All SchoolMiddle SchoolUpper SchoolAcademicsAthleticsArtsStudent LifeGlobal & Community ProgramsAlumnae

All School News

RSS Feeds
Alerts Signup
Posted Thursday, Nov 7, 2013 

Former U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Hass visited Castilleja to share his love of poetry. Hass' visit exposed the girls to words as not only a tool for communication, but also a form of art. Students started the intellectual exploration with an all-school assembly, where Hass spoke about how the power of poetry lies in its ability to reveal emotional truths: it helps each reader not only access the feelings of others, but also connect to his or her own. He explored the concept that all great art is a balance of the tension between order and freedom, and how the English language's Norman French and Anglo-Saxon heritage creates unique rhymes and rhythms for poems.

Girls then had an opportunity to learn from his expertise in the AP Poetry class, where Hass gave the girls feedback on their poems and provided inspiration for future work. Hass rounded out his day on campus with a 6th grade Haiku-writing workshop, where he helped the girls craft their own unique works of art.

Posted Wednesday, Nov 6, 2013 

The Spanish Department celebrated the Mexican Day of the Dead with students first learning about the holiday and then making either the typical sugar skulls or creating altars commemorating someone who had passed and presenting their tribute to their classmates. From famous people, to ancestors, to loved ones (including pets!), students had a chance to honor those who have passed with the poignant joy and sense of celebration particular to this uniquely Mexican holiday.

Posted Monday, Nov 4, 2013 

With so many iPads floating around campus this year, the iPad stylus has become quite the popular accessory. And it turns out it's extremely easy to make your own! At Bourn Fridays last week, Academic Technology Support Specialist Rachel Tennant showed Casti students how to make an iPad stylus out of an old pen, some conductive foam, a bit of wire, and a healthy dose of DIY spirit.

Don't worry - if you missed the workshop, here are some simple instructions for how to make your own at home.

Posted Monday, Nov 4, 2013 

Casti kudos to Sophia Nesamoney '19, who just published her first book, The Other Side of Carroll. This 146-page tale of mystery and intrigue captivates readers and inspires fellow young writers. A quick synopsis from Amazon to pique your curiosity:

Oliver and Shirley Tark were about eight years old one summer, and the family had come back from seeing a movie. Their father sent Oliver out to get some bread. Shirley was playing outside with her jump rope, and the parents were discussing a dangerous topic they never talked about in front of the children. But then something happened, something that changed the course of all their lives. Something big, something that could never be fixed.

Book publisher Lulu promises, "Oliver and Shirley’s journey is a unique one. It captures the importance of family and it will surely take readers on a thrilling ride full of sadness, memories, adventure, and joy."

To purchase a copy of the book, head to Amazon or Lulu. Congratulations Sophia!

Posted Friday, Nov 1, 2013 

This week girls showed their Casti pride in Spirit Week! Each day had a different theme replete with hilarious costumes and fun activities.

Monday was "Best Uniform Day," where girls sported their finest Casti gear accessorized with a single "Uniform Violation." From neon green tights to silly hats, girls showed how they could gussy up their every-day outfit into something audacious.

"Decades Day" came to campus on Tuesday, with girls representing the finery of the 1920s through the 1990s. A good old-fashioned dance and karaoke party rocked the Circle over the lunch hour.

On Wednesday the girls celebrated the many musical genres which grace the radio, from classical, to country, to disco. Rockers from throughout the ages competed for bragging rights during a rousing dodgeball match over lunch.

Halloween transformed Castilleja into a ghoulish group of girls on Thursday, with creative costumes ranging from Victorian ladies in waiting to a matching ketchup and mustard set. During break the ASB hosted apple bobbing and a donut-eating competition, where girls had to deftly eat mini-donuts off a high string with classmates cheering them on. In the afternoon the sophomore class hosted an intricate haunted house for the whole school in the Administrative Building, spooking students and staff alike.

The girls rounded out the week with class colors on Friday, turning campus into a vibrant rainbow. From feather boas, to sparkle-infused hair, to delicate tutus, the girls went all out in showing school spirit. The culmination of festivities was the traditional tug-o-war match during lunch, leaving the sophomore class tired but victorious.

Check out the slideshow to get a glimpse of what you missed!

