During the extended winter break this year, Deerfield students will participate in a virtual D-Term. 11th and 12th graders will likely have the time to work on college research and college applications, though the administration has declined to provide further details at this moment. For 9th and 10th graders, D-Term will entail two weeks of service and leadership-based courses.
Associate Director of the CSGC Heather Brown explained the purpose of D-Term for underclassmen. She said, “D-Term was created because of this year’s schedule, and is a unique opportunity to keep Deerfield students engaged in this year’s theme of engaged citizenship.”
D-Term aims to educate and broaden students’ global perspectives while connecting students’ experiences in the classroom and on-campus to their communities at home.
At the beginning of November, 9th and 10th graders submitted an application for their top three course choices out of the sixteen offered. The topics range from food systems to U.S.-based issues, and international affairs.
Ileanna Pena ’24 said, “The application process took me around an hour to complete. It took me longer to choose my courses compared to how long it took me to write [the applications]. There were so many to choose from and so many of them connected to passions I’m interested in.”
The various courses will be taught by experts brought in through Envoys, a program that Deerfield has previously worked with and has partnered with this year to bring D-Term to fruition.
According to Ms. Brown, “The instructors are experts in the field and are hired by Envoys. There will also be other people who Zoom into courses or the courses will incorporate people outside the program such as Deerfield alums or other experts.”
One course, titled “Becoming a Global Leader,” has interested many Deerfield students. Taz Hancock ’24 chose this course because “understanding how to be a leader is an important life skill to have and it connects to the UN, which is a passion I pursue outside of school.”
After fall term ends, many students will travel to homes thousands of miles away with different environments and time zones. This logistical challenge has forced Deerfield to adapt and come up with solutions to the different time zones in order to ensure a fun and enjoyable D-Term experience for all students.
As an international student from Hong Kong, Hancock said, “It’s difficult doing D-Term from a different continent because the times are so different and even with the different times, none of the times are ideal for my schedule.”
While the times aren’t always perfect for everyone, Jeffrey Han ’23 said, “I will have to adjust a little for the time zone in my country but it’s a small burden that is overshadowed by my excitement to learn about a new topic I’m passionate about.”
Overall, students are excited for their D-Term journeys and are looking forward to exploring passions outside of school and getting involved in the community more.
Lila King ’24 said, “This is a valuable opportunity to learn about topics not often explored in the classroom and I’m eager to learn about which topic I’ll be pursuing this winter!”
The focus on community and service within these courses will help students look towards the future and the impact they can have on the greater community. Freshman and sophomores, you should find out about your courses by the beginning of next week!