian School, not unlike many private elementary schools in Clearwater, FL, is offering a blend of synchronous and asynchronous learning for any students who need to attend school remotely in either the short or long term. And while our virtual program is designed to continue to provide an outstanding educational experience with the flexibility for parents to assess their own needs for remote or in-person learning, we recognize that making and maintaining the transition to remote coursework is not always easy. That’s why, in today’s brief article, we’ll be going over three tips for your student to be successful at virtual learning.


Related: Starting On The Right Path By Selecting The Best Elementary School For Your Child


1. Establish a Comfortable “Learning Space”


Your student may normally do their homework on the kitchen table or in their bedroom, but this space is often not a suitable environment for them to conduct all of their virtual learning. Instead, you’ll likely want to create a quiet, peaceful space that is exclusively dedicated to that purpose. Much like physically going to school helps your student know it’s time to focus, you’ll find that going to this designated area will help your student clear their headspace and get to work.


It doesn’t matter where the area is within your home, so long as there is enough space for your student to spread out all of their materials. It should be well-lit, free from clutter, and preferably close to an outlet so that any electronic devices needed for school can be charged. Overall, you just want a clean, dedicated area that helps your student relax and feel more prepared to study.


2. Follow a Schedule


Without the structure of teachers and class changes, it can be easy to go to extremes. Some students may spend all day feverishly working, while others may spend five minutes on an assignment that was supposed to last half an hour. You’ll want to counteract this problem by creating and following a schedule that helps your student stay on track.


For older students, this could mean purchasing a planner or making use of an online resource like Google Calendar. For younger students who can’t tell time yet, it would be beneficial to try setting up a timer for the number of minutes they should spend on a specific activity. It may also be helpful to break the day into 15-20 minute time blocks and plan what needs to be completed in each block rather than simply working on one subject for most of the day.


3. Ask For Help


Last but not least, if you ever feel like you or your student may need assistance with virtual learning, it’s important to reach out for help. This could mean contacting your student’s teachers with any questions, reaching out to your student’s counselor when they begin to feel overwhelmed, or speaking with other parents whose children are doing virtual learning about how they are coping. It’s important to ask for help as soon as possible so that your student does not risk falling behind or not fully understanding an important topic. For more information on how your student can succeed in a virtual learning program, get in touch with Lakeside Christian School — an affordable private elementary school in Clearwater, FL.



If you would like to learn more about Lakeside Christian School, one of the best private elementary schools in Clearwater, FL, please give us a call at (727) 239-7808 or schedule a tour of our campus.

Choosing a Private School During the COVID-19 Pandemic

When high schools across America went to virtual learning in early March of 2020, it was easy to think that the extra time at home was nothing more than a bonus Spring Break. Now, 2021 has rolled around, and the COVID-19 pandemic is still far from over. Each and every day, we are being forced to reevaluate the way we think, the way we work, the way we live, and the way we educate our children. For example, right now, your student could be getting their education through any number of formats, including in-person learning, e-learning, or a combination of the two.


However, even while many aspects of the world may still be on pause, your child’s education is something that just can’t wait. Admissions offices understand that parents are pressured to make the best informed decision they can for their child’s education and are finding new ways to connect with families and prospective students every day, providing more than enough opportunities for parents to learn about and engage with their schools. In this brief article, we’ll be going over just a few of the most important steps you can take to choose the best private school out of the Christian high schools in Clearwater, FL, during the pandemic.


Related: Private Schools Catch Parents’ Eye As COVID-19 Surges


Connect Virtually


Typically, the easiest way to learn about a school is to attend an open house or schedule a tour. This gives you a chance to learn the basic facts about the school, the type of students who go there, and what their classes are like before delving into some of the more nuanced aspects of what makes the school unique. However, with the pandemic and other considerations in mind, you might not be able or willing to schedule a tour of a prospective private school.


