Autism Awareness Month

“When it comes to people with mental or physical disabilities, we need to help them to achieve what kind of dreams they want,” he added.  “And when it comes to autism, we always have one goal and that is to thrive.  We need to thrive.”

This quote comes from Parker Neilson, as quoted by Fox 31 news in an article you can find here. If you watch the video and read the article, you’ll find that Parker is a senior at Lakeside Christian School, and has been diagnosed with autism. He now gives back to the community that has helped him grow and thrive.

It’s inspiring, to say the least.

It’s Autism Awareness Month, and we wanted to share Parker’s story here in order to encourage families that also have children with autism. Lakeside Christian School does not specialize in teaching students with special needs, but we do strive to include students with many different abilities (including those with autism) like Parker. We believe that every student is made in God’s image and we’d like everyone to take a look at LCS to see if their child could benefit from our program.

Parker began attending LCS in 3rd grade, where he received the foundation he needed to find success in high school. Parker now attends part time and is also home schooled, but both Parker and his parents credit LCS with helping to prepare him to “thrive,” as he said.

Your child will fit perfectly somewhere. Why not take a look at Lakeside Christian School and see if that somewhere is with us. Call us and schedule your personal tour today!

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SAQs (Should-Ask Questions)

Certainly you’re familiar with the term “FAQs” (Frequently Asked Questions), but have you heard of SAQs? SAQs are “Should-Ask Questions.” What questions should you ask when searching for the perfect school for your child? Try these:

  1. “How can you make this education affordable for me?” Instead of asking how much it costs and writing off a high-ticket education, ask instead how it can be made affordable. Some schools are free… and you get what you pay for. Some educations cost as much as a new car, and they expect you to pay every penny. But some schools, like ours, provide an excellent education that, while expensive, works with every single budget to make it affordable for anyone.
  2. “Are your graduates prepared for college and career?” Don’t merely ask about graduation rates and GPAs. Those are deceptive. Rather, find out if graduates are prepared for life after high school. At LCS, we don’t try to make ourselves look good by handing out as many A grades as possible. Instead, we teach our students what is needed to succeed beyond high school.
  3. “Can you help my child catch up or move ahead?” If your child is in elementary school, you’ll want to know how to either bring your child to grade level or how to help them excel farther. We have documented proof that we have been able to close academic gaps for students who come to us already behind, and many of those who are on grade level are propelling ahead!
  4. “How invested is your staff?” It’s likely that at any school, the teachers will have experience and talent, as ours do. But beyond that, you’ll want to know if the staff is invested in their jobs and if they truly care for their students. Most of our staff attend our church and serve in some way, like AWANA or youth group. This means they choose to not only teach their students throughout the weekdays, but also choose to spend additional time with them some nights, teaching them even more important spiritual truths. Our staff cares not just about each student’s education, but more importantly, their soul.
  5. “Will my child be safe?” There’s no way to guarantee with 100% certainty the safety of anyone. But you’ll want to know if your child will be both physically and emotionally safe, to the best of the school’s ability. At LCS, we do not tolerate bullying, either in school or online between our students. Teachers strive to stay aware of social interactions and the climate of their classrooms in order to keep their students safe.

These five questions will give you a good indication of a school’s heart, and whether or not they’d be a good fit for your child. We encourage you to schedule a personal tour with Lakeside Christian School today and ask these very questions!

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“The Best Education”

“I highly recommend LCS to anyone who wants the best education for their child.”

This is a real quote from a real parent of a student at Lakeside Christian School. Is this something you can say about your child’s school? If not, we’d love it if you checked out LCS.

Here are some things you’ll find at LCS:

  1. We offer an incredible education: we’re closing academic gaps and propelling students ahead in both reading and math, starting in kindergarten!
  2. Our environment is safe, secure, and close-knit. We take great care to protect our students and create a place in which they feel comfortable and ready to learn.
  3. A Biblical worldview is our backbone. More than anything, we want our students to know Christ.
  4. It’s affordable. Yes, we’re a private Christian school. Yes, we offer a top-notch education. Yes, we have a close-knit, safe environment. But we also work with every family’s budget in order to make LCS affordable!

Call us today and come for a visit! We’d love to meet you.

Why Enroll in a Christian School?

ACSI commissioned The Barna Group to do a nation-wide large scale study regarding why parents enroll their children in Christian schools. These were their top six reasons and things they looked for:

1) safe environment
2) teachers who care
3) academic excellence
4) accessible staff
5) intentional about developing character
6) affordable

Lakeside Christian School meets all six of these, and then some. Let’s look a little closer:

1) LCS has worked hard to make the building safe and secure, to build a safety plan, and to fight bullying.

