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


a multicultural group of adults and children cut ribbons in front of a building

Welcome to IDEAL! From kindergarten through Grade 12 and beyond with our Next Steps postsecondary program, students at The IDEAL School of Manhattan are eager participants in their education, thriving in an atmosphere of inclusion, kindness, and individual attention.  

IDEAL was founded in 2005 by a group of families and educators who recognized how traditional classrooms can reinforce outdated modes of education and impede a student’s pursuit of academic equity and excellence. In response to an unsatisfactory status quo, the idea for a truly diverse and inclusive independent school with differentiated and individualized instruction to meet the needs and support the identities of all types of learners emerged. Through our exceptionally low student to teacher ratio, IDEAL provides differentiated instruction that reaches children of all backgrounds, socioeconomic levels, races, genders, cultures, sexual orientations, and religions, as well as a broad range of learning styles, readiness levels, and abilities.  


Well-founded education research asserts that all students benefit from an inclusive classroom that offers differentiated instruction. Our curriculum is based on this philosophy and incorporates innovative teaching practices that support each student in learning for today’s world, in exploring and determining pathways to futures that compel them. IDEAL’s talented and highly-skilled faculty engages students by delivering a challenging, developmentally-appropriate curriculum that reinforces academic skills and fosters creative and critical thinking. Diversity of thought, experience, and background within our community enriches our classrooms, enlivens our campus, and inspires our students to improve their world.  

We encourage you to visit us at our building at 5 Hanover Square in the Financial District. We look forward to meeting you and getting to know your child, as well as revealing the ways in which IDEAL’s community can support your child’s individual learning and growth.

Hilary Smith
Director of Admissions and Enrollment Management