They teach virtues, but obviously not by example. The administration has their favorite families and favorite teachers. Ask the teachers which ones have dinner with the principal on a regular basis. Then ask them which teachers received an "extended contract."
Academically and socially, The Vanguard School earns 5 stars. The students learn so much and more important than that, they learn to think for themselves. Also, the social atmosphere for students is so positive. Since so many students transcend stereotypes, there are no cliques! Most athletes are also very successful in the classroom. The students support each other in every sport and activity - it is so refreshing to see!
But then there's the administration, the rampant, unabashed nepotism and the teacher turnover rate.
The board is simply a formality and actually bows to the admin - they voted multiple times against the very public blue field that you can see from the interstate. However, the admin wanted the blue field.
I'm all for high accountability for the teachers - but who does the admin answer to?
Yes, there is a lot of homework. No, it is not excessive. My daughter was a little overwhelmed when she transitioned from a different Middle School into Vanguard High School, especially since she plays a sport at the beginning of the school year, but she has a handle on it now. There are plenty of opportunities for student to receive council from a teacher if need be. Parents are kept informed, and the school is always willing to work with you.
It is NOT a school for every student. IF you kid is cruising thru MS with minimal effort, because C is a passing grade, this is not the school for you.
If you want to have no social life, lots of homework, and be treated like a child by the teachers, then this is the school for you. I use to enjoy learning and school but after Vanguard i was given so much homework that i no longer care about grades or missing assignments. Any other high school would be a better choice.
The Vanguard School has an exceedingly HIGH teach turn-over rate. There are new teachers every year. Most times there are new ones in the middle of the school term. This is very disruptive to the students. The students are given a least 5 hours of homework a night. It's exhausting for my family and myself. My child attends simply because the alternatives here in Colorado Springs are worse. The Vanguard High school has been placed smack dab in the middle of the worst area in Colorado Springs. This is an area you do not want your child walking to school in. What should I do? Leave the state?
I have essentially nothing bad to say concerning this school. I'm about to go into Sophomore year and I'm exceedingly happy with The Vanguard School. It's one of the best schools in Colorado, and rightfully so. It's expanded my education so much, introduced me to classical literature, taught me excellent grammar (something a scary amount of people lack these days), fueled my work ethic, and given me some serious discipline. Being in a zero hour class for my freshman year, I had to be at school every day at seven in the morning. There's tons of homework, and while that can be frustrating every once and a while, it's definitely worth it. Getting an A on a test here makes me ecstatic! It's not easy, for sure. To succeed at Vanguard you need to have confidence, a great attitude about learning, tolerance, and self-restraint. It's no walk in the park to pass a class here. Now, one thing I will say is that if you think your child seriously lacks in any of that or isn't very smart or open to learning, do not send him here. Classes don't slow down just because one or two people aren't up to the challenge, and I've seen many students leave solely because of that reason.
I have been going to this school since kindergarten and I have to say it is really great school, but at times it can really get on your nerves. There are some teachers who literally treat the students as college students and don't train them for college and there are others who try to teach, but don't really care, they either help the really obnoxious students or the students who have all A's and don't understand one thing, not the other students. Other than those few teachers I must say that this school is very good in academics and the way they teach them also. My freshman year I was scared to go into high school, but the teachers just invited me in and most of them helped me understand the material and if I didn't understand I went to a student in a higher grade for help and they were more than happy to help. There is not much bullying here and if there is those students get reprimanded for it. If you are looking in to sending your child here, do it! It's worth it! They will make great friends and they will learn a lot!!
The Vanguard HS is part of Cheyenne Mountain Charter Academy (CMCA). The school produces impressive results, but don't let that fool you. The HS has only been around for several years and up until now almost all of their HS students have been "lifers" i.e. students that have come up through the CMCA ranks since kindergarten. Just in the last few years they've had to deal with incoming students. And they don't handle them very well. I do agree with the 1-star reviewer that questions aren't welcome when it involves criticism. They won't say so, but in reality they will do nothing for you if your child struggles - contrary to school's motto. There are great & poor teachers. But the school won't accept challenges from parents on poor performing teachers. Freshmen classes are often taught by 1st year teachers, who lack training on school policies and procedures. The principal is virtually invisible in classrooms, caring mostly about school's publicity and fundraising. The vice principal is also an English teacher and a board member. Too busy to worry about new teacher training, etc. They figure struggling students won't return so the school will get rid of low test scores.
As a former student of this school, I can honestly say that this school is the best thing that could have happened to me. It has furthered my education beyond all of my expectations. I came from a public school in 6th grade to the vigorous, classical curriculum of the 7th grade at CMCA. I was really behind, but my teachers were so helpful in getting me caught up to my grade level standards. I stayed through my freshman year and had to move unfortunately. I am way ahead at my new high school in Fairfax County, VA, and I honestly feel like I could attend college now if I had to! This school prepares you amazingly in all aspects of life, and I am truly thankful I had the opportunity to attend here for three years. If your child has the drive to learn and the desire to become competitive in every aspect of life, it would be a mistake not to send him/her here. It was the best decision my family and I could have ever made.
Think long and hard about choosing this school-- and ask questions of governing agencies. My experience is that criticism and asking tough questions at this school are NOT tolerated- and unless you join lockstep in the accolades, prepare to be treated with disprect and disdain as a parent. The vast majority of the teachers are wonderful, hardworking people. My criticism lies with the leadership who will turn a blind eye to real issues affecting kids simply because they might hurt the school's "public image." Case in point? If you read this comment now-- check to see if it is still here in a month....or if someone will make sure it is removed....thats what happened to the last one