The Academy places great emphasis on class attendance. It is assumed that students who come to Deerfield do so with purpose and that they will be conscientious in meeting all obligations. Academic commitments in particular should not be compromised to accommodate medical appointments or family vacations.

If a teacher is detained or not in class, students should wait for 10 minutes past the normal start time of the class and then report the faculty absence to the Dean of Faculty.

When, for any reason (excused or unexcused), a student has missed 20% or more of the course meetings during a given term, Deerfield may withhold credit for the course for that term. Such cases will be heard by the Academic Standing Committee.

Co-Curriculars, Meals, School Meetings, and Events

Attendance is taken at numerous times and places outside of class. Co- curriculars, sit-down meals, school meetings, and Academy Events are required for all students, as are other obligations as assigned. From time to time, with the approval of the Curriculum Committee, faculty may designate required events as an alternative to class time.

Day Students

If a day student must be absent due to illness, a parent or guardian must notify the Health Center prior to 8:30am at 413-774-1600 0r

Absences for any other reason should be communicated directly to the Student Life Office.

Attendance Taken

All teachers submit daily online reports on student absences; they take attendance only and do not assign or excuse Accountability Points. Faculty cannot adjust attendance or eliminate APs—even when there is certainty that the absence will be excused. The Student Life Office determines which absences are excused; errors and/or requests for clearance must be submitted to the Class Dean within three school days.

Excused Absences



If a student is too sick to go to class, sit-down meal or another activity where attendance is required, they need to be in the Health Center in order to be excused for medical reasons. If a class is missed, the student should inform the teacher that they were in the Health Center. If unable to complete or to hand in any graded assignment when medically excused from class, the student should notify the teacher as soon as possible to acknowledge that the assignment will be late and to clarify when the assignment can be completed. Students who miss class or any other required school commitment due to illness may not participate in their co-curricular activity that day.


A sick or injured student may be excused from a co-curricular activity by a nurse or the school physician. In such a case, the student is expected to communicate with the coach or the adult in charge of that co-curricular activity. In certain co-curricular activities where the unexpected absence of the student may create a hardship for the group, it is important that the student notify the appropriate adult in a timely fashion. Failure to notify the adult before the beginning of the co-curricular time period may result in invalidation of the medical excuse and the student may receive Accountability Points.


Students are permitted to miss a combined total of five class days for college visits, approved Pursuits of Excellence or other commitments approved by the Student Life Office.


Juniors and seniors are encouraged to schedule college visits during the summer or other school vacation times. The Academy allows seniors to miss class days to visit colleges. Requests require approval from the student’s college advisor and Class Dean; requests should be submitted at least three days in advance through the online “Request to Miss Classes” form.

Attendance in class is essential to individual academic success and community health. However, when appropriate opportunities to pursue excellence arise, Deerfield allows students to miss class.

To be eligible to petition for Pursuit of Excellence, students must:

  • Remain in good academic standing;
  • Maintain solid citizenship, including strong attendance;
  • Demonstrate extraordinary accomplishment in their areas of excellence; and
  • Receive invitations to pursue extraordinary opportunities.

In petitioning, students must establish:

  • Ways an event furthers their development of excellence;
  • What they have done to qualify for the opportunity;
  • That the opportunity has resulted from a rigorous selection process; and
  • That there is no way to engage in the opportunity without missing school.

Interested students should petition by filling out the online “Pursuit of Excellence” Form on DAinfo. The form should be completed as soon as an opportunity arises and no later than three days prior to the event; late submissions will result in four or more APs. The Curriculum Committee, which meets on Mondays, reviews all petitions. The Office of the Academic Dean notifies students of decisions and, when petitions are approved, notifies classroom teachers. Students are expected to make up all missed work without requesting extra help from teachers.