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 email@example.com or by calling (863) 688-2771.
Meet Your Elementary Principals
Mrs. Luci O’Byrne – Elementary Principal
Spending time with kids has been a passion of mine since I can remember, but I never imagined when I was a student at LCS that I would come back to serve as a principal.
I went to church as a young child and accepted Christ into my life in middle school. Thankfully, my parents listened to my plea to attend a Christian school when I was a sixth grader. After moving to Lakeland, I attended Lakeland Christian School during my high school years. I met lifelong friends and cultivated my love for running as a part of the cross country and track teams. After graduating from LCS, I attended Campbell University in North Carolina where I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education. I was given the opportunity to compete in NCAA Division I Track and Cross Country. During my time at Campbell, I met my husband Chris who is also an educator.
I completed my internship as a second grade teacher in Raleigh, North Carolina. After my internship, I was hired by that school to teach third grade. During my five years in Raleigh, I also taught fourth and fifth grades.
When my husband and I moved back to Florida, I taught math, science and language arts at Mulberry Middle school for many years. I then served as the founding director of Shepherd Road Christian Academy for four years.
I served at LCS as the Primary Grades Principal over grades K4-2 for four years before being appointed Elementary Principal in 2011. Over the years, the campus and programs have changed tremendously since my time here as a student, but the heart and mission of Lakeland Christian School has not changed. It is still a place where young people are growing closer to our Savior, where students are stretched academically and where our gifts can be used to further His kingdom. LCS has once again invested in my life as they encouraged me to complete my master’s degree at Covenant College.
Chris and I have two children–Taylor and Cameron, who both attend LCS. As a parent, I pray that their lives will be impacted by Lakeland Christian and that they grow and mature in Christ. As an administrator, I pray that I will impact lives here, just as others before me impacted my life.
Our family worships at Heritage Baptist Church.
Mrs. Heather Rhoden – Assistant Principal for Elementary
My journey to the position as a teacher and now administrator at LCS began with a love for teaching and learning that God instilled in me during childhood. My previous teaching experience has ignited within me a strong desire to prepare our students academically while encouraging them in their spiritual walk.
After graduating from Haines City High School, I went on to earn my bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida (Go Gators!). I'm currently finishing my Master's in Educational Leadership at Southeastern University.
I love spending time with my husband (Jason) and our 3 precious children (Riley, Gage & Ridge). Our family has been active members at First Baptist Church at the Mall for more than 10 years.
Benjamin Franklin once said “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” I am a strong believer that students need to be actively involved in the classroom to maximize their learning potential. I feel so blessed to have the opportunity help each student grow academically while nurturing their love of learning and their relationship with Christ.
Mrs. Missy Green – Teacher
For as long as I can remember, I wanted to be a teacher. In high school, I had the privilege of working in a first grade classroom with a girl whose parents were both deaf. It was so rewarding to help her learn to read, write and even speak. So, when it was time for college, it was easy to pick a major. I attended Cedarville University in Ohio and received my bachelor’s degree in elementary education. During my time at Cedarville, I also met my husband Mike (an LCS alum). We have four children: Jordan, Tori, Isaac and Ethan–all of whom attend or graduated from LCS.
I taught at LCS from 1990-1993 and came back in 2007. While I have also taught 1st and 2nd grade, teaching in the LCS K4 program has been my favorite. The students are like little sponges that soak up all of the information. They are loving, truthful and funny, and they love to play and pretend. I enjoy watching them grow and mature throughout the school year; they are excited to learn new things, apprehensive to leave at the end of the year, but always eager to start kindergarten. I love getting to know their families and feeling like I was a small part of the child’s school experience.
Teaching at LCS is special because I can integrate the Bible all the time. It’s great to teach with highly professional colleagues who love the Lord and encourage me in my personal walk of faith. I also love that my classroom is in the center of the campus because I get to see the big kids as they stop to hug or encourage my young students. The K4 kids look up to the older students and anticipate growing up in such a great school–just like the big kids!
