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Vanguard Academy

Did you know, instead of a traditional high school model (that some students find rigid) our new high school accommodates a project-based learning educational model?

Historically, traditional high school instruction is based on lectures, textbooks, and the memorization of facts– regardless of a student's interest or ability. For some young learners, this model (like the Moses Lake High School) still works. However, we know that not every child learns and retains information in the same way. When students struggle with traditional learning methods, high school can be a frustrating and discouraging environment.

While the Columbia Basin Technical Skills Center is a great alternative, especially for students focused on a specific post-secondary career, many students may fall somewhere in between both programs.

For this reason, we are proud to offer our students a third learning program for their secondary education; a project-based high school– Vanguard Academy; High school learning, redefined.

Vanguard Academy seeks to provide hands-on learning, collaboration, innovation, critical thinking, and discovery in preparation for ‘the real world’. Students will develop valuable skills and knowledge for their professional development and life after graduation.

The addition of the second high school is very exciting, and we know you have numerous questions. We invite you to learn more here 👉 or read our frequently asked questions below.



Vanguard Academy is scheduled to open in Fall 2022. Upon opening, the school will accommodate 9th and 10th grade students only– and the following years would allow the students to advance to 11th and 12th grade. The first graduating class would be the Class of 2025. This transitional opening allows for students to fulfill their requirements and continue at Moses Lake High School if they are fully settled.

Construction on the school will begin early in 2021 for on-time completion.


No. The design of this system of high schools allows for innovative and redefined opportunities for students. In fact, we aim to eliminate the duplication of academic programs. Students who would like to attend various classes throughout all three high school programs will have the capability to do so. This approach, which is unmatched by traditional high school systems, makes all program options available for every student!

"Life and the real world do not happen in subjects or periods."

Such is the concept that the project-based environment implemented at Vanguard is modeled after.
Project-based learning at Vanguard offers a profound connection between rich, hands-on learning, and deeper knowledge. Ultimately, the Academy will provide all subjects– just in a different, innovative model.

The program is designed for students to receive their entire high school education and a diploma from Vanguard Academy. Most students in attendance will have full-time attendance at Vanguard; however, we are also designing programs to be flexible. Students can choose to take a mix of classes between our three programs high school programs if desired.

Much work is still to be done on topics such as this. However, one of the goals is to allow students the flexibility to move between high school programs. The nature of the Academy will create a flexible environment, so the coordination of bells and programs is not impossible.

Graduates of Vanguard Academy will earn a diploma from Vanguard Academy. Requirements and policies for graduation, as well as details regarding the ceremony and issuance of diplomas, will be established closer to the school opening.

Currently, CBTech requires uniforms and MLHS does not. It is unknown at this time which direction Vanguard will select. However, in congruency with a "real-life" application (a core philosophy of the school), professional and appropriate dress will likely be considered. The uniform policy and expectations at CBTech has been a positive contributor to the school atmosphere and focus on professional skills.

Yes! We recently announced Kelly Cutter as the Planning Principal for Vanguard Academy. 

Ms. Cutter received her BA in English from Washington State University and completed her Masters of Arts in Teaching from Concordia University. Currently the principal at Warden Elementary School, Ms. Cutter holds nearly twenty-two years of educational experience as a classroom teacher and administrator. From teaching Language Arts, Literature, Theater, and Dance, to serving as a Dean of Students, and a Principal– Cutter’s extensive career in education made her a top contender for the position. 

Upon acceptance of her new position, Ms. Cutter expressed, “The focus of the Vanguard Academy high school is on highly personalized education that serves the needs of each student in a hands-on project-based environment. To say I’m excited to be part of this new and innovative, student-centered community of learners is an understatement– I cannot wait to get started! ”

Student enrollment across the state of Washington generates the number of teachers assigned to each school. We do not anticipate the amount of student enrollment to vary, generating only a small number of new positions.
We anticipate 600-900 students currently enrolled in the Moses Lake School District will transition to the new high school. Therefore, most (if not all) of the staff for the Vanguard will also transition from current district programs (like the Moses Lake High School).

No. Students that attend VA, MLHS, or CBTech and are eligible for participation in sports at Moses Lake High School.

Yes. All student organizations are a result of student interest and alignment with the learning opportunities available within that school setting. As the school nears opening and there is a student population identified, clubs and activities will be determined.

The school will have its own identity and color scheme. Both MLHS and CBTech have a unique set of identifying school colors.
In most cases, mascots are given to high schools in conjunction with their athletic programs. Vanguard will not have athletic programs; thus the decision and recommendation for a mascot are still to be determined.

No. The site location, changed in 2019, is located on the high school campus near Moses Lake High School and CBTech. The decision maximizes resources at all high school programs. The change better utilizes currently-owned district land and allows students to personalize their learning between programs offered at all three high schools.

The Moses Lake School District is blessed to have approximately 120 acres of land located between Sharon Avenue and I-90. This premier real estate allows for creativity, prime location, and multiple options to create long term solutions. Moses Large comprehensive high school sites (which would include all athletic fields, etc.) are around 40 acres. So it could be stated that there is enough land on this site for three comprehensive high schools and all of the adjoining facilities -- needless to say ample land for today and tomorrow.


No. The design of the program allows any interested student, regardless of their location, within the Moses Lake School District, to take advantage of high school redefined.
Through the unique design of a comprehensive high school campus, students will be able to leverage all three high school programs to meet their needs (Moses Lake High School, Vanguard Academy, and CBTech).