Nolan Creek School
Small School Advantage.
We believe some students do better in a smaller school environment (125 students or less in a graduation class) and numerous studies show that smaller schools can have superior academic results because the Head of School and other school leaders can better monitor the quality of academic instruction taking place each day and have a greater influence over the school culture.
A smaller school allows students more opportunities to be involved in the life of a school, such as participating on one or more athletic teams, in student government and leadership, and in social clubs. A smaller school can also produce a special feeling of camaraderie and team spirit because a smaller pool of classmates are concentrating their efforts to organize a variety show, make the athletic team, or ace the final exam. The students get to know just about everybody in a small school and build relationships with other classmates and faculty.
Although we seek to keep our class sizes a little smaller than many of the traditional schools in the area, research studies have clearly shown that the skills of the teacher are a greater contributing factor to superior academic results than class size. We do seek to have the following average number of students in a classroom led by a certified teacher.
20:1 Grades K - 1
22:1 Grades 2 - 4
24:1 Grades 5
25:1 Grades 6 - 12
Children grow up today in a digital media world. From a very early age, they are stimulated, nourished and learn from images, music and sounds from multi-media sources. The list of technology to deliver digital media is long and expands rapidly. Therefore most children become accustomed to the fast, varied pace of digital information. Then as students, they would rather watch and listen to or create images and music than listen to a teacher, unless he/she is very engaging.
What is needed is a new approach to education. In today’s world that means combining education and entertainment and using the technology that is familiar and engaging. You reinforce learning by making it fun; by making it interactive using music, art and dance; by making it a part of everyday life, not just something you do at school.
Orenda schools are on the cutting edge in using the latest in educational technology to enhance the learning environment. Very few schools are as far along as we are in adapting technology into the classroom to meet the individual needs of students who have different learning styles. With our blended-learning instructional model we combine face‐to‐face interactions with a teacher in a school building, with additional instruction –whether live or recorded – conducted in an online learning environment with some student control over time, place, path or pace.
Orenda has chosen the personalized learning platform (PLP) and the Blackboard teacher instructional learning platform (TIP). These two online platforms allow our students to have ownership over their learning and for students and parents to access teacher content, provide additional instructional resources 24/7, allow the teachers to “flip” the classroom, and students to move at their own pace.
We are a "Bring Your Own Device" (BYOD) school for grades 5-12 with full access to high speed connectivity throughout the entire campus. For grades K – 4, technology is incorporated into the elementary curriculum through both teacher-led and student-focused instruction. Each K – 4 classroom has school supplied Apple I Pads that are used for small group pull out instruction. Elementary teachers utilize resources such as Discovery Education streaming and Brain Pop to make the learning come alive. This allows technology to be incorporated daily into the classroom to differentiate the instruction for all students. The teacher online learning platform (TOP), Blackboard, is also used by all teachers to communicate information, assignments, and grades with students and parents. Students also use technology at home to complete reading, math, and spelling assignments. .
Member of the University Interscholastic League (“UIL”)
Our Orenda Charter School District is a proud member of the University Interscholastic League (UIL). Over one thousand Texas public schools and over one million students compete in UIL academic, athletic and performing arts competitions, making the UIL one of the world’s largest extracurricular youth organizations. While very few public charter schools participate in the UIL, Orenda is unique and offers its students the opportunity to compete against the top public school students in the entire state of Texas in extracurricular activities and competitions through its membership in the UIL. Link to UIL
Green School Campus
Three recent developments have shaped the design and construction plans for Orenda school campuses. The climate of our planet is ever changing and some of our local natural resources are becoming scarcer. Second, obesity and other health problems are increasing among American school children because our kids are not moving and exercising enough. In addition, the new age of technology is radically altering how students learn and how educational content is delivered. Taking these factors into consideration Orenda has adopted a school campus and building design philosophy that incorporates elements of conservation, sustainability, efficiency, open and multi-functional indoor spaces, and amble access to the outdoors and athletic facilities.
The Orenda school campus master construction plan incorporates many “green school” elements and is based on the concept of what we like to call “no child left inside”. Here is a partial list of what makes the Orenda school physical campus different from many other schools in the area:
Meets LEED silver or higher certification Link to LEED