Updates from the Principal
February 3,, 2023
Dear Vanguardian Parents:
January has been quite busy and we are making many inroads at Vanguard. Progress reports will be mailed out on February 1st and Empower, our Learning Management System, will be accessible to parents by the end of the Semester. Please check out our introductory videos at: vanguard.mlsd161.org/apps/pages/Empower.
Our Exhibition night is February 2nd from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. All students are expected to present their projects at this time, and as we are a school that measures learning differently, it is most important that all students and parents attend. You should have received communications from Humanities describing the event - so please make sure to check in with your students. Ask them what their passion project is, what they have been working on and what they will be presenting. We don’t want to miss this opportunity for our students to demonstrate their learning here at Vanguard.
Vanguard will have its first ever dance, “Light Up The Night” on February 11th - 8:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. Admission is $15 with ASB and $20 without. January 30th tickets go on sale for Vanguard students. On February 6th, tickets will be available for all high school students in the Moses Lake School District.
Progress reports will be mailed out to families after February 1st. Vanguard Academy is a Mastery Based Learning school, and as such, our progress reports look different from traditional high schools. Mastery Based Learning focuses on students demonstrating proficiency toward standards within each content area that lead to credits that are required for graduation. We celebrate this shift in assessing progress in student learning. We also acknowledge that it is different from how learning is traditionally assessed and that this will take time for everyone to get accustomed to. It is a difficult learning curve and Vanguard students and staff are rising to the shift. Student progress in a Mastery Based Learning environment is reported in relation to skill attainment rather than with traditional letter grades.
When students are making adequate progress toward achieving proficiencies they are demonstrating evidence of learning and meeting their goals.
Making inadequate progress toward achieving proficiencies means students are not providing evidence of learning. Here are some steps your student can take that will likely help them improve their progress if they are not demonstrating proficiency at this time:
- Attend class regularly
- Actively participate in class
- Complete missing assignments
- Get help during Genius Hour
- Keep off phone during instruction/activities
- Limit hallway/bathroom time
- Schedule Office Hours with teachers for extra help
As always - you are always welcome to share your thoughts and questions with us. Here’s to a great second semester!
December 12th Principal's Letter
Principal’s Update • December 12, 2022
Dear Students and Families:
Happiest of Holidays to all Vanguard students, families and staff.
Is it possible we are already in our 15th week? It seems like just a few days ago we were eagerly awaiting the opening of our beautiful new campus. Now, here we are - speeding towards the end of Semester one. We have had many exciting events such as our Opening Celebration and activities such as Holiday House Wars, and another upcoming design challenge: Pasta Cars. On February 2, 2023 there will be an Exhibition at Vanguard Academy from 6-7:30 p.m.
Parents: please make sure your contact information is up to date - including your email addresses!
Winter break is a great time for students to catch up with their assignments and all Vanguard teachers have those posted on either Empower or Google Classroom. Parents - please ask your students to show you their progress and contact teachers directly if you would like to have a conversation with them.
We have had some challenges with our Learning Management System called Empower, but we are excited to announce that all teachers will be using Empower as a Gradebook by the end of Semester One. Parents will be able to access the Empower Gradebook at this time as well.
Vanguard Academy will be hosting an Empower Parent Night for parents to learn how to use the program to see their student’s progress. This will be held on Tuesday, February 7th from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m. in various locations at Vanguard Academy. There will also be a section on our Website with brief video presentations that will provide parents with additional information they need to navigate Empower.
We are transitioning to our permanent scheduling software, Enriching Students. It is designed for students and teachers to navigate through a modular schedule like ours and will allow students more opportunities to request extra office hours and more flexibility for teachers to work with students on intervention and/or enrichment time. It will also be used to take attendance and identify students who may be struggling in particular academic areas.
Volunteers and Guest Speakers
Vanguardians would love to involve parents, community members, and business owners in our programs– Please reach out if you are interested and/or have ideas for sharing local talents with our school. Guest Speakers who are presenting to Vanguard Students do not need a background check; volunteers who would like to come in and work with students would need a district background check. If you have any questions - please contact myself or Mr. Yonko anytime.
Winter Break: No School 12/21/22 - 1/3/23
MLK Day: No School 1/16/23
End of 1st Semester: 1/25/23
Passion Project Exhibitions: 2/2/23
School Dance: 2/11/23
3 ½ Hour Early Dismissal: 2/17/23
Presidents Day: No School 2/20/23
The Happiest of Holidays to our Vanguard Families - Kelly and James
October Principal's Letter
October 25, 2022
We have some very exciting things going on here at Vanguard Academy. This week is Spirit Week and students have been participating in many activities such as: Pajama Day, Anything But a Backpack Day, Color Wars, Adam Sandler/90’s Day and Halloween Costume/Twin Day. For the safety of our students and staff - please do not allow your students to bring in any kind of fake weapon [purchased or made] and students may not wear masks during the school day.
We have a date for our ribbon cutting ceremony - November 9th from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. You are cordially invited to attend the dedication of our beautiful school, tour the building led by students, and say hello to our amazing staff. There will be light refreshments available, and of course, many photo opportunities with your students, staff, and the star of the night - Vanguard Academy.
We are using Empower as our Learning Management system and not Skyward. Parents will have access to this program soon, as teachers are busy building their gradebooks and designing assignments that demonstrate growth toward their proficiencies. If you have any questions regarding your student’s progress - please call the office and request your student’s crew leader to contact you via phone, email or in-person.
A few dates for which you should be aware are: November 9th - Ribbon Cutting Ceremony and November 11th - Veterans Day - for which there is no school. Other important dates are as follows:
November 23rd - 3.5 hour early release
November 24th - Holiday: No School
November 25th - Holiday: No School
December 21st through January 3rd - Winter Break
January 16th - MLK Day: No School
We are settling in and students are thriving. As always - we love to hear from parents. James and I have an open-door policy and look forward to chatting with you anytime: either by phone, email, or in-person. Additionally, if you have any special skills, hobbies or would like to make a career presentation to our students - please let our office know.
Wishing all Vanguardians the best. Hope to see you all at the ribbon cutting ceremony.
Kelly Cutter, Principal
James Yonko, Assistant Principal