COVID-19 Relief at Taft

Supporting Taft is important now more than ever. As the school takes innovative actions to support those in its care, we humbly propose that now is the time for our Taft family to give greatly of itself to ensure that Taft endures. For generations, the philanthropy of Taft donors has been the foundation of the school’s growth and durability, in the best and worst of times. We thank all donors in the Taft community for their support.

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Below are some questions and answers about Taft’s financial position in this unprecedented time. If you have additional questions or would like more information about giving to Taft, please email Kelsey Kerr, Annual Fund Director, at kkerr@taftschool.org.

What measures has the school taken to manage the budget and reduce pressures on endowment draw amidst the uncertainty created by the budget?

During the Spring and Summer of 2020 the school adopted austerity measures that included:

  • immediate suspension of all non-essential capital spending;
  • salary and hiring freeze across campus; with no on-campus summer programs, approximately 50% of staff furloughed for more than two months;
  • review of all department budgets; focus on efficiency without compromising student programs

What are the financial consequences Taft faces in light of COVID-19?

Taft continues to use a hybrid learning format, with many students living and learning on-campus and others learning remotely. This is possible due to increased regular COVID-19 testing of students, faculty, and staff and a significant investment in new technology. In addition to spending more than $800,000 on COVID testing this academic year, the school has invested in excess of $700,000 in information technology infrastructure and software; HVAC and ventilation upgrades and optimization; additional staffing needs across campus, including in the health center; and other campus needs created by the pandemic. Though some costs for the year have been offset by savings in travel, canceled events, and the inability to conduct the same level of robust athletics and arts programs, the school has also been challenged by tuition loss due to reduced rates for remote students and loss of auxiliary revenue from summer programs.

What other areas of exposure does the school face as the pandemic continues to bring some degree of uncertainty to the 20-21 academic year?

There are currently 77 students studying remotely at a reduced tuition rate; 94 day students and 418 boarding students engage with teachers and peers on campus at this time. The school is cautiously optimistic that we can maintain this meaningful and, to-date, highly safe and successful on-campus program throughout the academic year.

Should broad government-imposed travel bans come into play across the globe, international students may not be able to return to campus. Taft enrolls close to 120 international students who provide 20% of the school's tuition revenue.

A shift to fully remote, then hybrid learning continues to present the school with the need for a substantial investment in technology infrastructure and software licenses.

As the global impact of the pandemic has also hit individual families hard, Taft continues to face pressure to reduce tuition price appropriately along with the possibility of enrollment attrition.

Thank you to everyone in the Taft community who has supported COVID-19 relief efforts! We are incredibly grateful for your support that helped to make Taft's hybrid model possible. Your generosity has allowed Taft to invest in technology infrastructure and software, HVAC and ventilation upgrades, PPE and cleaning, COVID-19 testing, athletics, as well as additional financial aid to Taft families.