The Deerfield Experience

Attending Deerfield is an exciting possibility. Most new student experiences at Deerfield are universal. Every new student will be embraced by the Deerfield community, appreciated as a person, and challenged by the academic program.In addition to the shared Deerfield experience, students at each grade level can expect experiences particular to their grade level. To get a more detailed understanding of what makes each year’s new student experience unique, select your class of interest.

9th Grade

Experience_Grade9

Deerfield welcomes approximately 110 students for the 9th grade class: 88% are boarding students, and 12% are day students. Students entering with the freshman class will become part of a truly diverse group of individuals. Approximately 30% of the student body are students of color and 16% are international students. Deerfield students represent 39 states, the District of Columbia, the US Virgin Islands, and 33 countries.

Academics

Normally students carry five graded courses each term with the option of taking a sixth course upon faculty approval. The academic year is divided into three terms: fall, winter, and spring. Classes are held Monday through Friday; there are no Saturday classes. Both philosophically and practically, we believe that this schedule best suits students’ sound educational development.

Freshman students are placed into English I as our English department adheres to a sequence that emphasizes the development of critical thinking, careful reading, and clear expression of ideas. With that exception, entering students are not required to adhere to a pre-determined program. Students will be placed in subjects such as mathscience, and foreign language according to their demonstrated ability; for some courses placement will be determined by a student’s previous academic program, and for other courses a placement test will be required for enrollment.

Usual Program of Courses

  • English I
  • Mathematics
  • Foreign Language
  • History or Humanities*
  • Science or Humanities*

* Humanities in this case refers to courses in the Visual & Performing Arts and the Philosophy & Religion Departments.

Co-Curriculars

All students are required to participate in a co-curricular activity each term. Students may choose from interscholastic or intramural athletic teams, theater, dance, or community service activities. Co-curriculars meet five afternoons per week, with athletic games, rehearsals, or extended activities scheduled for Wednesday and Saturday afternoons.

Residential Life

Deerfield gives much thought and attention to creating a warm and supportive community on campus. Ninth grade students live in single gender dorms comprised of freshman and sophomore students. Within each dorm, the corridor is the focus of life for boarding students. Even though a room is not assigned to them, day students are integrated into the residential system as well, matched with a corridor and encouraged to be involved in feeds, dorm meetings, and sleepovers. Typically, ten students live on a corridor of single rooms with their faculty resident and senior proctors. Proctors guide new students in learning how to live with others and work closely with their corridor resident to ensure that students’ needs are met.

The faculty maintains a high level of involvement in the non-academic lives of the students, and nowhere is this more telling than in the dormitory. Faculty residents hold study hours on weeknight evenings, during which students are expected to study quietly in their rooms. Faculty residents also regularly check in with students whether it be in a Connect 4 meeting or a dorm feed, where students can have a snack and socialize before lights out. The faculty’s commitment to mentoring children is central to shaping the positive atmosphere found across the Deerfield campus.

10th Grade

Deerfield welcomes approximately 50 new tenth grade students per year to make a sophomore class size of 150 students. The majority of new students are boarders. Students joining the sophomore class will become part of a truly diverse group of individuals. Approximately 30% of the student body are students of color, and 16% are international students. Deerfield students come from 39 states, the District of Columbia, the US Virgin Islands, and 33 countries.

Academics

Experience_Grade10

Normally students carry five graded courses each term with the option of taking a sixth course upon faculty approval. The academic year is divided into three terms: fall, winter, and spring. Classes are held Monday through Friday; there are no Saturday classes. Both philosophically and practically, we believe that this schedule best suits students’ sound educational development.

Sophomore students are placed into English II, a year-long British Literature course. With that exception, entering students are not required to adhere to a pre-determined program. Courses taken as part of a previous academic program will be considered for credit towards Deerfield’s graduation requirements. Students will be placed in subjects such as mathscience, and foreign language according to their demonstrated ability. For some courses placement will be determined by a student’s previous preparation, and for other courses a placement test will be required for enrollment.

