Major School Rules

Values and Honesty

The Deerfield Values Statement

A student-authored statement guides all our actions, behavior, and conduct at Deerfield Academy. It reads:

“I will act with respect, honesty, and concern for others and will seek to inspire the same values in our community and beyond.”

This statement should be regarded as the single most important rule at Deerfield.


Any community can survive only in an atmosphere where honesty—and the trust that results—is a guiding principle; at Deerfield we value honesty above all. Dishonesty is a breach of trust and subjects a student to disciplinary action. In the case of lying during a disciplinary hearing, students may be liable for dismissal.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is of the utmost importance at Deerfield Academy and should be a guiding principle in the life of every student. At the core of academic integrity is a bond of trust between teacher and student. By affixing their name to a piece of work, students pledge that, unless properly cited, the work is entirely their own.

Academic dishonesty in all its various forms can be broad and complex, and no policy on academic integrity can list and describe every possible transgression. The Academy expects that each student will work to understand this complexity and will adhere to the highest standards of honesty. If there is doubt about the guidelines for academic integrity, students should discuss questions with a teacher.


Plagiarism is the use of another person’s ideas or work without proper acknowledgment. The source of the plagiarized material may, for instance, be another student’s paper, an encyclopedia, a scholarly text, or an Internet site; the source does not change the degree or seriousness of the plagiarism. Plagiarism usually occurs in these two forms: 1) copying and 2) receiving outside writing help.

The first form of plagiarism (copying) may consist of the following:

  • Copying or gaining any other advantage from another student during a quiz, test, or examination situation
  • Exact copying of an author’s text without the use of quotation marks
  • Using an author’s words, sentences, or passages—even with omissions or changes in wording—without proper acknowledgment
  • Using an author’s argument or points from an argument without proper acknowledgment

The second form of plagiarism occurs when students receive unacknowledged help in preparing an assignment. Such outside help includes proofreading, editing, and assistance from, but not limited to, parents, proctors, tutors, or classmates. While students are encouraged to discuss assignments with faculty and other students, all writing should be a student’s own. Again, when in doubt, students should acknowledge any help they receive.

A student will receive a failing grade for any assignment in which plagiarism occurs. In order to ensure adherence to this policy and to resolve questions of authorship, the Academy reserves the right to electronically screen papers and other submitted work for authenticity.

If ever in doubt, students should speak with their teachers and document their sources.

Resubmission of Work (Submission of the Same Work for Two Courses)

When a student submits work to a teacher in a course, the teacher expects that the work has been completed and submitted only in that course. If a student attempts to submit the same work or substantially the same work in two different courses, this dual submission violates the teacher’s trust. Using the same assignment for credit twice is a shortcut that provides an unfair advantage. A student is credited for completing a course only when he or she has met in good faith all the requirements of/for that course specifically, and cannot twice receive credit for a single assignment.

In cases where overlap between assignments in two different courses might lead the student to perform fruitful, interdisciplinary work, the student may submit the same assignment for credit with approval from both teachers—who may attach additional expectations.

Download a PDF of the full plagiarism statement.


All students must check-in, in person, at curfew. Being out of the dormitory after curfew or leaving the dormitory after check-in without permission is a major rule violation. Repeated instances of tardiness for curfew may, at the faculty resident’s and/or dean’s discretion, also be considered a major rule violation.






7:45 pm

10:30 pm

11:00 pm


9:45 pm

11:00 pm

11:30 pm

Underclassmen must remain in their rooms after 10:15 pm. Freshmen lights and electronics (including tablets and smart devices) must be turned off by 10:30 pm.

Quiet Hours are in effect Sunday–Thursday from 7:45 pm until the start of classes the following day; during this time, access to the Lower Level and Meadows is prohibited, phone calls are discouraged, and students are expected to create an environment conducive to study and work.

Study Hours are in effect Sunday­–Thursday from 7:45 pm to 9:45 pm; during this time, underclassmen are expected to be in their rooms. With on-duty faculty permission, underclassmen may leave the dorm for extra help during the first hour of study hall. During Study Hours, upperclassmen are expected to study, but may choose an appropriate place of study outside the dormitory.

Day Student Curfew

Without approval from a Dean of Students, day students are obliged to be off campus at curfew. Day students may return to campus after 5:30 am.

Dormitory and Common Room Visitation

Dorm Room Visitation

Deerfield’s dorm room visitation policy acknowledges some students are engaged in same gender relationships that are more than simple friendships. The closeness of our community and our gender-based housing system required a degree of trust in all students–regardless of their sexual orientation and identification.

