About Our Charter Highschool

1. What is your mission statement and vision?

Preparing high school students for college in an academically challenging, arts integrated environment.

The vision of the HFAA community is to develop the confidence that excellence is assured when we exemplify creativity, passion, respect, and self-discipline. HFAA is committed to educating all students to become compassionate, inspirational, artistic, and academically prepared participants of the global society.

2. When was the school founded?

The school was founded in 2005 by John L. Belt and the HFAA Board of Directors. Over the past nine years Harding has emerged from a fledgling startup with a skeleton staff and only 65 freshmen to over 350 students 9th-12th and a faculty of almost 30 full-time teachers, a 27% growth every year for the last five years.

3. Is Harding Fine Arts Academy an all-encompassing high school?

Our mission is to provide an arts enriched learning environment merging aesthetic and academic content to enhance student achievement and to encourage arts related careers and lifelong arts appreciation. However, our vision for student achievement and leadership is designed to promote success regardless of future goals. Whether a student aspires to excel in vocal performance or information systems technology, photography or medicine, our academic opportunities and expectations strive to unite individual talents with personal excellence.

4. How does a charter school differ from a regular public school?

Charter schools are public schools of choice, meaning that families choose them for their children. They operate with freedom from some of the regulations that are imposed upon district schools. Charter schools are accountable for academic results and for upholding the promises made in their charters. They must demonstrate performance in the areas of academic achievement, financial management, and organizational stability. If a charter school does not meet performance goals, it may be closed.

5. How is HFAA funded?

HFAA receives the same “per student” funding as does regular public schools. However, by Oklahoma State law, charter schools do not receive any money as part of the state funding for facilities maintenance or improvements as do district public schools. Charter schools are also prohibited from issuing bonds or incurring debt. This leaves only highly competitive grants and private donations, for which we have been faithfully applying.

6. Is HFAA accredited?

HFAA is fully accredited by AdvancED© North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA CASI) and the Oklahoma State Dept. of Education. We have been praised by both for our balance between academic rigor, art integration, and project-based learning.

7. What are Harding’s basic demographics?

  • 60% female, 40% male
  • 51% Caucasian, 13% Hispanic, 24% African-American,8% Native-American, 11% Asian
  • 57% Free and Reduced lunch
  • 10% Bilingual
  • 11% Special Education
  • 24% Identified Gifted & Talented
  • 94.5% attendance rate
  • 2014-2015 0% drop out rate
  • Title I School-wide program

Admissions to Our Charter High School

1. Must students pass a test or audition for admission into Harding Fine Arts Academy?

As a charter school, admission is open to all students with a vested interest in the Arts. We do not select students based on grades, testing or auditions, they reach out to the entire community. However, HFAA does use auditions and testing for placement.

2. Is Harding Fine Arts Academy a free and public High School?

HFAA is a public, charter high school; there is no tuition. If the student is already an Oklahoma City Public School district resident, there is no transfer required. If the student is not an Oklahoma City Public School district resident they must receive a transfer from their home district. During the Freshman Lottery process, preference must be given to those residing in OKCPS district.

Offerings Provided by Our Charter High School

1. What is the average class size?

We serve grades 9th through 12th. Our average class size is between 15-20 students per class.

2. Does HFAA offer core classes?

HFAA offers Language arts (English, English Literature & Composition, English Language & Composition, Mathematics (Algebra, Geometry, Calculus, Trigonometry, Statistics), Science (Chemistry, Conceptual Physics, Biology, Environmental Science, Anatomy & Physiology), Social Sciences (OK History, World Geography, Government, U.S. & World History, Psychology), Foreign Language (Spanish & French).

3. Does HFAA offer Advanced Placement Classes?

HFAA offers the following AP classes: AP Biology, AP Calculus, AP English Language & Composition, AP European History, AP French Language & Culture, AP Government, AP Literature & Composition, AP Psychology, AP Statistics, AP Studio Art – Drawing.

4. What electives does HFAA offer?

HFAA offers ballet, modern dance, visual arts, photography, choir, piano, guitar, percussion, string ensemble, woodwind ensemble, speech & debate, drama, journalism, creative writing, computer, journalism/yearbook and martial arts.

5. Does HFAA offer any sports?

HFAA has girls volleyball, Boys and Girls basketball, competitive Martial Arts and Cheerleading.

Our Resources

1. What does HFAA have in place to help struggling students?

HFAA offers free after school tutoring Monday- Thursday and Academic Intervention from the end of school until 6:00 for those students who have missing assignments once a week. HFAA also has two individuals in the guidance counseling office which is unusual for a school of this size.

Advantages of Attending Harding Fine Arts Academy

1. Has HFAA received any accolades or awards?

HFAA is the state’s first Oklahoma A+ (OKA+) demonstration school. We are uniquely committed to exemplify the eight OKA+ essentials: Arts-Integration, Curriculum, Experiential Learning, Multiple Learning Pathways, Enriched Assessment, Collaboration, Infrastructure, and Climate.

HFAA was recognized by Secretary Duncan along with 285 public schools across the country as a National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2015 based on their overall academic excellence and progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.

The school was named by Newsweek as one of the top high schools in the nation for “Beating the Odds” with economically disadvantaged students.

Harding Fine Arts Academy has been named one of the top ten high schools in Oklahoma by US News & World Report.

For the 2013- 2014 & 2014 – 2015 school year Harding Fine Arts Academy received a score of an A+ from the Oklahoma State Department of Education.

2. What makes HFAA unique?

We feel that student success, now and in the future, is about creating a balance between academic rigor and real-world application. We are focused on developing a student’s long-term connection between book knowledge, creative application, and community involvement. The arts provide an excellent venue in which to promote this type of innovative and critical thinking. By integrating the arts into the core curriculum, we are training our students to be the kind of creative problem-solvers that the business world is now seeking.

Also, in as much as we strive to create a culture at school, we also recognize that students and their family bring their own culture from home. As a charter school, students come to us from a variety of different backgrounds and educational experiences. The one unifying strand is that at HFAA, students are respected for their differences. While we expect each student to achieve to their abilities, we do not expect everyone to fit a certain mold. We recognize that it is out of our differences and unique experiences, we become more successful, creative and strong as individuals and a community.

3. Does HFAA encourage and help prepare students to attend college?

Every senior must take a “Capstone” class in order to graduate. During this class, students apply for colleges, learn about financial aid and apply for scholarships. Our Guidance Counseling office takes a big role in helping students apply for and are chosen for college scholarships. Of our 2015 graduating seniors, 92% enrolled in college after graduation, 55% of those college bound went to a 4-year university and

$458,490 in scholarships were offered.