“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.

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.

90-percentjp_20131008080057323

Can You Afford a Private Christian Education For Your Child?

The primary reason parents do not place their children in private school is the sticker shock. Most parents will scoff at the price and never take another step in that direction, for fear that it is completely unattainable.

At some schools, that may be the case. Not at Lakeside Christian School.

Take a look at this checklist. If you can check off most of these things, you should look into LCS:

  1. You live in the greater Clearwater area.
  2. You desire an excellent education for your child.
  3. You either need your child to catch up to grade level or need to see how far ahead you can encourage your child.
  4. You are looking for a safe and secure learning environment.
  5. You want qualified educators using best practice instruction in your child’s classroom.
  6. You desire (or at the very least aren’t opposed to) your child’s classes taught from a biblical worldview.

Obviously a private Christian education such as this will be more expensive than public school or charter school. But like most things, you get what you pay for. It is absolutely worth it to invest in a private education for your child.

You really should see it as an investment. When you invest in an education like the one your child could receive at LCS, it will pay off with a child who graduates ready for college and career with a wealth of knowledge and, Lord willing, a solid biblical backbone to prepare them for real life.

But what if it’s an investment you just can’t afford?

Then you haven’t spoken with LCS yet.

Here are some quick details:

  1. FACTS financial aid provides us with detailed information that helps LCS offer a scholarship that reduces our regular tuition.
  2. Step Up for Students scholarships provides massive assistance. At this point in the year, they have closed new applications, but we can offer tuition that works for the year, then you can apply for Step Up for Students next year.
  3. At LCS, we are able to meet individual needs 9 out of 10 times, and make tuition work for each family.

A private education is well within your reach when you consider Lakeside Christian School. You don’t have to settle for less than the best when it comes to your child’s education.

Call Lakeside Christian School today to schedule a free tour!

 

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!
12191088_1218082628208689_1008826822708123795_o

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!
Lakeside-Christian-School-8HdBgz

Complementary Technology

We’re nearing the end of our list of things on which Lakeside Christian School  focuses in order to prepare our students for college. At this time, we’ll focus on our complementary technology. Every school has some variety of technology, and some will claim theirs is cutting edge. But cutting edge and expense do not automatically prepare students for college. If this were true, every student with the newest, most expensive tablet would be adequately prepared for college or career. These are the ways in which LCS is preparing students using technology:

  1. Interactive-Adaptive (IA) software: we use PEG, Ascend, and Mindplay to both close academic gaps and propel students ahead in writing, reading, and math. All three are technology that supports mastery learning. Cali Swango of Destination Knowledge has this to say about Lakeside Christian School’s use of this software:”Lakeside Christian has become a model site for implementing two of the most powerful programs I support in Florida; Mindplay Virtual Reading Coach and Ascend Math. Both programs are utilized in dedicated computer labs, with knowledgeable lab managers, which over time have become experts on both programs.  The resources and time devoted by both school administration and the team that supports these implementations, have driven exceptional results in both reading and math gains for the students at Lakeside. I’d like to give you some information about each program and the results experienced by the students and educational team at Lakeside Christian. Mindplay Virtual Reading Coach improves students’ reading performance by assessing reading abilities, developing an individual student syllabus, differentiating instruction, and providing mastery-based activities to address reading gaps in Phonemic Awareness, Phonics, Grammar & Meaning, Vocabulary and Fluency & Comprehension. MVRC is effective with students of all ages and in disparate categories, including: English Language Learners, bilingual education, and special education. MVRC is an ideal intervention for students reading significantly below grade level, as well as those students who are just beginning to develop reading skills. MVRC instruction is based on each student’s diagnostic testing, creating an individualized study path for each student. The diagnostic tests, progress monitoring results, and student performance results determine lesson assignment and automatically adapt the intensity of the intervention. What the student needs is what the student automatically gets!1 Lakeside Christian’s Model– Mindplay VRC was implemented at Lakeside in February of 2013. At the beginning of each school year, each student at Lakeside undergoes a comprehensive reading assessment, to determine who is in danger of reading failure. Students in need of intensive reading intervention are assigned dedicated time on Mindplay Virtual Reading Coach each day.  The intervention lab manger reviews data daily to determine if additional one on one support is needed, using supplemental activities that enrich the effectiveness of this powerful reading intervention.  To-date this school year, the effect of this powerful model has resulted in a 30% reduction in critical students reading 2 or more years below grade level, and a 20% rise in students meeting or exceeding their end of year reading goal for their current grade level, within the identified at-risk population of readers.Ascend Math is an award winning Kindergarten through Algebra I Math Intervention Program, which combines continuous assessment, automated differentiated instruction and video tutorials to quickly and efficiently fill in students’ math skill gaps. To do so, Ascend Math uses multiple modalities of instruction including offline worksheets, simulations, videos and practice problems. Students begin by taking a Level Recommendation Test, which places each student at his or her lowest level where skill gaps exist. Then through a series of pre-assessments, students test out of known material and are only assigned content they individually need. As students become more proficient in their math skills, they are automatically moved up through each grade level of math content, ultimately reaching or exceeding their grade level goals. Ascend is appropriate for all learners, including special education students and English Language Learners.

