Taft High School: What to Know Before Applying in 2023

A high school education is a critical stepping stone in a student’s academic journey. It provides students with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed and prepares them for their future careers and adult life. 

Selecting the right high school ensures your child receives the best education possible. This article will provide a comprehensive overview of Taft High School, academic programs, extracurricular activities, and its reputation to help you decide on your child’s future.

We aim to provide a detailed overview of the school, its strengths and weaknesses, and its suitability for students of different backgrounds and abilities.

With this information, we hope to help parents and students make informed decisions about their high school choices and find the right fit for their needs.

History of Taft High School

Taft High School was founded in 1960 in the Woodland Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. The school was named after William Howard Taft, the 27th president of the United States and the 10th Chief Justice of the United States.

Over the years, Taft High School has grown into one of the largest high schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). The school has undergone several renovations and additions to accommodate its growing student body and expanding programs.

In 1974, Taft High School established its Gifted/Highly Gifted Magnet program, which offers a rigorous academic curriculum for students who meet specific eligibility requirements. The program has been highly successful and is still in place today.

In the early 2000s, Taft High School became known for its strong athletics program, with its football team winning several city and state championships. The school also offers a performing arts program, which has produced several successful alumni in the entertainment industry.

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School’s Mission and Vision:

The mission of Taft High School is to provide a safe and supportive learning environment where students can achieve academic excellence, personal growth, and social responsibility. 

The school’s vision is to prepare students to become lifelong learners and responsible citizens who contribute to their communities.

Taft High School is committed to providing a diverse and inclusive environment that values and respects the backgrounds and perspectives of all its students. The school also strives to offer a comprehensive and challenging curriculum that prepares students for college and career success.

Academic Programs at Taft High School

Taft High School offers a comprehensive curriculum that meets California state standards and prepares students for college and career success. The school’s methods include traditional classroom instruction, project-based learning, and technology integration. Taft High School also provides academic support services, such as tutoring and counseling, to help students succeed.

B. IB Middle Years programs:

The International Baccalaureate (IB), a non-profit organization that supports the education of more than 1 million students annually in more than 3,900 schools in 147 countries, developed the IB Middle Years Programme (MYP), for students aged 11 to 16, as an inclusive, whole-school program.

The MYP encourages responsible attitudes and teaches methods for lifelong learning, which show students how to apply what they have learned to make moral decisions. The MYP is the best preparation for the IB Diploma Programme (DP) and the IB Career-related Programme (CP) due to its emphasis on independent study.

The learner profile, which consists of 10 qualities students are encouraged to acquire to become responsible members of their local, national, and international communities, is the cornerstone of all IB programs. IB students work hard to be balanced, thoughtful, open-minded, risk-takers, principled inquirers, thinkers, and communicators.

However, the MYP features:

  • Key and Related Concepts are big ideas which form the basis of teaching and learning in the MYP. 
  • Global Contexts provide shared starting points for inquiry into what it means to be internationally minded, framing a curriculum that promotes multilingualism, intercultural understanding, and global engagement.
  • Approaches to Teaching and Learning, a unifying thread throughout all MYP subject groups, are skills that help students manage their own learning. 
  • Action and Service, essential components of the MYP, set out clear learning outcomes that grow from students’ participation in local and global communities.
  • The Personal Project, for students completing the program in year 5/sophomore year, is a culminating experience in which students apply their approaches to learning skills to complete an extended, self-directed piece of work. 

Click below to learn more about the program.

Tafthighschool.org- MYP

International Baccalaureate Diploma Program 

The International Baccalaureate Diploma Program is a demanding pre-university program of study that concludes with international tests and assessments in the 11th and 12th grades. 

Taft provides students with a high honors and advanced placement curriculum in the six core subject areas of English, World Language, History, Science, Mathematics, and the Arts to prepare them for the entire diploma program.

