Skip to main content

You are here

Director's Message

Manhattan Country School Director Michele SolaManhattan Country School is a small school for students in pre-K through eighth grade where a vibrant energy is apparent the minute you enter. Children rush in the door each morning and linger long after school is over. In between, they are hard at work and at play, surrounded by: 

•       Teachers who have a deep respect for children’s natural curiosity and value what happens when children are encouraged to work together in meaningful ways. Strong character and strong skills result from the individual attention students receive from teachers who know how to encourage and challenge all kinds of learners.

•       A deliberate curriculum that takes full advantage of the multiracial, multicultural and economic diversity of our community. 
 

•       A focus on people who work together to effect change, which encourages discussion, research and collaboration. Though role models such as Martin Luther King, Jr. inspired the founding of MCS and continue to provide a reference point, many others come up over the course of a student’s 10 years at MCS. Finding the visionary in ourselves is the goal. MCS students are critical thinkers and innovative problem-solvers in a rapidly changing world.

•       Classrooms that are respectful places where children are held responsible for themselves and to one another so everyone is free to learn. Community building is given time, as are developing a language and practicing methods for helping a classroom work smoothly. Children have endless imagination for how to make diverse communities of empathy, peace and justice work. 

New York City is treated as a learning laboratory full of potential resources. Central Park, farmers’ markets, cultural institutions and neighborhoods across the city enrich the program and motivate very personal connections to human communities and to nature. We look for places where a deeper understanding of intersecting values and perspectives can be built. 

The MCS Farm, located 150 miles from New York City in the Catskill Mountains, is a learning laboratory, too. Over the course of students' time between the 7-8s and the completion of eighth grade, they will take 17 trips to the MCS Farm. This immersive experience at the Farm teaches the value of mental and physical work and first-hand knowledge about natural systems of food, water and energy. Sustainability and interdependence become a way of life with lessons that transfer easily. An introduction to environmental, social and cultural changes in the Catskills prepares MCS students to be more mindful and informed citizens in a cosmopolitan world.

MCS is a place where people are passionate about children and understand the value of thoughtful pre-K to eighth-grade education. We welcome new families, as well as educators and policymakers, interested in our model. We invite you to explore our website, visit the school and contact us with your questions.  

Michèle Solá

Director

Manhattan Country School