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Harker Heights Evening Star
Harker Heights Evening Star

Nolan Creek School host ribbon cutting ceremony

Sara Escobar

Evening Star

Nolan Creek School held a ribbon cutting on Monday, September 18 to promote its curriculum to the public. Nolan Creek is a charter school that opened fall of 2016 in Belton; its interworking’s are facilitated by Orenda Education, a charter school organization based out of Georgetown. The school currently holds approximately 90 students ranging from kindergarten to fifth grade, with its campus located at the Belton Christian Youth Center, 505 E Avenue C. The youth center and the school operate out of the same building.

Courtesy Photo
Ken Wiseman, Principal of Nolan Creek School, stands with students and faculty during their ribbon cutting ceremony on Monday, September 18.

NCS is the first Orenda Education school to open in Bell County. According to a release by Tommy Turner, director of community relations and development, there are many advantages to a charter school versus a regular public school. “As a charter school, we are able to do a few more things that are more innovative and flexible. We can offer other electives that the traditional public-school system may not offer. We can do a longer school year or longer school day if we desire.” Turner said the reason they decided to open a school in the area was because they were approached by residents more than two years ago about the idea. “There was a desire for another public school of choice, and that is what we offer,” Turner said. “It is a charter school district that can offer some innovative educational services that parents may perceive they are not getting and if they are, they just want some other options for their children.” NCS is accredited by the Texas Education Agency, and through Orenda Education, its curriculum is based on a college preparatory and career readiness curriculum.

Ken Wiseman has been the school’s principal since its opening. According to Wiseman, NCS is a high-quality alternative to public school. “Our school enables parents to have another choice in regards to what is available in Bell County in terms of public education. With our TEA approved curriculum, our instruction is more effective and our students are more engaged. We use project-based learning and problem solving through STEAM.”

STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics. This educational approach that uses the prior terms as access points for guiding student inquiry, dialogue and critical thinking.

Wiseman says they are still currently accepting students. “We’ll be at over 150 students by the end of the year. We can definitely handle more kids; kindergarten is full, but we have plenty of room in other grades.” Wiseman also went on to say there is also one teaching position currently open; those interested in applying can visit www.orendaeducation.org and visit the careers tab.

“Our goal is to eventually be a K through 12 grade campus. I strongly believe that our curriculum is presented in such a way that it will prepare them in a post-secondary environment. Whether that be through university, community college, or any other route—we want parents to know that we are a 21st century school, and we are dedicated to instilling in depth critical thinking to all of our students.”

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