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Posted Monday, Feb 24, 2014 

Rebecca Sherouse, Dave Lowell, and Jennifer Gaspar-Santos presented at The National Conference on Girls’ Education "On the Forefront: Advancing Girls Together" in Philadelphia this month.

The group demonstrated their innovative capstone projects that are the culmination of the Online School for Girls Certification Program. This Program was comprised of three parts: mentoring in cohorts, in-person conferences and workshops, and online coursework. Capstone projects were presented in both INSPIRE roundtable sessions and traditional workshop sessions that attracted independent school administrators, ed tech leaders, and educators from all over the United States.

Projects ranged from explorations in blended learning, to online professional development, to innovative ways to align assessment practices with a growth mindset philosophy. Additionally, Castilleja alumnae Sonia Jasuja '07, Arushi Goel '10, and Sharon Amann '69 joined the conference kickoff in an evening that celebrated both girls networking and MAKERS: Women Who Make America

Click here to learn more about the Online School for Girls Certification Program.

Posted Thursday, Feb 13, 2014 

The members of Dance Production Workshop welcomed former US Ambassador to Japan John Roos and his wife, Susie, to the Cafe Casti Opeing Night Party. For last year's show, Friends Helping Friends, Ambassador Roos taped a message he sent to be included in the show, and Ambassador Roos played a vital role in founding the TOMODACHI Initiative, which supports the victims of the 2011 Great East Japan earthquake and tsunami (which last year’s Arts with a Heart funds benefited). The Ambassador extended his appreciation for last year's show and wished DPW, the cast, and the crew well on their current show.

Posted Wednesday, Feb 12, 2014 

The Young Adult Library Services Association, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), named the winners of its YALSA Writing Award, with members winning prizes in four categories. The winners include Castilleja's own Hannah Gómez, our Library Services Specialist:

“YALSA is thrilled to announce this year's winners of the YALSA Writing Award. The winning articles cover topics ranging from innovative young adult programming, to advocacy, to insightful reflections about the workings of young adult literature.” said Shannon Peterson, YALSA president. “Each winner is recognized for her thoughtful presentation and skilled writing that won over editors and our jury members. We hope these achievements will encourage all members of YALSA to read – and to write for – YALSA in the coming year.”

Click here to read more about the award on the American Library Association's website.

Posted Tuesday, Feb 11, 2014 

Congratulations to everyone who participated in this year's Arts with a Heart, Café Casti...Proudly Serving Girl Power. Over one hundred Middle and Upper School students performed in this entertaining and touching production through dance, music, vocals, and by sharing education about the Mariposa Foundation. Head of Upper School Jim Pickett said, "Even though I don't drink coffee, it ALMOST makes me want to! Impressive, impressive work...." It was a latte fun-- congratulations for a show well done!


Posted Tuesday, Feb 11, 2014 

Local resident Walid Khiari, an investment banker for an international group, made a visit to Castilleja. On behalf of his mother, Bariza Khiari, Vice President of the French Senate, he presented a medal from the Senate to our school. Our Global Investigator France group had a private meeting with her during their visit in January. Madame Khiari was quite impressed with Castilleja's emphasis on global awareness and leadership development. Mr. Khiari also had a chance to interact with students in the Advanced French Seminar as they discussed Albert Camus' The Stranger.

Posted Wednesday, Feb 5, 2014 

Tired of the usual romantic Valentine’s Day events? The Casti Library is shaking things up! All February long, visit the library to go on a blind date with a book. Hopefully this program will inspire you to pick up something you’ve never thought of reading before – because you won’t know what it is until you get home!

The dedicated library staff hand-picked some of their favorite, highly recommended books and tucked them into some brown paper bags. These books are interesting, thought-provoking or fun, but students haven’t been checking them out. There is a candy heart hanging off each bag with a teaser about the book, and you will almost certainly be pleasantly surprised by what's inside!

To learn more about the activity -- and to watch a fun video made by Library TA Alex Z. ’15 and starring Library TA Hannah K. ’15 -- check out the library website.

