Disciplinary Process

Responses to infractions vary, but we expect students to understand that they are accountable for their actions.

Discipline Committee (Major Rule Violations)

Though the Discipline Committee (DC) can serve a fact-finding function, it is not a court of law or a judicial mechanism. Rather, a hearing before the DC is an educational process meant to help students understand the rules, the reasons for them, the need for consequences when those rules are broken, and the opportunities for growth that can come from mistakes. The Discipline Committee is responsible for upholding the Academy’s standards.

If a student is suspected to be in violation of a major school rule, a Discipline Committee is convened to hear the student’s case. This Committee is composed of the following:

  • Dean of Students, who chairs the committee and presents the case
  • Class Dean
  • three students, and two faculty members—selected from a pool of DC representatives
  • Students facing a DC may identify up to one student member of the pool whom they wish to exclude from selection.

The Dean of Students votes only in the case of a tie among the other members of the Committee. A student’s advisor, though present throughout the hearing and deliberations, does not vote. Any students appearing before the Committee have the option of selecting a community member to serve as an advocate during the hearing. After the Committee has established the facts, the student and advocate leave the hearing. Based upon clear and convincing evidence, and by majority vote, the Committee decides whether a major school rule has been broken. If so, the Committee then, again by majority vote, formulates a disciplinary response for consideration by the Dean of Students

The Assistant Head of School for Student Life and/or the Dean of Students may alter this procedure and the constitution of the Committee when practical considerations—such as privacy, safety, or logistics—interfere.

Academic Honor Committee (Major Rule Violations)

When faculty members suspect academic dishonesty, regardless of degree and/or nature, they must report it to their department chairs. If teacher and chair agree that a violation has occurred, the teacher informs the Academic Dean. The Academic Dean, at his discretion, may convene an Academic Honor Committee to consider the allegation and to hear the explanation of the student in question. The Academic Honor Committee is composed of:

  • Academic Dean, who chairs the committee and presents the case
  • Director of Studies
  • Three students and two faculty members—selected from a pool of DC/AHC representatives

The Academic Dean votes only in the case of a tie. A student’s advisor, though present throughout the hearing and deliberations, does not vote. Additionally, the classroom teacher or department chair will be present for the hearing, to help the Committee understand the disciplinary context. Any students appearing before the Committee have the option of selecting a community member to serve as an advocate during the hearing. After the Committee has established the facts, the student and advocate leave the hearing. Based upon clear and convincing evidence, and by majority vote, the Committee decides whether a major school rule has been broken. If so, the Committee then, again by majority vote, formulates a disciplinary response for consideration by the Academic Dean.

The Assistant Head of School for Student Life and/or Academic Dean may alter this procedure and the constitution of the Committee when practical considerations – such as privacy, safety, or logistics – interfere.

16 Day Rule

Seniors forfeit the privilege of being on campus during graduation weekend if they…

  • are found to have violated a major school rule during the final weeks before graduation; traditionally this interval has been 16 days, but the exact duration is at the discretion of the Dean of Students.
  • have not fulfilled the academic requirements for graduation by the deadline for submission of senior spring term grades. In the case of a borderline failure that might be remedied by a make-up exam or exercise, the student will return to campus for the ninth- tenth-and junior exam period to complete said work.

In the 48 hours preceding Commencement, time constraints may preclude the convening of a Discipline Committee; in such circumstances an ad hoc group identified by the Dean of Students will be called to determine whether a major school rule has been violated.

In addition, the Head of School, at her discretion, may choose to delay the awarding of diplomas to students having been found in violation of the 16-day rule.

Walking Privileges at Commencement

Seniors who fail to meet their obligations during spring term may lose the privilege of walking at graduation.  At spring midterm, a committee—comprised of the Dean of Students or Class Dean, Academic Dean’s Office representative, and members of the Curriculum Committee—convenes to evaluate seniors.  Concerns may include:

  • Lack of community engagement, or failure to meet expectations in residential life and/or daily commitments
  • Accumulation of AP’s (Level 2 Sanctions or above)
  • A drop of 5 or more points in a student’s cumulative average
  • A drop in course average of 10 or more points in a single year-long course
  • Any grade below 70%
  • Employee concerns

If that committee identifies serious concerns, a formal communication is sent to the student and parents/guardians, setting expectations that must be met for the student to walk at Commencement.

The committee convenes again in the last week of the term and makes a recommendation to the Head of School.

Responding to Hazing, Bullying, & Harassment

Students who believe they are victims of hazing, harassment, or mistreatment of any kind should contact an employee, the Assistant Head of School for Student Life, the Dean of Faculty, the Dean of Students, a Class Dean or a member of the Community Conduct Committee immediately. They then have two principal options to pursue:

  1. Collaborate with a member of the Community Conduct Committee, which provides a forum to speak about possible responses to harassment or other kinds of mistreatment. This panel consists of faculty members who help students reach an outcome that addresses the situation. This process may – but does not necessarily – preclude the usual disciplinary process and response.
  2. Report the situation to the Student Life Office, at which time a Discipline Committee may be convened to hear the allegations. In some cases, the Head of School, Assistant Head of School for Student Life, Dean of Students or Class Dean may choose to form an ad hoc committee (which includes at least one member of the Community Conduct Committee) to hear the allegations and to assist in formulating a response. This ad-hoc process may – but does not necessarily – preclude the usual disciplinary process and response.

