Building Character

building character at the Vanguard School

­­The Vanguard School places emphasis on a well-rounded child, rather than one who solely does well academically.  We accomplish this goal by utilizing the benefits of a Classical Education to build character in our students.  Our Classical Education employs virtue, self-esteem, and character-building activities for students and creates an inter-disciplinary environment in which to learn, so that children graduate with a complete, well-rounded education and develop a wider, but still critical, lens from which to view the world and solve problems both in school and in life as a whole.

Character Development

The character values taught at The Vanguard School help each student develop a strong moral character.  At all levels, but especially in elementary, we place great emphasis on the 4 Cardinal Virtues, justice, prudence, temperance, and fortitude, and the 5 Keys to Success, citizenship, respect, integrity, self-discipline, and excellence.  At the secondary level, we employ virtue discussions, led by school leadership, and use examples from literature and history as models of virtue in action to reinforce the 5 Cardinal Virtues and 5 Keys to Success.  Ultimately, our goal is to prepare our students to live a life of virtue and excellent character inside and outside the classroom/workplace.


The Vanguard School uses the CHAMPs model to assist classroom teachers in designing or fine tuning a proactive and positive classroom management plan that overtly teaches students how to behave responsibly.  CHAMPs strategies are implemented to accomplish the following:

  • Reduce classroom disruptions and office referrals
  • Improve classroom climate
  • Increase student on-task behavior
  • Establish respectful and civil interactions

By applying the effective, research-based practices outlined in CHAMPs, The Vanguard School teachers have developed methods for clearly communicating their expectations on every classroom activity and transition.  These expectations are clarified using the following acrostic:

  • Conversation (What level of conversation is allowed/expected during the activity?)
  • Help (How do students get the teacher’s attention and their questions answered?)
  • Activity (What is the task/objective? What is the end product?)
  • Movement (Can students move about during this activity?)
  • Participation (How do students show they are fully participating? What does work behavior look/sound like?)

Class Sizes

At The Vanguard School, we offer smaller class sizes to guarantee that students receive the attention and instruction they need, want, and deserve.  At the elementary level, Achievement Groups are used for reading, math, and spelling to ensure that class sizes stay smaller than the traditional classroom and children are able to learn at their individual pace and ability.  At the secondary level, our average student-to-teacher ratio is 10:1, with our smallest class being two students large.

Our small class sizes offer each student the individualized instruction and attention they need and enables our teachers to develop relationships with students that ultimately guide students in their character development.

After-School Activities

Students are offered a variety of extracurricular activities throughout the school year to complement their academic studies, including athletics, clubs, and events.  These activities are offered by parents, teachers, and members of the community willing to share special skills and expertise.  We believe that not all things can be taught in a classroom, and use extracurricular activities as a way for students to put “real life” experience to their academics, all the while practicing and strengthening their character development.

Please call the front office (719) 471-1999 for any questions on our extracurricular activities or an updated schedule.


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