Major School Rules

Values and Honesty

Community Pledge

Written and adopted by the Student Council in 2012, the Community Pledge guides our actions, behavior, and conduct at Deerfield Academy. It reads:

“I will act with respect, honesty, and concern for others, and I will seek to inspire the same values in our community and beyond.”

This is the basis for every rule found in this book and should itself be regarded as the single most important rule at Deerfield.


Any community can survive only in an atmosphere where honesty—and the trust that results—is a guiding principle. Dishonesty is a breach of trust and subjects a student to disciplinary action.

Any student who lies in documents or statements submitted as part of the Disciplinary Committee process may be liable for dismissal.

Values and Honesty

Community Pledge

Written and adopted by the Student Council in 2012, the Community Pledge guides our actions, behavior, and conduct at Deerfield Academy. It reads:

I will act with respect, honesty, and concern for others, and I will seek to inspire the same values in our community and beyond.

This is the basis for every rule found in this book and should itself be regarded as the single most important rule at Deerfield.


Any community can survive only in an atmosphere where honesty—and the trust that results—is a guiding principle. Dishonesty is a breach of trust and subjects a student to disciplinary action.

Any student who lies in documents or statements submitted as part of the Disciplinary Committee process may be liable for dismissal.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is of the utmost importance at Deerfield Academy and must be one of the guiding principles in the life of every student. At the core of academic integrity is a bond of trust between teacher and student. By affixing their name to a piece of work, students pledge that, unless properly cited, the work is entirely their own. Students occasionally benefit from cooperative and collaborative learning; however, when work is submitted by teams or individuals, each student must be able to independently explain and defend the claims and ideas presented and must acknowledge the collaboration. Furthermore, students should be thoughtfully cautious in providing aid to their peers—donors of unauthorized aid may be in violation of the school’s Academic Integrity guidelines.

Academic dishonesty in all its various forms can be broad and complex, and no policy on academic integrity can list and describe every possible transgression. The Academy expects that each student will work to understand this complexity and will adhere to the highest standards of honesty. If there is doubt about the guidelines for academic integrity, students should discuss questions with a teacher.


Plagiarism is the use of another person’s ideas or work without proper acknowledgment. The source of the plagiarized material may, for instance, be another student’s paper, a conversation with a peer, an exchange with a tutor or parent, an encyclopedia, a scholarly text, or an Internet site; the source does not change the degree or seriousness of the plagiarism. Plagiarism usually occurs in two forms: 1) copying and 2) receiving outside writing help.

The first form of plagiarism (copying) may consist of the following:

  • Copying or gaining any other advantage from another student during a quiz, test, or examination situation
  • Exact copying of an author’s text without the use of quotation marks
  • Using an author’s words, sentences, or passages—even with omissions or changes in wording—without proper acknowledgment
  • Using an author’s argument or points from an argument without proper acknowledgment

The second form of plagiarism occurs when students receive unacknowledged help in preparing an assignment. Such outside help includes proofreading, editing, and assistance from, but not limited to, parents/guardians, proctors, tutors, or classmates. While students are encouraged to discuss assignments with faculty and other students, all writing should be their own. Again, when in doubt, students should acknowledge any help they receive.

A student will receive a failing grade for any assignment in which plagiarism occurs. In order to ensure adherence to this policy and to resolve questions of authorship, the Academy reserves the right to electronically screen papers and other submitted work for authenticity.

If ever in doubt, students should speak with their teachers and document their sources.

Resubmission of Work

When a student submits work to a teacher in a course, the teacher expects that the work has been completed and submitted only in that course. Using the same assignment for credit twice is a shortcut that provides an unfair advantage. Students are credited for completing a course only when they have met in good faith all the requirements of/for that course specifically.

In cases where overlap between assignments in two different courses might lead the students to perform fruitful, interdisciplinary work, they may submit the same assignment for credit with approval from both teachers—who may attach additional expectations.

Access to Electronic/Smart Devices

During any quiz, test, or examination, or graded work, students may not access any electronic or smart device unless explicitly allowed by their teacher or by a documented academic or medical accommodation. Prohibited devices include—but are not limited to—phones, tablets, computers, smart speakers, smart wearables (watches, glasses, headphones).

2019-2020 Academic Integrity Requirements for Students

  • Download a copy of the full Plagiarism Statement .
  • Attend the Academic Integrity Sessions.  See the DA calendar for locations and dates.
  • Read and agree to comply with the Plagiarism Statement. Plagiarism Statement Agreement due at 8 am on September 19, 2019.


All students must check-in, face-to-face, at curfew. Being out of the dormitory after curfew or leaving the dormitory after check-in without permission is a breach of trust and thus a major rule violation. Repeated instances of tardiness for curfew may, at the faculty resident’s and/or dean’s discretion, be considered a major rule violation.

