We had our daughter here for a year. She started in the infant room, which was overwhelmingly understaffed by inexperienced and not in the least bit nurturing or warm staff. After several months she was old enough to transition over to he toddler room. Parents were not permitted entry into the room. Bottles were no longer allowed, nor pacifiers. The list of rules and restrictions was so lengthy, rigid, & militaristic, that she hated the transition and cried on a daily basis for months. We gave her a couple months to adjust, but she genuinely hated how harsh and inflexible the teachers were. They do not adjust their care to the individual needs of each child at all. It's very much cookie-cutter mentality in the infant and toddler rooms, almost reminiscent of the boarding school scene in the opening chapters of Jane Eyre in her childhood years at Lowood. No, the kids are not forced to wash their faces with water so cold that it's turned to ice. But the emotionally nurturing, welcoming, compassionate that encourages each infant or toddler to thrive is completely absent. We pulled our daughter out after many months of her screaming in the car every time we drove on Manhattan Beach Blvd. with the school within sight from her car seat. She magically returned to her old cheerful, secure, not-screeching self within a few weeks of transferring to a much more laid back and loving environment at another preschool in Manhattan Beach, which also happened to be considerably less pricy.
My son attended the infant center for 3 partial days. I pulled him out because –among other issues & concerns– I witnessed an infant:adult ratio of 7:1, a blatant violation of state licensing regulations.
On my son’s 3rd day when I dropped him off, there was another baby alone & unattended in a high chair for the 20 mins I was there. Shortly after I arrived a staff member took a bottle away from the baby, but immediately walked away. This baby was then alone in the high chair without any bottle, food or attention from staff for the rest of the time I was there. I put my son in a high chair next to the other baby & began feeding my son Cheerios. I needed to get to work, so I asked a staff member to take over feeding my son. She dumped many Cheerios on my son's tray, but he was not old enough to pace himself & needed to be given no more than a couple at a time. My son began shoving fistfuls of Cheerios into his mouth, & I expressed concern that he might choke. The staff member moved the Cheerios into the cup holder of his tray & walked away! My son continued grabbing fistfuls from the cup holder, so I removed them, putting them back into the container so he wouldn't choke. I eventually flagged down the infant center director & asked her to take over feeding my son. I asked her the names of the other staff members. They go by last names which seems inappropriate for an infant center & makes it difficult for parents to know who is caring for their baby. I was shocked when the infant center director didn't even know the name of one of the staff members in the older infant area!
I felt so uncomfortable leaving my son that I returned to pick him up a few hrs later. When I walked in, there was 1 adult caring for 7 infants, including my son. I stayed for about 5 mins gathering up my son’s belongings & the entire time I was there & when I left there was still the 1 adult caring for the remaining 6 babies. This is a clear violation of state licensing regulations & a breach of MA’s promise of a 3:1 ratio in the infant center. My dealings with the administration after I withdrew my son were mind-bogglingly frustrating & revealed that the administrators are powerless & the owner is unreasonable.
Another reviewer noted back in 2011 that she witnessed a 6:1 ratio in the infant center. I wish I had put more weight on that review before enrolling my son.
Our family has been extremely fortunate to be part of Manhattan Academy for the past six years. Our two kids have flourished in Manhattan Academy’s incredibly warm and loving environment and we have been amazed by how much they have grown in their confidence and independence during this time.
Manhattan Academy has been a wonderful preschool and Pre-K experience for our children. Our kids have been nurtured, loved, and very well prepared for Kindergarten. The teachers at Manhattan Academy are top-notch – Mrs. Woolard, Ms. McIlraith, Ms. Maldonado, Ms. Perkins – they’re all fabulous! Most importantly, the Director, Mrs. Robley, has been an amazing leader of the school. She was recently promoted from Assistant Director and has done a great job continuing the high standards while also making some excellent improvements to the school.
We really appreciate that our kids have received a well-rounded education. The Montessori Method has allowed our kids to proceed at their own pace and prepared them so well for Kindergarten that they’re at least 1-2 years ahead of the curve. We also appreciate that the school offers Spanish, Science/Outdoor Environment, P.E., keyboarding, music, and art as part of their standard curriculum.
Manhattan Academy is a great option for working parents because they have early morning and extended day care options. Our kids really enjoyed the after school enrichment classes like swimming lessons, chess, and sports camp.
Somehow, while maintaining a nurturing learning space they encourage an academic rigor that we have not found anywhere else in the South Bay. If you want a great place where your child will be challenged as much as he or she can handle (but never more than that), Manhattan Academy is the best place in the area. We love everyone there and think of them as extended family.
I loved the school, and thought it would be a perfect fit. We spent 5 yrs here, and it was not until leaving did we realize the truth. My child adjusted well to the new school, but would not engage in some work activities. When questioned by the school psychological department it was discovered that there was a fear of being wrong and what the teacher would do. Nothing physical, to be clear. In the Upper Primary classes apparently when a child is questioned and gets the wrong answer they are ridiculed in front of others and torn down. It took some time for my child to be comfortable in the new school... just be aware. My other children did not have this experience, and I believe it was only isolated to a certain teacher.
What a fabulous school. We have been part of Manhattan Academy for a couple of years now. Two kids...super happy! Love the teachers and staff. I love it when I drop off my children and I people laughing and singing in the halls or at the copy machine. What a happy place to be and I feel great leaving my kids for the day. I know they are well cared for, learning a lot, and happy to be there! If you haven't already, check this place out!
We stumbled upon Manhattan Academy in 2011 when I heard they had opened an Infant Center. I was hooked from the first introductory meeting. My daughter is now in her third year at the school and is thriving! She is loved and cared for by all the teachers and administrative staff. She is confident, outspoken and happy. Since she spends more time there then at home (let's be honest about this), I can only thank all the teachers that touch her life.
Both of my sons attend Manhattan Academy, my younger son goes to the infant center and my oldest is in preschool. Our family is so happy here. The infant center staff are very loving and friendly, everyday he comes home with something new he has learned. My older son loves his class, we have tried 3 other schools here and none of them met my standards. He has learned so much at this school, more than I expected. I don't understand why this school doesn't have better reviews because We LOVE it here!
We have 3 children at Manhattan Academy since 2008. Our first child has gone through the Toddler, Primary, Upper Primary and now is in Elementary 1st grade. He has developed wonderfully and into a well-rounded, smart, articulate, social, confident young boy. Every teacher he has had has been an inspiration to his life. We have the utmost confidence in MA to continue his growth and development through the Elementary program. Our second child has been in Toddler and now in Primary. She has the same qualities and development as our son and a completely different personality. She is reading, understanding numbers, very creative and artistic. There is a wonderful group of parents and involvement in her class with a variety of events and solid curriculum always happening. We are very pleased with her progress and she just turned 4. Our third child started in the Infant Center, which we have recommended to many other families. She moved through Infant Center to the Toddler campus and on her way to Primary. Again, a completely different personality from her siblings but on her own accelerated path and has grown tremendously. Overall, MA is a brilliant school we highly recommend!