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K-8
Public charter
Denver, CO
Students enrolled: 509

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801 Yosemite St
Denver, CO 80230

(303) 691-2384
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Map of Vanguard Classical School address.

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October 23, 2014
My child attended this school briefly until we discovered the way this school is run. The administration is very unfriendly and seem to be promoting a very conservative, religious agenda. For example, items at the book fair must first be checked by them personally to make sure nothing is sold they deem inappropriate - these are removed. (One author they took exception to is Judy Bloom - too racy). They also choose not to teach content that is supposed to be a part of the core knowledge sequence but that they find too "controversial", for example evolution, a tenant of science. Additionally, my child was not happy here since even young children need to sit and be quiet most of the time. I saw plenty of evidence of lecturing from the teachers about proper behavior and very little actual learning going on.

- submitted by a parent
June 30, 2014
It concerns me that the only ratings on this school are positive. They do not represent the many concerns that parents have with Vanguard in a variety of areas: 1. The continuous turn over in staff, resulting lack of consistency from year to year, and regular hiring of new, inexperienced teachers is a massive concern. Last year there was a 43% turnover in teaching staff. 2. Administration is inexperienced, difficult to deal with and definitely not family friendly. Sadly, most parents put up with these issues because of the value placed on the core and classical curriculum. 3. The inclusive nature of the school is visible, but a more accurate representation of the school's success in this area is best accounted for by the number of students with disabilities who have LEFT the school versus staying. In fact, very few students stay through 8th grade. Perhaps the reason that the listed reviews are not representative may also be due to a majority of parents at Vanguard not being privy to electronic school reviews due to their inability to speak English or being of lower economic status. Sadly there is a lack of positive educational alternatives in the area.

- submitted by a parent
February 24, 2014
I have written another review on Vanguard but I also want to note that I love the diversity in this school. I was a little worried at first because the core program is very conservative and my son is being raised in a two-mommy household. After a number of school events I have come to learn that he has two other kids in his class that also have two-moms. We have NEVER had any issue with his teachers or faculty. The part of the city this school is located in opens it up to so many different cultures, ethnicities and class structures and I truly feel that Vanguard respects them all. One of my sons best friends is Ethiopian and my son comes home with lunch stories every day about the foods his friend brings in. Last year he had a crush on a little blond haired blue-eyed girl and this year he fancies a young lady from Chad who wears a balaclava every day to school. It's like an international school with an excellent curriculum sans the hefty price tag. Not for everyone, but some great real WORLD experiences backed up with a well-rounded education and a great staff.

- submitted by a parent
February 23, 2014
This is our second year at Vanguard Classical School and we are very pleased with the results for our 4 children. Grades K,1,3,&4. We have been extremely happy with the teachers and the ability to tailor learning styles has been wonderful. It is especially helpful because they have 2 teachers per classroom of 30 students. English and Math is at the same time for all classes throughout the school each day so students can be organized based on their competency and can be moved up and down to address their level appropriately. Discipline standards are excellent, as we came from a school with none. I would attribute low parent involvement to that to the fact that students are coming in from all over town which can make it hard to participate in such activities; in fact, we drive 30 minutes, one-way, to attend this school (which is totally worth it!). This school teaches the fundamentals and foundations of education in a way that makes our students successful. I expect their test scores to continue to improve and their rating to continue to go up, especially with Mr. Miller at the helm. We are truly grateful for his willingness to support and improve education in our community.

- submitted by a parent
September 27, 2013
This school is not for everyone, it is a little conservative (we are not) and not focused on computers. What drew us to the school was their focus on building character. I loved all of the quotes we saw on the classroom walls as we toured the school. The things that Vanguard does - it does right. I like that there are 2 teachers (and a para) per class. I love the art, music and P.E. programs. My son has a very liberal upbringing and I love that Vanguard balances that out and gives him a taste of what the real world will be like. A first grader in his second year at Vanguard my son is thriving. He is a literate and avid reader. This school is a little gem in this part of the metro area, I feel lucky to have found it. I can ignore the slight religious tonalities of their christmas program when I juxtapose it with the actual teachers, the students and the other parents, its a decent balance. Im a HANDS-ON parent so Im okay with my son being exposed to a multitude of ideas that we discuss together. Not for everyone, but if you want the feel of a private school without the price tag, check out Vanguard. My son and my nephew both attend Vanguard and they are both thriving.

