The Deerfield Experience

Deerfield is an exciting possibility. Each of our 638 students has the opportunity to contribute to our community in meaningful ways. Approximately 25% of our student body identifies as U.S. students of color, 18% identifies as foreign nationals or US citizens living abroad and another 12% are day students from the Pioneer Valley.

The academic year is divided into three terms: fall, winter, and spring. Classes are held Monday through Friday; there are no Saturday classes. Students typically carry five graded courses each term with the option of taking a sixth course upon faculty approval. We believe that this schedule best suits students’ sound educational development.

All students are required to participate in a co-curricular activity each term. Students may choose from interscholastic or recreational athletic teams, performing arts, or community service activities. Co-curriculars meet six afternoons per week, with athletic games, rehearsals, or extended activities scheduled for Wednesday and Saturday afternoons.

Deerfield students represent 34 states and 35 countries.  To get a more detailed understanding of what makes each year’s student experience unique, choose a year:

Why Deerfield

Community of Character

Character, integrity, and responsible citizenship guide student life in the Deerfield community. We live the goal of celebrating each student’s unique perspective to foster an inclusive educational community. Deerfield’s program emphasizes students’ roles as conscientious leaders in the community and the world.

Academic Excellence

We offer small, discussion-based courses in a wide range of academic disciplines. Our faculty has designed a variety of interdepartmental courses, team-taught by two or more faculty members, to enable students to create new and innovative interdisciplinary skill sets.  Individual research, off-campus study opportunities, advanced Alternate Study electives, and 19 AP courses provide students with exceptional academic opportunity.  

Faculty Commitment

Deerfield teachers seek to know every student and use that knowledge to advise that student in how to contribute his or her best self to the community. At Deerfield, teaching extends beyond the classroom to the dining table, the co-curricular activity, and the dormitory, to create a well-rounded and individually tailored educational experience for our students.

Arts and Athletics

Students at Deerfield are encouraged to participate in both arts and athletics. The Arts play a significant role in the life of the school. Deerfield’s  visual and performing arts department offers a wide variety of academic courses in our innovative Center for the Arts. Students can also choose to participate in the performing arts as a co-curricular activity.

Deerfield has a long and proud tradition in athletics. Students gain physical skills as well as foster sportsmanship and camaraderie through our co-curricular interscholastic and intramural teams. Our on-campus athletic facilities include over 90 acres of athletic fields, and our nearby off-campus facilities include a state-of-the-art boathouse, a first-rate golf course, and a downhill skiing site.

Student Life

Deerfield is dedicated to creating a warm and supportive environment for our students. Dorm life fosters a sense of community on campus. Dorm proctors, peer counselors, and peer tutors offer classmates valuable support. Clubs and organizations play a major role in life at the Academy. Student hangouts such as the Greer Center, the Koch Café, and the dorm provide opportunities for students to strengthen friendships and foster community spirit.

Spirit and Tradition

The Academy’s tradition is held in our sense of place. The historic village of Deerfield in the Connecticut River Valley offers a long and rich American heritage. At Deerfield, our time-honored traditions foster lifelong bonds. Weekly gatherings such as school meetings, cookies and cocoa, dorm feeds, and sit-down meals draw our Deerfield community together.

9th Grade

Deerfield welcomes approximately 100 students for the 9th grade class. Ninth grade students have the benefit of four opportunity-filled years at Deerfield.

Academics

Every 9th grade student is placed into English I. Our English department adheres to a sequence that emphasizes the development of critical thinking, careful reading, and clear expression of ideas. With the exception of English I, entering students are not required to adhere to a predetermined program. Students are encouraged to explore the human experience in our history and philosophy and religion courses and develop their artistic sensibilities through our arts offerings. Students will be placed in subjects such as math, science, and modern or classical 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.

