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.
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 math, science, 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
- 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.
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.
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.