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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Meet Our Friends, the Rokoszes

Lakeside Christian School benefits from the time and talents of ROKOSZ Media Studios. They are responsible for most of the interesting, fun, and well-crafted videos on our Facebook page! We wanted to take a moment to highlight their business. Maybe your small business could benefit too!

In their words, “ROKOSZ Studios provides multimedia, marketing, and production solutions to small businesses. That means we create compelling videos for companies to use on Facebook.”

ROKOSZ Studios is a husband-and-wife team. Chris and Carrie began their business venture when Rokosz Media Entertainment, Inc. was founded in 2005. They decided to give up their careers in broadcasting and management, and started their business in a closet, producing commercials, DVDs, and videos for websites. In 2007, they began producing “how-to” videos that they posted to the Internet. Over time, they produced more than 40,000 “how-to” videos for brands including Home Depot, Turbo-Tax, and Tyra Banks. 2012 was the year the Rokoszes created the Pocket Producer System. This is a system of production and training that allows anyone with an iPhone to create high-quality videos. Finally, in 2015, they created Constant Content, a Facebook marketing solution that allows businesses to market themselves effectively on Facebook. This particularly is what LCS benefits from.

Quite a journey. All the while, Carrie and Chris continue in their life and business partnership. When asked how they maintain their marriage while working together, they replied, “The key to making them both work is communication, shared values, and vision.” Their business is important to them, but their family is too. Somehow, they find balance. How? “The answer is priorities and values; once they are set firmly in place one cannot help but to find balance.”

Chris and Carrie ooze passion for their craft. Nowhere is this more evident than their Pocket Producer System. Instead of continuing to charge for quality videos, they instead train small businesses how to produce for themselves- business that could otherwise never afford standard video production services. They want to show these owners the power that video can offer their small business! That kind of dedication is admirable. They continue to benefit local businesses through Constant Content. This service, in their words, helps businesses “know what to post when they don’t know what to post.” They help people translate their product or service into the language of Facebook. In order to provide this for their clients, Chris and Carrie constantly keep their work fresh through keeping their minds fresh. They’re always abreast of the most current information and techniques in their industry.

And if you’re an entrepreneur such as the Rokoszes, they have a bit of advice for you: “The three most important areas for any entrepreneur to focus on are: people, product, and process. Hire and work with the best people, deliver a first class product, and have a well-defined process.”

We hope you got to know Chris and Carrie a bit better. Maybe you’ll consider their services for you business. Perhaps you’ll be inspired to take a leap like they did and become your own boss. Regardless, we have to nod our heads in agreement with a bit of parting wisdom from the Chris and Carrie Rokosz of ROKOSZ Studios: “Understanding our values and planning our lives with those priorities in mind has led us to happiness in life and business.”
Find the Rokoszes and “like” them on Facebook, here.
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Mentoring Month

January is Mentoring Month. At Lakeside Christian School, we’re big believers in mentoring. We believe it allows older believers to share wisdom with younger people, which encourages them in their search for or relationship with God. Many of our teachers serve in either the church’s AWANA program or the Lakeside Community Chapel youth group. When students attend these, they have the opportunity for mentoring with one of our teachers. We interviewed our own Mrs. Thayer and the student she mentors- Heather. Read below about how their mentoring relationship has affected them!
Kayla: “I desired to mentor a student because I myself had a mentorship relationship when I was in high school.  However, the relationship with my mentor was nowhere near the depth and regularity that I have with Heather.  I wanted an opportunity to give godly advice to someone in this way because I’ve been in their shoes.  High school can have some real challenges and I felt God leading me this way as a form of ministry.  My relationship with Heather has grown tremendously and much of that comes from consistency and the Lord.  He has helped shape our relationship and has helped me use my own experiences to give sound, godly advice.”
Heather:
“My desire to grow in my relationship with the Lord made me want a mentor. I wanted to have someone that I could meet with on a regular basis who could help keep me accountable. Her mentoring has helped me greatly to grow in my relationship with the Lord. The book we have been going through has been very helpful in learning how to become a more godly woman. Meeting with Kayla on a regular basis has allowed for her help keeping me accountable on things that I need to work on in my life. Her mentoring has also provided a wonderful relationship between us where I know I can go to her with anything and she would be more than willing to provide godly advice.”
At Lakeside Christian School, we believe that mentoring relationships such as these greatly enrich the lives of those involved and impact them for eternity, which is, after all, what we care about most. Please contact us today and set up a tour. Find out why Lakeside Christian School is so different!