Aspects of the IB Diploma Program

  • It provides students with the lifelong skills they need to be flexible in a rapidly changing, globalized world by fostering the development of pupils with great breadth and depth of knowledge.  
  • Encourages students to create a good attitude toward learning by challenging them to think critically, reflect, enhance their research abilities, discover how to learn, and engage in community service.
  • Promotes global awareness among its students and places a specific emphasis on language development
  • The program’s distinctive theory of knowledge course allows students to investigate the nature of knowledge. 
  • High academic standards are strongly emphasized throughout the education continuum.
  • It has a long-standing reputation for providing high-quality education, allowing IB graduates admission to the best colleges in the world (Newsweek and US News and World Report).
  • A Taft High School and International Baccalaureate will be awarded upon successful program completion.

Click below to learn more about the program.

Tafthighschool.org- IB Diploma Program 

International Baccalaureate Career-related Program (IBCP)

New students residing in Taft’s attendance area and current Taft students not enrolled in the IB Diploma Programme or Avid are both eligible for the IBCP program.

The IBCP is a unique program for students wanting to participate in career-related learning, including the IB’s vision and educational tenets. A student will be able to prepare for effective involvement in a workplace that is constantly evolving thanks to the IBCP as they:

  • Ponder alternative viewpoints and new insights
  • Participates in learning that has a favorable impact
  • Combines the development of practical and conventional academic skills.
  • Thinks critically and creatively in a workplace that is changing quickly and globally.
  • Communicates effectively and clearly
  • Both independently and in conjunction with others, performs
  • Becomes a resilient, flexible, and self-assured individual.

Tafthighschool.org-IB career-related program 

Honors courses and college readiness initiatives:

Taft High School offers a variety of honors courses in subjects such as English, math, science, and social studies. These courses are designed to challenge students and prepare them for college-level coursework. 

The school also provides college readiness initiatives, such as college application workshops, financial aid information sessions, and college visits, to help students plan their post-secondary education.

In addition, Taft High School has a Gifted/Highly Gifted Magnet program, which offers a challenging and accelerated curriculum for students who meet specific eligibility requirements. 

The program provides students with opportunities for advanced coursework, research projects, and other enrichment activities.

Overall, Taft High School offers a range of academic programs and initiatives to meet the needs and interests of its diverse student body. Whether students are interested in pursuing college-level coursework or preparing for a career, Taft High School provides the resources and support they need to succeed.

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Extracurricular Activities and Clubs at Taft High School

Teams in several sports, including football, basketball, soccer, volleyball, and more, are part of Taft High School’s active athletics program. 

The school competes against other schools in the area as a California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) member. Taft High School also places a high priority on physical fitness and provides students with a variety of fitness activities and programs.

Music, theater, and visual arts programs

Taft High School’s music, drama, and visual arts programs allow students to participate in music, theater, and the visual arts. 

The school offers drama, art, band, choir, and orchestra programs and various extracurricular activities like theatrical productions, art exhibits, and musical performances. 

Modern performing arts facilities are also available at Taft High School, giving pupils a polished setting to display their skills.

Volunteer and service clubs

Taft High School includes various volunteer and service clubs that allow students to give back to their community and hone their leadership abilities. 

These clubs include the Key Club, which strongly emphasizes volunteering and community service, and groups that support regional charities and nonprofits. 

In addition, Taft High School is firmly committed to environmental sustainability and provides groups and initiatives that advance eco-friendly behaviors and environmental care.

Taft High School generally provides a wide choice of clubs and extracurricular activities to cater to its students’ varied interests. Taft High School offers chances for students to get engaged and have a positive influence, whether they are interested in sports, the arts, or community service.

Student Life at Taft High School

Taft High School has a solid academic achievement culture emphasizing giving students a rigorous and encouraging learning environment. 

The school promotes critical thinking abilities and a love of lifelong learning in its pupils and places high importance on respect, responsibility, and teamwork. Taft High School also actively promotes diversity and inclusion and seeks to foster a friendly and inclusive environment for all students.

Diversity and inclusion initiatives

Taft High School is dedicated to encouraging diversity and inclusion and seeks to make the school environment safe and welcoming for all students. 

The school has several programs in place to achieve this objective, including relationships with regional groups that assist underserved communities, diversity and inclusion training for staff and students, and programs promoting cultural understanding. 

