The Hawk's Nest
Staff Appreciation Week, May 2-6
A Note From Ms. Davis
Dear Vanguard West community,
After ten wonderful years, I have decided to resign from VCS and move on to the next chapter in my career. This summer, my husband and I will be relocating to the Western Slope as the mountains are where we feel most at home. I’ve accepted a position with the San Juan BOCES and am very excited to be working full time again with the special education population servicing several rural districts in the Durango area.
I have thoroughly enjoyed working with our students, staff, and community; and I will miss everyone dearly. VCS has been my only home since I moved to Colorado in 2012 and I couldn’t have asked for a better environment to grow as an educator. Thank you to everyone who has made my time here so rewarding; I will cherish the memories I have made and will be forever grateful!
Lish Davis, Special Education Director and Assistant Principal
A Note From Mrs. McCafferty
Exciting News about the VCS 22-23 4-Day Week Calendar
Dear Members of the Vanguard Classical School West and East Communities!
We are so excited to be moving to a 4-Day school week calendar next year for both VCS West and VCS East! After surveying families, this new model was proposed by school leadership and approved by the VCS board this past March. While we still need approval from the state of Colorado, we expect to get this soon and feel that it is time to inform our VCS families about the exciting details of the upcoming plan. We hope that you will see that we want to make it as easy as possible for VCS families to return and enjoy this new 2022-23 setup.
Why a 4-day week?
There are multiple reasons for this exciting change. We have all faced changes in our world due to the pandemic. Family time and personal time is treasured now more than ever before. Traditional schedules have been impacted and working and learning is now happening in different ways. We also believe parents are the primary teachers of all of our students, regardless of age or grade. Our new schedule allows parents to support and supplement classroom instruction by giving students additional time at home. It also allows families to do more things together such as enjoying other educational aspects of our state and city. Research suggests that we will see fewer absences from both students and staff as appointments and other routine visits and tasks can be scheduled on this weekday off. Research also indicates that student mental health and sleep patterns are improved, students are more likely to join school clubs and sporting events, students tend to be more responsible both at home and at school, and the student-parent relationship is enhanced.
Increased Instructional Minutes
While many 4-day schedules have fewer instructional minutes when compared to 5-day schedules, the VCS 2022-23 school schedule actually has slightly more. By adding between 16-20 minutes per day, starting just one week earlier and including fall break as a school week, we actually will be able to provide more instructional minutes at VCS next year than we did this year.
We expect that some families will still need supervision for their children on Mondays, and that the cost of this may be of concern. We truly do not want to lose any currently enrolled students/families due to this schedule change so we have found ways to ease this burden. First, VCS will contract with an outside childcare provider to provide a quality program called MondayCare to students in grades K-8 from 6:30 am through 6:00 pm at both campuses for 32 Mondays throughout the year. For many families, this may be free to you if you apply through the Colorado Child-care Assistance Program (CCAP). We can help you fill out the paperwork to apply for free or reduced-price VCS MondayCare. If you apply and do not qualify, VCS will still supplement the cost (which is normally $38 full day/$20 half day per child) to make your cost much lower. FREE Lunch will be provided for all students in full-day or half-day MondayCare.
Your Full Day Total Cost: 1 student in household - $20 2 or more students in household - $35
Your Half Day Total Cost: 1 student in household - $10 2 or more students in household - $18
*If this is still too much of a burden, please contact any member of the VCS leadership team listed below and we will do our best to figure out a solution. We truly want you to stay at VCS!
We are now realizing that the pandemic caused a great deal of learning loss in many students due to the unorthodox teaching methods (virtual, hybrid) over the past two years. Once we review our own most current testing data to determine those 2nd – 12th grade students most impacted by learning loss, we will be inviting those students to Monday tutoring sessions (grades 2-8) and supervised credit recovery (grades 9-12). This tutoring program will be FREE and VOLUNTARY for any VCS student invited. Tutoring or supervised credit recovery will happen during mornings from 8:00 am – 11:30 am on two or three Mondays per month throughout the school year. Free lunch will be provided before students are either dismissed or join our MondayCare program for the afternoon.
FREE Tuesday – Friday Before and After School Care
Similar to this year, VCS will also be providing before and after-school care FREE of charge every Tuesday – Friday for students in grades K- 5. (Students in grades 6-8 can attend for a nominal fee.) We were excited by the success of this free program during the 2022-23 school year and plan to continue it next year.
Become a VCS Ambassador!
As excited as we are about the upcoming calendar, we still need your help to get the word out to other students and families in your communities. Please be an ambassador for this program! If you promote the 4-Day VCS schedule to friends and relatives with school-aged children, we will pay a referral fee of $150 for each and every student that you refer that stays at VCS East or VCS West through the October “count window.” (Yes, if you recruit 3 students, that is $450!; you will be paid in mid-late October). Please tell the new family to let us know that you were their “recruitment ambassador” when they enroll!
Click the button below for more information.