    2

     

     

    Lakeside Christian’s Model- Ascend Math was first implemented at Lakeside in August of 2012. At that time Ascend was only being used with select students who needed math intervention. The implementation of Ascend expanded after a year to include ALL students who are enrolled at Lakeside Christian. Students spend a minimum of 2 hours each week in the dedicated Ascend Math computer lab, with struggling students receiving an additional 1.5 hours of remediation. Student use is supported by upper and lower school lab managers, who work with students one on one as needed, and monitor reports and student progress daily. This strong implementation has resulted in profound gains for the students at Lakeside, with many now working on content multiple grade levels above their actual grade level. So far this school year, 70% of the students at Lakeside Christian have mastered a full grade level of math content, with 20% of students mastering 2 or more grade levels to-date. In previous school years, students have mastered up to 6 years of math content in a single year. Due to gains like this Lakeside Christian has been named an Ascend Math Model site for 3 years running, and has been a runner up for the national Ascend Math Gold Medal for superior implementation and gains.”

     

  2. Interactive teacher- student management system: we use Moodle. This system allows teachers to set up quizzes, tests, projects, forums, and post information in one spot, and for students to access this information and respond. Some of our teachers weigh in on the usefulness of this system:
    “Moodle is a tool that helps our students prepare for college because there is a push in higher education to put more instruction online. At Lakeside we use Moodle to prepare students for this type of learning by providing them a resource to acclimate them with the technology. Our students benefit from being prepared for college and ready to deal with a collaborative learning environment.”

    “I use Moodle to help my students know when homework is due…I make sure that all of my lessons are posted on Moodle and try to ensure that my completed lessons are also on Moodle so that if students are gone from class, they can make up their notes from what we’ve done in class.  I also post homework answers on Moodle so students can check their work. These things help prepare students for college by giving them opportunities to take charge of their learning. Students must take the initiative to go to Moodle to print out notes if it will help them learn.  They must also take the initiative to check their work to make sure they are completing homework correctly.  Ensuring that students are taking ownership of their learning is imperative to student success.”

    “I use Moodle for posting class resources, weekly homework assignments, and assessments.  Moodle is helpful to hold the students accountable for their work, putting the responsibility on them for: turning work in on time or making it up (time stamped), seeing assessment results immediately, and locating study materials.  It creates a “no excuse” policy for not writing down the homework or forgetting a book at school because Moodle is my virtual classroom.”

