The Vanguard School (Colorado)

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The Vanguard School
Colorado Springs, Colorado
United States
Coordinates 38°48′41″N 104°48′57″W / 38.81130°N 104.81581°W / 38.81130; -104.81581Coordinates: 38°48′41″N 104°48′57″W / 38.81130°N 104.81581°W / 38.81130; -104.81581
Type Public charter school
Established 2006
School district Cheyenne Mountain District 12
Grades K–12
Enrollment Selected by lottery
Number of students 255 (2012–2013 school year)
Campus size 29 acres (12 ha)
Color(s)          Tardis blue and old gold
Athletics 3A
Athletics conference Tri Peaks League
Mascot Courser

The Vanguard School at Cheyenne Mountain Charter Academy is a public charter high school located in Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States. It is chartered with the Cheyenne Mountain School District 12. The Vanguard School was created as an extension of Cheyenne Mountain Charter Academy, operating the first 9th grade class during the 2006-07 school year and adding a grade each year until 2009. The first senior class graduated in May 2010.

In September 2014, Newsweek ranked The Vanguard School as the sixteenth best school in the United States.

In November 2013, U.S. News & World Report ranked the Vanguard School 3rd in the state of Colorado (out of 458 high schools) and 141st in the United States (out of 21,000 public high schools) in its "Best High Schools" feature.[1] According to the Colorado Growth Model, the Vanguard School is number one in the state and ranks in the Higher Achievement and Higher Growth areas in all subjects. (MATH: Adequate growth=10,TVS Observed Growth=70; READING: Adequate growth=3,TVS Observed Growth=73; WRITING:Adequate growth=3,TVS Observed Growth=66).[2]

The school's name refers to the mascot of Cheyenne Mountain Charter Academy, the vanguard.


The mission of the Vanguard School is to help guide students in the development of their character and academic potential through academically rigorous, content-rich educational programs.


The Vanguard School's curriculum is designed to provide students with a classically based, college-preporatory curriculum designed to develop academic excellence, virtue, and leadership. Students benefit by being fully equipped to gain admittance to and enjoy success in the colleges of their choice.


The Vanguard School teaches a classical, liberal arts curriculum that is designed to ensure that all students have met or exceeded the Colorado Commission on Higher Education admission standards to Colorado colleges and universities. The curriculum is academically rigorous and all core courses are taught at the honors level. AP courses have been offered each year since 2009, and concurrent enrollment courses through the University of Colorado have been offered since 2011.


The Vanguard School campus is located on 29 acres near downtown Colorado Springs. This central location allows students to enjoy the diverse cultural advantages of the city. The community includes Cheyenne Mountain Charter Academy, a K-8 program, and one high school, the Vanguard School.


Students are selected by lottery and attend from fifteen school districts in and around Colorado Springs. Priority is given to students from Cheyenne Mountain Charter Academy.


The teacher-to-student ratio at the Vanguard School is approximately 1 to 10. The high school staff averages over five years of teaching experience. Nearly 50% of the high school teachers hold advanced degrees.

Board of Directors[edit]

The Vanguard School's Board of Directors is a governing board consisting of five voting members. The composition of the Board of Directors is as follows:

  • Three directors must be residents of District 12.
  • Four of the directors, including either out-of-district director, must be parents or legal guardians who have enrolled at CMCA/Vanguard 50% of more of their children who are eligible to attend.
  • The remaining director shall be a resident of D-12 who either has no eligible children or who has 50% or more of his eligible children enrolled at CMCA/Vanguard.

Sports and extracurricular activities[edit]

Sports at the school include cross country running, tennis, volleyball, basketball and track.

Other extracurricular activities offered at the school include chess club, drama club, running club, student council, choir, band, outdoor skills club, class offices, National Honor Society, and yearbook.


Spirit week, class based football teams, and a dance are all part of Vanguard's annual Homecoming festivities. Class Officers organize and plan these activities each year with the help of an appointed teacher.

Literature seminar[edit]

This group meets during Activities Period at the end of the school day. Participants read and discuss various pieces of literature, developing in-depth analysis and philosophical insight into the selected piece. Students choose the books they read through a democratic process of voting and debate.

Computer Applications[edit]

Computer Applications is an elective class offered to sophomores and up. The purpose of the class is to introduce students to basic computer usage and familiarity in various Microsoft programs. Students learn how to get the most out of the internet and enhance their typing skills through interactive activities. Computer Applications is responsible for the development of the Homecoming slide show which showcases students during the first several months of the school year prior to Homecoming activities.


The yearbook class gathers pictures and memorable moments from the school year and compiles these into a yearbook for the staff and students at Vanguard. The yearbooks are handed out at a yearly signing party which takes place at the end of the year in the school cafetorium. Students gather during this time to reflect upon the past year and recall memories while in the company of their peers.

Rocket Club[edit]

The Cheyenne Mountain Charter Academy SG-1 team took fifth place in the nation on May 17, 2008 at the Team America Rocketry Challenge.[citation needed] They took place out of about 7,000 students on 643 teams from 43 states and the District of Columbia.

The Outdoor Skills Club[edit]

The Outdoor Skills Club was founded by several students in 2008 to teach interested students about outdoor activities. Instructors and founders in the club teach activities and skills including survival techniques, basic first-aid, fishing, firearms safety and handling, and camping skills. The club has gone camping and fishing, but is limited in its activities due to legal reasons. The club is in the process of transforming into a Venture patrol, under the Boy Scouts of America.


On April 7, 2009 the Vanguard Varsity Matchwits team took third place in its division in the state Knowledge Bowl competition at Colorado College.[citation needed]

Jazz band[edit]

In 2010, the school introduced a school band program that is offered during Zero Hour. The band consists of students from grades eight through high school. The band has evolved into a jazz band.


External links[edit]