Greens Farms Academy is a PreK-12, coed school in Westport, CT

Distance Learning at GFA

Our Promise to You

Together, we embark on one of the most challenging (and we hope rewarding) journeys in our almost 100-year history: distance learning. Our faculty and staff have responded with an incredible sense of creativity and urgency and developed virtual learning programs that feature engagement, growth, creativity, and connectedness. Our goals during this window are for our students to continue benefiting from a world-class GFA education, to find comfort and structure in the school routine, and to maintain connections with each other and with their teachers.

  • We will commit to creating opportunities to foster community.
  • We’re going to continue building skills for our students to ensure their success next year and beyond.
  • We will keep our students engaged in the learning process.
  • We will meet your family where you are right now with an appropriate amount of flexibility.

Classroom Connections

Affinity Group at GFA

By Shanelle Henry
Director of Equity and Inclusion

Just before winter break, GFA hosted an affinity event for Black families. On Sunday, December 5, more than 30 adults and children gathered in the McGrath Gallery to get to know one another, and share experiences and ideas to increase support for current and prospective Black families and students at GFA.

More about Identity, Affinity, Family
Fourth Grade classroom

By Bryan Matte
Associate Teacher, Fourth Grade

As we approach week whateverwe’reat in the midst of a global pandemic here at school, I’ve been thinking about how to express the dueling feelings of monotony and hope I have in this new year. I’ve decided to enlist a few thinkers, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Bill Murray, to help put our omicron-laden lives (or at least mine) into hopefully a more optimistic perspective. 

More about "Lives of Purpose" Work
Cinema in the Time of Quarantine

By Sahar al-Sawaf
Faculty, Visual Arts (US)

Making films is a collaborative process, it requires a crew of talented individuals, so as we left school in March, I, myself wondered how our students at GFA would continue to make their films, with several new challenges in place, primarily, and perhaps, fundamentally, we couldn't see each other in person to help make the work.

More about Cinema in the Time of Quarantine
Dear Class of 2020 Video

At the beginning of the 2019-20 school year, senior Callie Morgan decided to document her final year at GFA for her Advanced Arts Seminar Project. Little did the world know, she would be documenting a special, extremely different moment in time than anyone had expected. In this culminating project, she writes a video letter to the treasured Class of 2020.

More about Dear Class of 2020...


Access to PowerSchool

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Technology Resources

The Big Debate: Synchronous vs. Asynchronous Distance Learning

As more schools have engaged in distance learning, we've had the opportunity to learn from their work. One of the biggest debates that seems to exist is between "synchronous" (working in time at the same time, i.e., "normal class periods") and "asynchronous" (work is done outside of class and not during the usual class period) systems. From our research and conversations with colleagues, there has been a clear move toward asynchronous work for the following reasons:

  • Fatigue from extended screen time — From Middle School Head of School Drew Meyer: "I’ll tell a personal story. I spent Tuesday on six hours of Zoom calls. I was exhausted at the end of the experience. If I’m feeling that way, then a student is going to have an exponentially harder time. It's not reasonable to ask our students to do the same."

  • Need for balance in a student’s life — This is a stressful time for all of us, including you and our students. We need to allow our students the chance to connect with their siblings, parents, and community (if appropriate), and get outside and exercise (at the correct distance). 

  • Setting you up for success — There was widespread concern amongst faculty as to how to manage the synchronous work while managing the demands at your house (children, spouses working from home, or maybe concern about other faculty members). We think this change helps meet those needs.