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Trending @ Vanguard School of Personalized Learning
The first academic quarter ends at the end of the school day, Friday, October 13, 2017. Monday, October 16 is a non-attendance day for students. Faculty and staff will work their regular hours in training and spend time planning for the 2nd semester. In a personalized learning environment, quarterly report cards are not issued because classes aren't restricted by calendar quarters. When a course is completed, a student is immediately enrolled in the next class. A progress report will be issued within the next two weeks to update parents on their student's progress.
Spirit week is coming. Vanguard does not have sports teams, but we don't lack spirit. Our spirit week culmintates with a costume party and team building competitions on halloween. The kick off is an optional evening field trip to Great America's Frightfest on Friday, October 20th. Students can defray the ticket cost through excellence in achievement and attendance. For more information contact trip sponsor,
After school activities are offered most Wednesdays after school. Various opportunities, clubs and activities are offered. All students are encouraged to take advantage of these offerings. 4 p.m. activity buses can be arranged before noon for students who need transportation. Some of the offerings have included: art club, music club, homework hangout, fitness center workouts, cooking club, yearbook, gaming club, PE group activities such as soccer or basketball. Clubs and activities evolve based on student interests and needs. Students learn which activities offered on a specific week in Team. To participate, students sign up for an activity and a late bus by noon on Wednesday. There is something for everyone after school on Wednesdays.
Team leaders meet individually with each member of their Team every week. These meetings serve the role of conferences and counseling sessions. Team leaders chart the student's progress on their goals; talk about any issues a student may have, discuss college and career aspirations; make recommendations for groups, trips, service opportunities etc.; and work the student to establish goals for the week ahead. Team leaders and house counselors meet weekly to discuss and implement line changes. Students can also advocate for line changes themselves by completing a
Level Up Form
and having it signed by their class teachers.
All students are on
. Lines can be earned each week. Students set micro goals weekly with their Team Leader during their meeting. Students who are working to achieve their goals are on the Silver Line. Students earn the privilege and take the responsibilities of the Blue Line when they have achieved their goals. Goals are individual to a student helping them to focus on taking steps to grow or to improve in areas in which they are struggling or deficient.
Service is essential at Vanguard. All students are enrolled in a service learning elective course. Service offers students the opportunity to preview a career, learn about social issues and their root causes, gain valuable work experience, develop and enhance communication, collaboration and leadership skills and more. In addition, service experiences help build a student's resume and are an asset when completing a college application. Service offerings are very diverse allowing students to try something new or select opportunities that align with their interests. In addition, for every 70 hours of volunteer service, student earn a a .5 elective credit. Students learn about opportunities, sign up to volunteer and check their current point total during their weekly meeting with their Team Leader or at any time with Mr. Scholten. Upcoming service opportunities include:
volunteering at the local Food Pantry every Tuesday;
packing meals for children in impoverished countries at
Feed My Starving Children
; once per month;
(a social service agency which provides resources people affected by domestic violence, ) in their resale shop, weekly;
clean up at
, weekly when weather permits;
reading and writing with grammar school children who are behind in those areas with "Lunch Buddies" biweekly;
sorting and packing new and used books for at-risk children at
Bernie's Book Bank
All students are enrolled in a "
Life and Career Planning
" elective class. Students are expected to attend school sponsored college visits, career treks, trade school visits, industry speaker events, job shadowing opportunities, internships and more. Students learn about and can sign up for these opportunities in team. Our personalized learning format makes it possible for students to attend these offerings without falling behind in their coursework.
There's a group for everyone. Vanguard offers a variety of counseling groups each with unique goals and focus. Each group is facilitated by a member of the school student services team. Students are encouraged to join a group for personal growth. Groups meet weekly.
The 2016-17 SPARK pilot was a great success. We are excited about the improvements and changes to this platform for the year ahead. Curriculum for all core classes is presented to students on the web-based SPARK platform. Vanguard teachers have the ability to customize the SPARK curriculum offerings to align with their objectives and State standards. SPARK was key to making our transition to personalized learning both feasible and successful. Students can access and work on their SPARK courses at any time from any location with an Internet connection. The on-line platform offers many benefits including the flexibility for students to get involved in service offerings, life and career planning opportunities and counseling groups and educational field trips without missing out on coursework. Students are assigned to a classroom and have a teacher for every SPARK class. Students who have earned
status have the privilege of checking-in at the beginning of the class and choosing any appropriate workspace in the school to do their work on days that teachers are not offering direct instruction, labs or need to communicate to their class as a whole. To maintain Blue Line status, students must check in in the classroom with their assigned teacher for each scheduled class. Our personalized learning platform makes it possible for students to work independently at their own pace: upon successful completion of a course, a student can be immediately enrolled in the next course without the limitation of quarters or semesters. SPARK also makes it possible for teachers to work individually with a student when they struggle. We are very excited about how SPARK personalized learning experience evolved during the 2016-17 inaugural school year and about our plans will continue to improve and expand it's capabilities in the year ahead.
Attendance is the foundation of success at Vanguard. Aside from greatly enhancing the likelihood of success, attendance is a criteria for most privileges and honors. Please contact the school office at 847-718-7870 before 8:30 a.m. on any day your student will not be in attendance.
Welcome new students! Vanguard welcomes new students at the start of the school year and again at each academic quarter. Students are referred by their home school counselor or have the ability to apply to come to Vanguard. A member of the student service staff arranges for a tour and interview for all prospective students. Intakes for the second quarter will begin at the end of September. Contact your home school counselor or the Vanguard office for information.
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