Personal Conduct



The Academy places great emphasis on class attendance. It is assumed that students who come to Deerfield have a serious purpose and will be conscientious in meeting all obligations. Academic obligations should not be compromised to accommodate medical appointments or family vacations.

If a teacher is detained or not in class, students should wait 10 minutes past the normal start time of the class, at which point they should report the faculty absence to the Dean of Faculty.

When, for any reason, a student has missed 20% or more of the course meetings during a given term, Deerfield may withhold credit for the course that term. Such cases will be heard by the Academic Standing Committee.

Co-Curriculars, Meals, School Meetings, and Events

Outside of classes, there are numerous places and times when attendance is taken. Co-curriculars, sit-down meals, school meetings, and Academy Events are required for all students, as are other obligations as assigned. From time to time, the faculty may designate required events as an alternative to class time.

Day Students

If a day student must be absent from a required activity, a parent or guardian must notify the Dean of Students Office in advance (no later than 8:30 am in the case of illness).

Attendance Taken

All teachers submit daily reports on student absences online; they report attendance only and do not assign or excuse APs. Please do not ask faculty to adjust attendance—even if there is certainty that the absence will be excused. The Dean of Students Office determines which absences are excused; if you feel attendance has been mis-reported, please contact your Class Dean within three class days.

Excused Absences

Medical Excuses

Medical Excuses for Classes, Meals, or Other Required Events

If a student is too sick to go to class, sit-down meal, or another activity where attendance is required, he/she needs to be in the Health Center in order to be excused for medical reasons. If a class is missed, the student should inform the teacher that he/she was in the Health Center. If unable to complete or hand in a graded assignment when medically excused from class, the student should notify the teacher as soon as possible to acknowledge that the assignment will be late and to clarify when the assignment can be completed. Students who miss class or any other required school commitment due to illness may not participate in their co-curricular assignment that day.

Medical Excuses for Co-Curricular Activities

A sick or injured student may be excused from a co-curricular activity by a nurse or the school physician. In such a case, the student is expected to communicate with the coach or the adult in charge of that co-curricular activity. In certain co-curricular activities it is important that the student notify the appropriate adult in a timely fashion. Failure to notify the adult before the beginning of the co-curricular time period may result in invalidation of the medical excuse and the student may receive Accountability Points (APs).

College Visits

Juniors and seniors are encouraged to schedule college visits during the summer or other school vacation times. The Academy allows seniors to miss class days—typically a maximum of two—to visit colleges. Requests require approval from the student’s college advisor and Class Dean; requests should be submitted at least five days in advance through the online Request to Miss Classes form.

Pursuit of Excellence

Attendance in class is essential to individual academic success and community health. However, when appropriate opportunities to pursue excellence arise, Deerfield allows students to miss up to five class days a year.

To be eligible to petition for pursuit of excellence, students must:

  • Remain in good academic standing
  • Maintain solid citizenship, including strong attendance
  • Demonstrate extraordinary accomplishment in their areas of excellence
  • Receive invitations to pursue extraordinary opportunities

In petitioning, students must establish:

  • Ways an event furthers their development of excellence
  • What they have done to qualify for the opportunity
  • That the opportunity has resulted from a rigorous selection process
  • That there is no way to engage in the opportunity without missing school

Interested students should petition by filling out the online Request to Miss Classes Form. The form should be completed as soon as an opportunity arises and no later than 10 days prior to the event. The Curriculum Committee, which meets on Mondays, reviews all petitions. The Office of the Academic Dean notifies students of decisions and, when petitions are approved, notifies classroom teachers. Students are expected to make up all missed work without requesting extra help from teachers.

Class Dress

The dress code sets a minimum standard for attire at school functions while providing room for personal expression. Deerfield values inclusivity, yet clothing and accessories sometimes send subtle messages of exclusion; students should take care in these choices. Sheer, revealing, and tightfitting clothing may also send an inappropriate message.

“Class Dress” must be worn by students in the following contexts:

  • Classes
  • Sit-down meals
  • Traveling as a member of a team or group (unless in uniform)
  • Academy events or functions
  • Occasions designated by the Head of School or the Dean of Students
  • In the academic buildings, including the library, during the academic day—regardless of whether students have finished their academic obligations.

