All SchoolMiddle SchoolUpper SchoolAcademicsAthleticsArtsStudent LifeGlobal & Community ProgramsAlumnae

All School News

RSS Feeds
Alerts Signup
Posted Monday, Mar 9, 2015 

It would be truly criminal to miss this show! Kat P. '15's extraordinary production of Beth Henley's Crimes of the Heart inaugurates The Studio Theater this Friday night! This Pulitzer Prize-winning tragicomedy about love and sisterhood stars Allison Z. '16, Gabby O. '16, Jillian L. '16, Karly Q. '16, Kenzie M. '17, Meg J. '16, Sophie P. '16, Valerie H. '17, and Yasmine R. '17 and runs two hours with one intermission. Get your tickets for the Friday show at 7:30pm and Saturday shows at 2pm and 7:30pm here. See you at the show!

Posted Tuesday, Mar 3, 2015 

Our team of 16 students, participated once again in the Berkeley MUN Conference. Representing Costa Rica and Croatia, delegates spent the weekend debating topics ranging from maritime piracy to peacekeeping to self determination to drones. Casti took home four research awards and are looking forward to the next conference.  Check out the slideshow:

Posted Tuesday, Feb 24, 2015 

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 Monday, Feb 23, 2015 

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 Friday, Feb 13, 2015 

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 Monday, Feb 9, 2015 

Fifteen Castilleja students were among the regional award winners in the Scholastic Art & Writing Competition announced on February 2. 

In the Art Division the following students were recognized: Gold Key: Anahita Afshari '15 (Photography) and Emma Glickman '16 (Photography); Silver Key: Jane Choi '15 (Painting); Honorable Mention: Karina Gunadi '15 (Painting), Hanna Knowles '15 (Drawing and Illustration), Tammy Qui '15 (Painting), Mimi Tran Zambetti '16 (Painting), Anna Yu '15 (Painting), and Jessica Zubizarreta '15 (Painting).

In the Writing Division the following students were recognized: Gold KeyHannah Knowles '15 (Writing Portfolio); Silver Key: Gwen Cusing '17 (Poetry), Katie Mishra '18 (Critical Essay), Noel Peng '17 (Poetry), and Margaret Zhang '17 (Poetry, Flash Fiction); Honorable Mention: Caroline Harris '15 (Poetry), Sofia Khu '18 (Personal Essay/Memior), Hannah Knowles '15 (Short Story), and Margaret Zhang '17 (Poetry, Flash Fiction).

Since 1923, the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards have recognized the vision, ingenuity, and talent of our nation’s youth, and provided opportunities for creative teens to be celebrated. Each year, increasing numbers of teens participate in the program, and become a part of our community–-young artists and writers, filmmakers and photographers, poets, and sculptors, along with countless educators who support and encourage the creative process. Students across America submitted 255,000 original works during our 2014 program year.

Congratulations to all the winners!


Posted Thursday, Feb 5, 2015 

Arts and Entertainment Reporter Elizabeth Schwyzer spent some time with Dance Production Workshop (DPW) students, Arts with a Heart (AwaH) cast members, and employees of Ada's Cafe as they prepared for their upcoming show, "HumanKIND."  

Read the full article here:

Posted Thursday, Feb 5, 2015 

Hannah Knowles '15 was recognized as a 2015 YoungArts Finalist (Writing/Short Story). Hannah was one of 23 students recognized in the Writing category and one of 170 Finalists nationwide selected from a pool of over 11,000 applications. As a Finalist, she was invited to participate in the 34th Annual National Young Arts Week in Miami, Florida where she spent a week taking master classes taught by internationally renowned artists including writers Jenji Kohan and Sam Lipsyte. She is also eligbile to become a U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts, and honor that will be announced later this year.

Since 1981, the National YoungArts Foundation has nurtured the next generation of artists in the literary, performing, and visual arts. YoungArts awards recognize outstanding student achievement in the cinematic arts, dance, design arts, jazz, music, photography, theater, visual arts, voice and writing.

