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Student Life
Posted 12/06/2017 03:33PM

There was another fun surprise this morning! Students and employees were treated to hot chocolate and muffins as they arrived on campus.

Posted 12/04/2017 01:15PM

Today at lunch, our Counseling and Student Wellness department had a special surprise for students! There were 3 therapy dogs here for students to pet and interact with.

Big thanks to Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA therapy dog program and volunteers, including our very own Ms. Courtney and her dog Lily.


Posted 12/01/2017 11:00AM

It's Pajama Day! From funky prints to unicorn onesies, Castilleja students are getting cozy in style!

Posted 11/30/2017 08:25AM

It was a little chilly this morning, but our campus was warmed by a fantastic "random act of kindness" as Castilleja's parent organization handed out Kind Bars to students, parents, and employees as they arrived on the Circle. It's a small token of gratitude for the everyday kindness of our community!


Posted 12/07/2017 10:00PM

Yesterday was a big day for the arts at Castilleja! Visual and Performing Arts were showcased in an all-school assembly during the day and our annual Winter Concert in the evening. Both Upper and Middle School student work from the last semester in 2D and 3D visual art and filmmaking were featured and there were engaging performances from theatre, dance, vocal music and instrumental music.

Preview photos below and download or order prints here.



Posted 12/07/2017 08:00AM

This week, Castilleja brought together 12 expert leaders in various STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art/design, and math) field professions in the annual C-STEAM forum for Upper School students.

Joining us for panel and small group discussions were scientists, doctors, entrepreneurs, and tech pioneers. Beyond their successful STEAM careers, each guest demonstrated impressive leadership in their chosen field and eagerly shared their experience and insight with Castilleja students. In particular, this years theme asked speakers to reflect upon and share their own experience with intersections and resilience.

Many thanks for our distinguished guests and another successful C-STEAM forum.

Posted 12/05/2017 08:00AM

Just before the Thanksgiving Break, Castilleja's two middle school LEGO robotics teams, the AquaDucks and the 5Seas, competed in the regional qualifying tournament at the East Palo Alto Boys and Girls’ Club. Both teams have been working hard all semester designing, programming, and testing their robot to compete in the HydroDynamics challenge. They also created projects to address a problem concerning human’s interaction with water. Both teams were highly successful—the AquaDucks won the robot game and the robot design awards, and the 5Seas were awarded special merit award for their project and were overall champions. The 5Seas are advancing to the Championship round next February and the Project Explo competition in March.

Posted 09/06/2017 02:00PM

This week, Mr. Mitchell’s Psychology students put on their physiologically-accurate thinking caps to respond to prompts that challenged them to link various behaviors with different parts of the human brain.

Mr. Mitchell shares of the lesson,"My psychology students are studying the brain and nervous system.  As a fun way to learn about the different parts of the brain and the various functions associated with these parts, I have students in teams play a game that asks them to diagnosis which part of the brain has been damaged in a given scenario.  In addition, each student colors and assembles a "Brain Hat," which they wear during the game.  The hat is both silly and instructive.  Rather than simply hear me give a lecture about the brain and take notes, this activity encourages students to be active participants and turns them into "neurosurgeons" for a day.  The game format creates a playful competitive atmosphere that motivates students to learn about the brain, apply their understanding, and have fun in the process.  It's fun for the teacher, too!"




Posted 01/16/2018 07:40PM

Today, our students were excited to welcome our 2018 Arrillaga Family Speaker, Mr. Bryan Stevenson, who spoke to us about his work as a lawyer challenging racial discrimination in the criminal justice system.

Among the many takeaways Mr. Stevenson shared with us today was a roadmap for how we can effect change: by getting proximate to the people and the issues we need to understand and want to address; by questioning the narratives we accept about poverty and justice, by being hopeful; and by doing uncomfortable and inconvenient things. In closing, he offered us the reminder that justice, not wealth, is the antithesis of poverty.


Posted 01/05/2018 10:00AM

"When I think about why I do the work I do, I actually think of my privilege first. All of my ability to affect any change, that’s what I use. Because no one in this room is privileged or disadvantaged; we have multiple identities that are intersecting—not equally, not identically, but humanly."

-Alison Park, founder of Blink Consulting, at this morning's Local Challenges; Local Solutions Panel


Our Local Challenges; Local Solutions Panel this morning was moderated by Head of School Nanci Kauffman. Joining us were:

Peter Fortenbaugh, Executive Director of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Peninsula. BGCP provides the low-income youth of East Palo Alto, eastern Menlo Park, and Redwood City with opportunities that enable them to achieve school success.

Alison Park, founder of Blink Consulting. Blink is an educational consultancy that is critically rethinking diversity. Since 2009, Blink has collaborated with over 90 schools, as well as various community-based, government, and for-profit organizations to help create communities where all children, youth, and adults can thrive.

Raymond Plaza is the Director of the Office for Diversity and Inclusion at Santa Clara University. He works closely with many groups across campus to design strategies for the recruitment and retention of individuals from underrepresented groups.

Posted 01/04/2018 03:00PM

"What we know from data is that opportunity gaps are what drive achievement gaps.

There are kids who have access to elevators running at the speed of a bullet train versus kids that are on escalators moving very smoothly from floor to floor...and then there are some kids who are on stairwells with missing handrails and broken steps. And we are saying EVERYONE has to get to floor 16, or college graduation, at the same time. How could you possibly get there all at the same time if you're using drastically different modes of transportation? What we as researchers and educators and policymakers have been doing is comparing at what speed students get to that top floor, ignoring, often, the radical difference in modes of transportation to that top floor. "

- Dr. Prudence L. Carter, Dean and Professor of the University of California, Berkeley's Graduate School of Education


Our Thursday Global Week keynote speaker Dr. Carter's research agenda focuses on causes of and solutions to enduring social and cultural inequalities among social groups, especially in education and schooling. Specifically, she examines academic and mobility differences influenced by the dynamics of race, ethnicity, class, and gender in the U.S. and global society. Her expertise spans issues of youth identity and educational well-being; urban poverty, social and cultural inequality, and the sociocultural and organizational contexts of schools.

She is also an award-winning author, elected member of the National Academy of Education and the Sociological Research Association, Fellow of the American Educational Research Association, and Board member and Program Committee chairperson for the William T. Grant Foundation.

Posted 01/04/2018 10:00AM

This morning, we have a number of special guests on campus speaking about Equity in Education from different lenses of expertise. Students had the opportunity to attend three sessions that they were interested in. 

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