Lakeside Gives Back!

October 2022 – School Newsletter

1st Quarter Highlights

Our campus beautification project has made a huge difference and creates a welcoming environment.

Thank you to all of our staff and volunteers for their time, energy and talents to make this possible!

Lakeside Christian School is Growing!

The school year began with a 19% increase in students compared to last school year. We are thrilled to have added new students to our Lakeside family…

April 2022 – School Newsletter

4th Quarter Highlights

Installation of Promethean Boards

A Promethean Board is a specific brand of interactive whiteboard that allows you to project an image from a laptop or computer, as well as interact with the board through touch or specialized pens. Teachers can use this to annotate while reading, and show videos in exception quality. Students report the lesson is easier to see and that participation is fun! Staff and students are thankful to have this new learning tool in the classroom!

To learn more about upcoming school events including athletics, youth ministry, and more, click here to view our quarterly newsletter.

Changes to Private School Scholarship Programs in Florida

Recently, the State of Florida announced the passage of HB 7045 through the Florida House of Representatives (79-36 vote) and Florida State Senate (25-14 vote) which makes changes to a few private school scholarship programs. It is now ready to go to Gov. Ron DeSantis for a final signature. These changes are one step closer to expanding the private school voucher program in a major way for parents, and giving greater opportunities for school choice to families.

 

If you are hoping to understand how these changes might affect your family, Lakeside Christian School, a Christian private school in Clearwater, FL, shares some of the biggest impacts in this brief article. These changes apply to both private high schools in Clearwater, FL as well as private middle and elementary schools.

 

The Bill in a Nutshell

In a nutshell, House Bill 7045 is all about expanding school choice. According to the Florida Senate, the bill includes:

 

School Choice; Revises student eligibility requirements under Family Empowerment Scholarship program to include students with disabilities; revises provisions related to calculation of maximum amount of scholarship funds granted to a student with disabilities; revises provisions related to funding and payment of scholarships awarded under program; providing requirements for use of funds under program; revising program administration obligations; repeals Gardiner Scholarship Program; provides for future repeal of John M. McKay Scholarships for Students with Disabilities Program; providing certain students with disabilities are eligible for enrollment in transition-to-work programs; revising amount of eligible contributions used for administrative expenses by an eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization under Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program.”

 

You can read House Bill 7045 in its entirety here. Let’s break down what these changes actually look like:

 

Scholarships for Active-Duty Military

 

Many private schools offer discounted tuition for active-duty military members, however in some cases they may have qualified for tuition assistance. However, with the passage of HB 7045, more military members would have access to private school vouchers. With this bill, all active-duty military members will automatically be eligible for a state scholarship for private schools through either the Step Up for Students program or the Family Empowerment Program.

 

However, families must submit an application before June 4th for a 100% award.

 

Foster-to-Adopt Voucher Expansion

 

Another major expansion to scholarships due to HB7045 comes for families who have adopted a child from the foster care system. These families will now automatically qualify for a scholarship voucher.

 

The deadline for families to apply for this scholarship voucher is also June 4.

 

Changes to the Gardiner and McKay Scholarships

 

The biggest change coming as a result of HB 7045 is the consolidation of the Gardiner and McKay scholarship programs, which serve students with family needs. These would be combined with the Step Up or Family Empowerment Scholarship program, which are currently in place to serve a broad population of low-to-middle-income families.

 

It should be noted that currently the McKay and Step Up scholarships do not cover 100% of tuition costs.

 

Currently, the McKay scholarship is available to all students currently in the Florida Public School system who have a qualified IEP or 504 plan for specific learning issues. The Step Up scholarship is available to all Florida residents with students in grades K-12 whose families meet specific income requirements.

 

However, with the combination of these scholarships, there will also be a change to the financial eligibility. HB 7045 will increase the maximum income eligibility to receive vouchers to 375% of the federal poverty level. For example, that would mean that a family for 4 making around $100,000 per year would qualify.

 

Further, all families who currently have a child with either the Gardiner or the McKay Scholarships will automatically receive a Step Up or Family Empowerment Scholarship for their other students, regardless of the family income. Meaning that if the family has one child in the school on a scholarship, that child’s siblings will qualify.

