Students have many opportunities to explore sustainability and the science of healthy communities and ecosystems. In Junior Kindergarten students are introduced to composting; Lower School students grow edible plants in our greenhouse; the Middle School Green Team takes on "green challenges" throughout the year; High School students design projects focused on original inquiry that tackles large ecological challenges. 

Grace strives toward less wasteful and toxic-free maintenance practices and encourages healthy food choices.

Students have unique opportunities to create paths toward sustainable living, and through a drive to learn, experiment, and play, they share new practices within the community. Each experience allows students to develop innovation, leadership, and collaboration, while working toward building an ecologically sound city and world. As founding members of the Green Schools Alliance, Grace seeks to reach out to other schools and be a part of becoming a sustainable city.

Green Griffins

  • The GCS Greenhouse and Roof Garden is a laboratory for students to explore how plants and food are grown in an urban environment. Lower School students use the greenhouse to grow food, from basil and thyme to potatoes and beets, for the school's lunch.

  • Tower Gardensare located in the High School and Lower School science classrooms. Students can see fast growing food grow in our hydroponic towers in any season.

  • Seventh graders work for 8 weeks in a Sustainability for Service class where they study how the media handles environmental stories and design their own service campaign to influence peers and teachers.

  • Grade 9 students take City and Sustainability. Students learn about basic concerns faced by crowded urban ecosystems, and through hands-on projects and investigations, develop local solutions and share them with their peers.

  • In junior and senior year, students take a Sustainability 201 class that takes a deep dive into one of the topics that they explored in the past. The Age of Plastic, Climate Change, and Environmental Sculpture are just a few of the courses available. In collaboration with the Lamont Earth Observatory of Columbia University, students can even take a class in Science and Communication that focuses on how research is used in the public sphere.

  • Middle and High School students are members of our Green Team Clubs. Each year students have the opportunity to get involved with other New York City school leaders in the Sustainability Through Student Voices conference.

  • Grace has been ranked among the top JK-12 schools by the EPA in our participation in the Green Power Partnership.  

  • Thanks to devoted students in the high school, our lower school roof garden now hosts a beehive! Our bee program educates lower school students about this critical but imperilled member of our ecosystem.

Sustainability Corner

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Grace Church School is a co-educational independent school in downtown Manhattan, New York City providing instruction for nearly 800 students in Junior Kindergarten through Grade 12.