Charter School FAQ

What is a charter school?

A charter school is a public school which is founded by a group of parents or teachers.  This is why it is a “school of choice.”  The founders of a charter school sign a contract with the school board of their district and receive funds to operate in the same way that other schools in that district receive funds. The philosophy and operation of the charter school are independent of the school district, reflecting the beliefs of the founders.  The educational program is non-religious and non-sectarian.

Who can attend?

Charter schools are public schools.  The Vanguard School is open to students who wish to enroll regardless of the district in which they reside.  The Vanguard School does not discriminate against any student on the basis of race, creed, color, sex, national origin, religion, disability, or need for special education services.

Does my family need to live in a certain district?

While families that reside in a school’s chartering district may be given priority, a family’s residing district does not restrict them from submitting their application for enrollment.  All school districts are welcome to apply.  Our student body consists of families that reside in 15 different school districts across the front range.

Do you have to pay tuition?

The Vanguard School is a tuition-free, public charter school.  There is a yearly student fee for all grades payable at the beginning of the school year.  This fee covers individual student costs as well as costs associated with classroom supplies, textbooks, planners, etc.

Who governs the charter school?

The Vanguard School is governed by parents whose children attend the school.  There are annual elections for the Board of Directors.  The governance of the school increases the involvement of parents in their children’s education.  Vanguard openly encourages parental involvement in virtually every aspect of the school.

Why do people form charter schools?

The Vanguard School founders believed that public education must focus on academics and that each student must be challenged to produce the best work that he or she is capable of.  The curriculum emphasizes the basic disciplines of reading, writing, arithmetic, history, geography, science, and the fine arts.  The founders rejected Outcomes-Based Education (OBE), and all attempts to invade the privacy of students, engage in social engineering, indoctrinate, or undermine their moral foundation.  The parents of The Vanguard School can be certain that the values they teach their children at home will not be compromised by the curriculum of the school.  Vanguard will provide a safe passage through public education for their children.

What are the unique features of The Vanguard School?

Curriculum:  The E.D. Hirsch Core Knowledge® Series provides the scope and sequence in the basic disciplines.  The Core Knowledge approach to American history is inclusive, teaching that while Americans have many different national and racial origins, we have a common culture and common values which bind us as a nation.  It affirms the characteristics of American government and society that are admirable while not ignoring the darker aspects of American history.  The Core Knowledge Curriculum is complemented by Direct Instruction reading, math, and spelling. 

Discipline:  A discipline code contract is signed at the beginning of each school year by the student, parent, and teacher.  This code spells out standards of conduct that will assure safety, civility, and an optimum learning environment.  The Vanguard School employs the “CHAMPs” model for classroom management. Click here to learn more about the key components of CHAMPs in use here at Vanguard.

Character Development:  The values taught at The Vanguard School will help each student develop strong moral character.  Moral behavior will be emphasized within the curriculum and outside it.  Examples from literature and history will serve as models of virtue in action, while they will be constantly reinforced by emphasis on the child’s own conduct and interaction with others. 

Class Sizes:  The Vanguard School uses achievement-level grouping for reading, math, and spelling in grades K-6, keeping these classes smaller than the traditional classroom settings to ensure students are receiving the individual attention they need to succeed.  

Assistant Teachers:  There is an assistant teacher in each K-6 classroom to help the teacher in all aspects of education delivery.  This, along with class size restrictions, maximizes the attention available for the individual learning needs of each student. 

Annual Student Testing:  Upon enrolling at The Vanguard School, each student takes a standardized test to establish an achievement baseline.  Each spring thereafter, the student takes another standardized test to monitor his or her academic progress. 

Teacher Accessibility:  At the end of the first quarter of every school year, teachers meet with each student’s parents.  Conferences help inform the teacher of any special needs the student may have or areas that need extra work.  Teachers also welcome parent communication whether it be conferences or via email. 

Length of the School Year:  The average school year is typically two weeks longer than most school districts with several four-day school weeks to allow for staff professional development.  The Vanguard School’s central mission is to maximize the academic achievement of each student, and this extra class time helps to further this goal.  Access our calendar webpage to download a printable calendar for the current school year.

After-School Activities:  The students are offered a variety of after-school activities throughout the school year to complement their academic studies as resources and interest dictate.  These activities are offered by parents, teachers, and members of the community willing to share special skills and expertise. 

School Grades Offered:  The Vanguard School offers education for students in grades K-12.  The Vanguard School High School has been one of the top-performing schools in Colorado since its existence.

College Preparation:  We want all of our students to attend college, and we prepare them accordingly.  Starting in 9th grade, our students learn about colleges and the skills and knowledge they need to be successful.  We also help our students complete scholarship applications.  Our Class of 2021 was offered over $7.1 million dollars in scholarships. 

School Location:  The Vanguard School is conveniently and centrally located near downtown Colorado Springs.  

  • Wahsatch Campus (Grades K-3):  1832 S. Wahsatch Avenue, Colorado Springs, CO 80905
  • Corona Campus (Grades 4-12):  1605 S. Corona Avenue, Colorado Springs, CO 80905
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