In this case, it’s important to remember that there are a multitude of options available for you to connect virtually with your school of choice, such as attending a virtual open house, visiting their website, or tuning in to a virtual information session. If this is a return “visit” to find out more about a particular area of the school, such as extracurriculars, curriculum, or the specifics of a college prep program, then a private Zoom call may be more appropriate. No matter which method you choose, connecting virtually with a private school is an outstanding chance to get a glimpse into the school’s larger culture and values, the success they choose to showcase, and how they express its mission.


Related: Narrowing Down Your Choice of Private Christian Schools in Clearwater


Speak With Other Parents


After visiting the website or taking a virtual visit to a prospective Christian high school in Clearwater, FL, your next step should be to reach out to any parents whose children currently attend the school you are considering. These conversations will help you get a better sense of what goes on inside the classroom and out, and ask questions about a wide variety of topics ranging from the school’s culture to its handling of remote learning during the lockdown. Below, we’ve outlined some basic questions you may want to consider asking other parents:


  • Is your child happy at this school? Why or why not?
  • What do you feel sets this school apart from others?
  • Is there a strong sense of community at this school?
  • Do you feel as if your child gets personalized attention from teachers, coaches, and other advisors?


Whether these parents rave about the school or give it less than stellar reviews, it’s important to remember that their opinion should not be the final say in your decision. Wait until you have conducted proper research and met with admissions officers before formulating an educated opinion. And, as always, be sure that you are taking the physical, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing of your child into consideration when selecting a school/


If you would like to learn more about Lakeside Christian School, one of the top Christian high schools in Clearwater, FL, please give us a call at (727) 239-7808 or schedule a tour of our campus.

Take Control of Your Child’s Education with the Gardiner Scholarship

For the vast majority of children in the United States, a good education is largely contingent on the school they attend. In most states, this depends on where the child lives and limits school choice to those parents who can either afford to move to a better school district or pay private school tuition. However, in Florida, this underperformance in K-12 public schools has been counteracted with a variety of school choice programs, vouchers, scholarship tax credits, and online learning alternatives for parents to take control of their child’s education. One state-approved nonprofit scholarship funding organization, for example, awarded scholarships to approximately 99,113 economically disadvantaged students during the 2020-21 school year.

In today’s brief article, we’ll be reviewing how you can take advantage of just one of the five key scholarships available for Florida schoolchildren through Step Up For Students in Clearwater, FL — the Gardiner Scholarship. This scholarship program, whose name honors Florida Senate President Andy Gardiner who led the legislative effort to create it, helps parents across Florida individualize the education plans for their children with certain special needs. This is accomplished by directing money toward a combination of programs and approved providers, including schools, therapists, curriculum, technology, and a college savings account.


Related: Are You Looking For School Options For Your Child? Consider Step Up For Students.


Determining Eligibility for the Gardiner Scholarship

Since the Gardiner Scholarship is intended for children with certain special needs, your student is only eligible if he or she has one of the following disabilities:


  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Down syndrome
  • Phelan McDermid syndrome
  • Prader-Willi syndrome
  • Spina bifida
  • Williams syndrome
  • Intellectual disability (severe cognitive impairment)
  • Rare diseases as defined by the National Organization for Rare Disorders
  • Anaphylaxis
  • Deaf
  • Visually impaired
  • Dual sensory impaired
  • Traumatic brain injured
  • Hospital or homebound as defined by State Board of Education
  • Deemed high-risk due to developmental delays (applies to 3-5 year-olds)


In order to prove that your student is eligible, you will need to provide validation of his or her diagnosis from a Florida physician, psychologist, or physician who holds an active license issued by another state or territory of the United States. To demonstrate that your student is dual sensory impaired or hospital or homebound, a current Individualized Education Program (IEP) is required. And while students can participate in the scholarship program as part of home education, they cannot be enrolled in a public school or receive any other state-sponsored scholarship, such as the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship. Lastly, this scholarship is only available for students 3 years old through 12th grade or age 22, whichever comes first.