The multicultural center at Taft High School offers assistance and services to students from many backgrounds.

Student organizations and leadership opportunities

These initiatives allow students to hone their leadership abilities and become active in their school’s community. Among these are clubs dedicated to community service, cultural awareness, environmental sustainability, and the student government, which gives students a voice and fights for their needs. 

Additionally, Taft High School offers leadership development courses like the Leadership Academy, which gives students training and guidance to help them grow as leaders and positively impact their neighborhoods.

Taft High School offers students a variety of chances to develop their abilities, explore their interests, and have a good impact on their community. The school has a strong culture of academic performance, diversity, and inclusion.

Taft High School Faculty and Staff

Teachers at Taft High School are highly qualified and experienced professionals dedicated to their student’s learning and success. 

Every teacher in the state is licensed and has at least a bachelor’s degree in their field of instruction. In addition, a lot of professors have advanced degrees and a lot of professional experience. 

The school actively attempts to hire and retain a diverse teaching staff that reflects the experiences and ethnicities of its student body because it supports diversity and inclusivity.

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Chances for faculty professional development 

Taft High School understands the need for continual professional development for its faculty and offers a variety of chances for instructors to improve their abilities and knowledge. The school often hosts professional development training sessions, seminars, and workshops on various subjects about teaching and learning. 

The school also encourages and supports instructors who want to pursue higher degrees or certificates in their areas of expertise. It offers financial aid and paid time off so they can attend pertinent conferences and seminars.

Initiatives for retaining staff members: 

Taft High School loves its instructors and staff and seeks to foster a welcoming and constructive work environment that encourages employee retention and job satisfaction. 

With various incentives and benefits like health insurance, retirement plans, and paid time off, the institution can draw in and keep experienced and highly trained staff. The school also offers mentorship and coaching programs to help new teachers and opportunities for employees to cooperate and exchange best practices.

The instructors and staff at Taft High School are very skilled, knowledgeable, and dedicated to the education of their students. 

The school places high importance on continued professional growth and offers a variety of opportunities for teachers to advance their knowledge and abilities. Additionally, the school fosters employee happiness and retention through various programs and benefits that foster a healthy work environment.

The faculty at Taft High School is highly skilled and knowledgeable, focusing on giving pupils the finest education possible. Most of Taft High School’s instructors have doctorates in their fields, and many have years of experience instructing in various environments. 

To keep abreast of the most recent findings in educational research and best practices, the school also encourages its teachers to take advantage of ongoing professional development opportunities.

Professional Development Opportunities for Faculty 

Taft High School prioritizes professional development for its staff members and offers a variety of chances for educators to advance their abilities and knowledge. 

Workshops, seminars, conferences, peer coaching, and mentoring programs are a few opportunities available. The institution also supports and equips its instructors with the tools to seek higher education and professional certifications.

Staff support and retention initiatives

The staff at Taft High School is valued, and the school makes an effort to foster a friendly workplace. The school provides its faculty with various support services, such as counseling and wellness programs, career development, and advancement opportunities. 

The school also focuses on developing a collaborative and inclusive work environment and offers competitive salaries and perks as further steps to help with employee retention.

In general, Taft High School is dedicated to giving its pupils the finest education possible, and it understands that this begins with its instructors and staff. 

To assist the growth and development of its teachers, the school recognizes their credentials and experience and offers chances for continued professional development. 

Additionally, Taft High School prioritizes staff retention and support because they understand how vital a great work environment is to student achievement.

Parent and Community Involvement at Taft High School

Taft High School understands the need for effective parent-teacher communication and seeks to ensure parents are actively involved in their children’s education. 

The school often hosts open houses and parent-teacher conferences so that parents can interact with the faculty and staff. Additionally, the school uses a variety of contact channels to update parents about their child’s development and school activities, including email, phone, and internet portals.

Community connections and outreach initiatives: Taft High School cherishes its relationships with the neighborhood and seeks to foster chances for interaction and participation. 

The school collaborates with various institutions, including colleges, non-profits, and local businesses, to give students options for career exploration, volunteer work, and academic enrichment. 

