Vanguard High School

Grades 9-12
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What’s Special

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

The Downside

Working to improve attendance.

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 1_-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)

About the students

Free or reduced priced lunch
Students with disabilities
English language learners

About the school

Shared campus?
This school shares the Julia Richman Educational Campus with four other schools
Metal detectors?
How crowded? (Full is 100%)
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average


Average daily attendance
87% Citywide Average
How many students are chronically absent?
37% Citywide Average

Is this school safe?

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
77% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
37% Citywide Average
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
85% Citywide Average
How many students say most students treat each other with respect?
57% Citywide Average

About the leadership

Years of principal experience at this school
5.8 Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
80% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal has a clear vision for this school?
85% Citywide Average
How many teachers trust the principal?
80% Citywide Average

About the teachers

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
74% Citywide Average
Teacher attendance
97% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
81% Citywide Average
How many teachers think the staff collaborate to make this school run effectively?
86% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Arts offerings

This school has 6 dedicated spaces for Dance, Music, Theater, Visual arts, and Media arts
This school has 5 licensed arts teacher in Dance (part-time), Music (part-time), Theater (part-time), and Music

Engaging curriculum?

How many students say this school offers enough programs, classes and activities to keep them interested?
72% Citywide Average
How many students say they are challenged in most or all of their classes?
54% Citywide Average
How many students say the programs, classes and activities here encourage them to develop talent outside academics?
71% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

How many graduate?

How many students graduate in 4 years?
77% Citywide Average
How many graduates earn Advanced Regents diplomas?
13% Citywide Average
How many students drop out?
10% Citywide Average

Are students prepared for college?

How many students graduate with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?
36% Citywide Average
How many students take a college-level course or earn a professional certificate?
37% Citywide Average
How many graduate and enter college within 18 months?
60% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

How does this school serve English Language Learners?

How many English language learners graduate in 4 years?
66% Citywide Average

How does this school serve students with disabilities?

This school offers self-contained classes
This school offers team teaching (ICT)
How many students say that students with disabilities are included in all activities?
68% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
87% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
91% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say they are satisfied with the IEP development process at this school?
90% Citywide Average
How many special ed students graduate in 4 years?
59% Citywide Average
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data

Programs and Admissions

College Preparatory
Admissions Method: Ed. Opt.
Program Description

Students' growth in understanding and thinking is assessed by researching, writing, presenting, and defending portfolios in math, science, history and literary analysis and working on in-depth projects. Students also complete an autobiography portfolio, using oral and visual components.


Language Courses

French, Spanish

Advanced Placement (AP) courses

AP Calculus AB


Boys PSAL teams

Basketball, Soccer, Volleyball

Girls PSAL teams

Basketball, Soccer, Volleyball

Read about admissions, academics, and more at this school on the NYCDOE’s School Finder
NYC Department of Education: School Finder

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317 East 67th Street
Manhattan NY 10065
Upper East Side (District 2)
Trains: 4, 5, N, Q, R to Lexington Ave-59 St; 6 to 68th St - Hunter College; F to Lexington Ave-63 St
Buses: BxM1, BxM10, BxM11, BxM3, BxM4, BxM6, BxM7, BxM8, BxM9, M1, M101, M102, M103, M15, M15-SBS, M2, M3, M31, M4, M57, M66, M72, M98, Q101, Q32, Q60, QM2, QM20, QM3


William Klann

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