Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How many students are in a Banner classroom?

A. Typical class size throughout the grades is 15 students though some middle school classes may be slightly more where appropriate. Our Preschool and Kindergarten classes have full-time co-instructors.

Q. Where do students attend high school after graduation from Banner?

Nenita Gapud Tressler presenting her Capstone 2017

A. Students attend local public high schools (frequently placing into the IB program) and private schools such as Glenelg Country School, St. Maria Goretti High School, St. John’s Catholic Prep, Mercersburg Academy and St. James School.  A number of representatives for each school visit the campus to talk with our eighth-graders as they navigate the process of choosing a high school to attend.

Q. Does Banner provide before and after care?

A. We provide a structured Extended Care Program that begins at 7:00 a.m. and ends at 6:00 p.m. For more details, please click here.

Q. Is Banner affiliated with any particular religious organization?

A. No, Banner is Frederick County’s only independent school that is non-sectarian.  Banner is also a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

Q. Does Banner provide transportation?

A. Banner families drive their children to and from school. We do encourage families to car pool with each other. Our three 14-passenger activity vehicles are used primarily for field trips and athletic events.

Q. Does Banner provide lunch?

A. Students bring their lunches to school. Milk is available for purchase.  A variety of optional fundraisers are coordinated throughout the year that parents can participate in for lunch orders.

Q. Does Banner administer standardized tests?

A. Yes, a summary of standardized tests that Banner administers is below:


Each year at Banner, students in grades two through eight take a battery of standardized assessments known collectively as the Comprehensive Testing Program 4th Edition (CTP 4), which is developed and distributed by the Educational Records Bureau (ERB). This program is designed to provide information about student performance and achievement and is administered by independent schools throughout the country.

Students take these tests in grades two through eight to:

  • Become familiar with standardized tests in preparation for the Secondary School Admission Test (SSAT) and other similar assessments.
  • Help educators evaluate their curriculum.
  • Provide an objective measure of how students are faring in various skill areas.

Banner does not believe in “teaching to the test”; rather, we contend that our outstanding educational program in and of itself prepares students to excel and to reach their potential. As such, student scores truly reflect their academic achievement. Each year, roughly 50% of our students qualify for the prestigious Talent Search of the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth based on their ERB scores.

SSAT Testing Center

The Banner School is the only school in Frederick County that administers the Secondary School Admission Test (SSAT), one of the only standardized tests required for admission to independent secondary schools and other private schools throughout the country and around the world.