I have been a DS student for the past 6 years and I would not change a single thing about my experience! While the work was challenging at times, teachers never let me fall behind and were always available for help. I have been encouraged to push my limits academically, socially (i.e. joining clubs and sports teams), and even politically (i.e. being assigned a position I would not traditionally have sided with during a debate) while maintaining my interests outside of school. Participating in out-of-school activities while keeping my grades up required me to manage my time and prioritize in a way I hadn't had to before, a skill I am grateful for as I begin applying to colleges this fall. I absolutely love Derryfield and believe I have received a well rounded education of the highest quality. I am forever grateful to the staff and faculty who provided opportunities for me to develop my own identity while still being open-minded to new ideas.
Gratitude - that is the one word that comes to mind every time I hear someone mention Derryfield. After four years at this school, four years of college, and one year in the workforce - I have come to realize that Derryfield is where I learned the skills to be my best self.
The level of academic rigor, depth of personal relationships with teachers and peers, and opportunities to break out of your shell, pursue your passions, and lead; is what makes this experience worth every penny.
This April, I had the pleasure of meeting up with 25+ members of my class at our 5 year reunion - every single one of them is happy, following their passion, and well equipped for a world that is ever-changing. Do not hesitate to check this place out!
Derryfield has positives and negatives. Positives: very good teaching in general, and even some exceptionally gifted teachers. Good training in the 5-paragraph essay, using evidence to support a thesis statement. Caring adults. Negatives: hard community to break into if your kid didn't go to middle school there, didn't have an older sibling go there, or isn't a faculty/staff kid. Overly competitive culture, which discourages healthy risk-taking. A standard curriculum, not special-- Derryfield strikes me as what a public school would be, if a public school had great financial resources and could choose who attends. This is a great school for some, but not for all.
I was a student at Derryfield for 7th and 8th grade. Most of the teachers were fantastic and I gained a lot from my experience at Derryfield. However, I'm fairly confident that I was discriminated against for my political affiliations. I remember specifically being asked about politics in my interview by Kathleen Rutty-Fey. I responded that I was a conservative and game my reasons. She made it clear that she thought I was falling in line with my parents' beliefs, as if it was inconceivable that a student could be conservative without being coerced into it. Despite good grades and test scores, I was waitlisted twice, finally getting in off the waitlist the second year. They don't tolerate views outside the liberal ideology at Derryfield.
I ended up going elsewhere for high school and recently graduated from Yale. I don't think I would have had nearly as much success in applying to college had I stayed at Derryfield. The smarter students in my year at Derryfield all seemed to go to second-tier schools.
Be careful sending your child here. Note that after a negative post there is a flurry of positive 5 star reports. Gee, do you think someone from the school tells someone to post glowing reports? Check out the colleges many graduates go to. Never heard of many of them? No surprise. They encourage out of area small school that are easy to get into, with minimal clout after graduation
I am a 1982 grad of DS - both my kids attend DS. I credit Derryfield with creating the amazing people my children have become. They have learned so much in class but that is the least of their accomplishments. Each of their teachers have proven that they are as invested in my child's education as they are - as we, as parents, are. Yes, both the academic education and excellent coaching are very important an impressive but pale in comparison to the life experiences Derryfield has offered them. Experiences range from working with the local grade school children of our newer citizens to incredibly extensive travel (China, South Africa, Costa Rica, Peru, New York and Washington DC). My Junior is passionately searching for her ideal college. The guidance she is receiving is world-class. From my own experience and listening to others, when Derryfield students arrive at college they are have a tremendous edge on other students due to their preparedness for this next step. There is no finer independent day school in the Northeast.
My three children have attended The Derryfield School since early middle school. Each brings an entirely different learning style, set of interests and personal style, and Derryfield has met and exceeded my expectations for all of them. Academically, they have been challenged and supported with an innovative curriculum and extraordinarily dedicated and talented faculty body. This is really the crux of Derryfield's excellence. A positive, healthy social environment, extraordinary fine arts, athletic, international and other extracurricular opportunities have also benefitted my children in all grades. The college application process was very positive on two fronts. The staff in this area are incredibly knowledgeable and supportive to parents and students alike, and the process for us has twice resulted in admission to exceptional colleges that are a wonderful match. We are delighted our children have had the opportunities this school offers, and cannot speak highly enough about the caliber of education received.