Posted Wednesday, Feb 4, 2015 

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!


Posted Tuesday, Feb 3, 2015 
On Friday, January 30th, a group of Castilleja middle and high school students participated in an engaging design thinking and leadership workshop hosted in the ACE Center by four students at Stanford University, including one Castilleja alumna. Students engaged in improv games and a hands-on design thinking challenge to creatively improve their school community, which included storytelling, a brainstorm relay race, prototyping, and skits. Then, students reflected on their passions, skills, and the causes they care about, and brought these three areas together in writing their own personal "mission statements."
The workshop was a part of a new Stanford social entrepreneurship initiative entitled "Girls Driving for a Difference" -- four college women will drive an RV across the country this summer and coach even more of these workshops to empower middle school girls around America to become leaders of social change.
RSS Feeds Alerts Signup
Student Life
Posted 09/21/2016 12:00PM
It's Spirit Week! Kicking off 3 days of crazy costumes and fun was Workout Wednesday. Tomorrow is TV Thursday, and Friday is the day to rep your class color.  Get ready for an awesome Pep Rally Friday afternoon! Check below for reminders of each grade's themes!

9/21: Workout Wednesday
6th Grade: Olympians
7th Grade: Sports Team Players (you may wear college gear)
8th Grade: Dancers & Gymnasts
9th Grade: Marathon Runners 
10th Grade: 80's Workout
11th Grade: Workout? What's That?
12th Grade: Yoga
Teachers: Speed (or Slow) Walkers

9/22: TV Thursday
6th Grade: Once Upon a Time
7th Grade: Wizards of Waverly Place
8th Grade: KC Undercover
9th Grade: Mickey Mouse Clubhouse
10th Grade: The Big Bang Theory
11th Grade: Bob's Burgers
12th Grade: Law & Order
Teachers: The Office

9/23: Class Color Friday
6th Grade: Yellow
7th Grade: Light Blue
8th Grade: Navy Blue
9th Grade: Green
10th Grade: Orange
11th Grade: Purple
12th Grade: Red

As a reminder: anything that's not part of your costume must be uniform

Posted 09/06/2016 07:00AM
Last Friday Castilleja employees celebrated National Stripes Day by dressing up and embracing our silly sides. National Stripes Day is technically September 4th, but we chose to do it on Friday to kick off the weekend in style.
Posted 08/31/2016 11:21AM

The Afghanistan National Women’s soccer team competed at Cubberly Community Center in Palo Alto on Aug. 31st against a local club soccer team. The club team has been helping the Afghan team get local press and support through Palo Alto Weekly and NBC news. Castilleja senior, Amanda McMaster, played goalie in this game, and she is quoted in Mercury News talking about what this game means to her. Check out the full story from Mercury here! Also, here's another story from ABC. Finally, NBC covered this game on Wednesday (short video clip here). 


Posted 08/19/2016 03:00PM

The first week of school is next week! Here's some information about our first week's activities.

Day by Day 

Mon Aug 22-Wed Aug 24, Orientation and Startup Activities for all students

Thu Aug 25, Tie Ceremony, 8:00 - 8:15 am, Circle

Thu Aug 25, Grade-Level Parent Meetings, 8:20 - 8:50 am, following Tie Ceremony

Thu Aug 25, All Parent/Guardian Meeting, 8:55 - 9:55 am, following Grade-Level Parent Meetings, Chapel Theater

Thu Aug 25, Casti Gear and Spirit Wear Sale, 9:55 - 11:00 am, Admin bldg. lobby

Thu Aug 25, Seniors Drive the Circle, 10:05 am, following All Parent/Guardian Meeting, Circle

Fri Aug 26, Picture Day, 8:00 am - 3:30 pm, Upper Gym



OPENING DAY TIE CEREMONY Castilleja's traditional Tie Ceremony will take place on Thu Aug 258:00 - 8:15 am, on the Circle. At this ceremony, the faculty will pin red carnations on seniors, seniors will tie 9th graders' ties, and 8th graders will tie 6th graders' ties. You can identify the class of each student by the color of her tie as listed below. Questions? Contact Head of MS Anne Cameron or Head of US Jim Pickett.

