[L-R: Patricia Chlouber; Dr. Dennis Corash, Principal, Vanguard Classical School; Juliette Rizzo, US Dept of Education Office of Communications & Outreach; Judy Hamm, President, Vanguard Classical School Board; and Rob Miller, Dir of Operations, VCS.
Vanguard Classical School in the Lowry area of Denver is a charter school that started from a partnership with the Cerebal Palsey Foundation of Colorado. Today Patricia Chlouber, the Regional Representative for the U.S. Sec. of Education, toured the school and visited classrooms as a part of National Charter Schools Week.
Vanguard Classical is unique because they use a co-teaching model where both teachers teach at the same time, which is different than team teaching where the teachers take turns. The school has twice the number of students with Special Education plans (IEPs) when compared to their district, Aurora Public Schools. In most of the classrooms, one of the two teachers is a credentialed Special Education teacher. The school practices "full inclusion" where even severe needs students are in the classroom for the entire day. Services such as occupational therapy or medical treatments are typically delivered in the classroom.
While serving a high percentage of students with special needs, VCS utilizes the Core Knowledge curriculum and holds a rigorous standard for all students. The faculty incorporates multi-sensory instructional approaches into their lessons, especially the kinesthetic. During the school tour, two boys came into the hallway with an adult to jump on a rebounder for awhile; this was a preventative approach to ensure they would be on task in the classroom for the next segment of time.
VCS opened last fall in a brand new facility, which they share with the CP Foundation and a birth-to-preschool HeadStart program. They are adding on to their facility to accommodate the addition of a junior high next year.