Related: Everything Parents Need To Know About The Gardiner Scholarship


Preparing for the 2021-22 Application Season

For those parents who are looking to take control of their child’s education and believe they may be eligible for the Gardiner Scholarship, now is the time to begin to prepare. The Gardiner Scholarship application for the 2021-22 school year will first be available to renewal students until April 30, 2021. Afterward, the application will then open to new students, including those on the 2020-21 waitlist. After the funding priority period has passed, applications will be processed in the following order: (1) students who were on the 2020-21 waitlist and (2) new and renewal students in the order they were deemed eligible.

As with most scholarships, applications are processed on a first-come, first-served basis. If funding is not available at the time an award determination is placed, your student may be placed on the waitlist. For families applying for this scholarship for the first time, it’s important to begin collecting the following items as soon as possible:


  • Documentation of your student’s diagnosis for a physician or psychologist with an active license issued by a state or territory of the United States OR an IEP written in accordance with the rules of the State Board of Education
  • Documentation indicating proof of Florida residency
  • Birth certificate for students in the first grade and below


The Gardiner Scholarship amount varies according to grade and county of residence; however, the average amount of students in the 2019-20 school year was $10,400. This represents 90 percent of the 253 matrix level of funding unless your student has a matrix level of services on file with the Florida Department of Education due to public school enrollment. Most students with an IEP will not have a matrix level of services. For more information, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Lakeside Christian School — one of the Step Up For Students participating schools in Clearwater, FL.


If you would like to learn more about Lakeside Christian School, one of the Step Up For Students participating schools, please give us a call at (727) 239-7808 or schedule a tour of our campus.

3 Ways to Make Private School More Affordable

According to a national poll conducted by EdChoice, approximately 40 percent of current and former school parents say they would send their private school if it were their decision. Given the small class sizes, specialized instruction, and exceptional educators, it’s not hard to see why private education is becoming an increasingly attractive option. So, what’s holding these parents back from sending their children to private schools?


The short answer: tuition. According to data collected by the Private School Review, the national average of private school tuition is approximately $11,173 per year. Given that most families will someday have to contend with the cost of college as well, paying for higher and secondary education may seem increasingly difficult, if not impossible. However, there are methods of making private high schools in Clearwater, FL, more affordable. In this brief article, we’ll review 3 easy ways you can make sending your child to private school more affordable.


Related: Yes, You Can Afford A Private Education For Your Child


1. Consider a Coverdell ESA

If your adjusted gross income is $110,000 or less (or $220,000 if you file a joint tax return,) you may be eligible for a Coverdell education savings account (ESA). A Coverdell ESA is a trust or custodial account set up to pay education expenses for a designated beneficiary. The money can be used for any qualified K-12 school expenses as well as for college.


You can set up as many Coverdell accounts as you want for a particular beneficiary; the only catch is that the total contribution to all accounts can’t exceed $2,000 annually. Otherwise, the amount you deposit will grow tax-free, so long as the disbursements don’t exceed your child’s qualified education expenses.

Related: 4 Ways To Give Your Child A Private Education While On A Budget


2. Prioritize Your Expenses

While it may not be preferable, families will always have ways of reducing their cost of living so that they can put more income toward tuition. What this looks like will vary greatly depending on your family and the tuition of the school you want your child to attend. Sacrificing extras like yearly vacations, winter vacation homes, or dining out all the time could be just the thing you need to scrape up the few extra dollars.


The important thing to do during this time to keep a level head is to maintain a working document of all the reasons you want to send your child to private school. Whenever you find yourself questioning your decision to sacrifice things, you can immediately remind yourself of the end goal for your child.

Related: Practical Strategies For Saving Money For Tuition


3. Apply for a Scholarship

Scholarships aren’t just for students that excel academically; they’re also available for students with financial need or that meet other key criteria. As one of the participating Christian high schools in Clearwater, FL, we highly recommend Step Up Students — a scholarship available to all Florida residents with students in grades K-12 whose families meet the income requirements. There are two main scholarships, in particular, that provide your student with greater school options: the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship and the Family Empowerment Scholarship. The Florida Tax Credit Scholarship gives families a choice of assistance towards private school tuition and fees or transportation costs to a public school other than the one they’re assigned to. The Family Empowerment Scholarship, on the other hand, may only be used toward private school tuition and fees.


