Puneet Varma (Editor)

William Howard Taft Charter High School

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Type  Public
Color(s)  Red, Gold, Black
Nickname  Toreadors
Total enrollment  2,586 (2011)
Principal  Daniel Steiner
Established  1960
Athletics conference  West Valley League
Newspaper  Taft Tribune
Phone  +1 818-227-3600
William Howard Taft Charter High School

Address  5461 Winnetka Ave, Woodland Hills, CA 91364, USA
District  Los Angeles Unified School District
Similar  Cleveland High School, El Camino Real Charter H, Pierce College, Canoga Park High School, Reseda High School

William Howard Taft Charter High School is a public school located on the corners of Ventura Boulevard and Winnetka Avenue in the Woodland Hills district of the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles, California, USA, within the Los Angeles Unified School District. The school gained affiliated charter status beginning with the 2013–2014 school year.



Named after former U.S. President William Howard Taft, the school first opened in 1960. The school has received local and state recognition for its high quality academic and athletic programs as well as its teachers, staff and administration.

Over the past 10 years the school has gone through many major renovations to improve its facilities. New paint and landscaping work has been added to many areas around the school. Taft installed a new LED marquee and solar panels in front parking structure, as well as new pavement and tables to the senior quad, new floor and bleachers in the gymnasium, renovated Tennis courts and Baseball/Softball fields, and Football locker room.


Taft won the United States National Academic Decathlon in 1989, 1994, and 2006.

In 2008 Taft High School was awarded the SSP NanoTechnology grant from the State of California. The academy was set to start in September 2009.

TCHS services students in the following target populations: Students in the General Education program, Special Education students (including Resource, and Special Day classes) Deaf and Hard of Hearing students (DHH), Gifted Students, and English Language Learners.

TCHS has seen a significant rise in its standardized test scores. In 2012, API jumped by 43 points to a score of 790. All subgroups met or surpassed their API target score.

First time CAHSEE pass rate has increased markedly since 2010. In ELA, pass rate has gone from 82% to 91% with our percent proficient or above rising from 55% to 64%. Math pass rate has increased from 83% to 90% with the percent proficient or above rising from 55% to 68%.

CST scores have also increased. Over the last five years, CST ELA proficient and advanced scores have increased from 49.8% to 60.9% while BB and FBB percentages have dropped from 25.2% to 14.5%. CST math scores improved during the same time period, although less dramatically. Advanced and proficient scores rose over the last five years from 28.7% to 32.9% while BB and FBB scores fell from 42.7% to 41.2%.

Science CST scores significantly improved over the last five years. Advanced and proficient scores rose from 39.6% to 52.8% while BB and FBB scores dropped from 30.8% to 19.4%. Social Science scores had similar results. Advanced and proficient scores increased from 39.1% to 52.3%, and our BB and FBB scores decreased from 30.7% to 17.6%.

TCHS proposes to target potential drop outs by developing a comprehensive support system for students to complete high school graduation requirements in four years who are college competitive and career ready. To ensure that students who graduate from TCHS are prepared to take on the challenges of high level academic work and/problem solving needed for college and the career workplace TCHS will

  • Design and implement a system of clear communications regarding school and student expectations among all stakeholders including course expectations; graduation, college; career and course requirements; behavior standards; academic progress monitoring; support services; and vocational/career options.
  • Design, implement, and maintain course offering with emphasis on college preparation and career pathways.
  • Develop and implement collaborative protocols for interdisciplinary work in performance task/project-based instruction and assessment.
  • Implement strategic wrap around for students at risk of not graduating in four years including individualized counseling; attendance assistance and psychological services; in-class, during and beyond the school day tutoring and academic support classes; and credit recovery
  • Utilize and master existing technologies to improve communications among all stakeholders, enhance instruction and monitor student academic progress TCHS’ graduation rate goal is 90%. In order to achieve this all students meet annually with their counselors to review their academic progress and revise their individualized academic plan.
  • Students who receive special education services and have formal IEP plans meet regularly with the designated counselor and special education case carrier to monitor student progress and revise their educational plan to ensure graduation requirements are being met in four years. In addition, The Department of Transitions (DOTS) staff assists special education students with career and postgraduate transitions.

    The school psychologist, school nurse, academic counselors, college counselor, and resource specialists provide support services or referral to outside agencies. TCHS also refers students as needed to other programs offered by West Valley Occupational Center and Pierce College. Also, students are referred to continuation schools, Job Corps program, the Diploma Plus program, parenting classes, dual enrollment with Pierce College classes offered at our school site and at non-public schools such as Miller High School, and the National Guard Youth Challenge Program.