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.

Establishing Family Traditions

At Lakeside Christian School, we consider it our privilege to help your child grow academically, socially, emotionally, and spiritually. While we spend a significant amount of time with your children during the week, there is no substitute for the security that family routine and traditions bring to a child’s life. We’d like to suggest that you develop and maintain family traditions, if that’s not already a part of your family’s life. Don’t know where to start? Overwhelmed at the thought? Here are a few ideas of where to begin:

  1. LIST: make a list of all the holidays you celebrate, and think about these things: what traditions did you have growing up (how sweet to carry on multi-generational traditions!)? What feel do you want these holidays to have in your home? What do your children enjoy? What things have you already done?
  2. RESEARCH: look at events offered around the year in your area, and research traditions for your ethnicity. You may find some truly interesting ideas that your family will love!
  3. ASK: ask your children what things you already do that they enjoy, and some traditions they think would be fun. You don’t have to do everything they suggest, but kids are creative. They may do some thinking for you!
  4. PLAN: Once you have your ideas, write them down, and then write down when you plan to do them in your yearly calendar. That way, you won’t forget!
  5. START SMALL: no need to plan 5 traditions for every single holiday. Something simple like Publix subs on a blanket for the 4th of July fireworks, taking in the Largo lights at Christmas and then coming home to hot chocolate, making a thankfulness chain on Thanksgiving, etc. are all simple ideas that kids will love looking forward to every year. Holiday traditions too intimidating? Create a weekly or monthly tradition, like game night!

Enjoy planning your family traditions, and look forward to the fun your children will have. Share with us some of the traditions your family already enjoys. We’d love to hear them!

Supporting Your Student

With your child back at school, you take on a different role than “summer parent.” It’s time to tune into your child’s strengths, weaknesses, and needs as they begin this new year. Your support for them may be just the thing they need to succeed. Every child is different, and you know yours best. But if you find yourself at a loss, or unsure of how to best support them, here are some ideas:

Ask them about their day:

Don’t just ask “How was your day,” and leave it at that. Ask specific questions. Ask about their friends, their teacher, what they struggled with today, what they did well today, etc. The more specific you are, the more information you’ll get. The more information you get, the better you’ll understand your child and their school experience. Three great places to do this are the car, the dinner table, and before bed.

LISTEN:

When your child is talking to you (whether you initiated the conversation or not), really listen. That means put your phone down. PUT YOUR PHONE DOWN. That means turn the car radio down. That means ask follow-up questions. It’s especially important to listen because you may hear more than they’re saying.

Help with their homework (but don’t do it for them):

You’re busy. But giving your child a half-hour of your time to help them with their homework could make a huge difference in their education. You’ll learn what they’re struggling with and in which ways they excel. You’ll find out if you need to contact the teacher about any problem areas. You’ll know what questions to ask them later.

Push them to do well:

Not all kids are internally motivated all the time. Sometimes they need a gentle push to do their best, to follow through, and to work hard.

Praise them:

Even if they don’t get an A, but you know they did their best, praise their efforts. Don’t simply tell them they’re smart; praise their hard work, their determination, their tenacity. Tell them you are proud of them, and tell them how much you love them. Your voice is the voice your kids hear inside their heads when they face a challenge. Let there be a wealth of positive phrases they’ll hear!

Build a good parent-teacher relationship:

Know your child’s teacher and communicate with them well. This relationship is important and can break down any miscommunication that may arise.

Speak up:

Understand that your child isn’t perfect- but your child might face some struggles that require intervention (academically, socially, etc.). Speak up on their behalf and help them make the best of their education. You won’t be able to “fix” everything, but you can be their voice if they need one.

You may do these things already, but if not, start today! Your support will mean the world to your child.

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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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!

 

Take the

Next Step

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

Parents of Students with an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or 504 Plan:

Lakeside Christian School does not offer specialized programs or employ dedicated staff for students with IEPs for cognitive learning disabilities in grades K-12. While we do admit a limited number of new students each year with an IEP, we require parents to provide prior academic records demonstrating their student’s proficiency at grade level in a comparable mainstream school environment. Please be aware that Lakeside Christian School does not admit students with IEPs for behavioral or emotional disorders.

If your student has an IEP, we kindly request a review of their previous academic records prior to scheduling a tour. You can send the current records for review to jjensen@lakesidechristianschool.org. Additionally, include a cover letter with relevant background information.

 

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