Visual Art

At MSC, all students participate in studio art classes. In addition, art activities are integrated into the daily study of the academic disciplines. Children in all grades learn about the many genres of art and the formal aspects of art including color, line and composition through the use of art materials in many media. The creative process is designed to reproduce that of a real working artist, from ideas suggested in a sketchbook, through execution, to review by their peers and display for the public. 

At MSC, we believe that art is both a process and a product: children learn to approach a problem creatively and expressively while they also create works of art. Studio work is primary and central, a way to think critically and problem solve in the various media. The studio experience follows one pattern at all developmental levels. Students are introduced to materials, techniques and concepts, and then have the opportunity to explore or practice, and finally use their knowledge to solve a particular problem or complete a specific project. 

We encourage students to develop a vocabulary to talk about art and visual expression and to feel comfortable expressing their aesthetic responses to their own and others' work. We encourage the children to explore the relationship between art and other disciplines. And we link their art experience to the curriculum in each classroom, including language arts, math and especially social studies. MSC has a full-time art teacher and a dedicated art room.


The aim of the Dance Program at MSC is to provide an inclusive and child-centered environment for developing young dancers, choreographers, and lovers of dance. Under the guidance of an experienced, full-time dance teacher in our beautiful and sunlit studio, children learn to express themselves in a variety of movement styles, to work with others through improvisation and choreography tasks, and to use the body as a vehicle for exploration and problem-solving.

Perhaps more importantly, the Dance Program encourages every child to fully inhabit their body, providing healthy opportunities to take up space and to move as an individual. Using the work of professional mixed-ability dance companies as our guides, children at MSC learn to celebrate difference. MSC’s dance teachers have been at the forefront of designing a dance program that serves the needs of children with physical challenges in an inclusive environment; in other words, rather than exclude children with physical challenges from dance instruction or separate them from their peers, dance classes are designed to fully include every child in the class.

As children progress in age, they are taught to analyze movement, to distinguish between different dance styles, to utilize a wide range of choreographic structures to create their own dance pieces, and to explore and make connections between the aesthetics and the cultural context for different dance styles. Older students also learn how to conduct themselves in rehearsal and are supported in developing the perseverance and flexibility needed to perform more complex dance pieces.

Dance at MSC provides an opportunity for personal and artistic expression and promotes children’s physical, social, and emotional development. MSC’s dance teacher works closely with classroom teachers, on-site physical and occupational therapists, and teaching artists from partnering arts organizations to create an arts-enriched environment for every child at the Manhattan School for Children.


Physical Education

Physical education prepares children to be physically and mentally active, fit and healthy for life.  It helps skill and motor skills development, teaches self discipline, influences moral development, reduces stress, strengthens peer relationships, improves self confidence and self esteem, and facilitates development f student responsibility for health and fitness.

Annual Middle School Musical

Grease, Wizard of Oz, Beauty and the Beast Jr., Legally Blonde Jr., Once on this on Island Jr., Grease, Charlie Brown, Seussical, ANNIE, Music Man!!! Each spring semester, 7th & 8th grade students have the opportunity to produce a Broadway musical under direction of MSC arts teachers and theater professionals. It is a proud culmination of our arts curricula across K-8 in drama, dance, visual arts and literacy. In MSC tradition, the experience is hands-on; from audition to design, to acting, song and dance, costumes, and tech. Students realize full production values and the thrill of bringing a show to life in front of an audience of peers, family, and MSC community.

Greenhouse & Environmental Science K-5

Environmental Science Education is taught in our Greenhouse Classroom Lab that offers students the opportunity to grow food, while learning hands-on about nutrition, water resource management, efficient land use, climate change, biodiversity, conservation, contamination, pollution, waste management, and sustainable development. Our Greenhouse classroom includes hydroponic growing systems, a fish farm, a rainwater catchment system, a weather station, integrated pest management and a vermicomposting station.

Discovering Sustainability Youth Conference

Our 5-8 students participate at the Annual Youth Conference. Our students share their scientific creativity and their Greenhouse Projects that promote urban sustainability.