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Taft School

School rating 4 / 5 by

110 Woodbury Road Watertown CT 06795 United States
9th to PG
9th to PG


Taft School review by .

Taft's academic program is rigorous, but teachers truly go out of their way to make sure that classes are manageable for students. Teachers are all willing to work around Taft students' extremely hectic schedules: students who have two or more assessments scheduled for the same day are automatically allowed to take one of the assessments at a later date. Teachers want students to do well, and because they (by in large) live on campus, teachers are almost always available at night or in the afternoon for extra help. Classes are primarily discussion-based, and Taft's philosophy encourages students to think independently and participate actively. Active classroom participation is encouraged not only by teachers, but also by the fact that most classrooms, excluding math classrooms, feature Harkness discussion tables. I believe that Taft has an excellent history department and I personally thrived in classes focused on the study of philosophy and ideology. The average class size has about 12 students; in my time, I took a class that had three students in it, but also a class that had 16. There is a range in class size, but irregardless of size, teachers are passionate and strive to give individualized attention to all students. I have always struggled in math, and one of the most helpful institutions Taft offers is "Math Table," at which students can receive extra help from math teachers on duty each school night from 8 to 9 pm. Taft is reasonably strong in all areas of study; I personally believe that Taft's English Department is probably the strongest, and I can attest that many Taft graduates report that they are leaps and bounds ahead of most of their classmates in college with regard to their essay-writing abilities. I would also say that Taft truly encourages leadership and independent thinking. Because students are living on their own, they are forced to mature into adults in their time at Taft, which tends to make students want to effect change through student government or other leadership outlets.

College Counseling

Taft students consider the college counseling department to be the weakest part of an otherwise....

Sample insights on college counseling

  • They have contacts at most of the major universities and feel perfectly comfortable picking up the phone and advocating for a student to get accepted somewhere they feel is a good fit for that student. However, these counselors are certainly not magic bullets. They cannot guarantee that a student will get into an Ivy League university...
  • For those wishing to move on to Oxford or Cambridge, the provision is second-to-none. In the months running up to application and interview, every subject faculty offers classes (often run by former Oxbridge tutors) exploring further areas of their subject as well as offering advice on personal statements, interview technique and more...

Admissions - Getting Accepted

Taft strives to accept a diverse group of talented individuals. While some students may have....

Sample insights on admissions

  • For the interview, dress conservatively. Try to be very clean and put together. Also, I was a tour guide for two years and at the end of every tour, we were asked to evaluate the candidate so if you think the tour is not apart of the process, you are very wrong. Ask questions and be interested. Also, tip for the parents: the kids speak on the tour. Do not ask their questions for them...
  • Most younger siblings have an easy time in the admissions process. I can only think of one case of a younger sibling not being admitted. About half of the students who entered with me had come from public schools. The remainder came from private K-6 schools, or had transferred from other New York private schools The Elizabeth Morrow School and St. Bernard were two of the larger feeder schools...

School Life

All of Taft's facilities are beautiful and kept in pristine condition throughout the year. Taft carries out extensive renovations each year to ensure that all buildings are aesthetically appealing; places in which students want to live, eat, and attend classes. Our school cafeteria has arguably the best food of any boarding school. Our head chef won the Iron Chef contest in Connecticut and is the former owner of one of Connecticut's best restaurants. Lunches are particularly delicious, featuring an extensive salad bar, a variety of soups and pizzas, and a "Live Action" station at which students can watch unique meals,....

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