Our academic philosophy rests on the belief that every student is unique. While we have defined academic requirements in nine specific areas, the focus of our program is on the distance each student travels during their time at Suffield.
We provide small classes with supportive, encouraging teachers. Academic offerings at Suffield Academy derive from our faith in the liberal arts as a foundation for learning and our programming balances a strong core curriculum with unique elective courses. We provide an environment where students find support from both teachers and peers, where they learn in and out of the classroom, on and off campus. The typical course load for most students each term is five full-credits. After consulting with their college counselor and the academic dean, seniors may choose to enroll in just four full-credit courses, but those courses should be in core academic disciplines. Every course (except Leadership) meets twice a week for 45 minutes and twice a week for 70 minutes. The average class size is 11.
Suffield’s academic and educational goals are to:
- Teach a broad range of academic disciplines
- Teach skills & habits focused on organization, communication, reasoning, reading, writing, and researching
- Teach students to be critical and disciplined thinkers
- Provide a structured, encouraging environment
- Offer courses with a balance of challenge and support
Embrace challenge. Embrace harder classes, tough questions, grueling practices, and difficult assignments. They will only make you better. - Oliva Alfano ’19
To earn a Suffield diploma, each student must successfully complete the school's programming and uphold our expectations of good citizenship. Students must earn 18 credits, including the following specific academic requirements:
4 credits in English
4 credits in Mathematics
2 credits in Language (including study through Level II)
2 credits in Science
2 credits in History (including U.S. History & Regional Studies)
1 credit in the Arts
Note: In addition to these credits, students must take an annual Leadership course, a minimum of four major courses per term, and each course taken in the senior year must be completed successfully.
Academic Grading System
Reports are prepared by the faculty six times during the school year (midterm and end-of-term). Parents receive a copy of all these reports, which include narrative comments from teachers and two advisor reports during the year. Advisors review these reports with students at each interval.
Grades given range from A+ to F. Grades in the A range (GPA equivalent of 3.67 to 4.33) mean the student’s work has been excellent. Grades in the B range (2.67 to 3.33) indicate very good achievement. Grades in the C range (1.67 to 2.33) indicate satisfactory achievement at the college-certifying level. Grades in the D range (0.67 to 1.33) are passing but unsatisfactory. Students with this grade would normally need summer review work to deal adequately with the next level of that course. A grade below the D range is a failure, for which no credit is given.
Grade point average is computed for each term and for each full-year course and is designed to reflect the difficulty of the program being undertaken, as well as a student’s numerical average. The grade point average is determined by converting letter grades to a numerical equivalent and then averaging those numerical equivalents. Students enrolled in honors or AP classes have 0.33 point per class added to their numerical equivalent grade (e.g., 3.0 to 3.33) prior to averaging to reflect the difficulty of the class(es) being taken. This does not apply to an A+ in an honors or AP level course.