Heidi Latsky Dancers with school officials and family members

Heidi Latsky Dance

The Upper and Lower School sat mesmerized as they watched an incredible performance by Heidi Latsky Dance on Wednesday, April 8. The dancers put their all into the show, whether standing as a human statue or leaping, sliding, or rolling across the floor. Even though, as Heidi said, "It's not easy to dance in the morning," no one looked at all tired, and everyone danced with grace and athleticism. Students got a chance to circulate through the human installation at the end, and then ask the dancers some questions. An inclusive company, Heidi Latsky Dance, like IDEAL, is working to change the world. As the company states: "The mission of Heidi Latsky Dance (HLD) is to redefine beauty and virtuosity through performance and discourse, employing performers with unique attributes to bring rigorous, passionate and provocative contemporary dance to diverse audiences."

Harvest Assembly

On Tuesday, November 21, the entire school gathered at the Upper School to participate in IDEAL’s annual Harvest Assembly. The assembly included shared songs, expressions of gratitude for the IDEAL community, and a presentation about the fourth grade’s service learning project. The program concluded with students and faculty joining hands to sing and dance to Simple Gifts, a Shaker song that has become a school tradition.

AXIS Dance Company Visits IDEAL

On Tuesday, November 14, AXIS Dance Company visited IDEAL, thanks to the generosity of IDEAL parents Rebecca Alson-Milkman and Craig Thomas. AXIS members performed several dances highlighting the company’s mission and the skill of the dancers for students in Grades K-12. Additionally, the dancers engaged student volunteers in an improvisational dance activity and in conversation about the work of the company and experiences of its dancers.

Founded in 1987, AXIS is a highly acclaimed and nationally recognized, diverse group of performers. The founder of AXIS had the creative vision to gather a group of dancers with and without physical disabilities to explore, create, and perform contemporary dance.

AXIS has toured to over 100 cities in the USA, Europe, and Russia. They have also received seven Isadora Duncan Dance Awards and appeared twice on FOX’s So You Think You Can Dance, exposing their genre of dance to millions. Alongside its artistic performance program, the company provides unparalleled integrated dance education and outreach programs. For more information about AXIS please visit their website,

Chris Waddell, Paralympic Medal Winner, Speaks to Upper School Students

On Thursday, October 12, during Pioneer Period, IDEAL’s Upper School welcomed the founder of One Revolution Foundation Chris Waddell to the Upper School as our first guest speaker of the school year. Mr. Waddell is one of the most decorated male mono skiers in Paralympic history, winning 13 medals over four games, and spending a total of 11 years on the US Disabled Ski Team. Mr. Waddell’s presentation focused on resilience and optimism, encouraging students to see obstacles as opportunities for growth and learning, instead of roadblocks. In addition to highlighting the 4 S’s of Resilience: Self, Situation, Support, and Strategy, Mr. Waddell helped students practice the inspirational quotation, "It's not what happens to you; it's what you do with it.

Lower School Identity Museum

On Friday, November 10, we welcomed families to IDEAL’s annual Identity Museum. Students in every class brought in artifacts to represent an aspect of their identity, and visitors toured classes to take in the exhibits. Among the artifacts were trophies, national flags, stuffed animals, photographs, personal works of art, and baby clothes. Students also wrote or talked about the meaning of the item they shared.

Grade 1 Visits the Bronx Zoo

Grade 1 visited the Bronx Zoo on Thursday, November 9, in conjunction with their study of Animal Diversity. Students visited the Congo Gorilla Forest where they observed gorillas, gazelles, zebras, giraffes, ostriches, and lions basking in the thinning fall sun. As students toured other parts of the zoo, they were also excited to see a tiger walk up to the glass where they were standing, look them over, and lick his lips!

500 Pens Article

On Thursday, May 18, 2017, 500 Pens, a website that features innovative social justice, activism, and advocacy efforts and was founded by the Southern Poverty Law Center, published this article about IDEAL and our inclusion model. The author- Gina Apostol, a novelist and English teacher at Fieldston-was working in conjunction with Teaching Tolerance Magazine to explore a variety of NYC schools that actively teach an anti-bias perspective. After visiting IDEAL's Lower and Upper Schools several times this spring, she decided to focus her article entirely on IDEAL. We hope you will recognize your children and their teachers- directly or indirectly-in the anecdotes Ms. Apostol has chosen to celebrate our unique and effective approach to inclusion.