Ninth Grade Village

Ninth grade students live in our Ninth Grade Village comprised of separate boys and girls dorms connected by a large common room. Sixteen students live on each corridor in double rooms with their faculty resident and senior student proctors. Each dorm is comprised of three corridors.  Proctors guide new students in learning how to live with others and work closely with their faculty resident to ensure that students’ needs are met. Supervised study hours take place on weeknight evenings, during which students are expected to study quietly in their rooms. Even though rooms are not assigned to our day students, they are integrated into the residential system as well, matched with a corridor and encouraged to be involved in feeds, dorm meetings, and sleepovers.

10th Grade

Deerfield welcomes approximately 50 new tenth grade students per year to make a sophomore class size of 150 students.

Academics

New-Web-June15-508All sophomore students are placed into English II, a year-long British Literature course. With this exception, entering students are not required to adhere to a pre-determined program. Students are encouraged to explore the human experience in our history or philosophy and religion courses and develop their artistic sensibilities through our arts offerings. Students will be placed in subjects such as mathscience, and modern or classical 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. Courses taken as part of a previous academic program will be considered for credit towards Deerfield’s graduation requirements. College advising also begins in tenth grade with grade-wide workshops designed to help students reflect on their academic and experiential priorities as they look forward to college.

10th Grade Dorms

Sophomore students live in single gender dorms. Within each dorm, the corridor is the focus of life for boarding students. Typically, ten students live on a corridor of single rooms with their faculty resident and senior student proctors. Proctors guide new students in learning how to live with others and work closely with their faculty resident to ensure that students’ needs are met. Supervised study hours take place on weeknight evenings, during which students are expected to study quietly in their rooms. Even though rooms are not assigned to our day students, they are integrated into the residential system as well, matched with a corridor and encouraged to be involved in feeds, dorm meetings, and sleepovers.

11th Grade

Deerfield welcomes approximately 20 new 11th grade students per year to make an overall junior class size of 170 students.

Academics

New-Web-June15-1247

Junior year is typically a Deerfield student’s most challenging academic year. Students choose one of several US History and  English III courses that focus on selected topics in American literature. With those exceptions, entering students are not required to adhere to a pre-determined program. Students are encouraged to explore the human experience in our philosophy and religion courses and develop their artistic sensibilities in our arts courses. Students will be placed in subjects such as mathscience, and modern or classical 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. Courses taken as part of a previous secondary school program will be considered for credit towards Deerfield’s graduation requirements.

We begin our individual college advising work with 11th graders midway through the year, so students entering as juniors will be right in sync with their classmates.

Residential Life

Eleventh grade students live in single gender dorms comprised of junior, senior, and post-graduate year students. Within each dorm, the corridor is the focus of life for boarding students. Typically, 12 to 15 students live with a faculty resident on a corridor made up of single rooms. Juniors, seniors and post-graduate students are allowed to spend their study hours in one of many locations on campus considered to be a suitable place of study. Students return to their dorms after study hours to have a dorm feed with their faculty resident, socialize or continue to study in their dorms.

12th Grade

Academics

The academic year is divided into three terms: fall, winter, and spring. Classes are held Monday through Friday; there are no Saturday classes. Students typically carry five graded courses each term with the option of taking a sixth course upon faculty approval. We believe that this schedule best suits students’ sound educational development.

Shortly after indicating their intention to attend Deerfield, new seniors and post-graduates will be assigned a college advisor. At that time, advisors will be in touch with students to assist in course selection and discuss college plans to ensure that they are well prepared for the college process before they arrive in September.

Post-graduate students are required to choose from a variety of year-long English electives. With that exception, entering students are not required to adhere to a pre-determined program. Students who choose to take mathscience, and/or foreign language will be placed according to their demonstrated ability. For some courses placement will be determined by a student’s previous program, and for other courses a placement test will be required for enrollment. In addition, students encouraged to explore the human experience in our philosophy and religious studies courses and develop their artistic sensibilities in our arts courses. Courses taken as part of a previous academic secondary school program will be considered for credit toward a Deerfield diploma. Because of the breadth of course offerings at the senior level, the post-graduate year curriculum is largely based on electives of the student’s choosing based on his or her needs, interests, and college aspirations.

