Students enrolled 1
Hours no info
School leader Sharon Pace Thomas
Transportation options Yes
District Los Angeles Unified School District

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5461 Winnetka Avenue
Woodland Hills, CA 91364

School website
(818) 227-3600
(818) 592-0877
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Map of William Howard Taft Senior High School address.

4 stars
Based on 50 ratings

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think about this school

August 18, 2014
Taft is good school. Academically, it's better if you're in AP or Honors classes. The general ed classes are okay just the students are different; tend to be disrespectful, irritating, and ignorant. Taft is a big school, so there's a lot students. It's culturally diverse. Just hang out with the right crowd and you'll be good!

- submitted by a student
August 22, 2013
Taft has been fantastic! All three of my children have attended Taft. Two of my children have graduated with honors and now attending college, I still have one at Taft and she is a senior and looking forward to a wonderful year and off to college as well. I believe it depends on the student and family on how well they do at Taft, too many parents blame the school or teachers when their child doesn't do well or don't fit in. All three of my children did well academically and were also very involved in sports and the clubs offered at Taft. I do have to say that cosmetically Taft has a long way to go and I hope by the time my senior graduates the school construction will have ended. Thanks Taft!!!

- submitted by a parent
August 22, 2013
Taft gets better and better every year. I have a junior and a freshman and just in the past 2 years, the school has improved in so many ways. My kids are very different, yet Taft offers enough choices for them both to find their niche. They have met good friends, performed outstandingly on all AP exams, and are involved in meaningful extracurriculars that make them excited to go to school.

- submitted by a parent
July 19, 2013
Pretty safe and you actually learn a lot. It's nothing like what you hear from other people about danger and low education. Teachers follow the standards and help you out. There is a decent amount of security and you feel safe on school grounds.

- submitted by a student
December 27, 2012
Taft high school...It's reputation is enough to tell you to send your kid anywhere but here. You may have heard rumors--and, in many cases, rumors are usually untrue. However, the ones about Taft are indeed fully true, to my disappointment. In addition to the decapitated physical state of the school, the whole environment of intense, regular, everyday violence is more than enough to want to leave after just a few days enrolled. There are some friends I have made, but I am indeed willing to leave them behind if it means getting out of here. And the curriculum is a joke -- give me a break, Taft. Even your AP courses aren't up to scale with other schools' REGULAR courses. I can only hope to leave this place one day.. I see other kids bullied and tossed around in additional to the daily/weekly school fights between the many students of ethnic backgrounds and again can only hope the many problems of Taft High School are solved in the near future so that another student who is forced into the hopeless district of Los Angeles Unified will not be exposed into William Howard Taft High School.

- submitted by a student
September 07, 2012
This was a great school to attend and I recommend it to any parent who's looking to send their child/children to a school with a bright future ahead of them. :)

- submitted by a community member
February 27, 2012
I am a current student of this wonderful High School, I love it here, I have all honors level and AP level courses. Teachers actually care for you and don't leave you helpless, unless we are talking about the Science Department. I must say I never in my entire life had the worst teacher teaching me Honors Chemistry. That is pretty much 95% of my peers opinion. Sadly the Administration has not really took notice the problem, but other than that this school is a great experience!

- submitted by a community member
November 10, 2010
I said ten years ago I wouldn't send my child to TAFT, and thank you today TAFT for proving me wrong. What an awesome High School and my daughter has great caring teachers and many great memories of the school so far. The Principal is great and very responsive. Don't listen to the unhappy student below there is always one whiner in the bunch! great job taft.

- submitted by a parent
October 15, 2010
Taft is a great school with a diverse student population. Taft graduates are college bound, well-rounded citizens of character.

- submitted by a parent
October 03, 2010
Though I find it is common to dislike a school (especially as a student/former student), I feel that this was uncommonly bad. I feel as if my writing skills and well-roundedness came from my middle school, and if anything Taft has dumbed me down. The teachers rarely care about your wellbeing in their class, and the ones who do are so unqualified to teach that they would be fired if not for their tenure. I strongly advise AGAINST sending a child to this school.

- submitted by a student
March 28, 2010
This is an excellent school. When I sent my son here I was a little sketchy about it but in the end I was glad with my descion. If you don't know where to send your child Taft is the way to because the teachers are involved and care

- submitted by a parent
March 24, 2010
This school is very entertaining. It has all the needs. Sports wise its wonderful, teachers and staff are very good with the children. My son and I love the school.

- submitted by a parent
February 24, 2010
I used to think Taft was a great school because of the teachers. What happened? They are rude and aggressive and THEY are always right, never taking into consideration the individual child. Safety - what a joke. When you have heavy equipment and large scale trailers moving around in the parking lot with the children still at school or coming to school - not even looking around for who they may hit - it's horrible. Who looks out for our kids? I'm at a loss! I am actively looking for another school for my child. Home schooling is looking better all the time. Someone wake up!!!!