    TCHS provides free, daily tutoring in core subject areas as well as providing extra tutoring and pull out sessions to students who are in danger of not passing the CAHSEE.

    To further support potential dropouts TCHS will reestablish successful programs and reinstate support positions that have been lost due to budget cuts (Peer Mediation, IMPACT, Diploma Project Counselor).

    To target the incoming ninth grade population, counselors, teachers, students, and administrators visit local feeder schools as well as some middle schools outside the school’s area. The school conducts tours for parents of prospective students. The administration, faculty, and students should continue to articulate with feeder schools, creating opportunities to showcase the school’s attributes.


    Taft Charter High School has always had a rich athletic tradition dating back to its early years. The school has produced countless Olympic, Hall Of Fame, Professional and Collegiate athletes in its history.

    Taft fields numerous athletic teams for both boys and girls. Football, Basketball, Baseball, Softball, Soccer, Volleyball, Track & Field, Cross Country, Tennis, Water Polo, Swimming and Tennis.

    The school has won and appeared in multiple CIF Championships in its history in a number of sports. Toreadors have won titles in Football, Basketball, Track & Field, Cross Country, Volleyball, Tennis and Gymnastics.

    In 1987 Taft's Track & Field team won the CIF State Championship led by Olympic Gold Medalist Quincy Watts.

    It also offers award winning Dance, Band and Cheerleading teams.

    Notable alumni

  • Jeshua Anderson- USA track and field sprinter
  • Rick Auerbach – former MLB shortstop
  • Steve Bartek – musician, Strawberry Alarm Clock, Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo, Oingo Boingo
  • Justine Bateman – actress, star of hit TV series Family Ties
  • Scott Bloch – Office of Special Counsel
  • Mike Borzello – bullpen catcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees
  • Craig Buck – Olympic volleyball player
  • Larry Dierker – former MLB pitcher, manager, broadcaster
  • Jordan Farmar – NBA point guard.
  • Jeff Fisher – Former NFL head coach of the Los Angeles Rams
  • Char Fontane – actress and singer
  • Barry Green – U.S. orchestral and solo double bass player and teacher
  • Guy Hansen – former Kansas City Royals pitching coach
  • Ice Cube – rapper and actor
  • Airabin Justin- former NFL defensive back
  • Gabe Kapler – MLB outfielder
  • Brad Kearns - Professional Triathlete
  • Kevin Kennedy – MLB manager and radio-TV baseball commentator
  • David Koz – smooth jazz saxophonist
  • Lisa Kudrow – actress, star of hit TV show Friends
  • Danny Boy O’Connor – rapper, House of Pain
  • Pete LaCock – MLB first baseman.
  • Maureen McCormick – actress, star of hit TV show The Brady Bunch
  • Susan Olsen – actress, star of the hit TV show The Brady Bunch
  • Kelly Paris – former MLB third baseman.
  • DaShon Polk – NFL linebacker
  • Paul Pratt – NFL defensive back for Detroit Lions
  • Elliot Rodger Perpetrator of 2014 Isla Vista spree killings.
  • Malcolm Smith, Super Bowl XLVIII champion and MVP
  • Steve Smith – NFL wide receiver.
  • Eazy-E – rapper, West Coast hip hop.
  • Jan Smithers – actress, star of hit TV show WKRP in Cincinnati
  • Jeff Stork – volleyball Hall of Famer, member of the 1988 Summer Olympics gold-medal U.S. men's volleyball team
  • Kathryn Dwyer Sullivan- NASA space shuttle astronaut
  • Michael Thomas - NFL wide receiver
  • Justin Tryon – NFL cornerback
  • Mark Tulin – musician, founding member of The Electric Prunes
  • Wilmer Valderrama – actor, star of TV show That '70s Show
  • Duffy Waldorf – professional golfer and member of the UCLA Sports Hall of Fame
  • Quincy Watts – athlete, winner of two gold medals at 1992 Summer Olympics
  • Brad Wilk – drummer for Rage Against the Machine, Audioslave
  • Darrion Weems – NFL offensive tackle
  • Robin Wright – actress
  • Larry Yount – MLB pitcher.
  • Robin Yount – Baseball Hall of Fame player, formerly with the Milwaukee Brewers of MLB.
  • References

    William Howard Taft Charter High School Wikipedia