2) Our teachers are among the best, brightest, and most loving you will find. They see their work as a calling rather than a job, and their students as their reason for doing what they do.

3) At LCS, we used best practice instruction and tested curriculum to build an academic program that not only pulls students up to grade level, put also accelerates many beyond grade level. Students are frequently evaluated in order to give them the kind of education they need.

4) Our teachers not only care, but are easily accessible via email and scheduled meetings. They are happy to communicate with both parents and teachers whenever is desired.

5) LCS’s number one goal is to show the love and character of Christ to our students, that they may know Jesus Christ as their Savior and grow to be more like Him.

6) Unlike many private Christian schools, LCS strives to be affordable for all household incomes. We will work with every family to make LCS affordable for you.

When your options are public schools, expensive private schools, and public charter schools, why wouldn’t you check out LCS? Call us today and schedule a tour.

Online Schooling < LCS

There are a number of options from which each family can choose the school that will best meet their needs:

Public school

Private school

Charter school

Online school

Home school

 

We’ve already discussed the perils of Florida public schools, the expense of private schools, and the cons of charter schools. If you missed those posts, check them out here. Home school is great, if parents feel up to the challenge. This leaves online school.

Whether from home or another location, whether one student or a handful, online school is where students complete their education in front of a computer screen. For some, they consider this ideal. They can home school without learning how to teach the material to their child. But online schooling is simply not a good option if you hope your child will become college and career ready by the end of their time in high school.

Consider this:

Jason Burns wrote an article for Michigan State University last November. This article outlines a Stanford study that determined online schools to be ineffective. He writes, “According to this report, the academic growth of students who attend “online charter schools,” where a majority of instruction takes place over the internet, falls far behind the growth of students who receive their education in traditional settings.”

The article details the fact that students who attend online schools are often an ENTIRE SCHOOL YEAR behind in math, and about HALF A SCHOOL YEAR behind in reading. These facts cannot be shrugged off. How will your child be college prepared when they may be an entire year behind their peers?

This is just one article of many that highlights the ineffectiveness of online schools. Think carefully about your child’s education. Convenience and low price might be appealing, but in the end is like buying a cheap, old car. This car might look like it will do what you need for much less than other cars. Yet if it doesn’t get you where you need to go, it’s worthless, and a waste of money. In that way, your child’s education needs to get them where they want to go. An online education won’t do that.

We encourage you to take a look at Lakeside Christian School. Unlike public schools, we have high-quality academics. Unlike other private schools, we can make it affordable for you. Unlike charter schools, we have control over what we teach and how money is spent. Unlike online schools, we use best practice teaching. Unlike home school, we offer the complete school experience- including sports, fine arts, and chapel.

Your child’s education is of utmost importance. Call today to set up a tour of Lakeside Christian School, and let us show you how we are different.

To read more about the failure of online schools, read the original quoted article here.

 

Stuck Like Glue

Parents are happy with what we are doing at Lakeside Christian School.

How do we know this? We have an over 90% retention rate. Perhaps it’s purely academic: we are closing learning gaps among our elementary students. This means we are bringing most of those who were behind, up to and above grade level. Or it’s our desire to prepare all students for college and career, starting LONG before high school begins. Maybe it’s the fact that we teach each class and every subject from a biblical worldview. Or it could be the environment- safe and secure, with loving staff and a family feel. It could be any number of things, like our athletics or drama program, for example. But we believe it’s most likely the unique combination of all these things that makes Lakeside Christian School such a special place.

Schedule a tour today to find out what’s different about Lakeside Christian School, and why our families don’t just attend; they stick around.

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LCS Fine Arts Quick Facts

Perhaps you’ve heard about Lakeside Christian School’s academic program, safe environment, and biblical backbone. You may have even read the quick facts about our athletics. But how much do you know about our fine arts program? Read about it below, in ten quick facts!

1) After years of success in the early 2000’s, followed by a hiatus, the LCS chorus returned three years ago. In those three years, the group has grown from 7 to 18 students and has received an Excellence award at the ACSI chorus festival each of the past three years.