In addition, the school sponsors various neighborhood programs and events, including art exhibitions, theatrical productions, and athletic competitions. These activities encourage a sense of belonging and pride in the neighborhood.

Parent volunteer opportunities: 

Taft High School invites and promotes parent involvement in various capacities, including volunteering. Numerous volunteer options are available at the school, including aiding with school activities, chaperoning field excursions, and participating on advisory committees. 

A parent-teacher association at the school allows parents to participate in extracurricular activities, support their children’s education, and network with other parents.

Taft High School generally understands how crucial parent and community involvement is to build a stable and encouraging school environment. The school aims to create opportunities for participation and teamwork and recognizes parents’ and community members’ assistance in students’ academic success.

Facilities and Resources at Taft High School

The classrooms and facilities on the Taft High School campus are state-of-the-art and well-kept, supporting student learning and success. The latest educational technology, such as interactive whiteboards and audiovisual equipment, is available in the classrooms, with plenty of lighting and comfortable seating. 

The school also features a variety of specialty spaces, including science labs, art studios, and music rooms, which give students access to materials and tools that support their extracurricular and academic interests.

Technology and learning resources

Taft High School understands the value of technology in assisting student learning and offers a variety of tools and resources to help achieve this objective. A wide variety of educational software and programs are available, along with high-speed internet connections and Wi-Fi, at the school. The school also gives pupils access to laptops and tablets to use technology to enhance their studies inside and outside the classroom.

Sports and athletics facilities 

Taft High School provides a variety of sports and athletics facilities that are intended to help student-athletes advance physical fitness. The school offers space for various sports and activities thanks to its many outdoor fields, courts, and gymnasium. The school also offers a fitness center that is open to students and staff and is furnished with various workout machines.

Taft High School’s resources and facilities are created to support student achievement and learning and encourage wellness and physical fitness. Students have access to various athletic and sporting facilities, modern and well-equipped classrooms, and a robust technology infrastructure, all essential elements of a high-quality educational experience.

Taft High School Admissions Process

Students must satisfy the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) residency standards to be eligible to apply to Taft High School. 

Students also need to be entering the 9th, 10th, 11th, or 12th grade and meet the program’s academic eligibility standards. 

Students must, for instance, achieve rigorous academic and cognitive qualifying requirements if they wish to apply to the Gifted/Highly Gifted Magnet program.

Application procedures and deadlines: The Taft High School application procedure differs depending on the chosen program. Students interested in the Gifted/Highly Gifted Magnet program must apply and go through an evaluation procedure. 

Students must consult their counselors to ascertain their eligibility for other programs, such as AP and honors classes, and to register for the courses.

The programs all have different application and registration deadlines. Students can check with their counselors or the school website for precise deadlines.

Taft High School Enrollment Process: 

  1. To accept your admission offer to Taft High School, first log into GoCPS
  1. Fill out the Taft Enrollment Request Form, which is accessible here, 

Please note that submitting an enrollment request form does not ensure your student will have a seat at Taft.  Families must finish Step 3 of the Taft registration process to reserve a spot for their students.   

  1. Click here to schedule a registration appointment.

Registration appointments will be held at the Taft Freshman Academy (4071 N Oak Oak Park Ave, Chicago, IL 60634) beginning the week of April 17, 2023.  Families at their registration appointment should fill out the following forms:

Verification of Address, Age, and Guardianship

Families that complete the Enrollment Request Form during Step 1 of the Registration Process can provide their Address, Proof of Age, and Guardianship documents.  

Your Registration Appointment at Taft will be shorter if you upload these documents in advance.  Families can also bring hard copies of these documents: 

  • For address
  • proof of age
  • For guardianship verification, the following papers are needed:
  • A valid Illinois driver’s license
  • Illinois identification card

Or other identification cards issued by a federal, state, or foreign government consulate, such as a Matricula Consular, must be presented as proof of current address number. 

1.   The guardian’s name on the ID must coincide with the guardian’s name on the student’s birth certificate or other official document proving the student’s age. 