The following rules apply to both opposite-sex and same-sex couples’ visitation:

  • Visitation privileges are granted at the sole discretion of the on-duty faculty member and may be subject to assessments of dormitory citizenship, room cleanliness, and other factors.
  • Visitation is allowed after October 1 (for groups including freshman, and for couples and groups including sophomores, juniors, and seniors) and after January 1 (for couples including freshmen).
    • Visitation is allowed on Friday and Saturday nights, from 8pm until 15 minutes before the  curfew of the youngest student in the visitation.
    • Study Parietals, available only to juniors and seniors during study hours after October 1, must adhere to study hall guidelines.
  • For underclassmen, the door must be open as wide as a trash can and the room’s main overhead light must be turned on.
  • For upperclassmen, the door must be open as wide as a shoe, and a light source (not a computer display) must be on.
  • Visiting students and their hosts must check-in and check-out, in person, with the on-duty faculty member in the dorm.

Common Room Visitation

Common room visitation does not require faculty permission, but is subject to the following guidelines:

  • Unsupervised common room visitation is permitted only on the first floor common rooms of the following dormitories:
    • Barton
    • Crow Commons (main level only)
    • DeNunzio
    • Harold Smith
    • John Louis
    • John Williams
    • Louis Marx
    • Rosenwald/Shumway
  • Monday through Friday common room visitation is allowed from 2pm until 15 minutes before curfew.
  • On Saturday and Sunday, common room visitation is allowed from 11am until 15 minutes before curfew.

Dormitory Sleepovers

  • Sleepovers are allowed only on Friday or Saturday nights and must be approved by the on-duty faculty (of both dormitories) at least one hour before the curfew of the student host.
  • On-duty faculty may limit the number of sleepovers, at their discretion. A limit of three sleepovers (three students) is recommended.
  • If an underclassman is staying in an upperclass dormitory, his/her underclass curfew still applies.
  • The student spending the night must fill out a Sleepover Form (paper form), which requires signatures of faculty on duty in both the visitors’ and the hosts’ dorms. Copies of this pass must be posted on both visitor and host doors.
  • The host dorm faculty member on duty must notify the School Officer in Charge (SOC) of the sleepover—by phone, email, or through the eSignout system. The SOC can be reached at 413-772-9070.
  • Day students must have parental permission to stay overnight in a dormitory; day-student sleepovers are permitted only on weekends, during inclement weather, or with permission of a dean for special events (e.g. Dance Showcase, etc.).
  • Occasionally, students request sleepover guests who are unaffiliated with the Academy; in this case, an Overnight Guest Form (paper) must be completed and approved by the Deans Office: guests of college-age will not be permitted.

Alcohol and Drugs

The legal drinking age in the United States is twenty-one. Further, the Academy forbids the use, purchase, attempted purchase, possession, distribution, and sale of alcohol and illegal drugs—in any form, even for students of legal age. Similarly, the Academy forbids the possession of equipment or paraphernalia—including vaporizers, personal vaporizers, and electronic smoking devices—involved in the use of illegal drugs. Students who choose to remain in the presence of others who are violating this rule—regardless of the level of their participation—will be considered to have violated a major rule of the Academy.

Please note: while possession and/or use of marijuana has been decriminalized or legalized in some states, the use and/or possession of marijuana continues to be prohibited by Deerfield Academy.

Students who are found to have participated in the sale of alcohol or prohibited drugs on campus may be subjected to immediate dismissal.

Prescription Drugs

The Academy forbids the misuse or misappropriation of prescription drugs. Misuse includes taking a prescription drug or being in possession of a prescription drug that has been prescribed for a different person. Misappropriation includes acquiring drugs from any source other than the student’s Healthcare provider or the Health Center; it also includes cases when a student provides a prescription drug to another student who was not the intended recipient of that drug. Psychotropic medication, a class of medication that requires special supervision in a boarding school environment, may only be used in strict accordance with the Psychotropic Medication Policy, which is available upon request from the Health Center.

Hazing and Harassment

Every member of our community has the right to feel safe and respected; we will not tolerate any form of harassment. Harassment is any abuse of an individual or group based on race, color, religion, sexual orientation, marital status, transgender status, national origin, ancestry, genetic information, age, disability, or grade in school. It includes both easily identified acts of verbal, written, or physical abuse, and equally damaging forms of harassment such as graffiti, epithets, stereotypical remarks of “humor,” or any behavior—regardless of intent—that contributes to the creation of a hostile environment.

Bullying and Hazing

Sensitivity, openness, and candor are important to an atmosphere in which students can grow. Impinging on the wellbeing or violating the rights of others is not tolerated. Any incidents involving sexual or any other harassment, racial, religious, or ethnic intolerance, physical injuries or threats, and fighting will be dealt with as disciplinary matters. Furthermore, the community does not tolerate humiliating or potentially harmful “rites of passage” or “initiations” and such behaviors will also be treated as disciplinary matters.

All community members should review Deerfield’s Anti-Bullying and Harassment Policy.