Residential Life

Post-graduate students live in single gender dorms comprised of junior, senior, and post-graduate year students. Within each dorm, the corridor is the focus of life for boarding students. Typically, 12 to 15 students live with a faculty resident on a corridor made up of single and double rooms. Juniors, seniors and post-graduate students are allowed to spend their study hours in one of many locations on campus considered to be a suitable place of study. Students return to their dorms after study hours to have a dorm feed with their faculty resident, socialize or continue to study in their dorms.

Day Students

Day Students

Throughout its history Deerfield has a tradition of day students contributing to its community life. In fact, Deerfield started out, back in 1797, as a day school. Day students are complete members of the Deerfield community. They often remain on campus until late evening to study and socialize with friends. They are welcome at all meals, weekend activities, and all school functions. Day students have senior proctors and a centrally located lounge, which serves as an on campus “home base.” They are also assigned to residential corridors and encouraged to attend weekly feeds and other dormitory functions. Day students and their families add a tremendous amount to the richness of the Deerfield community.

And yet, it can be challenging to be a day student in a “boarding” school. We understand the effort families make on a daily basis to transport, support, and nurture their children. The Dean of Students office provides car pool lists, weather updates, and other timely and specific information for day student families.

For more information on day student admission policies, please contact the Admission Office 

Post-Graduate Year

Deerfield welcomes approximately 25 new post-graduate students* per year. Post-graduates are considered members of the senior class of approximately 195 students, and are eligible to participate in all school programs. Students seeking a PG year typically seek one additional year to mature and/or maximize their academic or athletic potential before applying to college. Post-graduates are a vital part of the Deerfield community, and we count on them to strengthen school spirit, provide exceptional leadership and draw on their own experiences to mentor other Deerfield students.

*We also consider admission for the occasional 12th grade student who demonstrates exceptional abilities.P

Deerfield is proud of its diverse student population and of its international students, who comprise approximately 16.4% of the student body. In 2014-2015 Deerfield’s international students represent 39 countries.

International students can expect much the same new student experience as their classmates. However, we are aware that the transition to a new school and a new culture can be challenging in many ways. Here, we note a few programs Deerfield has implemented to address the particular needs of international students.

Orientation & Student Life

NNew-Web-June15-159ew international students are invited to a special orientation program in early September. During the school year, the International Club offers any Deerfield student the opportunity to share his or her culture through informal socializing, dances, and meals. The club also organizes day trips around New England.

In addition to their regular faculty advisor, international students share an International Student Advisor, Vita Thiel, who oversees the International Student Orientation Program and serves as a resource for our international students throughout the school year. If you need further information concerning international student admission, please contact our International Application Coordinator, Jose J. Briones at jbriones@deerfield.edu.

Faculty and Staff

New-Web-June15-5996More than any other measure of a school is the quality and commitment of its faculty and staff. The Deerfield faculty is exceptional in its intellectual breadth and depth, its dedication to the education of young people, and its belief in the values encapsulated in the Academy’s motto “Be Worthy of Your Heritage.” Our staff is recognized nationally and internationally as the best of the best.

Deerfield faculty contributions extend well beyond the campus and include service to their profession. Seventy-one percent possess advanced degrees in their fields, and many are actively involved in advanced study. Faculty members have served as writers of Advanced Placement examinations and as national readers of those exams. Their number includes a Rhodes Scholar, three Klingenstein Fellows, and several Fulbright Fellowship holders. Many have been awarded summer Klingenstein or National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowships.

All faculty live on or near campus. They work with students in many different ways whether academic, co-curricularextracurricular or residential. They teach, coach, and counsel students. They supervise dormitory social life, oversee tables in the Dining Hall for family-style meals, and advise the full range of student publications, club activities, and performing arts groups. The Academy community is well served by this extraordinary group.