New website helps students with academics, career resources

To help students navigate opportunities in high school and beyond, High School District 214 has launched a new website that offers quick and easy access to academic and career-focused resources.

The new site,, provides parents and students with tools to build an academic roadmap for their time in high school, and information on authentic learning experiences outside of the classroom. Visit to learn about all the college and career readiness opportunities available in District 214. 

Trending @ Vanguard School of Personalized Learning


  • Our remote learning schedule is altered from our regular schedule.  We have moved to a block schedule with the plan that when we will return to in-person classes, students have fewer classes each day, it will allow for the least amount of exposure. 

  • School hours are now 10 a.m. to 3:25 p.m.  Students should be logged in to classes and working remotely during those hours.  Attendance is the foundation of success at Vanguard.  It greatly enhances the likelihood of success. Please contact the school office at 847-718-7870 before 8:30 a.m. on any day your student will not be in attendance.

  • The schedule document includes an announcement section and zoom links for all staff/classes.  There is also a link for students to self-refer to a counselor or social worker.  Students are encouraged to complete the form if they would like to speak to a member of student services or if they are struggling in any way.

  • Supplies delivery this week.  We are gathering supplies teachers would like to get to students for their classes and things students have requested.  All supplies will be available for pick up at Vanguard on Wednesday, September 9  from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m.  The District has secured a waiver to make it possible to provide meal bags for all students free of charge.  Meal bags are available for pick up at all District 214 Schools and a the Vanguard entrance, Door 5, of the Forest View Educational Center, from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. every Wednesday.  Meal bags include 5 breakfasts and 5 lunches.  Meal Bags can be picked up at any school.  Students do not have to be present.  Meal bags are available for every child under the age of 18 in a student's household.

  • The SAT was cancelled in the Spring.  Parents of all seniors received information and the link to register for the rescheduled test.  The SAT is a graduation requirement.  


  • The Vanguard Student Services Team has gathered a list of valuable community resources to help students and their families navigate the challenges of remote learning.  Resources include a staff directory, academic support, Covid-19 information, food assistance, health support, crisis intervention and more.  This list is  updated as more resources and information become available.

  • Team up for success.  Each student meets with their team to start the day.  Teams meet at the beginning of each day the day.  Opportunities for field trips, service learning, internships, counseling groups, dual enrollment classes, the Early College Center, and workshops are presented in morning Team.  Schedules and other important information is passed on in in Team.  Team leaders meet one-on-one meetings with each of their Team members weekly during Team time. All new students start out together in the Vanguard Experience Team.  Mr. Wrobel and Ms. Camacho are their temporary Team Leaders. They have the benefit of the Student Services Team co-facilitating their Team time.  The Student Services staff helps them understand scheduling options, provides them with the basics of Life and Career Planning, and introduces new students to the variety of services offered through their department.   Prior to the end of the quarter in which they start at Vanguard, new students have the opportunity to interview Team Leaders/ preview teams and choose the team that best suits them.   It is crucial to be on time for school to be in Team every day. 

  • Every student has a weekly goals meeting with their Team leader.  These meetings serve the role of conferences and counseling sessions.  Students have the opportunity to discuss concerns and receive support in overcoming obstacles in their weekly meetings.  Goals for the week, the quarter and the school year are reviewed.  Team leaders discuss and help each student lay the groundwork for their post-high school plans during weekly meetings.  Team leaders discuss and sign students up for upcoming opportunities for that align with students interests and future plans during their goals meetings.

  • Our success depends upon the success of our students, while at Vanguard and long term.  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.  Information and sign up for opportunities are in Team.  Upcoming opportunities include:

    • Robert Morris Scholarship - as a result of District 214's partnership with Robert Morris University, Vanguard School has two full scholarships awarded each year.  To be eligible, students must have a 2.5/4.0 grade point average and they must apply to Robert Morris on-line.  Students should apply if they are interested in one of the majors/academic programs offered.  There is a $25 application fee to apply.  Students with a fee waiver can apply through the fee waiver application section.

    • Service Learning will return to Vanguard when in-person learning returns.  Information about service opportunities is available in Team.  Students earn credit in this class for service to the community at the sites of their choice.  Service offers students the opportunity to develop and enhance communication, collaboration and leadership skills, gain valuable work experience, learn about social issues and their root causes, preview careers, and more.  In addition, service experiences help build a student's resume and are an asset when completing a college application or job application.  Service offerings are very diverse allowing students to try something new or select opportunities that align with their interests.  For every 70 hours of volunteer service, student earn a  a .5 elective credit called Community Resources. 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.     Service opportunities include:

    • volunteering at the local Food Pantry every Tuesday, Vanguard sponsor: Elizabeth Meister;

    • packing meals for children in impoverished countries at Feed My Starving Children; once each month, Vanguard Sponsor, Elizabeth Meister;

    • volunteering at Wings (a social service agency which provides resources people affected by domestic violence, ) in their resale shop, weekly, Vanguard sponsor:  Amy O'Neill and Abigail Camacho;

    • clean up at Busse Woods, weekly when weather permits, Vanguard sponsors:  Natalie DeMeo and Amy O'Neill;

    • reading and writing with grammar school children who are behind in those areas with "Lunch Buddies" (coordinated by HandsOn Suburban Chicago) biweekly, Vanguard Sponsor:  Joe Marchisotto or Abigail Camacho;

    • sorting and packing new and used books for at-risk children at Bernie's Book Bank, Vanguard sponsor:  Amy O'Neill.

    • Quarterly opportunities to volunteer at SCARCE (School & Community Assistance for Recycling and Composting Education) in Glen Ellyn. Vanguard sponsor:  Keith Healy;   

  • 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. Coffee Club, Hopeful Beginnings, Girl Group, 7-Challenges, A.I.R. and S.A.G.E are amongst the offerings.  Get information about groups in Team or from any member of the student services team.

  • The SPARK on-line course platform has been a great success.  We are excited about the improvements and changes to this platform for the year ahead.  We are fortunate that the SPARK platform has made the transition to remote learning relatively seamless.  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,  college visits, 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 are meeting their goals 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 this privilege 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 2017-18 school year and we plan continue to improve and expand it's capabilities in the year ahead.  

  • 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.  District 214 students now have the ability to self-apply to attend Vanguard using their District 214 e-mail login at the 214Apply link.  A member of the student service staff arranges for a tour and interview for all prospective students.  

prospective students: 

  • must have completed at least one semester of HS prior to being referred.
  • should have a desire to work in a self-paced, personalized environment.
  • is not exhibiting excessive acting out/delinquent behaviors.
  • is not failing due to a current untreated substance abuse problem.
  • is not known to be actively gang involved in the school.
  • might not be better suited for other services/programs (YAP, ELL, or HSE).
  • has an academic ability level suitable for courses offered at Vanguard.
  • desires to work towards earning a District 214 diploma.