In addition, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has specific standards: Chapter 269 of the General Laws, Section 17-19 mandates the reporting of cases of hazing. From Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 269:Whoever is a principal organizer or participant in the crime of hazing, as defined herein, shall be punished by a fine of not more than three thousand dollars or by imprisonment in a house of correction for not more than one year, or both such fine and imprisonment. The term “hazing” shall mean any conduct or method of initiation into any student organization, whether on public or private property, which willfully or recklessly endangers the physical or mental health of any student or other person. Whoever knows that another person is the victim of hazing and is at the scene of such crime shall, to the extent that such person can do so without danger or peril to himself or others, report such crime to an appropriate law enforcement official as soon as reasonably practicable. Whoever fails to report such crime shall be punished by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is sometimes more difficult to identify and understand than other forms of harassment. The overriding factor in sexual harassment is that the offending behavior is uninvited and/or unwanted. It can be subtle and ambiguous, or direct and overt. It is not social or courting behavior. Sexual harassment may include:

  • Inappropriate personal questions
  • Sexually stereotyped or sexually charged insults, humor or verbal abuse
  • Sexually explicit or suggestive remarks about a person’s physical attributes, clothing or behavior
  • Leering at or ogling a person’s body
  • Unwelcome touching
  • Any demeaning sexual propositions
  • Pressure exerted for sexual activity
  • Pressure exerted for a relationship that takes on a sexual or romantic coloring
  • Pressure exerted for a relationships that exceeds the limits of a healthy adult-student or student-student friendship
  • Physical assault or any coerced sexual relations

If a student believes that a faculty or staff person is basing decisions or actions on whether or not a student participates in sexual or intimate conduct, it should be reported to the Dean of Students, the Dean of Faculty, or the Head of School.

Upon investigation, the school will take action in substantiated cases of harassment. Depending on the circumstances and the severity or repetition of the offense, the response may range from reprimand up to and including dismissal for a student or termination of employment for an adult.

The school seeks to assure any individual who raises a substantiated complaint that he/she will not be subject to any further forms of harassment. Therefore, the school will also take action in cases of retaliation toward someone making a complaint about harassment. Depending on the circumstances, the response may range from reprimand up to and including dismissal for a student or termination of employment for an adult.

Additional Major Rules


Respect for the rights of all and for the differences among us is essential for the Deerfield community. Discrimination of others on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, age, marital status, place of birth, or against qualified individuals with disabilities on the basis of disability has no place in our community. If members of the Deerfield community experience or witness any apparent incident of discrimination by students, faculty, or staff, they should report the incident to a faculty member or the Dean of Students Office. Such incidents violate the ideals of Deerfield and may be subject to appropriate disciplinary response.

Online Behavior, Devices, and Privacy

Students are reminded that they are subject to the Academy’s rules—and potential disciplinary response—for both offline and online activities. We recommend that students manage their online privacy carefully and review the Academy’s Acceptable Use Policy. Further, we require that students:

  • Never impersonate or adopt another person’s identity; do not post under another user’s account or identity.
  • Don’t post sensitive information: ID numbers, addresses, birthdates, or other details that could enable identity theft or put you or your friends at risk.
  • Ask permission to record classes, meetings, or private conversations.
  • Report online bullying or harassing to the Dean of Students immediately.

Students should recognize that community members have varying degrees of comfort with their words and images being captured and/or posted online; they should consider others’ privacy and exercise discretion when capturing and sharing material. (In this vein, wearable computing devices, hidden cameras, and other devices designed for surreptitious recording are prohibited. Students operating remotely controlled or automated cameras (e.g. GoPros, helicopters, timelapses, etc.) should exercise special care to protect the privacy of others.


Theft—including using others’ possessions without their prior permission—is a major rule violation at Deerfield. Students must be clear on this standard and recognize that the unauthorized use of someone else’s information, DVDs, clothes, bicycle, etc. is considered theft.

Open Flame, Fire Safety Equipment

The burning of anything, including but not limited to tobacco products, incense, candles, or fireworks, poses a serious risk to all occupants of the building and is prohibited. Open flame, including the lighting of matches or lighters, in any building, except under the supervision of faculty or staff, is also prohibited. Inappropriate use of fire extinguishers, emergency lights, smoke or heat detectors, or fire alarms will be considered a disciplinary matter.

Students are not permitted to own gas grills. The use of charcoal grills requires faculty permission.


Firearms, weapons (including knives), ammunition, fireworks, or other explosives are prohibited.

Keys, Unauthorized Access

Unauthorized entry and the unauthorized use or possession of an Academy key is forbidden.

Repeated Failure to Meet Obligations & Expectations

Students who repeatedly miss school commitments or display behavior disrespectful and unbecoming of the Academy may face disciplinary action up to and including dismissal. When a student’s general citizenship and demeanor repeatedly falls below the Academy’s expectations, a faculty review may result in a recommendation to the Head of School for a disciplinary response, up to and including suspension or dismissal.

A continued accumulation of minor infractions or incidents of personal misconduct may be considered a violation of a major school rule.