VCS East Hawk Talk

January 2022

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Thank you to all who contributed to our 2021 Giving Tree!

A New Semester is a Good Time to Reset

Happy New Year!

As we begin a new semester, this is a good time to reset and refresh our memories of our policies and procedures. Click the button below to access our 2021-2022 Parent/Student Handbook.

Here are a few dress code highlights:

  • Hoodies are welcome! They must be solid navy, black, maroon, tan, gray, or white, free of logos (a very small logo, such as Nike or Adidas is okay).
  • Hair of any color is welcome!
  • Click the button below for more detailed information.

As always, thank you for your ongoing support. We are so glad you are a part of our VCS family.

Here's to a great second semester!

VCS Will Not Participate in Late Start Mondays

On Thursday, 12/2/2021, you may have received communication from Aurora Public Schools announcing that after winter break the district will be moving to “Late Start Mondays.” Please be advised that we only follow APS delayed starts and closures due to weather. VCS WILL NOT be following COVID related late starts due to staffing shortages.

From Rico Munn, APS Superintendent: COVID-19 Return-to-School Preparations

APS Community,

I hope you are enjoying a safe and wonderful holiday season. In light of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, I wanted to provide you with an update on our plans for returning to school next week. As we see increased transmission of COVID-19 throughout the community, it is important that we continue to build on our layered approach to mitigating transmission. This means using multiple mitigation measures layered on top of one another to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

We also want to ask for your continued flexibility and understanding. Due to increased community transmission, we need to be prepared to adjust quickly and face potential staffing shortages. With the likelihood of more staff members testing positive for COVID-19 and needing to isolate at home, we may need to transition certain classrooms or schools to remote learning. In addition, we ask for your patience if bus routes are delayed or cancelled. Please know that we are committed to providing as much in-person learning as possible. However, we will certainly face challenges over the coming weeks and may need to make changes quickly.

Please read through some of the planning steps and important information below.

Face Masks are Required for All Students and Staff
Face masks will continue to be required for all students and staff at school. Please encourage your students to wear their masks properly (covering both their noses and mouths) while at school. If your child refuses to wear their mask throughout the school day, they may face disciplinary action.

Seating Charts Required In Classrooms
We will require that students stay in their seats as much as possible within the classroom and that staff members maintain accurate seating charts throughout the school day. This will allow for more precise close contact tracing to minimize the number of students needing to quarantine in case of a positive test. We will notify those who are identified as close contacts of an individual who tested positive. The close contacts will be required to quarantine unless they have been fully vaccinated. Fully vaccinated means that two weeks have passed since you received your full dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

Sending Home Chromebooks/Technology Devices With Students Daily
Our aim is to maintain as much in-person learning as possible to effectively serve our students. However, in case we need to transition classes or schools to fully remote learning from home, we will ask students to bring home their Chromebooks or technology devices every day at the end of the school day. Please remind your students that they should be bringing home their Chromebooks or technology devices every day from school.

Sign-Up for Vaccine and Vaccine Booster Doses
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): “Current vaccines are expected to protect against severe illness, hospitalizations, and deaths due to infection with the Omicron variant. However, breakthrough infections in people who are fully vaccinated are likely to occur. With other variants, like Delta, vaccines have remained effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalizations, and death. The recent emergence of Omicron further emphasizes the importance of vaccination and boosters.”

Find out where you and your family members can get vaccinated by clicking here. In addition, APS has many vaccination clinics available at schools throughout the district where both vaccine and vaccine booster doses are available.

Get Tested Regularly
With increased transmission, it is important for everyone to continue regular COVID-19 testing. As a reminder, free testing is available through COVIDCheck Colorado. Please click here to sign up for testing.

Stay Home if You Develop Symptoms
Once again, we cannot emphasize the importance of keeping your child at home if they develop symptoms. We are asking all students and staff to continue daily self assessments. If your student develops any of the symptoms below, keep them home and get your student tested for COVID-19. Please notify your child’s school that your student is experiencing symptoms and do not send them to school.

Major symptoms include:

  • New or unexplained persistent cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Loss of taste and smell

Minor symptoms include:

  • Feeling Feverish, having chills or a temperature of 100.0 or greater
  • Sore Throat
  • Runny nose or congestion
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • Fatigue

Please know that we will continue to share important information with you via emails, automated phone calls and our website We thank you for your continued flexibility and understanding. We look forward to seeing our students next week. We wish you and your family a

Happy New Year!

- Superintendent Rico Munn

Absences and Tardies

Let's set a New Year's Resolution to be at school each day on time!