If students feel that they are being harassed in any way:

  • If possible, the situation should be addressed immediately—verbally or in writing. Students should communicate that the behavior is unwelcome and must cease immediately.
  • If the situation persists, students should talk to someone they trust beyond friends, such as a faculty resident, advisor, teacher, coach, proctor, peer counselor, a member of the Student Life Office staff or the Head of School.
  • In addition, students may find it helpful to write down what happened. Students should be as specific as possible, recording direct quotations, actions and witnesses.
  • The Community Conduct Committee should be contacted.

With additional questions about the Community Conduct Committee, please contact one of the committee chairs, Ms. Brown or Mr. Pitcher.

Academic Standing

The Academic Standing Committee meets at the end of each term to review the records of those students who have experienced academic difficulties. It is co-chaired by the Director of Studies and composed of the Head of School, Academic Dean, Assistant Academic Dean, Class Deans, Dean of Students, Assistant Head of School for Student Life, Director of College Advising, Dean of Admission and Financial Aid, Director of Inclusion and Community Life, School Doctor, School Counselor, Library Director, Director of Information Technology, and Chairs of every academic department. The Academic Standing Committee recommends ways to help students strengthen their performance and determines how individual course failures may be addressed. The Academy, at the recommendation of the Academic Standing Committee, reserves the right to dismiss a student at any time for academic reasons.

Accountability Points (APs)

The accountability point values include but are not limited to the following:

  • Lost key (not keycard): 7
  • Academic obligation: 4
  • Academy Event: 4
  • Co-curricular obligation: 3
  • Sit-down meal: 2
  • Sunday sit-down dinner: 3
  • Waiting on table responsibility: 3
  • School meeting or other required meeting: 2
  • Absence from a specially scheduled assessment or standardized test: 4
  • Failure to register cell phone number with Student Life Office: 3
  • No show for vacation charter bus reservation: 2
  • Removing dishes from the Dining Hall: 2
  • Failure to respond to email: 1
  • Fire code violation: 1 (first offense), 3 (subsequent offenses)
  • Dress code violation: 1
  • Tardiness to a class: 1 or more

The failure to meet other obligations (e.g. handing in a required form, returning equipment, reporting for a work assignment, etc.) may also result in the assignment of APs. Additional Accountability Points may be assigned at the discretion of employees, who are encouraged to address students directly about expectations for behavior.

Students, advisors, and faculty residents (including associates) are notified when APs are assigned. Students are allowed three class days to contest APs with their Class Deans.

Repeated or excessive accumulation of APs may be treated as a violation of a major school rule and escalated to the Disciplinary Committee for response.

Sanctions

APs are totaled daily. At the end of each term AP totals are reset to zero; sanctions, however, carry over to the succeeding term when appropriate.

Level I — 12-16 APs per term for non-seniors — 17-21 APs for seniors

Students who reach Level I sanctions are required to attend study hall on Friday from 7:30-10:30 pm for two consecutive weekends. Parents/Guardians receive a copy of the Level I sanction memorandum.

Level II — 17-24 APs per term for non-seniors — 22-29 APs for seniors

Students who reach Level II sanctions receive an additional two weekends of Friday study hall (to commence after the Level I sanction is over). Parents/Guardians receive a copy of the Level II sanction memorandum. In-season varsity athletes who reach Level II sanctions are required to meet with the Director of Athletics and their coaches to review their status.

Level III — 25+ APs per term for non-seniors — 30+ APs for seniors

Students who reach Level III sanctions meet with their Class Deans and parents/guardians to examine the problem and form a solution. Upon reaching Level III sanctions, in-season varsity athletes will not participate in—or dress for—the next game on the team schedule. Further, students will be subject to the following limits:

  • Required Friday study halls
  • Two weeks’ early check-in: 7:45pm Sunday–Thursday, 8pm on Saturday
  • Loss of off-campus travel and sleepover privileges for two weeks.
  • Ten hours of work detail

For additional support, counseling may be required. Students who fail to meet obligations after reaching Level III Sanctions will be liable for further discipline, up to and including dismissal.  Students who accumulate Level III APs for a second time will face a Discipline Committee hearing.

Loss of Leadership Positions

Student leaders should be aware that they set an example for the community. Student leaders found in violation of a major school rule will be subject to the loss of their leadership positions. Leadership positions affected by this rule include, but are not limited to, proctors, peer counselors, team captains, club heads, student council members, cheerleaders, Captain Deerfield, etc.

Loss of Other Privileges

At any time, and at their discretion, employees may remove privileges or assign duties from/to students in their charge as a form of heuristic discipline. Examples of this include:

  • Confiscation of cell phone
  • Loss of off campus privileges
  • Loss of overnight privileges
  • Loss of dormitory visitation privileges
  • Assignment of additional waiting responsibilities
  • Assignment of dormitory cleanup responsibilities
  • Requirement for early check-in
  • Loss of privileges to study outside the dormitory
  • Assignment of Friday restrictions

Appeal Process

If students feel that the disciplinary process was procedurally flawed or that new and salient information has come to light, they may ask the Assistant Head of School for Student Life to initiate an appeal. If one is granted, the Discipline Appeal Committee will be convened. That committee is composed of four faculty DC/AHC members, four senior student DC/AHC members, the student’s advisor and the Assistant Head of School for Student Life, who chairs the hearing.  The appeal procedure is the same for both Discipline Committee and Academic Honor Committee hearings, and the Assistant Head of School for Student Life determines the school’s response based on the Committee’s recommendation.

Head of School Discretion

At any time, the Head of School—in consultation with the Assistant Head of School for Student Life—may respond to inappropriate behavior by immediately dismissing a student or by imposing a lesser disciplinary response.