The Taft School

Watertown, Connecticut, USA

“ Non ut sibi ministretur sed ut ministret ”

Not to be served but to serve

School Information

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various information
about the school



  • Founded : 1890
  • Motto : Non ut sibi ministretur sed ut ministret; Not to be served but to serve.
  • Grades : 9-12, PG
  • Enrollment Gender : Co-ed
  • Tuition : Boarding $56,550
  • Mascot : Rhino
  • School Color : Maroon, Navy blue
  • Rival School : The Hotchkiss School

Academic Information

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various information
about academic



  • Academic Calendar : Semesters
  • Average Class Size : 11
  • Faculty/Student Ratio : 1:5
  • Dress Code : No (Casual)
  • Average SAT Score : 1945
  • AP Courses : 30
  • ESL Offered : No

Notable Alumni

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stories of notable



  • Peter Berg
    Television director, Television producer, Film Producer, Screenwriter, Actor
  • Mary Chapin Carpenter
    Singer-songwriter, Singer
  • Robert Ferdinand Wagner, Jr.
  • John Sharian
    Screenwriter, Actor, Voice Actor, Film Director


Check out
the history of
the school



  • Horace Dutton Taft, the younger brother of President William Howard Taft and graduate from Yale, had a dream of starting his own school. Taft’s family friend Mrs. Robert Black wanted to help found a school at her family’s Pelham Manor in order to honor her late father. She asked Horace Dutton Taft to realize his dream of managing his own school by taking control of her school at Pelham Manor. After marrying a public school teacher in New Haven, Connecticut, Horace Dutton Taft decided to move The Taft School to Watertown, Connecticut. With the help of his wife, proceeded to provide education that focused on the development of the whole person.

Student Life

Student Publications / Magazine

  • Newspaper: The Taft Papyrus
  • Magazine: Taft Bulletin

Signature Programs

  • Global Studies and Service Diploma Program
    The Global Studies and Service Diploma Program works to encourage and acknowledge student efforts promoting social change. Students are awarded the Global Studies and Service Diploma after they demonstrate a commitment to global service through their extracurricular activities, travels, foreign language proficiency, course work, and a culminating project and reflection.
  • Partnership with The New York Botanical Garden (NYBG)
    The Taft School maintains a nearly five year partnership with The New York Botanical Garden which allows students to take advantage of guest scientific lectures, summer internships, and research opportunities.
  • Independent Studies Program
    In the Independent Studies Program, students are placed under the guidance of a faculty adviser to complete a project on a field of interest.


Interscholastic Sports
Alpine Skiing, Baseball, Basketball, Crew, Cross Country, Equestrian, Field Hockey, Football, Golf, Ice Hockey, Lacrosse, Sailing, Soccer, Softball, Squash, Tennis, Track and Field, Volleyball, Wrestling


Total number: 60
Admissions Council, AIDS Awareness Club, Amnesty International Club, Art Club, Asian Club, C.H.A.T., Chamber, Chess Club, Class Committee, Collegium Musicum, Corridor Monitors, Dance Club, Day Student Council, Debate Club, Diversity Club, Economics Club, Fellowship of Christians at Universities and Schools (FOCUS), French Club, Harry Potter Club, Honor, Hydrox, I.S.P., International Club, Introductory Soccer, Introductory Squash, Introductory Tennis, J.E.T.S., Japanese Club, Jazz Club, Jewish Student Organization, Masque and Dagger, Math Club, Model UN, Oriocos, Outdoors Program, Peer Tutors, Perspective, Poetry Club, Press Club, Red Inc. (Literary Magazine), Red Rhino Foundation, Republican Club, S.H.O.U.T., School Monitors, Spanish Club, Step Team, Student Ambassadors, Student Tutoring at Taft, TAALSA (Taft Asian Afro-Latino Student Alliance), Taft Environmental Awareness Movement, TEAM, The Annual (Yearbook), The Papyrus (School Newspaper), The Red Sweater Club, Tour Guides, United Cultures at Taft, Volunteer Council, Wall and Rock Climbing, WRED Radio, Yoga


  • Academic Facilities:
    Woolworth Faculty Room, Pinto Family Language Lab, The Arts and Humanities Center, Moorhead Academic Center, Mortara Family Academic Wing, Lady Ivy Kwok Wu Science/Mathematics Center, Hulbert Taft, Jr. Library, Nancy and Ben Belcher Learning Center, Laube Auditorium
  • Athletic Facilities:
    Donald F. McCullough ’42 Athletic Center, Donaldson Family Pavilion and Tennis Courts , Geoffrey C. Camp ’91 Field (synthetic turf), Katie Jackson Morrison ’92 Field, Lawrence H. Stone Baseball Pavilion at Rockwell Field, Logan Field House, Mays Rink, Odden Hockey Arena, Parents’ Association Field House, Paul and Edith Cruikshank Athletic Center, Rockefeller Field, Snyder Field, Softball Field, Taft’s Course at Watertown Golf Club, William Weaver Track.

Special Days

  • Taft-Hotchkiss Day
    Each year during the fall athletic season, nearly every Taft team faces off against its perennial prep school rivals, Hotchkiss, on one glorious afternoon. Games alternate between Taft's campus and Hotchkiss' from year to year, but the intensity of the rivalry never changes.
  • Spirit Week
    Spirit Week leads up to Taft-Hotckiss Day, with a fun theme celebrated each day. The week culminates Friday night with the Big Red Rally, a spirited—and spirit building— all-school pep rally. Don’t be surprised if the rally ends with a bonfire on the pond.
  • Senior Week
    A last hurrah for Taft seniors, filled with fun events and activities, including a final day of service as a Taft student on Senior Community Service Day.
  • PSBL
    The Pre-Study Ball League is one of the greatest—and most fun—traditions at Taft, in which coed student and faculty teams play softball before study hall. Teams with extraordinarily creative names compete for the coveted PSBL championship and bragging rights.
  • Rhino Cup
    Students may join Taft’s intramural hockey league as their winter ex, whether they are seasoned hockey players or are “Tri-pods”—new skaters using their hockey stick as a third stabilizing appendage. Nearly the entire Taft community gathers one evening each year for a rollicking Rhino Cup game.


School Type
82% Boarding (489 Students) and 18% Day Students (105 Students)
20% International Students
9th Grade: 99
10th Grade: 167
11th Grade: 158
12th Grade: 177

Deadline: Jan. 15
Notification Date: Mar. 10
Reply Date: Apr. 10

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