Parents who desired the best educational experiences for their children founded both Independence Charter Middle School (ICMS) and Harding Charter Preparatory High School (HCPHS). The educational philosophy of ICMS and HCPHS is that of a small school environment where the former prepares their students for a college-preparatory high school and the latter is a College Board, Advanced Placement Curriculum. A highly trained faculty aids in the implementation of our rigorous curriculum. The Harding Independence Charter District (HICD) faculty and administration employ a transitional philosophy from the environment of middle school to the rigors and demands of high school. ICMS and HCPHS are staffed by a committed group of professionals who provide the structure and environment to use the full range of their professional expertise in providing the best educational experiences for the children they serve. We believe in a collaborative environment where faculty and administration work together for the benefit of students.
Our principal interest is the welfare, educational experience and achievement of each student. Faculty, administration and parents hold high expectations for student academic achievement and have, therefore, designed a rigorous curriculum to prepare our students for the academic demands in both schools and in their studies beyond high school.
We believe an optimal educational environment is achievable through a secure and safe school experience. Parents will support the administration and faculty toward that goal. The highest standards of professional behavior and ethics are expected from our administration and staff. Parents will support the staff and administration in a mutually respectful manner.
We understand the design, administration, and governance of this district are unique. As with all new enterprises, we will strive to continuously improve our district and provide the very best for the children we serve.
REPORTS & PLANS
Hollie James, class of 2012
"My name is Hollie James and I had the honor of graduating from Harding Charter Prep in 2012. Harding taught me that knowledge is powerful. I was unsure of my ability to afford college, but Harding provided me with so much preparation in scholarships and career awareness. Not only did this school prepare me academically for college, but it provided financial relief for me through AP tests and gaining college credit. Although at times the homework load was heavy and stressful, the compassion and hard work from the teachers was life changing. Many of my teachers allowed me to come in before and after school to vent about any high school meltdowns I was having. I am thankful to HCP for providing me with an amazing education with outstanding educators and mentors."
Montana Rangel, class of 2008
"When people accredit me with academic and professional success I am quick to give the credit where it is due. I would not be where I am without the guidance I received at HCP. The teachers there were true educators that were invested in their students. My chemistry teacher fostered an interest into what soon became not only my college major, but now my professional career. The workload was never meant to be easy, but HCP and the educators helped to show what we were all working for. I will be forever grateful for the opportunity to have attended HCP. It makes me immensely proud to see how much the school continues to grow from its early years."
Jonathan Conley, class of 2014
"Most other HCP alumni talk about how much easier their undergraduate programs are compared to their time at Harding, and I agree with them. College is a comparatively easier experience for me than HCP because the most difficult parts were already out of the way when I got here. I didn’t have to struggle to learn how to write concise, meaningful essays, like some of my peers did, because that had been something my teachers had been helping me to develop for four years. On top of that, a lot of my classes have been made easier by the time management and group communication skills that my AP classes required me to develop."
Heather Powers, class of 2011
"Harding prepared me so much for college and I created forever friends at this school. It's so awesome to be able to message any of my HCP teachers and they are still there for me or ready to have a chat about my current life. I remember entering college English and being accused of plagiarism because "a freshman should not be writing that well." If there is one tidbit I would give to anyone about what Harding did for me, it was discipline and planning. It was so weird being one of the only person in class with my planner writing down due dates for the entire semester. It was also nice to pass on to my friends and help them plan out their semesters like Harding had taught me."
Aneesha Moore, class of 2015
"The teachers actually helped me understand more of what college will be teaching. The difficulties are the same and I know how to manage my time because of Harding. It also showed me how other people do not know how to write an essay or do a particular problem in math because I learned easier, simpler, and quicker ways to do them all.
Harding was hard and so are college and other aspects of life. Decisions to do your homework early or to procrastinate lead to other choices outside of the academic world."
Kade Wagner, class of 2015
"What Harding Meant to Me Going to Harding Charter Preparatory High at least makes the top 5 list of the best decisions I have ever made (it is up there with becoming an Eagle Scout and trying pho). When I went to Harding, I did not just prepare myself for college; I shaped myself into the human being I am today, and that is priceless.
Let me paint a picture depicting the person I was before I attended; despite my love of learning I had never had a particularly positive academic experience (Gifted and Talented excepted). In elementary school I had been ruthlessly bullied and only went willingly because my parents had taught me that becoming educated was a huge civic duty. In middle school, I simply did not connect well with my classmates (which was not helped by my then Hindenburg-sized academic ego). I had no social life. The only people that I found amicable were my teachers and the administration. I earned good grades. I read many wonderful books. I had and still have a very loving and supportive family. I was not happy at school. One day, my middle school principal called my parents and confidentially told them that the local high school I was then destined to go to was not the best fit for me, and that I would fare better at a different institution, and that was my family’s introduction to HCP. When my parents asked me what I wanted to do, my heart immediately jumped for joy. I was determined that I would finally have friends. I would have new opportunities. For the first time since kindergarten, I would be happy to get out of bed and go to school.