- submitted by a parent
July 20, 2013
With my Experience at Vanguard I found that the education given was a very strong education, adding on every year to Lessons and increasing the intensity level as needed. They love to build on people strength but while doing that they also try to Decrease the amount of Weaknesses in learning style forming a very strong thinking process. On a different note the teaching staff is based a young age giving students the time to really get to know the teachers there. I would recommend the school to anyone that wants to get a good education while still having fun

- submitted by a community member
July 17, 2013
Vanguard Classical School is a wonderful alternative for parents looking for diversity and rigorous education. Each classroom has two full-time teachers and a para-pro. The curriculum is fabulous and the offerings of "specials" made for an easy decision. We have a very bright little girl and she was not being challenged at Bill Roberts (which has a very high rating). We didn't want her in a gifted program, and found that VCS had everything we wanted including a lot more teacher interaction. A great option for those frustrated with the DPS schools.

- submitted by a parent
January 09, 2013
We are in a DPS district and moved to Vanguard for many reasons. K thru 8, challenging academic programs like Singapore Math and Riggs, Latin to understand the foundation of language, great hard working teachers, (2 full time plus Para for each class) so Student to Teacher ratio is much better than DPS. My kids have done very well there and like the smaller school. I would highly recommend this school to anyone who wants an option to the larger crowded DPS options.

- submitted by a parent
September 06, 2011
Thank you to the last poster for writing that response- I agree totally. I certainly hope no one reads that other review without realizing that person has mistakenly posted it to the Vanguard Classical School page.

- submitted by a parent
September 04, 2011
At first I was going to ignore the last post, but with students attending the school, I couldn't. Whoever this individual is, she obviously has the wrong school. Vanguard Classical School in Denver, CO is a K-8 elementary school so SAT and ACT scores aren't yet relevent. Also, I know there has never been a teacher that taught three days and left AND there are no plans for a high school. She must be referring to the Vanguard School in Colorado Springs, but whoever this person is, given their lack of research capability, it would appear whichever school they left after three days is the better for it. As for Vanguard Classical School in Denver, CO, it is an excellent, upcoming school with a Core Knowledge curriculum. Go online and look at their two-year CSAP Achievement and Growth Scores or better yet, visit for a day and see the quality education that is being offered. I wish Vanguard Classical School had plans for a high school. If they did, my kids would be there until they went to college. I had to speak against the misguided critique that the person before me left. It's not fair to the school, students or staff and this person needs to be more careful.

- submitted by a parent
August 24, 2011
I taught at this school for three days and left almost immediately. A few key faculty members oozed bitterness and anger. The school has a cadre of "old-timers." Around these old-timers orbit a host of neophyte teachers, most of whom just graduated college. These kids do not stick around more than 2-3 years before they move on for more pay and less silliness. Yes, it has excellent academics- if your only metric is standardized test.The school focuses on CSAP and ACT scores, both of which test recently acquired knowledge. Curiously enough, unlike many other top college preparatory schools in the state, the Vanguard School does not tout the average SAT scores of its recent graduating class.The SAT is a superior measure of critical thinking. While the school purports to model the curriculum after a classical academy by sprinkling phrases such as "humane letters" and "classical virtue" throughout, they also inject the New Testament under the aegis that the bible is taught as an historic document. Yet, there is a thinly veiled emphasis on Christian truth versus other faiths, beliefs, and mythologies. This school's reputation will slip as they attempt to grow the new high school.

