9th Grade Experience

Welcome to high school at Castilleja!
We are so excited to welcome you to our 9th Grade class! Freshman year at Castilleja will be filled with joy, fun opportunities, and new friendships.


High school is a wonderful opportunity to explore new interests, and we offer a wide-range of co-curricular activities and leadership opportunities - from sports, music, performing arts, clubs, robotics, and more - for you to explore. You'll become close with your small Advisory group and Advisor, with whom you'll meet every week.

Returning and new students form friendships that will last a lifetime.

Orientation - Before school starts in the fall, orientation allows students to make new friends, plan for the transition to high school, meet adult resources on campus, and simply have fun.

Advisory - All Castilleja students become a member of a small advisory group, an opportunity to have fun and build deeper connections with classmates and a faculty advisor. Freshmen are fortunate to have a 12th grader co-lead their advisory, offering valued mentoring.

9th Grade Retreat - Just after Labor Day, the freshmen all head to Aptos for an overnight retreat where students enjoy bonding, time on the beach, and an evening bonfire.

ACE Orgs & Clubs - During “flex period,” all high school students participate in clubs or ACE Org’s that allow them to explore new interests, engage in the community, and develop their leadership skills. Student-led clubs range from academic interests to art, music and social activism.

Co-curricular Activities - After school, students enjoy sports, theater, music, robotics, and other clubs.

Vision & Voice - During this extended 9th grade interdisciplinary project, students work closely in small groups to research and design a presentation about a social issue they care about. This project is the first step in our students’ leadership journey.


As a 9th grader, you will take seven classes. Our world-class faculty are excited to meet you, and in Castilleja's small classes, they can differentiate their instruction to meet the needs of all students. A placement test for Algebra II and World Languages will help determine your placement in those courses.

Cultures & Civilization (C&C) introduces students to the political, economic, social, and cultural histories of the Western and non-Western worlds from the 15th through the 20th centuries.

English I travels through texts from both classical and contemporary traditions, all of which have at their core the themes of heroic journeys and the process of self-discovery.

Algebra II (or IIH) builds on the knowledge of linear and quadratic functions developed in Algebra I, and students investigate the behavior and applications of polynomial, rational, trigonometric, exponential, and logarithmic functions.

Computer Science, a semester course, introduces students to computational thinking and Java programming through the creation of animated and interactive computer graphics and games. Topics include algorithms, data structures, and object-oriented programming. 

Physics covers the fundamental principles of three major areas of physics: electricity, mechanics, and light. The course emphasizes both conceptual understanding and mathematical modeling of the physical world.

Spanish, French or Chinesecourses foster an appreciation for the benefits and joys of studying a second language, and 9th grade placement is determined by a written and verbal assessment. Spanish 1 is our only entry level language course.

Arts is a semester-long course in which students explore the tools of creative self expression, and also develop foundational skills in a fine arts and/or performing arts discipline

Fitness & Wellness includes fitness activities as well as classes focused on developing a student’s ability to make well informed and responsible decisions pertaining to health and personal development

Contact Us

We're happy to answer any questions you may have.

Contact us at: 

(650) 470-7733 or

Meet The Team

Claire Ledwith

Titles: Director of Admission
Phone Numbers:
School: 650-470-7734

Laura Martinez

Titles: Associate Director of Admission and Tuition Assistance
Phone Numbers:
School: 650-470-7732

Andrea Ayala

Titles: Admission Associate
Phone Numbers:
School: 650-470-7733