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Posted Monday, May 19, 2014 

This weekend, the Bourn Idea Lab represented Castilleja at the annual Maker Faire in San Mateo. Maker Faire is a huge event with over 900 exhibits/performers/speakers and over 100,000 attendees, all to celebrate the spirit of making and encourage everyone to become makers -- hey, doesn't that sound exactly like what the Bourn Lab likes to do?? Castilleja's booth showcased student projects from a variety of classes and grade levels and also had areas where visitors could make little robots from toothbrushes and rebuild da Vinci's armored car. Thanks to all our volunteers who spent time at our table being our Ambassadors of Making -- we can't wait until next year!

Posted Friday, May 16, 2014 

You are cordially invited to the Spring Music Concert on Thursday, May 22nd at 7:30pm in the Chapel Theater! The concert features students from the vocal and instrumental classes and a variety of chamber ensembles such as a newly formed flute quartet and a musical set of sisters. This also marks the final concert for several seniors! Another special treat is that MUSE has transformed into a jazz ensemble with several students taking their very first "solos" in front of an audience. Cookies and treats are available for purchase at intermission to support the Music for the Community Club. All 100 performers hope to see you there!

Posted Thursday, May 8, 2014 

To honor the Class of 2014, the Casti community created its largest flash mob ever with about 175 dancers. With parents, employees, students, and siblings all joining in the merriment, the mob danced to Pharrell Williams' "Happy" out on the Circle. The seniors were truly moved by the community's efforts. One Senior was overheard saying to her mom, "I couldn't believe how many people were out there!!" If you missed the action, make sure to check out the video at www.castilleja.org/flashmob!


 

Posted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 

An app is born! Congratulations to Computer Science II ("Making Mobile Apps") students Carly R. '14 and Becky A. '14 for their final project app, GatorScout, which just became available in the iTunes App Store. GatorScout is used to assist in the compilation, storage, and retrieval of scouting information collected in the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) challenge. A beta version of this app was used in the field by members of the Gatorbotics team during this year's competition season. Preview it here.

Posted Tuesday, Apr 29, 2014 

This week Casti's Margarita Espinosa Library welcomed a very special four-legged guest to campus: a hedgehog from Palo Alto's Junior Museum & Zoo. Kenya, a 6-month-old African hedgehog, thrilled library guests of all ages with her indescribable cuteness. Whther she was curiously sniffing at the library scents, or protectively curled up in a spiny ball, girls gathered around and asked questions about everything from Kenya's diet to her natural habitat. Want to learn more about hedgehogs? Stop by the library to check out one of their many books on these adorable creatures!

Posted Friday, Apr 25, 2014 

Castilleja continued its celebration of National Poetry Month by participating in Poem in Your Pocket Day. Why? Because it's fun! And who couldn't use a little more poetry in their life? To participate, girls selected a poem they love and either copied it by hand or printed it out. Then, they carried it around all day in their pocket. Members of the library and other literary-minded folks periodically stopped passersby and asked them if they had a poem in their pocket. Poetic partakers were able to whip out their selection and read it aloud for the possibility of winning a prize!

Posted Thursday, Apr 24, 2014 

Under the guidance of English teacher Valerie Ross, Castilleja threw Shakespeare a bash befitting his 450th birthday. Girls dressed in costume as their favorite Shakespeare characters and partook in a variety of fun festivities. At break there were birthday cupcakes for all, as well as games (including the classic "Pin the Lips on Kenneth Branagh") and prizes. Girls also wrote exquisitely bad sonnets in the manner of lovesick Shakespearean characters with great gusto, and hung them between trees on the pool patio. Winners were announced during lunch, with the victorious submissions receiving dramatic readings on the Circle. The girls also held a costume contest, with contestants reciting lines from their chosen characters. To cap off the festivities, during lunch there were also special performances of Shakespearean scenes by drama classes. Happy birthday Shakespeare!

Posted Tuesday, Apr 22, 2014 

Come see Finn and Sheinkin's hilarious hit Broadway musical The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, starring a host of talented Upper Schoolers as nervous, nerdy elementary students. A riotous look at the pressures of growing up (and spelling), Spelling Bee features quirky characters, joyous music, and on-stage participation for four lucky members of the audience! Spelling Bee is considered highly enjoyable for the whole family.

Only three performances -- Friday, April 25, at 7:30pm; Saturday, April 26, at 7:30pm; and Sunday, April 27, at 2pm. Get your tickets here!

The illustrious cast includes:

Rona Lisa Perretti – Kathleen K. '15
Vice Principal Panch – Sophie P. '16
Mitch Mahoney – Katja T. '16
Chip Tolentino -- Kenzie M. '17
Logainne Scwartzandgrubbenneire -- Yasmine R. '17
Leaf Coneybear -- Katerina P. '15
William Barfee -- Alanna M. '14
Marcy Park – Natalie B. '17
Olive Ostrovsky -- Megan P. '14
Ensemble – Maggie G. '17
Ensemble – Sara B. '17
Ensemble – Alli P. '17
Ensemble – Mitra A. '16
Ensemble – Valerie H. '17
Ensemble – Grace F. '17
Ensemble – Lexie K. '14
Ensemble – Scout D. '15

Come see them on stage!

