Deerfield Academy Ask Me Anything

This text is from Deerfield’s website:

Completion through the third level of one foreign language. (Students for whom English is a second language may request to satisfy this requirement with their native language.)

I think that Deerfield used to require at least one year of foreign language to be taken at Deerfield because my student told me that a couple of Chinese friends accidentally on purpose didn’t ace their Chinese placement so that they could qualify to take Mandarin 5 at school.
But I don’t see that stipulation anywhere on the current Graduation requirements, so it must have been removed.

If you’re taking a brand new to you language, then there is no placement test, you’ll just get placed in Arabic 1 or Latin 1 (or whatever language you choose).

So you may well have covered the basic Chem, Physics and Bio classes. Deerfield academic affairs will have to verify the curricula in order for you to be able to select the deeper depth STEM classes.

Besides, I believe that I’m a strong student in math and I want to know if I should study for the math placement test. What topics is it up to?

There are a few previous threads on this forum regarding studying for placement tests. It’s recommended that you don’t do it. Your best chance for success at boarding school will be to placed into the appropriate math track. If you have completed the coursework and have a deep understanding of the concepts then you’ll be successful in class. If you study for a test then you may pass the initial screening but then be placed in a class that is too challenging and need to switch/drop, which causes all sorts of scheduling complications.
The placement test that you will take will most likely be covering content for your current math class. If you’re currently in Calculus then you’ll get a Calculus placement test. Same thing if you’re in Geometry, you’ll get a geometry placement test.

Regardless of Deerfield’s graduation requirements, not taking foreign language in HS is not a good idea for applying to college.


I hear you. We faced the same fears.

My student gets to play sports at many of the schools frequently mentioned on this website. I get to see how livestreaming sports works at many of the schools. There’s a vast difference between schools and, I may be biased, but Deerfield does it better than most! I haven’t checked out all sports, but if your son is on a varsity team then there’s a good chance that you’ll be able to watch him play at the home games via Livestream. The away games are hit and miss but, if available, Deerfield will post the links. JV and development teams aren’t usually livestreamed. There are quite a few parents who live a driveable distance away who attend games in person to watch their kid(s).

The dance and theater events don’t seem to be livestreamed but typically Deerfield will film them and then post online so that you can watch. These events are well attended and extremely professional. According to kid, most of the school turns out to watch. I’d recommend attending in person if you can. These kids are amazing.

Deerfield will livestream commencement, convocation and some other high profile events. I don’t watch, but my kid will give me a heads-up afterwards if there is something worth watching/listening to. It doesn’t happen often.

School dances. Nope. Not at all. No livestream. You won’t be able to watch any of those and stalk your son and his friends. I’m sure that’s intentional.

The best way not to miss out on High School life is to build the communication lines between you and your son. My kid is communicating with us more than we had anticipated, but a friend reports that they barely hear from their kid even though their kid thinks that they call often! Set expectations now, but understand that these kids are busy!


Even the graduation requirement of foreign language through 3rd level may not match some of the requirements of highly rejective colleges. 4 years of high school language is preferred.

Yes! There are live stream games, plays, concerts, dance programs. My kiddo is a dancer and I love that they do this as we are 8 hours away.

Actually, yes they are but for some reason they don’t get as much love from the school who doesn’t share the link on social media but I have watched every dance performance that I have missed in person via live stream and the link stays up for a while after. My DD shares the links with me.

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That’s good to hear.
I’ve seen the dance showcases online but wasn’t sure if they were shown live.

And I’ve never seen any of the theater performances. I’ll have to look harder.
Thank you

That’s great to hear that so much is live-streamed. We live a plane flight away so not going to be just popping in regularly.

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Still can’t take pre-dance photos… but not much to do about that. My DD would send dozens. DS, not so much.

@priorat , you will need to befriend the parents of your DS. They will be happy to oblige with photos and video. In fact, it will give them purpose.

Ask me how I know :smirk:

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My kiddo sends me tons of dance pictures and videos. I get to see her dance more than at her pre-pro ballet school where no photos were allowed.

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I don’t know any parents!

Parents on DS’ team sent out emails asking who might want photos, and parents who were far away just put out generic pleas for photos. It was quite nice.

You come start something, @AnonMomof2 !

I am not sure why people think this is new. This was norm for me in my very generic middle-class childhood/town and I am distinctly middle-aged.

And we all knew then, too, it didn’t mean anything. (Everyone wanted the big giant 1st place trophies). It was akin to a souvenir/memory of that specific team.

I managed to be in cum laude at a boarding and go to an ivy, it sure wasn’t harmful - except maybe adding to plastic waste in the world! It is such a silly thing for people to get worked up IMO.

If anyone has questions about the dance program at Deerfield I am happily to answer them. If you are going to revisit day there will be a small arts showcase with music and a dance performance.

I’m a parent of a DA accepted student, Quick question: for the Docusign file we need to fill out and sign, can we do it all online, or do we need to print it out, fill it out manually, then scan and upload it? Thanks!

From memory, I think that we did everything online but it was so long ago, and things change.

Best option is to try everything online and see if it lets you complete the required forms.

Any problems, then call admissions. I have found the entire DA staff to be extremely helpful and responsive.

Docusign is an online signature program so you shouldn’t need to print and scan.

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I believe it was all online.