We are so excited to finish this year off with the pandemic mostly in our rear-view mirror, with our new calendar in front of us, and with solutions such as Monday Tutoring to help us take a bite out of pandemic learning loss. Again, we want to do everything in our power to make this new calendar workable for all current VCS families. Please do not hesitate to contact any of the leadership team below if you have any questions.
Jay Cerny, VCS Executive Director
Keria McCafferty, Principal – VCS West Campus
Emily Van Luit, Principal – VCS East Campus
Dennis Steele, VCS Business and Operations Director
Thank you to the parents and staff who made this trip possible! It was a wonderful evening!
Picnic on May 26th
Dismissal is at 12 pm on May 26th!
Spirit Week, May 23-26
2nd Grade Chicks!
Core Virtue of the Month: Wonder
Our final core virtue that we will focus on this year is WONDER. Wonder is the first step on the path of knowledge.
As spring asserts itself, we live in greater wonder at the world around us. We cannot learn something we already know, therefore learning occurs after we have questioned or contemplated something new or not understood...yet.
As we look for ways to integrate this virtue into our teaching, remind the students that they will be able to practice this virtue for 8 weeks in the summer while they are away from us. Look at the world around them and think about those what, why, and how questions.
Wonder is what allows us to explore new ideas and to contemplate the effects of actions. Wonder sparks intrigue. Wonder leads to discovery.
We have had A LOT of interest in our 2023 Historic Boston trip for 7th and 8th grade and we only have a few open spots remaining! Don’t miss out on locking in your spot before the price increases on Sunday, May 1st.
Visit the info page here: www.efexploreamerica.com/2548824TA to enroll.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me with any questions that you have at firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also speak with EF’s dedicated Traveler Support Team at 888-333-9756
Can’t wait to travel with you!
Attention Parents and Guardians,
As the school year wraps up please remind your students that they were ALL issued a charger this year. That means we should expect them ALL to return a charger. If they are unable to find their charger by the Chromebook Check-In day (TBD), then they will be fined $35. Now is a good time to review the condition of your student's devices and remind them of our fees.
There are many devices that are in very poor condition but are still technically usable. We need those to be reported in order to determine our needs for next year.
Common problems IT comes across regularly:
Gouged or cracked bodies
Severe permanent marker damage
Severe sticker residue
Damaged charge ports
The Chromebook may function, but still be unusable for next year due to unrepairable damage. In that case, a student will STILL be fined $225 for a full replacement when we discover these damages over the summer. If a Chromebook requires extensive repair over the summer, a repair fee of $100 will be issued.
Some things that are considered extensive repair:
Replacement of entire keyboard
Replacement of internal components (motherboard, charge port, headphone jack)
Replacement of chassis parts (top shell)
Deep cleaning beyond the standard wipe down and blow out
Screen replacements incur a fee of $50.
It is best if we know about these issues now. It gives us the ability to accurately forecast inventory needs for next year. That only works if these damages are reported to IT now.
Thank you for your help with this matter.
A Note from Ms. Porter, RN
Reminder to all families,
Please pick up ALL your children's medications by the last week of school please. Parents and guardians you will have to check out and take them home yourselves, medications are NOT allowed to be taken home by your student. Thank you so much!
Intent to Return
We would like to ensure our current families have secured their places in our school for the upcoming school year. Your assistance is needed to help us determine the demand of our current families.
Although siblings do have priority in the lottery, an Enrollment Application must be submitted for each student in order for them to be included in the lottery. This can be accomplished by completing the application on our enrollment link at http://www.vanguardclassical.org/Enroll.
Please complete the information below.
8th Grade students should return their high school intent form.
If you have any questions regarding enrollment, please contact Vanguard Classical School West at 303-691*2384 or Email Itzhelt Cordero at email@example.com.
A Note from Ms. Gerber, Aurora Mental Health Center School-Based Therapist
TEACHER WORK HOURS
Absences and Tardies
ABSENCES AND TARDIES
Tardies:We have had an excessive amount of tardies. Please remember that students are to be in their seats and ready to learn by 7:50 am. The doors open at 7:30 am, so make sure to drop your children off on time, or sign up for FREE before/after care.
Make sure to notify the front desk of absences. If we don't hear from you, our attendance system will automatically call you to verify the absence.
COVID Testing at VCS
We are excited to announce that APS is participating in the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s COVID-19 weekly surveillance testing program!
VCS West is participating in this program.
Testing began at our building on November 17th at 8 am for students who opted in. Students can still register and need to be pre-registered to participate. You can register your child(ren) using the following link:
Students only need to be registered once. They will then be tested weekly.
Students who get tested will receive their money via a gift card. This gift card will be mailed to the address provided when you register.
Finally, this testing will count for athletes participating in school sports.
Please reach out to our school nurse, Alisha Porter (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions.
Vaccines are available for individuals ages 12 and older. APS, in partnership with STRIDE Community Health Clinic and the Colorado Department of Health and Environment (CDPHE) is hosting ongoing FREE vaccination clinics for families. To learn more about the clinics and to sign up, visit aurorak12.org/vaccine.