 

FACTS Scholarship

 

At this time, the bill does not appear to address any changes to the FACTS scholarship. The FACTS scholarship is available to all parents who desire that their student attend Lakeside Christian School. This is an income-based scholarship designed to help create more affordable tuition.

 

Why School Choice Matters with Scholarship Programs

 

For many families, scholarship programs are the key to unlocking your child’s full potential at a private school in Clearwater, FL. These scholarships are just a few of the many options that families who want to provide their children with a private education can explore. Remember, the deadline to apply for some of these scholarships is June 4th.

 

While public schools offer a myriad of positive benefits, many families are taking time post-Covid to explore what is best for their individual child.

 

With over 40 years of experience and a diverse student body of children from families of all socioeconomic backgrounds and income levels, Lakeside Christian School is built on the biblical principles of loving God and loving others. This care is demonstrated through the warm, respectful relationships among staff and between staff and students, and uses a tailored approach to your child’s education. If you’re interested in learning more about how we challenge all of our students to achieve their academic and personal goals, give us a call.

 

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

Finding the Right Private School Fit For Your Child

These days, parents considering sending their child to private school have an overwhelming number of excellent options. In fact, according to data collected by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), there are approximately 34,576 private schools in the United States. In Florida alone, there are 2,631 private schools — each of which has its own unique history, curriculum, admissions process and requirements.

It’s only natural for parents to feel at least a little bit stressed about finding the right private school fit for their child before the new school year rolls around. That’s why, in this brief article, we’ll be reviewing just a few of the steps you can take in order to select a private school that’s right for your child and the needs of your family. For more information regarding the private school selection or application process, please get in touch with a member of our staff here at Lakeside Christian School — a private middle school in Clearwater, FL.

Step 1. Consider Your Child’s Needs

The first and most important step in finding the right private school fit for your child is to take a look at their unique educational needs. Generally speaking, this includes four main criteria: what you want your child to learn, how your child learns best, level of contact with their peers and instructors, and practical matters like scheduling or extracurricular activities.

Some schools will offer a much wider range of studies than others, so it’s important to narrow down which aspects of your child’s education are most important to you. Below, we’ve compiled a brief list of questions you can ask yourself to identify the academic, social, and emotional needs of your child.

 

  • Is college preparation a priority?
  • Would your child benefit from a small classroom environment or a large one?
  • Are you looking for a traditional, back-to-basics program or an alternative approach to learning?
  • Does your child have any physical, emotional, or linguistic needs that require special attention?
  • How far are you willing to drive your child to school?
  • Does your child need a more or less structured environment?

Step 2. Schedule a Campus Tour

Once you have considered your child’s needs and narrowed your search, scheduling a campus tour is the next step. Usually, school tours would take place in person. However, with the COVID-19 pandemic, you may feel more comfortable scheduling a virtual tour.

During the tour, you can discuss the factors that are most important to you to get a feel for the school’s overall environment and how your child might fit in. You can also discuss any special considerations during the tour. For example, if your child excels in advanced courses, the tour is a great time to discuss what the options are to keep your child doing well. You may also want to discuss any physical needs, such as allergy protocols. Remember, this step is not part of the interview process, but it is a great time for you to interview to find the right Christian middle school in Clearwater FL.

Step 3. Request Tuition Information

The right school will also need to fit your budget. Your child is the single greatest investment in your life, so it is understandable that parents want only the best. Considering the long-term financial aspect is important in choosing the right school. When you are looking for private high schools in Clearwater FL, make sure to understand tuition cost, administrative fees, sports and extracurricular costs, etc.

If scholarship options are important to you, the campus tour is a great time to learn how your child might qualify. Private school does not have to be out of reach based on finances and scholarships can help.

Step 4. Talk to Families of Current Students

The best way to learn about a school and how the day-to-day feels is to simply connect with the families of the students who already attend. If a faith based program is important, ask the families how they feel about that aspect of the curriculum. You will find that parents and current students will be able to give you a more holistic view of the programs offered. Below we have compiled a few questions you may want to ask other families and parents:

 

  • Do you feel a strong sense of community at the school?
  • Do you feel that your child has been supported if they need additional help in any of their classes?
  • How do you feel about the faith based aspect of the program?
  • Is your child happy at this school?
  • Has your child struggled with bullying or other social issues? If so, how did the school handle this?
  • Do you feel that the teachers, administrators, and staff are supportive of your child’s goals?
  • Do you feel that your child is prepared for college based on their high school experience?

