Vanguard High School

317 EAST 67 STREET
MANHATTAN NY 10065 Map
Phone: (212) 517-5175
Admissions: Ed opt
Principal: William Klann
Neighborhood: Upper East Side
District: 2
Grade range: 9-12
Humanities & Interdisciplinary
Wheelchair Accessible

Buses: M101, M102, M15, M2, M31, M57, M66, M72, M98, Q101, Q32, Q60

What's special:

Dedicated staff; non-traditional, creative approach to learning.

The downside:

Working to improve attendance.

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

Vanguard High School is a small, open-minded school where kids are taught respect and empathy for others by investigating different viewpoints and making connections with their own lives. Students do not receive grades or take the typical array of high school tests. Instead, they present portfolios of work that are designed to meet a set of goals.

At Vanguard, students can wear hats in class, be openly gay or an enthusiastic chemistry whiz, and nobody judges. Teachers devote themselves to their work. Students who crave learning their own way will enjoy the school's open, liberal approach to learning.

Classes are taught in 70-minute blocks and students cover themes like "American Social Protest" that span both history and literature classes. On our visit, light jazz played in the background as an 11th grade history class explored landmark cases studies like Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision on abortion. Students were engaged and showed a good grasp of the material they were learning.

William Klann, a former humanities teacher at Vanguard, became principal in 2011 after being mentored by founding principal Louis Delgado. Class size is small – around 20. Teachers act as advisors meeting with small groups to set goals and monitor progress. Staff members make themselves available before school, during lunch, and as late as 8 p.m.

Students who read below 5th grade standards take a small class where they get extra help, and struggling math students take a basic math skills course. Students who take these remedial courses (for elective credit) also enroll in regular grade-level courses, such as a workshop in reading and writing, which is required for all freshmen and sophomores.

In an effort to provide more variety, especially for faster learners, Vanguard offers an internship program. Three or four times a week seniors work in settings related to their interests, including anesthesiology, fashion, business or teaching. Advanced Placement calculus is also offered, as are college-level courses through CUNY's College Now program.

While the school's four-year graduation rate is mediocre, its six-year rate is much better and a result of the commitment by staff to help all students, especially those who come in performing at a low level. "I have a student right now who is in her fifth year, only because I cajoled and coaxed and begged her not to drop out but to give a diploma one more chance," said assistant principal Erica Doyle. "If students want to stay with us, we will help them. "

Vanguard belongs to the New York Performance Standards Consortium, a network of schools that use portfolio assessments to determine student promotion. While most other New York state high schools require passing scores on four Regents exams to earn a high school diploma, students at Vanguard must take and pass only one: English Language Arts. Juniors and seniors present portfolios of their work and make a 1½-hour oral presentation in each content area: humanities, math, science, and autobiography. They must also submit an essay and provide a "visual" such as a PowerPoint or video.

The administration is making an effort to improve attendance. A number of classrooms were locked as classes began to encourage kids to be on time. Parents get a message when kids are late or absent and once a week an assistant principal makes personal phone calls to families of the absentees.

Extra classes include gym, furniture design, digital photography, painting, drawing and sculpture. Sports include basketball, soccer and volleyball.

Special education: Some children are pulled out twice a week to work in "learning labs" (resource rooms) with a special education teacher. On each grade level there is one classroom where general and special needs children are mixed together with two teachers, one of whom is certified to teach special education.

College admissions: Students get a lot of support, regardless of how long it takes them to graduate and when they decide to go. Mercy College, Virginia State, Alabama State and CUNY and SUNY schools are popular choices. Students have the opportunity to participate in about ten college tours. A handful have gotten offers from elite schools such as Princeton, Brown and the McCauley Honors program at Hunter.

Admissions: Educational option, a formula designed to admit a range of students of all achievement levels. (Lydie Raschka, January 2012)

InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? Yes

Julia Richman Educational Campus

Number of Students 469

Average Daily Attendance 85%

Uniforms? No

Metal detectors? No

Students at this school

Asian

  
10%

Black

  
26%

Hispanic

  
57%

White

  
5%

Free Lunch

  
76%

Special ed

  
22%

English Language Learners

  
6%

INCOMING STUDENTS' PROFICIENCY: 2.30 2.40 CITYWIDE AVERAGE


1 = Far below grade level 2 = Below grade level 3 = At grade level 4 = Above grade level

Safety & vibe

ARE CLASSES BIG?

Number of students in an average english class

25 25 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO STUDENTS LIKE THE TEACHERS?

How many students say their teachers inspire them to learn?

63% 63% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE PRINCIPAL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

96% 78% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

IS THIS SCHOOL SAFE?

How many students say they feel safe in hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?

90% 82% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

 
 

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained in the school?

100% 77% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

HOW IS
ATTENDANCE?

How Many Students are Chronically Absent?

43% 38% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Who graduates

Class of 2014

How many students graduated within 4 years?

75% 73% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many students graduated within 6 years?

76% 80% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Previous Years

How many students graduated within 4 years?

74% 65% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many graduates earned an advanced regents diploma within 4 years?

0% 11% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many students graduated within 6 years?

71% 75% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many graduates dropped out within 4 years?

7% 10% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

College prep

Does this school offer a college preparatory curriculum?

How many students took an AP or IB class and scored at least a "3" on the AP exam or a "4" on the IB exam?

1%

How Many Students took a College Course and Got a "C" or Higher?

37%

How many students passed a Regents exam for algebra 2, physics or chemistry?

0%

Are students ready for college?

How many students graduated in four years with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?

43% 27% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

SAT reading scores

409
418 CITYWIDE AVERAGE 497 NATIONWIDE AVERAGE

How many students graduated in four years and enrolled in college?

69% 63% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

SAT math scores

432
426 CITYWIDE AVERAGE 513 NATIONWIDE AVERAGE

Is the guidance counseling helpful?

How many students say that this school provides helpful counseling on college or job-seeking?

74% 76% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Special ed & ELL

How well does this school serve students with disabilities?

How many special ed students graduated within 4 years?

65% 47% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many special ed students graduated within 6 years?

47% 54% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many students with disabilities spend most of the day with non-disabled peers?

95% 68% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers say students with disabilities are included in all activities?

100% 89% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How well does this school serve English language learners?

How many English language learners graduated within 4 years?

37% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many English language learners graduated within 6 years?

56% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Programs and Admissions

School admission priorities:

  1. Open to New York City residents

Source: High school directory

College Preparatory

Ed. Opt.

Students' growth in understanding and thinking is assessed by researching, writing, presenting, and defending portfolios in math, science, humanities and literary analysis; autobiography portfolio using oral and visual components is also completed.

Academics

AP COURSES: Calculus AB

Source: High school directory

Sports/Clubs

EXTRACURRICULAR: Student Voice Collaborative, City Explorers, Fit and Fly at New York Sports Club, Leadership, Athletic and Tutoring Programs at Vanderbilt YMCA, Radio Rootz, Tutoring in major subject areas, Vanguard Movement, Vanguard Student Government, WNYC Radio Rookies, Drama, Fashion

BOYS PSAL SPORTS: Basketball, Soccer, Volleyball

GIRLS PSAL SPORTS: Basketball, Soccer, Volleyball

Source: High school directory

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