Belton ISD holds a vision for educating students so that they are prepared to excel in tomorrow’s world, a world where they will be expected to be experts at using technology tools for communicating, creating, and managing information. The instructional focus of the District is to assist both teachers and students in transitioning to a classroom where learning is enhanced by technology, and students are engaged in rigorous lessons leading to deep learning. Belton ISD has begun initiatives across the District where all students in a school or a grade level have their own computer device to use for learning. Expansion of these one-to-one initiatives is planned. In addition, students are now being allowed to use their smart phones or other digital devices in grades 6-12 at the discretion of the teachers.
Two new campuses opened for the 2011-2012 school year, both with an emphasis on innovative teaching through the use of engaging instruction using technology – Belton New Tech High @ Waskow focuses on “project-based learning,” partially funded through a TTIPS (Texas Title I Priority Schools) grant from TEA. The school began with 125 freshmen and will add one additional class over the next three years, with the first graduates in 2015. Students will learn traditional core subjects using 21st century skills such as critical thinking, collaboration and technology proficiency. All students are issued a laptop computer for their use while attending the school. Dr. Deanna Lovesmith serves as principal.
The new South Belton Middle School opened in the fall of 2011 in response to enrollment growth at the middle school level. Curriculum at the school features challenge-based learning in a technology-rich environment, where students learn concepts by responding to a “challenge” designed by the teacher to promote critical thinking and problem solving. Each student was issued an iPad as part of BISD’s one-to-one computer initiative at an entire campus. Tammy Becker serves as principal.
After first addressing the needs for academic classrooms through additions and renovations at Belton High School, a new multi-sport facility next to Tiger Field addresses enrollment growth which has affected the athletic program. With an increase in participation at both the middle and high school levels, the new facility will accommodate both boys and girls outdoor sports.
Looking ahead, District officials are expecting continued enrollment growth, surpassing 9,500 students, as the Belton-Temple area continues to see new homes and businesses going up almost daily. To prepare for the influx of students, District Administration, in collaboration with the Board of Trustees, is working on plans for additional facilities. Belton ISD has developed a 10-year master facilities plan as a roadmap for effectively planning for growth.
Superintendent Dr. Susan Kincannon, said, “I am excited about what the future holds for Belton ISD. We continue to be good stewards of our taxpayers’ dollars by providing the best education for our students, giving them every available learning opportunity. Technology is a driving force in the world today, and we want our students to be equipped with an education that helps them to succeed in a changing world.”
University of Mary Hardin-Baylor
The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor is a Christ-centered university affiliated with the Baptist General Convention of Texas. Chartered by the Republic of Texas in 1845, UMHB is one of the oldest, continuously-operating higher education institutions in the state. The historic 265-acre campus has been located in Belton since 1886.
Today, more than 2,700 students attend UMHB, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 14 to 1. UMHB offers 66 undergraduate majors and 18 graduate degree programs, including a doctorate degree in Education Administration.
The university has top tier ranking among Universities-Master’s West category of U.S. News & World Report: Best Colleges. With more than 360 full-time faculty and staff, UMHB has garnered a nationally recognized academic reputation. It also is one the most affordable private universities in the Southwest.
The mission of UMHB is to prepare students for leadership, service, and faith-informed discernment in a global society. Academic excellence, personal attention, broad-based scholarship, and a commitment to a Baptist vision for education distinguish this Christ-centered learning community.
The university offers a wide-range of extracurricular activities, from athletics to the fine arts, which are open to the public. With 12 athletic teams on campus, this Division III school has nearly 400 students participating in Crusader athletics. Home games offer exciting collegiate competition at the Crusader SpotsPlex, the Mayborn Campus Center arena or at Tiger Field. The university also provides a range of opportunities for children and youth – including a Conservatory of Music and a variety of athletic and educational summer camps. For more information, visit www.umhb.edu.
Higher Education in the Surrounding Area
Temple College, Texas A&M College of Medicine, Central Texas College and Texas A&M University Central Texas are located in Bell County, while Texas A&M University and the University of Texas Austin are among the schools located within a 95-mile radius of Belton.