Posted Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 

Got a new idea for how to use iPads? Want to experiment with new apps? Ask the iPad Student Leads! Greer H. '17, Sara Z. '18, Jacqueline H. '19, and Lauren B. '20 are this year's representatives. "Tech4Students," as they have dubbed themselves, is working with Academic Tech to bring student voices to the iPad program. Check out their portal page for some cool tech tips or to submit suggestions regarding the program!

Posted Monday, Jan 27, 2014 

This weekend Arcadia, the Upper School winter play, intrigued audiences with three wonderfully witty performances. A type of time-traveling Downton Abbey, Tom Stoppard's 1992 West End and Broadway comedy Arcadia is set in a one-room Derbyshire manor house and hilariously jumps back and forth across two centuries in a clever and ultimately moving mystery about Love, Death, Thermodynamics, Lord Byron, grouse, and rice pudding. Head of Upper School Jim Pickett raved, "Congratulations to the cast, crew, directors, and VPA department for a wonderful performance of Arcadia. Fast moving, witty, sharp, enigmatic, and cryptically emotional, Arcadia lives up to its reputation... and so too do our girls."

 

Posted Tuesday, Jan 7, 2014 

Aside from a stunning array of guest speakers and performance groups, Global Week also features a series of small-group workshops with opportunities for hands-on learning. From singing in "Global Glee" to cooking in "Casti Takes Top Chef," each workshop gives the girls a forum for in-depth exploration in an area of interest.

For example, in the "Made by Survivors Design Workshop" girls have the chance to learn the basic structure for developing and designing a new line of jewelry. Students are submitting design ideas for a teen product, and the winning design will be handcrafted in India by women that have been rescued from modern-day slavery. These amazing survivor-artisans are among the first female silversmiths in all of India. Running their own jewelry-making businesses enables them to create free and independent futures for themselves.

Workshops run throughout the week, so stay tuned for updates on the different groups' progress!

Posted Tuesday, Jan 7, 2014 

Castilleja kicked off Global Week 2014, "Global Movements: Artists with a Cause," with an action-packed first day. A rousing performance by New Style Motherlode, the Bay Area's first hip hop dance studio, got the girls into gear Monday morning. A series of small-group and ensemble-wide demonstrations delighted students, followed by an opportunity for the girls to ask questions about the artists' backgrounds and how they honed their craft. Next the girls had a chance to get some hands-on experience with hip hop as they broke into smaller groups to learn sample choreography as well as to inaugurate the week's mural project.

Girls wrapped up the afternoon with a conversation with Raeshem Nijhon, a socially conscious filmmaker and producer working as the Series Director and Producer of MTV's Rebel Music, a docu-series about youth, art, and protest around the world. She spoke to students about how to make their voices heard and the importance of staying true to themselves and their social justice beliefs.

Today the girls are starting their morning with a conversation about art and social change with Artist Brett Cook and Executive Director of Stanford's Institute for Diversity in the Arts Jeff Chang. Stay tuned for more news about today's activities!

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Student Life
Posted 02/24/2015 11:16AM

Consider yourself invited to Oliver!, the Middle School Musical. Travel back to Dickensian London for the story of a poor workhouse boy and a gang of thieves, complete with robbery, trickery, song, dance, love, and murder! Performances are March 6 and 7 at 7:30pm and March 8 at 2:00pm. Tickets are available here. See you at the show!

Posted 02/23/2015 07:00AM

By Rosie C. '16

After lugging an electric piano across the Circle and stuffing it into the trunk of a car, Music for the Community members Yael, Kaitlin, Hannah, and Rosie arrived at Stanford Mall. We set up in the Center Pavilion at the doorstep of Tiffany’s and across from Macy’s – quite a lucky location! At this performance, we collected donations for the Music in the Schools Foundation, which provides music education for under-resourced children in East Palo Alto.

We joined forces with Woodside Priory’s music club, so we had two times the musicians and two times the repertoire. The program began with a violin duet, and shifted back and forth between modern and classical pieces (including Frozen, Bruno Mars, and violin/flute duets). It was extremely gratifying to see every and all kinds of faces in the audience: older couples, moms with their children, and girls dancing around until they excitedly ran up and put their donations in our open violin cases. Seeing their smiles made the performance all the more worthwhile.

