Finding the right schools and educational opportunities for each family member is an important part of any move. This chapter outlines Central Texas’ public schools system, private schools, charter schools and home schooling criteria, as well as local libraries and higher education institutions. To be enrolled in a Texas school, a child must be at least 5 years old by Sept. 1 of the school year. Those wishing to register their child in school should bring the following to the school office: a birth certificate or other proof of the child’s age, and the child’s previous school records and immunization records. For more details on Texas’ minimum vaccine requirements for students in grades K-12, please view the Texas Department of State Health Services’ requirements at www.dshs.state.tx.us/immunize/school/default.shtm. Check with the school for additional requirements.
Texas is one of only a handful of states to reject Common Core Standards that provide a consistent set of educational expectations in the majority of other states, the District of Columbia, Guam, American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Department of Defense Education Activity. Instead, the Texas Legislature requires public schools to use a state standard, Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills, to establish what children should know and be able to do. Visit https://tea.texas.gov/curriculum/teks for more information.
Choosing a School
Choosing the right school is very important, so be sure to research each one before deciding. Contact the school by phone or by visiting its website, which is a valuable source to learn about a school district’s statistics and curriculum. Talk to people in the area, especially friends and colleagues who already live there.
If the school shows promise, schedule a visit and bring a list of written questions about student-teacher ratios, computer availability, extracurricular activities, sports programs, music programs, gifted programs and grading standards.
Discuss the potential school with your child: what they liked and what they didn’t like. Your family’s ability to readily adapt to a move and to find happiness in your new home may depend, in part, on how happy your children are in their new school.
Charter schools are public schools of choice that are tuition-free, serve all students and have open enrollment. For more information or a list of charter schools in Texas, visit the Texas Education Agency’s website at https://tea.texas.gov/Texas_Schools/Charter_Schools.
For an introduction to home schooling in Texas, visit the Texas Education Agency’s website at https://tea.texas.gov/Texas_Schools/General_Information and choose “Finding a School” to get more information on the legal requirements of operating a home school and the other alternative schooling options. Texas does not award diplomas to students who are home schooled.
Texas Home School Coalition Association
P.O. Box 6747
Lubbock, TX 79493 806-744-4441
Texas Home School Coalition Association is a faith-based group of three organizations that impacts the lives of more than 100,000 home schooling families in Texas. Since 1986, the coalition has been working to secure and maintain the liberties of Texas home schooling families through advocacy and service, as well as influencing the political processes that determine law and policy relative to home schooling in Texas.
Home School Legal Defense Association
P.O. Box 3000
Purcellville, VA 20134-9000 540-338-5600
Since 1983, the nonprofit HSLDA has been defending parents’ constitutional right to direct their children’s education and protecting family freedoms by advocating for home-school-friendly laws, encouraging and supporting home-schoolers, and providing free legal advice and representation to more than 80,000 member families.
To search for local private schools in Texas, visit the National Center for Education Statistics website and use the private school search tool at https://tinyurl.com/ybhpwoyt. Users may search by location, religious affiliation, school type and more.
Belton Independent School District
400 N. Wall St.
Belton, TX 76513 254-215-2000
Belton Independent School District currently serves over 11,521 students on 15 campuses: nine elementary schools, three middle schools, two high schools and one early childhood school. The students in the district reside in Belton, Morgan’s Point Resort, parts of Temple and unincorporated areas of Bell County.
Copperas Cove Independent School District
408 S. Main Street
Copperas Cove, TX 76522 254-547-1227
Copperas Cove Independent School District has six elementary schools, two junior high schools and two high schools. The district also has one learning academy. The district has an enrollment of approximately 8,300.
Gatesville Independent School District
311 S. Lovers Lane
Gatesville, TX 76528 254-865-7251
Gatesville Independent School District has one primary school (pre-K and kindergarten) an elementary school, one intermediate school, one middle school and a high school. The district has an enrollment of approximately 2,750.
Killeen Independent School District
200 N. WS Young Drive
Killeen, TX 76543 254-336-0000
Killeen Independent School District (KISD) serves the central Texas communities of Killeen, Fort Hood, Harker Heights, and Nolanville. Students within KISD attend 32 elementary schools, 11 middle schools, 4 high schools, 4 special campuses, a state-of-the-art Career Center and an Early College High School serving approximately 45,000 students.
Temple Independent School District
401 Santa Fe Way
Temple, TX 76501 254-215-8473
Temple Independent School District serves 8,600 students in grades pre-K through 12th. The district has eight elementary campuses, three middle schools, one high school, one early childhood campus and two alternative campuses.
UNIVERSITIES AND HIGHER EDUCATION
Central Texas offers plenty of opportunity for continuing education. Representatives from area colleges and universities are also available at the education center on post to explain what programs and courses are offered locally. Use the following contact information to start your search for the school that is right for you.
1301 S. University Parks Drive
Waco, TX 76798 800-229-5678
Central Texas College — Fort Hood
6200 W. Central Texas Expressway
Killeen, TX 76549 254-526-1917
2600 S. First St.
Temple, TX 76504 254-298-8282
400 Bizzell St.
College Station, TX 77843 979-845-3211
Texas State Technical College
3801 Campus Drive
Waco, TX 76705 254-799-3611
University of Texas at Austin
110 Inner Campus Drive
Austin, TX 78712 512-471-3434
University of Mary Hardin-Baylor
900 College St.
Belton, TX 76513 254-295-8642
Public libraries in Central Texas offer learning, recreation, distance education, internet connections and other resources for users — all for free. In addition, school libraries that support the curriculum and offer internet access and other resources are in most public and private schools, and academic and special libraries are found in colleges and universities. The Texas State Library and Archives Commission, www.tsl.texas.gov, supports libraries in the state with resources, interlibrary loan and other assistance such as Little Free Libraries.
Residents can enjoy and make use of a handful of public libraries near Fort Hood in Central Texas. Get information about services, hours and events by visiting the branches’ websites. For a full list of libraries in Texas, visit the www.tsl.texas.gov.
Copper Mountain Branch Library
3000 S.W. S. Young Drive
Killeen, TX 76542 254-501-8990
Copperas Cove Public Library
501 S. Main St.
Copperas Cove, TX 76522 254-547-3826
Gatesville Public Library
111 N. Eighth St.
Gatesville, TX 76528 254-865-5367
Killeen City Library
205 E Church Ave.
Killeen, TX 76541 254-501-8994
Lena Armstrong Public Library
301 E. First Ave.
Belton, TX 76513 254-933-5832
Stewart C. Meyer Public Library
400 Indian Trail
Harker Heights, TX 76548 254-953-5491
Temple Public Library
100 W. Adams Ave.
Temple, TX 76501 254-298-5555