September Letter from the Assistant Headmaster
September 15, 2017

Dear Parents,

Hard to believe, but we have just completed our first full week of school. In that time, your children and our students have attended upwards of 25 class meetings, five sports or activity practices, navigated tryouts and roommates, and expended a huge amount of energy. Last weekend, I witnessed a whole bunch of our students throwing paint at one another and participating in the Super Sunday field games. The end result of all of this is a community that is coming together, an educational mission that is being met, and the pure joy of the start of the school year.

At the same time, it has not been without its angst. I spoke with an advisor yesterday whose charge had texted home with each mood change. This child, thrilled in one moment, upset in the next, is a fair example of the average teenager. Parents don’t always get a front row seat to the roller coaster of the adolescent psyche, but a transition to boarding school and modern technology conspire to provide that opportunity. We, the faculty, also see some of this, and stand ready to help our students moderate their emotions and manage this new environment and experience. While there are no absolutes in dealing with adolescents, parents should see a moderating in this type of correspondence as the school year progress. If not, please know we have a host of resources to support both students and parents.

First and foremost, your child’s Class Dean is the point person for any and all questions. From there, the Class Dean can help connect to the advisor, dorm parents, teachers, and many other resources here to aid in navigating life at Taft. One of our key goals in educating the whole student is to create self-reliant, confident adults and this is a group effort. The breadth of experience in helping adolescents navigate this time and place is extraordinary and we feel privileged to utilize that experience, insight, and practice to teach your child.

All that said, below is some noteworthy information about upcoming events and happenings in the next month. This is also the first ever Assistant Headmaster monthly letter. Please look for these in the future, let me know if you have thoughts or questions, and have a great day.

All the best,
Jeremy LaCasse
Assistant Headmaster
From the Duty Office
Over the summer, we asked you to complete a permissions form, which determines what your child may and may not do, beyond our educational program. For example, if your child would like to walk downtown to Rite Aid, we need the appropriate permission noted on the form. At this point, a significant number of parents have not turned in forms for their children. We occasionally find that a child would very much like to do something, but that the lack of a form keeps the child from doing something both the child and the parent would like. That being said, if you have any questions about permissions or if you have not completed the form, please visit:  https://www.taftschool.org/parents

If you have any questions about any aspect of this, please contact Darcy McLellan, the Assistant to the Deans of Students, at 860-945-7800.
From the Athletics Office
Long weekend is a wonderful opportunity to enjoy some time away from campus. Your child may say that the athletic contest on Saturday afternoon is not important or that they may skip it. That is not the case. The other members of the team are dependent on your child’s presence. Please book your travel plans to allow your child to complete her or his game on Saturday, October 7. If you have questions about when the contest will be over, please contact the coach of your child’s team or the Athletic Office at 860-945-7706.
From the Student Activities Office
Speaking of long weekend, if your child remains here on campus, which many do, we offer a number of activities over the course of the weekend. Your child will hear more about these at upcoming Assemblies as we get into the month of October.
From the Deans' Office
Even before long weekend, we have a free Monday on September 25 . Your child will hear more about weekend sign out procedures and how to arrange travel plans. As a boarding school, we look for our students to demonstrate the appropriate level of self-reliance to complete these sorts of tasks in a timely manner. If you have any questions about this, please contact Darcy McLellan, the Assistant to the Deans of Students, at 860-945-7800.

New and returning students will be asked shortly to confirm their advisor for the upcoming year. If your child is a new student, he or she will need to speak with her or his temporary advisor and either switch to someone new or confirm remaining with the temporary advisor. Your child has heard from Lindsay Leal, Associate Dean of Students, about this process. If you have any questions, please contact Lindsay at  lleal@taftschool.org  or 860-945-7841.
Health and Wellness Speakers
In educating the whole student, we focus significant resources and energy on our students’ health and wellness. We have two speakers this fall who will focus on health and wellness topics.
The Stanley King Counseling Institute , who has worked with the faculty earlier this fall on listening skills, will speak with the students on October 3.
Alexis Jones , a noted national speaker on the topic of abusive relationships, will speak to the students on September 21. Ms. Jones has spoken on many college campuses and worked closely with many college athletic teams and programs.
From the Alumni & Development Office
Fall is in full swing in the Alumni & Development Office! Save the date for Fall Parents’ Weekend, October 27th-28th. We have a weekend full of activities planned and all parents and non-Taft siblings are welcome and encouraged to attend. There will be a showing of this season’s musical,  Footloose , on both Friday and Saturday night. Please note that tickets/reservations are NOT required for either performance. You will receive an email with a full schedule and registration information in the next few weeks.

Questions? Visit taftschool.org/alumni , send us an email at  taftevent@taftschool.org  or give us a call at (800) 959-8238. We look forward to seeing you around campus in the coming months!
Taft School | 860-945-7777 | info@taftschool.org | www.taftschool.org