Usual Program of Courses

  • English II
  • Mathematics
  • Foreign Language
  • History or Humanities*
  • Science or Humanities*
  • Health Issues

* Humanities in this case refers to courses in the Visual and Performing Arts and the Philosophy and Religion Departments.

Co-Curriculars

All students are required to participate in a co-curricular activity each term. Students may choose from interscholastic or intramural athletic teams, theater, dance, or community service activities. Co-curriculars meet five afternoons per week, with athletic games, rehearsals, or extended activities scheduled for Wednesday and Saturday afternoons.

Residential Life

Deerfield gives much thought and attention to creating a warm and supportive community on campus. Tenth grade students live in single gender dorms comprised of freshman and sophomore students. Within each dorm, the corridor is the focus of life for boarding students. Even though a room is not assigned to them, day students are integrated into the residential system as well, matched with a corridor and encouraged to be involved in feeds, dorm meetings, and sleepovers. Typically, ten students live on a corridor of single rooms with their faculty resident and senior proctors. Proctors guide new students in learning how to live with others and work closely with their corridor resident to ensure that students’ needs are met.

The faculty maintains a high level of involvement in the non-academic lives of the students, and nowhere is this more telling than in the dormitory. Faculty residents hold study hours on weeknight evenings, during which students are expected to study quietly in their rooms. Faculty residents also regularly check in with students whether it be in a Connect 4 meeting or a dorm feed, where students can have a snack and socialize before lights out. The faculty’s commitment to mentoring children is central to shaping the positive atmosphere found across the Deerfield campus.

11th Grade

Deerfield welcomes approximately 20 new 11th grade students per year to make an overall junior class size of 160 students. The majority of new students are boarders. Students joining the junior class become part of a truly diverse group of individuals. Approximately 30% of the student body are students of color, and 16% are international students. Deerfield students come from 39 states, the District of Columbia, the US Virgin Islands, and 33 countries.

Academics

Experience_Grade11

Normally students carry five graded courses each term with the option of taking a sixth course upon faculty approval. The academic year is divided into three terms: fall, winter, and spring. Classes are held Monday through Friday; there are no Saturday classes. Both philosophically and practically, we believe that this schedule best suits students’ sound educational development.

Juniors are placed into US History and choose one of several English III courses that focus on selected topics in American literature. With those exceptions, entering students are not required to adhere to a pre-determined program. Courses taken as part of a previous secondary school program will be considered for credit towards Deerfield’s graduation requirements. Students will be placed in subjects such as mathscience, and foreign language according to their demonstrated ability; for some courses placement will be determined by a student’s previous program, and for other courses a placement test will be required for enrollment.

We begin our individual college advising work with students midway through the junior year, so students entering as juniors will be right in sync with their classmates.

Usual Program of Courses

  • English III
  • Mathematics
  • Foreign Language
  • US History
  • Science or an elective

Co-Curriculars

All students are required to participate in a co-curricular activity each term. Students may choose from interscholastic or intramural athletic teams, theater, dance, or community service activities. Co-curriculars meet five afternoons per week, with athletic games, rehearsals, or extended activities scheduled for Wednesday and Saturday afternoons.

Residential Life

Deerfield gives much thought and attention to creating a warm and supportive community on campus. Eleventh grade students live in single gender dorms comprised of junior, senior, and post-graduate year students. Within each dorm, the corridor is the focus of life for boarding students. Typically, 12 to 15 students live with a faculty resident on a corridor made up of single and double rooms.

The faculty maintains a high level of involvement in the non-academic lives of the students, and nowhere is this more telling than in the dormitory. Weeknight study hours are administered in upper-class dorms, but students are allowed to choose a suitable place of study on campus in lieu of studying in their rooms. Faculty residents regularly check in with students, whether it be in a Connect 4 meeting or a dorm feed, where students can snack and socialize after study hours. The faculty’s commitment to mentoring students, along with their good humor and flexibility, is central in shaping the positive atmosphere found across the Deerfield campus.

