Incorporated in 1995, Orenda Education started out as a private not-for-profit organization that operated an emergency shelter for children who had been abused or neglected. The organization grew and eventually owned and operated a comprehensive behavioral healthcare system serving children and adolescents that included an emergency shelter, a psychiatric hospital, a residential treatment center, an on-site school and a psychiatry group practice clinic.
Orenda obtained a school charter in 2001 from the Texas State Board of Education and launched Orenda Charter Schools, a subsidiary of Orenda Education in January, 2002 to serve the school age patients being served in the Orenda behavioral healthcare system. A new school philosophy and structure were introduced. The "Circle of Courage" educational philosophy and "Next Generation Instructional Methods" were implemented. Teachers who fit the new educational model were hired and within two years of implementation students began making dramatic strides in academic performance.
In 2005, the Orenda Education governing board decided to focus the organizations mission solely on the education of students. The hospital, residential treatment center and clinic were sold. The net proceeds from the sale of the company's healthcare programs and assets are being utilized to support the Orenda charter school campuses.