Posted Monday, Apr 21, 2014 

Shakespeare's 450th birthday is Wednesday, April 23! Come to school in Shakespearean costume, write a sonnet, memorize a line or two, play games, win prizes, eat cupcakes during break, and enjoy the performances of scenes from Shakespeare's plays during lunch! The Costume Bank will be open Monday and Tuesday lunch, Monday 3-3:30pm, and Tuesday 1:30-2:30pm to help you find just the right Shakespearean attire.

Posted Thursday, Apr 10, 2014 

The Northern California Green Schools Conference, hosted by Castilleja over the weekend, was a resounding success! The Castilleja Green Team worked with students from around the Bay Area to put together a day of workshops and speakers to unite students and community members interested in Green Business. With eleven different schools represented, eight speakers/workshop leaders, a food truck providing a locally sourced lunch, and a beautiful day in Palo Alto, the conference on April 5th unfolded into a day full of excitement, education, and inspiration.

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Student Life
Posted 05/04/2015 08:05AM

Each year the Alliance Française of Silicon Valley sponsors a competition for Santa Clara Country High School Seniors who study French. They write an hour-long essay and participate in an oral conversation. Casti Senior Chloe S. was awarded second place and $1,000. At Saturday's award ceremony, professor Hélène LaRoche lauded Chloe for her outstanding essay on the role that technology plays and how it serves to create solidarity.  Félicitations, Chloe!

Posted 05/01/2015 08:19AM

Congratulations to five Castilleja Middle School students who were honored at the annual Tech Challenge competition in San Jose last weekend. Eighth grade team "Technically Challenged" (Sophia N., Niav L., and Olivia V.) won the award for Outstanding Engineering Journal. Sixth grade team "The TecTonic Plates" (Mukki S. and Grace K.) won the award for Outstanding Engineering Design Process.

Sponsored by the San Jose Tech Museum of Innovation, the Tech Challenge uses a real-world problem as a hands-on way to teach the science and engineering design process to students in grades 5-12. This year's competition challenged participants to build an earthquake-safe structure. Each team designed and constructed a structure that was tested during a series of simulated earthquakes using a "shake" table.

Posted 04/30/2015 04:40PM

Last week, the Dance Production Workshop Team and the Ada's Cafe ACE Org gathered on the Circle to celebrated the presentation of a check to Kathleen Hughes and Ada's Cafe for $22,580, the proceeds from February's Arts with a Heart performances. Castilleja students enjoyed working with Ada's Cafe and their amazing associates both on stage and in the community. Dance Production Workshop PR Manager Sam G. '17 says, "It is heartwarming to know that everyone who participated in Arts with a Heart 2015 contributed to helping a worthy cause. And, remember to always be kind!"

Posted 04/28/2015 03:40PM

Congratulations to Castilleja juniors Heejung C., Emily B., and Claire H.! On April 18 their team won second place in the novice division of CodeQuest, a computer programming competition held at Lockheed Martin in Sunnyvale, where teams of two or three students work together for two and a half hours to answer programming questions created by Lockheed Martin engineers and computer programmers. If you're interested in participating in programming competitions, stay tuned for "Casti Coders," a new academic club planned for next year by freshmen Katie M. and Ria S. that will be focused on developing programming skills in preparation for competitions like this.

Academics
Posted 05/04/2015 08:05AM

Each year the Alliance Française of Silicon Valley sponsors a competition for Santa Clara Country High School Seniors who study French. They write an hour-long essay and participate in an oral conversation. Casti Senior Chloe S. was awarded second place and $1,000. At Saturday's award ceremony, professor Hélène LaRoche lauded Chloe for her outstanding essay on the role that technology plays and how it serves to create solidarity.  Félicitations, Chloe!

Posted 04/30/2015 04:40PM

Last week, the Dance Production Workshop Team and the Ada's Cafe ACE Org gathered on the Circle to celebrated the presentation of a check to Kathleen Hughes and Ada's Cafe for $22,580, the proceeds from February's Arts with a Heart performances. Castilleja students enjoyed working with Ada's Cafe and their amazing associates both on stage and in the community. Dance Production Workshop PR Manager Sam G. '17 says, "It is heartwarming to know that everyone who participated in Arts with a Heart 2015 contributed to helping a worthy cause. And, remember to always be kind!"

Posted 04/29/2015 02:57PM

On Friday, April 24, Trevor Getz, Professor of African History and Studies at San Francisco State University, spoke to the African Studies class. He engaged the students in an analysis of the Great Cattle Killing that swept the Xhosa people of southern Africa in the mid-19th century. Professor Getz built on knowledge that the girls had of millennarianist movements among the Ghost Dancers on the American frontier, the Boxers in China, and the Maji Maji rebellion in East Africa. He provided important context for the Great Cattle Killing in the Bovine Pleuralpneumonia epidemic that ravaged Xhosa herds; he emphasized the trauma produced by aggressive British imperialism in Xhosaland; and he offered new interpretations of the crisis provided by recent studies of the role of women in Xhosa society. He also encouraged and led the students to debate the different interpretations of the Great Cattle Killing. In the end, girls left class with a greater understanding of how a historian's perspective can color their view of history, and how each of them can adopt different lenses as they observe the world around them.

