The admissions process at Vanguard is generally initiated by local school districts. Vanguard has an “open enrollment” policy, meaning we evaluate and enroll students throughout the school year, as space is available. Following a multidisciplinary team meeting with the District for a student, if it is decided that the student would benefit from the program and services provided by an Approved Private School, the school district may send a letter and a referral packet to Vanguard requesting consideration of the student for a pre-enrollment interview to determine appropriateness of placement at Vanguard as space is available. The referral packet must include the student’s current ER/RR and IEP. Families 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 Vanguard and the school district has not referred the student to Vanguard, the district is not obligated to pay the tuition.
- The tuition for Vanguard for most of our students is funded by the Pennsylvania Department of Education and/or the student’s school district. The Business Office will provide a tuition schedule for those families who plan to pay privately.
- The Director of Admissions or his/her designee reviews all incoming referral packets. A decision is then made regarding the possible appropriateness of Vanguard as an educational placement for the student under consideration. Occasionally, the reviewer may request additional information either in report form or verbally from a parent(s) or from a teacher or therapist who has worked with the student.
- If it is determined that Vanguard is not an appropriate placement for a student, the school district receives a letter from the Director of Admissions stating why the decision not to evaluate was made. The district will then notify the parent(s) of Vanguard’s decision.
- If, on the other hand, it appears that Vanguard may be an appropriate placement, a Pre-Enrollment interview is scheduled with the child and parents. When a pre-enrollment interview is scheduled, the family and the school district receive written notification of the date and time of the interview. During the pre-enrollment interview, the student will meet with one of Vanguard’s school psychologists while the parent(s) meet with the Program Supervisor of the appropriate school program.
- Following the pre-enrollment interview, the evaluating team will decide three things:
- Is Vanguard’s educational program appropriate for the student’s specific educational needs?
- Is there an appropriate peer group within which to address those needs?
- Is there space within that appropriate group?
- The school district and the family are notified of the team’s decision in writing as soon as possible after the pre-enrollment interview. On occasion, the evaluating team may request permission to observe a student in his/her current school placement or it may suggest that the student spend a day or two visiting and participating in Vanguard’s program before making a final decision regarding enrollment.
- Once a student has been accepted for enrollment, the school district has 30 calendar days to return a signed NOREP (Notification of Recommended Educational Placement) to Vanguard. The district is also responsible for completing and submitting all necessary paperwork to the State Department of Education and for arranging transportation to and from Vanguard for the student.
- If a student is not accepted to Vanguard due to lack of space, it is suggested that the parent consider having their LEA contact the Admissions Department about re-applying at a future time.