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.
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 math, science, 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
- 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.
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. 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.