Daily Life

Beyond the Books

In addition to small class size (10 students per class with a 4:1 student/faculty ratio), fascinating classes, and amazing facilities, students at Summer School have the opportunity to immerse themselves in new experiences through the arts, athletics, and off campus trips.

The Arts at Taft

From hesitant novice to confident advanced art student, there is a class for everyone! Offerings include theater, photography, pottery, studio art, and video. All students will submit works to the end of the term art show, and in addition, advanced students will have the opportunity to assemble portfolios, building for future interests in the field.

Music rooms are available to interested students who wish to practice during free time.

Athletics

In addition to the obvious physical benefit, sports are an important social part of Summer School! The program is entirely recreational and students may choose a different activity each week, based on personal interest. Typical offerings include soccer, basketball, volleyball, weight training, tennis, squash, running, aerobics, and ultimate frisbee.

Instructional tennis and squash lessons are available at an additional cost on a first-come, first-served basis.

On the Weekends

Beyond the classroom and the athletic field, a multitude of exciting opportunities await our students! Fun on-campus activities, as well as enjoyable and entertaining day trips are offered each weekend. Around town, several small stores, restaurants, and a movie theater are located within walking distance from Taft. To maximize the overall experience, students are strongly encouraged to remain on campus for the weekends in order to fully participate in these social activities.

Sample Trips and Activities

  • Boston
  • New York City/Broadway
  • Six Flags New England Amusement Park
  • Yale University
  • Connecticut Science Center
  • Movies
  • Shopping Trips
  • On-campus DJ Dances
  • Bowling
  • Faculty/Student Soccer Games
  • Arts Festival
  • Fourth of July Celebration
  • Optional Community Service Trips

Great Food

Our excellent dining facilities are proud to serve a daily variety of fresh and healthy menu options!

Relax at the Jig!

The Student Union (or as we call it at Taft, the "Jig") comes equipped with pool and ping pong tables, a digital video jukebox with touchscreen music selection, a multi-zone sound system, and a flat panel television with a surround sound theater.

Residential Life

Because Taft's buildings are all situated close together, students really do live where they learn.

Approximately 90 percent of our students live in the two dorms utilized during Summer School. Dorm faculty and interns quickly become more than just teachers and chaperones; they become mentors and role models, offering advice, extra help, or simply popcorn and a movie.

The atmosphere on the corridors is relaxed, but structured study halls in the evening and constant faculty presence in the dormitories are recognized as essential to developing an environment conducive to learning.

Single rooms are available on a first-come first-served basis, but most students can expect to have a roommate of the same age. Rooms come equipped with basic furnishings; a list of additional items to bring is supplied several weeks prior to arrival. Common rooms are located on each floor in the dormitories and come equipped with sofas, a television, and a refrigerator. For the convenience of our students, vending machines are located throughout campus and additional snacks and incidentals can be purchased at the school store.

Taft offers a wireless campus and laptop computers, although not mandatory, are strongly encouraged for use during study hall. Cell phone and personal audio use is permitted during free time, as outlined in the student handbook.

Advisors

A close, supportive relationship with an adult is an important ingredient in a student's summer. Each student will be assigned a faculty advisor at the end of the first week of classes. The advisor will help monitor the progress of each student throughout the remainder of the session. Advisors will report to parents in writing at the end of the summer, but should parents have questions about the school during the course of the summer, they should feel free to contact their son's or daughter's advisor.

Conduct

Experience has shown us that students who are sincerely interested in making the most of their experience at Summer School do not find it difficult to follow the rules of the School.

Students are expected to meet certain clearly defined standards of behavior as outlined in detail in the student handbook. Matters such as personal integrity, academic honesty, the use of alcohol, drugs, or tobacco, and the fulfilling of all school responsibilities, are designed to protect the rights and, most importantly, the safety of the individual and to promote the smooth operation of the community as a whole. Smoking on campus, in Watertown, or on school trips is strictly prohibited.

The Director of the Summer School and the Dean of Students reserve the right to dismiss any student who cannot abide by the rules of the School or whose conduct is considered harmful to himself or to the school community.

Dress Code

Shorts, jeans, and t-shirts are the norm at Summer School, with good taste and neatness prevailing (frayed and patched clothing, offensive t-shirts, as well as facial and body piercing of any kind, with the exception of ear piercings, are not permitted). One or two nice outfits are required for the more formal functions at Summer School.

Medical Services

The Martin Health Center is a fully equipped facility with a registered nurse on duty at all times. In addition, a physician is on call throughout the day. Emergency medical service is available at St. Mary's Hospital, which is a ten minute drive from campus.

Spiritual Life

Taft is a nondenominational school with no single religious affiliation, and students are encouraged to attend the church of their choice. Catholic, Congregational, Episcopal and Methodist churches are within walking distance of campus.

Jonathan from Connecticut

“The daily life at Taft was incredible. Every minute was filled with learning and excitement. I worked really hard, but played hard, too."