  • 6th grade - yellow
  • 7th grade - pale blue
  • 8th grade - navy blue
  • 9th grade - green
  • 10th grade - orange
  • 11th grade - purple
  • 12th grade - RED!

GRADE-LEVEL PARENT MEETINGS Following the Tie Ceremony on Thu Aug 25, everyone is invited from 8:20 – 8:50 am to attend their grade-level parent meeting hosted by the Lead Parent Reps (LPRs) for their class. The LPRs will describe the upcoming year, class-level events, and volunteer opportunities. Questions? Contact CSA Resource Chairs Lauren Segal or Victoria Chiongbian here.

ALL PARENT/GUARDIAN MEETING Following the Grade-Level Parent Meetings on Thu Aug 25, Castilleja’s parent group, CSA (Castilleja School Association), will welcome new and returning parents and guardians to their first meeting from8:55 - 9:55 am in the Chapel Theater. Head of School Nanci Kauffman will introduce the leadership team and priorities for the upcoming year. You will also hear about CSA events and opportunities to get involved. Casti Gear will be available for sale after the meeting. All parents are members of the CSA -- join us! Questions? Contact CSA President Alison Abbo.

SENIORS DRIVE THE CIRCLE Following the All Parent/Guardian Meeting on Thu Aug 25, return to the Circle at 10:05 am to cheer for the senior class as they take their ceremonial drive around the Circle. Questions? Contact Head of MS Anne Cameron or Head of US Jim Pickett.

Posted 09/20/2016 09:47AM

Emily Sinclair, Head of the Voice Department at UC Santa Cruz, recently led a Masterclass on vocal technique with Castilleja’s Upper School Vocal Ensemble. During this session, students had the opportunity to explore what college music programs are like- how they are set up, what the options are for music majors and non-majors, and how the typically classically oriented music departments connect with the theatre departments and the greater university community. Additionally, members of the vocal ensemble used this time with Ms. Sinclair to grow and challenge themselves as musicians.  A number of Castilleja vocalists practiced solo work with the professor while students watched and gave feedback. 

Posted 09/08/2016 08:00AM

The sixth graders learned about the ancient world from Herodotus the "father of history." They narrated, directed, and acted in silly yet creative scenes that brought the Persian Wars to life. In addition to battle scenes, they also presented scenes about hereditary rule, paying tribute, and the Olympic Games. They will also be learning new vocabulary, locating places on maps, and exploring the library as they complete their introductory unit called "What is history?"

Posted 08/30/2016 07:00AM

The new sixth grade class came to the library for orientation last week! They were introduced to our resources and our collection and had a lot of fun browsing our books.

A group of incoming sixth graders enjoying our dry-erase tables.

Above: A group of incoming sixth graders enjoying our dry-erase tables.



Ms. Huyck-Aufdermaur talking to a new sixth grader about Charles Dickens




Right: Ms. Huyck-Aufdermaur talking to a new sixth grader about Charles Dickens.

Posted 06/01/2016 08:00AM

All Middle Schoolers participated in Explo where the girls studied various aspects of the environment.  Each grade level made a unique connection to the theme based on what they had learned in their science classes this year: the sixth grade students explored the sources, effects, and solutions of climate change and pollution; the seventh grade students investigated aspects of environmental quality and the effects on various forms of life; and the eighth grade students, in their final year of Explo, delved into relationships between chemicals and waves and their effects on the environment.  This six-week process was completed during science class in groups.  During this time, they went on a field trip to collect data, participated in a service project, and spent time learning at Don Edwards National Wildlife Refuge in mixed-grade groups. Back at school, they picked a topic of interest based upon what was observed, researched that topic, designed an experiment, ran multiple trials, analyzed results, and at the Celebration of Explo presented their results to the Castilleja community.  The purpose of Explo is to enable the students to have a collaborative learning opportunity as well as serve as an assessment of their growth within their scientific process skills. Teachers and parents alike marveled at the girls’ skills in scientific thinking!

