This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Vanguard Classical School5
Posted March 20, 2015
- a parent
First, this CHARTER school that parents CHOOSE is very transparent about the rules, the homework and the curriculum. See what I did there with choose - you don't have to go to this school. Second, the administrators are spread thin between two campuses. They're doing their best but you can tell they could use some help. Third, the teachers are young. You get them while they're excited and full of energy but you also get high turnover. We've been very pleased with our daughter's teachers and their replacements. Fourth, the best part about this school, there aren't many entitled brats with they're self-centered helicopter parents. Fifth, this isn't a touchy feely school. It's structured and everyone is held accountable. Lastly, this a great school for Mustachians!
We attend Vanguard East. Walking into a new school can be very difficult. There is NO school that is perfect. There is NO school that will fulfill every single need for you or your child. That's not reality. Mr. And Mrs. Miller are running a brand new campus with little to no support from APS, a plethora of new staff and a majority of the students are transfers from other schools. How easy is that to handle? Let's try to remember that there aren't a lot of people out there who actually care about other people's kids like the Millers do. Their methods may not be perfect or the exact way you do things in your family, but then is that why we send our kids to school in the first place or is it to learn? I think that there has been some misunderstood tactics and if questions were just asked and if conclusions were not leapt to, it may make things easier in the end. Personally, this school is the right fit for our family and we will do our best to promote it to others by telling the truth!
We moved our kids to Vanguard (east campus) for it's inaugural year. Early on, we started hearing little things from our children and some staff (whom we know). At first we didn't pay much attention to the complaints. Then, we noticed at a few different events that the staff was unusually cold, ignoring the parents. Then we started hearing about kids being locked in (and out of) classrooms, and odd things like the administrator going around and closing window blinds and removing the control rods because "looking outside was a distraction". We then hear that the kids are not ever allowed to socialize, to the point where our kids have no real friends there. Apparently, the school has it's own weather policy (separate from Aurora Public Schools), which has not been communicated. During the latest snow storm, it decided to open on time, despite all of APS being on delay. Half the kids got late slips. There are more things, but not enough room to tell here...Unfortunately, creating "shock value" and an atmosphere of fear in the students and teachers seems to be the main focus here. My children will NOT be attending next year. Please consult other parents before choosing this school!
Horrible school! High turnover rate of staff, and for many reasons. it is run like a corporate business, not a school. The administration do not have the best interests of the students at heart. The Administration are narrow minded, hypocritical, disorganized and disrespectful. A very negative and immature atmosphere. 60% or more new staff every year. Highly disorganized and faux military style tactics!!! Do not send your child there! Their tactics are based in fear and narrow minded cliches!
I moved my son from Aurora Academy to Vanguard Classical School - East Campus. We love the facility and the value placed on Education is exceptional. The school was very transparent about the homework policy and their adherence to the Core Knowledge framework. The school also has alot of enrichment programs that one can sign up kids for. They are very diverse and really focused on the sucess of the children. My son and I have learned to work together on a structure that works for our household as the school requires that you encourage your kid to read daily, get involved in extra-curriculum activities daily and we are also required to keep a log. The school also has the incentive program where students are rewarded daily by a color- silver, green, blue or Red scheme based on how well the student behaved that day and the parents get a feedback on your kids behaviour. It has been a wonderful experience so far. We really love it here. And i am excited about the K-12 plan and the soccer field and gym in the proposed future plan of the school.
If you like military school and want your children to have no childhood than this is the school for you, this place is just miserable, my kids attend the new east campus. You walk in to the unfriendly staff and don't hear a singe sound no children, NOTHING! The lack of friendliness in the place is incredible,and the rules are just ridiculous. I think they forget these are children and not robots. My children will not be returning to this school next year as I am horrified by the rules and miserable grouchy always yelling at kids teachers. You are not allowed to go to the rest room EVER, not allowed to talk to anybody EVER the kids have no chance to make friends. I am just so disappointed by this school, I was hoping for great things not sad unhappy children. If you are considering this school go there and talk to other parents first.
My children attend the new Vanguard East campus located in Aurora. First of all the new facility is absolutely beautiful! I can't wait until the field and gym are complete. My children love it here. They are excelling academically and socially .Their teachers are very engaged and with two teachers per classroom the kids are always able to ask questions and get help with out interruption. My kids love going to school, come home excited about what they learned and talk about school more than they ever have. I highly recommend VG!!!
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.
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.
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.