Lakeland Institute for Learning
Your Child is Welcome Here

We are striving to provide a relevant and rigorous education to meet the language needs of Exceptional Education Students (ESE) and English Language Learners (ELL).

Our dedicated staff strives to:
  • Maximize academic and social growth
  • Prepare students for success
  • Conduct a rigorous curriculum
  • Provide clinical services
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ESE and ELL students are eligible for McKay, Gardiner, and Step Up for Students. Additional options are also available through the Florida Tax Credit Scholarships.

Please access the links below for easy access.

McKay Scholarship

The McKay Scholarship Program for Students with Disabilities provided thousands of Florida students with special needs the opportunity to attend a participating private school.

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Gardiner Scholarship

The Gardiner Scholarship Program provides eligible students a scholarship that can be used to purchase approved services or products in order to design a customized educational program for the student.

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Florida Tax Credit Scholarship

To expand educational opportunities for children of families that have limited financial resources and to enable children in this state to achieve a greater level of excellence in their education, the Florida Legislature created the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program.

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Scholarship Funding Organization

The law provides for state tax credits for contributions to nonprofit scholarship funding organizations.

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We believe in and help ALL kids succeed.

We are Lakeland Institute for Learning.

We believe in your child's success.

The Lakeland Institute for Learning is a clinical school for ESE and ELL students whose purpose is to deliver services to students within the educational setting in order to facilitate their overall health and well being and maximize their academic growth.

It is our mission to provide students the opportunity to become a knowledgeable and productive member of society, through language access within a career oriented environment developed to inspire special needs students and English Language Learners.


Providing a great educational environment for all students to learn.


Helping build up the youth for tomorrow with caring and competent staff.


Providing leadership and direction to all students to help guide students to a bright future.


Evaluating the needs, talents and potential of all students to ensure their needs are being met.

Rigorous Education & Clinical Services

Our educational model

The Lakeland Institute for Learning (LIfL) is a school whose purpose is to deliver a rigorous curriculum for special education students (ESE) who need clinical services and a focus on reading to fulfill their educational futures and become all they aspire to be.

These students fall into two areas: special needs and those who are also English Language Learners (ESE) (as defined by law). The school is striving to deliver clinical services to students within their school day, within a rigorous educational environment to facilitate students' academic growth.

Helping with the next steps

Transition Program

Beginning in 2017 -2018 school year, the Lakeland Institute for Learning are offering a career transition program for students grades 10 and above.

At Lakeland Institute for Learning we are educators who believe in the balance between therapy services and the education needed for each student to grow - we care that students learn!

Social Skills

Social Skills is a primary need for many of our ESE students and is a requirement by Florida law. At LIfL, we begin the socialization process through our rendition of Sean Covey’s “Seven Habits for Effective Teens.”

Every morning, students meet with a homeroom teacher that leads them through the process of understanding the depth and breath behind the habits. In addition, all students receive an hour of social skills every other day that revolves around  self, relationship, and social awareness enhancement, self management, responsibility, and decision making skills.

These are the Core CASEL social emotional competencies developed to promote mental health and reduce risk behaviors in children and adolescents. (C)2018 CASEL


Clinical Services

The main thrust of clinical services is applied behavioral analysis. This service is implemented to promote students to perform academically. All staff are required to be trained in professional crisis management (PCM) and complete the 40-hour training module required for registered behavior technicians (RBT); although, two RBT’s are on our staff.

A Mental Health practitioner is offered on site through a private provider. In addition, Speech Language Pathology  services are currently offered through Polk County School District. Since clinical services meet students' physical or emotional needs, teachers are presented the opportunity to step up and apply more rigorous learning. The intensity of services and the articulation with educators also furthers the transfer and retention of both therapy and education.

Strong foundation of growth
Our Curriculum

The curriculum revolves around standards based learning based on the tested Florida State Standards (FSS) or the Access Points (AS) for students cognitively impaired. Standards based learning is important for our exceptional education students because it keeps them on track for high school graduation; although, LIfL students are not required to meet the Florida State Assessment requirements.

Since Reading is essential to learning across all curriculums, all students are initially tested in a one on one environment using an ESE reading program to determine their strengths and weaknesses in basic skills such as phonics, and in another program for vocabulary and comprehension.

A certified reading coach sets up a recommended reading lesson path to fill in their learning gaps to bring them up to grade level. In addition, all students are taught English Language Arts at their grade level, which encompasses a major component in writing skills, so they are not left behind because of their reading deficits.

Math is also tested initially through a long standing reputable program that sets up a recommended lesson path to fill in their skills deficits. A Master’s level math teacher facilitates this process and teaches the Florida State Standards appropriate for the students’ grade level.

Science follows the NGSS Standards and is infused with hands on activities every other week through a Legos based robotic activity. Students are scheduled into a Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) class every other day.

Social Studies, Civics, and US History also follow the NGSS Standards and students are exposed to authentic applications of how the world effects their everyday life. A few examples encompass activities mocking city, state or national elections. In addition, cross disciplinary research conducted through collaborative pairs on current affairs are delivered through power point presentations.

Career academies in both Culinary Arts and Technology are offered to all students based on the different grade levels, and functioning abilities.

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Our Leadership

Ready to meet the challenge head on.

Donna Lee Buckner M.S. ED/Ed. D
Teresa V. Martinez
Director of Public Relations and Community Development
Our Board
View our list of board members and advisors.
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What parent's say

Kind Words

Awesome school. My son finally "likes" going to school and actually tells us what he is learning.

Virginia Curtis Mom

Great school. Students learn at their own pace,fun invirment and the teachers are there to help the kids.

Deborah Jasper Mom

Awesome staff! We are so happy our daughter has a place she enjoys going to learn.

Happy Parent Dad

Non Discrimination Policy
The Lakeland Institute is committed to protecting its students, employees and applicants for admission from bullying, harassment, or discrimination for any reason and of any type. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, disability, or age in employment, but grants all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available at the school. It believes that all individuals are entitled to a safe, equitable, and harassment free school environment.