In September 2018, Ryan Banks Academy opened its doors with our first class of 7th grade students. We prepare motivated students from Chicago neighborhoods to graduate from college, enter into meaningful careers, and be the catalyst to bring positive change into their communities. Join us as we transform urban education!
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Ryan Banks Academy is currently recruiting rising 7th grade students!

Hello, and welcome to Ryan Banks Academy!

The Ryan Banks Academy mission is to build Chicago’s first residential school for urban youth. In our first 1-2 years, we will begin as a day school located at 6620 S. Martin Luther King Drive where our students attend Ryan Banks Academy during normal school hours, but our students will benefit from multiple extended field trips which will allow our students to explore new environments and cultures. During this time, we will be constructing our permanent campus which will include dormitories for our students and residential housing for our staff. Our first class launched with 7th grade students in September 2018.

Ryan Banks Academy combines a high-quality, future-facing curriculum with an integrated social emotional education in order to provide the launching pad for students from all socio-economic backgrounds into the next generation of leaders, thinkers, and world-changers. Ryan Banks Academy takes a strengths-based approach to learning and building confidence, and believes that each and every one of our students has a legacy within them to change the world. We focus on preparing all of our students for college with a goal of a 100% college acceptance rate.

I have had the privilege of working in multiple day and boarding schools across the country and am excited to lead Ryan Banks Academy in opening our doors to transform urban education in Chicago. Please take a look around our website to learn more about our mission, the admissions process, or how to join our efforts. Feel free to contact us through our contact page or email me at


Audrey Bland Hampton
Head of School

RBA's CEO, Valerie Groth's book, "The Power of the Possible: The Dire State of Inner City Education and One Woman's Revolution to Fix It"

"The time is now for a revolution in education that embraces and upholds the highest ideals and delivers them to the youth of inner city America."

Arne Duncan

"I believe that in communities with high youth violence, 24/7 urban boarding schools can provide a safe environment and give kids a chance to be successful. Our schools should be community centers with a wide variety of after school and social/emotional programming. I believe initiatives like Ryan Banks Academy can be game changers in addressing the issue of youth violence, which is a public health crisis."

Jeff Garlin on Ryan Banks Academy
Jeff Garlin Interview