U.S. News and World Report Recognizes HFAA

Harding Fine Arts Academy Recognized as One of Top Three Public High Schools in State

In announcement made on their website on April 25th, U.S. News and World Report named Oklahoma City’s Harding Fine Arts Academy one of the top three public high schools in Oklahoma.

The U.S. News and World Report 2017 Best High Schools Rankings awards the top 6,041 public high schools with gold, silver and bronze medals, indicating their level of college readiness. Of the 80 Oklahoma schools included in the 2017 U.S. News Best High Schools rankings, 14 received silver medals and 66 were awarded bronze. Harding Fine Arts Academy received a silver medal.

According to the website, to produce the 2017 Best High Schools rankings, U.S. News & World Report teamed with North Carolina-based RTI International, a global nonprofit social science research firm.

RTI implemented the U.S. News comprehensive rankings methodology, which is based on these key principles: that a great high school must serve all of its students well, not just those who are college bound, and that it must be able to produce measurable academic outcomes to show it is successfully educating its student body across a range of performance indicators. A four-step process determined the Best High Schools. The first three steps ensured that the schools serve all of their students well, using their performance on the math and reading parts of their state proficiency tests and their graduation rates as the benchmarks. For those schools that made it past the first three steps, a fourth step assessed the degree to which schools prepare students for college-level work.

We love the accolades! However, we feel that what sets us apart is the relationship that our faculty and staff build with our students. It’s our culture and approach to our curriculum that are most powerful.” said Mr. Barry Schmelzenbach, Harding Fine Arts Academy Principal. “Our teachers and leadership believe every student has great potential and we strive to foster a culture of high expectations while providing supports for students and families focused on their needs as individuals.”

“My child was so different before coming to the school!” said a parent of a 10th grader at Harding Fine Arts Academy. “He was bullied, had few friends, was shy, wasn’t confident, was afraid to go to school, daily. He was never understood, never encouraged by teachers before. I was very scared about his future. This school has infinitely improved our children’s future, and in turn to ours.” she said.

Harding Fine Arts Academy was ranked #1108 in the nation of all public schools, #173 in the nation of all charter schools and #3 in the state of Oklahoma.

For complete details on the methodology used in the ranking process visit: https://www.usnews.com/education/best-high-schools/articles/rankings-methodologies

Harding Fine Arts Academy is an Oklahoma City charter school that prepares high school students for college in an academically challenging, arts-integrated environment and has been named a 2015 Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education. Harding Fine Arts Academy was recently named a Governor’s Arts in Education Award winner. Harding Fine Arts Academy recently had seventeen students receive State Superintendent Award for Arts Excellence and was a named Governor’s Arts in Education Award winner.