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Posted Wednesday, Jan 21, 2015 

The Winter Concert is this Thursday night at 7:30pm in the Chapel Theater. The concert will feature traditional holiday music, jazz and blues, and some pop tunes performed by the Middle School and Upper School music ensembles, the Upper School a cappella group The Sounds Sisters, and the world famous employee a cappella group Staff Inflection. The show is free and there will be refreshments at intermission. The singers and musicians would love your support. Hopefully see you there!

Posted Monday, Dec 15, 2014 
The Dance Production Workshop class worked with the 8th grade choreography class to create "Codecracker," a techie take on the classic, "The Nutcracker" where Clara's coding skills come to her rescue when some of her personal info is stolen my the Mouse King!  The girls performed last week during Computer Science Education Week!!  Check out the full performance on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yil8nKW5hbE.
Posted Friday, Nov 21, 2014 

For the past week, Film 1 students have been working with the library on their "Cinemascope" papers -- a 3-5-page paper based on a topic of their choosing which is either "Cinematic" (film history, history of film movements, etc.) or "Filmic" (one singular film, one filmmaker, etc.). Topics range from "The CSI Effect -- Films and Jury Tampering," to "The Aesthetics of Filmmaker Steve McQueen," to "Hollywood Dog Trainers: Rin Tin-Tin, Lassie, and Uggie." As an added feature, the paper review process included a "Talk with an Expert" on Thursday. Knowing that Castilleja faculty and staff boast an assortment of backgrounds, interests, and specialties, Film 1 students had to "pitch" their paper and its main points to them in a dialogue drawing on their experience and expertise. It proved to be a fun forum for exploring both Film and the Casti community.

Posted Wednesday, Nov 19, 2014 
The Dance Department auditioned over 75 Middle and Upper School students for Arts with a Heart 2015-HumanKIND! The Upper School Dance Production Workshop class also taught dancers sections from routines that will be seen in Casti's annual dance extravaganza. Mark your calendars: the show dates are February 6-8. For more information about this year's show and rehearsal times, please visit our website. www.artswithaheart.org.
Posted Thursday, Nov 13, 2014 

On Wednesday, the 9th graders attended a San Francisco Opera production of Puccini's La bohème as part of the core arts class. Before the opera, girls listened to various musical excerpts and learned about Puccini's musical vocabulary. They also heard a brief history of opera and learned about the evolution of opera from Mozart to Verdi. Students then traveled to the opera house and enjoyed hearing, seeing, and experiencing a working rehearsal. They connected the musical excerpts studied in class to a live performance and will continue to connect their experience to core arts class this semester.

Posted Thursday, Nov 6, 2014 

Castilleja welcomed renowned cartoonist and writer Liza Donnelly to campus as the school's Arrillaga and Morris Family Speaker for the year. When Liza became a regular cartoonist for The New Yorker in 1982, she was the youngest on staff and one of only three women. Now, as a self-described feminist and the author of more than fifteen acclaimed books, she uses her work to give women a voice and to create a sense of camaraderie in today’s world. She also serves as a Cultural Envoy for the U.S. State Department, where she shares her perspective on the importance of free speech and women’s rights with diverse communities around the globe.

While on campus Liza treated students to an all-school assembly in which she described how she found her passion for cartooning and advocacy, as well as the genesis of specific cartoons in her collection. She also met with student artists in a series of hands-on workshops, in which she demonstrated technique and gave feedback on the girls' works of art.

Posted Friday, Oct 31, 2014 

Halloween is about more than candy!! 7th grade art students took pumpkin carving to the next level!  As part of their cartooning unit, they studied the subtleties of facial expression and then designed and carved jack-o-lanterns to convey specific emotions. Can you guess the emotion?  (Left to right: shocked and surprised, scheming, enraged, terrified, silly and playful).  

Posted Friday, Oct 24, 2014 

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 http://www.castilleja.org/usplay

Original artwork by Izzy Lyseggen '15

Posted Wednesday, Sep 17, 2014 

Stop by the Anita Seipp Gallery to see the Fall Student Art Show featuring pieces from students in last spring's Drawing and Painting, Core Arts, and Advanced Art classes! This beautiful exhibit will run through October. Questions? Contact Seipp Gallery Curator Deborah Trilling at drilling@castilleja.org.

 

Posted Friday, Sep 5, 2014 

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.

