Herron Preparatory Academy launched in August of 2021, serving kindergarten through 2nd grade. Each year, Herron Preparatory will add a grade level until it becomes a K-8 school. Similar to the high schools within the Herron Classical Schools network, Herron Prep offers a classical, liberal arts curriculum that provides students with a solid foundation to better prepare them for high school and beyond.
Herron Preparatory Academy was founded in 2021, and was created in response to the overwhelming demand for a high quality K-8 option within Indianapolis’ urban core. Herron Preparatory Academy holds a charter from the City of Indianapolis Mayor’s Office of Education Innovation, which was awarded by a unanimous vote of the Indianapolis Charter School Board in 2019.
Herron-Riverside High School, Herron High School and Herron Preparatory Academy are all members of Herron Classical Schools, the network formed by the leadership that founded and led Herron High School.
The concept for Herron High School originated in 2003 under the leadership of Joanna Beatty Taft, Executive Director of the Harrison Center for the Arts. Recognizing the need for high quality, tuition-free public education located within the city’s urban neighborhoods, Ms. Taft brought together local residents, educators, non-profit organizations and business leaders to create an original structure for a classical, liberal arts education.
Herron High School’s founding board believed it was essential to bring the very best educators to the table during the development phase of the school. Beginning with Robert Marzano’s concept of designing curriculum “with the end in mind,” and guided by best practices in the classroom, the founders’ vision of a well-educated, world-class citizen helped define the rigorous curriculum, classical format and cultural foundation for the school. The development of the art history timeline as an organizational structure was a creative approach to the challenge of engaging students from diverse backgrounds.
From its inception, the vision for Herron High School was focused on the adaptive potential of the vacant former John Herron Art Institute campus. For many decades, these historically important buildings were the centerpiece of the art movement in Indianapolis. Herron High School’s founders believed the rebirth of the historic campus as a center of learning would provide an anchor for the community landscape and honor the heritage of the buildings. Steeped in the cultural history of the city and imbued with the great creative talents of past generations, these buildings are once again host to a new generation of students.