Tafties 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.
Tafties 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 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 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 are opportunities for students to pursue independent initiatives, and are granted by written proposal. They may include Independent Studies Program (ISP) projects, injury rehabilitation, managing a team, senior exemption, or a second season of an individual activity.