Posted Friday, Nov 1, 2013 

Students in 6th grade instrumental music are learning songs in major such as Frère Jacques and playing them in minor to learn about different music modes. The class listened to German Romantic composer Gustav Mahler's famous example of Frère Jacques in minor ("First Symphony," 3rd movement) and created their own ghoulish arrangement to perform for the delight of students and employees during break.

Posted Thursday, Oct 31, 2013 

Come see Bye Bye Birdie, this year's Middle School Musical! This hit production boasts a cast of 50 Middle School actors and 15 Upper School designers, choreographers, stage managers, and assistant directors. Travel back in time to the 1950s, and meet Conrad Birdie, the rock sensation who is about to be inducted into the Army; Conrad’s manager, Albert, and his loyal girlfriend, Rosie; Conrad’s biggest fan, Kim Macfee; and a legion of teen-aged female devotees. Will Conrad go into the army? Will Albert finally marry Rose? Will Harvey Johnson get a date to the prom? All of these questions will be answered on Friday at 7:30, and Saturday at 2:00 and 7:30. Buy your tickets here. Questions? Contact Kristin Walter.

Posted Wednesday, Oct 30, 2013 

Did you have a FABulous weekend? Some Casti folks certainly did ... by attending the FabLearn Conference at Stanford! FabLearn is an annual conference for educators, students, researchers, and policy-makers to discuss digital fabrication in education, the maker culture, and hands-on learning. During Sunday's sessions, Zoe S. '18 talked about her experiences in the Bourn Lab as a panelist on the Young Makers Panel and Heather Pang presented her history classes' monuments project during an educators panel. On Monday, Director of the Bourn Idea Lab Angi Chau moderated another panel of educators from K-12 schools, local museums, and community programs. To learn more about Castilleja's Bourn Lab click here!

Posted Tuesday, Oct 29, 2013 

Last spring, just before the finals of the Technovation Challenge, CBS came to campus to interview Castilleja's "Innogators," who were selected as regional finalists to advance to the World Pitch Competition. The five-woman team (Claire H. '16, Heejin H. '16, Jolena M. '15, Mayuka S. '15, and Wings Y. '15) championed their mobile app "CommUnity," which helps connect users with local volunteer opportunities, at Twitter Headquarters in front of experienced designers and entrepreneurs. After much anticipation, CBS ran a news story this weekend about how the contest helps women excel in STEM, and featured our Casti girls! Click here to watch the clip and read the transcript. Congratulations ladies!

Posted Thursday, Oct 24, 2013 

The Visiting Writers Program continued this week with the visit of US Poet Laureate Robert HassSeniors in AP Poetry had the opportunity to meet for a lively discussion of the art of poetic translation during an EOP session. The girls posed questions throughout the discussion--and were clearly delighted by Hass' thoughtful answers. He shared lively stories from his work translating both traditional Japanese haiku and the poetry of his friend and neighbor, Czeslaw Milosz. The session concluded with a challenge: Hass asked the seniors to try their hand at translating a Rilke poem, beautifully read and sight-translated by senior Alice Z.'14.

Hass will return to Castilleja on November 6th for an all-school assembly, then meet again with the AP Poetry students to continue our conversation.  We can't wait to hear more from this wise and vibrant poet.

RSS Feeds Alerts Signup
Student Life
Posted 10/24/2014 10:11PM

Set sail for the hilarious musical comedy Anything Goes as 27 talented Upper Schoolers deliver such Cole Porter classics as: "I Get A Kick Out Of You," "You Do Something to Me," "It's De-Lovely," "All Through the Night," "Let's Misbehave," and -- of course -- the show-stopping name-dropping "Anything Goes!" Enjoy the zany antics of showgirl Reno Sweeney and her entourage "The Five Seas," star-crossed lovers Billy Crocker and Hope Harcourt, Robber Baron Eli Whitney and his long-lost love Evangeline Harcourt, Upper Class British Twit Lord Evelyn Ashleigh, Public Enemy #13 Moonface Martin and his Gangster's Moll Erma, The Captain Egbert Souse, The Purser Jean Dumer, Newspaper Reporters, F.B.I. Agents, Zealous Missionaries, and the Rest of the Sinners aboard the S.S. American as they as they croon, tap, and Charleston their way across the Atlantic!