CURFEWS Sunday-Thursday Friday Saturday
Ninth- and Tenth-Graders 7:45 pm 10:30 pm 11:00 pm
Juniors and Seniors 9:45 pm 11:00 pm 11:30 pm

Ninth grade lights and devices (including tablets, phones, and computers) must be turned off by 10:30 pm, and, at this time, tenth-graders must be in their rooms for the night.

Day Students

Without approval from a Dean for late departure, day students should be off campus at curfew. They may return after 5:30 am.

Quiet/Study Hours

Quiet Hours are in effect Sunday–Thursday from 7:45 pm until the start of classes the following day; during this time, access to the Lower Level and Meadows is prohibited, phone calls are discouraged, and students are expected to create an environment conducive to study. (Feeds sponsored by faculty or proctors from 9:45 – 10:15 pm on weeknights are excepted from Quiet Hours.)

Study Hours are in effect Sunday­–Thursday from 7:45 pm to 9:45 pm. During this time, all students should be engaged in academic work; social media, video games, and other non-academic pursuits are prohibited during Study Hours.

Juniors and seniors may choose an appropriate place of study on campus.

Ninth- and tenth-graders are expected to be in their dormitories. Rarely, with on-duty faculty permission, they may leave the dorm for extra help during the first hour of Study Hall.

Dormitory & Common Room Visitation (Parietals)

Dorm Room Visitation

Spending time together is an important part of any healthy relationship. At Deerfield, we encourage students to visit each other, to foster friendships, and to practice the skills that lead to meaningful relationships.

The Visitation Policy does not—and should not—assume that students requesting visitation are engaged in an intimate, physical, or sexual relationship. These rules do not sufficiently address the complex topics of intimacy and consent, but are intended to promote a safe environment for all students.

Deerfield’s dorm room Visitation Policy acknowledges some students—regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation—are engaged in relationships that are more than simple friendships. The closeness of our community and our current gender-binary housing system require a degree of trust.

The following rules are guided first and foremost out of concern for student safety:

  • Visitation privileges are granted at the sole discretion of the on-duty faculty member and may be subject to assessments of community citizenship, room cleanliness, and other factors.
  • Visitation is allowed after October 1.
    • Ninth-graders may not have single-pair visitation until January 1. Single-pair visitation between seniors and ninth-graders is never permitted, but they may visit in groups.
    • Visitation is allowed on Friday and Saturday nights, from 8pm until 15 minutes before the earliest curfew of any student in the visitation.
    • Study Visitation, available only to juniors and seniors during study hours must adhere to study hall guidelines. During Study Visitation, doors are to be kept wide open, and overhead lights are to remain on.
  • In visits between an older and younger student, the visitation rules for the younger student apply, regardless of where the visit takes place.
    • For ninth- and tenth-graders, the door must be open as wide as a trash can, and the room’s main overhead light must be turned on.
    • For juniors and seniors, the door must be open as wide as a shoe (sole down), and a light source (not a computer display) must be on.
  • Visiting students and their hosts must check-in and check-out, in person, with the on-duty faculty member in the dorm.

Common Room Visitation

In the first floor common rooms below, visitation does not require faculty permission but is subject to the following guidelines:

  • Barton
  • Crow Commons
  • DeNunzio
  • Harold Smith
  • John Louis
  • John Williams
  • Louis Marx
  • Rosenwald/Shumway
  • Monday through Friday, common room visitation is allowed from 2pm until 15 minutes before curfew.
  • On Saturday and Sunday, common room visitation is allowed from 11am until 15 minutes before curfew.

Dormitory Sleepovers

  • Sleepovers are permitted only on Friday or Saturday nights and must be approved by the on-duty faculty (of both dormitories) at least one hour before the curfew of the host student.
  • At their discretion, on-duty faculty may limit the number of sleepovers. A limit of three sleepovers (three students) per corridor is recommended.
  • When ninth- and tenth-graders stay in a junior and senior dormitory, their earlier curfew still applies.
  • Students spending the night must fill out a paper Sleepover Form, which requires signatures of faculty on duty in both the visitors’ and the hosts’ dorms. Copies of this pass must be posted on both visitor and host doors.
  • The host dorm faculty member on duty must notify the School Officer in Charge (SOC) of the sleepover—by phone, email, or through the eSignout system. The SOC can be reached at 413-772-9070.
  • Day students must have parent/guardian permission to stay overnight in a dormitory; day-student sleepovers are permitted only on weekends, during inclement weather, or with permission of a dean for special events (e.g. Dance Showcase, etc.).
  • Occasionally, students request sleepover guests who are unaffiliated with the Academy; in this case, an Overnight Guest Form (paper) must be completed and approved by a dean .
  • Guests of college-age are not permitted to stay overnight in Deerfield dorms.

