Afternoon Program Requirements

Taft students are required to participate in an afternoon activity, or “ex,” in each of three seasons: fall, winter, and spring. Some students opt to play team sports, while others commit to service-oriented programs, experiential learning, or opportunities in the arts. The wide range of offerings—and the requirement that all Taft students participate in activities that enrich their experience outside of the classroom—effectively reflects Mr. Taft’s founding mission to educate the whole student, and the important role collaboration plays in fostering and promoting a strong sense of community.

Taft students select their activities for all three seasons at the beginning of the year; there is an opportunity to change that selection at the start of each season. Selection guidelines help bring balance to each students’ experience at Taft, and vary with grade level. Lower and new middlers, for example, must choose community (vs. individual, see below) activities in two of their first three seasons at Taft.

Occasionally, students may request permission to participate in clubs or teams outside of the Taft community. Students playing for Taft on interscholastic teams should not participate on non-Taft teams while their Taft team is in season, and participation should not interfere with activities or responsibilities at Taft; permission is considered on a case-by-case basis.

Afternoon Program Activity Categories

The full roster of afternoon program options available to Taft students may vary from year to year, but always follows this structure:

Community Activities

Community Activities are school-offered programs that emphasize teamwork and collaboration to achieve a common group goal, while representing Taft both on and off campus. These may include things like community service, dance, farming, interscholastic sports, robotics, theater, and theater tech.

Individual Activities

Individual Activities are school-offered programs, often recreational in nature, which emphasize individual development and have an expectation of regular participation under the direction of a faculty member. Students may participate in an individual activity only once per year (twice by approved exemption). Individual activities may include things link aerobics, conditioning, Pilates, yoga, weight training, horseback riding, intramural sports, martial arts, rock climbing, skating, and Ultimate Frisbee.

Exemptions

Exemptions are opportunities for students to pursue independent initiatives; they require a written proposal, and are subject to approval by the Afternoon Program Exemption Group. They may include Independent Studies Program (ISP) projects, injury rehabilitation, managing a team, senior exemption, or a second season of an individual activity.

Exemptions are opportunities for students to pursue independent initiatives. Exemption activities include participation in the Independent Studies Program (ISP); on-campus injury rehabilitation as determined by the Taft Athletic Trainers; a second season of specific Individual Activity; Senior Exemptions; serving as a team manager; and, activities by special proposal.

In order to apply for an Exemption, with the exception of injury rehabilitation, students are required to complete an Exemption application. Upon its timely submission, this application is reviewed by the student’s advisor, Class Dean, and the Afternoon Program Exemption Group. Procedures and deadlines for Exemption applications will be communicated in the weeks immediately preceding the start of a new activity season; fall, winter and spring.

Attendance

Students are expected to attend all scheduled meetings and/or matches for their afternoon activities. If a scheduled absence is anticipated, prior communication with the coach or activity director, as well as the Dean of Students Office, is required in order to secure the necessary permissions.

Detailed Requirements

Lower Middler and New Middler

  • Three seasons of participation with at least two Community Activities required. Option of participating in one Individual Activity or applying for one Exemption during winter or spring seasons.
  • Lower middlers and new middlers are required to participate in a Community Activity during the fall season of their first year at Taft. Community service and farming are excluded from the options for this first season.
  • New students may not apply for an Exemption to manage team during their first year at Taft. Example Program: fall season—interscholastic soccer (Community Activity); winter season—martial arts (Individual Activity); spring season—community service (Community Activity).

Middler

Three seasons of participation with at least two Community Activities required. Option of participating in one Individual Activity or applying for one Exemption.

New Upper Middler

  • Three seasons of participation with one Community Activity required. Option of applying for one Exemption.
  • New upper middlers are required to participate in a Community Activity during the fall season of their first year at Taft.
  • New students may not apply for an Exemption to manage a team during their first year at Taft.

Afternoon Program Offerings by Season

Fall

  • Community Service
  • Conditioning (co-ed, upper school)
  • Cross Country (boys & girls): Varsity, JV
  • Field Hockey (girls): Varsity, JV, Thirds
  • Football (boys): Varsity, JV
  • Intramural Horseback Riding (co-ed)
  • Intramural Tennis (co-ed)
  • Martial Arts (co-ed)
  • Musical
  • Theatre/Theater Tech with Dance
  • Organic Farming
  • Robotics
  • Soccer (boys & girls): Varsity, JV, Thirds, Fourths (boys); Intramural (co-ed)
  • Volleyball (girls): Varsity, JV, Thirds
  • Yoga (co-ed)

Winter

  • Aerobics (co-ed)
  • Basketball (boys & girls): Varsity, JV, Thirds
  • Intramural Climbing (co-ed, upper school)
  • Community Service
  • Conditioning (co-ed)
  • Dance (co-ed)
  • Ice Hockey (boys & girls): Varsity, JV, Thirds
  • Intramural Ice Hockey (co-ed, upper school)
  • Martial Arts (co-ed)
  • Robotics
  • Intramural Skating (co-ed)
  • Ski Racing (boys & girls): Varsity, JV
  • Squash (boys & girls): Varsity, JV, Thirds
  • Intramural Squash
  • Theatre/Theater Tech
  • Weight Training (co-ed, upper school)
  • Wrestling (co-ed): Varsity, JV
  • Yoga (co-ed)

Spring

  • Aerobics (co-ed)
  • Baseball (boys): Varsity, JV
  • Community Service
  • Crew (boys & girls): Varsity, JV
  • Golf (boys & girls): Varsity, JV
  • Intramural Horseback Riding (co-ed)
  • Intramural Running (co-ed)
  • Lacrosse (boys & girls): Varsity, JV, Thirds
  • Pilates (co-ed)
  • Softball (girls): Varsity, JV
  • Tennis (boys & girls): Varsity, JV,Thirds
  • Intramural Tennis (boys & girls)
  • Theatre/Theater Tech
  • Track (boys & girls): Varsity, JV
  • Ultimate Frisbee (co-ed, upper school)
  • Intramural Ultimate Frisbee