Each Suffield Academy student develops an academic program based on the guidance of the dean of academics and faculty and assistant academic deans. For new students, typically this occurs by mail during the summer. Returning students confer with either the dean of academics and faculty or the assistant academic deans. This occurs in May of the preceding year. The typical course load for most students each term is five full-credit courses. Unless otherwise noted, every course meets twice each week for 45 minutes and twice each week for 70 minutes. The average class size is 10.
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-credit courses. 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 the 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
Students who qualify for academic honors are given special recognition in the following ways:
Honor Roll: 3.33 GPA / no grade below C+
High Honor Roll: 3.80 GPA / no grade below B
Book Awards and Academic Prizes: Awarded to students whose academic achievement has been extraordinary at Underclass Prize Day (Fall), and at Commencement (Spring).
Cum Laude A National Honor Society Modeled on Phi Beta Kappa: Students in the top 10% of their class who have maintained High Honor Roll both junior and senior years for five consecutive terms are eligible for selection.
Suffield offers 15 courses that can help a motivated, qualified student develop the skills and knowledge base necessary to prepare successfully for the College Board Advanced Placement Exams recognized by many colleges. Though course offerings and their AP orientation may vary from year to year, the following courses prepare for the exams in the corresponding fields.
AP US History
AP US History Exam
AP Government & Politics
AP American Government Exam
AP Macroeconomics Exam and AP
French V Honors
AP French Language Exam
Spanish IV Honors
AP Spanish Language Exam
Spanish V Honors
AP Spanish Literature Exam
AP Statistics Exam
AP Calculus I: AB
AP Calculus AB Exam
AP Calculus II: BC
AP Calculus BC Exam
AP Biology Exam
AP Chemistry Exam
AP Physics C: Mechanics
AP Physics C Exam
AP Physics C: E & M
AP Physics C: E & M Exam
Courses denoted as AP require all enrolled students to sit for the AP Exam; students should carefully read course descriptions and requirements before enrolling. Courses listed with the AP designation are weighted as Honors courses in computing grade point averages.
The Leadership Program aims to develop human beings with integrity who wish to make a significant and positive impact on our society. It begins with a focus on personal mastery skills, moves to an emphasis on community service efforts, and culminates in practical experience for all seniors. Students in grades 9, 10, and 11 take required year-long courses where the curriculum emphasizes experiential learning and guided self-discovery. The leadership experience at Suffield concludes in the 12th grade, with each student participating in senior seminars and a senior speaker series.
Project Based Learning in Action
Suffield Academy’s American Studies class presented highlights from their 15-week investigation about the history of Suffield’s home-front during WWI at the April meeting of the Town of Suffield Historical Society. The class presented over 130 informational slides, many of which were archival materials from Suffield Academy and the Suffield Historical Society. While many in the audience knew a good deal about the evening’s topic, several of the seniors wrote in their reflective writing assignments that they “enjoyed presenting to the Historical Society because this was a topic that they were interested in and they were able to learn new things from us.” Working together as teammates in a project-based learning environment, the students engaged well with the community audience and most appreciated the question and answer period and further discussions over refreshments.