The IDEAL School of Manhattan will move to Fidi

The IDEAL School of Manhattan, a private school founded in 2005 by three families whose children had Down syndrome and who wanted an inclusive education program for them, is moving to 5 Hanover Square in fall 2023. The school has taken five floors — 63,000 square feet — for its K-12 programs that currently serve just over 200 students. They will have their own entrance and lobby, private elevator and staircase connecting their floors.

“It’s a wonderful space,” said Janet Wolfe, the head of school. “We’ve been looking all over the city and finally found this amazing space that offered us the best option within our budget.”

The school is being customized to be fully accessible, which is part of its mission. Each floor will house a division: lower school, middle school, high school and the Next Steps Transition Program for young adults ages 18 to 21. The teacher student ration is 3 to 1 in the lower grades, 4 to 1 in high school, and in some cases students work one-on-one with instructors. The school offers speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and academic tutoring/enrichment.

“We are the only inclusion independent school in New York City,” Wolfe said. “We expand the definition of diversity to include ability. We believe students learn best in a diverse environment, including academic diversity.”

The new location will add 8000 square feet to their current location, which is spread out over two buildings on West 91st Street. And Wolfe said she hopes the location in the Financial District will create opportunities for internships for her students.


1 Comment

  1. How can a school be located in an area that has heavy
    traffic that flows to and from the US Post Office,
    several store deliveries and traffic that flows to
    Water Street and Wall Street. There is no outdoor play area.
    Hanover Square is a small public park and does
    not provide any room for play of any kind. It is
    mainly a dog walking area and a place where adults
    sit for lunch or time out that include alcohol which is
    not forbidden. This area is a shopping area and
    an area of small adult eating spots.. What provision is being
    made for students, especially if they have special