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.

Winter Weather is here!

Colorado weather can be unpredictable, so proper outerwear is very important. Please send your children to school prepared for inclement weather. This includes a coat warm enough for outdoor weather, hats, and gloves. Outdoor recess is an important part of the day. Unless the temperature outside is well below freezing or weather conditions are dangerous, we will send students outside for recess and dismissal. For this reason, it is essential that they are warm enough to stay outside. If your student's coat or other belongings go missing, be sure to check the Lost and Found in the front office.

With the winter months come the possibility of school closures and schedule changes. The decision to change school schedules because of adverse conditions is based on one factor; the safety of all students and staff.

  • Vanguard follows the district (Aurora Public Schools ie. Adams-Arapahoe 28J) with regard to school closures, late starts, etc. and we reserve the right to additional closures if deemed necessary.
  • The Director makes every effort to decide and announce decisions to close school before 6:00 am.
  • Please refer to your local AM radio (850 KOA) and television stations (KCNC Channel 4, KMGH Channel 7, KUSA Channel 9, KDVR Channel 31) for official notification.
  • Vanguard will also announce closures on its website and via School Messenger.

Core Virtue of the Month: Courage

Happy New year!

As we begin a new year, we adopt a new core virtue--COURAGE.

Courage is a big virtue with physical, moral, intellectual and civic dimensions--all of them much needed in today's world. At each grade level we address different dimensions of courage, but at all levels we stress that courage is not being "unafraid" but rather it is moving beyond fear in order to accomplish a higher good. Or, as Plato had it, courage is "knowing what things are truly to be feared."

In the lower grades, January offers the opportunity for discussions on the difference between courage and recklessness. The same action (jumping off a bridge, for example) could be courageous or foolhardy depending on one's motivation. Is the jumper trying to save a child who is floundering in the river and cannot swim or are they responding to a dare? Our goal in January is not to make students oblivious to danger but to showcase lives and stories that speak to the human resolve to act when necessary, despite pain, pleasure or pressure to the contrary.

For the upper grades, well chosen classical myths are often fine reinforcement for this virtue. Courage was the virtue prized above all others in the great epics of classical literature: Odysseus, Achilles, Hector, Ajax, Patroclus, Leonidas at Thermopylae or Aeneas and Anchises, all bring that virtue to life.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day this month provides an excellent opportunity to showcase moral and civic courage in action. There are so many examples of courage in the content we teach at Vanguard. Whether you are recalling George Washington's struggle for his troop's survival during the dreadful winter at Valley Forge or simply summoning the will to live up to your New Year's resolutions, January is a great month to focus on courage.

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From Dr. Rico Munn, APS Superintendent: Prepare Your Students for Upcoming State Assessments

APS Parents and Guardians:

The foundation of our district’s strategic plan, APS 2026: Faces of the Future, is our community’s core beliefs. As we begin second semester, I would like to reflect on some of these core beliefs:

  • Families are our partners in education.
  • Students, families, staff and community members share the responsibility for student achievement.
  • Students take an active and ongoing responsibility for their learning.

These core beliefs highlight the importance of why our partnership with you is vital in achieving our community’s vision that every student shapes a successful future. With this in mind, I would like to remind you that many of our students will participate in state testing this spring. Participation is important because results help students, parents and teachers understand whether students have mastered the content they need to know by the end of the school year to be on track for college and career success. We are asking for your help in preparing our students to do their very best on these upcoming assessments

Please check individual school calendars for specific assessment schedules.

Special Note for APS Avenues Fully-Remote Learners (9th - 12th grades): If your student is a “fully-remote” learner of APS Avenues this school year, you will be contacted by your home school regarding participation in the assessments listed below. Depending on the assessment, your student may be required to test at their home school, as these assessments cannot be delivered in a virtual environment or in person at the APS Avenues site.


Beginning January 10, all English Language Learner (ELL) students who have a designation of NEP (Non-English Proficient) or LEP (Limited-English Proficient) will take the WIDA ACCESS for ELLs Summative Assessment. WIDA ACCESS measures a student’s progress in acquiring academic English. Please note that there is no opt-out option for these tests.

Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening (all NEP and LEP students in grades K-12)

  • Jan 10 - Feb 11, 2022


Colorado’s assessment system is called the Colorado Measures of Academic Success (CMAS). In 2009, Colorado implemented more rigorous academic standards known as the Colorado Academic Standards (CAS). The new standards set clear, consistent guidelines for what students should know and be able to do at all grade levels. To accurately measure student mastery of these skills and expectations, Colorado adopted CMAS.