Mrs. Gina Harrell – Teacher
As I look back and reflect on many years of babysitting (and really enjoying it), watching children in Sunday School and then growing up and deciding to become a teacher, I can’t imagine doing anything different. I attended USF and received a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Sociology. I started helping adults and working with families who were facing difficult times in their lives and looking for employment at the same time. I did this for a year and decided that working with adults was okay, but I still felt like God put me here to work with children, so I went back to school and got another Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. I went on to teach Kindergarten and third grade.
My husband Les and I are both from Lakeland and we have two children: Anna and Parker. I have been a stay at home mom for about seven years, and I am so excited about teaching at LCS. It is such a blessing to come and teach at a school with colleagues who love the Lord and can teach in the light of God’s word. I love to see children learn a new concept and watch them grow all year long! Every day at Lakeland Christian, I can come to school and try to put God first in all that I do and teach young minds to love and trust Him too.
Mrs. Sandy Nilius – Teacher
I grew up in the Lakeland area, and attended and graduated from Lakeland Christian School. I have always been grateful for the sacrifice my parents made to allow me the benefit of a Christ-centered education from teachers who truly cared for me and my family. What a blessing it is to be back in Lakeland after 24 years and have the opportunity to minister to families here at LCS.
After my graduation from LCS, I earned my B.A. in Elementary Education from Cedarville University. I returned to Lakeland and taught in the public school system until God lead me to Lisbon, Portugal, to teach in a mission school for two years. Upon returning to the USA, I married my husband Jeff, and we moved to northern Ohio. I taught in a Christian school there for two and a half years before taking off eight years to stay at home with my small children. In 2001, God moved our family to West Palm Beach where I taught at Summit Christian School for nine and a half years. My oldest son graduated high school while at Summit.
God brought us to Lakeland in June of 2011. We were blessed to be able to enroll two of our children in LCS this past year. Our second son graduated in June, and our daughter is a sophomore this year.
I am thrilled to be a part of the LCS family again and to have the opportunity to partner with our families as we seek to educate our children in the Light of God’s Word.
Mrs. Connie Christensen – Paraprofessional
I graduated from Fort Lauderdale Christian School and attended Cornerstone University. I started working at LCS in 1993, serving for two years as a paraprofessional in 1st grade before teaching upper elementary and high school art for 12 years. I left LCS for a while and served as a paraprofessional at Scott Lake Elementary in the Specific Learning Disability resource classroom. Currently, I serve as the K4 paraprofessional in Missy Green’s classroom, and I am the supervisor of after school care.
My husband Brian is the owner of Sun Control Tinting and is a coach at Mulberry High School. I have two children: Benjamin is a massage therapist, and Cassie is a missionary with Youth for Christ in Lakeland. I attend Heritage Baptist Church, where I’ve been involved with the youth for many years. I also volunteer with Youth for Christ and work with at-risk teens.
I’ve worked with children all my life and can’t imagine doing anything else. I especially love working with the K4 students because they are at such an impressionable time in their lives. It is a privilege to teach and guide their young lives in the light of God’s word.
Mrs. Tammi Brown – Paraprofessional
I was a student at Lakeland Christian School from kindergarten through sixth grade, and I have seen that Christian foundation carried through into my adult life. I have an Associate of Arts Degree from Polk State College in Elementary Education. I have two daughters (third and fourth graders) who attend LCS, and it is such a joy to see them learn and grow with an education based in the light of God’s Word. I love that I get to work with such wonderful, godly people who feel more like family than co-workers. We attend First Baptist Church at the Mall where I have been an active member for almost 30 years. I hope to have many more years working here at LCS.
Mrs. Stacy Allen – K4 Paraprofessional
My husband Jim and I have been married almost 20 years. We are members of Covenant Presbyterian Church. We have two daughters, Suzanne and Emmy.
For several years, I taught preschoolers at Covenant Child Development Center. There, like LCS, we were free to talk about God and how every aspect of their little lives were bound by scripture. I was often amazed at their ability to memorize scripture at such a young age and excited that the knowledge was being tucked away in their hearts. We taught on the days of creation, which opened a wide range of activities and lessons to think about the world God created. This year represents not only for me, but for our daughters an opportunity to grow in God’s grace in this Christ centered school. We are humbled and grateful at how God has led us to Lakeland Christian.
