My son is a freshman and he is doing exceptionally well.. He is in honors algebra and he is getting straight A's.. The teachers are doing a great job with my son, he really likes it there. I'm not sure what they could improve on yet, because we're only a few months into the school year, but so far so good..
Taft was at best mediocre for both of my sons, one of whom graduated this past spring and was relieved to get out. Don't expect a lot of interaction from the teachers; the last report card period I attended in the spring of 2013 many teachers were absent because of weather/flooding and when I attempted to reschedule appointments they never responded. More than a few of the teachers really need to retire and that situation will probably get worse this year because of the layoffs and rebalancing of instructors. I don't have too much faith in CPS, especially now and I'm just thankful that my kids are out. We'll see how well prepared they are as they proceed through college.
My daughter is a freshman and is in the IB program. If she wasn't I would not have sent her to Taft. I have heard so many stories about this school, fights, smoking weed, and teachers not caring. But my daughter did get in the IP program and she really wanted to attend Taft because she knows alot of kids that go there. Well my first impression was this school is not organized. The registration process was a joke. We were at the school for 3 hours waiting to get her schedule and of course pay the fees. You have to purchase it from the box office during lunch. The kids either eat or don t eat and wait in that long line. The person in the box office is the slowest moving person I have ever seen. I took off a half day of work so I could go to school and buy the bus pass for my daughter so she wouldn t miss lunch. They need a better system to be able to purchase items. As for the teachers my daughter isn't too happy with a few of her teachers. She told me they are mean, they yell at you and don't care. One of her teachers was picking on her and she didn't know why. Now the teacher is picking on another student.
I HATE this School. Overcrowded, teachers don't care,security doesn't care,administration doesn't care .You call the Office ,No one answers the phone, you leave a message and no one calls back ever.So frustrating. The Principal herself said they have 1000 more students than they are equipped for. I went to the School and the halls are so bottle necked and dangerously over crowded. I feel for my child and I hope we can move to a better. school district soon.This IS AN AWFUL CPS.
My son is a freshman, not in the IB program. Though the entire school is considered IB,in actuality this is not true,there is the actual IB tier one tests into and their is the general poulation. He is in some honor classes. So far not impressed. The kids are treated like a # and they make sure you know you are just a # are not going to get any individualized attention. Many of the teachers seem burnt out and just going through the motions. He did not get his bus pass for a week-they don't hand them out,students have to wait at the box office,during lunch and the box office closes before the student have gotten through. He says when he goes to the bathroom kids are smoking weed (between security guard checks). As a freshie trying to find his way around he would arrive a few minutes late.So the teacher marked him absent (really teacher you can't check who came in?) . We are very disappointed. I have to say ,we came from a parochial school,so in all fairness,we are used to a more attentive, engaged and nurturing learning envronment. I guess you get what you pay for. If you have a better option,I suggest you excercise it.
The IB program in this school is one of the hidden gems in Chicago. Last year's average score was 25.1, which is higher than some selective enrollment schools, including Lane Tech. And this year, Taft is becoming wall to wall IB, which means all students will have access to the program. Well done Taft!!
Choosing to have both our children attend Taft High School has worked out well. This neighborhood school continues to provide a great education while offering its students a plethora of after school activities and sports. For parents that want to be involved, there are opportunities like attending LSC and PTSA meetings, joining the Taft High School Foundation efforts for fundraising, and other campus activities.
Drugs, fights, over crowded, high drop out rate, some teachers and counselors that just don't care (that can happen anywhere), and lazy security among a few problems. I've walked in and out of that school so many times through side doors where kids were leaving in the middle of the day. If your kid is in the IB program it is probably fine but I would not put my kid back in the regular program. Notice how on this site they don't list the 11th grade test scores like most other schools, they use the 7th and 8th grade IB student scores.
My vote of five stars goes to William Howard Taft High School on the Northwest side of Chicago. As an alumnus from 1971, I personally have noticed that Taft was taking a turn for the worst and stopped being the neighborhood school it was when I attended it. Since Dr. Art Tavardian came in as Principal in 1990 he gradually brought back respectability to the school be insisting that GPA scores must change for each and every student. The change has since continued under Ms. Mary Kay Cappatelli who has taken over last year and gradually sought approval from the Local School Council to continue this effort. Now with the leadership of alumni from Taft, the school has now developed a foundation for collecting donated monies that will surely make the future even brighter. Many outstanding alumni graduate from these hallowed halls. Included in these are Jim Jacobs, creator of the Broadway play, Grease; Terry Kath, co-founder of the rock fusion band, Chicago; Jim Grabowski, football great who played for the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears and many more. Taft will always shine as a Number 1 school in Chicago for years to come.
Taft is a good high school that has suffered a great deal of neglect by CPS. CPS is now throwing Taft a bone in making it "wall-to-wall" IB. The teachers and counselors at Taft are doing the best that they can given the fact that the school was built for 2400 and in the 2013-2014 school year will in all likelihood have over 3000 students. CPS has cut its budget for Taft in spite of the ever-increasing enrollment.