  3. Infrastructure: before one can implement a 1:1 device to student ratio program, one must have the infrastructure to support it. That means there must be a robust wi-fi system with security. As we have witnessed, other schools may have iPad carts and all the devices they need for a 1:1 program, but without the proper infrastructure, the wi-fi will be spotty at best, therefore limiting the use of these devices and rendering them useless at times! We have both the proper bandwith needed to support our Chromebook laptop carts, and the security to protect the devices and (more importantly) the students.
  4. Laptop carts: we have these in areas where our IA software is used most. The Chromebooks get daily usage and for things that are supporting mastery learning. For example: the middle school language arts class frequently uses these carts for the PEG software. Students have access to Chromebooks without ever leaving the room.
  5. Students are allowed to bring their own Chromebooks and laptops from home. We do not allow iPads and tablets because Chromebooks and laptops are much easier to work with, have all the appropriate programs, and encourage improved typing skills. Chromebooks in particular are reliable, cost-effective internet devices.

All of these areas of technology complement each other and create a supportive web of technology under each student. The actual devices provide for the software and management systems to work together and prepare students for the next phase of life!

If your child’s school does not have this complementary technology, or if you’d like to learn more about it, please schedule a free tour of Lakeside Christian School today!

chromebooks-apps-flyout

Effective Educators

The next item on the list of things on which LCS focuses in order to prepare students for college and career is:

Effective Educators.

There is currently a shortage of teachers. There are fewer students studying to become teachers. There are more seasoned teachers leaving the profession for a variety of reasons: low pay, changes in policy and curriculum, classroom behavior issues, etc. And there are many teachers who quit the profession after just a few years. The pool of educators is small, and the pool of excellent, effective educators is even smaller. LCS recognizes the vast importance of hiring only the most effective educators.

Teaching is a difficult job, but a most important one. These educators will see your child five days a week for ten months. Elementary teachers will spend seven hours a day with your child, five days a week, for ten months. For this reason alone, the character of a teacher must be above reproach and the kind you would want influencing your child for roughly 1400 hours a year. Beyond that is the importance of the teacher’s ability to teach the curriculum effectively, producing results in each student’s learning.

LCS chooses teachers who have been properly trained for their area of education. Their expertise is essential for the success of each student. The teachers are also ACSI certified, and continue to build on their own education in order to prosper their students.

Without teachers who are willing to use the curriculum correctly and show flexibility in their own concepts of education in order to meet the needs of their students, there will be few positive results. The educators at LCS are not only willing to do whatever it takes to help eliminate academic gaps and propel each student forward, they are also willing to use the curriculum in the ways that have been proven to produce results. They work diligently independently, and effectively as a team of educators as well.

In order to be this effective, the teachers must also have a lifestyle that aligns with God’s Word. Without that, their effectiveness diminishes. They must not only preach God’s Word, but live it as well, effectively displaying the gospel daily for each student. Each teacher speaks from and helps shape for the students a biblical worldview. It is these things that makes the LCS educator truly effective in the lives of their students.

If you would like to hear more about LCS’s effective educators and perhaps meet some of them, please schedule a free tour today.

teacher-classroom

Best- Practice Instruction

The third item in our list of things on which Lakeside Christian School focuses in order to prepare students for college is this:

best- practice instruction.

Best practice, as you may know, is using proven, research-based methods to achieve a desired result. These will vary, naturally, depending on the goal. Because Lakeside Christian School desires to prepare each student for college and career, that means in this case, best- practice instruction is using the methods that are proven to help ready students for life after high school.
Here is what Lakeside Christian School does, and one of our best practices that is producing results:

Closed-Loop Instructional Process

Technology can be integrated into instruction to track outcomes student by student, to create what is known as a “Closed-Loop” Instructional Process. This is done in elementary language arts. In the first week, each student is tested through “benchmark” assessments. Through prior grade level standards, students are tested to determine individual standards mastered or not mastered. At that point, students are placed into small groups based on similarities: those who are working above grade level, on grade level, and those with some un-mastered skills both up to a year below grade level and beyond a year below grade level. After this, teachers provide targeted daily instructions to the small groups in order to bring mastery to the standards found in prior tests. Every 8 weeks, students are re-tested, re-grouped, and the process begins again. This closes the loop. Therefore this practice is a fluid thing, allowing students to move into appropriate groups throughout the year and receive the specialized instruction they need in order to close academic gaps and succeed.
How do we know this works? What makes this a best practice? Here’s what happens when technology provides the instructor specific feedback used to provide specific instruction to each student (in just one school year):

The school year began with 63% of elementary students scoring on or above grade level.