Since we've been blessed with a great musical education both outside and inside of school, we were thrilled to have the opportunity to give back to the community and share our love of music with others who are less fortunate. After a jam-packed hour of singing and playing, we raised $234 for Music in the Schools Foundation!

Posted 02/13/2015 08:28AM

Many members of the Castilleja community participated in "Blind Date with a Book" last year. This year, the library is sending folks out on more dates -- but with a twist. Each brown bag on the library shelf has two books in it -- a pair of star-crossed lovers that didn't know they were meant to be until our librarians plucked them out of separate spots in the library and put them together.

Supplies are dwindling, so stop in soon to check a book out. The teasers on the bags -- multicolored dots with word clouds and keywords -- also give an idea of which books might be waiting inside. Look for those labeled 9+ or 10+ for Upper School and adult-interest titles.

Also, watch this fantastic video made by Devon M. '16 celebrating the event!

Posted 02/04/2015 08:27AM

Senior Kriti L. was selected as one of 40 finalists in the Intel Science Talent Search. The organization boasts, "The Intel Science Talent Search (Intel STS) is the nation's most prestigious pre-college science competition. Intel STS alumni have made extraordinary contributions to science and hold more than 100 of the world’s most coveted science and math honors, including the Nobel Prize and the National Medal of Science. Students are selected based upon their scientific research and also on their overall potential as future leaders of the scientific community. Intel STS recognizes 300 students as semifinalists each year and awards them and their schools $1,000 each. From that select pool, 40 finalists are then invited to Washington, DC in March to undergo final judging, display their work to the public, meet with notable scientists, and compete for $1,012,500 in awards, including the three top awards of $150,000 each." You can read the official press release here.

Kriti's project, "A Novel Bacteria Strain and Bioreactor for Practical Arsenic Water Bioremediation," is about creating an inexpensive way to remove arsenic from water. She says, "Arsenic poisoning is a huge problem that affects nearly 137 million people worldwide, and causes liver, bladder, and kidney cancer. The current problem is that arsenic removal is very expensive; so in my research, I set out to create an inexpensive solution. I developed a new strain of bacteria that converts arsenite (a form of arsenic difficult to remove from water) to arsenate (a form of arsenic that's relatively easier to remove from water). I also built an inexpensive bioreactor that uses this strain of bacteria to clean arsenic-contaminated water. In the future, I'm looking forward to hopefully taking this bioreactor to developing countries and villages where arsenic water contamination is a problem. I've always been interested in science ever since I was little. I would always want to find out how things worked, and have always loved asking questions."

Congratulations Kriti, and good luck in the next round!

 

Academics
Posted 03/02/2015 07:00AM

On Saturday, 6 members of the class of 2018 and 39 members of the class of 2019 competed in the Santa Clara County National History Day Competition. 9 individual and 12 group projects won and will advance to the State competition in May.  Congratulations to all the participants.

Posted 02/12/2015 11:55AM

On Wednesday, February 11, Castilleja held its third annual C-STEAM (Castilleja - Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) Forum for the Upper School. Fifteen speakers - comprised of Castilleja alumnae, parents, and friends of the school - came to campus to discuss their expertise in areas such as product design, medicine, engineering, entrepreneurship, and computer science.

With fifteen venues and three 25-minute sessions, Upper School girls had an opportunity to learn from the speakers in an intimate and highly interactive setting. Each speaker was introduced by a Castilleja student, and gave a sense of why they chose their careers and why their field still excites them. With the guests sharing their personal and professional wisdom, and answering questions ranging from how to combine a passion for the humanities with an interest in the sciences, to how new pieces of technology such as Fitbits are designed with the user in mind, each student came away with a great deal of food for thought. The speakers were thoughtful and passionate, did not shy away from the hard realities of the amount of work required, and shared the importance of other skills such as the ability to ask questions, persevering, and developing relationships with mentors.

To learn more about STEAM at Castilleja, read about the many ways to receive news/information and check out the STEAM Portal!

