Vanguard College Preparatory School – Academics
Academic Department Overview
The goal of the Science Department is to guide students in developing an appreciation for the natural sciences. This will be accomplished using a structured methodology to investigate and analyze the laws that govern everyday phenomena. Concepts are taught based on activity-oriented lessons that involve extensive experimentation and application of current technology.
In the World Languages Department, our students become more active participants in the ever-expanding global society in which they live. The study of a world language develops not only insight and empathy into other cultures and traditions but also transferable skills that improve student performance in communication, reading for context, literary insight, and problem-solving. Literary analysis and both written and spoken activities reinforce students’ understanding of the languages they study and prepare them for a future of effective communication.
The Vanguard English Department believes that language and literature communicate far more than plot or narrative. Regardless of future fields of study, students will use language and critical thinking skills to convey information to a wide and varied audience, and those skills are developed in Vanguard English classrooms through the study of diverse literature, analytical and creative writing assignments, and college-level class discussion. In the words of Justice Stephen Breyer, “Only by studying the humanities can we hope to understand how other people live. Because literature, history, or philosophy all provide extraordinary windows on the world.” The Vanguard English Department works to introduce students to varied cultures, ideas, and literary genres while continuing their education in rhetoric and composition in order to help open those windows.
In the mathematics courses, the instruction at all levels is designed to train students in the mechanics of mathematics and in deductive reasoning, thus stimulating them to learn and think rationally, critically, and independently. Instructors stress the development of manipulative skills and the application of these techniques to problem-solving situations. The basic sequence, covered in four years, includes work in basic algebra, plane and solid geometry, trigonometry, and elementary analysis, but many seniors will advance to take some level of calculus.
An understanding of the American past is vitally important for an informed
citizen in our constitutional republic, although that alone is not enough. The
examination of other cultures and their history is also crucial for broadening
understanding of an interdependent world and, therefore, the study of
international cultures is integrated throughout the department’s program.
Courses in history in the middle school years emphasize Texas history, as
well as introductory political science and world geography. In these courses,
students learn skills and concepts essential to the study of history and the
social sciences, thus preparing students for more advanced courses in these
In high school, students take a minimum of four years of social studies,
including the required courses of: World History, U.S. History, and the
capstone courses Macroeconomics and U.S. Government. Students may also
take elective courses that broaden their understanding of the world and
other cultures. These electives include: AP European History, Human
Geography, World War II, and AP Art History. Finally, students who desire to
develop their critical thinking and communication skills further can choose to
participate in debate and mock trial.
Computer Science experience has become an imperative for today’s students and the workforce of tomorrow. The Technology Department strives to offer courses that furnish students the knowledge and skills that enable them to participate in lifelong learning and to adapt to an ever-changing technological environment. Students learn Robotics, Coding, Multi-media, tech skills and more. In High-School, each student needs to have access to a laptop for educational opportunities.
The Vanguard Fine Arts Programs exist to:
Develop the natural talents of all students
Promote excellence in all activities
Build character through creative pursuits
Encourage service to the world through the arts