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Student Life
Posted 01/21/2015 09:09AM

The Winter Concert is this Thursday night at 7:30pm in the Chapel Theater. The concert will feature traditional holiday music, jazz and blues, and some pop tunes performed by the Middle School and Upper School music ensembles, the Upper School a cappella group The Sounds Sisters, and the world famous employee a cappella group Staff Inflection. The show is free and there will be refreshments at intermission. The singers and musicians would love your support. Hopefully see you there!

Posted 01/05/2015 09:10AM

The Junior Global Investigators are abroad! From France, to China, to India, to Guatemala, the girls are beginning to immerse themselves in the richness of the international experience. Here's what the Guatemala Global Investigators said about the beginning of their trip:

Exciting. Eye-opening. New. Rich. Beautiful. These were the words our fellow classmates used to describe their initial reactions to Guatemala.

The journey to our hotel on Lake Atitlán involved planes, bus, and even a boat ride across the lake. After a late-night flight and windy bus ride, we piled ourselves and our many suitcases into a little boat, catching the lovely breeze amidst the warm weather. Our beautiful hotel awaited us at the end of the lake, complete with papaya juice, warm beds, and a gorgeous view!

After settling we went into the lake town of San Juan. We met the youth at the  library and learned about the town’s history, and we enjoyed our first  Guatemalan meal, complete with beans, rice, and plenty of home-made  tortillas!

Today, we started off with a lovely breakfast and exposure to a parade in honor of Three King’s Day, where ambassadors from the local church travel from house to house bearing baby Jesus. Traditionally, he is kissed on the forehead by each resident, followed by a series of fireworks (which we have heard periodically throughout the city all day).

From the very beginning, Guate has been filled with vibrant sounds: festive music in the town square, roosters crowing in the morning, a trail of drums that followed baby Jesus about the village.

Fascinating for coffee-addicts and non-coffee-drinkers alike was our coffee tour. We learned that there are four different kinds of coffee plants, and even got to taste the coffee plant itself, which was surprisingly sweet! For the remainder of the afternoon, we prepared for skits about the environment to share with the community, and will later spend some time with the Guatemalan youth.

More on that later! Hasta Pronto!
Lea y Kiana

To read more about the Global Investigator Trips, click here.

Posted 12/03/2014 10:33AM

Embark Labs joined with Academic Tech in November to introduce young girls to coding. 6th Grade iPad Student Leads Lauren L. and Eliza G. facilitated this collaboration by assisting girls with the program Lightbot and supported the sold-out event. The event attracted girls ages 7-11 and many parents were delighted to see Casti students playing a role in helping younger girls explore coding. Embark Labs creator Jessie Arora was grateful for creating a learning experience where girls were engaging in peer-to-peer learning. In addition to supporting collaborative efforts like this event, Eliza and Lauren co-lead a group of 15 highly energized 6th iPad Student Leads. The student leads will also be creating an Apps Corner display window which will showcase student opinions of educational apps. The girls are not only facilitating collaborations, but also working on this space for students to share their voice in the iPad program. Great work leads!

Posted 11/12/2014 10:18AM

Congratulations to Lea S. '16, who traveled to Los Angeles to participate in the Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology and placed as a Regional Finalist! The weekend started on Friday, where competitors were given a tour of the campus by a Caltech "buddy" to whom each participant was assigned. That evening students presented their posters to the public, where the Caltech community as well as middle- and high-schoolers came to view the posters and ask questions about the projects. The weekend finished with the competitors making presentations and holding a question-and-answer session with around a dozen judges, as well as a celebratory dinner.

Lea says, "It was truly a special weekend. Most of all I enjoyed getting to know so many talented, smart, and interesting students from across the country. From hearing everyone else's projects in their presentations, to discussing a mutual love for English, to learning about new mathematical concepts, it will be a weekend I will never forget. It makes me want to continue to pursue science even more than before."

Academics
Posted 01/15/2015 01:57PM

7th graders in Evelyne Nicolaou's French class demonstrated their linguistic prowess by filming an end-of-unit fashion show. Using the green screen, students placed themselves on the "catwalk" using French vocabulary: nouns, gender, adjectives, and verbs, with a special focus on vocabulary from their clothing unit. As each girl strutted across the stage, her peers commented on her glamourous couture and accessories. To provide further guidance for fashion ingénues, they also designed fashion websites using Google sites as their end-of-unit projects. If you're ever in need of apparel advice, make sure to ask one of these students -- en français, bien sûr!

