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 eighteen years, 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 an A+ rating 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.