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Arts

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Posted Thursday, Apr 16, 2015 

Now debuting on the Castilleja stage: A Midsummer Night's Dream by Shakespeare! Senior Kathleen K.'s hilarious production of the Bard's well-loved pastoral comedy runs Friday, April 24, at 6pm; Saturday, April 25, at 6pm; and Sunday, April 26, at 2:00 pm in Good Court. Starring a host of talented Upper School students in a beautiful venue, the play will also feature original music composed by Castilleja's Artist-in-Residence Motoko Honda. All ages are more than welcome to romp in the forest. To purchase tickets, click here.

Posted Thursday, Apr 16, 2015 

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 Monday, Apr 13, 2015 

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/

Posted Friday, Apr 3, 2015 

Madame Repellin’s AT French Seminar class spent the past week designing covers for the works they’ve been reading throughout the year. They made designs based on the themes of the books and worked with librarian Jole Seroff on how to create a cover that is visually appealing to potential buyers. The students’ cover designs for Rhinocéros by Ionesco, Huis Clos by Sartre, and L’étranger by Camus are on display in the library. Check them out!

Posted Thursday, Apr 2, 2015 
Two Film 2 students, Abby Lowell '16 and Sophia Pelosi '16, won Honorable Mentions in the 2015 White House Student Film Festival. The national contest received over 1500 entries focused on "The Impact of Giving Back." This is the first time Castilleja students have entered this contest and were thrilled to bring home awards for Abby's  short film "Love, Emma" and Sophia's short film, "School Service starts with Justice."  Congratulations to the filmmakers and their cast and crews!  A very exciting day for our talented Casti Film-makers (and Casti Film!) Learn more about the festival here: https://www.whitehouse.gov/filmfestival.
Posted Friday, Mar 27, 2015 

7th grade dance students are continuing to study global dances! This week's stop on their tour around the world showcased India's unique set of tunes and techniques. Dancers enjoyed a lesson in the classic Indian Bharatanatyam dance style taught by one of their very own classmates, Ananya R. After an energetic demonstration and a hands-on workshop, students now have a new understanding and appreciation for the culture of India and for the skill required to execute this beautiful dance form.

Posted Thursday, Mar 26, 2015 

Come to the Edible Book Festival at the Espinosa Library next week! After school on Monday, March 30 (3:30-6:00pm), the whole Castilleja community is invited to drop by for literary games, treats, and the Edible Book Festival Competition. Everyone is invited to submit a creation made out of food and inspired by a book; everyone who comes to the event can vote on and then sample the delicious creations. See the library website for more information on the Festival and the We Won't Stop Club's book-inspired food drive. Don't delay -- RSVP to Castilleja.org/edible today!

Posted Wednesday, Mar 25, 2015 

Last week Castilleja was honored to have the Real Vocal String Quartet (RVSQ) do a three-day residency at Castilleja. RVSQ’s surprisingly broad repertoire embraces the diverse influences of all four players, from classical, jazz, and rock, to songs and styles from West Africa, Brazil, and rural America. Yet while four distinct voices can be heard, in seven years of performing together the Quartet has achieved a true group sound.

While on campus the Bay Area quartet collaborated with students in arts classes on a wide variety of tunes and techniques. Students worked on improvisation and composition skills, and learned the key components of being a collaborative chamber musician.

One highlight included a workshop with the Upper School Choir on Regina Spektor's haunting tune Machine, which the group will sing at the upcoming Spring Concert. RVSQ also performed for all the 6th and 7th grade music classes, and worked on musical improv games with the students in smaller groups: the students had to create compositions on the spot, something RVSQ calls a "Now." This was so popular with the Middle Schoolers that they are continuing to create and perform their own "Nows" at the beginning of each class! As a grand finale, RVSQ treated Castilleja to a mini-concert Wednesday afternoon, which met with a standing ovation from students and adults alike.

Stay tuned (pun intended!) for details on the Spring Concert (May 21) and future opportunities to see students showcase what they learned from these master musicians!

Posted Tuesday, Mar 24, 2015 

This weekend, fifteen Upper School students traveled to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland to take part in acting and design workshops as well as to see three incredible productions: Much Ado About Nothing, Pericles, and Guys and Dolls. Not only had some girls been in Ms. Walter's Middle School production of Guys and Dolls, but many had studied Much Ado About Nothing in Theatre with Mr. Mead! Imagine everyone's surprise to also discover that Guys and Dolls was directed by none other than Mary Zimmerman, a playwright and the director of Metamorphoses, which 9th graders study in Core Arts! Check out the image in the scrolling media banner -- the students are working on Friday morning with Oregon Shakespeare Festival actor David Thompson on language and poetry.

Posted Wednesday, Mar 18, 2015 

Congratulations to AP Photography student Anahita A. '15, who won a silver medal for Photography in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards with her photo "Hospital." Over 255,000 students compete in 28 categories, and 2,000 are selected nationwide for medals. This represents less than 1% of the student works submitted. Judges select works that "best exemplify originality, technical skill, and the emergence of a personal voice or vision." Congratulations Ana!

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Student Life
Posted 04/16/2015 03:57PM

Now debuting on the Castilleja stage: A Midsummer Night's Dream by Shakespeare! Senior Kathleen K.'s hilarious production of the Bard's well-loved pastoral comedy runs Friday, April 24, at 6pm; Saturday, April 25, at 6pm; and Sunday, April 26, at 2:00 pm in Good Court. Starring a host of talented Upper School students in a beautiful venue, the play will also feature original music composed by Castilleja's Artist-in-Residence Motoko Honda. All ages are more than welcome to romp in the forest. To purchase tickets, click here.