Acceptable documents for the second verification of the current address include the following:

  • Current utility bills (water, gas, or electric) statement
  • ID from the employer and a MediPlan or Medicaid card showing a current residence is required.
  • voting identification card
  • Court records
  • Card from the Illinois Department of Public Aid
  • United States Postal Service change of address form with a stamp
  • Social Security and Illinois state aid checks

Student Proof of Age: A court document proving the student’s age and guardianship, or the student’s birth certificate Course Choice.

Families will meet with a Taft staff member to review their course choices during your Registration Appointment.  Students will fill out a course selection form to indicate their preferences for language acquisition and elective classes.  

We place students in core subjects first, CPS graduation requirements second, and elective selections third when scheduling their courses for 2023–2024.  The first person who requests a class does not get it.  

Registration for Freshman Connection

The Taft Freshman Academy will hold Freshman Connection for 4 weeks, beginning on July 10 and ending on August 3, 2023.  The program will be offered from 8 AM to 1 PM, Monday through Thursday.  Students sign up to attend Freshman Connection for one week.  Families can choose the Freshman Connection week they like for their student to attend during their registration appointment.  The program is free and offers students the chance to:

  • Know your school’s teachers, counselors, and other support personnel.
  • Learn about graduation requirements and school expectations.
  • Practice the academic strategies to enable you to succeed in your first year of college.
  • Learn study techniques and time management techniques.
  • Play games and other activities.
  • Learn how to manage your school’s stress and anxiety.

Taft Summer Camps

Taft will hold summer camps for children entering grades 5 through 12 this summer.  Various camps, such as those for robotics, chess, athletics, and art, will be available. 

Click here to view the Summer Campus Guide 2023 and sign up for a camp.  Families can sign up for Taft summer camps during their registration appointment. 

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Tuition and Financial Aid at Taft High School

Taft High School is a public high school, so it does not charge tuition to students who reside in its designated attendance area. 

Tuition payment options are also available. Tuition may be charged to students who live outside the attendance area but still wish to attend Taft High School. 

Families have access to several payment choices from the school, including online payment methods and payment plans.

Scholarship and financial assistance opportunities

Taft High School is dedicated to ensuring every student, regardless of financial situation, has access to a top-notch education. For students who can prove their financial need, the institution provides a variety of financial aid and scholarship alternatives. 

These include work-study programs, scholarships, and grants based on financial need. To help students who need it more financially, the school also collaborates closely with regional foundations and community organizations.

Fundraising and contribution initiatives

Taft High School depends on community support to give its students the best education possible. Various fundraising and contribution initiatives support the school’s academic, athletic, and extracurricular programs. These comprise annual donation drives, business alliances, and contributions from foundations and government organizations. 

The school regularly solicits donations from its alumni and the local community to finance its programs and projects. All contributions are tax-deductible and go directly to helping Taft High School students.

Taft High School is dedicated to giving every student a high-quality education regardless of socioeconomic situation. 

The school relies on community assistance to raise additional funds and resources to support its programs and projects. It provides a variety of financial aid and scholarship possibilities to students who demonstrate financial need.

Visit the school’s website to get more information.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the student-teacher ratio at Taft High School?

The student-teacher ratio at Taft High School is approximately 22:1.

What is the school’s approach to discipline and behavior management?

The school’s discipline and behavior management approach focuses on positive reinforcement and restorative practices, emphasizing teaching students appropriate behavior and conflict resolution skills.

How can parents get involved in the school community?

Parents can get involved in the school community through the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA), volunteer opportunities, and attending school events and meetings.

What extracurricular activities are available for students?

Taft High School offers various extracurricular activities, including athletics, music and performing arts, service, and academic clubs.

How is technology integrated into the school’s curriculum?

Technology is integrated into the school’s curriculum through online learning resources, interactive whiteboards, and mobile devices.


Taft High School is an excellent choice for students looking for a challenging and rewarding academic experience and opportunities to participate in various extracurricular activities. With a strong commitment to diversity, inclusion, and student success, Taft High School is dedicated to providing a supportive and engaging learning environment for all students.



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