- submitted by a parent
January 18, 2010
I just started 9th grade here this year. I came from Portola and everyone says 'taft is like a bigger version of Portola.' Since I loved Portola, I came here. Those students could not have been more wrong. At Portola, I would always have 4 or 5 good teachers out of 6. At Taft, I have only 2 good teachers. At Portola, there was some parent involvement. At Taft, there is barely any. At Portola, teachers would review with us before tests. At Taft they don't. At Portola, the counselors would care about the students. At Taft, they yell at you and make you feel unwanted, even though I am an honors student. I have been at this school for 4 months and I am not impressed. The only reason why I would consider staying is because it's freshman year and many people say freshman year is horribly confusing.

- submitted by a student
August 27, 2009
A school is what you make it. As a parent its my responsibility to be informed about what the school offers, to become familiar with the administrators and counselors, but ultimately to provide information to my child so that he/she has the best high school experience. Taft is not perfect, but its a whole lot better than other schools.

- submitted by a parent
August 27, 2009
Taft High School is a terrible school for children to attend.

- submitted by a parent
no rating July 10, 2009
I am sending my daughter to Taft for 9th grade because my experience with my oldest daughter who went to Taft and graduated out of El Camino. Taft staff/teachers seem to like kids and their jobs. While the school is a little rundown, their staff is not!

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 21, 2009
I found Taft to have the most involved teachers. Teachers who seemed to like their jobs. My eldest daughter went to Taft and El Camino Real. I prefer Taft. El Camino, left me as a parent, completely uniformed about college and the process, including scholarships for a 4.2 gpa, honors and hearing impaired. I won't make the mistake twice. Taft- You Rule!

- submitted by a parent
no rating February 24, 2009
As a parent of a Taft high school student I find that I get no support from the school for my child.I Have tried time after time to get help for my son and none has came yet.I have left work to come and talk to staff members only to be turned away.What happen to no child left be hind I am a concern parent at this point with no help from your school.

- submitted by a parent
September 30, 2008
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- submitted by a parent
September 29, 2008
I was really torn about sending my child here for 9th grade. There were a lot of bad press about the school in the past. Fortunately I did a lot of painstaking research, and decided on Taft. My other choice was Granada Hills Charter, an excellent school. I am so glad we went with Taft. The academics are excellent; the campus environment, as my child puts it, 'has a real community feel'. We love it. And needless to say the football team is a powerhouse....games are great fun.

- submitted by a parent
September 28, 2008
Best School In the Valley i go there and it will be one of the most memorable experiences of my life.

- submitted by a student
June 25, 2008
Taft HS has blossomed to be one of the greatest schools in LA Unified. Their teachers & staff work hard to provide the best to the students. I can not thank all the teachers, administrators, and staff for making Taft such a great school. Although my student is graduating I will forever be of ANY assistance to this wonderful school. If you want to hear about all the great stuff that is going on go to their website at www.tafthigh.org!

- submitted by a parent
March 27, 2008
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- submitted by a community member
January 24, 2008
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- submitted by a student
January 12, 2008
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- submitted by a parent
September 26, 2007
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- submitted by a parent
August 15, 2007
At first, I will admit I was not fond of Taft at all. As I continued on in my high school years so did my liking for Taft. At first many do not like Taft. Once they realize that there is no where really better to go they will either come back to the school if they left or they will remain there and be content. Taft is a school that will help potential students become more worldly as it is not a homogeneous environment such as a school like El Camino Real High School. I reccomend this school and good luck to you.

- submitted by a student
June 07, 2007
I've had two kids attend Taft. It's a mixed bag. My daughter got totally lost in the large classrooms, and she finished at another high school My son currently attends, and has had a few exceptional teachers (unfortunately, by the end of this semester, all will have left for other opportunities), many passable-to-mediocre ones, and two or three who just shouldn't be teaching. Because class-size is so large, it's difficult for students to get individual help. We've ended up spending a few thousand dollars on private tutoring too keep our kids on-track with what's being taught. I must say that the administration at Taft is excellent. The counseling office staff is always very helpful, and Mrs. Thomas is a very effective principal.

- submitted by a parent
January 03, 2007
If your child does not excel in academics, they get overlooked easily at this school. There are some great teachers but most aren't so great. It takes quite some time for teachers/counselor's to respond and by the time they do it is too late to help your help. Telephone calls, e-mails and hand delivered notes just aren't responded to in a timely manner. Class size is way to big to help all the average kids. The sports teams are great and I have enjoyed interacting with some coaches that geniunely love to coach. Thanks to Coach Mercado and Coach Rizzo.