For more information on financial assistance to attend Lakeside Christian School, don’t hesitate to give us a call. We provide over $250,000 in scholarships to qualified families each year and would be more than happy to help you send your child to private school.


If you would like to learn more about Lakeside Christian School, one of the best private high schools in Clearwater, FL, please give us a call at (727) 239-7808 or schedule a tour of our campus.

At What Age Should I Send My Child to Private School?

If you have been thinking about sending your child to private school, you may think a private education could be the key to getting your child into the university of their choice, or perhaps your child’s academic and emotional needs just aren’t being fulfilled by their current school. At what age is it appropriate to send your child to private school?


Do you wait until a natural break, like the end of fifth grade and the start of sixth, so that your child enjoys a seamless transition? Or do you opt to transfer your child from the public to the private school system at the start of high school to better focus on university preparation? Do you feel as if the “right” moment to make the transition may never come at the rate your child is progressing?


To help you make the best decision for you and your family, we’ve prepared a list of key factors that go into the question, “When’s the best time for my child to begin private school?” For one of the best private elementary schools in Clearwater, FL, that values high-quality education, college preparation, and a caring Christian environment for your child, choose Lakeside Christian School.


Related: Should You Enroll Your Child In Private School? Consider These 3 Advantages


The Quality of Schools In Your Area

The first and arguably one of the most important factors to take into consideration when deciding whether it may be time to send your child to private school is the quality of public schools in your area. Public and private school administrators and educators all do their best to create an excellent learning environment for your child; however, some schools simply don’t live up to the challenge. There’s sure to be at least one reason why you may be considering a private school rather than your area’s public school offerings, so make a list of those reasons. Is it because of safety, your religion, or the quality of educators at your child’s school? What is lacking in your child’s current public school that you’re looking to obtain in a private school?


Once you have your list, you can make the decision as to whether or not making the transition to private school needs to come earlier rather than later. For example, if your child is struggling in their current educational environment, not receiving the help they need, or falling behind their peers, there’s no time to waste in getting him or her into a private school. If your child is excelling or the quality of education they’re currently receiving at their public school meets your expectations for the time being, it might make more sense to wait until a natural transition period.


The Stages of Child Development

Before you send your child off to school, whether it’s a public or a private school, you need to consider all of the ways that the staff, other students, and educational environment may impact your child. The way that educators interact with your child and encourage interactions between the children are bound to affect the development of your child in more than a few important ways. Below, we outline a few different areas of child development that your child’s school can have an impact upon:


  • Academic Potential: The role of your child’s school should always be to propel them to their maximum academic potential. This means helping them to develop problem-solving and solution-seeking skills that will come in handy time and time again in every aspect of their adult life.
  • Character Building: This is not an alternative to your child’s academic achievement, but an essential adjunct. Just as their school provides lessons on math and science, they should also help your child learn crucial values like compassion, respect, integrity, and empathy.
  • Social Skills: It’s vital that most if not all of the school’s curriculum is designed to help your child form solid social relationships, connect with their peers in a meaningful way, and develop emotionally.


Children have different educational needs at various points throughout their development; however, the most critical years for your child are almost always going to be in primary school. This is where they’re going to develop critical thinking and social skills, learn to interpret complex concepts, and nourish good learning habits. If you want to guide your child through this phase of development with ease and better prepare them for the road ahead of them, you’re going to want to send them to a Clearwater private school.


If you would like to learn more about Lakeside Christian School, one of the best private elementary schools in Clearwater, FL, please give us a call at (727) 239-7808 or schedule a tour of our campus.

Why Middle School Is So Important For Your Child’s Development

Did you know that research indicates that students at risk of dropping out of school can be identified as early as sixth grade? In fact, research indicates that sixth-graders who display even one of the off-track indicators, such as a failing grade in mathematics or an unsatisfactory behavior mark in a core course, have only a 15 to 25 percent chance of graduating on time. This means, among other things, that middle school should be recognized as a critical transition period for your child from an academic and social-emotional standpoint.