 

Once you have decided which school to apply to, it is important to talk to your child and get their input and feedback. Remember, this will be their home away from home for years to come. The relationships and friendships they will form at their school will impact them for the rest of their lives, so it is important to make sure they are included in the decision. Once they are comfortable with the choice, you can begin the application process. For more information regarding the private school selection or application process, talk to a member of the Lakeside Christian School team.

 

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

Are School Uniforms Beneficial for Students and Parents?

Yes! School uniforms can be incredibly beneficial for students, especially elementary school students. School uniforms are affordable, promote equality, and show that children are proud to be a part of their school. In this article, we go over these benefits in a little more detail and discuss why your child doesn’t have to be bummed out when they have to put on their uniform in the morning. Just check out these uniform options at Lakeside Christian School, an affordable private elementary school in Clearwater, FL

Affordable Wardrobe 

One of the main benefits of a uniform policy is affordability. Many parents who can afford a private education for their children are still hard-pressed to provide a new wardrobe every year for their growing kids. That’s why private schools like Lakeside Christian School implement uniform policies — parents shouldn’t have to choose between an outstanding education or new clothing for their child. Our uniforms consist of an LCS-issued polo shirt and khaki pants/shorts (skirts are permitted for young ladies). This is just one of the many ways that our school helps parents save money while providing their children with a private education. There’s also the added benefit of not having to scramble to find your kids something to wear in the morning! 

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

Equal Footing

At Lakeside Christian School, we strongly believe that all children are entitled to a first-rate learning experience. School uniforms are one of the many ways we provide this experience. School uniforms promote unity, allowing students to see past superficial differences. This not only helps students bond but also helps prevent instances of bullying. Our uniform policy helps students focus on what matters most: their education and development. Of course, this doesn’t mean that your child can’t showcase their individuality — helping students find their unique voice is a goal of ours. We do allow students to dress down on Fridays!

Related: Why More and More Florida Parents Are Sending Their Kids to Private Schools

School Spirit 

A school uniform is a perfect way to instill in students the idea that they are not alone, that they are a part of something bigger than themselves. This helps students take ownership of their education and motivates them to achieve their goals. In essence, a school uniform allows your child to display school spirit. At Lakeside Christian School, we believe that obedience, respect, and responsibility are key virtues that students must develop. A school uniform helps them embody and take on these ideals, and once they’ve graduated, these ideals will help them succeed throughout their entire lives. When you see your child in a LCS uniform, you’ll know that you’ve found them a school that they can feel proud of, a school that they can feel at home at. 

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

College Preparation Begins As Early As Elementary School

When you hear the words “college and career readiness,” you likely don’t think of an elementary or even a middle school student. For most parents, elementary and middle school is a time for their student to develop a foundation of fundamental academic skills, basic knowledge, and socialization strategies they’ll need to succeed in their high school education. However, one private school in Clearwater is revolutionizing the way we look at college preparation. 

Lakeside Christian School believes that college preparation begins long before high school or even middle school — in elementary school. The skills and knowledge they acquire in elementary school serve as the seeds for college preparation. In this brief article, we’ll provide an overview of this philosophy as well as the steps Lakeside Christian School has implemented to ensure their students are college-ready and equipped for success. 

Related: How Private Schools Improve College Readiness 

The Philosophy

The philosophy of implementing college and career readiness in elementary school is not, in any means, an attempt to contribute to the latest college admissions frenzy. In no way do we endorse lining up your child’s achievements to consider how they might play on a college application. Instead, our philosophy involves ensuring your child is learning more than simply how to pass a test or get an “A.”

Even as early as elementary school, we believe that students should be encouraged to think about the future and link their interests to potential careers. This goes for parents as well. If you notice your child falling behind, it’s important to act quickly to get them caught up. The longer you wait, the more difficult it will become to get your child back on track. This is a large part of why we believe in starting this process so early.

