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Posted Tuesday, Mar 17, 2015 

The Castilleja community welcomed twenty-two Italian students and their chaperones from February 27-March 8. They were here as part of an exchange that has continued for fourteen years. Last year, Castilleja students traveled to Fano, Italy for a week-long home stay; this year, the same students came here and were hosted by their Casti partners. As part of their stay, the Italian students shadowed at Castilleja two days and participated in a history presentation on World War II, enjoyed sitting on the Circle taking in the beautiful weather, and formed a large and noisy fan base for Casti softball games. They also spent a day sightseeing in San Francisco and another day in Monterey visiting the aquarium. The most memorable moments, however, were those spent with the Castilleja girls and their families. Some reflections from the families:

"I have loved having the Fano students here. Oddly, I think it's been even more exciting/beneficial to the younger siblings. Since they didn't go to Fano, everything is new and interesting and they lead lots of dinner-table discussions. Kid questions also remind me of things I would never ask." Heather, Mother of McKenna B. '16

"We loved having our Italian exchange student, Elena. She was delightful and it was fun comparing notes on the differences in our cultures such as what we think of as pizza: 'pineapple on pizza? It is good, but it is not pizza!' But, more important was our commonalities such as the high value of friendship, the camaraderie between the students, and the great excitement at visiting new places and meeting new people. Most of all, we were amazed at how easy it was to have our student here; she really became a part of our family." Najma, Mother of Sara B. '17

"It was so nice to see things through a new set of eyes -- the eyes of our Italian daughters and sons. There were new things for us to discover even in things we thought were familiar, such as the town of Santa Cruz and the university campus that we've known for nearly two decades. And it was just as much fun for me to explore Google's campus for the first time with the group." Raja, Father of Tara T. '16

"We are honored to have shared such a amazing experience with the students. We've made a connection that will last a lifetime. We now have two new members of our family." The Wilkerson Family

~Article written by Signora Richardson

Posted Monday, Mar 16, 2015 

Today at break students were treated to a special performance by Yale's premier a Cappella group, Something Extra. Established in 1977, the all-female group flew across the country to enjoy a spring tour in San Francisco. According to their website, "Something Extra's powerful soloists, polished harmonies, and irresistible charm distinguish it as Yale University's premiere all-women's A Cappella group. Something Extra performs a dynamic repertoire of pop, jazz, indie rock, folk, and spirituals. The group has toured throughout North America, Europe, and the Caribbean, performing at venues from the White House and U.S. embassies to the set of "Jeopardy!" With a 37-year legacy of exciting music and lasting friendships, Something Extra is proud to maintain a tradition of musical excellence, community, and adventure."

Posted Monday, Mar 16, 2015 

Many Casti students enjoy Adam Rex's novel The True Meaning of Smekday, featuring aliens called the "Boov." The movie Home, based on the book, is coming out on March 27th. To get ready, Casti students are creating a "Boovish" dictionary: they are imagining that their names are words in Boovish, and recording the English meanings.

In fact, they are starting to build sentences using their new Boovish vocabulary:

"I grace for joy when you wear your tevah megans with lishans!" (Translation: "I jump for joy when you wear your colorful boots with buttons!")

"Linnea! That kaavya is too charlotte and anika!" (Translation: "Danger, get out of here! That broccoli is too moist and slimy!")

Stay tuned for Boovish coming to a conversation near you!

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:

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Posted 09/27/2016 03:06PM

Visit the photo galleries linked below to see and download all the photos from a week full of spirited festivities! (The password is gators)

Pep Rally and Gator Gathering

(includes JV and Varsity Waterpolo and JV Volleyball)

Spirit Week


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 10/20/2016 08:00AM

6th Grade Orienteering Field Trip

On Monday, the entire 6th grade class went to Bayfront Park for an opportunity to practice the map reading and compass skills they have recently acquired in science class.  The students set out in small teams to navigate their way through the park using compasses, detailed topographic maps, and the collective wisdom of their team to find several points along the way.  In addition, each student was tasked with leading her group at some point throughout the course. This activity was challenging and required spatial orientation, attention to detail, teamwork and courage.  It was a great real world opportunity to supplement the classroom learning and was considered a great success since the girls reported having so much fun doing something so difficult.

Click here for a full gallery!

Posted 10/12/2016 08:00AM

A number of Castilleja classes enjoyed a visit from engineers from Quizlet, a highly popular online learning tool. Our guests observed a number of classes in all disciplines in both middle school and Upper School and had a chance to meet with several faculty members and with Casti's Director of Academic Technology, Jamie Sullivan. At the end of the day, they met with student volunteers to beta test an exciting new learning feature.

