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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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. 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.
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.
Mrs. Corrie Williams – Teacher
The desire to be a teacher has been with me for as long as I can remember. That desire was strengthened throughout my thirteen years as a student at Lakeland Christian, where I was impacted by wonderful, godly teachers. One of the most impactful things on my future career was being a teacher’s aide during middle and high school for Mrs. Janda Moody, a gifted kindergarten teacher. It was there that I realized that kindergarten was the grade I most wanted to teach. With that goal in mind, I attended Covenant College and graduated in 2005 with my BA in Early Childhood Elementary Education. I was hired by LCS after graduation to teach kindergarten. I taught for 2 years and then was a reading coach. I then took time off to stay at home with my children. Now that they are all in school at LCS, I am blessed to be able to come back and teach kindergarten again, which is truly my dream job.
My husband, Brad, and I have been married since 2002. We have 4 children: Owen, Emmaline, Graham and Reed. We attend Christ Community Presbyterian Church where I enjoy teaching in our children’s ministry and directing our VBS. I also love to cook, read, decorate, entertain, go to the beach, and direct weddings.
As a teacher, I strive to find the unique strengths and gifts that God has given each of my students and help them grow. I teach knowing that each one is an image bearer of God, created by Him for a purpose. My goal is for every student to know the gospel and that, through Jesus, they are loved more than they could ever imagine.
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
I was born and raised in Bogota, Colombia. I moved to the states in 1999 for my senior year of high school. I went on to be a massage therapist, but I have always worked with children through church. While living in Jacksonville, I was the youth leader at my church. God has blessed me and my husband with five boys and as such I began to be involved in children’s ministry at my church as well. After moving to Lakeland, I began working as a paraprofessional with Christa De Labastide, in Kindergarten. I also work for the after school program with the older elementary students. In my spare time, I love to bake and decorate cakes.
As I have worked here, over the last three years, and my boys have become more involved in school, we have grown to love LCS and the LCS family. I couldn’t imagine having my boys in school anywhere else and love being a part of this team.
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.
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.
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 Zaner Bloser 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 (18-19)
2018-2019 Tuition Rates and Fees
K5 Tuition Rates:
|Annual||Semester||Quarterly||10 Months||12 Months|
- K5 Application Fee (New Students): $150.00
- K5 Enrollment Fee (New Students): $350.00
- K5 Matriculation Fee (Returning Students): $350.00 (January 8-February 28), $450.00 (March 1-April 30), $550.00 (After April 30)
- K5 Activity Fee: $100.00
The school year begins in August and runs concurrently with a standard school year. Payment options include a 12-month payment plan, although the K5 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.
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, Library)
12:10 PM – Calendar Math
12:30 PM – Recess
1:00 PM – Math or Fab Lab
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 and Parade
- Thanksgiving Centers
- Christmas Centers (Christmas story dramatized)
- Daddy and Me Winter Centers
- Western Day
- End-of-Year Party - Centers and Picnic
- Valentine’s Day Centers (with ice cream sundaes)
- Creation Care/Florida Black Bear Centers
- Easter Centers
- Hat Day
- PJ Day with Bear Activities
- 100th Day Celebration
- Silly Sock Day
- Mother's Day Tea
Our K5 center themes include:
Florida Black Bear
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 classrooms. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Students in the K5 program go on three field trips during the school year:
- Lakeland Fire Department
- J & M Equestrian Park
- Lowry Park Zoo
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