a co-ed, independent, inclusion school for grades k-12


Welcome to The IDEAL School of Manhattan. IDEAL is an inclusive, independent school where we celebrate the tremendous social, emotional, and academic growth that comes from learning in a community that mirrors the bright mosaic of diversity within New York City. Unique among independent schools, IDEAL values the diversity that comes not only from a variety of socioeconomic, religious, and ethnic backgrounds but also embraces the opportunities that arise from bringing learners together with an array of learning profiles, talents, and interests.

We inspire children to achieve their full potential through a differentiated curriculum, a strong arts and athletic program, and opportunities for project-based and experiential learning in each and every grade level.

In Lower School, a general educator and a learning specialist collaborate on lesson planning and co-teach classes to grow and nurture each student. Whether kindergarten students are researching their favorite animals or third graders are portraying heroes who model leadership for their Biography Project, our students have fun learning and express themselves with confidence and clarity. Our math curriculum reinforces foundational math skills, and multi-age groupings allow more advanced students to grow at their own pace. Students compare perspectives on a range of topics and dive into our age-appropriate diversity curriculum through town hall meetings and assemblies.

In IDEAL’s Middle School, students gain confidence, take healthy risks, and develop their academic skills through our differentiated and challenging academic program designed to inspire each learner within a nurturing and supportive community. Middle schoolers meet daily in small advisory groups where they work together on executive functioning skills and prepare for the day ahead. The academic program includes foundational to advanced levels of math and English and inclusive science and history classes. Students choose from a wide variety of arts electives, STEAM and design projects are integrated across the curriculum, and students have opportunities to compete in sports or to perform in the arts throughout the year. In weekly Community Time, students oversee and direct the agenda and take part in facilitated conversations about diversity and current events, fostering their sense of voice and responsibility. Eighth graders culminate their study of social justice with a spring Civil Rights Journey to the South where they walk in the footsteps of iconic American leaders.

High School at IDEAL is distinctly different, a place where each student maps out his or her individualized program and goals with an advisor. The student-centered curriculum provides a range of foundational and more advanced courses in all areas. Students progress at their own pace through the curriculum. Throughout their time at IDEAL, High School students participate in athletics such as golf, yoga, and track and field, and they have a wide range of opportunities to cultivate their talents in the arts. IDEAL’s three-year signature RISE Program exposes students to the challenges and opportunities of various groups in New York City. Throughout the RISE internship, IDEAL’s expert faculty and staff mentor them in developing self-advocacy skills and the confidence to grow and look towards their future, while gaining the strong voice and the self-assurance that comes from looking beyond oneself.

At IDEAL, we make a difference. We value and celebrate each and every student in our community for the talents and attributes he or she brings to the table. Together, in a diverse community, IDEAL students develop empathy, character, and self-advocacy skills that inspire in them the capacity for creative problem solving and leadership in our global world.

Janet Wolfe
Head of School