Posted 02/11/2015 04:06PM

Macbeth, former King of Scotland, has been captured in battle and is now on trial for the murder of Duncan, Banquo, and Macduff’s family. Should he be found guilty and sentenced to death by the sword? Or should the jury acquit, finding Macbeth not responsible for his actions? After reading Shakespeare's Macbeth, each sophomore English class is divided into defense and prosecution, with lawyers arguing and star witnesses testifying. Interested citizens of Scotland (students from past English II classes) serve as jury members. The trial takes place over two days, with everyone in costume, in character, and in very high spirits-- no matter what the verdict may be.

Posted 02/10/2015 10:49AM

Film 2 students were privileged to have a visit from Hollywood editor Don Stroud, who came to Castilleja to share some of his experiences cutting film and to demonstrate some tips he has learned along the way. Don had just come off of a two-week nighttime feature shoot in San Francisco, so he was quite frank (and hilarious) about the hard work which goes into making a movie. The students have just finished watching Stanley Kubrick's classic 2001: A Space Odyssey and now are writing Close Textual Analysis papers on a Kubrick film of their choice; as luck would have it, Don just finished editing Warner Brothers' official two-hour Kubrick documentary, which was shown this fall at the L.A. County Museum and is now being released with Warner's Blu-Ray set of all Kubrick's work. Continuing the tradition of this fall's "Talk with an Expert," students now have Don as a valuable resource to email about Kubrick, his directing, and his films!

Posted 02/23/2015 07:00AM

By Rosie C. '16

After lugging an electric piano across the Circle and stuffing it into the trunk of a car, Music for the Community members Yael, Kaitlin, Hannah, and Rosie arrived at Stanford Mall. We set up in the Center Pavilion at the doorstep of Tiffany’s and across from Macy’s – quite a lucky location! At this performance, we collected donations for the Music in the Schools Foundation, which provides music education for under-resourced children in East Palo Alto.

We joined forces with Woodside Priory’s music club, so we had two times the musicians and two times the repertoire. The program began with a violin duet, and shifted back and forth between modern and classical pieces (including Frozen, Bruno Mars, and violin/flute duets). It was extremely gratifying to see every and all kinds of faces in the audience: older couples, moms with their children, and girls dancing around until they excitedly ran up and put their donations in our open violin cases. Seeing their smiles made the performance all the more worthwhile.

Since we've been blessed with a great musical education both outside and inside of school, we were thrilled to have the opportunity to give back to the community and share our love of music with others who are less fortunate. After a jam-packed hour of singing and playing, we raised $234 for Music in the Schools Foundation!

Posted 02/02/2015 09:11AM

French V AP students were treated to a visit by local author (Maman's Homesick Pie) and chef Donia Bijan. The owner/chef of the former Palo Alto restaurant L'Amie Donia spoke to the students about the role that cooking and recipes play in holding onto one's culture (and how they can also serve as an important bridge to belonging to a new one), and reminded our students that it is often while sitting down to a meal with others that one learns empathy. AP students had a chance to share their own stories and were even treated to homemade madeleines from Ms. Bijan!

Posted 01/26/2015 09:57AM

On Thursday, January 22, Professor Jonathan Jansen made an encore Global Week presentation at Castilleja to Peggy McKee's African Studies class. With characteristic charisma, he engaged the students in a thoughtful, real-life exercise: which one of two applicants to admit to the Medical College of the University of the Free State in South Africa, of which he is the President? The two female candidates came from dramatically different backgrounds, one from a Black township and one from a middle-class Afrikaner family. The students wrestled, as had Professor Jansen, with the complex set of criteria and aspirations that each girl represented in post-Apartheid South Africa. The discussion touched upon issues of equity, opportunity, social justice, and social action, not restricted to South Africa alone. The class unanimously nominated Professor Jansen to be an Honorary Alum of Castilleja!

Posted 01/09/2015 02:54PM

On Thursday the 7th graders visited their kindergarten buddies at Brentwood Academy in East Palo Alto. While they were there they continued to create various-sized buildings using recycled materials like cracker and cereal boxes along with milk cartons. All of these buildings will go into a larger collection of buildings that will make up a cityscape. Kyli Arford, Sustainability and Middle School Community Action Coordinator, says, "This project brings the two age groups together while helping the kindergarteners to open up a dialogue with our 7th grade students about what kinds of buildings a city is made up of. Our students also tapped into their younger selves and ran around on the playground playing tag, hide and go seek, and building sand castles together."

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