Working with K4 has been a joy for me for many years, and I look forward to continuing the work I love at LCS.
We use the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) and ABEKA Bible curriculum. We teach Bible stories featuring both Old and New Testament characters that reinforce character and Christian living.
Teacher-created units help to build number sense. Students learn by playing with numbers in various centers.
The Zaner Bloser curriculum introduces and reinforces correct letter and number formation. K4 teachers use DIG (Discover, Inspire, Grow) and Letter People curriculum.
Science and Social Studies:
Lessons in science and social studies are incorporated through the letter of the week and holiday activities.
K4 Tuition & Fees (18-19)
2018-2019 Tuition Rates & Fees
There are several K4 program options:
Full Day Rates (8:00 AM* – 2:40 PM)
|Days||Annual||Semester||Quarterly||10 Months||12 Months|
Half Day Rates (8:00 AM* – 11:30 AM)
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- K4 Application Fee: $50.00
- K4 Enrollment Fee: $150.00
- K4 Activity Fee: $100.00
*Students may be dropped off anytime between 7:20 AM and 8:00 AM.
**The school year begins in August and runs concurrently with a standard school year. Payment options include a 12-month payment plan, although the K4 program is not in session during the summer months.
Full tuition is charged for the oldest child. The second child receives at 10% discount, and the third child receives a 20% discount. Beyond three, each additional child receives a 50% discount. NOTE: The multi-child discount does not apply to Discovery Program tuition.
K4 Typical Day
Daily K4 Schedule
Students may be dropped off any time between 7:20 AM and 8:00 AM.
8:00-8:20 AM – Table Time Activities
8:20-8:30 AM – Calendar Math
8:30-9:00 AM – Circle Time and Songs
9:00-9:20 AM – Bible
9:20-10:30 AM – Centers (Math, Science, Social Studies, etc.)
10:30-10:38 AM – Clean up and prepare for lunch
10:38-11:05 AM – Lunch
11:05-11:30 AM – Recess
11:30 AM – 12:00 PM – Specials (PE, Art or Music)
12:00-12:15 PM – Story Time
12:15-1:15 PM – Nap
1:15-1:30 PM – Snack
1:30-2:00 PM – Specials (Spanish, Library, Fab Lab or Literacy Centers)
2:00-2:30 PM – Wrap up the day review (such as computer games, circle time activities, songs, review games or outdoor activities)
2:30-2:38 PM – Pack up to go home
2:38 PM – Dismissal
K4 Special Events
At the beginning of the school year, parents are invited to visit the K4 classrooms for breakfast and the opportunity to get to know other families.
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.
To celebrate the letter “D,” dads are invited to their child’s classroom for a delicious dessert and fun time with the K4 students.
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.
Students in the K4 program put on a special program to celebrate the birth of Jesus.
Creation Care Week:
Special events are held throughout the week to celebrate God’s creation. K4 students pay special attention to the water cycle, and we end our unit with centers. Parents are welcome to attend.
K4 students enjoy a yummy Thanksgiving dinner with turkey, ham and all of the trimmings!
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.
End of the Year Program:
K4 students demonstrate all that they learned throughout the school year at this special year-end program.
These small group activities have two goals: the first is to have hands-on activities that celebrate the seasons and holidays. 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.
Our K4 center themes include:
K4 Field Trips
Students in the K4 program go on two field trips during the school year. Typical trips include visits to the zoo, concerts and local parks. For safety reasons, we request that a parent or other adult chaperone accompany each student.
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.
The Ladd Educational Suite houses two of the three K4 classes. Both classrooms are large, have bathrooms and storage and are equipped with SMARTBoards.
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 an additional K4 classroom, a conference room and a teacher workroom.
The shaded K4/K5 playground features equipment for the youngest students on campus, including a fall-safe surface and a shark tooth pit.
1111 Forest Park Street Lakeland, FL, 33803 /P: 8636882771
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