Alcohol and Drugs

The legal drinking age in the United States is twenty-one. The Academy forbids the use, purchase, attempted purchase, possession, distribution, and sale of alcohol and illegal drugs—in any form, even for students of legal age. Similarly, the Academy forbids the possession of equipment and paraphernalia, including vaporizers and electronic smoking devices, involved in the use of prohibited drugs. Also forbidden is any material, such as synthetic urine, designed to circumvent drug/alcohol testing protocols or results. Students who choose to remain in the presence of others who are violating this rule—regardless of the level of their participation—may be subject to a disciplinary response.

Please note: While possession and/or use of marijuana/cannabinoids has been decriminalized or legalized in some states including Massachusetts, the use and/or possession of marijuana/cannabinoids continues to be prohibited by Deerfield Academy.

The Disciplinary Committee will consider possession or attempted purchase of any alcohol in excess of 1.5 liters as evidence of intent to distribute; for drugs, the Committee will follow MA state guidelines.

Students who use illicit drugs such as opiates or cocaine, those who abuse prescription psychotropic drugs, and/or those who mix multiple drugs or consume such drugs and alcohol simultaneously may be subject to immediate dismissal.

Students who are found to have participated in the sale of alcohol or prohibited drugs on campus may be subject to immediate dismissal.

Prescription Drugs

The Academy forbids the misuse or misappropriation of prescription drugs. Misuse includes taking a prescription drug or being in possession of a prescription drug that has been prescribed for a different person. Misappropriation includes acquiring drugs from any source other than the student’s healthcare provider or the Health Center; it also includes cases when a student provides a prescription drug to another student who is not the intended recipient. Psychotropic medication, a class of medication that requires special supervision in a boarding school environment, may only be used in strict accordance with the Psychotropic Medication Policy, which is available upon request from the Health Center.

Hazing and Harassment

Every member of our community has the right to feel safe and respected. We seek to treat every individual with sensitivity and compassion and will not tolerate any form of harassment. Harassment is any abuse of an individual or group based on race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, sex, socio-economic status, academic status, gender identity or expression, physical appearance or disability.  It includes both easily identified acts of verbal, written or physical abuse, and equally damaging forms of harassment such as graffiti, epithets, stereotypical remarks of “humor” or any behavior—regardless of intent—that contributes to the creation of a hostile environment in which to live and learn.

Bullying and Hazing

Sensitivity, openness and candor are important to an atmosphere in which students can grow. Impinging on the wellbeing or violating the rights of others is not tolerated. Any incidents involving sexual or any other harassment, racial, religious, or ethnic intolerance, physical injuries or threats, and fighting will be dealt with as disciplinary matters. Furthermore, the community does not tolerate humiliating or potentially harmful “rites of passage” or “initiations”, and such behaviors will be treated as disciplinary matters.

All community members should review Deerfield’s Anti-Bullying and Harassment Policy.

In addition, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has specific standards: Chapter 269 of the General Laws, Section 17-19 mandates the reporting of cases of hazing. From Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 269: Whoever is a principal organizer or participant in the crime of hazing, as defined herein, shall be punished by a fine of not more than three thousand dollars or by imprisonment in a house of correction for not more than one year, or both such fine and imprisonment. The term “hazing” shall mean any conduct or method of initiation into any student organization, whether on public or private property, which willfully or recklessly endangers the physical or mental health of any student or other person. Whoever knows that another person is the victim of hazing and is at the scene of such crime shall, to the extent that such person can do so without danger or peril to himself or others, report such crime to an appropriate law enforcement official as soon as reasonably practicable. Whoever fails to report such crime shall be punished by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars.

Sexual Harassment

The overriding factor in sexual harassment is that the offending behavior is uninvited and/or unwanted. It can be subtle and ambiguous, or direct and overt. It is not social or courting behavior. Sexual harassment may include:

  • Inappropriate personal questions
  • Sexually stereotyped or sexually charged insults, humor or verbal abuse
  • Sexually explicit or suggestive remarks about a person’s physical attributes, clothing or behavior
  • Leering at or ogling a person’s body
  • Unwelcome touching
  • Any demeaning sexual propositions
  • Pressure exerted for sexual activity
  • Pressure exerted for a relationship that takes on a sexual or romantic tone
  • Pressure exerted for a relationship that exceeds the limits of a healthy adult-student or student-student friendship
  • Coerced sexual relations
  • Physical assault

If a student believes that an employee is basing decisions or actions on whether or not a student participates in sexual or intimate conduct, it should be reported to the Assistant Head of School for Student Life, the Dean of Students, the Dean of the Faculty, or the Head of School, who will initiate an investigation.

