Vanguard School

The Vanguard school provides comprehensive special education and clinical services with a unique focus on the individual student and his or her readiness for life. The Vanguard School offers an integrated approach to academic, social, community integration and career-transition skills within a supportive environment where the goal is for each student to become a contributing member of the community.
The Vanguard School offers PreK and Elementary School (ages 4-11), Middle School (ages 12-14), High School (ages 14-18) and Vanguard Transition Center (ages 18-21) programs. Additionally, specialized classes at The Vanguard School support students with complex needs who require highly individualized and specific instruction for success.
Specialized classrooms include Intensive Therapeutic Classrooms, for elementary and middle school students who need additional support due to the frequency and intensity of their behavioral difficulties, and Speech-Language Intensive Classrooms for elementary school students with speech-sound disorders.
Across programs, we offer a diverse curriculum and a wide range of activities to support students` abilities and needs. Programs such as art, community-based instruction, music, daily living skills and physical education provide an opportunity for students to put into practice what they have learned in the classroom.
As part of The Vanguard School, the VTC offers post-secondary education support, career exploration, skills assessments, counseling, self-advocacy training and community-based vocational experiences.
Therapists and specialists are actively involved in the student`s entire day and often co-treat across disciplines and consult with teachers and other professionals on a regular basis. Clinical services include speech-language, occupational and physical therapies, school psychology, school counseling, behavior support, nursing services and Board Certified Behavior Analysis. The clinical staff have extensive experience with special education populations and their unique educational and behavioral management needs.

Top Placements

Vanguard School places among the top 20% of private schools in Pennsylvania for:

School Overview

School TypeSpecial Education School
School Membership(s)School Assoc.Other school association(s)
Association of Delaware Valley Independent Schools (ADVIS)
Religious AffiliationNonsectarian
Grades OfferedGrades Prekindergarten-12
Offers Post-Graduate YearYes
ADD/ADHD SupportYes
Learning Difference ProgramsYes
Learning Programs SupportedThe school provides programs for students with Pennsylvania Department of Special Education exceptionalities including autism, emotional disturbance, speech-language impairment, specific learning disability and other health impairment.
Year Founded1959
Summer School OfferedYes
Summer Program Cost NotesSY eligibility and services are determined by the child’s IEP team.
Summer Program DetailsLink to Summer Program Details

Student Body

Total Students265 students
Student Body TypeCo-ed
% Students of Color
State avg.: 23%

Academics and Faculty

Total Classroom Teachers80 teachers
Student : Teacher Ratio3:1
National avg.: 13:1
Average Class Size6 students
List of Courses OfferedLink to List of Courses
Classroom Dress CodeCasual

Finances and Admission

Admission DeadlineNone / Rolling
Tuition NotesIn most cases, a student is placed here by the school district and parent, with the school district of residence funding the full tuition costs for new placements. The district continues to pay the full tuition costs until such time when state funding becomes available. There is limited funding through the PA Department of Education (PDE), Bureau of Special Education. When state funding does become available for a district placement, The Vanguard School contacts the school district which then submits the appropriate paperwork to PDE. If PDE approves the funding, costs for school-age students placed at The Vanguard School are shared between the school district of residence and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. A small percentage of parents have chosen to pay privately to place their child at The Vanguard School, in cases where state and district funding are unavailable.
Admissions DirectorAnita Bilotta
Admissions AssociateMelissa Flowers


Total ExtracurricularsTotal Extra-curric.3 extracurriculars
ExtracurricularsExtra-curric.Arts and Music Programs:
Drama - Annual Musical, Instrumental Music, Vocal Music

School Notes

  • The Vanguard School provides programs for, and is licensed to, accept students with a Pennsylvania Department of Special Education exceptionality of autism, speech-language disorders, emotional disturbance and/or other health impairment (OHI). Students who experience developmental disabilities, specific learning differences or social-emotional or behavioral difficulties are also eligible for our program.  
  • Curriculum at The Vanguard School is created through research-based programs and aligned with Pennsylvania Academic Standards Aligned System. Education consists of rigorous academic programs, enriching classroom activities and community-based experiences. We set high expectations for students, teaching them to transfer skills acquired at school and apply them in real-world settings. 
  • Vanguard`s PreK-12 and post-secondary education are the hallmarks of the school`s "Learning-for-Life" philosophy, and has resulted in measurable success for graduates. The Vanguard School is a state-licensed academic day school that is one of 36 Pennsylvania Approved Private Schools for Special Education selected by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. 
  • All students receive instruction in the following areas Reading, language arts, handwriting, math, science and social studies, health, physical education, music, art and technology, life-centered and community-based instruction focusing on daily living, employment, self-determination and interpersonal skills
  • The Vanguard School has a rolling admissions policy. The admissions process at The Vanguard School is generally initiated by local school districts. An IEP Team meeting involving parents or legal guardians and the school district may be held. If it is decided that the student needs the intensity and frequency of services provided by The Vanguard School, the school district sends a letter and a referral packet to The VFES Admissions Office requesting consideration for a pre-enrollment assessment to determine appropriateness of placement. The referral packet will include a copy of the student`s Individualized Education Program, Reevaluation Report and other relevant assessments and evaluations.A family may apply privately if they are willing to assume the full cost of tuition for their child. If a student is accepted for admission to The Vanguard School and the school district has not referred the student, the district is not obligated to pay the tuition.

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Did You Know?
The average private school tuition in Pennsylvania is $8,014 for elementary schools and $16,141 for high schools (read more about average private school tuition across the country).
The average acceptance rate in Pennsylvania is 86% (read more about average acceptance rates across the country).