In this brief article, we’ll review why middle school is so important for the development of your child in terms of academic achievement, emotional growth, and more. If you’re looking for a private middle school in Clearwater, FL, that will foster academic excellence, integrity, and empathy in your child, choose Lakeside Christian School.


Related: Choosing The Best Private Middle School


The Developmental Needs of Early Adolescence Can Be Very Complex

Early adolescence has long since been recognized as a critical stage for an individual’s development and learning, with positive effects lasting long into adulthood. However, recent research studies have identified adolescence as a second critical window for brain development as well. Changes in students’ bodies and brains during this period affect how they will learn for the rest of their lives.


What this means is that, during middle school, students must enjoy a wide variety of engaging and rigorous learning opportunities, or they may face restricted brain development down the line. The more students engage in these types of learning experiences, such as solving complex problems or connecting information learned in school with their own experiences, the more their brain cells will grow. These rich learning experiences should always connect academic learning to the student’s personal interests, prior knowledge, past experiences, and current events to capitalize on their increased ability to retain personally relevant information.

Related: Why Maintaining Your Child’s GPA in Middle School Is Vital to Their Development


Middle School Students Actively Seek Positive Role Models

Research findings consistently indicate that adolescents who can identify at least one positive role model in their lives have higher grades and self-esteem than those who cannot, particularly when the adolescent knows their role model on a personal level. In addition to these benefits, positive role models have also been shown to decrease adolescents’ risk for harmful behaviors, such as sexual intercourse, violence, drug and alcohol abuse, and more. Unfortunately, only one-fourth of students report having a positive adult role model in their lives, either having no one to look up to or having to look up to someone making negative choices in their life.


As such, middle schools need to be places where students can be exposed to positive role models, whether it’s educators, administration, parent volunteers, or business and community leaders. At Lakeside Christian School, one of the private middle schools in Clearwater, FL, for example, each and every one of our educators is involved in teaching Bible studies and/or participating somewhere within the ministry in Christian education, and they are ACSI Certified. They’re willing to do whatever it takes to eliminate academic gaps, propel their students forward, and serve as a positive role model in the lives of their students.


Related: The Benefits of Mentorship in Middle School


Middle School Should Provide a Tailored Learning Environment

Last but not least, middle schoolers need learning environments that will ignite their curiosity and empower them to be active participants in their school and community. Rather than listening to lectures or just doing worksheets, they should be performing hands-on activities that ensure they stay excited and enthusiastic about learning. This means stepping away from the middle school classrooms that emulate high school classrooms, elementary classrooms, or some haphazard combination. What these students will benefit most from is a place that has been specifically designed for their unique physical, social, emotional, and academic needs. For more information on the only private middle school in Clearwater, FL, that can meet your child’s developmental needs, contact Lakeside Christian School.


If you would like to learn more about Lakeside Christian School, one of the best private middle schools in Clearwater, FL, please give us a call at (727) 239-7808 or schedule a tour of our campus.

Everything You Need to Know About the Private School Admissions Process

With smaller class sizes, more opportunities for one-on-one learning, and distinctive learning philosophy, there’s plenty of reasons why a private school may be better suited to your student’s needs than the local public school. Unlike public schools, however, private schools always require an application. Between school tours, interviews, and entrance examinations, it’s no wonder that the admissions process can quickly become taxing on your family. Fortunately, there is a way to make this process a bit easier for you and your student.


In this article, we’ve compiled everything you need to know about how the application process works, what the admissions committees will be expecting, and how you can position your child as a successful applicant. This will help you keep a clear and focused mind as you conduct research on the right school for your family and eventually submit your application. For a private high school in Clearwater, FL, that has been providing exceptional education to K-12 students since 1975, choose Lakeside Christian School.