12th Grade and Post-Graduate Year

Experience_Grade12Deerfield welcomes approximately 20 new 12th grade and post-graduate students per year. Post-graduates are considered members of the senior class of approximately 190 students, and are eligible to participate in all school programs. Students joining the senior class will become part of a truly diverse group of individuals. Approximately 30% of students at Deerfield are students of color, and 16% are international students. Deerfield students come from 39 states, the District of Columbia, the US Virgin Islands, and 33 countries.

Academics

Normally students carry five graded courses each term with the option of taking a sixth course upon faculty approval. The academic year is divided into three terms: fall, winter, and spring. Classes are held Monday through Friday; there are no Saturday classes. Both philosophically and practically, we believe that this schedule is best suited to students’ sound educational development.

Shortly after indicating their intention to attend Deerfield, new seniors and post-graduates will be assigned a college advisor. At that time, advisors will be in touch with students to assist in course selection and discuss college plans to ensure that they are well prepared for the college process before they arrive in September.

Senior students are able to choose from one of the many English IV study topics offered, and post-graduate students may choose from a variety of English electives. With those exceptions, entering students are not required to adhere to a pre-determined program. Courses taken as part of a previous academic secondary school program will be considered for credit toward a Deerfield diploma. Students will be placed in subjects such as mathscience, and foreign language according to their demonstrated ability. For some courses placement will be determined by a student’s previous program, and for other courses a placement test will be required for enrollment. Because of the breadth of course offerings at the senior level, the senior and post-graduate year curriculums are largely based on electives of the student’s choosing based on his or her needs, interests, and college aspirations.

12th Grade Usual Program of Courses

  • English IV
  • Mathematics
  • An elective
  • An elective
  • An elective

Post-Graduate Year Program of Courses

  • English elective
  • An elective
  • An elective
  • An elective
  • An elective

Co-Curriculars

All students are required to participate in a co-curricular activity each term. Students may choose from interscholastic or intramural athletic teams, theater, dance, or community service activities. Co-curriculars meet five afternoons per week, with athletic games, rehearsals, or extended activities scheduled for Wednesday and Saturday afternoons.

Residential Life

Deerfield gives much thought and attention to creating a warm and supportive community on campus. Twelfth grade students live in single gender dorms comprised of junior, senior, and post-graduate year students. Within each dorm, the corridor is the focus of life for boarding students. Typically, 12 to 15 students live with a faculty resident on a corridor made up of single and double rooms.

The faculty maintains a high level of involvement in the non-academic lives of the students, and nowhere is this more telling than in the dormitory. Weeknight study hours are administered in upper-class dorms, but students are allowed to choose a suitable place of study on campus in lieu of studying in their rooms. Faculty residents regularly check in with students, whether it be in a Connect 4 meeting or a dorm feed, where students can snack and socialize after study hours. The faculty’s commitment to mentoring students, along with their good humor and flexibility, is central in shaping the positive atmosphere found across the Deerfield campus.

International Students

Deerfield enjoys its diverse student population and its international students, who comprise 16% of the student body and represent 33 countries. International students can expect much the same new student experience as their American classmates. However, we are aware that the transition to a new school and a new culture can be challenging in many ways. Here, we note a few programs Deerfield has implemented to address the particular needs of international students.

Academic Program/ESL

Most students who come from international schools with an English language-based curriculum do not experience any academic adjustment problems; however, those who are not accustomed to taking all their courses in English may spend a year taking ESL (English as a Second Language) as a sixth course in their first year at Deerfield. The ESL class, which is described in detail in our Course of Study, is small enough that it can be tailored to meet the needs of individual students.

Orientation & Student Life

International_Students

New international students are invited to a special orientation program in early September to get to know the school, and each other, and to recover from jet lag. During the school year, the International Club offers any Deerfield student the opportunity to share his or her culture through informal socializing, dances, and ethnic meals; the club also organizes day trips around New England.

Our International Student Advisor, Francoise Ellis, oversees the International Student Orientation Program and serves as a resource for our international students throughout the school year. If you need further information concerning international student admission, please contact our International Application Coordinator, Jose J. Briones at jbriones@deerfield.edu.