Posted 04/28/2015 08:23AM

To gain a better understanding of how Congress works, over the past three weeks Sophomores have participated in a mock congress focused on improving current issues in the Castilleja community.

The House was comprised of three class sections acting as three committees: Environment and Facility, Schedule and Calendar, and Upper School Curriculum and Electives. The House committees worked hard to draft legislation which they then debated within their committees. The bills that made it out of committee were voted on by the entire house.

The Senate then debated the bills that made it out of the House (five total) to determine which ones were viable and should be amended. The Senate struck down two of the bills and amended two others before moving into the final Senate session, observed by the House. In the last session Senators gave impassioned speeches for and against the proposed bills and amendments. Tensions were high as some attempted to filibuster against bills they vehemently opposed.

In the end, two bills along with their proposed amendments were passed by the Senate, so they will go to conference committee where members from both Houses will try to come to an agreement on one identical bill. If this happens, the bills will be put to vote in both Houses and if they pass they will be presented to President Kauffman for her signature. Women Learning, Women Leading!

Posted 04/30/2015 04:40PM

Last week, the Dance Production Workshop Team and the Ada's Cafe ACE Org gathered on the Circle to celebrated the presentation of a check to Kathleen Hughes and Ada's Cafe for $22,580, the proceeds from February's Arts with a Heart performances. Castilleja students enjoyed working with Ada's Cafe and their amazing associates both on stage and in the community. Dance Production Workshop PR Manager Sam G. '17 says, "It is heartwarming to know that everyone who participated in Arts with a Heart 2015 contributed to helping a worthy cause. And, remember to always be kind!"

Posted 04/22/2015 04:42PM

Last week Castilleja's Community Alliance for Identity and Expression (CAIE) Club led the school in participating in the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network's (GLSEN's) national Day of Silence. The Day of Silence is a day of solidarity specifically for LGBTQ++ people -- the silence representing standing by those whose voices are silenced through bullying, oppression, fear, and lack of visibility. Being silent on this day shows support for all people who identify with the full range of genders and sexualities. Castilleja members showed their support by being silent, wearing a sticker, or eating around the Rainbow Flag. Teachers respected this day by wearing stickers, planning silent lessons, and respecting the students' choice to be silent. At the end of the day a reception was held as a celebration of breaking the silence. One of the day's organizers remarked, "The amount of support showed by all Castilleja community members was astounding. This marks a first step in the right direction toward accepting all people regardless of their identity."

Posted 04/16/2015 09:19AM

Art for the Earth: Art 8 Fashion and Print students designed, created, and installed a 27-foot-long, 7-foot-high installation art project publicizing San Mateo's Earth Week community day. Working as a coordinated team for two weeks, 16 artists considered sustainability in art and the link between material and message, and wrestled with the logistics of large scale sculptural and visual designs. In their piece, a mountain of trash transforms into a multitude of fluttering butterflies adorning the background wall and ascending toward the sky. Carefully designed leaf-edged lettering complements the sculpture.

The art installation is next to Walgreens at 191 East 3rd Avenue, San Mateo. It will be on display through Thursday, April 30.

Posted 04/13/2015 10:00AM

By Rosie C.

On a beautiful Sunday afternoon, Music for the Community club hosted its annual Benefit Concert in the theater. This year, we raised money for the Music in the Schools Foundation, which provides under-resourced students in the Ravenswood School District with a fundamental music education.

We had an exciting line-up of performers, including but not limited to orchestra, flute quartet, members of choir, the faculty a cappella group, several instrumental solos, and many more. The highlight of our concert was hearing from the Music in the Schools violin students and their dedicated teacher; they brightened the audience’s day with their enthusiasm.

During intermission and before the show, club members helped to sell raffle tickets. After donating a certain amount to the cause, concert-goers were given a certain number of raffle tickets. These tickets were drawn at a later time for fantastic gift cards and gift bags from Trader Joes, Halo Blow Dry Bar, Sprinkles Cupcakes, and Douce France. The raffle items were a great incentive for an even greater cause!

Our concert ended up being a success that we, the Castilleja community and beyond, can all feel proud of. Since the beginning of the school year, we have raised $1,700 for Music in the Schools. We have been blessed with a privileged music education both inside and outside of school, and have the pleasure and responsibility to share our love of music and give back to our wonderful community. In addition to the concert, we have enjoyed performing at Stanford Shopping Center, collaborating with  another ACE org to perform for seniors at Rosener House, and teaching a music class at Brentwood School.

Music for the Community club could not thank you enough for your support, and we want to thank everyone who made our concert and other club events possible.

To learn more visit:

Website: http://musicintheschools.org/

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