- submitted by a community member
August 10, 2011
We entered Vanguard this past year as my son was struggling at Cherry Creek Public Schools. We were greeted by a very caring staff and the curriculum they offer allowed my son to have his IEP removed. He is reading above grade level and is excited and happy every day to go to school. I highly recommend Vanguard, it's like having a private school for a public school price.

- submitted by a parent
July 20, 2011
I really admire the curriculum and the expectations of good behavior. That alone is almost worth it to me. I like to send my kid to a school knowing that most people will be nice to them. That is a problem in this area sometimes. The kids have ethics emphasized and when I volunteered at lunch time I was really impressed. I have liked learning phonics and Riggs and am impressed with the way they learn. Every friend I have in this area with children in other schools deals with homework, so someone who is unhappy with this would be hard up finding a school for their kids.

- submitted by a parent
January 26, 2011
I am not sure why the previous poster would choose to enroll his/her children at a school whose structure and philosophy are at odds with his/her children's learning style. Vanguard is clear from the get-go about the homework policy and their adherence to the Core Knowledge framework. My children are thriving at Vanguard and for us, homework serves as a home/school connection that reinforces what they are learning. I frequently volunteer in classrooms there and see children that are happy and engaged. I am an educator myself and I know that not all programs work for every kid. If it doesn't work for you or your family fine, but why disparage the school when it is working very well for many of the children there?

- submitted by a parent
January 26, 2011
I am also unsure why anyone would publicly write a bad note about Vanguard based on learning styles. To modify a classical, core knowledge curriculum would be completely contrary to what this school stands for. The principal, staff, and teachers are dedicated to the core knowledge approach and core virtues applied at the school. I am delighted to be a part of a school that disallows child led learning and relies on classical foundations of education. My children are doing very well and I am not hung up on test scores since that says nothing more than teaching to the test itself. I am proud to send my children to a school with amazing, hard working teachers and an overall dedication to students from all backgrounds.

- submitted by a parent
January 20, 2011
The test scores of this school are horrible. VCS is incapable of adapting to different learning styles that children require. I have 2 children in VCS. One does well but is declining. The other does below average. Both have done fine in other environments. The school is too homework focused and not focused enough on ability or different learning styles. Homework is often sent home that my child has not been sufficiently taught. I don't mind helping my child but I do expect them to understand the subject matter at school before they are sent home with it. Homework is vastly overrated as a teaching tool. There are better ways to learn than tedius busy work. Without modification the classical curriculum is antiquated. If a child does not fit into that style of learning they are doomed. This school might work well for some but for my children, and most others, it does not. With the current administration I do not see the school changing, they are simply not willing to adapt. Many of the teachers at the school are great and want to teach the way children should be taught, but are not allowed to. Hopefully they can elicit change. For now, the two star rating is justified.

- submitted by a parent
November 30, 2010
We just started Vanguard this year. I have 2 children, my youngest could not read at all going into 1st grade. They teach the children phonics. Now almost done with half a year he is reading and spelling words that surprises me everyday. My other child is in 6th grade and he brings homework home that I have no idea how to help him. The things they read are incredible and very interactive. At first when I looked at this school and say the reviews I was negative about the school but it has been a great choice for my family.

- submitted by a parent
October 05, 2010
Don't let the low scores fool you...a lot of it is due to it being a newer school. It is also a very diverse urban school, so many kids are ESL and that will affect the scores too. The curriculum is excellent - very comprehensive and integrated. The teachers are either really great or they are quickly replaced with someone who is. Unlike some schools that just pay lip-service to the idea of individualized learning, this school really does it. Yes, this school doesn't have the parental involvement of some highly-rated suburban school. But almost every family goes to parent-teacher conferences and back-to-school night, and the kids are generally supported in the very high behavior expectations at school.