English Language Arts and Math (grades 3-8)

  • March 21 - April 22, 2022

Science (grades 5, 8 and 11)

  • April 11 - April 29, 2022

PSAT and SAT Exams

APS freshmen and sophomores will take the Colorado Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT) and juniors will take the Colorado Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT). College Board partners use information from these test scores to expand access to various scholarships. We encourage students and parents to explore Khan Academy, an online tool that helps students prepare for these tests. Khan Academy gives students free personalized practice, including study and test-taking tips, six official full-length practice tests and a tailored practice plan. Please visit

PSAT - English Language Arts and Math (grades 9-10)

  • April 13, 14, or 15, 2022 (Your school will inform you of which date.)
  • Accommodation Window: April 13-20, 2022
  • Make-Up Testing Dates: April 26, 27, or 28, 2022

SAT - Reading, Writing, and Math (grade 11)

  • April 13, 2022
  • Accommodation Window: April 13-15, 2022
  • Make-Up Testing Date: April 26, 2022

Participation Guidelines

While we encourage participation from all students in state assessments, state law allows parents and guardians to excuse their students from taking all state assessments, except WIDA ACCESS. If a parent or guardian would like to excuse their student from participating in an assessment, the parent or guardian must do so on behalf of the student. Please contact your child’s school for a District Opt-Out form.

Below, you will find the APS Assessment Guide and an FAQ that contains useful information. I encourage you to read through them carefully.

Thank you for your support in helping every APS student shape a successful future.

Rico Munn, Superintendent

Aurora Public Schools

FSCP (Family, School, and Community Partnership Committee)

We're really starting to pick up steam with our FSCP committee, and we are EXCITED!

If you'd like to join our FSCP committee or would like more information, contact Jennie Gillespie at

Stay Healthy!

It's that time for flu and cold season. Remember to please wash hands and keep children home if they are sick. I have attached some forms that will be helpful to you and your students. One form is the daily symptom self assessment, which should be done before school each day. I also have attached a form that the district is using for COVID-Like symptoms to watch out for and address accordingly. Thank you so much for keeping our community and children healthy and safe!

FREE COVID Testing at VCS East!

As you may already know, we are participating in a COVID testing program. Testing began at our building on November 18th at 8 am for any student who opted in. Students will need to be pre-registered. You can register your child(ren) using the following link...registration only needs to be done one time, and students can take a COVID test each week if they like:

Testing-Management-Platform (TMP) (

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, Annie Garner ( with any questions.

COVID Vaccines are Coming back to VCS East!

Thursday, 1/6, 11:00 am-7:00 pm

  • Location: VCS East Parking Lot
  • Clinic OPEN TO THE PUBLIC AND for both campuses-students, families, staff: VCS East and VCS West
  • All 3 types (Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson), boosters, flu shots
  • Language interpreters on-site at the clinic: Spanish and Amharic
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COVID Vaccines

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

COVIDCheck Colorado

Individuals who are symptomatic should get tested for COVID-19. Please remember that COVID-19 testing is free and available through COVIDCheck Colorado.

Discounts on Internet Services

The following companies are providing discounts on internet.

CTL lifeline

xfinity essentials

VCS is not affiliated or associated with any of these programs. Families will need to apply directly with the companies.

VCS East Events

No School - Professional Development

Monday, Jan. 3rd, 7:45am-3:30pm

VCS East

Vaccine Bus

Thursday, Jan. 6th, 11am-7pm

17101 East Ohio Drive

Aurora, CO

ACCESS Testing Window

Monday, Jan. 10th, 8am to Friday, Feb. 11th, 2pm


NO SCHOOL - Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Monday, Jan. 17th, 7:15am-3:45pm


Quick Links

Breakfast/Lunch Menu

Click the button below to access the breakfast and lunch menus. If you do not see the most recent menu, click the button in the top left corner of the menu website and search for our school.

Infinite Campus Parent Portal

Log in to the Infinite Campus Parent Portal to access student course schedules and to check grades and attendance.

Contact Ms. Torres, Ms. Petit, or Ms. Holtz for assistance at 303-338-4110.

Pay School Fees Online

You can now pay your school fees through our online platform of RevTrak. You can go to our website or click here to pay any school fees your child may have.

Fee Schedule

Innovation Learning, Inc.

Click the link below to register for FREE Before and After School care.


Safe2Tell Colorado gives YOU a safe, anonymous way to help someone who is struggling or hurting. Learn what to look for, what to listen for, and what to report.