After investigation, the school will take action in substantiated cases of harassment. Depending on the circumstances and the severity or repetition of the offense, the response may range from Reprimand up to and including dismissal for a student or termination of employment for an adult. Disciplinary actions from the Academy do not preclude responses from civil, legal, or other authorities, including law enforcement.

Deerfield seeks to assure any individuals who raise substantiated complaints that they will not be subject to any further forms of harassment. Therefore, the school will also take action in cases of retaliation toward someone making a complaint about harassment. Depending on the circumstances, the response may range from Reprimand up to and including dismissal for a student or termination of employment for an adult. Disciplinary actions from the Academy do not preclude responses from civil, legal, or other authorities, including law enforcement.

Additional Major Rules


Respect for the rights of all and for the differences among us is essential for the health of the Deerfield community. Discrimination against others has no place here. If members of the Deerfield community experience or witness any discrimination by students or employees, they should report the incident to an employee or the the Student Life Office. Such incidents violate the ideals of Deerfield and may include a disciplinary response.

Online Behavior, Devices, and Privacy

Students are subject to the Academy’s rules—and potential disciplinary response—for both offline and online activities. We recommend that students manage their online privacy settings carefully and review the Academy’s Acceptable Use Policy.

We require that students:

  • Never send, solicit, or share nude or compromising photos or content
  • Never impersonate or adopt another person’s identity or gain access under another user’s account or identity.
  • Never post anonymously.
  • Don’t post sensitive information: ID numbers, addresses, birthdates, or other details that could enable identity theft or put you or your friends at risk.
  • Report online bullying or harassing behavior to a Designated School Official (DSO) immediately.
  • Ask permission to record classes, meetings, or private conversations.

Students should recognize that community members have varying degrees of comfort with their words and images being captured and/or posted online; they should consider others’ privacy and exercise discretion when recording and sharing material. In this vein, wearable computing devices, hidden cameras, and other devices designed for surreptitious recording are prohibited. Students operating remotely controlled or automated cameras (e.g. GoPros, helicopters, timelapses, etc.) should exercise special care to protect the privacy of others. Drones may only be used with explicit permission from a member of the Student Life Office.


Theft—including using others’ possessions without explicit prior permission—is a major rule violation at Deerfield. Students must be clear on this standard and recognize that the unauthorized use of someone else’s information (including login credentials), clothes, bicycle, scooter, etc. is considered to be theft.

Open Flame, Fire Safety Equipment

The burning of anything (tobacco products, incense, candles, etc.) poses a serious risk to all occupants of the building and is prohibited. Open flame, including the lighting of matches or lighters, in any building, except under the supervision of an employee, is also prohibited. Inappropriate use of fire extinguishers, emergency lights, smoke or heat detectors or fire alarms presents a significant safety risk and will be considered a disciplinary matter.

Students are not permitted to possess gas grills on campus. The storage and use of charcoal grills requires employee permission and supervision.


Firearms, weapons (including knives), ammunition, fireworks or other explosives are prohibited.

Keys, Keycards, Unauthorized Access

Unauthorized entry or the unauthorized use or possession of an Academy key or keycard is forbidden. Propping of locked doors to provide unauthorized access is prohibited.

To ensure the security of dormitories and other shared spaces, OneCards must be deactivated immediately (via DAinfo) if lost or stolen. Replacement cards can be procured from the Finance Office or Security Office; there is a $10 fee for replacement, but no Accountability Points are assessed.

Out of a concern for security and safety, students should take care to protect and keep track of keys. Those who lose their room keys will be assessed seven Accountability Points and charged $50.00 for replacement. Students who place repeated calls to Security for lockouts will be assessed two Accountability Points for each call.  Seniors who do not return their keys at the end of the year will be charged $100.00.  Returning students who do not return their key at the end of the year will have seven APs carry over into the following year.

Fake IDs

False forms of identification and the use of others’ identification with an intention to deceive are prohibited.

Repeated Failure to Meet Obligations & Expectations

Students who repeatedly miss school commitments or display behavior disrespectful and unbecoming of the Academy may face disciplinary action up to and including dismissal. When a student’s general citizenship and demeanor repeatedly fall below the Academy’s expectations, a faculty review may result in a recommendation to the Head of School, Assistant Head of School for Student Life or Dean of Students for disciplinary response, up to and including suspension or dismissal.

A continued accumulation of minor infractions or incidents of personal misconduct – including the accumulation of Accountability Points—may also be considered a violation of a major school rule.