By Margarita Curtis, Head of School
No. It’s a simple word—and one of the first we learn. As parents, we know the frustration—the anguish—of toddlers who exercise a single-word vocabulary assiduously. In their terrible twos, our children used “no” to set boundaries, express preferences, and demand rights. All fair. We were proud, then amused, then frustrated: they were stonewalling, ignoring us, and being unreasonable.
Flash forward a decade. Today, we parents use “no” to help our risk-taking kids choose a steadier path, to communicate our values, and to protect our families from harm. But sometimes our kids don’t see it that way: they hear us stonewalling, ignoring them, and being unreasonable. Sound familiar? (more…)
By Liz Logie P’10,’13; New Canaan, CT
Springtime at Deerfield inspires the students to begin looking forward: to that first trip to the river on a sunny afternoon, to wins on the lacrosse field and the final dance performance, to graduation day for seniors and for everybody else … EEK … THE HOUSING PROCESS!
Parents will no doubt hear a great deal about this from their children in the coming weeks, so, with the help of Dean of Students Toby Emerson, we thought it would be helpful to give all of you a full description of the process. (more…)
By Stacey Bewkes P’06,’09,’12; Darien, CT
1. April Showers Bring May Flowers: Nowhere is this aphorism more evident than at Deerfield in the spring. And with the ubiquitous rain comes mud, lots of it. Be prepared and make sure your student has appropriate footwear for the season—rain boots for girls and an extra pair of sneakers or boat shoes for the boys. Many a pair of leather shoes have died a dilapidated death circumnavigating the deep Deerfield spring puddles. (more…)
By Kelly Pasciucco P’10,’13; Greenwich, CT, and Phyllis Powers P’09,’13; East Sandwich, MA
Just over a year ago, the Deerfield Parents Network (DPN) was born. It sprang from a desire to connect and engage parents more formally in the Deerfield community. The hope was that the effort would make parents feel more connected to the school and to each other. Given the vast distances and limited direct interaction amongst parents, the DPN is putting a great emphasis on creating a “virtual” community. In the past year, the work of the DPN has become increasingly visible, and you will see “green shoots” to prove it over the coming Parents Spring Weekend. The DPN will be co-sponsoring formal events and opportunities for informal interaction, which are outlined in detail below. In addition, DPN committee members will be identified by a green DPN ribbon affixed to their nametags. Feel free to stop any one of them and ask a question, provide a suggestion, or simply chat. Highlights for the weekend include: (more…)
By Julie Alexandre P’06,’08,’11,’13; Haverford, PA
Teachers encourage our children to “finish up strong,” but spring term is also the time for envisioning new challenges. While our seniors decide among college acceptances, Deerfield’s course selection process affords our juniors, sophomores, and freshmen the opportunity to have a say in the mix of courses they take next fall. I met with Academic Dean Peter Warsaw on the eve of spring break to discuss how the course selection process works and the role we parents can play in it. (more…)
By Tina Moghadam P’13; San Francisco, CA
First Link, the new program where parents of current Deerfield students volunteer to reach out to families of incoming students, strives to connect parents both to one another and to the Deerfield community at large. First Link is for parents what the Green Key is for students: a source of information to help ensure a smooth transition to Deerfield. According to Pat Gimbel, Dean of Admissions, “It had become apparent that such a program would be enormously helpful, particularly for families who had not previously been a part of a boarding school community, or who were coming to Deerfield from outside the Northeast.” (more…)
By Katy Flato P’10,’12; San Antonio, TX
Early this year, many parents received an email from the Deerfield Inn, not, as they hoped, confirming their room reservations for Parents or Commencement Weekends (which, by the way, they had persevered in obtaining years ago) but, sadly, cancelling them. “Now that the renovations have begun in earnest, it is clear that we will not be operational in May and are therefore releasing all May reservations,” wrote Marci White. Hearts sank, not only because of the missed opportunity to stay in the comfy, floral rooms and to congregate with other Deerfield parents in the Tavern, but also out of concern for the daunting task still ahead for the Inn. It has been closed since late last August, when severe rains from Hurricane Irene caused the Deerfield River to burst its banks, flooding campus and Historic Deerfield. (more…)
By Jim Alexandre P’06,’08,’11,’13; Haverford, PA
Our fourth child’s final year at Deerfield is on the horizon this spring with Parents Weekend in May. I’m struck not only by how much she has learned through her experiences at Deerfield, but also by how much we as parents have learned from the cumulative experiences of her and her predecessor siblings. You name it and we’ve seen it: a bad injury during ski season, a kid focused on socializing at the expense of sleep, a teacher and a student not on the same page, urgent entreaties from them (in vain!) about senior parties, and realizing what winter in Deerfield can really be like (and this year wasn’t it). We could write a book. (more…)
By David DeCamp ’76 P’13,’15; Washington, D.C.
Look to the Hills… could have been a lyric from one of the old Deerfield Academy songs. I forget a lot of those words. Maybe I forgot “look to the hills.”
I’ve been back twice for Deerfield’s summer weekend for alumni, parents, and friends. The experience eludes simple explanation. You sign up for a couple of classes that are led by a selection of the Academy’s best teachers. No grades. No such thing as a bad question. They take us on–gladly–as they find us. Look to the Hills is part institute but more of a festival for Deerfield’s pilgrims. Days are filled with food, learning, and laughter along with some exercise and refreshment. (more…)
By Marc Johnson ’74 P’08,’11,’14; Greenwich, CT and Scott Vallar ’78 P’12,’14; Bedford, NY
Parent and alumni support of the Annual Fund last year continued to put up impressive numbers. With almost $5.1 million in contributions, and an alumni participation rate exceeding 51%, Deerfield is clearly appreciated by those who have been touched by its programs and people. Even more remarkable is the typical 80% participation level of current parents, a giving rate that underscores the gratitude and confidence felt by those currently experiencing Deerfield first-hand. (more…)