Related: 3 Benefits of Touring Private Schools Before Enrollment


The Interview Serves As a Window Into Your Child’s Personality

The private school admissions process varies greatly from one school to another; however, the interview is one critical requirement that is truly universal. Any private school you wish to apply to will always require you to meet with the principal, admissions officer, or another member of the administration in a one-on-one or small group setting. For Lakeside Christian School, whom you’ll be required to meet with varies depending on the age of your child. For parents with students from grades 6 to 12, you’ll be required to meet with the school administration and express your child’s desire to be at LCS and abide by the LCS rules of behavior and conduct.


The role of this interview in the admissions process is to offer the admissions committee and members of the administration conducting the interview a window into your child’s personality — their passions, extracurricular interests, academic strengths, and skills. Perhaps your child is on the soccer team or maybe they’ve completed an outstanding project at their school’s science fair. Any example you have of your child skills, interests, or strengths is going to be a great aspect to bring up during the interview.


This is also an opportunity for you and your child to get to know the admissions committee, faculty, and members of the administration. How do they talk about the students and teachers at their school? What does the curriculum look and feel like? This will help you get a better understanding of whether or not your child will be a great fit for the environment.


Related: Can Public School Students Adapt to a Clearwater, FL, Christian School?


The Entrance Examinations Are Nothing to Fear

If you’ve been doing your private school research, you’ve likely heard of a number of entrance examinations, including the Independent School Entrance Exam (ISEE), Secondary School Admissions Exam (SSAT), and the High School Placement Test (HSPT). A Christian high school in Clearwater, FL, may use a school-specific entrance exam or admissions test as well. The most important thing to remember about these examinations, no matter which one your child ends up having to take, is that these tests are designed for the correct placement of your child by grade or course level.


Successful performance on these types of tests is strictly tied to your student’s academic foundation in school rather than an intensive test prep course or weeks of private tutoring. The reading comprehension portion of such an exam, for example, is designed to assess the student’s reading fluency and comprehension skills, which are developed over years of education. The only way you can and should prepare for your child to excel in this examination is to have them take a full-length practice test as early as possible. This will give your student an idea of how they would score if taking the test today and provide a roadmap that pinpoints their strengths and weaknesses.


Related: Is A Private Education Really Out Of Reach?


The Support of the Student’s Parents Is a Major Factor

Finally, it’s important to recognize that the support of the student’s parents will always play a role in their child’s candidacy at a private school. Moreover, the admissions committee wants to know that you’re applying for the right reasons, share their educational philosophy, and are on the same team when it comes to your child’s education. Many private schools may choose to interview the parents as well as the student to ascertain the degree to which the parent is going to be involved with the child’s education and be supportive in terms of enforcing the school’s expectations.


Overall, a private high school in Clearwater, FL, like Lakeside Christian School, are not seeking a perfect model of the ideal student. Instead, they’re seeking real students with a wealth of interests, passions, and perspectives who can enrich the school’s learning community.


If you would like to learn more about Lakeside Christian School, a Christian high school in Clearwater, FL, please give us a call at (727) 239-7808 or schedule a tour of our campus. 

Should I Apply for the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship or the Family Empowerment Scholarship?

If you’re looking to send your student to a private school for the 2020-2021 school year and are wondering how you’re going to pay for it, it may be time to look into Step Up For Students in Clearwater, FL. The Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program currently offers two scholarships for low-income students in Florida: the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship and the Family Empowerment Scholarship. Deciding which of these scholarships that you should apply for can be a difficult task, which is why we’ve taken this opportunity to outline what the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program is all about and the difference between these two scholarships.


Related: Why It’s So Important to Apply for Income-Based Scholarships for the 2020-21 School Year


What Is the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program?

The Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program (FTC) was established in 2001 by the Florida Legislature in order to provide an income tax credit for corporations that contribute money to nonprofit Scholarship Funding-Organization (SFOs) — institutions that award scholarships to families with limited financial resources. The purpose of the tax credit was split off into three main goals: encourage private contributions to nonprofit SPOs, expand education opportunities for children in lower-income families, and enable children to achieve a higher level of excellence in their education.


