First Link Program

The beginning of a child’s boarding school experience can be both wonderful and stressful. Parents who have already been through the experience are uniquely qualified to welcome and assist new families as they begin their time at Deerfield. The goal of the Deerfield Parents Network First Link program is to welcome and assist the families of newly enrolled students. Each spring, incoming families are teamed with First Link volunteers–current Deerfield parents who can answer questions, share experiences, and offer support when the on-campus experience begins.

The First Link program is one of the initiatives of the Deerfield Parents Network. Parents play a crucial role in the boarding school experience and it is important for them to learn about and take ownership of the school’s culture, values, priorities, and limitations. It’s also important that the school communicate with parents in new ways, and facilitate the building of new relationships through initiatives such as the First Link program.

In this first year of the First Link program, experienced parents have made hundreds of contacts with new families. Here is some of what the First Links have to say:

“The new family was very grateful for the support and the conversation. I enjoyed it too.”

“This program is a great idea. Very thorough and can really help new families understand all the resources that are available right away.”

“We live about one and a half hours from the new family, and knowing that the student was flying to Deerfield and we were driving, we offered to haul her “stuff,” and the family was very appreciative, given the cost savings.  A real tangible benefit of the First Link program!”

“[The new student’s mother] was absolutely thrilled to have a parent to talk with, extremely appreciative of this program. I followed up with a quick email and we are now friends on Facebook as well.”