Have you ever wondered what it’s like in the K4/K5 world at LCS? If so, consider this your invitation to learn about this very special place. Of course, you are always welcome to observe our program in action!

“Memorable” is a great word to describe the Early Childhood experience at LCS. Children enjoy exciting centers, field trips, Grandparent’s Day, special holiday events, Olympics, musicals, piano recitals and much more. But this barely scratches the surface of the fun our little ones have – all while learning as they are “playing.”

When your K4/K5 child joins the LCS family, he or she will live, laugh, love and learn. Lakeland Christian’s Early Childhood program is developmentally appropriate, which encourages children to grow and mature naturally in every area of life. By the end of the K4 year, the goal is for each child to be prepared socially, emotionally and academically for K5. Each child is considered as an individual, and the faculty meets each where he or she is.

LCS Early Childhood faculty members are passionate about their work with the youngest children on campus. These teachers live for the Lord and serve at LCS because they really want to be here! Their love for the Lord overflows as they intentionally model that attribute for the students.

Even at this youngest level, the faculty teaches each subject and activity in the light of God’s Word. The teachers do an amazing job of applying the Scriptures to the young lives in their care.

If you have any questions about our Early Childhood program, feel free to contact Mrs. Luci O’Byrne, Elementary Principal, at lobyrne@lcsonline.org or by calling (863) 688-2771.

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K5 Teachers

Mrs. Kay Henry – Teacher

God has given me several unique teaching opportunities over my last 25 years as an educator. I’ve taught at public schools, private schools, in a migrant community, and even in a traveling carnival! I have been teaching in the early childhood education department at LCS since 2001. The best part of my job is teaching kindergarteners how to read. I am hopeful that God will use me to lay both a spiritual and an academic foundation for my students.

My husband, Rex, and I are committed to LCS. Our two daughters, Lauren and Carrie, both graduated from Lakeland Christian. Lauren is a lawyer, and Carrie works as a medical social worker at the VA Hospital.

Contact Mrs. Henry

Mrs. Beth Burton – Teacher

I grew up in Hillsdale, New Jersey, with my parents and brother. I moved to Florida in 1993 and attended the University of South Florida where I played on the women’s golf team and received a BA in sociology. While at USF I met my wonderful husband Eric. We have two beautiful daughters, Abby and Amy, who have attended LCS since kindergarten. As a family, we have fun spending time outdoors in God’s amazing creation and playing with our two schnauzers. I also enjoy cheering on my daughters at their sporting events, exercising, and relaxing with a good book. Our family attends Victory Church. I have been teaching four-year-olds since 2003 with students at College Heights Methodist Preschool, South McKeel Academy, and now, Lakeland Christian. This wonderful journey has provided me with many amazing opportunities and life lessons along the way. I strive to engage my students in many activities that challenge them to learn more about themselves, their world, and their God. It is especially important to me that the children understand that they are unique, special, and able to accomplish anything that they set in their minds to do and work hard to achieve. My goal is that the children who leave my room at the end of the year have grown spiritually, academically, socially, and emotionally and are proud of who they are and what they can and will accomplish.

Contact Mrs. Burton

Mrs. Christa De Labastide – Teacher

I attended Lakeland Christian from Kindergarten through 12th grade. From an early age, I loved working with children and knew I wanted to be a teacher. I was blessed to grow up in a school around teachers who were passionate about educating their students but also laid a spiritual foundation in those students’ lives. It was such a privilege to be able to Teacher Aide under a few of these teachers during my Middle and High School years, which, I believe, fostered this love for teaching.

After graduating from LCS, I completed a B.S. in Elementary Education with Reading and ESOL Endorsements from Southeastern University. During my time in college, I worked with Parker Street Ministries, serving as the Kindergarten classroom leader during both the Summer Program and Academic Enrichment Program (afterschool program.) While working in this neighborhood, the Lord continued to develop a passion for educating children, but He also began to grow a love for serving this community.

Currently, I attend Strong Tower Church, a new church plant of Trinity Presbyterian Church, in the Parker Street neighborhood. I previously taught Kindergarten at Wendell Watson Elementary but, I look forward to continuing my call as a teacher, now at LCS. I hope to encourage, educate, and love my future students in the same way I was encouraged, taught, and loved during my time at LCS and pray I will always use my gifts to bring glory to God.