Of America’s school choice programs, the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship is one of the largest in terms of student participation. As of Fall 2019, there were 108,570 participating students with an average scholarship value of $6,195 and 1,836 participating schools. 50 percent of families with children in the State of Florida were income-eligible for this tax-credit scholarship program.


What Is the Difference Between the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship and the Family Empowerment Scholarship?

The one major difference is that the Family Empowerment Scholarship can only be used toward private school tuition and fees while the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship allows families to choose between financial assistance toward private school tuition and fees OR transportation costs to attend a public school other than the one the student is currently assigned to attend. Other minor differences do exist, such as that renewal students have first priority for the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship, but the majority of parents are going to be concerned with where these scholarship funds are able to be directed. Another important factor to consider is that, despite the fact that the eligibility criteria differs between the programs, the application is the same for both.


Related: Everything Parents Should Know About Florida’s New “Family Empowerment Scholarship”


Is My Child Eligible for Either of These Scholarships?

Your child may income qualify for either one of these scholarships if your household meets any of these conditions:


  • A member of the household receives SNAP, TANF, or FDPIR
  • The household income qualifies for free or reduced-price lunch
  • The household income is at or below the income criteria outlined in the Eligibility Chart


For example, the Family Empowerment Scholarship income level is designed to serve students in households at $76,800 or below. Priority is given to students whose incomes are below $48,470. If your income is below the income criteria in the income priority chart, your student will be placed on a waiting list until all the renewal families and new families whose income falls under the priority table receive funds.


In terms of other eligibility requirements, you’ll want to make sure that your student has spent the prior school year in attendance at a Florida public school for the Family Empowerment Scholarship. This means that your student was enrolled and attended a Florida public school for both the October and February student counts. The only exception applies for a dependent child of a member of the military transferring from another state or a foreign country due to a change of station. If you are interested in applying for either of these scholarships and are looking for one of the best Step Up For Students participating schools, choose Lakeside Christian School.


If you would like to learn more about Lakeside Christian School, one of the Step Up For Students participating schools, please give us a call at (727) 239-7808 or schedule a tour of our campus.

Does Attending a Private High School Help Your Child Win a College Scholarship?

The college application season is upon us! With college tuition at a record high and national student loan debt at a crisis level, scholarships are an ideal way to get ahead of the game when it comes to funding your child’s education. Parents of upcoming graduates across the globe are now wondering what can be done to improve their child’s chance of winning one (or a few) of these top scholarships.


While attending one of the best private high schools in Clearwater, FL isn’t a surefire guarantee that you’ll receive a college scholarship, many of the aspects of these schools like smaller class sizes and close relationships with faculty can ensure that your student has the best opportunity to discover the areas in which they excel. Continue reading to learn everything you need to know about how attending a private high school may help your child discover activities that interest them most and win that college scholarship.


Opportunities to Develop Specialized Interests

It’s important to remember that there’s a scholarship out there for almost everything, including GPA, languages spoken, extracurricular activities, and more. Whether your child is a first-generation college student, captain of the swim team, or both, there’s a scholarship out there that’s tailored exactly to their individual skills and qualities. The key to winning these highly-specialized scholarships is developing these personal interests and passions. A private high school can offer all the athletic, artistic, and service-based opportunities your child needs to develop their hobbies into passions and career interests. For example, Lakeside Christian School, one of the best private schools in Clearwater, FL, has a stunning fine arts and athletic program, including a varsity football team and drama department.


Related: LCS Fine Arts Quick Facts


Individualized Attention

Another important factor to take into consideration is class size. A number of private high schools in Clearwater, FL including Lakeside Christian School, benefit from a small school setting that affords their students with greater one-on-one time with their teachers. This is relevant to winning college scholarships because studies show a clear relationship between small class size and increased student achievement. For example, a high school English teacher with 4 or more classes of 20 students or more would not be able to give lengthy, in-depth writing assignments because there’s simply not enough time to evaluate each of these student’s essays on an individual level. By receiving this individualized attention that allows your child to forge closer relationships with faculty and staff and develop higher-level thinking skills, your child is more likely to earn a college scholarship.