Posted 10/12/2016 08:00AM

6th graders had the chance to play around in the Bourn Lab during science class.  They spent two days learning programming with Arduino Boards - learning about inputs and outputs and some simple programming to connect the two.  After learning the basics, the girls were given two challenges: first, design a nightlight to take some sort of input from a sensor (light, motion, touch, sound, switch etc.) and connect that to an led light (or multiple) that would turn on.  Once that was completed, the next challenge was to design a light show using any of the inputs and outputs they had available (including multiple colors of lights, sound, and vibration motor).  The girls had a great time exploring the possibilities and there was lots of trial and error involved.  Once they found the perfect combination their faces lit up both literally and figuratively.


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 10/19/2016 08:00AM
In honor of the International Day of the Girl, GLI ACE Org hosted activities at break to educate the community about issues facing girls globally and raising fund to benefit girls.  The ACE org hosted various activities to bolster awareness and funds to donate.Among other activities, they handed out flyers conveying information about girls' education issues and also gave out lollipops (dubbed by some as 'girls' fortune cookies') that had factoids or quotations about girls such as 
"There is no greater pillar of stability than a strong, free and educated woman, and there is no more inspiring role model than a man who respects and cherishes women and champions their leadership."- Angelina Jolie

Globally, 16 million girls between the ages of 6 and 11 will never attend school compared to 8 million boys (World Bank).
The club also made hair ties and sold them with a raffle ticket for a chance to win a make-up case.  All funds raised wee contributed to support girls' education around the world. To connect with other GLI events nationally, the club contributed to a #solidaritywithgirls with photos to an instagram feed.  
Posted 10/17/2016 03:00PM

The Castilleja community welcomed Pulitzer Prize winning poet, author, and educator Tracy K. Smith as this year’s Arrillaga Family Speaker. Tracy K. Smith is the author of three award winning books of poetry: The Body’s Question, which received the 2002 Cave Canem Poetry Prize, Duende, recipient of the 2006 James Laughlin Award, and Life on Mars, 2012 Pulitzer Prize winner.  Most recently, she wrote the memoir Ordinary Light (The New York Times Book Review): "a quietly potent memoir that explores coming-of-age and the meaning of home against a complex backdrop of race, faith, and the unbreakable bond between a mother and daughter."

A Princeton professor, Tracy K. Smith didn’t simply recite her work for an audience of Castilleja students, she illustrated the difference between her poetry and prose by sharing different passages about her father, a Hubble Telescope Engineer, a few from from Ordinary Light (written in prose) and others from Life on Mars (written in verse). By doing so, Smith demonstrated what she attempts to accomplish with each of these two related yet distinct writing styles and shared the nuance of storytelling that can be explored. Answering questions from Castilleja students, she was warm, candid, and genuine in her description of her journey as a writer and artist. Describing a time a mentor didn’t believe in her, Smith was honest about the effect the experience had on her. Yet, she also described the necessity for writers and others to cultivate both the critical and confident inner voices, asserting that we need both (at different times in the process) to succeed. After the assembly, girls lined up to meet Tracy, share their appreciation, and ask more of their many questions for her.


Posted 10/05/2016 08:00AM

The ACE Center hosted the annual Noche de Sólo Español to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month and our Spanish speaking community within Castilleja. Those who attended the event were treated to a fascinating presentation on the significance of Day of the Dead in Mexico and introduced to local and global partnerships in predominately Spanishspeaking communities. The night started off with a welcome from ACE Center Director, Stacey Kertsman as she introduced the new global partnership Castilleja has with theMariposa Foundation in the Dominican Republic. This evening was a great opportunity to see how Spanish culture permeates all aspects of the Castilleja Community. 

¡Gracias a todos los que organizaron y contribuyeron a este evento inolvidable! Thank you to those who organized and contributed to this unforgettable event!


Click on the photo below to view a gallery of photos from the night!


Posted 09/28/2016 08:00AM

The Green Team hosted a group of Casti volunteers for the California Coastal Cleanup Day at Bedwell Bayfront Park. This annual state-wide event allows anyone to contribute to coastal preservation and data collection. This year, 18,314 people volunteered worldwide to collect 52,493 pounds of trash from our beaches. The Green team enjoyed walking along the beautiful waterfront, knowing that they contributed to the global effort to protect coastal landscapes.


Upcoming Events
    • Wednesday - October 26, 2016 US Meeting 2:55 PM to 3:15 PMChapel/Theater, Loc: Chapel Theater
    • Wednesday - November 2, 2016 US Meeting 2:55 PM to 3:15 PMChapel/Theater, Loc: Chapel Theater
    • Thursday - November 3, 2016 Middle School Meeting 2:55 PM to 3:15 PMChapel/Theater, Loc: Chapel Theater

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