  • Friday, Nov. 7th at 7:30pm
  • Saturday, Nov. 8th at 7:30pm
  • Sunday, Nov. 9th at 2pm

Tickets available now at

Original artwork by Izzy Lyseggen '15

Posted 10/29/2014 04:31PM

Teachers connect with developers to hear about new and emerging technology tools. This month, the iPad Student Leads had a chance to connect with women developers and innovators - Christine Egy Rose and Patty Chang. Their company, Scoot and Doodle, raised $2.25 million in seed funding and the students had the opportunity to play with the (not-yet-released version) of their app, Scoodle Jam. iPad Student Leads explored with the app, which allows for whiteboard drawing and has easy-to-use manipulatives for topics like math and design thinking. The students offered feedback, giving student voice to the user design of the project. Students were able to ask questions of the developers and exchange feedback with each other. The iPad Student Leads are looking forward to more opportunities to connect with other women developers in the field and to exploring what the iPad has to offer the student experience!


Posted 10/28/2014 03:57PM

Spirit week started off with a bang!  The Disney-themed day saw the Circle filled wtih characters from Hercules (6th grade), Cinderella (7th grade), Lilo and Stitch (8th grade), Peter Pan (9th grade), Frozen (10th grade), 101 Dalmatians (11th grade) and Mickey Mouse (12th grade). Faculty and staff got to play villains and came decked out as everyone from Cruella deVille to Maleficient and the evil Queen from Snow White! Check out some of the great photos below:


Posted 09/05/2014 06:14PM

Auditions for the Upper School Musical--Cole Porter's hilarious musical comedy Anything Goes--will be Wednesday and Thursday, September 10 and 11, from 3:30-5:30pm in the Chapel Theater. Students should plan to audition both days, as singing, acting, and dancing will all be part of the audition process; be prepared to move and bring at least sixteen bars from a Cole Porter tune which you can sing a cappella. If you're interested in doing tech for the show, please speak with Mr. Ochi, or if you have any further questions about the auditions just find Mr. Mead or Mr. Ahmed.

Posted 10/28/2014 08:02AM

Castilleja Librarians Jole Seroff and Tasha Bergson-Michelson were invited to speak about their innovative approach to teaching research skills at School Library Journal’s 2014 Leadership Summit in St. Paul, MN, last weekend. Their talk, “Do as I Do: Practical Research Skills that Empower Modern Learners,” focused on harnessing the tacit knowledge of expert researchers and turning it into actionable lessons for students.

Posted 10/27/2014 03:18PM

The French 2 classroom was transformed into a marketplace so that students could hone their food shopping skills in a French-speaking country. They took turns buying and selling foods from various stores, some even explaining to the vendor how ripe they needed their avocados to be. While the foods and euros were pretend, students did discover real pastries at the end in celebration of their efforts.

Posted 10/23/2014 08:17AM

Students in the Astronomy and Astrophysics Research Methods module met weekly for the past five weeks with scientists from UC Santa Cruz. They used this time to investigate galaxy evolution by exploring the dynamics of young and old stars in the nearby Andromeda Galaxy. In addition, they got practice reading technical papers and building their skills writing code in the Python programming language. This allowed them to analyze brand-new, state-of-the art photometric (imaging) and spectroscopic data collected from the Hubble and Keck telescopes. Students completed their last session of the module Wednesday night with a fantastic presentation of their research to their parents.

Other Research Methods modules will be offered in the spring in other fields of science.  Details will be posted on the Science Department Portal Page in the coming weeks.

Posted 10/22/2014 09:42AM

Students in the astronomy elective participated in "The Pluto Debate, 1999–2006." This historical reenactment game, originally developed by astronomy professor Tony Crider at Elon University, brings to life the drama surrounding the classification of the beloved-but-distant object. Taking on the roles of astronomers and planetary scientists, students argued Pluto's similarities and differences not only with the other planets in the solar system, but also with the rapidly-growing list of icy bodies known as trans-Neptunian objects. They reenacted a public debate that was held at the Hayden Planetarium in New York City in 1999, followed by the contentious and much-publicized vote at the 2006 meeting of the International Astronomical Union in Prague. After an hour of heated discussion, a vote among the participants and guests followed the same pattern as the actual IAU vote: a new definition of "planet" was adopted that doesn't include Pluto, which is now relegated to "dwarf planet" status.