 

The school year ended with 85% of elementary students scoring on or above grade level.

 

The school year began with 37% of elementary students with un-mastered skills below grade level.

 

The school year ended with 15% of elementary students with un-mastered skills below grade level, and those had closed all prior gaps in just months.

 

All of this aligns with our purpose statement, which indicates that we wish to “prosper or community.” As our website details, 55% of all 4th grade students in the nation have developed learning gaps of un-mastered skills from prior grades. If this is ignored, this leads to 80% of all 8th grade students’ success inhibited in high school and scores that impact college entrance.
Lakeside Christian School will not ignore this problem. We invest both money and time in this process: the technology and consistent staff. We know that this instructional process is necessary for our students’ success in high school and beyond; we have a responsibility to provide that for them. Additionally, it’s our mandate as Christians to improve our community, and this is achieved as we improve our educational process and through the proclamation of God’s Word.
If you’d like to know more about this process or any other best- practices used at Lakeside Christian School, call today to schedule a free tour.
classroom02

Data- Driven Instruction

When the time comes, will your child be ready for college or career? Or will their diploma simply stand for a possible four- year gap in information they must know to succeed after graduation?

Does your child’s elementary school use Best-Practice Instructional processes that prepare them foundationally for academic success in secondary grades?

These are the things on which Lakeside Christian School focuses, in order to prepare your child for college and career starting in Kindergarten.

  • Data- driven instruction
  • Aligned curriculum
  • Best- practice instruction
  • Effective educators
  • Complementary technology
  • Biblical worldview
  • Safe & secure learning environment

Over the next several weeks, we will explain each of these items on this college & career readiness checklist, because what good is knowing what your child needs to succeed, if you cannot identify those things (or the lack thereof) in their classroom?

First, we’ll tackle data- driven instruction. There is a lot of meaning packed into such a boring- sounding term! According to www.engageny.org, “Data- driven instruction and inquiry is a precise and systematic approach to improving student learning throughout the year. The inquiry cycle of data-driven instruction includes assessment, analysis, and action and is a key framework for school-wide support of all student success.”

In simple terms, data- driven instruction means teachers assess students, analyze their findings, and take action to improve the education of each individual student.

Why is this so important?

Data- driven instruction means your child receives a tailored educational plan that will work to either eliminate academic gaps, or propel them forward if they are already on track. Without assessment (and there are multiple kinds of assessment), it’s impossible to determine if a student is on track or not, and if this can’t be determined, students fall through the cracks and essential skills may be lost.

When this data is analyzed, teachers can immediately see if their teaching is effective for each student. This allows them to either create smaller groups concentrated on the skills with which students are struggling, or change her methods entirely. This means the teachers aren’t teaching content to students. They are teaching students essential content.

In classrooms in which data- driven instruction is practiced, it doesn’t matter the size of the class; each student receives the education they need in order to close academic gaps and get on track for college preparedness. Anything less is not enough to ensure that your child is on track!

Lakeside Christian School has been practicing data- driven instruction in K-5 for several years and has noticed a marked improvement in scores. Academic gaps are closing and off- track students are quickly catching up! In a nation with such poor academic statistics, this is immensely encouraging.

Is your child in a classroom that practices data- driven instruction? Book a free tour with Lakeside Christian School today, and ask about our data- driven instruction!

Here’s how it’s done:

data- driven instruction

 

 

Take the

Next Step

Are you ready to join the Lakeside Christian School community? Contact us, and schedule a tour today.

Schedule a Tour
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.