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.
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 math, science, 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
- Foreign Language
- US History
- Science or an elective
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 four 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. 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.