Needless to say, I applied to the school and was accepted. Harding did not disappoint me. All said, going to Harding was not easy. It really challenged and helped me to better form my work ethic, academics, philosophies, politics, and world view. I exposed myself to new experiences and discovered entirely new views of the human condition. For once, I had classmates that liked me. After a couple years, I came to the earth-shattering realization that I liked them too. For the first time, I was part of an environment that embraced open and thoughtful debate and expression. Amazingly, I met individuals who simply could not agree with me about anything who I could still call friends. At Harding, I learned how to have friends and how to be a friend. I had stupendous teachers that challenged me to think critically on a daily basis. My mind was tempered like a high-quality katana over and over again. I had to reconsider everything I had ever been taught growing up from my dietary habits to my fundamental understanding of mathematics. In my instruction, I found strength and purpose. I found a resolve to leave my comfort zone and live without limiting myself. I learned that I was not, in fact, the sharpest knife in the drawer and that it was okay. I was taught that personal success is achievable through hard work and dedication. I learned how to make sense of this life without relying on rote memorization and purely reactive responses. Whatever happens to me in this life, I am eternally grateful for what I had at Harding."
Joseph Schmidt, Class of 2008
"It seems every aspect of Harding Charter Preparatory joined me in my higher education, including the drive I had to enter and succeed in the college of my choice. It goes well beyond how the curriculum prepared me for the challenges of coursework and thinking critically. While attending HCP, I became active in relevant and leadership-building groups and was pushed to use my talents in a productive and creative way. This dedication to excellence beyond the classroom has served me well in every year of my college career, where I have served in multiple leadership positions. I credit my current position as president of the Resident Student Association to Harding’s ability to tie the power of learning with the character of persistence. The learning style I gained at HCP remains with me, including the thorough lessons of writing well and studying properly. Even C-Notes are a tool I use in every class! Above all, the fun and encouraging atmosphere helped me enter college prepared, confident, and excited for what I knew I could achieve."
Devin Leach, Class of 2010
"Harding was terrible at first. It was difficult, crazy, and a bit dingy. But as my time went on here, it began to grow on me. I met some of the most Amazing people, teachers and students alike. If it hadn't been for Harding I wouldn't be the me I am today. so to Harding, and to anyone I have met here, I thank you. Class '10 rules!"
Andrew Smith, class of 2008
"Harding Charter Prep is truly second to none. It has installed in me values, such as discipline and leadership, that I will never lose. I think I might have been the only student that appreciated HCP from beginning to end. All jokes aside, HCP is an amazing school that I would recommend to any student who wants to be a cut above the rest."
Brittney Harvey, class of 2007
"The ability to have taken collage preparatory classes prior to college helped me to understand what was expected of me. I am able to write efficient essays with meaning."
Markis Chess, class of 2009
"Harding Charter Prep has challenged me and prepared me for college test and finals. Thanks to Harding I have taken college head on and it is a breeze now!"
Alexandra King, class of 2010
"Harding prepared me for success in college by giving me everything I needed and told me what to expect."
Lichelle Black, class of 2008
"Harding really helped me during college. I feel as though I was fully prepared for college after four years of leaning how to take c-notes, having AP classes, and the overall experience helped better me as a person, and was extremely beneficial."
Neilee Wood, class of 2009
"Harding greatly prepared me for college. The study habits and material I developed and encountered at Harding have made me successful in college. Because of Harding's curriculum, I know I can handle anything at college."
Emma Burns, class of 2009
"When I started college, all of my classes were so easy because of the education that I received at Harding. There were so many of my classmates that thought the classes were hard. I was so lucky to receive at Harding because had I not, then college would not have been easy. If may be easy, but you have to remember to stay on top of school work and attendance. Thank you HCP! I love HCP!"
"Harding was my home away from home.I think that it is hard to find words to describe what this school has honestly done for me. I have learned many lessons such as how far I can push myself and what all I could handle. Harding IS hard but I always had wonderful teachers and the best of friends who were always there to help me through it all. College is nothing compared to Harding. When I wrote my first paper and got an A on it, I knew that it wasn’t going to be “too” bad. I love Harding and the teachers I had and the friends I’ve made there. I couldn’t have honestly picture myself at any other high school. To any current students, if you feel like 3 DBQs and 2 FRQs in one week is too much, it is. The teachers at Harding do it on purpose and in the end you will thank them for pushing you to your limit."