Related:  3 Important Ways to Foster Your Child’s Development in Elementary School

The Strategy

So how does Lakeside Christian School, a private school in Clearwater, act on this philosophy? First, our Mastering Learning Division supports all our students in grades K-5 with a solid academic foundation in language arts and mathematics, including accelerated learning solutions and robust early reading intervention. We’ve seen firsthand how difficult it is for young students who never developed reading and writing skills, which is why we place such a strong focus on producing competent readers and early reading achievement. 

The results are already clear. At Lakeside Christian School, we are consistently and frequently seeing our students improve by two or more grade levels and even go beyond their grade level in math and reading. Thanks to an effective blend of curriculum, technology, and talented educators, your child will be on a secure path towards college and career readiness. Classes fill quickly. If you are considered attending, we invite you to contact us to find out what we have already done to prepare so many children for a bright future of educational opportunity. 

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

How Lakeside Christian School Is Making the 2020-21 School Year Safe for Students

Lakeside Christian School is on track to reopen starting on August 10, 2020. We know that parents are concerned for the safety of students amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Parents are also worried about the consequences of withholding full-time education from their children, especially those of high-school age who are preparing to transition to college life. In this brief article, we discuss how Lakeside Christian School is complying with state recommendations for reopening. We will also touch on how our LCS Task Force is working to make Lakeside Christian School, a private high school in Clearwater, FL, safe for new and returning students. 

Safely Reopening Florida’s Education System 

On June 11, 2020, Governor Ron DeSantis and Commissioner Richard Corcoran announced recommendations for local communities to consider prior to reopening schools. “It is critically important that we continue to show compassion and grace as we make decisions to safely get students back in the classroom,” said Commissioner Richard Corcoran. “Data from across the nation and world clearly indicates it is safe to reopen schools in August.” DeSantis and Corcoran recommend a step-by-step approach to reopening K-12 campuses. Among numerous recommendations, reopening strategies include creating a crisis response team; screening students, employees, and visitors; and creating a disinfectant protocol. 

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

Lakeside Christian School’s Plan for Reopening 

At Lakeside Christian School, we are doing everything we can to abide by these recommendations. We have created unique reopening plans that are tailored to Lakeside Christian School and in compliance with the Governor’s guidelines. These plans include: 

  • Social Distancing Mitigation Procedures: LCS is discouraging large groupings of students, especially in our building’s more confined spaces. 
  • Health Mitigation Procedures: All staff and students will have their temperatures checked prior to entering the building. 
  • Building Cleaning Procedures: We have employed a cleaning company to comply with CDC cleaning requirements for cleaning frequently touched surfaces. Staff will also be cleaning frequently touched surfaces throughout the school day. 
  • Classroom Options: LCS will continue to utilize digital tools to allow students to stay on top of assignments if they stay home from school to quarantine or recover from illness. 

Putting the Health and Safety of Our Students First 

At our private high school in Clearwater, FL, we understand the predicament that many parents are facing. Many of our parents need school to reopen in order to return to work. Other parents want to ensure that their students receive an outstanding education but are concerned about their student’s safety. We want to take this time to assure you that every precaution is being taken to ensure that your child enters or returns to a safe learning environment. 

Related: What Sets Lakeside Christian School Apart?

There simply is no substitute for in-person learning. As always, we strive to provide your child with an in-person learning environment that will set them up for success in their remaining high school years, college life, and careers. Feel free to contact us with any questions about our reopening efforts. 

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.

4 Ways to Give Your Child a Private Education While on a Budget

Every parent wants to give their child the best education that money can buy, but for many parents, a private education seems outside the realm of possibility. A private education is too expensive, they think. But parents that send their children to our affordable private elementary school in Clearwater, FL, know this isn’t true. 

 

The cost of a private education may seem unaffordable, but we’re here to assure you that it isn’t. Below, we discuss four ways that parents on a budget can afford to send their children to a private school. We know that money can be tight when raising a child, but by following these tips, you can surely afford to send your child to one of the best private elementary schools in Clearwater, FL

 

1. Plan With Your Family 

Your family budget should involve your entire family. After all, everyone in your family is invested in your child’s success. Don’t be afraid to reach out to close-knit family members, like grandparents, who would be eager to contribute to your child’s success and future. 

