Greens Farms Academy

An Independent Co-Ed Day School For Grades PreK-12

Inclusion

GFA’s commitment to building and nurturing an inclusive community is core to our mission.

Inclusion work weaves through the life of the school

17% students of color

20% faculty of color

97

students receive financial aid

Program for Students

Lower School

  • Teaching Tolerance Projects: curricular units at each grade level aligned with Teaching Tolerance standards
  • Life Skills: exploration of identity and diversity through the Life Skills curriculum

Middle School

  • Workshops: Regular grade-level work with students during advisory, assembly, and afternoon times addressing identity, empathy, diversity, and inclusion
  • English Readings: Readings in English classes exploring identity and equity
  • Spoken Word Poetry: A weekend Spoken Word Poetry program in collaboration with Horizons @ GFA and visiting poets
  • Dragon Club: A diversity-focused student club

Upper School

  • Ninth Grade Teaching Tolerance Seminar: a required, seven-week seminar program exploring Teaching Tolerance standards
  • LEAD: an inclusive student club dedicated to improving our community and exploring equity and inclusion issues
  • Courses: A number of courses throughout the curriculum focused on equity and inclusion
  • Conferences: students attend the national Student Diversity Leadership Conference and several other workshops throughout the year
  • Equity & Social Justice Seminar: a Saturday program at GFA bringing together current students and alumni from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds

School-wide

  • GFA Voices: Twice per year, we bring together students, parents, faculty, and staff to hear stories from our community focused on heritage
  • MLK Day Celebration: Annual all-school assembly with speakers, music, and discussion

The Team

Building an inclusive community is everybody’s job. But several faculty members have taken the lead to organize and spearhead our efforts:

Upper School Diversity Coordinators

Michaela Pembroke & Melanie Haas

Middle School Diversity Coordinator

Griffen Stabler

Lower School Diversity Coordinator

Jane Verlin

We also have in place a Faculty Staff Committee on Equity and Inclusion, which meets several times throughout the year to discussion program, policy, and practice around diversity, equity and inclusion.

We believe:

  • a diverse faculty, staff, and student body benefits and enriches all members of our community — not just those who are traditionally underrepresented in schools like ours — and is critical to meeting our educational aim of preparing students for their futures;
  • our curriculum and co-curricular program needs to teach our students the habits, skills, and attitudes they will need to live and thrive in a multicultural and interconnected world;
  • our community must be a place where all voices are heard, respected, and valued — a home for everybody at GFA.
Fostering a Culture of Inclusion

It is striking that a man often invited to speak at diversity conferences doesn’t like the word diversity. Dr. Derrick Gay points to the inherent problem in calling some people “diverse,” as it assumes there is a normal, and that they are different from it. “Let’s either reclaim the word diversity,” he says, “or chuck it and talk instead about inclusivity and community.” Last year he brought his message of inclusivity to the GFA community and will continue the discussion throughout this school year.

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