- submitted by a parent
August 18, 2006
Taft is a wonderful school. There are a ton of clubs, sports teams, and extracurricular activities that one should have no problem finding something he/she enjoys doing. As far as Taft being an 'unsafe' school, this is not true. The staff is very good at keeping the students safe and looking out for potential harm. As for some of the comments that only AP/honors students are taken care of, this is not true. In fact, Taft is so motivated to making sure everyone 'belongs' somewhere, that it has recently created many small learning communities in which students can excell in the things that interest them, so that they are more motivated to succeed. Taft is located in a wonderful area, and the student body is diverse. Take it from me, I'm a Taft student.

- submitted by a student
June 11, 2006
taft high school provides many opportuneties for your child.

- submitted by a teacher
May 29, 2006
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- submitted by a student
May 19, 2006
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- submitted by a student
May 13, 2006
Good school, but has it's problems.

- submitted by a parent
April 11, 2006
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- submitted by a parent
no rating March 26, 2006
'Both my children have gone to ANLC since they were 5 years old. ANLC is a school where the children come first. Each child is encouraged to do their personal best without being labeled as the smart or dumb kids. The teachers are highly skilled and work hard to bring out the best in each child. The principal is kind and knows each child by name. She is a great example of a leader and I will miss seeing her everyday as my daughter graduates this year. Thank you ANLC for bringing out the best in my children and giving them the encouragement and confidence they need to go out into the world! ' 'This school has been a big disappointment. It is probably fine for most kids, but our eighth grader needs accelerated learning opportunities which have not been available. Its outstanding music program dramatically deteriorated while my child was here, so that it is at best mediocre currently. The special advanced algebra class for 8th grade was cancelled just before he reached 8th grade, and the caliber of most of his English teachers has been shockingly poor. It has therefore given none of the advantages of a huge school, with all of the disadvantages. I can recommend it only in contrast to most of the other public schools in the district.'

- submitted by a student
February 06, 2006
If you are thinking of having your child attend Taft, make sure he or she is part of the Advanced Placement program: it is within this program that the best teachers teach. The availability of extracurricular activities is respectable, but they are, as it were, 'underground'; your child may need to do some hunting to find them, but they certainly do exist.

- submitted by a parent
January 23, 2006
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- submitted by a parent
January 11, 2006
Unless your child is apart of the honors/advance placement program, then don't bother to enroll your child in this school. Taft is horrible over crowded, so stuudents are over looked and not given enough attention from the teachers and faculty. Most of the students in the regular classes don't want to learn, and results in the teachers not wanting to teach or care. Also, Taft is ethnically and culturally diverse, which would seem great, but in actuality it causes cliques and tension between ethnic and racial groups. The only good thing in Taft is the advance placement program. Taft has many A.P. classes. So if your child is smart, wants to take A.P. classes, and one day attend college, then enroll him/her in Taft. Otherwise, enroll him/her somewhere else.

- submitted by a former student
December 26, 2005
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- submitted by a parent
December 15, 2005
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- submitted by a former student
December 15, 2005
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- submitted by a former student
November 09, 2005
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- submitted by a parent
November 08, 2005
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- submitted by a former student
September 08, 2005
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- submitted by a former student
September 01, 2005
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- submitted by a parent
August 19, 2005
We've had 3 children go through Taft in the last 7 years and all 3 have had a great education and great experience. Taft has everything for success; however, like any other school it is up to the student to be proactive and take advantage of what Taft has to offer. The majority of teachers are top notch who are not just out to collect a paycheck-they truly care and put in countless unpaid hours offering help for students who need it or running programs such as music or drama. It is a large school and therefore it is important that parents become involved both to know what is going on and to help their students stay on top of things. Students get a true multicultural and divers economic experience, just like dealing with the real world.

- submitted by a parent
July 02, 2005
The academic programs or ok not the best but they are still pretty good. There is basically any sport you want to play here. The music program is great and very successful. The level of parent involvement is low; how do I know this is because my mom is apart of the parent assoication and she says people dont give enough money to the school and people dont help out.

- submitted by a student
July 02, 2005
Very good, experienced teachers at Taft. The only concern is safety at Taft, where there have been a few recent skirmishes.

- submitted by a former student
June 05, 2005
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- submitted by a student
May 01, 2005
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- submitted by a student
September 28, 2004
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- submitted by a administrator
June 22, 2004
I've attended Wiliam Howard Taft High School for two years; (my freshman and sophmore years). The teachers are horrible, they don't care about the students and their educational needs, they are only concerned about their pay checks. Besides sports, there are virtually no extracurricular activities. In order to recieve a decent education you have to be in Honors, AP's, and other such academically enriched programs; and even then the education is not all that wonderful. The students are extremely materialistic and ignorant. Besides a good boys basketball team, and sometimes football team this school doesn't have much to offer. I wouldn't recommend anyone go to this school.

- submitted by a student
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William Howard Taft Senior High School
5461 Winnetka Avenue, Woodland Hills, CA  91364
(818) 227-3600
Last modified William Howard Taft Senior High School is a Charter school that serves grades 9-12. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 7 out of 10 based on academic quality.
William Howard Taft Senior High School Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 54 reviews.