Posted 01/09/2015 09:22AM

While traveling on their Global Investigator Trips, juniors have been noting not only the differences between the United States and the different countries, but also the similarities. While visiting the Chinese village of Nanyaocun, both were brought into focus:

Today, we all woke up either because of the bitter cold or because of the crowing roosters and barking dogs. We all ate a hearty breakfast – many included eggs and fried dough. Breakfast was a great time to bond with our homestay family; we could talk about how we slept, our plans for the day, and how good the food was. After breakfast, we all met at Lily’s house (where the chaperones are staying) to debrief and to prepare for our trip to the local elementary school.

While we were walking to the elementary school, it started snowing! It surprised us because just an hour the earlier the skies were clear and blue. At the elementary school, we were welcomed by kids chanting, “Welcome! Welcome!” in Chinese. We were able to begin to bond with each other when we sang a repeat-after-me song in both Chinese and English. Some groups taught the kids some basic English (like colors, animals, actions, and weather), and others played games such as duck-duck goose. The kids liked to do charades – for example, when we taught them how to say “swim” in English, they all pretended to swim on the wood floor. They were a bit uncontrollable; many of them liked crawling on the floor, wrestling with their friends, pretending to shoot people, and banging their hands on the tables. We noticed that, in contrast to American kindergartens and the Shanghai schools, this school lacked resources and teaching staff. Although this was the case, both the kids and us were extremely enthusiastic and happy to be there. Overall, it was a very fun and humbling experience that we could share with the little kids.

We returned to our home stay families for a quick lunch where they welcomed us back with warm, fresh food (most of it is farmed in/near the village). After lunch, we all set out on a hike to Zhi Yun Si Temple. While we were walking, a cute German Shepard dog began to follow us and we named it Spencer (she ended up following us all the way to the temple). During the 2-hour hike, we enjoyed the picturesque scenery – tall, green mountains and a clear blue lake. The temple was breathtaking. It was built into the hillside and there was a perfect view from our path. Inside the temple, a ceremony was going on inside the Buddha Hall. Monks sat from most junior to most senior and they were playing a prayer song with many instruments such as drums, bells, and even some horns. We were all surprised when after the ceremony the young monks came into the courtyard we were sitting in and began to play soccer. The once foreign and different people became much more familiar and relatable to us. We then climbed the steps (there were tons) up the hillside to the part of the temple where the monks’ dorms were. We could see the entire valley and all the mountains in the entirety of LaShi Lake. On the drive back to the village, Spencer (the dog) tried to follow us – she was successful for a couple kilometers, but after a while, she sat down on the side of the road out and looked at us longingly (everyone was very sad).

Upon returning the village, everyone went back to their home stay families for a delicious dinner and some more time to bond with them. Many of us shared pictures of our own families with them and they shared their pictures with us; it allowed us to bond on a level extending beyond language. For those who don’t speak Chinese, and even for those who do, it was hard to communicate because their Mandarin is limited (most of them speak the NaXi language). Many even resorted to communication by charades and drawing pictures. Overall, it has been a wonderful and enlightening experience and we are all very excited for what tomorrow will bring.

To read more about the Global Investigator Trips in India, Guatemala, China, and France click here.

Posted 01/09/2015 08:51AM

After a week of very engaging and thought-provoking guests, the bar was high Thursday morning when students and employees walked into the Chapel Theater. As the President and CEO of Mega-Cities Project, which has worked to shorten the lag time between ideas and implementation in urban problem-solving since its founding in 1988, Janice Perlman’s knowledge and passion inspired everyone to engage with the topic of Mega-Cities as both learners and agents of change. A former President of Brazil praises Perlman’s narrative strengths: “She views the poor and their communities as bearers of skills and capacities. She looks beyond the apparent shortcomings to grasp the impalpable assets of individuals and communities.”

Students again spent a large portion of their day working on their grade-level projects. The 6th graders finished practicing and recorded their shadow puppet movies with the help of puppet expert Daniel Barash. The 7th graders visited Brentwood School, where they engaged with their buddies in the garden and in the classroom. In 8th grade, the students finished their art projects and presented them to each other, highlighting a memory or conversation that connected them to their elder buddy. Freshmen continued using the knowledge presented by Michael Moon to help them create interesting and engaging presentations for their year-long Vision and Voice interdisciplinary projects. Sophomores learned to use a new tool for creating visual images: Piktochart. Lastly, the senior class debriefed on their trip to San Francisco and took that knowledge to create concrete ways they can engage with their local community.