Related: How Does a Small School Setting Help My Child Succeed?


Building Leadership

Finally, it’s worth noting that a great deal of college scholarships are targeted towards student leaders or students who have exhibited leadership qualities throughout their careers. The best of the best private schools in Clearwater, FL, are designed to build student leaders just like these. For example, Lakeside Christian School prepares their students for college all throughout the K-12 grades, providing them with ample opportunities to develop the skills they need to prosper in higher education and beyond. Combine this with the smaller class sizes, and you have a school capable of spotlighting your child’s talents, elevating them to their fullest potential, and shaping them into a student worthy of a hefty college scholarship.


If you would like to learn more about Lakeside Christian School, one of the top private high schools in Clearwater, FL, please give us a call at (727) 239-7808 or schedule a tour of our campus.

3 Factors to Consider When Changing Your Child’s School

School is an environment designed to help your child learn, grow, and thrive. If your child is struggling academically, socially, or mentally in their current school, it may be time to consider switching to a school that can better accommodate their learning needs. Common reasons why many parents decide to pull their child out of their current school include everything from class size to inflexible curriculum that doesn’t match their child’s learning style.


These examples, however, only scratch the surface of the possible reasons why you’d want to change your child’s school. No matter what your reasons are, we’ve compiled several factors to weigh in before deciding which private middle school in Clearwater, FL is best for your child.


Quality of Education

The ultimate dream of any parent is to provide their child with a high-quality education. It’s important to be mindful of the quality of education your child will be receiving when switching schools because different schools have varying levels of rigor related to academic curriculum and extracurricular activities. If your child is currently experiencing a tremendous amount of stress related to their workload, it may be worth looking into a school with a more relaxed curriculum. On the other hand, if your child is growing bored or soaring above their classmates, it may be time to switch to a school with a more rigorous approach.

Some great questions you should be asking both the administration and faculty of your prospective Clearwater private school are:


  • Is the curriculum geared towards college and career readiness?
  • How does the curriculum work to eliminate academic gaps?
  • How do the assessments, lessons, tests, textbooks, and the like align with the curriculum?
  • How is progress monitored and encouraged?
  • How is discipline handled?


Each of these questions is directly linked to creating an environment where a high-quality education can be cultivated and nourished.


Related: Why Middle School Students Benefit From A Private Education


Quality of Educators

The term “quality” in regards to educators encompasses the qualification of your child’s teachers, their experience, their professional training, and their capacity to communicate with both the students and the parents. A quality educator, in simplest terms, is someone who is properly trained, certified, experienced in their subject matter, and accessible to both students and parents when either or both is in need of assistance. They are patient and creative in their teaching style, meaning that all students in the classroom are able to learn rather than just those who respond to a traditional learning style.

Once again, setting up a meeting with your child’s future teacher and administration is a great first step in deciding whether your prospective school employs the quality educators you’re searching for. Some possible questions to ask include:


  • How has the teacher prepared for this school year?
  • How does the administration evaluate the teachers?
  • How often do classroom observations occur?
  • How are these teachers provided with mentors or instruction?


Related: Superb Teachers Showcase These 3 Qualities


Class Size

Last but certainly not least, you’ll want to consider the class size of your child’s prospective school. When classes are larger (20+ students), it’s much easier for your child to be left behind, especially if the majority of the class understands a new concept.

Smaller class sizes, on the other hand, like those offered by a private middle school in Clearwater, FL are typically more attractive to parents because they offer specialized attention and feedback for their child. Better yet, your child has a greater chance of enjoying closer relationships with their teacher and peers, deeper class discussions, and an enriched learning experience. For a Clearwater private school that values quality education, quality educators, and small class sizes, choose Lakeside Christian School.


If you would like to learn more about Lakeside Christian School, a private middle school in Clearwater, FL, please give us a call at (727) 239-7808 or schedule a tour of our campus.

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