In order for the Curriculum Committee to consider a petition for a sixth graded class in English, Language, History and Social Science, Math, Philosophy and Religion or Science and Computer Science, students must have maintained an average of 90% or higher for the three previous terms at Deerfield. While a 90% average for those terms is necessary to petition for a sixth graded course, such averages do not guarantee approval. The Curriculum Committee will decide whether to permit students to take six courses based on their academic standing and their proposed course load.
In order to petition to be considered for enrollment in a Visual & Performing Arts course as a sixth graded class, students must have fulfilled their two-term Visual & Performing Arts diploma requirement. The Curriculum Committee will decide whether to permit students to take a sixth course in the Visual and Performing Arts based on the students’ academic standing and their proposed course load. Students may take a sixth course [in VPA] as a pass/fail option without having to submit a petition.
Before they enter Deerfield, all new students are required to take a math placement test to determine an appropriate class. Students who have already taken a language they wish to continue studying at Deerfield will take a placement test to determine what level class they should take. If the placement in either department is deemed inappropriate after the student arrives, then the section teacher may suggest a change of level. Students may also request such a change and should consult with their teacher and their academic advisor before contacting the Dean of Studies, Lydia Hemphill.
Study abroad is available to all students from their sophomore to senior years, although typically students who choose to go abroad will do so during their junior year.
In order to garner Honors distinction a student must have a cumulative term average above 90.0%. High Honors requires an average of 93.0% or above. Exemplary students with a grade point average of 92.0 or higher may qualify for admission to the Cum Laude Society, a national honor society.
Because of its commitment to rigorous academics, Deerfield offers a wide range of accelerated and Advanced Placement courses. All of Deerfield’s classes are appropriately challenging, but AP and accelerated courses provide an extra challenge for ambitious students.
All students are assigned a faculty advisor at the beginning of their time at Deerfield. After their first year students may choose a new advisor, or continue with their original one, depending on the relationships they have developed with Deerfield’s faculty. Advisors are responsible for submitting course requests and writing an advisor report every term. They are available for any questions a student may have and are involved in every major academic or athletic decision a student makes while at Deerfield. In addition, faculty eat lunch with their advisees every Thursday and may schedule outside events for their advisees. Advisors are a key component of the Deerfield experience, as they provide guidance and friendship to students throughout their time at Deerfield.
The Pursuit of Excellence Policy states that students may miss up to five class days a year if an unusual and extraordinary opportunity arises, including opportunities in a variety of academic, athletic, and artistic fields. The Academic Affairs Office determines the legitimacy of pursuit of excellence requests on a case-by-case basis.