The History of Vail Academy & High School
The Vail School District began way back in 1903. By the 1990s there were over 1000 students in Vail schools. At this time, however, Vail did not have a high school. After 8th grade, Vail students had to go to high school in other districts. It was clear that Vail needed its own high school!
Bond dollars were needed to build a high school, but when put to a vote, it lost by less than 10 votes. Being the innovators that Vail leaders are known to be, they decided to charter their own high school. Vail Charter High School opened in 1997 with 100 students.
VCHS rented space in the U of A Science and Technology Park, and over the next few years 200 students attended on split schedules to make space. The word “charter” was eventually dropped and it became Vail High School.
During the 2008-2009 school year DMAFB flight pattern changed and suddenly VHS found itself in their flight zone. This posed a new problem since schools are not allowed to exist in military flight zones. A planning committee was formed to decide where to move VHS, what grades to service, and what focus the school should have.
On November 30, 2009 Lloyd Construction broke ground. The school site was built to be eco-friendly with water harvesting tanks, wind turbines, solar panels, and as many recycled goods as possible. During construction 98% of the construction waste was recycled. In 2010 Vail Academy & High School won an award for innovative architecture. In 2011 VAHS was awarded LEED Gold Certification.
On July 23, 2010, the doors of Vail Academy and High School were opened. It is the first K-12 school in the Vail district, and one of the few in the state. VAHS has high academic expectations and believes that anyone can be successful if they work hard; and our students work very hard! We have one classroom grades Kindergarten through 5th grade. Our two classes of 6th graders switch between two teachers for different core subjects. They are also able to choose two electives each semester. We have about 56 7th and 56 8th graders who have four different core subject teachers. Middle school students are often able to take high school classes and get an early start on earning credits.
Beginning with the class of 2016, all high school students will be required to complete and pass two Honors courses or AP courses of their choosing in order to graduate from VAHS. Also, beginning with the class of 2019 all students must earn 5 high school math credits (beginning with Algebra) to graduate.