Taft has a bad reputation from past when there were a lot of kids bussed in from the worst parts of Chicago. Today, when it's mostly a neighborhood school, it has become a very good school. And with a new "IB Program For All"l starting 2013, it can only get better.
I have two kids at Taft. We pulled our oldest from private school due to the lack of education he was receiving. I had been afraid to send my kids to Taft due to people talking about how bad the school was, needless to say these were people who had never stepped in to Taft so the only thing they knew about it was what they were told by other parents who knew nothing about the school in the first place. With a senior and a sophomore at Taft I am so very pleased with the quality of teaching this school provides. I was surprised at how many students work hard to helping the environment and charities in need. We had been witness to kids being bullied at our old school Notre Dame, luckily our son was not a target. It s too bad people listen to hearsay and not the facts. As far as Taft being on academic probation due to test scores the person who wrote this doesn t understand how that CPS works. The school has a special education program and it was at that point where the school did not gain, unfortunately all classes are meshed together for a total grade score.
This school deserves more support from CPS than it gets. It's a widely diverse school serving average to academically gifted students. From the exterior, the place gives the heebie jeebies and CPS would serve itself well by spending money on fresh painting/landscaping. But the teachers and administrators I've encountered are topnotch. The principal and Ms. Asvos cares deeply about the students. The school will not parent your child; he or she is expected to be mature enough to perform assignments. CPS, please devote some of your ample resources over here.
As far as neighborhood schools go, Taft is far better than average. But the student with other options should shy away. The Principal and administration are out to improve Taft's reputation (ergo positive reviews). Being a Taft parent for 7 years now, I can tell you my run-in's with Dr. Tarvardian have been negative and included him calling my 8th grader 'lazy'. The school pushes the limits in some respects. For example, they charge students $2 each time a student forgets their ID. The school also charges $6 for student CTA passes, even though they cost $5 elsewhere. Finally, the dress code enforcement is completely out of line. I had a dean call me at work and threaten to give my child 10 days of out of school suspension for having worn a hoodie in the lunch room. No, it was not my child's first infraction, but out of school suspension is more than a bit steep for a dress code violation. I would transfer my child out of Taft if I could. But our options are limited...
I was a student at Taft H.S. and I have to say that I enjoyed my time there. The educators were great and did there part by educating their students. It's pretty much up to the students to absorb all the knowledge that is being handed to them. While attending T.H.S., the educators showed me how much they cared by pushing me to do my best. They believed in me and made me feel that I could accomplish anything at all. I am where I want to be today. I have an amazing family and a great career. I am a success story thanks to my educators at T.H.S. I believed in me because they believed in me. To all the educators.....KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK!!!
WOW there are many bitter parents and current /former students connected with this school! It certainly makes one think twice about this school because it sounds as if one is not in the honors.IB program, they are just cast aside :( Maybe they protest too much??
I am a former parent and a school teacher. They are fair, dedicated, and challenge all the students who attend Taft. If you don't like it LEAVE because there are many trying to get in. Taft has a dedicated staff and if you think that kids can't pass the AP tests, come see my kid's scores! And YES, you are expected to parent. SO, do your part and you won't complain and Taft won't babysit your child and they WILL TEACH YOUR CHILD and to your amazement YOUR CHILD WILL BE EDUCATED!!
Okay, so I attend Taft High School and not all of these negative comments are true. People should stop saying that Taft does not challenge their children. Maybe, if they were not taking "regular" classes they would be challenged! I am in the IB program, and it is one of the most challenging programs. And you know what, I love it! I also was a student in the Academic Center and I loved that too. Some of the teachers don't know how to teach but other than that, Taft is a great school. Maybe if students actually tried to succeed, parents wouldn't have such a problem with everything! If you don't like Taft, take your student out of here because there are many students that enjoy it! And if your child is having a problem with the "challenging" classes, have them take all honors like I am, and then they will probably complain that it is too challenging for them! Have a nice day.
i have read through the negative comments and being a former suburban student who now is raising a family in the city, you will find the same bad things that happen at taft as they do in the suburbs. Be a parent who wants whats best for their child. Don't let them bring an IPod to school and it won't get stolen.(if they didn't lose it). I have had nothing but great things to say about Taft. Teachers are awesome, Counselors are awesome, and principal CARES about your child. He EXPECTS you to parent your child and his teachers to TEACH you child, NOT babysit them. Spend 8,000 a year and get less in a private school.
My son attended the 7th and 8th Grade Taft Academic Center. Ms. Asvos, its principal, is beyond dedicated and devoted to her students. I know that Taft HS can work well with some special needs. The online parent portal for class work and grades was a godsend. The teachers are devoted. A parent's involvement, which was common among AC parents, makes the difference. I would have sent my child to Taft HS, without hesitation. I wonder whether Selective Enrollment is necessary once accepted to the Academic Center. However, in our situation, the Selective Enrollment High School was closer to our home.
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The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.
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