This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Vanguard Classical School1
Posted February 25, 2015
- a parent
Vanguard East This school is AWFUL. The teachers are MEAN to the kids and are taught to execute power trips on them. They are to be "on silent" 95%of the day. If 7-10th grader are late to class they will literally lock the doors on you so you are locked out of the class. To use the restroom you need a hall pass BUT if you are in the hall and the pass is not ON YOUR NECK you will get and automatic lunch detention. Rob & Kim Miller are the most unpleasant people I have encountered, they need to realize that these are children not soldiers. I heard Kim talking about kindergarden knowing "the 5 continents" and her saying that she is not sure she could even name them. Maybe because there are 7 continents not 5. Ms. Pait, a 5th grade teacher,is controlling and mean to her 5th grade class and says things like "you will not make it far in this world if you have any kind of accent" not a great thing to say to a racially diverse school. This place is a joke. They do not even have a grading system in place for high school. They rave about an "all inclusion" classroom for special needs kids but most of the time there is no modified work for them to work on. DO NOT SEND YOU CHILD THERE
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.
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.