Posted 10/10/2014 04:00PM
The YouthMed division of the STEMx ACE Org hosted Dr. Amit Etkin of the Stanford University Neurosciences Institute this afternoon during EOP. Dr. Etkin shared his revolutionary work on tackling depression and other psychiatric and behavioral disorders using Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), a non-invasive technique that can restore connections in the brain that have been damaged. The participants were fascinated by the scientific, ethical, and political questions such an innovation can bring about, and the future of the rapidly advancing behavioral science and psychiatry fields. 
On November 5, YouthMed will host a mammalian brain dissection to accompany the neuroscience talk that Dr. Etkin presented today. YouthMed will continue to host a series of physician and research lectures as well as accompanying dissections throughout the year. Stay on the lookout for upcoming opportunities!
Posted 10/02/2014 01:21PM
Four of the Castaruni club members who journeyed to Kenya this summer prepared an interactive project for the freshman C&C classes to share club activities and inform the nines about Castilleja's partnership with our sister school, Kisaruni. Using an entrepreneurship class that they did on the ground in Kenya, they taught the nines how to be global citizens and global historians. Using role play, they discussed similarities and differences between the two societies to better understand their specific cultures while also learning how to apply these concepts to the marketplace and entrepreneurial projects.
Posted 09/23/2014 12:00PM
The ACE Center and the seniors who travelled to Guatemala during their Global investigator trip welcomed Julio Florencio “Lencho” Meléndez Monterroso as our second Activist in Residence. He supports the on-going development of our global program and has been the on-the-ground education lead for our Guatemala trip for several years.

Lencho will be working closely with various Spanish classes and our Engineering and Sustainable Solutions class covering topics ranging from Mayan Culture and history to Sustainable Agriculture. He will also be a guest of honor at our "Celebration of Hispanic Culture" evening on Thursday, October 2.  
Posted 08/01/2014 09:52AM

On Friday afternoon Castilleja's Peninsula Bridge Program concluded with a series of spectacular student performances and a fun-filled reception. Peninsula Bridge is a summer enrichment experience for academically motivated rising fifth-grade girls from under-resourced communities. The girls connect and enjoy learning through language arts, math, art, science, and other activities, including gardening, yoga, dance, field trips, and much more.

As assistants and leaders, Castilleja students design curriculum, engage in program management and development, and mentor the Bridge students. With a variety of leadership opportunities that draw on their personal interests and reinforce their academic learning, Middle and Upper School students help to bring science, art, math, poetry, health, sports, cooking, and myriad other topics to life for the fifth graders. As they cultivate the inquisitive curiosity and budding confidence of the youth around them, Castilleja participants develop leadership skills, gain greater confidence, and experience the lasting rewards of personally meaningful, socially significant service.

Some of the highlights? Nancy L. '17, one of the Casti student leaders, says, "I remember the girls telling us how much they loved spending time with the TAs and playing fun games such as cat and mouse, sharks and minnows, and mafia. The field trips were also one of the highlights, because they gave the Bridge girls the opportunity to explore new environments, such as the beach, a farm, and museums. Of course, they also really enjoyed the lunch. :) In reality, the students loved all of the Peninsula Bridge Program. They received a prompt that asked them to list ten of their favorite things about Bridge, and they covered so much."

And the Bridge girls aren't the only ones who enjoyed the Program: "The TAs definitely loved writing back to the students' journal prompts, and getting to know them. We also loved teaching them new things and showing them different perspectives on many subjects. My favorite part of Bridge was talking to the girls about how their week was going, and learning new things about them. I'll never forget the End of Summer Celebration. It was beautiful, but bittersweet because that's when I felt like I was saying goodbye to such a wonderful moment. I do hope to continue to communicate with the girls."

Watch the slideshow below to get a glimpse of their summer!

Upcoming Events

© 2014 Castilleja School    |   1310 Bryant Street    |    Palo Alto, CA 94301    |    650 328 3160    |    Contact Us     |    Careers     |                                        Search
powered by finalsite