Contact Mrs. De Labastide

Mrs. Shari Burkey – Paraprofessional

I have been teaching four and five year olds for more than 30 years. I have also directed a preschool and ran summer camps. There is nothing better than teaching, ministering, and playing with children, and I consider it a privilege to be working at LCS.

I am married to a Lakeland Christian School alum, and our daughter also graduated from LCS. I am active member at Medulla Baptist Church.

Ashley Webb – Paraprofessional

Teaching has always been a part of my life. My dad was my science teacher in the 6th grade (he retired after 35 years), and my mom was a substitute teacher who would never call on me for fear of showing favoritism! I graduated from Florida Southern College with my BA in communications. I married Gregory Webb who can fix or work anything mechanical, and we have a son, Isaac, who loves to play Nerf wars with his daddy. When Isaac began kindergarten at LCS, the teachers were so warm and loving toward my son and me that I could not leave.

I began substitute teaching at LCS, and a couple of years after that was offered the wonderful opportunity of working in the classroom as a paraprofessional. After one week I knew I was born for this job! I love keeping my teacher organized and doing the small things that bring a smile to a child’s face and that make learning fun. God keeps me running to Him for the energy and grace needed to love these small ones well every day. I am so thankful for the blessing of Lakeland Christian School in the life of my family.

Norma Polanco – Paraprofessional

God has blessed me with a big family with five boys.  Since I was a young teenager, I have loved working with kids because children are like sponges: ready to learn!  In my spare time, I like to bake and decorate cakes.

K5 Curriculum


We use ABEKA story cards to teach our Bible curriculum. Guest speakers at our weekly chapel include teachers, parents and local ministers.

Reading Program:

A balanced approach to reading is the best strategy we have found for our kindergarten program. We use Open Court Phonics in teaching our phonemic awareness and phonological skills. Children are also taught phonics through songs, poems, read alouds and guided practice. The other component to teaching reading is through small group instruction called Guided Reading. We feel the need to differentiate reading in small groups, meeting three to four times each week. We use a variety of strategies to teaching reading. Literacy centers are used to reinforce skills previously taught. Children are engaged with these during the morning as guided reading is being taught. We use parent volunteers to help with these centers. Lastly, children are given 105 sight words during the school year to facilitate their reading.

Sight Words List


We use a hands-on approach in teaching our math curriculum. Each new concept is taught as a whole group using rich literature, a song or other engaging activities. Math centers, small group instruction and individual instruction are used to help the kindergarteners learn to apply the new concept.

Science and Social Studies:

Science and social studies are integrated throughout our language arts curriculum. We study topics such as zoo animals, plants, presidents and symbols of the United States, pilgrims and the Mayflower, seasons of the year, ocean animals and community helpers.


We use Zanier Blosier in teaching handwriting. Tactile activities such as writing in sand, cutting clay, writing on a chalk board, picking up small items with tweezers and painting on easels are used to develop large and fine motor skills.


K5 Tuition & Fees

Tuition for K5 students is $9,000 for the year.

K5 Tuition Rates:

Annual Semester Quarterly 10 Months 12 Months
$9,000 $4,500 $2,250 $900 $750

K5 Application Fee (New Students): $150.00
K5 Matriculation Fee: $350.00
Full tuition is charged for the oldest child. The second child receives at 10% discount, and third child each receive a 20% discount. Each additional child beyond three receives a 50% discount.
2016-2017 Financial Policy Brochure

K5 Typical Day

Daily K5 Schedule
*Students may be dropped off any time between 7:20 AM and 8:00 AM.
8:05 AM – Day begins – Attendance and morning work
8:30 AM – Pledges, prayer and Bible
9:00 AM – Phonics lesson
9:30 AM – Literacy centers and guided reading groups
10:30 AM – Lunch
11:05 AM – Read aloud
11:30 AM – Specials (PE, Music, Art)
12:10 PM – Calendar Math
12:30 PM – Recess
1:00 PM – Math
1:45 PM – Snack time
2:00 PM – Special theme activities
2:30 PM – Pack for dismissal
The students also participate in library time, computer class and a Spanish class once a week.


