Mission & History


Vanguard High School is a community of learners committed to cultivating the resources necessary to become literate, articulate, analytical, reflective and empathetic citizens. Respect for self and others is the motivating force toward achieving our goal of becoming socially productive, useful and responsible members of society.

Vanguard High School began in 1993 as part of the Annenberg Initiative for School Reform, and the Networking Project. Our school’s commitment is to the Coalition of Essential Schools (CES) and the New York State Performance Standards Consortium. CES is a national organization, dedicated to helping all students achieve their highest potential through nurturance, guidance, and providing the appropriate resources. Our commitment enables us to create a school that has high expectations; possesses shared accountability between staff, students, and families; is student centered; and uses performance-based instruction and assessment as the dominant method of teaching, learning, and evaluation.

We believe that small, intellectual school communities can provide effective education for students and we value the goals that help make young people lifelong learners, productive citizens, and lead personally satisfying lives. We hold the same academic standards for all of our students, including students with special needs or disabilities. We expect that the practice of exhibition work based on inquiry, presentation and reflection will be a part of the portfolio assessment students experience during their time at Vanguard. Performance-based assessment continues though all four years and across all departments and disciplines.

Our classes are heterogeneous and integrated. Students work on many different projects, from differing developmental levels and move forward to demonstrate their understanding of the concepts and content of the curriculum. Starting in the ninth grade at Vanguard, students present and defend their knowledge on the path to high school graduation.