Posted 01/08/2015 11:54AM

So far this Global Week the Casti community has covered the "fortification" of cities, looking to various examples of historical cities as reference points for how urban areas around the globe look today.

On Wednesday, the community was asked to think about what cities might look like in the future, starting with our very own Palo Alto. A panel of local leaders -- featuring Jim Keene (Palo Alto City Manager), John Barton (Director of Architectural Design at Stanford University), Karen Kienzle (Director of the Palo Alto Arts Center), Chris Richardson (Director of Program Operations at Downtown Streets Team), and Jean McCown (Assistant Vice President and Director of Community Relations at Stanford University) -- spoke about how their work in the community will translate into the vision of Palo Alto 2020. The panelists addressed inventions that might make cities more accessible -- thanks to self-driving cars -- and increase access to cultural resources. One thing that won't change, they noted, is the responsibility of individuals to vote and to engage with their community so they have a hand in changing their community for the better.

After the panel, each grade spent the majority of the day working on their specific grade-level projects. Sixth graders continued working with Daniel Barash to create their shadow puppet shows. Seventh graders learned about healthy eating by stocking the shelves at the Ecumenical Hunger Program and watching the documentary A Place at the Table. Eighth graders continued working on their letters to their elders and finalizing their art projects. Freshmen collaborated with Michael Moon to develop presentations on their interdisciplinary "Vision and Voice" topics. Sophomores took their city research from the past two days to create an infographic using Piktograph which represents a major issue communities face, and then recommended solutions. And the Senior Class took a field trip to San Francisco to see and learn about the transformation and gentrification of two interesting neighborhoods: Bayview/Hunters Point and the Mission.

Thursday's speakers will look at the Mega-City... join us Thursday evening at 7pm to hear from Janice Perlman, Founder & President of the Mega-Cities Project. Hope to see you there!

Posted 01/09/2015 02:54PM

On Thursday the 7th graders visited their kindergarten buddies at Brentwood Academy in East Palo Alto. While they were there they continued to create various-sized buildings using recycled materials like cracker and cereal boxes along with milk cartons. All of these buildings will go into a larger collection of buildings that will make up a cityscape. Kyli Arford, Sustainability and Middle School Community Action Coordinator, says, "This project brings the two age groups together while helping the kindergarteners to open up a dialogue with our 7th grade students about what kinds of buildings a city is made up of. Our students also tapped into their younger selves and ran around on the playground playing tag, hide and go seek, and building sand castles together."

Posted 01/09/2015 09:22AM

While traveling on their Global Investigator Trips, juniors have been noting not only the differences between the United States and the different countries, but also the similarities. While visiting the Chinese village of Nanyaocun, both were brought into focus:

Today, we all woke up either because of the bitter cold or because of the crowing roosters and barking dogs. We all ate a hearty breakfast – many included eggs and fried dough. Breakfast was a great time to bond with our homestay family; we could talk about how we slept, our plans for the day, and how good the food was. After breakfast, we all met at Lily’s house (where the chaperones are staying) to debrief and to prepare for our trip to the local elementary school.

While we were walking to the elementary school, it started snowing! It surprised us because just an hour the earlier the skies were clear and blue. At the elementary school, we were welcomed by kids chanting, “Welcome! Welcome!” in Chinese. We were able to begin to bond with each other when we sang a repeat-after-me song in both Chinese and English. Some groups taught the kids some basic English (like colors, animals, actions, and weather), and others played games such as duck-duck goose. The kids liked to do charades – for example, when we taught them how to say “swim” in English, they all pretended to swim on the wood floor. They were a bit uncontrollable; many of them liked crawling on the floor, wrestling with their friends, pretending to shoot people, and banging their hands on the tables. We noticed that, in contrast to American kindergartens and the Shanghai schools, this school lacked resources and teaching staff. Although this was the case, both the kids and us were extremely enthusiastic and happy to be there. Overall, it was a very fun and humbling experience that we could share with the little kids.

