FAQs for Day Student Families

The only difference between Deerfield Academy day students and their boarding classmates and friends is that day students typically go home at some point every evening. However, they and their families do, on occasion, have some day-student specific questions. Here are some of the most common”Day Family FAQs;” if your question isn’t included below, please contact the Student Life Office.

Evening Events/Activities:

Is my child required to attend evening activities?

That depends on the activity. All students are required to attend Academy Events. There are also some guest speakers who come to campus in the evening and those may be required for your student as well. (For instance, when poet Billy Collins came to Deerfield, all English teachers required their students to attend his presentation.) For feeds or grade-specific activities—such as an ice cream social, cookout, or skating—day students are not required to attend but of course they are welcome!

How late can my child stay on a weekday?

Day students are typically picked up by the beginning of study hall, which begins at 7:45 pm for 9th- and 10th-grade students. If a 9th- or 10th-grade day student is to be picked up later than that, they are expected to be in their affiliated dorm and checked in with the faculty resident by 7:45 pm to begin study hall.

Sleepovers:

Can my child sleep over on the weekend?

Absolutely! Your child should email their Class Dean and the School Officer in Charge (SOC) to let them know that they would like to sleep over. A family member will also want to email the Class Dean and SOC and provide their permission. The Class Dean or SOC will reply to you and cc the faculty resident on duty so they know to check your child into the dorm at curfew.

Can my child sleep over when there is bad weather in the forecast?

Of course! A family member should email or call the Class Dean or SOC and let them know that they grant their permission for their student to stay on campus. The student or family member should also let the Class Dean or SOC know in which dorm their child will sleep.

Can my child sleep over after a required and/or optional evening event?

Yes! Again, the Class Dean and SOC need permission from the family to allow the day student to sleep on campus. If the student is sleeping over on a school night, they need to check in with the faculty member on duty in the dorm they’re staying in at 7:45 pm (if the student is a 9th- or 10th-grader), and at 9:45 pm if the student is a junior or senior.

How late can my child be in the dorm on a weekend?

Day students can stay in the dorm with friends up until their curfew. For example, on a Friday night, a day student can stay in the dorm with friends until 10:30 pm if they are a 9th or 10th grader. In other words, they need to abide by the same curfew as their grade, and depart campus at curfew (if they are not sleeping over).

Can my child host a sleepover?

Definitely! If your child wants to have another day student sleep over, then the families should arrange those plans. If your child wants to have a boarding student sleep over, that is also fine, however, the boarding student needs to fill out an Overnight Permission form by Wednesday night at 10:15 pm. Once the form is filled out, the SLO will reach out to the family of the boarding student to get permission from that family. Once permission has been granted, the boarding student will get a confirmation email that will be posted on their door so that the on- duty faculty member knows that the student has permission to be out of the dorm. 

Medical Appointments/Illness:

Whom do I call if my child is sick and can’t make it to school?

If your student is unable to come to school, you should call the Health and Wellness Center (413-774-1600). Your student will receive APs (Accountability Points) for missing classes, but the Health and Wellness Center or the Student Life Office (SLO) will clear them. 

Whom do I call if I need to take my child to a medical appointment?

If your child needs to miss school for a medical appointment, you should call the Health Center (413-774-1600). They will clear the APs that will accrue for any missed classes. 

General Information:

Where can my child keep their belongings during the day?

If your student is a 9th grader, there are lockers in the Crow Common (in Johnson-Doubleday Dormitory/the Ninth-Grade Village) set aside for them to use. We have some combination locks for students, although they may also bring their own. If your student is a 10th grader, there are cubbies in the common rooms in all of the 10th-grade dorms for them to store their belongings. Often there are a couple of rooms available in 11th- and 12th-grade dorms for day students to store their belongings. If there are not any rooms available, there is space in the common rooms of those dorms for day students to put their belongings. 

Are there rooms available for day students?

That depends on the enrollment for the year. The SLO works with the Admission Office to try to reserve a couple of rooms for day students, but availability changes from year to year. 

If there are no day student rooms, where should my child sleep when they are staying overnight?

Most often, day students sleep in a friend’s room; to make this more comfortable, SLO has Aerobeds for day students to use, and your child can stop by the SLO and sign one out on the day they’re planning on sleeping over. They are expected to return the Aerobed the following Monday. 

Is my child allowed to take boarding students out to dinner?

Yes! Boarding students are allowed to go to Greenfield, South Deerfield, Amherst, and Northampton with day students, although a day student who holds a driver’s license cannot drive a boarder unless the SLO receives permission from both the day student’s and the boarder’s parent or guardian. When a boarding student leaves campus, they need to fill out an Off Campus Form. If the students want to have dinner outside of the towns listed above, then both families need to provide permission for the outing. 

What happens when my child needs to miss school for a family event?

If your student needs to miss school for an event (wedding, religious service, funeral, etc.), they need to fill out a Request to Miss Classes form. The SLO will then reach out to verify your permission for the missed day of classes. Your student will receive APs for missing the day, which the SLO will clear. 

Whom do I contact about standardized testing? 

If you have any questions about SATs, ACTs, or any other standardized testing, reach out to Beverly Payne in the Academic Dean’s Office.  

Whom do I contact about college advising?

