About The Vanguard School

Welcome from the Executive Director

On behalf of The Vanguard School community, thank you for visiting our website. We have designed our website to be a useful tool to learn about the fundamentals of our school and give you an excellent overview of our academic curriculum and distinctive programs and offerings.

The Vanguard School is an extraordinary place to be, and it all begins with our mission: to help guide students in development of their character and academic potential through academically rigorous, content-rich educational programs.

We have high expectations of excellence in character and academic achievement. We balance a rigorous academic program with a warm and caring community and faculty dedicated to unlocking the potential of every student. Every year we witness tremendous growth in our students, and their time at Vanguard prepares them for success in college and well beyond.

Please take time to look at our curricular program and how it is aligned from kindergarten through twelfth grade. Our Core Knowledge Curriculum in our elementary school transitions smoothly through our junior high program into our classical liberal arts and sciences program in our high school. We have a proven track record with the very highest levels of achievement due to our classical education program, carefully selected curriculum, our focus on individual students, and an outstanding professional staff that is continually seeking ways to improve.

As you peruse this site, you will also find information on our many extracurricular offerings at all levels of our school. Our students learn teamwork, sportsmanship, and character, not to mention the development of healthy social relationships with peers and adults in the process of enjoying these many offerings.

As informative as we hope you will find our website, nothing can replace the feeling of touring The Vanguard School and meeting our students and teachers in person. Our school is truly special, and I encourage you to come and experience the Vanguard culture and community for yourself.

Thank you again for your interest in The Vanguard School. We are excited to share the difference a Vanguard education makes in the lives of our students and families.

Renee Henslee
Executive Director


Founded in 1995 by several parents interested in a more rigorous academic curriculum and character education, Vanguard continues to provide excellence in education in a safe, structured environment by adhering to its mission statement.

The Vanguard School is a school of choice serving students in grades K-12 from across the Pikes Peak region.  All of our teachers are highly qualified and committed to excellence in education.  Teachers utilize Direct Instruction coupled with a Core Knowledge curriculum to achieve student mastery.  Teachers use a classroom management approach based on the CHAMP’s model to encourage positive, respectful, on-task behavior from all students. 

The Vanguard School is chartered under Harrison School District 2.  Enrollment is determined by a lottery system which occurs annually on/around February 1.

Mission, Vision, & Culture

The mission of The Vanguard School is to help guide students in development of their character and academic potential through academically rigorous, content-rich educational programs. Vanguard students develop lifelong habits of excellence in virtue and intellect allowing them to prosper as classically-educated individuals advancing a free society.  Our enduring nationally acclaimed program prepares graduates for advanced education, meaningful contributions to society, and a life of purpose.

The culture of The Vanguard School is one of excellence in all things with particular focus on excellence in virtue, academics, leadership, and civics.  This is achieved through continual self-examination with a focus on continuous improvement.  Students and teachers are proud to be at a school that provides a rigorous education and expects more effort and results than other schools. At The Vanguard School, students are proud to excel in the classroom, in extra-curricular activities, in community involvement, and in virtue.  Those who excel are acknowledged and celebrated while those who don’t are encouraged, pushed, and supported.

Our culture values every student and promotes fulfillment of The Vanguard School’s mission for every student.  It is the product of people and environment.  Toward that end, the people who comprise the staff are virtuous, educated in the classical liberal tradition, and committed to striving with others in pursuit of a high and noble purpose.  They possess an understanding of human experience that is a consequence of serious study in literature, history, and philosophy.  From this education, they understand each person’s potential for good and evil, and they strive to develop virtue in themselves and their students as they impart knowledge.  They recognize – and choose – what is good, true, and beautiful.  Together, these people endeavor to produce an environment that is serious, purposeful, academically-oriented, appropriately intellectual, and student-focused; one that is, at the same time, warm, supportive, and compassionate.

Those things that embody truth and beauty are hallmarks of the environment and readily discerned in the school.  In this environment, objective rights and wrongs exist, and our American patrimony is explained, embraced, and celebrated.  Ultimately, the school culture – the school’s environment and the people whose labors shape it – helps equip students to lead virtuous lives and achieve at the highest intellectual levels.  It is a beacon for students, their families, and the wider society; it serves, in the words of T. S. Eliot, as “the preface to our successors’ victory.”


Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis.  Our enrollment season starts on the last Wednesday in January and ends on September 30 of the school year of application. Applications can be submitted for a future school year.

Yes.  Students complete placement tests.  These tests are not entrance exams; they are used to place each student in the appropriate level to ensure that children are appropriately challenged and successful.

The Vanguard School is a tuition-free, public charter school. There is a yearly student fee for all grades of $125.00 payable at the beginning of the school year, which covers individual student costs as well as costs associated with classroom supplies, textbooks, planners, etc.

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