Posted 04/03/2015 08:13AM

Folks traveling on the Bryant Street bike route are in for a treat. The 6th graders spent FLEX period Wednesday celebrating National Poetry Month by decorating a brightly colored tree by the Bryant Street bike bollards with poems for the Palo Alto community to enjoy. After hanging poems on the lower branches, they posted a sign inviting passersby to take a poem to read now, or to scan a QR code to read one later. No time to head down to the bike bollards? Pause to enjoy the poems sprinkled on doors and windows around campus!

Posted 04/02/2015 02:40PM

Sophie N. L. '19's story was selected out of a total of 900 submissions as the most impressive piece of fiction written by an eighth grade student for the 2015 Bluefire Young Writers' Contest. Her task was to "write an outstanding piece of short fiction that consists of exactly 1000 words." Sophie will be published in the Winners' Anthology and will receive a small cash prize. She is also invited to read her story at Kepler's Books during the Award Celebration on Sunday, May 3 from 1-3 PM. Congrats Sophie!

Posted 04/02/2015 08:05AM
Two Film 2 students, Abby Lowell '16 and Sophia Pelosi '16, won Honorable Mentions in the 2015 White House Student Film Festival. The national contest received over 1500 entries focused on "The Impact of Giving Back." This is the first time Castilleja students have entered this contest and were thrilled to bring home awards for Abby's  short film "Love, Emma" and Sophia's short film, "School Service starts with Justice."  Congratulations to the filmmakers and their cast and crews!  A very exciting day for our talented Casti Film-makers (and Casti Film!) Learn more about the festival here: https://www.whitehouse.gov/filmfestival.
Academics
Posted 04/20/2015 11:33AM

On Wednesday, April 15, Middle School science classes kicked off preparations for Explo 2015 with a field trip to Coyote Lake. This multi-faceted trip enabled the students to engage with a variety of scientific experiences. In intergrade groups, students both collected a wide variety of data about the lake and its surroundings and navigated through rolling hills and along a mountain-lakeside while thinking about the environment through which they were walking. They tested water, soil, and air for many variables, including but not limited to pH, dissolved oxygen, temperature, and salinity. The combination of hands-on real-world activities helped them to practice the skills they have learned in class. This also enabled them to explore and understand the connections between many features of the ecosystem while allowing them to practice techniques and develop ideas for their own upcoming Explo projects. They got to enjoy the beautiful scenery and even had some visits from interesting wildlife. All in all, a very successful trip!

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 04/14/2015 08:33AM

6th graders from science and history classes joined forces for a multi-day interdisciplinary archaeology experience. The students had an opportunity to build on their growing knowledge of archaeology as they took a virtual journey to the ancient Andean site of Chavín de Huantar in Peru. Students learned about the importance of context in interpreting an archaeological site and determining the significance of various artifacts and features of the site.

Students were divided into archaeological teams that included specialists in three different areas: art, architecture, and geography. They were charged with learning general information about the site in their teams, asking questions to drive their research, and then learning everything they could about their specialty area. Then, as artists, builders, and cartographers, each specialist group constructed a 3-D replica of a piece of art, an architectural model, or a map of the surrounding area. These visual aides were used to supplement their teaching to their archaeological teams about their research. The student archaeologists then shared knowledge about their specialties and put all their knowledge together to discuss the significance of various archaeological findings and to construct evidence-based stories about the site.

Sarah Barnum (Science 6) and Laura Docter (History 6) continue to collaborate designing interdisciplinary inquiry-based curriculum as part of their People of the Earth Innovation Investment Fund Grant which focuses on student-generated questions to drive learning, evidence-supported hypotheses, and active learning.  Barnum, who did her Master’s thesis research on the archaeological site of Chavín de Huantar, framed the five days with introductory and closing interactive presentations about her research to model for the girls how a real archaeologist does the work they were learning about and to help the girls answer some of the questions they still wondered about that did not get answered through their own research.

Posted 04/13/2015 08:18AM

Biology Honors students began their study of Ecology with a trip to Gamble Garden. Each group collected observational data about two plants, each originating from a different type of ecosystem, to learn about organismal ecology. This activity follows from their in-depth study of plants and introduces the Ecology unit – a perfect connection!

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/

Posted 04/01/2015 04:10PM

On Monday Melbourne Girls Grammar School (MGGS) (Australia) and Castilleja embarked on a new global partnership centering on technology and computer science. While on their Science and Enterprise Tour of the West Coast, 59 MGGS girls collaborated with Castilleja's Middle Schoolers to explore Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), including participating in a tinkering project in Castilleja's Bourn Idea Lab.

On Tuesday 14 girls in Castilleja's computer science programming elective attended the MGGS Young Women for Enterprise and Innovation Conference, which showcased how women across the global community can unite to tackle the technological challenges of today and tomorrow. This visit lay the groundwork for a collaborative, ongoing coding project, in which Castilleja and MGGS students hope to use app and website development as a lens for cross-cultural and authentic leadership experiences between the two schools.

Posted 03/23/2015 12:30PM

Under the leadership of 8th graders Dana A. and Sophia N., the Middle School Girls Learn International Club held a movie screening of “Half the Sky.” Half the Sky is a documentary about the challenges that girls face around the world, and how women in many countries are fighting valiantly to turn oppression into opportunity. The on-campus screening was held salon style, with time for discussion after powerful scenes. Donations were collected on behalf of Roshni Academy in India, one of Castilleja’s partner organizations. Roshni is hoping to raise enough money to buy a notebook for each incoming student, and the GLI Club is helping them reach their goals. Each attendee also had the chance to write a personal card to a Roshni student, forging bonds which transcend continents and circumstances. Well done, ladies!


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