Educational Philosophy

Academic Overview

Suffield Academy's Educational Philosophy

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. Our broad-based academic offerings 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 essential skills and 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
-Provide a “portable classroom” with laptops and a wireless campus



Academic Programs FAQs

List of 5 frequently asked questions.

  • Graduation Requirements

    To earn a Suffield diploma, each student must successfully complete the program of the school and uphold our expectations of good citizenship. Students must earn 18 credits to earn a diploma, including the following particular 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

    In addition to these course credits, each student must take a leadership course each year; each student must take a minimum of four major courses each term; each course taken in the senior year must be completed successfully; and seniors must pass all term-length classes in the spring.

  • Academic Honors

    Special academic recognition is determined in the following ways:

    High Honor Roll: achieved by maintaining a grade point average of 3.80, calculated as described in 'Academic Grading System.' Students may not have any grade below B.

    Honor Roll: achieved by maintaining a grade point average of 3.33. Students may not have any grade below C+.

    Book Awards and Academic Prizes: awarded at Commencement in June and at Underclass Prize Day in September to students whose academic achievement has been extraordinary.

    Cum Laude: Cum Laude is a national honor society modeled on Phi Beta Kappa. Students in the top 10 percent of their class who have been on the High Honor Roll during their junior and senior years for five consecutive terms are eligible for selection.
  • 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.


  • AP Courses

    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.

    English III Honors: AP English Literature Exam
    AP U.S. History: AP U.S. History Exam
    AP Economics: AP Macroeconomics Exam, AP Microeconomics Exam
    AP Government & Politics: AP Government & Politics Exam
    French V Honors: AP French Language Exam
    Spanish IV Honors: AP Spanish Language Exam
    Spanish V Honors: AP Spanish Literature Exam
    AP Calculus I: AP Calculus AB Exam
    AP Calculus II: AP Calculus BC Exam
    Honors Multivariable Calculus: AP Calculus BC Exam
    AP Statistics: AP Statistics Exam
    AP Biology: AP Biology Exam
    AP Chemistry: AP Chemistry Exam
    AP Physics E & M: AP Physics E & M Exam
    AP Physics Mechanics: AP Physics Mechanics 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.
  • Effort Grading System

    In addition to academic grades, effort grades are given each marking period in all courses taken.

    Excellent: The student exhibits an outstanding commitment to all academic endeavors. Work is completed regularly and with great attention to detail. The student is a balanced leader in discussions and is on topic and insightful.

    Good: The student exhibits a solid effort. The student is prepared for class discussions, quizzes, tests, and written assignments with few exceptions. Homework is regularly completed, deadlines are met and the student strives to improve.

    Adequate:
    The student exhibits an inconsistent effort. Work is sometimes missed, or hastily completed. The student occasionally participates in class, and behavior is generally good. Effort is made, though more can be applied. Assessments show effort, but more review can be done.

    Insufficient: The student often misses assignments and is reluctant to seek extra help. Assessments suggest a lack of effort rather than a lack of understanding. Mistakes of the same variety continue to be made.

    Poor: The student is not prepared for class and is making little or no effort to meet the minimal requirements of the course. Classroom attitude, or behavior, is unsatisfactory. The student’s effort may put them in danger of not completing the course successfully.
Suffield Academy   185 North Main Street   Suffield, Connecticut 06078   Phone 860.386.4400  |  Fax 860.386.4411