Watch Explo Video Here!

Posted 09/15/2016 09:00AM

Castilleja School is delighted to welcome Pulitzer Prize winning poet, author, and educator Tracy K. Smith as this year's Arrillaga Family Speaker.  Ms. Smith will address the students during the school day on October 6th. That evening, everyone in our community is invited to join us for a special reception with Ms. Smith in the Anita Seipp Gallery on Thursday, October 6th.

RSVP at the following link!



Posted 08/22/2016 02:00PM

This week, on and off campus, students are participating in grade-level orientations, retreats, athletics, and special break-out trainings of all sorts in preparation for the upcoming year.

On Monday, 7th and 10th grade left for their retreats and 8th graders had their opening and orientation. Ms. Kertsman and Ms. Clark led an active and reflective ACE Student Leadership Training (pictured) and 6th graders opened their year. 

Tuesday is 6th/8th grade Big and Little Sister orientation, Freshman orientation, and Junior Global Orientation begins with an Athletics meeting this evening. 

Opening Day isn't until Thursday morning, but by then Castilleja students will have already laid the foundation for a successful school year. Go Gators!

Posted 05/25/2016 08:00AM
Senior Seminars kicked off on Wednesday May 18th with personal finance workshops. Educators from the educational nonprofit Next Generation Personal Finance and economics teacher Ms. Hammer taught seniors about college budget management, credit scores, and banking. In the afternoon, Stanford gynecologist Dr. Sophia Yen spoke to seniors about contraception and the state-by-state laws concerning reproductive health. The day concluded with a discussion on leadership and community by Ms. Kauffman.
On Thursday May 19th, seniors listened to a panel of recent Castilleja Alumni give advice to college-bound seniors. Seniors also attended a self-defense workshop led by Andre Salvage to learn how to physically defend themselves from assault. Lastly, seniors were able to choose between electives on voter registration, personal health and wellness, and car mechanics (changing a tire). In the afternoon, seniors walked to lunches hosted at Castilleja faculty's houses both to learn life skills such as sewing and to enjoy time with their beloved teachers. Afterwards, seniors returned to campus to talk to other Castilleja faculty members about their life experiences and advice for high school graduates.
Seniors Seminars concluded with a photo-decorating activity with music and TBT hashtags in the cafeteria.

Posted 05/12/2016 08:00AM

On Tuesday afternoon, the kindergarten students from Brentwood Academy in East Palo Alto joined their Castilleja 7th grade "big" buddies for an afternoon spent singing, dancing, playing field games, touring the Castilleja campus, and saying goodbye to each other for the year. Now in our 4th year of partnership work with Brentwood Academy, we are starting to feel like this work is very meaningful for our 7th graders and for the Kindergarten community alike.  We start the year by prompting the 7th graders with a question, "how do I partner within my community?" and through the year our 7th grade students grow so much as they discover what this means to each of them individually.  It is wonderful to watch this relationship flourish and, as many of the Castilleja community can attest to, it is such a joy to see 100 kindergarten faces and their teachers enjoying our campus as much as we do. 

Like Castilleja School on Facebook!

Upcoming Events
    • Wednesday - September 28, 2016 US Meeting 2:55 PM to 3:15 PMChapel/Theater, Loc: Chapel Theater
    • Friday - September 30, 2016 Middle School Meeting 2:55 PM to 3:15 PMChapel/Theater, Loc: Chapel Theater
    • Friday - September 30, 2016 US Dance 8:00 PM to 10:00 PMAthletic Center, Loc: Upper Gym
    • Saturday - October 1, 2016 SAT Off Campus
    • Wednesday - October 5, 2016 US Meeting 2:55 PM to 3:15 PMChapel/Theater, Loc: Chapel Theater

© 2014 Castilleja School    |   1310 Bryant Street    |    Palo Alto, CA 94301    |    650 328 3160    |    Contact Us     |    Careers    |    
email page print page small type large type
   |     Search
powered by finalsite