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.

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!

 

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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Safe and Secure Learning Environment

The final focus in our list of things on which Lakeside Christian School focuses is a safe and secure learning environment. This is one of the most fundamental needs of any school. With excellent educators, cutting edge technology, and superior curriculum, a school has the makings for greatness. But without a safe and secure learning environment, it’s all meaningless.

 

For a learning environment to be safe and secure, it must be acknowledged that physical and emotional threats to students do not come from only the outside. Inside the walls of any school exist bullies and those who would try to harm their fellow students. Beyond that, every school has students with special needs- educational, physical, and spiritual. At Lakeside Christian School, it is our privilege to ensure the safety of every student from outside forces, inside threats, and to create an environment that can help each child succeed.

 

Lakeside Christian School’s facility is entirely fire-safe, and has procedures in place for internal and external threats. All staff are well-versed in these procedures, and the students are aware of them as well. Drills are practiced throughout the year to ensure the procedures run smoothly. Additionally, Lakeside Christian School does not tolerate bullying. The school-wide discipline system, trusted student-teacher relationships, and in-school suspension program (which instantly separates the instigator from the victim) work together to combat bullying in our midst.

 

We also have educators with experience in teaching students with specific classroom needs. We do not have special education classes, so all of our students learn in the same environment. Teachers work to meet each individual student at their level, without singling anyone out. Students can feel free to be themselves in an environment that will allow the to grow and thrive.

 

In addition to all these, Lakeside Christian School’s focus on the Word of God as our foundation means that our staff not only educate our students about the love of Christ; they also model it. Every student is loved, because we believe every student to be valuable and important. We expect students to treat each other in the same way.

 

Each of these elements work together to create a safe and secure learning environment that suits our students. Parents, at that morning drop-off, feel confident knowing your child is in a place that will keep them safe and give them space to learn and grow. For more information and to book a free tour, please call Lakeside Christian School today!

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