The Vanguard School

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Basic Information

Address: The Vanguard School 22000 Hwy 27, Lake Wales, FL
County: Polk
Phone Number: 863-676-6091

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Additional Information

President: L. Shannon Graves
School Type: Independent International Boarding Middle and High School
Founded: 1966
Ages/Grades: 12-21; 6th - 12th grades
School Setting:

Beautiful 77-acre campus in central Florida with athletic soccer, tennis, track, jr. Olympic pool, lake access for canoeing and fishing. Physical buildings include four dormitories, Upper School, Lower School, Performing Arts Center, Practical Arts Center, Administrative Office, Gymnasium, Cafe, Student Center, and supportive storage and equipment buildings. Wildlife is abundant, as is native landscaping.

School Size: 120
Classroom Size: 8-12
Student/Teacher Ratio: 1:8

7 day - $50,500 / 5 day - $44,500 / Day - $26,000

Financial Aid:

In-house scholarships are need based by application through NAIS SSS; Most Florida State scholarships are accepted


Administration consists of the Business Financial Office, Head of School, Admissions
Academics includes Principal, Vice-Principal, Support staff, Faculty, Director of Athletics, coaches
Residential Life includes Residential Director, Travel Coordinator, nursing and mental health support, and residential staff
Maintenance includes our Care Team charged with cleanliness and sanitation, grounds, and Director of Facilities


The Vanguard School includes both Middle and High School programs which are skill assessed each spring through SAT 10 testing. Our MS program focuses academically on the basic frameworks of skill in reading, writing, grammar, and math, according to individualized student program entry levels and learning pace. MS students also access precursors to HS science and social studies, prepping students for the rigor of HS academics. The MS program also encourages character development and appropriate socialization skills. Our HS program offers both a General Studies Diploma and Academic Diploma. Over 96% of the graduating class will receive the Academic Diploma and matriculate to further college or university studies. Curriculum offerings include honors courses and Dual Enrollment in Community College or Technical School for upperclassmen who qualify via PERT test results and earned credits.

Percentage of Graduating Class: 20% of our annual enrollment
Support Services:

Nursing, Intensive Reading, Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Director of Athletics and coaches, Pragmatic Language Specialist, designated Community adolescent psychologists/psychiatrist, Technology instructor, Live-In residential Leaders, Special Education Coordinator,

Camp Programs: Yes
Summer School: Yes
After School Programs: Yes
Computer Capabilities:

Campus Wifi with security and monitoring, restrictive overnight access, Google Classrooms, students must provide table or laptop for classroom work

School Championships:

Boys Varsity Basketball District

School Clubs:

Culinary, fishing, canoeing, art (graphic and studio), anime, reading, fitness, basketball, and others evaluated year to year by student interest.

Notable Graduates:

All of Vanguard's graduates

Parking Spaces/Availability:

Parking available throughout campus

Uniform Guidelines:

Students are required to follow uniform guidelines of school-issued polos, hoodies, and Friday-only t-shirts. Khakis, jeans (not distressed), or cotton shorts are acceptable.

Admissions Requirements:

Students complete a 5-step process which is initiated by Neuropsychological testing or IEP/504 review.  Students without updated testing should consult with Admissions.  Application, tour, interview, and shadow are expected of each applicant.  Virtual visits and interviews can be arranged.  An Admissions Team Counselor will guide parents through each step of the process.

Mission Statement:

The Vanguard School is an independent, co-educational boarding and day school for students who learn differently. Vanguard strives to ensure each student aspires to higher educational opportunities and independent life.

Philosophy/Belief Statement:

We believe all students need open and welcoming support to address who they are and who they are becoming. We celebrate diversity in the learning, cultures, and experiences of our students while fostering leadership, community, empathy, integrity, and resilience in each student. Students find success through building confidence, learning independence, building social connections, and demonstrating talents and skills.

School History:

The Vanguard School began as an organized program in Philadelphia in 1966. BY 1968, it relocated to Lake Wales, Florida, where it exists today through 5 decades of growth and support from families and alumni. A community within the greater community, Vanguardrd School believes in continuous growth in the areas that best serve our student's unique needs.