Manhattan Star Academy (School)

 High achievement begins with high expectations. Manhattan Star Academy for 5- to 21-year-olds starts with the belief that every child has the capacity to learn, grow, and contribute. Teachers and therapists provide students who have a broad range of needs and learning styles with encouragement, support, skills, and opportunities to develop academically and socially.

Individually tailored programs. State of the art equipment.
Quality teachers and therapists.

Manhattan Star Academy. Starry Night Soiree. In Celebration of 10 years of MSA. Monday May 11, 2020 | 6:30pm at Studio Arte.

Parent Testimonials

"The Manhattan Star Academy is more than a school for our son, it is also family to us. We know that when he leaves in the morning he will be safe and his needs will be met at MSA. If you have a question or a concern about your child they are just a call or email away! Kerry Ackerman is amazing she has helped us through the admission process and continues to help us in any way she can. My son’s teacher and teacher aides are wonderful! The therapists are always finding a way to meet his needs. They are amazing!!!!!!!" - Diana

"Manhattan Star Academy has created an individualized curriculum to meet our daughter’s needs. MSA also has wonderful, caring and experienced teachers and staff as well as well-rounded programs and activities (e.g., yoga, music, art, great field trips, etc) that have all come together to make our daughter happier and more fulfilled at school than she has ever been! She loves going to MSA each day!" -Laurie

Admission Process

1. Attend a Manhattan Star Open House Tour

The open houses are designed to show prospective families our brand new space and the program. At the open house families will learn about Manhattan Star's unique curriculum, learn about the application process, and speak with staff.

Please email msaadmissions [at] to reserve a space in one of our upcoming tours.

2. Submit an application
At the conclusion of the admissions tour you will be able to obtain an application.

The application fee is $50 and is non-refundable.

3. Student observation and parent interview
Each student will be observed in either their current school or invited to participate in a 30 minute activity at the Manhattan Star Academy. During this time, families will meet with the admissions coordinator or school counselor for the parent interview.

4. Acceptance
Families will be notified once the process is completed.

Download the Application for Admissions

Manhattan Star Academy has rolling admissions through the school year.


Manhattan Star Academy has developed a curriculum that addresses all cognitive, intellectual and social development as well as physical, mental health and nutritional needs. The teachers also utilize the New York State Core Curriculum Standards to create individualized learning experiences, along with Handwriting without Tears and Get Set for School Math and Literacy. In order for students to fully understand what they have learned classroom activities must be meaningful to the student in the context of the student's experience and development. We prepare the environment in order to provide stimulating, challenging materials so that each student is actively engaged in learning in his/her present environment as well as in developing a foundation for academic success.

The MSA Curriculum is based on the individual abilities and needs of the learners. We promote development in our student's critical thinking, literacy and acquisition of skills in the cognitive, linguistic, social/emotional, behavioral and physical domains.

Our educational approach emphasizes the active engagement of students, opportunity for individual and group exploration, a balance between adult-initiated and student-directed curriculum, and collaborative learning with the emphasis on the process rather than the product. Our goals are to develop skills as well as prepare students to develop positive self-esteem, confidence, and the ability to work independently and with others.

Our nurturing learning environment provides a safe place for students to interact with peers, problem solve and make connections between the developmentally appropriate curriculum and their world. Multi-dimensional project work and enrichment activities build on the student's prior learning experiences and thereby facilitate the acquisition of higher level skills. The Pearson Work Sampling Program provides students with ongoing classroom observation and documentation, which allows our teachers to individualize curriculum in order to address the goals and objectives on student's IEPS.

Mission Statement

The Manhattan Star Academy's mission is to provide high-quality services to your children and their families in a comprehensive, developmentally based program which focuses on the whole child. Instructional activities integrate all the domains of child development, including physical development and health, and social/emotional development; communication, language, and literacy; cognition and knowledge of the world (math, science, social studies, the arts and technology). Our program strives to foster growth and development through a broad range of services within the program while utilizing community resources as appropriate.

Our educational approach emphasizes the active engagement of children, opportunity for exploration, a balance between adult-initiated and child-directed activities, and collaborative learning with the emphasis on the process rather than the product. Our goals are to develop skills as well as prepare children to develop positive self-esteem, confidence, and the ability to work independently and with others.

This work is supported by child development theorists such as Piaget, Vygotsky, Montessori and Erickson which demonstrates that learning develops through the interaction of the child's own thinking and the exploration of his or her learning environment. We believe that children learn best through meaningful, hands-on experiences, in which they can make their own discoveries about the world around them. In order to make discoveries, children must be given many opportunities to touch, taste, construct, interact, share, problem solve, speculate, and experiment. Our role in the classroom is to thoughtfully guide the child towards making connections, solving problems, discovering the properties of materials, and exploring his or her world. The type of guidance we provide is based on a firm understanding of each child's developmental level, learning style, and his or her strengths and difficulties.


We offer a continuum of care to educate school age children with a diverse range of special needs.

Our mission is to support and empower children with global developmental delays, autism spectrum disorders, speech and language delays, and neuro-developmental disabilities.

We utilize a comprehensive, tailored approach to meet the needs of children with a variety of skill sets.

Our approach emphasizes collaboration among teachers, therapists, and other professionals.

Want more information?

Please visit our MSA community website at

The Core Values of Manhattan Star Academy

We appreciate that every child is unique: learning is individualized, labels are left at the door, and classrooms are inclusive and well rounded.

  • Every child has the capability to learn, grow, thrive, and contribute to the school and the greater community.
  • Each child is unique and has strengths that enrich his or her environment.
  • Academic achievement and social-emotional development are at the core of the school experience.
  • The environment will support "errorless teaching." Learning is targeted to ensure each student's success.
  • The school curriculum will promote student development and success beyond the classroom walls.
  • Each child can be taught new behaviors or skills, even those which may not be intuitive.
  • Learning will be informed by core principles of motivation and reinforcement.
  • Learning is best facilitated by a multi-sensory approach in which students are engaged on a variety of levels.
  • Families are respected and valued as criticial partners in their children's education.


Welcome to Manhattan Star Academy
Manhattan STAR Academy


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