- Our History -
We formed in 2003 to open alternative education programs for disadvantaged and disengaged young people living in large urban centers. We have operated programs in Chicago, Milwaukee, Miami and parts of Michigan. We have developed innovative curricula and programs along the way. And, most importantly, we have educated thousands of students, providing them with the means to make positive changes in their lives, obtain their high school diplomas, and achieve success in their post-secondary endeavors.
In 2015, we started an entrepreneurial training program in one of Chicago schools. We noticed that the program increased attendance and academic performance while reducing negative behaviors. From this experience, we realized the true power and effectiveness of teaching entrepreneurship to disadvantaged and disengaged young people in an educational setting.
In 2018, we started Making Moguls as a new division of our nonprofit organization. Making Moguls provides disadvantaged young people who possess an entrepreneurial spirit with the tools and resources necessary to capitalize on it. Making Moguls provides its young entrepreneurs with training, mentoring, funding and other resources which not only help them succeed in their entrepreneurial studies and in business, but also place them on paths to becoming community leaders. For more information on Making Moguls, visit http://www.makingmoguls.org.
- Our Work -
Banner educates students who require an alternative setting due to behavioral issues, truancy, prolonged absences from school, or other reasons. Banner’s behavior modification program is designed specifically for students who are generally considered difficult to educate, but who could benefit from Banner’s innovative educational methods. Banner welcomes these students and takes great pride in educating them.
Banner’s behavior modification program creates a truly alternative setting for its students. Banner utilizes a variety of educational methods to build the confidence and competence of each of its students. Banner’s students are placed on paths to reintegration to their home schools, graduation, post-secondary education, and/or employment.
Banner’s communication philosophy requires all stakeholders to participate in the educational processes of its students. Stakeholders include students, parents, Banner staff, school district personnel, vocational and post-secondary groups, social service agencies, and members of the juvenile justice community. Stakeholders participate in the intake process, development and monitoring of Individualized Graduation Plans (IGPs), and the implementation and assessment of academic, behavioral and vocational development. Each stakeholder is an integral member of Banner’s decision-making body.
Banner’s alternative education staff typically includes a principal, an assistant principal, teachers, assistant teachers, specialized teachers (e.g. computers, art, music), social workers, guidance counselors, a behavior specialist, and a reintegration coordinator. Banner’s staff is certified as required by school district and state regulations. Banner also contracts with therapists and other personnel to provide services necessary for its students. Banner’s typical staff to student ratio in these programs is 1 to 10.
Banner operates therapeutic schools for students with emotional, behavioral and learning disorders, as well as other disabilities. Banner’s therapeutic program is designed specifically for students who are generally considered the most challenging to educate. Banner welcomes these students and takes great pride in educating them. Banner’s innovative special educational program instills confidence and builds the competence of each of its students.
Banner works closely with the school district to ensure that each student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) is fully satisfied. Banner employs an IEP compliance officer. The IEP compliance officer’s primary function is to monitor IEPs and see that each and every requirement is met. The IEP compliance officer maintains close contact with the district’s special education staff.
Banner recommends changes to a student’s IEP if Banner’s staff believes it is in the student’s best interest and if it will provide a stronger foundation for success. Banner’s therapeutic school staff typically includes a principal, an assistant principal, special education teachers, assistant teachers, specialized teachers (e.g. computers, art, music), social workers, a behavior specialist, a reintegration coordinator, a secretary, and the IEP compliance officer.
Dropout Recovery & Prevention
Banner operates educational programs designed to prevent students from dropping out as well as recover students who have already dropped out. Banner’s dropout prevention program utilizes an innovative and effective blended learning model to teach core subjects, offers extensive credit recovery and vocational classes, and promotes and assists students with dual enrollment opportunities at local colleges.
Banner began operating dropout prevention and recovery programs in 2004 and has been instrumental in placing many students on paths to academic and post-secondary success. Banner students not only achieve academic and occupational success, they also often stay in their communities and make significant and positive contributions.
- Our Leadership -
Eric Carlton has nearly 30 years of experience in the education arena. He served as a special education teacher, assistant/associate principal, and principal of a large public high school. Eric later became a regional vice president of a national educational services company. In 2003, he started an organization to operate alternative and therapeutic day programs. Eric earned his Bachelor of Arts in African Studies from the University of Maryland Baltimore County, Masters of Science in Special Education from Johns Hopkins University, and Education Specialist Degree from Walden University. He is certified in Administration, Special Education and Instructional Leadership and belongs to numerous associations. Eric has received significant accolades, including the AdvancED Illinois Leadership Award and Excellence in Education Award, the Maryland Governor’s Citation for Excellence in Instructional Leadership, the Baltimore Mayor’s Community Partnership Award and UMBC’s Alumni of the Year Award. He is involved with several nonprofit boards and has worked with AdvancED for the past twelve years, serving as a lead evaluator and as the chairperson of its Illinois Performance Management Group. Over the past 30 years, Eric has been instrumental in improving the lives of thousands of disadvantaged students.
Eric can be reached at email@example.com.
Barry Cohen has more than 15 years of experience in the educational innovation arena, and a diverse background in accounting, law and business. He received his Bachelor of Science in Accountancy from Bentley University and his Juris Doctor from University of Maryland School of Law. Upon graduation from law school, Barry represented businesses for over a decade at large Baltimore law firms. In 2003, he left the private practice of law to become an entrepreneur in the education field, opening and operating alternative and therapeutic schools, and developing innovative curricula. He has developed effective business structures and streamlined administrative work both for his companies and as a consultant to other companies. He has opened numerous schools and educational programs with a focus on changing the landscape of urban education for the most disadvantaged and disengaged students. Through these programs, thousands of students have been educated, have received their degrees and have achieved post-secondary success. Barry is also active in his community and sits on the boards of several nonprofit organizations.
Barry can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org