Vanguard Collegiate: A New Middle School Coming to Indy’s West Side

 Robert Marshall, Vanguard Collegiate Execute Director

Robert Marshall, Vanguard Collegiate Execute Director

Indianapolis native Robert Marshall dreamed of filling a void on Indy’s west side.  Through the Building Excellent Schools fellowship, his dream will become reality next school year.  Vanguard Collegiate of Indianapolis will be located in Haughville on Indy’s west side serving grades 5-8 during the 2018-19 school year.  On November 13, 2017, the Indiana Charter School Board approved Vanguard’s charter application and on November 20, 2017, Mr. Marshall was officially voted in as Executive Director of the school.

Marshall chose to bring a new school to the Haughville area (46222 zip code) because of the academic struggles of children in the area, in particular black, latino and impoverished students.

  • 10% of the population have a bachelor’s degree or higher

  • 63% have a high school diploma

  • 17% are unemployed

  • Average household income is $25,000

  • Of the eight schools in 46222, there are three charter schools. In 2015, all eight schools earned low scores on the I-STEP exam, with a 52% passage rate being the highest.

  • Three schools are K-8; however, there are no stand-alone middle schools.

He believes Vanguard will help close the academic gap and provide a high quality choice for residents.  Although Vanguard is still in negotiations concerning their location, they already have families who have completed intent to enroll forms.  Vanguard also plans to participate in Enroll Indy, an online application for families to find the best fit school for their children.  Since its charter was approved days before Enroll Indy launched on November 15, they were not able to participate in the first round.  They plan to be listed as an option in subsequent enrollment rounds.

Below is an overview of the school.


Unapologetically focused on the academic success of our students, Vanguard Collegiate of Indianapolis educates 5-8 graders through high-quality instruction, rigorous curriculum, and character development to succeed in college and become leaders in thought, word, and action.


THINK: team, hard work, initiative, nobility, and knowledge.

Academic Program

  • Extended school day 8:00-4:30; 185 days

  • 160 minutes of literacy and 110 minutes math daily

  • Co-curricular opportunities:  Fine Arts, IT, Critical Thinking/Service Learning, Physical Education

  • Curriculum:  

    • Literacy - Engage NY, Achieve 3000, Fountas & Pinnell

    • Math - Engage NY

    • Science - Physical science, Life Science, Engineering & Technology

    • Social Studies - US History, World History, US Government

  • Supports

    • Character education

    • Response to Intervention

    • Sheltered English Immersion Model

    • Mental health through community partners

Assessments for Accountability


  • Teacher created assessments & interim assessments

  • Parent and staff satisfaction survey


  • Need six teachers for year one; three of six teachers have been identified.

  • Highly qualified diverse staff is important.

    • Two identified teachers are African American males

    • One identified teacher is an African American female

    • One teacher was teacher of the year in Washington Township

    • One teacher has a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction

  • Would like to find a highly qualified Latino candidate.

  • One staff spot is being reserved for a Teacher for America candidate.

Start-up funds

Vanguard Collegiate’s next board meeting will be held on Monday, December 11 at 6 p.m. at the Christamore House at 502 N. Tremont Street, Indianapolis, IN 46222.

Click here to review Vanguard’s Charter Application or check out their website for more information.