Orenda Superintendent Newsletter

November and December 2022



STAAR Redesign

Did you know that the 2022-23 STAAR is being redesigned this year to more closely align to the classroom experience?

The STAAR Redesign includes the following components:

These redesign components match with best practices of effective teachers to:

  • Provide various open-ended question formats for students; and
  • Coherently build students' background knowledge and vocabulary in all subject areas; and
  • Ask students to write about what they read using evidence from the text.

These are instructional strategies already implemented by our teaches to prepare our students for college and career through AVID. Students are becoming familiar with these new questions through interim assessments and classroom activities.

High School Final Exam Exemption and Absences Reminder

As we approach the end of the semester, students taking high school courses will be taking midterm exams. Below is the midterm and final exam exemption policy for the Parent-Student Handbook.

Midterm and Final Exam Exemption

Students in grades 9-11 and any middle school (grades 6-8) who are enrolled in a high school course for credit who meet all the criteria below are eligible to exempt up to 2 midterm or final exams per semester. Seniors (grade 12 students) who meet all the criteria below are eligible to exempt up to 3 midterm or final exams per semester. Students must meet all eligibility requirements below.

Midterm and Final Exam Exemption Eligibility

• 85 or above for semester cumulative average

• No more than 3 absences per semester - NOTE: 3 tardies = 1 absence under this exemption

• No disciplinary referrals

The following reasons count towards absences for final exam exemptions:

  • Unexcused
  • Parent Notes
  • Suspension
  • More than 3 absences for a funeral (funeral documentation still needed for the first 3 absences)

All other absences, as listed in the Parent-Student Handbook under "Excused Absences" for each campus, will not count towards the absences to be eligible to exempt semester and final exams.

Open Enrollment January 2023

January 1-31 is open enrollment for the 2023-24 School Year. During the month of January, all current students will complete their re-enrollment form for the next school year. This is also the time that any new students, including siblings of current students, will complete an application for enrollment to be included in the lottery for the 2023-24 school year. The 2023-24 Re-Enrollment links for each campus will be posted on each website and sent out to parents at the beginning of January.

Do you have family, friends, and neighbors interested in enrolling for the current school year? We are still accepting applications for this school year and have immediate openings at Kingsland, Nolan Creek, and Gateway Tech Schools along with Gateway Prep at select grades.


Each year, Kingsland School families, staff, and students provides Christmas gifts for each student at our sister campus, New Horizons School. Kingsland staff, families, and students enjoyed hot chocolate, cookies, and conversation while making fleece blankets for New Horizons students. Kingsland School putting together a gift bag for each student to be delivered for Christmas.

New Horizons School educates youth residing at the New Horizons Ranch residential center. "The Ranch," located new Goldthwaite, Texas, provides individualized, intensive treatment programs for boys and girls suffering from emotional. behavioral, and trauma-related challenges. Special, handmade Christmas gifts mean so much to the students at New Horizons. Thank you to our Kingsland community for your generosity to New Horizons.

Thank You Donors

Thank you to everyone who gave to Orenda Education on Giving Tuesday and to our donors who give throughout the year. Your donations help us to provide high-quality instruction and programs that builds a strong foundation of success for each child served. It's important to know that your donation stays at the school of your choice within the district system. Feel free to contact Adam Price at 512-869-3020 or adam.price@orendaeducation.org for more information.

Orenda Teacher Features

Upcoming District Events

December 17 - January 1 - Orenda District Office and All Campuses Closed for Winter Break

January 16 - Orenda Charter School Board Meeting, 5:30 pm at Gateway College Prep