I fell in love with this school from the moment I read their website; even more so after I attended an information night. I was even a little arrogant, wondering why every parent wasn’t clamoring to send their kids to one of the best schools in the city. I recommended it to other parents in a heartbeat. Alas, it fell off of my pedestal-hard. My experience is only with the elementary (K-6) portion. [They changed the name now so that the whole school (K-12) is The Vanguard School.] The best comparison I can think of for the way the elementary school is run is the military. Students are told to sit up straight, stand tall, fold hands on their desks, don’t touch walls when walking, pay attention immediately, don’t talk out of turn, etc. Everything is structured a certain way and scheduled-without a lot of flexibility for any individual learning needs a student may have. Students wear uniforms. They teach using Direct Instruction, saying commands and words that the kids are expected to react to/repeat immediately. Sometimes the teacher is going a mile a minute. They have high moral/character expectations, and a behavior system consisting of punishment in the form of losing recess time. They have 3 recesses! I really like their curriculum (Core Knowledge). The students are placed in different groups for reading, math and spelling based on their ability. And I love the fact that kids can go all the way from K-12th grade at the same school with the same classmates. I thought this school would work for my kids, but I am sad (even heartbroken) to say I was proven wrong. If your child thrives on structure, is relatively obedient, and is a “typical” learner, then I think this school should work well for them. However, independent, defiant, gifted and/or mentally “challenged” learners may not thrive in this environment.
This school is not for everyone. But for the child who loves learning and is willing to be pushed beyond what they ever thought they could do, it's great. My kindergartener enjoys school and has never complained about the workload which is a lot. He is extremely proud of what he has learned and accomplished. He often tells people what he is learning. My 5th grader does have a heavy workload but she is proud to do well in a school that is challenging. She recognizes the difference in this school compared to others she has attended (we are military and have moved a lot). They have neat ideas for motivating students and are quick to recognize their accomplishments. The study skills being taught to my children are invaluable.
Can NOT say enough about this school. Amazing teachers.They really keep the kids engaged.My children have gained so much knowledge by attending this school. I will be eternally grateful to these teachers and this principal for instilling in my children a love for learning, and the desire to learn more.Our family had to relocate this summer (military) and the absolute hardest thing I've ever had to do was to pull my children from this school.Starting in kindergarten, students are taught excellence in work and in character. This theme is carried out through all grades.The teachers are incredibly compassionate and tuned in to each child.They welcome parents to come any time.I've sat in on classes, and I'm just amazed with the style of teaching and the level of engagement with each student as they are being taught.Parents have to be ok with a good amount of homework.It was a lot, but I was ok with that knowing they were getting such an amazing education.My kids would come home, sit down and get started.Sometimes it was a crazy amount, but they just did it.I encouraged them and helped them. As a parent, you've got to have a positive attitude about the schoolwork! It's worth it.
It could be a great school but they are too extreme! Full day Kindergarten is close to $300 monthly. No computers or language classes are offered. The homework load is ridiculous & starts the 1st day of Kindergarten. Kids complain of their lil fingers hurting. On top of the daily (including on Friday) homework load the school requires the kids to do corrections, which means you have to spend evenings teaching, reteaching & focusing on how wrong your kids are. Not good for self esteem. They have so many tests, quizzes, poems, book reports & daily homework that their school life WILL be your home life too! The homework is insane and continues through high school, where kids bring suitcases just to carry it all. So expect to lose your precious time with your kids. After school includes studying for so many subjects that your kids will NOT want to do anything else educational. My daughter use to do math for fun, not anymore! She no longer loves to learn, just does what she has to. They teach by continuously repeating everything, so much is quickly forgotten. No questions or critical thinking just memorization! 1/3 teachers are bad including the principle. He's fake & the worse of all
CMCA/Vanguard is the top-ranked school academically in the State of Colorado. It is not a school for everyone. If you believe in a classical education with an emphasis on character development, this is the school for you and your children. If not, there are plenty of other choices in, and around, Colorado Springs. The staff is excellent. Those teachers who understand the mission of the school stay on and happily educate our children. Those who do not, leave. The administration, and Board of Directors, are dedicated to the mission and are outstanding examples for our children. I would recommend this school highly, to those who seek academic excellence and moral values.
My child use to go here, I use to substitute as well. I wouldn't post if I did not have a conviction but I do. The teachers are great but the integrity and character of the principle and assistant principle were not up to what I had expected behind the scene. I felt they were friendly on the outside but lack communication with the staff and handling student to student incidents. I was excited about this school but it proved itself to be inconsistent in many ways. Plus, there are always good teachers leaving and it's not due to the military. It is what it is but this school lacks in administration and my child won't be coming here.
I've been to this school before, a few years back. Like maybe back in 2009. The students there weren't that rude, they were nice. The students, most of the time, kept quite and followed directions. I'm in 6th grade now, and I'm sad to say that I don't go to the Vanguard school attached to CMCA. My childhood memories are kept in Colorado and ever since I moved I wanted to go back. The teachers are SUPER nice and they care about student's feelings. You can really get educated and you can really get ahead! I reccomend this school, if you see the building, go and sign your child up!
I couldn't be more thrilled that my son has gone to this school since kindergarten. The teachers are definitely there to support your children but also teach them about independence and accountability. It amazes me the difference in knowledge and behavior I see between my child and my friend's kids who go to a public school. They make the children learn how to write specifically in cursive which is not something you see in public schools anymore. It blows my mind hearing all the things my son has learned and knows since I don't recall ever being taught these things when I went to public school in Colorado Springs. They have a ton of events to help parents be involved in their children's learning with having knowledge bowls to show what the kids learned that quarter. The only thing I don't really care for is the location of the elementary school, but I do appreciate that they recently made changes to make it way more safe and secure. Overall, I couldn't have made a better choice for my son's education and I can't wait to see how much this school helps him grow into a well educated young man and human being! I HIGHLY recommend it!!
Wonderful School. Academics, discipline, rigorous program, best test results, and fun for kids: CMCA has it all! I have two daughters at CMCA, one in Kindergarten, and the other in third grade they both love their school. It needs more parent involvement. For example, it will be a good idea if parents are supposed to volunteer a couple of hours per year , that will strengthen the parents' involvement in the school. Also I would love to see more technology involved : math practice from websites like Khan Academy, computer science coding classes as optional or after school . CMCA we 're proud of you!
Love, love, love this school! My kids get lots of quality time with instruction. My oldest is in 8th grade and my youngest in kindergarten. They all get instruction with peers at their same learning level so they aren't forgotten about like when a teacher has to teach an entire class with mixed learning styles and levels. My oldest is in a math class with 5 other students down to my kindergartener who is in a group of 5 for reading. That are pushed just enough to be challenged but not overwhelmed.