The Belton Journal


Belton ISD held a groundbreaking ceremony earlier this month for the Belton Delta Program Facility, a shared collaborative effort aimed at enhancing the educational experience of students with disabilities.

The facility, part of the Delta Program in Belton ISD, is designed to facilitate a smooth transition from high school to independent living and work for these students. This milestone marks the realization of the vision set forth in the 2022 Bond program, offering students innovative learning environments and new opportunities.

Belton ISD’s Delta Program caters to students aged 18-22 who have fulfilled all graduation requisites but necessitate additional time and transition services to achieve their Individual Education Plan objectives.

Malinda Golden, Ph.D., acting superintendent, said, “it is our vision to empower every learner to enhance our community. Every student should receive an outstanding experience as they progress beyond high school.”

Presently located on the Belton High School campus, the program will see a new facility located at 731 E. 4th Ave.

The transition to the new facility will enable students to access a learning environment purposefully crafted for adult learners.

The 7,000 square-foot facility will have a “living lab” resembling a small apartment, where students can hone independent living skills such as bed-making, laundry, and basic meal preparation.

It will also feature a commercial kitchen for practicing custodial and culinary employability skills, along with designated areas for teaching leisure activities and other essential skills crucial for community work participation.

Over the past two years, a succession of meetings involving special education department heads, Delta educators, and administrators paved the way for Belton ISD staff to collaborate with architects in realizing their vision for Delta students. Discussions revolved around pinpointing the requisite spaces and resources to align with this vision. In addition to a common area and food preparation zone, the upcoming facility will house a retail store.

Nichole Fritz, a Delta teacher at Belton High School with 7 years of experience, said, Belton High’s Program is designed to assist students with disabilities in smoothly transitioning from high school life and a structured schedule to the big world while experiencing a higher quality of life.

“Our jobs as Delta teachers is to get our students ready for a life without our help, “ Fritz said. Additionally, she said they strive to get all students connected to outside agencies that assist the students in a life with curveballs. While building on their independent skills, “we want them to run their life and have freedom of how they live,” stated Fritz.

Lastly, Fritz said they assist in helping their young adults gain experience in various jobs to allow them to decide how they want to earn money and/or give back to the community.

Kimberly Cables is the advertising and sales representative for the Belton Journal. Additionally, she collaborated with the Delta program for on the job training at the Journal for the Delta students.

Cables recently said, “Ms. Fritz does an amazing job supporting her students. She is very hands-on and is deeply involved in guiding them through their work responsibilities to ensure their success as they help us distribute our weekly papers.”

Cables added that recently she witnessed a touching reunion between Fritz, a former student, and his mother. Cables was moved at how deeply connected and committed Fritz remains to her students, and their families, even after they complete the program. The students each have unique challenges and demonstrate pride in their work. There are approximately 30 students in the program, and other business partners such as Eldred’s Nursery support the program in many ways.

The Delta Program is well known in Belton. The success of it comes from teachers and colleagues who focus on empowering students. They establish vital connections with external agencies to provide ongoing support and resources for students. A common theme throughout the groundbreaking ceremony and the stakeholders was focus on the development of student’s independence, encouraging them to take charge of their lives and make decisions autonomously.