- submitted by a parent
September 20, 2010
3rd yr w/3 kids attending. We came from another Aurora charter that was horrible. Vanguard has a VERY dedicated director & principal. Mostly, the teachers have been good--2/class + paras. As for staff turnover, most teachers that left moved on to other opportunities in the state/country/world on their own accord. Some decided to stay w/their young kids. I know in 1 case a teacher was probably let go, but if I can go by my kid's reaction to that teacher, it was for good reason! Vanguard is not perfect, but it is leaps/bounds above the previous charter and public school we attended. Like a previous parent stated, I believe it is run like a business. Unlike that parent, I think that is a VERY good idea. The pub schls would be better if run that way. Put ed outcome as a prime goal & don't keep inadequate staff.

- submitted by a parent
September 19, 2010
I have had students at Vanguard for the last three years and disagree with the obviously upset and uninformed parent. The untruths are too numerous, so anyone reading this should go to the website (www.vcsk8.org) or visit for a day. Why didn t the parent mention how the school's latest CSAP scores outpaced both district and state in every category? Why didn t they explain there are TWO teachers for an average class size of 30 and exactly how that maximizes profit; or that teachers receive 15 days of professional development compared to the district s five; or that the average experience per teacher is three years; or how administrators are accountable to the District AND a local board; or why should ineffective teachers be retained? Please do more research than this parent did or better yet, visit for a day. Charter schools are all about choice and one size doesn t fit all.

- submitted by a parent
August 21, 2010
I am very impressed with Vanguard. They offer a challenging, unique curriculum that is hard to find anywhere else. We came from a top rated public school that ended up being bland and boring for our children. I love the high expectations held for the children!

- submitted by a parent
August 19, 2010
We love this unique school! Kids are met where they are educationally and driven to excel. The first few years of any school can be rough, and now VCS is becoming it's vision. I love the curriculum especially Core knowledge!

- submitted by a parent
August 17, 2010
From year to year, Vanguard has a massive turnover in staff. This is a red flag for any educational institution in my opinion. I believe this comes from the administrators' businesslike attitude versus one centered on the well-being of students and teachers alike. I had two children at this place, and for the life of me I could not understand how two men with business degrees and zero educational experience were "qualified" to run a school. Furthermore, there is no oversight of these two administrators by the corporate body that monitors this charter school. Basically, these two men run the school to maximize profit and nothing else. Indeed, Rob and Todd's answer to everything is to terminate teachers who they feel are "failing" the kids.

- submitted by a parent
April 08, 2010
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
May 29, 2009
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
September 21, 2008
Vanguard is only in it's second year of operation (as of 9/2008), so it's current test scores are not an accurate reflection the school. After a great deal of research, I have found the curriculum VCS offers--Core Knowledge, Riggs, Singapore Math, and Character Development--is the strongest one available. With two teachers per classroom plus teacher assistants, students receive the individual attention they need. I have three children at VCS, and I am incredibly impressed with the quantity and quality of work being completed. It is a far cry from my experience in the highly-rated Cherry Creek Public Schools. VCS students are challenged every day, and the bar is set very high for academics and behavior. The administration, teachers, and support staff are the best. I'm a firm believer in VCS, and I'm excited to see this school grow.

- submitted by a parent
September 06, 2008
My children love this school. The teachers are enthusiastic and truly care about the success of their students. The open communication between parents and not only teacers, but administration is a refreshing change from all the schools we have been through in the past. I encourage any parent looking for a content-rich, caring atmosphere for their child to tour this school and meet the staff personally.

- submitted by a parent
March 12, 2008
Vanguard is a public charter school of choice. We offer a rigorous curriculum in an inclusive setting. Our students enter our building from all walks of life and share the joys and challenges of learning together. I am thrilled to be a part of this staff and the mission of Vanguard. ~Alison Stallcup, First Grade Teacher

- submitted by a teacher
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Vanguard Classical School
801 Yosemite St, Denver, CO  80230
(303) 691-2384
Last modified Vanguard Classical School is a Charter school that serves grades K-8. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 6 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Vanguard Classical School Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 28 reviews. Top