These small group activities have two goals: the first is to have hands-on activities to reinforce and enjoy the topic of study we have just finished. Activities such as painting, games, journal writing, crafts and some type of cooking/decorating activity are set up in a rotational form. The second purpose is to give our parents the opportunity to be involved with their child’s school experience. It is a wonderful time of discovery for the students.


  • Nursery Rhyme Centers
  • Thanksgiving Centers
  • Shoe Box “Christmas” Centers – Missions Project
  • Christmas Centers (Christmas story dramatized)
  • Daddy and Me Winter Centers
  • Western Day (includes field trip to J & M Ranch/Equestrian Park)
  • Valentine’s Day Centers (with special lunch)
  • Creation Care/Florida Black Bear Centers
  • Easter Centers
  • Hat Day
  • PJ Day with Bear Activities

Our K5 center themes include:


Nursery Rhymes



PJ Day

Daddy Day

100th Day

Florida Black Bear

Western Day

K5 Facilities

The Center for Early Childhood Education was constructed in 2008. The classrooms are uniquely designed and connected to facilitate the complete education delivered within the program.

Ladd Educational Suite:

The Ladd Educational Suite houses the K4 students in two large classrooms. Both classrooms have bathrooms and storage and are equipped with SMARTBoards.

Kindergarten Suite:

The K5 suite is made up of four large classrooms, each with its own bathroom, storage and SMARTBoard. A large commons area allows all of the classes to come together and includes cubbies, a platform stage and a large, wall-mounted flat panel TV. The suite also houses the elementary music room, a conference room and a teacher workroom.

Curls Family Playland:

The K4/K5 playground features equipment for the youngest students on campus, including a fall-safe surface and a sharks’ teeth pit.


Special Events

Parent Night:

This evening is set aside to give parents an overview of our reading program. Handouts of useful tips are given to each parent, along with a “tool bag” of fun reading tools to help your child read.

Christmas Musical:

The entire LCS school family comes together to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ through this event. Students in grades 3-12 participate, but students in grades K4-2 are encouraged to attend.


Each child in grades K4-5 participates in field events, fun relays and an obstacle course. Parents are invited to join the fun as well.

Art Review:

All of the students create and display several pieces of artwork for the public to view.

Mother’s Day Tea:

This is a wonderful time for us to show our love and appreciation for our moms. Dads will be on hand to serve as our “waiters” as tea is served to the mothers and students. The children participate in a special program for the moms.

Nursery Rhyme Parade:

Each child (and teacher!) dresses up as a favorite nursery rhyme character, and we parade throughout the school showing off our costumes. This is an enjoyable time for everyone and is immediately followed by nursery rhyme centers.

100th Day of School Celebration:

“Zero the Hero” and his sister, “Zerona,” visit the kindergarten classrooms on this extra special day. We sing songs, play games, have a 100th day treat, bring in 100 items and participate in many other activities. It is a fun day designed to help children learn numbers and place values.

Creation Care Week:

Special events are held throughout the week to celebrate God’s creation. Kindergarten students pay special attention to the Florida Black Bear, and we end our unit with centers. Parents are welcome to attend.

Kindergarten End-of-the-Year Program:

On the last day of kindergarten, all of the students put on an evening performance, “Kids Under Construction,” directed by Ms. Nancy Snyder, the elementary music teacher.

Grandparent’s and Grand-friend’s Day:

This is a K4-5th grade event. All grandparents and grand-friends are invited to come for a light breakfast and special program. After the program, they are able to visit the classroom(s) of their grandchildren.

Daddy/Winter Centers:

Dads are invited to come for a few hours to play learning games, make crafts, decorate cookies and just enjoy time spent with their child at school. It is a great learning experience for both the parent and child.

Kindergarten Piano Recital:

Students in the piano program participate in a recital while the rest of the class enjoys the special performances.

Fifth Grade Buddy Program:

Each child is paired with a fifth grade student as a buddy for the year. Once or twice each month, the students get together with their buddy for fun activities such as reading, making a craft, sharing favorite games and having parties. This is a wonderful time where friendships are established that last throughout their school experience.

Field Trips

Students in the K5 program go on three field trips during the school year:

  • Lakeland Fire Department
  • J & M Equestrian Park
  • Lowry Park Zoo