About The Banner School
Who Are We?
The Banner School is a co-educational, independent school composed of a preschool (3- and 4-year-olds), primary school (kindergarten-4th grade), and a middle school for grades 5-8. Its mission is to provide an academically challenging curriculum in a secure environment, to motivate students to achieve to the best of their abilities, and, in so doing, to stimulate a lifelong love of learning.
The Banner School promotes a strong school-family partnership, individual self-worth, and respect for others and strives to graduate responsible individuals who will contribute positively to society. Reflecting the diversity in today’s society and our student body, Banner provides an education with a global perspective through the study of various cultures, societies, and peoples of the world.
The Banner School believes in the dignity and worth of each student, and his/her unlimited potential for growth. Students thrive in a disciplined and challenging learning environment that nurtures and sustains their inquisitiveness. At Banner we recognize the need for differentiated teaching styles, resulting in independent learners who not only master basic skills but also demonstrate original thinking and problem solving. In addition to the core academic subjects, students are actively involved in the arts, world language study, physical activity, and technology. Through an emphasis on tolerance and respect for differences, students are prepared to function successfully in today’s diverse society.
The Banner School offers students a rigorous and challenging liberal arts and S.T.E.M. curriculum designed to acquire basic skills while encouraging higher-level critical and analytical thinking skills. Our faculty expands the boundaries of traditional studies with interdisciplinary subject matter that is explored beyond the classroom – through hands-on projects, at school assemblies, and in the community. Responding to the increasing need for international awareness and understanding, The Banner School offers Spanish language instruction to all students, beginning in Kindergarten. Art, music, and theater, which stimulate creative expression and enhance academic performance, also have an important role in our curriculum. The integration of technology at all grade levels is by design, being essential for students who need to excel in an increasingly technological world.
The Learning Triangle
The cornerstone of The Banner School is “The Learning Triangle.” This Triangle represents the school, family, and student working together to provide the best educational experience for the student. Cooperation and open communication among the three are essential for The Triangle to be successful. Active parent participation in a child’s education is essential as is parent support of school policies and programs. Teachers must also be informed of unique student needs from the parents, and teachers in return must clearly communicate the school’s curricular goals as well as their classroom expectations to the parents and students. Students must be willing to work hard while in school.
Circles of Citizenship
Our CIRCLES of Community Citizenship is an acronym referring to values promoted by the school that all members of The Learning Triangle– students, their family members, and school employees– are expected to endorse and practice within the school community and in school matters: Compassion, Integrity, Responsibility, Civility, Leadership, Empathy, and Service. These values are at the core of who we are as a school and a school community. It is an expectation that all of us will embrace these values in our interpersonal relationships and our hope that these values will be carried into students’ lives outside of Banner and into adulthood.
The Banner School has long been recognized as a community partner and has strong community connections. We instill the value of service to others in our program throughout the school and strive to provide students with opportunities to participate in charitable activities. Students participate in an annual Walk for the Homeless here on campus; the National Junior Honor Society sponsors clothing, food, and toy drives twice a year. Middle School students help serve lunch to hundreds of guests at the Frederick Rescue Mission monthly, various classes write to soldiers stationed overseas, and groups of students design holiday wreaths for the Frederick Arts Council’s annual Festival of the Greens. The school itself provides performance space to local charitable organizations, hosts Frederick’s Relay for Life each year, and organizes other events to benefit the community.
Founded in 1982 with the express purpose of providing Frederick County with its first and only non-sectarian independent school, a unique status that the school still retains, The Banner School has a commitment to diversity and inclusiveness, both stated and in practice, with regard to the students and families that it serves, its faculty and staff, its Board of Trustees, and its educational program. The Banner School Mission specifically refers to the school’s “diverse community of learners,” a community that includes diversity in all of its many forms and interpretations, from student abilities and learning styles, interests and talents, and tastes and preferences to ethnic and racial, familial and social, political and religious, and economic backgrounds. The Banner School’s efforts to ensure both cultural and economic diversity translates into 25% of the student population falling into a minority group category and well over 10% of the annual operating budget earmarked for financial aid. As the Mission Statement concludes, the school “motivates students to become responsible citizens who lead by example,” and we sincerely believe that citizenship requires leaders to have an understanding of and respect for the rich diversity of the world’s people and their countless perspectives and experiences. The school likewise values and supports the diversity among its other constituents, including employees and the Board of Trustees, diversity that includes such elements as age, gender, race and ethnicity, wealth, and culture.