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At Harding Charter Preparatory School District, our mission is to prepare students for success at any post-secondary educational institution. We are determined to help students achieve their full potential, both academically and personally. A graduate from our district embodies the values that define us: they are hardworking, confident, and prepared for the next phase of their life.

In August 1998, Independence Enterprise Middle School opened its doors to 225 students in grades six, seven, and eight. The school was established by a group of parents who had formed a nonprofit organization, Parents for a New Middle School, that was dedicated to providing improved educational experiences for students. The school began as part of the innovative Enterprise School Program initiated by Oklahoma City Public Schools (OKCPS). After the passage of the Oklahoma Charter Schools Act, the school converted to charter status and has operated as Independence Charter Middle School ever since.

In August 2002, the original nonprofit organization amended its name to Families for Excellence in Education and sought to open a high school to complement Independence Charter Middle School. The request was granted in May 2003, with Independence Charter High School opening its doors in August 2003. Located in the historic Harding High School building, the school later changed its name to Harding Charter Preparatory High School to honor the original 1958-68 classes of Harding High School. The new high school’s mission was to provide an open-access college-preparatory curriculum for students who may not have the opportunity to academically qualify for admission in other college-preparatory environments.

Over the course of the next two decades, with sponsorship from OKCPS, both schools continued to exemplify excellence in education. Independence Charter Middle School has continually been rated above average with the Oklahoma State Department of Education. And Harding Charter Preparatory High School is ranked as one of the top public high schools in the state of Oklahoma and continues to receive high ratings with the Oklahoma State Department of Education.

In July 2021, Families for Excellence in Education changed its name to Harding Independence Charter District (HICD) to represent the establishment of one charter governing entity over both Independence Charter Middle School and Harding Charter Preparatory High School. In 2022, in response to the OKCPS Pathway to Greatness Initiative’s grade-band changes, HICD expanded to add a fifth-grade academy to Independence Charter Middle School.

In the spring of 2023, HICD contracted with Bellwether, an educational consulting and research firm, to develop a strategic growth plan for the district. During this partnership, HICD identified that students in Oklahoma City attending local public schools were not receiving adequate educational opportunities. Compelled by a desire to provide a high-quality educational experience to all students, starting with the earliest school-aged children, the District decided to plan to open an elementary school.

HICD was able to acquire a property in NE Oklahoma City, just a mile and a half north of the high school’s current location. The district acquired the summer camp-like property in the summer of 2023 and began planning for the opening of the elementary in August of 2024. HICD’s leadership and governance board began discussing details for the new elementary school, including how the school would be branded. When Harding Charter Preparatory High School and Independence Charter Middle School merged, both schools retained their identities for school colors, mascots, and names. When HICD was created, the district adopted its own colors, logo, and name. District leadership and members of the governance board’s Communications Committee considered whether the elementary school should retain its own distinct brand, or whether there was a path forward that provided more cohesion to the district’s brand.

After reviewing multiple data points, including a community survey released by the Communications Committee, school applications (on which multiple ICMS families were listing the school as Harding Middle School), and feedback from community stakeholders and prospective families, the governance board elected to make sweeping changes to branding for the district and all schools. In November 2023, HICD’s Governance Board voted to adopt the recommendation of the Communications Committee and move from being a “House of Brands” to a “Branded House”. It was decided that the best path forward for our schools and district was to adopt the name with the most recognition in the community, Harding Charter Preparatory, for all sites.

In the 2024-2025 school year, the names of the district and sites are as follows: Harding Charter Preparatory School District (HCP), Harding Charter Preparatory Elementary School at Kelley, Harding Charter Preparatory Middle School at Independence, and Harding Charter Preparatory High School. The traditional colors of the high school were hunter green and white, while the middle school was red, navy blue, and white. In an effort to bring more cohesion to the district, the board moved to change the colors of all schools and the district to be hunter green, navy blue, and white. The district has an additional gold color that the schools are able to use as an accent. Each school site and the district retain its own mascot or symbol, which can be used in publications and on a school’s athletic and spirit wear.

Our district takes great pride in providing a high-quality educational experience to our students. We are excited to serve our current students and look forward to continuing to expand in the future, ensuring that all students in the Oklahoma City metro area who desire a rigorous, college-preparatory school environment have access to one.