Winter Haven Christian School
|Winter Haven Christian School|
|1700 Buckeye Loop Road NE,
Winter Haven, Florida, 33881
|Headmaster||Mr. Joseph T. Klein|
|Accreditation||Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools; Florida Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (FACCS); National Council for Private School Accreditation (NCPSA)|
Winter Haven Christian School (WHCS) is a private Christian school located at 1700 Buckeye Loop Road NE in the City of Winter Haven, Florida. The school currently serves grades pre-kindergarten three-year-olds through twelfth grade.
Winter Haven Christian School was founded in 1965 as First Baptist Christian School. In June 1986, the name was changed to reflect the new interdenominational philosophy of the school. The school is governed by a board of directors made up of Christian leaders in the greater Winter Haven area. An advisory board consisting of parents and non-parents also assists with the school's development and long-range planning. All serve without compensation.
In 1992, WHCS purchased fifteen acres on Buckeye Loop Road using funds that had been donated by parents and friends of the school, and began a fundraising campaign for the purpose of developing the site into a Christian educational campus. Ground was broken in 1999, and through the efforts of many parents and volunteers – especially Campers on Mission – the new building was completed in time for the 2002–2003 school year. An addition of seven classrooms and additional boys' and girls' restrooms was completed in the Summer of 2013. An expansion of the Middle School and High School will be completed in the Spring of 2017 with seven classrooms, including science labs and additional restrooms. Development of the campus will be an ongoing project. The master plan provides for a future gymnasium, separate high school building and expansion of the outdoor athletic facilities.
Mr. Joseph T. Klein is the headmaster of the school. Mr. Klein was a Christian School Principal in Pennsylvania for six years before moving to Florida in 2008. Mr. Klein has a bachelor's degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo, a master's degree from Dowling College and a Post Masters Administrative Certificate from East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania. Mr. Klein credits the mentoring of Mr. Thomas Wieland while they were both employed at South Shore Christian School in Levittown, NY for entering the ministry of Christian School Administration. Mr. Wieland also served as Headmaster of Harrisburg Christian School in Harrisburg, PA. Mrs. Jeanette Venable is the principal for the elementary school and Mrs. Jeannette Williams is the current middle school and high school principal. Mrs. Venable is a graduate of Freed-Hardeman University and Mrs. Williams has a bachelor's degree from Bob Jones University and received her master's degree from Southeastern University.
Winter Haven Christian School is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, Florida Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (FACCS) and the National Council for Private School Accreditation (NCPSA).
Preschool, 3 and 4 year-olds
WHCS offers a half-day, three-day or five-day (per week) preschool program for three-year-olds; and a five-day program for four-year-olds. Extended care is available to four-year-olds for an additional fee. Students in preschool are taught the necessary skills to be successful in the Kindergarten program. In addition, they have opportunity to play and participate in crafts and activities that build everlasting memories from childhood.
Elementary, grades K5–5
WHCS students in grades K5 (kindergarten, 5-year-olds) through 5th grade have class in a traditional classroom setting. In addition to their core subjects, each student also participates in art, computer, music, physical education and Spanish classes. Field trips and age-appropriate activities also supplement the curriculum.
Middle school, grades 6–8
Middle-school students are provided a variety of classes and teachers, with a seven-period day. Each middle-school student is assigned to a homeroom and locker for the year. In addition, middle-school students have separate chapels, field trips, activities and leadership opportunities designed to meet the need for their age group
High school, grades 9–12
WHCS's high school program is geared for a College Prep Diploma. Students complete their core subjects as required by FACCS (Florida Association of Christian Colleges and Schools) and the State of Florida. These core subjects include (but are not limited to) Bible, English, foreign language, math, science and social studies. In addition, every high school student at WHCS is entered into an academy or major that gives them specialized training and instruction in one of five areas:
- Agricultural Science
- Computer Science
- Creative Arts
- Criminal Justice
- STEM - Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics
As a result of a partnership with Southeastern University, Warner University and Polk State College, WHCS students who are in 11th and 12th grade have the opportunity to dual-enroll. Students must apply for dual enrollment and are subject to WHCS, Warner University and Polk State policies and minimum requirements.
Winter Haven Christian School graduated its first High School class in June 2016. The initial class had five students who received their High School Diploma at a graduation ceremony at Heartland Church which is located a few blocks away from the location of the original campus. Enrollment rates are increasing and WHCS anticipates a graduating class of 15 students in 2017. Although just starting to graduate high school students, WHCS has seen 100% college acceptance. Students at WHCS have been accepted into the following colleges As of March 31, 2017[update] (listed alphabetically):
- Charleston Southern University
- Fashion Institute of Technology
- Florida Gulf Coast University
- Florida State University
- Hillsborough Community College
- Polk State College
- Samford University
- Santa Fe College
- Southeastern University
- University of Central Florida
- University of Florida
- University of South Florida
- University of Tennessee - Knoxville
- Webber International University
WHCS has a soccer field and dedicated outdoor archery range on the grounds of the campus. WHCS competes in interscholastic sports with other local Christian schools and is a member of the Central Florida Athletic Conference for students in grades 6–12. For archery, WHCS competes with NASP (National Archery in the Schools Program) sanctioned events. In addition, WHCS offers intramural bowling, flag football and soccer for students in the Elementary School.
Interscholastic sports offered at WHCS include:
- Co-ed soccer
- Girls' volleyball
- Girls' cheerleading
- Boys' basketball
- Girls' basketball
- Weekly Warrior News - August 28, 2008