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


a smiling teacher works closely with a student at a desk who is writing on a small whiteboard

The IDEAL School of Manhattan is dedicated to inspiring academic excellence in all students. Every aspect of the Lower School experience at IDEAL--curriculum, instruction, assessment, enrichment--reflects a research-based commitment to inclusive education as a means to academic excellence. Through highly differentiated instruction delivered by outstanding faculty, we meet all learners where they are and guide them to achieve their full potential. Children who are extremely gifted, those who are typically developing, and students with learning differences learn alongside one another, creating a sense of belonging within a classroom community that uniquely prepares them for productive lives as members of a diverse and global society.

Lower School faculty use innovative methods within subject areas aligned with national standards to teach students in engaging ways. Co-teaching teams and low student-teacher ratios ensure that every child receives individualized attention. Students develop critical thinking skills and mastery of key concepts within an interdisciplinary framework. Differentiated instruction, developed through a keen understanding of each student’s interests, abilities, and learning style, allows students to explore the same concepts at varied levels of complexity. We have developed curriculum with multiple points of entry, allowing every student to excel, explore, succeed, and grow.

Creative arts instruction at IDEAL is both broad and deep, with students exploring concepts in music, art, dance, and drama that seamlessly incorporate and enhance their classroom learning. Our unique electives program allows time during the school day for students to take classes in areas of interest such as yoga, chess, and drama. It also provides time for students who require various therapies to avail themselves of speech/language, occupational, and physical therapy in our therapy suites without losing academic instructional time, and allows classroom teachers to schedule small-group and individual instruction with their students.

Our commitment to inclusion, diversity, and acceptance is reinforced through discussions and instruction surrounding issues of ethics and justice. IDEAL’s Social Justice Curriculum supports character and identity development and provides students with the skills needed to be successful friends, citizens, and advocates for themselves and others as they develop moral awareness, social and emotional intelligence, and critical thinking skills.

Students, families, and faculty at IDEAL are immensely proud of the community we have built and the broad range of learners we serve at our Lower School. We encourage you to schedule a visit to gain a deeper understanding of the way we live our mission and see the IDEAL difference in action.