Hats are not to be worn in academic buildings or in the Dining Hall at any time. Appropriate attire should be worn in the Dining Hall during walk-through meals.

Everyone is expected to exercise good habits of personal grooming.

Deerfield employees are expected to hold students to these guidelines; students are expected to comply when asked to adjust their dress.

Girls Class Dress

Jeans are not permitted. Dresses, skirts, and shorts must be of appropriate length; no bare shoulders or low necklines. When wearing pants, skirts, or shorts, girls must wear–not carry–two visible layers on top, one of which must be a blazer or sweater (not a fleece).

Boys Class Dress

Facial hair is not permitted. No jeans are allowed. Boys must wear a sport-coat, tie, and a collared shirt–tucked in. Ties must be visible. A turtleneck may replace a collared shirt and tie so long as it is worn with a sport coat.

In the winter term only, a sweater (not a fleece) may replace a sport coat when worn with a collared dress shirt and a tie.  Sweaters may not replace sport coats while wearing a turtleneck.

Sit-Down Meals and Dining Hall Guidelines

Students should arrive on time.

  • Upon arrival at the Dining Hall, students should wait in the lobby until the four main doors to the dining room are opened.
  • The salad bar in the lower lobby is for use by sit-down attendees only. Anyone wishing to use the salad bar must do so before the start of the sit-down meal.
  • Students should be at their tables before the saying of grace. When grace begins, all motion in the Dining Hall stops; if not at a table, students should stop and remain still until the conclusion of grace.
  • Most tables have one faculty member and nine students, including one (or two) day student(s). If the capacity of the table is exceeded (e.g. guests), a student may be excused to eat at another table in the Dining Room—rather than eating downstairs, in the Parker Room.

Students should exercise good manners.

  • No one should begin to eat until everyone at the table has been served.
  • No one should eat and talk at the same time.
  • Food should be passed around—not across—the table.
  • Use “please” and “thank you.”
  • Take one serving at a time.
  • Whoever finishes a dish or beverage should offer to replenish it.
  • Students should request permission to leave the table.
  • Students who wish to speak with students at other tables should request permission.
  • Be thoughtful and considerate; conversations at the table should be of general interest.

Students should be dressed appropriately, in class dress.

  • Sweaters and sport coats may not be removed unless the director of the Dining Hall grants permission.
  • Second waiters may remove their sweaters/sport coats when performing waiting duties.

Waiting, Kitchen Duties

All students take turns waiting (or working on the dish crew, etc.) in the Dining Hall at sit-down meals. Students will have a job for several table rotations a year. A rotation lasts approximately three weeks. Day students will take their turn during the winter term. Guidelines for waiters are as follows:

  • First waiters should arrive approximately fifteen minutes before the start of the meal.
  • First waiters are responsible for setting the table and for clearing the soup course.
  • Second waiters are responsible for clearing the table after the main course and bringing/clearing dessert.
  • Dessert should be brought to the table only if the main course has been cleared completely.
  • Waiters should pick up salad bowls, glasses, and dessert plates at individual places; dinner plates may be passed, individually, around the table to the waiter.
  • Plates should not be scraped at the dining table.
  • If a waiter is not present for any reason, or cannot wait, the next student on the table list is the substitute.

The Parker Room

  • The downstairs dining hall (the Parker Room) is only for people not assigned to an upstairs table.
  • Kitchen chiefs, dish crew, milk crew, and dessert crew may eat in the Parker Room before starting their work assignments.
  • Day students who are not employee children must eat upstairs if they attend dinner.

Use of Tobacco

Students are not permitted to use or possess tobacco of any kind. If a student violates these rules:

  • The first offense will result in seven hours of work detail and a follow-up with the Health Center to review the health implications of tobacco use and to assess current impact.
  • A second offense will result in seven additional hours of work detail and a Letter of Reprimand.
  • A third offense will be treated as a major school rule violation.

Guests may not use tobacco in any Academy buildings. Deerfield hosts should monitor their guest’s adherence to this rule.