2) The LCS Drama department produces three productions each year including a set of student-directed plays, a fall play and a spring play. Currently, 31 students participate in high school drama and are working on a spring musical: “Bridge to Terabithia.”
3) Visual Technology allows students to learn how to film, edit, and produce videos on Apple iPads. Students have created commercials, music videos, and a variety of other video projects.
4) LCS Alumna Beca Donovan (2012) is currently working on a number of different acting projects. Most recently she starred in the short film “Don’t Look Away.” She was nominated “for best actress in a short film” for the International Christian Film Festival.
5) The drama department performed Shakespeare for the first time last Spring with their performance of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” The play was a huge success and performed to nearly a sold out run of performances.
6) LCS elementary students have been learning the elements of music throughout their years in elementary. Students are learning music elements according to the Florida Music Educators Association standards.
7) Lakeside has offered studio art in the past. In the stairwell at the school, there is a mural that was created by the art class. This is a large-scale reproduction of a smaller painting, painted by a former student who passed away suddenly in 2014. The mural was painted in her honor.
8) The drama class at Lakeside took a trip last summer to New York City to experience theater on Broadway. Students took in two shows, saw all the sights, and participated in a workshop with Broadway actors. Some of our students were even seen in the audience on “The Today Show!”
9) Each year, the elementary students perform two large programs for their parents. This involves memorizing lines, motions, and songs to be performed at Lakeside Community Chapel, on the large stage.
10) LCS offers the opportunity for those who play guitar, piano, bass, or sing, as well as show a relationship with Jesus Christ, an opportunity to help lead worship during our weekly chapels. These musicians are chosen from the student body and are in charge of the music for each week of chapel.
If you’d like to learn more about Lakeside Christian School, please check out the rest of our website and book a free tour today!
Thanks to our Chorus and Drama teacher, Dan Thayer, for the information!
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LCS Athletics Quick Facts

We’ve already established Lakeside’s excellent academics and biblical foundation. You may want to know about some of our extracurricular activities. Here are ten quick facts about LCS athletics:
1.) Lakeside’s varsity football team has made the FCAPPS state championship game four out of the last eight years.
2.) Lakeside offers 24 sports teams for elementary, middle, and high school students.
3.) Lakeside currently has six graduates playing college athletics.
4.) 64% of  students participate in Lakeside Athletics.
5.) There are six former Lakeside basketball players that have scored over 1,000 points during their high school careers at Lakeside.
6.) From 1979 – 1985, the Lakeside boys soccer team won the Suncoast Christian Conference State Championship.
7.) Since 2008, two Lakeside Football players have been awarded the FCAPPS league MVP.
8.) In the last eight years, Lakeside has added six elementary sports teams: four middle school sports teams, and four varsity sports teams.
9.) Next school year (2016-2017), Lakeside will add elementary soccer, baseball, flag football, volleyball, and basketball for kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grade students.
10.) Lakeside is a part of the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) and the Florida Christian Association of Private and Parochial School (FCAPPS).
Lakeside Christian School has a talented and caring coaching staff that builds healthy relationships with the students while encouraging them to do their best, always for God’s glory. If your child enjoys athletics, consider booking a tour with LCS today and find out more about their athletic program!
Special thanks to our Athletic Director, James Coffman, for the information!
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Step Up For Students: Your Ticket to Private School Education

For most, the mental image of private Christian education might include wealthy patron, people who drive expensive cars, and students with trust funds. While that may be the case for some (and there’s nothing wrong with that), most of our students and their parents don’t live that way.

Don’t assume an excellent private education is out of your reach simply because you’re not wealthy. There are many scholarship opportunities, and one very important one is Florida’s Step Up for Students scholarships.

According to their website, “Step Up for Students is a state-approved nonprofit scholarship funding organization that helps administer two scholarships for Florida school children: the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program (FTC) for low-income families and the Gardiner Scholarship (PLSA) for children with certain special needs.”

Step Up for Students was dreamed up by founder John Kirtley, who began the Children’s Scholarship Fund of Tampa Bay. After legislation supported the ability of parents to use these scholarships to place their children in better schools, we have what we now know as Step Up for Students.

It’s an incredible organization that gives to those who need it most. Step-Up For Students writes, “A state-commissioned researcher has determined that scholarship students “tend to be among the lowest-performing students in their prior school, regardless of the performance level of their public school.” Lakeside Christian School welcomes students such as these, and uses evidence-based best practices to accelerate learning and brighten their futures. Within months, many of our new Step Up students are performing above grade-level in a rigorous academic program. More and more parents are using the Step Up for Students scholarship and taking charge of their children’s education and their future.

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These scholarships can change your child’s life and Lakeside Christian offers a safe learning environment and a quality education to all regardless of income or status. Read more about the Step Up for Students scholarships and its partnership with Lakeside Christian School here. Consider giving your child a fair shot at an excellent education and college preparation. Now is the time to apply as new funds typically run quickly. Step Up For Students works on a first-come, first-served basis, so apply today, and then call Lakeside Christian School! We’re looking forward to your call.

 

 

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