September Letter from the Assistant Headmaster
September 17, 2018

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Time at Taft is an epic journey and, as the English department would point out, a journey of great duration and challenge needs a beginning, middle, and end. The beginning of the 2018-2019 school year is fitting of an epic journey with all the appropriate elements. From the heat of the first day to the chill of Super Sunday, from the excitement of arriving at the first class to the daunting realization of all that needs to be learned and done, our students and faculty have begun this journey in good order and are navigating the inherent challenges of a new school year.

The first weekend, with the Colors Dance on Saturday night and Super Sunday the following day, found our students rallying together in both competition and celebration. Nothing says “this is it” more than a mob of teenagers covered in paint. You might find your child in the mess here . While a chilly 60 degrees, the spirit was overwhelming as the students worked together on everything from tug of war to building a pyramid to tossing eggs. The Taft community was on full display.

These communal moments, while seemingly fun distractions from the core purpose of school, play an equal and important role in the learning of our students. Dr. Ted Fish, Executive Director of the Gardner Carney Leadership Institute notes that the “importance [of school] stems from the “relative emphasis schools put on the well-being and happiness of their pupils.” Moments of community, like Super Sunday, have much to do with how our students experience each other and Taft and are essential moments in their shared learning. Dr. Fish notes that schools need to “create cultures rooted as much in kindness, caring, and joy, as they are in excellence. This is the ultimate preparation for a good and meaningful life.” This is Super Sunday and so many other meaningful interactions that arise from living and learning in this community.

As you hear from your child about the start of school, know that beginning at a new place is always filled with significant highs and lows. It truly is an epic journey. We are looking forward to seeing many of you for Parents Weekend in October.

All the best,
Jeremy LaCasse
Assistant Headmaster
From the Dean of Students Office
There are no classes on Free Monday , September 24th.  Students are permitted to leave campus after their last class or co-curricular commitment on Saturday, September 22nd and must return no later than Monday, September 24th at 7:30pm.

Boarders who wish to leave campus overnight this weekend may sign out on their student portal. An email will be sent to all boarding students beginning on Monday, September 17th with information on how to sign out using their portal if they wish to leave campus for Free Monday weekend.  The deadline for students to sign out for this weekend is Thursday, September 20th at 11:00 pm.
From the Athletics Department
Please make sure not to schedule your child’s travel plans to conflict with games. Your child should check with their coach to determine when they will be free to leave on Saturday, September 22nd. Also, some varsity teams practice on Monday, September 24th. If your child plays on a varsity team, please have them check with the coach as to when practice will be on Monday. If you have questions, please contact Rachael Ryan or Rob Madden .
From the College Counseling Office
Please note that all 10th (Mid) and 11th (Upper Mid) students will take the PSAT on October 10 . If you have questions about this, please contact the college office. Please note the date change from earlier publications.
From the Counseling Office
School counselors offer support and guidance to individual students, consult with deans and faculty members, and contribute to the emotional health and well-being of the community as a whole. There are three school counselors: Rachel Jacobs, PhD (Director of Counseling), Jonas Katkavich, PsyD, and Lauren Henry, LCSW. This year, the office is delighted to welcome an intern, Gabrielle Roy. Gabrielle is a doctoral candidate at the University of Hartford's Graduate Institute for Professional Psychology. Parents are always welcome to reach out to the counseling office with questions or concerns regarding their child. Given that some students choose to keep whether or not they meet with a counselor private, parents who would like to be contacted prior to their child being seen should contact the director of counseling.
From the Communications Office
Interested in learning more about daily life at Taft? Parents are encouraged to visit the Taft website and follow Taft’s social media channels, which are listed in the footer of this email. Photos of arts, athletics, and other events are available to view and download at . (To download high resolution photos, click the download icon located in the corner of an image.) Videos of Taft speakers are posted on the Taft Vimeo channel .
From the Alumni & Development Office
Taft School | 860-945-7777 | |