As a non-profit, The Menta Group is proud of the programs developed to help at-risk youth reach their academic goals and make positive contributions to their communities.
The Menta Group operates 26 programs and 16 schools throughout Illinois and Arizona and continues to expand. With more than 40 years of experience, the evidence-based programs engage everyone involved in the lives of at-risk youth with the goal to address the unique needs of students, families, school staff and administrators, as well as their communities. The Menta Group still firmly believes in the core value upon which the organization was founded on in 1973 – every child has the right to be in school.
Bob Neubeck, Karen Evans, and Father Larry Cozzi founded The Menta Group in 1973 because there was a critical need to help children who were not achieving their potential in a traditional classroom setting. They were alarmed at the devastating effects that behavior-related suspensions and expulsions were having on school-aged children. Beginning with one teacher and one student, the organization was born with the belief that all children will succeed if given the chance.
The Menta Group evolved into a dynamic, responsive, multi-state education non-profit, operating numerous private and public/private partnership schools. The organization still firmly adheres to its policy to never give up on a child and that no student will be rejected, suspended, or expelled. The Menta Group also expanded to offer additional non-profit educational services under the umbrella of Special Education Services (SES) as well as transportation services under the umbrella of Special Education Systems.
AdvancED is a non-profit organization that works with organizations around the world in order to
conduct on-site reviews, with the ultimate goal of helping schools establish systematic and
sustainable plans for continuous school improvement. They have over 100 years of experience
working with educators – not only providing guidance regarding school improvement, but also
providing accreditation status to organizations and to individual schools. In the Spring of 2016,
Menta began the process of working with AdvancED representatives on an organizational
accreditation review – with that journey culminating in May of 2017.
AdvancED uses a systematic review protocol in order to examine three key areas: the impact of
teaching and learning; leadership capacity; resource utilization. A team of five independent
reviewers visited the organization this past spring in order to conduct interviews with
organizational leadership, to gather and analyze stakeholder feedback, to examine data and
artifacts related to the three key areas under review, and to conduct observations across all
sites (in order to see first-hand the real impact our staff have on our student population).
AdvancED reviewers synthesized all data collected, and made a determination regarding
whether The Menta Group met rigorous accreditation standards…
At the conclusion of the intensive review process, The Menta Group received a
recommendation for organizational accreditation from AdvancED (as did all member sites that
underwent the review process – a total of 11 schools). Review team members noted that visiting
Menta programs reminded them why they themselves were in the field of education – and that
the work our staff do on a daily basis with students was a true testament to the level of care and
concern the organization has for all learners. Of note, when summarizing classroom
observations conducted across the organization – Menta scored higher than the national
average in five of seven areas assessed; again, a true testament to the hard work our staff do
with students each and every day.
Moving forward, organizational leadership will be integrating AdvancED recommendations for
further improvement into the existing mission, vision, and bedrock principles already driving the
organization. It is the hope that, with continuous school improvement planning and an ongoing
review of our practices, Menta will remain at the forefront of providing personalized learning
experiences to the most marginalized, at-risk youth in schools today – because every child has
the right to a high-quality education that allows them to achieve all of their hopes and dreams!
The Menta Group has programs in Illinois and Arizona.