Banner Academy

Serving Phoenix-Area students on the Autism spectrum as well as with emotional or learning challenges

Banner Academy is a nationally accredited private school with a long history of providing education to children on the autism spectrum as well as those with emotional and learning disabilities. We are located at 1410 W. 10th Place, Tempe, AZ 85281. 

Banner Academy is nationally accredited by AdvancEd and approved by the Arizona Department of Education, serving students in grades 4 through 12. Students who graduate from the school typically pursue post-secondary opportunities at the University, community college or vocational school levels.  Contact our principal, Shari Carlsted, at (480) 827-5348 to find out more about Banner Academy. 

View our printable fact sheet about Banner Academy.

Whom We Serve

Students that experience academic, social and emotional challenges thrive in our small, nurturing, supportive environment.

Our Programs & Services

Our goal is to enhance academic skills, social skills and the love of learning in all of our students. Teachers identify the individual learning styles of each student and tailor a program specific to their academic, social and behavioral needs. This individualized approach to learning is a hallmark of the Banner Academy and has led to academic success for thousands of its students over the last 30 years.

Life skills and social pragmatics are an integral part of the curriculum. Classes emphasize forming healthy relationships and learning to read social cues necessary for everyday life.

Experienced counselors, a speech pathologist and an occupational therapist round out the professional support services available at the school.

The use of animals in our school provides a unique opportunity for students to learn about, care for and interact with a variety of birds, mammals and reptiles, including therapy dogs. Often, students who have difficulty expressing themselves verbally find that animals offer them an avenue for connecting with others. Students often find it difficult regulating their emotions because they cannot always identify the emotions, and the animals provide a way to calm and de-stress. 

We help students who face these challenges:

  • Attention deficits
  • Autism-spectrum disorders (ASD)
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Depression
  • Emotional disorders
  • Learning disabilities
  • Mood disorders
  • Obsessive/compulsive disorders (OCD)
  • Personality disorders
  • Pervasive developmental disorder 
  • Social/school phobia

View our 2019-2020 Calendar.

Our Teachers

Our teachers have experience — more than 20 years on average and are all certified to teach students with learning disabilities, emotional handicaps and autism-spectrum disorders. They're also certified in one or more academic area, such as English, math, science or social studies.

Our Zero-Tolerance Bullying Policy

Many of our students have endured years of teasing and taunting at other schools. That's why Banner Academy enforces a zero-tolerance policy toward bullying. Our instructors are sensitive to our students ,as well as their emotions, and we work on activities that promote self-esteem and empathy for others.


Students placed by public school districts are typically transported by that district in buses or vans. Privately placed students may be dropped off by their parents, a guardian or in a car pool. In some cases, we can arrange to transport students, depending on their pick-up location.

Enrollment, Tuition & Scholarships

If you are interested in Banner Academy, contact our principal at (480) 827-5348. She will make an appointment for an interview, campus tour, and explain more about the school to help determine if Banner Academy is the right fit for your child.

School districts refer many of our students on the recommendation of an Individualized Education Program (IEP) team. These teams determine when Banner Academy is the best setting for a student's education and personal growth. In these cases, the home school district pays for the student's tuition and supplemental services.

For parents who want to enroll their child privately, a few organizations may be able to help with tuition. Scholarships are available as well. These include:

  • School Choice Arizona - utilizes tax credit donations to scholarship children at private schools in Arizona. 
  • Empowerment Scholarship - funded by the Arizona Department of Education for those who qualify
  • AAA Scholarship Foundation - funded by corporations and available to Arizona disabled and displaced students.