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Cate School

Private | 9-12 | 289 students


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Living in Carpinteria

Situated in a suburban neighborhood. The median home value is $477,300. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $1,440.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
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7 reviews of this school

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Posted January 29, 2013

Cate School is an incredible community of learners. Since the December 13, 2012 poster has taken up the academic issues raised by the May 17, 2011 poster, I will take on the "permissiveness" issue. Cate School artfully balances structure and freedom. There are many rules in place well-tailored to the teenage population. But this learning community is for self-motivated, highly responsible students who can thrive and contribute in an environment that fosters independence and personal growth. The students and faculty alike are exceptionally bright and welcoming people. The beauty of Cate School runs deep and true.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted December 13, 2012

My son started at Cate this year as a freshman and although I expected much from the school, my expectations have been exceeded by leaps and bounds. My son's academic enthusiasm has blossomed in a myriad of ways. He has developed academic interests outside of his comfort zone and has had his mind stretched beyond anything we could have imagined. The teachers are phenomenal and the close-knit Cate community is full of life mentors. I must take issue with the reviewer of May 17th of 2011. It's obvious this person doesn't have a child at the school. She/he is simply wrong about the stats. The college matriculation is stellar (Cate doesn't release student rankings, so I don't know where she/he comes up with 5%!) All one has to do is look at 2012 college admissions to be impressed. To say that Cate is a second/third rate boarding school is simply incorrect. It consistently ranks in the top tier of US boarding schools and in fact, last year's admissions board accepted less than 12% of all applicants. The students are deeply engaged and focused and there is a general expectation of excellence that permeates the campus.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted May 17, 2011

Although quite beautiful, Cate's attraction is only skin deep. The head of admissions-and the whole office for that matter-are not very thoughtful, interested or quite up to the caliber that we saw at other schools we visited. Sadly, that is also true of the students we met. They did not seem engaged and there appeared to be a great deal of "permissiveness" that worried me if my child attended. Moreover, the college acceptance/matriculation is pretty poor if you are not in the top 5% and the school's standing has been diminished by a very weak board of directors. This is a second or third rate boarding school pretending to be something it, its students, faculty and headmaster are clearly not.

Posted March 26, 2011

No greater school on Earth! My two sons had the best experience imaginable. You got to see this campus to believe it and the teachers are the finest I've ever run across.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted February 12, 2010

I cannot say enough about Cate School - the entire community gives real meaning to learning, values, and service ... and the location is quite possibly one of the most beautiful spots on Earth.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted August 25, 2005

A wonderful environment for a divese student body. The expectations are high and the students respond well. All the kids learn more about themselves and graduate from Cate prepared for an increasingly complex world. I am grateful that Cate exists and continues to provide such a well-rounded education, in line with the goals Mr. Cate had when he founded the school almost 100 years ago.
—Submitted by a former student

Posted March 11, 2005

Cate School is a special place. Nestled amongst the avacado orchards in the Carpinteria hills and overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Cate offers a tremendous boarding school experience (we have another child currently attending a leading New England prep school). Cate's academics and extracurriculars are very solid, but, more importantly, the school focuses on creating a close-knit residential community in which students, faculty and staff live and learn together. The school also makes great use of its idyllic location with an active outdoors program that brings each class together for a week of orientation in the mountains and offers ongoing surfing, mountainbiking, kayaking and other similar activities. The head of school has strong leadership characteristics and the faculty is tremendous (a number of them attended Cate or had a parent who taught at Cate). The school excels at college placement, but focuses more on growing as an well-rounded individual.
—Submitted by a parent

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About these ratings

The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.

We currently do not have any test score information for this school. Unlike public schools, private schools are not always required to report data about their schools or not required to take the same tests as public schools. Many private schools take different standardized tests; however, that information is often made available only to families of enrolled students. We strive to acquire additional private school data whenever available.

Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
White 58% 26%
Hispanic 10% 52%
Black 8% 6%
Two or more races 7% 3%
American Indian/Alaska Native 0% 1%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0% 1%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

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Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM)

School facilities
  • Computer lab
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School basics

School Leader's name
  • Mrs. Sandi Pierce
  • Coed
  • Nonsectarian
  • ABS
  • NAIS


School facilities
  • Computer lab
  • Library
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Boys sports
  • Baseball
Girls sports
  • Cross country
  • Soccer
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School leaders, update and verify information here.

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1960 Cate Mesa Road
Carpinteria, CA 93013
Phone: (805) 684-4127


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