We chose Catalina for their class size -teacher ratio, a diverse population, and a strong, balanced academic curriculum. We wanted a strong math/science program with a strong arts program. We wanted a Catholic education. Our family is multi ethnic & the diversity of the school's population & curriculum is AMAZING and exactly what we wanted in order to raise a self confident global child. Catalina is a spiritual, academic oasis. Our child has a strong sense of American history and patriotism through the curriculum presented on a regular basis. In Kindergarten our child new the story of George Washington, Rosa Parks, learned about the Japanese culture. There is a COMPASS program, that is dynamite, with focus on leadership and service. (Ask about it...) The administration, faculty & support staff know our child's name and can relay stories of their interaction. When we do not understand/agree with a decisions made w/ our child the school listens and works with us. Catalina is a Blessing for this middle income multi -ethnic Catholic family. We do not receive financial assistance, it is worth every penny.
i'm currently a sophomore here and it's a pretty good school. the academics are great and the overall community is nice too. the campus is gorgeous. the reason why im rating this only 3 stars is because i feel like that unless you are a sports star, a genius, or a art pro then you really lack support. a lot of my friends are one of the above mentioned and they really love it but i'm more of an average joe (jane?) when it comes to sports and arts. even acadamically if you don't have a 3.8 or higher i'd say you'd be considered average at catalina. as another user mentioned, financial aid did decline. compared to last year, my tuition was raised by a couple of hundred dollars. which is a lot. if money really isn't an issue for you, then i'd definitely say go, but if it is an issue then look around for some other alternative schools.
Although financial aid is sometimes offered, it "mysteriously" declines with each successive year! Also, the best way to ensure getting financial aid support for their hefty price tag is to fulfill a minority requirement or to excel in a sport; if your child is simply a good, hard-working student who wants a fair chance, don't count on assistance from either the administration or the ever-dwindling financial aid. Bottomline: there are a number of excellent private schools on the Monterey Peninsula and, from what I've experienced, Catalina has dropped to below the bottom of that list.
I was fortunate enough to attend Santa Catalina during my high school years. The academics are impeccable, and perhaps more importantly, there is a steadfast focus on character and one's place in the community as a whole. The school offers many AP classes, and if a girl has an interest in a subject the school doesn't currently offer, the school will hire an instructor in that subject. That's not something you can find in many high schools! I ended up with a scholarship to an Ivy League university, and my college courses were not particularly challenging for me after the wonderful academic foundation that Catalina gave me. My daughters will attend Catalina when they're old enough - I wouldn't send them anywhere else!
i have a child in the upper school. The school has excellent academics, sports and performing arts. The teaching staff is incredible and really challenge the girls to achieve. The reason I only rate this as a three star is because although I think the school is really great, I don't think it is worth the price tag. There are some key areas which seem to be lacking: college counseling and preparation and interpersonal relationships with teachers/staff. The school really gives the impression that they are there to mold the girls but in reality, the staff is disconnected to the needs of the student body and this leaves a gap which is hard for parents to fill when their child is living away from home. I would choose a local private school or even a strong public school if one is available. Although if money is no object, go.
My son has only attended one year at Catalina and I'm thrilled with his progress. What I love about Catalina is the attention to every aspect of the child. Starting with a strong academic curriculum, then including an expansive offering of optional activities and lessons and providing a safe and nurturing environment for the development of character and community, this school has surpassed every one of my very high expectations. I recommend this school for all families who can make it work financially.
Fabulous teachers and administration. A great education is available for any student who wants to learn, the teachers want your child to learn and succeed. Gifted children thrive in this environment as well since there are many advanced classes available. Great music, arts, and sports. Fantastic, no nonsense discipline of inappropriate behavior as well. Great environment for students to develop into well rounded young adults.