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.
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).
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.
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).
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.