The IDEAL School of Manhattan–A Small School That’s Big On Inclusion

Sponsored Content l April 3, 2022

The IDEAL School of Manhattan is New York’s only K-12+ independent inclusion school. Our mission is to affirm and accept the full identities of all people while inspiring academic excellence, creative leadership, and a desire to build a more just and equitable world.

The school’s core principles are built into its name: Inclusion, Diversity, Excellence, Acceptance, and Leadership. Every aspect of the IDEAL experience–instruction, assessment, program, enrichment–reflects a research-based commitment to inclusion education as a means for academic excellence.

Because IDEAL teachers know their students as individuals in and out of the classroom, they are able to design instruction that builds upon the unique talents and strengths of the learners in their room. Rather than a one-size-fits-all curriculum, differentiated instruction allows students to pursue the same subjects at multiple levels of complexity. Supportive faculty, low student-to-teacher ratios, small class sizes, and partnerships between experienced general educators and learning specialists create a nurturing community where every student can succeed and every student has a voice.

At IDEAL, no one leaves their identity at the door. IDEAL’s curriculum and programs are multicultural by design, and social justice and anti-bias instruction are built-in and given dedicated instructional time. Immersion in the arts and a differentiated athletic program as well as service-learning opportunities round out the IDEAL experience.

Our exceptional academic program is based on the belief that students learn best when we set a high bar and scaffold the path to achievement through differentiation. In the Lower School (Grades K-5), general educators and learning specialists co-teach in the classroom using a research-based, differentiated curriculum. In the Middle School (Grades 6-8), small, seminar-style classes cultivate the lifelong learning skills students need to be independent thinkers. The High School (Grades 9-12) is a uniquely student-driven, flexible, and inclusive program where our dedicated and knowledgeable faculty cultivate the voice, skills, and confidence of each student.

Next Steps, the IDEAL postsecondary transition program, is available to students who need further support after High School. Internships are integral to the Next Steps program, with opportunities for students to gain hands-on experience in business, science, the arts, media, the law, retail, and service industries. Next Steps builds upon the unique strengths, goals, and interests of each student. The program, in partnership with area schools and colleges, supports each student’s continued progress in social-emotional, adaptive-life, executive functioning, and vocational skills and helps students and families plan for their future, changing the focus from educational to adult services.

IDEAL’s unique program cultivates empathy and collaboration. With the confidence that comes from being known and celebrated, students not only strive for excellence in their own academic and personal pursuits–but they also support and encourage their peers. At IDEAL, we are proud of our mission and the way inclusion fosters compassionate students equipped with the leadership skills to succeed in today’s 21st-century society.

Please visit our website at or attend a virtual open house for admissions information and to learn more about our Upper West Side campus.

The IDEAL School of Manhattan
314 West 91st Street
270 West 89th Street
New York, NY 10024