Of course, budgeting also involves making sacrifices. You and your spouse should look over your expenses to determine if there are any areas where money can be saved. This is a common-sense approach, but you’d be surprised by how much you can save by watching a movie on Netflix instead of paying for movie tickets or by cooking at home instead of ordering in. 

 

2. Set Up a Savings Account 

The early bird gets the worm. It’s never too early to begin saving for your child’s education, especially if you want them to attend a stellar private school. As of January 1, 2018, you can set up a 529 savings plan and take advantage of federal tax benefits to pay up to $10,000 towards primary, secondary, and post-secondary schooling. Even if you just set aside a few dollars a week, you are contributing to a better future for your child. 

 

3. Apply for Scholarships 

We highly recommend Step Up For Students. This state-approved organization offers The Florida Tax Credit Scholarship and Family Empowerment Scholarship, both of which are based on financial needs and afford parents an all-important choice in deciding where their children attend school. Lakeside Christian School provides over $250,000 in scholarships to qualified families each and every year, including our very own in-house FACTS Scholarship.

 

4. Shop Around 

While we whole-heartedly believe that our school is the best in Clearwater, we encourage you to shop around, compare prices, and find the school that’s right for your child. Remember, not all private schools are created equally. Many can run you tens of thousands of dollars a year while providing your child with a subpar education. At Lakeside Christian School, we’re proud to offer enrollment fees on a sliding scale. Tuition at our school is based on the financial capabilities of the families we serve. Schedule a visit to discuss tuition and having your child join our Lakeside Christian School Lions. 

 

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

Which Students Do Well in a Private School Setting?

When deciding which school setting is right for their child, parents have a difficult choice to make: should my child attend a private or public school? Many parents struggle to decide which setting would foster the most growth within their child. They think, a private school has many benefits, but will MY child benefit from them? Below, we discuss which students do well at private schools in Clearwater, FL, to help parents make the right choice for their child’s future. 

 

Students That Are Falling Behind

It’s no secret that students are getting lost in the shuffle of public school. Large class sizes, overburdened teachers, and an overwhelming population cannot possibly facilitate the growth of each and every student. Private schools consider your child as more than a single test score to be administered at the end of the course. For example, At Lakeside Christian Elementary School, we use individual student data to inform daily instruction, eliminate academic gaps, and ensure that every child has the opportunity to succeed. 

 

Shy and Quiet Students 

Students in public schools are at risk of falling behind socially as well as academically. Public school students aren’t developing the social skills needed to succeed in college and beyond. How can they when the average city’s public school size is well over 500 students? If your child is quiet or shy, there’s nothing wrong with them; they just need the attention that only a private education can afford. Our dedicated team of professional educators can ensure that your child finds their voice and confidence in a world that increasingly demands both from graduating students. 

 

Athletic Students

If you think that private schools in Clearwater, FL, can’t compete with public school students when it comes to athletics, think again. Athletics are an important opportunity to teach life lessons and instill values that will stay with students for the rest of their lives. At Lakeside Christian School, we offer a variety of sports for all grade ranges. We also hold athletic membership with the Florida High School Athletics Association (FHSAA) and the Sunshine Athletic Conference. As one of the best private schools in Clearwater, FL, we offer the following sports:

Fall

Football

Cross Country

Coed Soccer

Cheerleading

Winter

Basketball

Soccer

Coed Baseball

Cheerleading

Spring

Baseball

Softball

Track

Coed Flag Football

Coed Volleyball

Coed Basketball

 

All Students

With small class sizes, a focus on research-based best practices, and a slew of athletic offerings, private schools in Clearwater, FL, can help bring out the bright young learner that is within every child. Let it be known that all students can succeed in a private school setting. 

At Lakeside Christian School, we serve grades K-12 and welcome students from all backgrounds. If you have a student that you believe would thrive in a private school setting, schedule a tour and see why Lakeside Christian School is one of the best private schools in Clearwater, FL.

 

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

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