Cell Phone Policy

If you provide your cell phone number to the Academy, it will be added to Deerfield’s TXT emergency notification system. Students are permitted to carry cell phones, provided they limit calling, texting, and app use to the following locations:

  • Dormitories
  • The Greer Store
  • The Louis Café and Starfield (no calls: texting and apps only)
  • The benches in front of the Main School Building (for pick-up/drop-off only)
  • The Deerfield Student Lounge (formerly the Day Student Lounge)
  • Anywhere when the emergency notification system has been activated

Please respect requests to remove cell phones from situations where privacy may be a concern, particularly locker-rooms and bathrooms, faculty residences, and others’ dorm rooms.

Additionally, it is expected that all students carry their cell phones with them when traveling beyond Main Street of Old Deerfield. Students are asked to provide cell phone numbers on off-campus sign-outs.

Inappropriate use of a cell phone results in a one-day confiscation. Repeated infractions result in longer confiscations.

Student Activities

Taking Advantage

As a community, our emphasis on character and mutual respect makes the concept of “taking advantage of someone” an unacceptable behavior. Opportunistic behaviors that harm or hinder others’ access to opportunities of their own, or provide an unfair advantage in competitive situations are examples of this type of behavior and are unacceptable.

Fundraising, Sales, and Gambling

The Academy maintains relationships with several not-for-profit organizations and limits on-campus fundraising efforts only to those organizations. Academy resources–including Deerfield’s name, photographs, slogans, logos, websites, and printing/mailing facilities–should not be used to fundraise for other organizations. Only approved clubs and co-curricular groups may conduct sales and fundraise on campus; all fundraising and sales activities require approval of a club/co-curricular advisor and the Dean of Students Office. Gambling for money is prohibited.

Open Groups

All student clubs and organizations at Deerfield must be open to all students, and each must have open meetings and at least one faculty advisor. Exclusive or secret societies are not permitted. Any student who belongs to an exclusive or secret society will be required to resign from any leadership position at the Academy and may face disciplinary action.

Use of Academy Resources

Intellectual Property

Students must request permission form the Communications Office for any use of Deerfield Academy’s name, logo, seal, photography, or other official materials.

Locked Doors

Secured external doors (including fire exits) may not be used by a student except during a drill or emergency. Tampering with the locked doors may lead to disciplinary action.


Students who misuse technology resources are subject to disciplinary action. While it is impossible to delineate all the inappropriate uses of computing systems, common sense and respect for the privacy of others are paramount.

Misuse of computers, the school’s network, or other information resources including, but not limited to, inappropriate use of social networks, apps, and mobile devices, may violate school rules and can constitute a breach of academic integrity. Examples of misuse of technology, include, but are not restricted to the following:

  • Gaining unauthorized access to any computer or computer system
  • Tampering with any files or data stored on an individual computer or on the network
  • Use of computer or network resources to the extent that it limits others’ access
  • Possession of inappropriate or offensive material
  • Vandalism of computer hardware including theft, damage or disfigurement, and manipulation of computer software, especially when this impedes the academic work of others

Library Use

In fairness to other users and out of respect for the institution, library materials must be recognized as common and vital property of an academic community. Hence, all rules concerning the checking out of circulating materials and limitations on journals, magazines, newspapers, and reference materials must be observed. Any action that unfairly limits access to library resources or any willful defacement or destruction of library materials is a breach of academic integrity.


Purposeful destruction or damage to school property or the property of any individual will not be tolerated. Included in this rule is the expectation that students will respect each other’s personal space as well as their belongings.

Dormitory Room Guidelines

  • The following items are not permitted in student rooms: refrigerators, televisions, projectors, offensive posters/slogans/pictures, liquor bottles and/or beer cans, or pets (except fish).
  • Students may have a single computer monitor of 27 inches or less.
  • Furniture provided by the Academy must remain in student rooms; requests for removal may be made to the Dean of Students.
    • Desk chairs are an exception: they may be removed from student rooms if they are replaced with fire-code-compliant alternatives.  To request removal of an unused desk chair, contact the Dean of Students Office.
  • Beds may not be dismantled nor may they be elevated on desks and bureaus.
  • Lofts are prohibited.
  • When rooms are unoccupied, all lights should be turned off.