In 10th grade, students have an informational session about the college process. At the end of the fall/beginning of the winter, 11th graders are assigned a college advisor with whom they will work during the college application process. If you have general questions about college advising, reach out to Joyce McCarvill, administrative assistant to College Advising. Mark Spencer is Dean of College Advising, and he and his team are also available to talk. For more information visit College Advising’s page

What happens when my child is going on a college visit?

When your student wants to visit a college, they should fill out a Request to Leave Campus Form on DAinfo under My Actions (choose “Create signout – off campus with faculty.”) Once that is filled out, the SLO will reach out to you to verify your permission for this visit; when your permission is received, we confirm the form and the College Advising Office then approves the visit. Your student will receive APs for missing the day, which the SLO or College Advising will clear. 

Whom do I contact to learn about trips abroad?

The Center for Service and Global Citizenship (CSGC) is responsible for trips abroad. In the fall, they inform students about the trips that will take place during the school year, and during Family Weekend, the CSGC also presents to families about those trips. For more information, contact Heather Brown in the CSGC main office

Whom do I contact to learn about athletics trips?

Some teams have training trips during school vacations and at other times during the year, but they are never required for athletes. To learn more, contact Jess Lapachinski in the Athletics Office.

Where and how do day students park?

In order for day students to park on campus, they need to register their cars with the Student Life Office. They will receive a parking sticker with parking instructions, and once that is done, they may begin to park their cars in the gravel lot behind the athletic complex or in the parking lot on the east side of campus by the greenhouse.

Where can students study during the day?

Many students study in the library during their free periods. There are some small rooms that may be reserved for meetings with a tutor, studying with a friend, or just for extra quiet space. To reserve one of these rooms, students need to check in at the circulation desk. In the evening, the library and classrooms are spaces for 11th and 12th graders to study. 

Does Deerfield offer support for drivers’ ed?

Sometimes Deerfield students use their free periods to complete driving hours; the Academy doesn’t offer a driver’s education course but tries its best to support students who are working to complete such a program.

Is there a day student representative on Student Council?

Yes! There are elections in the fall for a Day Student Rep to serve on Student Council. 

To whom do I reach out if my student is struggling?

Every Deerfield student has at least two advocates: the first is your student’s advisor. This person is responsible for helping your child choose classes, pick cocurriculars, and generally to offer advice and support. Advisors have lunch with all of their advisees on Thursdays, and usually meet with each of their advisees on one-on-one basis a couple of times a month. If you have questions about classes, extra- and cocurriculars, etc., your student’s advisor is your go-to person. The other person that your child has as a source of support as a 9th and 10th grader is their Day Proctor. A Day Proctor is a senior who has been selected to serve as a mentor for your student, and they have lunch together (as a time to check-in with one another) on Fridays.

If my child is feeling overwhelmed or wants to talk about their emotions, where should they go?

Deerfield has full-time counselors who are available to meet with all Deerfield students (day and boarding). Director of Counseling Josh Relin’s office is located in the Chen Center. (Seeing a Deerfield Academy counselor is included in the tuition you have paid.) Please encourage your child to schedule an appointment with one of the counselors whenever they need to talk about “big” issues (peer pressure, dating, suicide, divorce, trouble at home, depression, loneliness, social tension, stress management, etc.) and “small” issues. Your student’s advisor can also be a great source of support, but Deerfield’s on-staff counselors can provide additional support.

Deerfield-Specific Terms and Acronyms: 

At Deerfield (sometimes called DA) we like to abbreviate many sayings, names of buildings, etc., as well as using our own terminology. Below you will find some of our most frequently used acronyms. Please let us know if there are others to include! 

APs = Accountability points (or, if referring to academic classes or testing, Advanced Placement)

MSB = Main School Building

SLO = the Student Life Office

SOC = School Officer in Charge 

Proctors = seniors who have been selected to be leaders on campus and to live in 9th- and 10th-grade dorms. There are also Day Proctors. Each day student is assigned to a Day Student Proctor, and they usually have lunch together on Fridays.

PCs = Peer Counselors are students who have been selected and trained by health and wellness center staff to support and advise their fellow students.

Feeds = a 9:45 pm snack in the dorms; these occur at least once a week on each corridor, and day students are welcome to attend if they are spending the night in the dorm with which they’re affiliated.  

The Greer = the snack bar in the Athletics Complex where students often hang out during their free time. 

Advisor = each student is assigned an advisor: an adult in the community who sees their advisees at least once a week and is their go-to person for any issues in classes, outside of classes, etc. Advisors also help their students select classes in the spring. 

OICL = Office of Inclusion and Community Life 

Generally speaking:

  • Advocate if your child’s needs are not being met—it’s a life skill for all of us!—and reassure them it’s fine to speak up! There is a lot to navigate on a boarding school campus (e.g. it may not be necessary for a day student to be driven to campus to pick up a class assignment—it could be emailed—or ask a boarding friend to text if a social event changes time or location; club heads should give plenty of advance notice regarding meetings so day students can arrange transportation; same with study groups).
  • “FOMO” is real, but reassure your student it’s ok to have fun, rest, and relax at home—sometimes missing something on campus is less important than the stress of being on campus for a certain event, and there will always be a “next time!”