​​​​​Sustainability

At Greenwich Country Day, we are committed to sustainability

It's in our Mission. "We teach respect for all people and our world."

It's what's best for children. Today's children need to be able to envision and realize a more sustainable future. Our aspiration is to prepare GCDS graduates to lead the transition to a more sustainable world, each in their own way.

It's the right thing to do. As educators we recognize our responsibility to society and to our collective home, now and in the future.



Where would I find sustainability at GCDS? Everywhere. 


 

Our CurriculumGreen campuses and practices are wonderful starting points to prepare students for a more sustainable world.  

At GCDS, sustainability is also an integral part of our curriculum. Students...

  • Apply systems thinking
  • Recognize connections between the environment, economy, and society
  • Learn about food, water, energy, climate, biodiversity, social change, fairness, equilibrium, natural limits, and many other topics
  • Build empathy and storytelling skills
  • Develop a sense of personal responsibility, agency, and stewardship
    ...and more!

Upper School students may pursue a specialized Sustainability Diploma designation via:

  • Coursework in economics, environmental, and social sciences
  • Sustainability projects in any subject
  • Outward-facing experiences such as the International Earth Prize competition, where GCDS is a founding member

 

 

Sustainability is at the intersection of a thriving…

 

 


 

 

Student Activities

GCDS students choose to make a sustainabili-difference in so many ways. Examples include:

  • GCDS co-led the development of an annual coordinated town wide annual celebration of Earth Week by all Greenwich schools 
  • EarthRise is an Upper School club started by a GCDS student that connects area high school environmental clubs for greater impact and learning
  • Upper School French Farm Club members develop skills in gardening, greenhouse management, animal care, and in leading younger volunteers
  • Middle School Green Goblins measured their carbon 'pawprints,' and earned approval for a 'no plastic water bottles' policy
  • Upper Elementary students initiated the use of apple corers for snack time after launching an investigation into snack-time waste
  • Recycling markers in the Lower Elementary 

 


 

Daily LifeAt GCDS, we define sustainability as a way of life that strengthens society and the natural world, now and in the future. We practice sustainability daily by...

  • Packaging waste-free picnics and dining hall meals
  • Sourcing local healthy food cooked from scratch daily
  • Riding buses to/from campuses and the train station, promoting walk to school days
  • Composting all food waste
  • Cleaning 'chemical-free' with our own hydrochloride solution in reusable bottles
  • Maintaining chemical-free fields—for our children, freshwater, and community
  • Holding gently used clothing and sporting goods sales, recycling drives, and locker clean-out days  
     

 


 

French Farm - Nature's Classroom

"French Farm is a magical place, and nature is a master teacher"
- Adam Rohdie, Head of School

GCDS's French Farm is a small-scale historic farm, which includes botanical and art collections. At the Farm, children learn by doing. Lessons are carefully designed according to curricular goals, including sustainability ideas, skills, and values.

  • Plant seeds of knowledge: how do things change over time? What's the same or different from 100 years ago? 
  • Nurture skills: how are our nature poems constructed? What is a system and how does it work?
  • Consider values: What is our responsibility to the animals and the environment? What connections are there between me and other living things?

Learn more by contacting frenchfarm@gcds.net

 


 

Our CampusesOur buildings and grounds are evidence of our values and act as constant examples of what is possible. From Old Church Road to our Stanwich Road campus to our faculty housing, we invest in sustainability:

  • One of the first nearly Net Zero Energy buildings in Connecticut
  • ~1 Megawatt of solar renewable power and LED lights throughout our campuses
  • Early adoption of clean building technologies: modular construction, electrochromic glass, insulated concrete form, and highly efficient HVAC
  • Cisterns, bioswales, rain gardens, and a waste water treatment plant 
  • Vegetable gardens and animals at French Farm
  • LEED gold single and multi-family housing
  • Reclaimed trees as cabinetry and murals
  • Renovation and preservation of the Warner house, currently part of our Upper Elementary building
     

 

 


 

 

Sustainabili-Parents

"We couldn't do what we do without our marvelous parent body." 
- Adam Rohdie, Head of School

GCDS parent sustainability volunteers have helped to:

  • Green our events by introducing more sustainable practices
  • Build solar powered, LEED, and nearly net zero facilities
  • Develop Tigers Ride Together transportation program; dismissal and bus riding app
  • Communicate sustainability initiatives
  • Share the magic of French Farm

 

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