We returned to our home stay families for a quick lunch where they welcomed us back with warm, fresh food (most of it is farmed in/near the village). After lunch, we all set out on a hike to Zhi Yun Si Temple. While we were walking, a cute German Shepard dog began to follow us and we named it Spencer (she ended up following us all the way to the temple). During the 2-hour hike, we enjoyed the picturesque scenery – tall, green mountains and a clear blue lake. The temple was breathtaking. It was built into the hillside and there was a perfect view from our path. Inside the temple, a ceremony was going on inside the Buddha Hall. Monks sat from most junior to most senior and they were playing a prayer song with many instruments such as drums, bells, and even some horns. We were all surprised when after the ceremony the young monks came into the courtyard we were sitting in and began to play soccer. The once foreign and different people became much more familiar and relatable to us. We then climbed the steps (there were tons) up the hillside to the part of the temple where the monks’ dorms were. We could see the entire valley and all the mountains in the entirety of LaShi Lake. On the drive back to the village, Spencer (the dog) tried to follow us – she was successful for a couple kilometers, but after a while, she sat down on the side of the road out and looked at us longingly (everyone was very sad).

Upon returning the village, everyone went back to their home stay families for a delicious dinner and some more time to bond with them. Many of us shared pictures of our own families with them and they shared their pictures with us; it allowed us to bond on a level extending beyond language. For those who don’t speak Chinese, and even for those who do, it was hard to communicate because their Mandarin is limited (most of them speak the NaXi language). Many even resorted to communication by charades and drawing pictures. Overall, it has been a wonderful and enlightening experience and we are all very excited for what tomorrow will bring.

To read more about the Global Investigator Trips in India, Guatemala, China, and France click here.

Posted 01/09/2015 08:51AM

After a week of very engaging and thought-provoking guests, the bar was high Thursday morning when students and employees walked into the Chapel Theater. As the President and CEO of Mega-Cities Project, which has worked to shorten the lag time between ideas and implementation in urban problem-solving since its founding in 1988, Janice Perlman’s knowledge and passion inspired everyone to engage with the topic of Mega-Cities as both learners and agents of change. A former President of Brazil praises Perlman’s narrative strengths: “She views the poor and their communities as bearers of skills and capacities. She looks beyond the apparent shortcomings to grasp the impalpable assets of individuals and communities.”

Students again spent a large portion of their day working on their grade-level projects. The 6th graders finished practicing and recorded their shadow puppet movies with the help of puppet expert Daniel Barash. The 7th graders visited Brentwood School, where they engaged with their buddies in the garden and in the classroom. In 8th grade, the students finished their art projects and presented them to each other, highlighting a memory or conversation that connected them to their elder buddy. Freshmen continued using the knowledge presented by Michael Moon to help them create interesting and engaging presentations for their year-long Vision and Voice interdisciplinary projects. Sophomores learned to use a new tool for creating visual images: Piktochart. Lastly, the senior class debriefed on their trip to San Francisco and took that knowledge to create concrete ways they can engage with their local community.

Posted 01/08/2015 11:54AM

So far this Global Week the Casti community has covered the "fortification" of cities, looking to various examples of historical cities as reference points for how urban areas around the globe look today.

On Wednesday, the community was asked to think about what cities might look like in the future, starting with our very own Palo Alto. A panel of local leaders -- featuring Jim Keene (Palo Alto City Manager), John Barton (Director of Architectural Design at Stanford University), Karen Kienzle (Director of the Palo Alto Arts Center), Chris Richardson (Director of Program Operations at Downtown Streets Team), and Jean McCown (Assistant Vice President and Director of Community Relations at Stanford University) -- spoke about how their work in the community will translate into the vision of Palo Alto 2020. The panelists addressed inventions that might make cities more accessible -- thanks to self-driving cars -- and increase access to cultural resources. One thing that won't change, they noted, is the responsibility of individuals to vote and to engage with their community so they have a hand in changing their community for the better.

After the panel, each grade spent the majority of the day working on their specific grade-level projects. Sixth graders continued working with Daniel Barash to create their shadow puppet shows. Seventh graders learned about healthy eating by stocking the shelves at the Ecumenical Hunger Program and watching the documentary A Place at the Table. Eighth graders continued working on their letters to their elders and finalizing their art projects. Freshmen collaborated with Michael Moon to develop presentations on their interdisciplinary "Vision and Voice" topics. Sophomores took their city research from the past two days to create an infographic using Piktograph which represents a major issue communities face, and then recommended solutions. And the Senior Class took a field trip to San Francisco to see and learn about the transformation and gentrification of two interesting neighborhoods: Bayview/Hunters Point and the Mission.

Thursday's speakers will look at the Mega-City... join us Thursday evening at 7pm to hear from Janice Perlman, Founder & President of the Mega-Cities Project. Hope to see you there!

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