Advertisement
Advertisement

No rating

GreatSchools Rating

Castilleja School

Private | 6-12 | 448 students

Castilleja is dedicated to excellence in educating young women.

 
 

Living in Palo Alto

Situated in an urban neighborhood. The median home value is $1,650,000. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $2,060.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
 
Last modified
Community Rating

5 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
Based on 2 ratings
2013:
Based on 5 ratings
2012:
No new ratings
2011:
Based on 2 ratings

Teacher quality

Principal leadership

Parent involvement

Rate this school

Click on stars to rate
Please select a star rating for this school.
    Helpful reviews answer questions:
  • What do you think others should know?
  • What do you like?
  • How could your school improve?
    Review Guidelines
    GreatSchools won’t post reviews that contain:
  • Inappropriate language
  • Allegations of criminal conduct
  • Names of students, teachers or staff
1200 characters remaining
Please read and accept our Terms of Use to join GreatSchools.
Please indicate your relationship to the school.
Registration is required to post your anonymous review
We will not display your name, photo or email address with your review.
OR
Your email address will never be published or shared.
Indicates a required field

20 reviews of this school


Sort by:
Show reviews by:
Posted March 6, 2014

My 6th grade daughter has found the perfect school for her. It may seem too good to be true at the Open House, etc, but it REALLY IS, that amazing. Other class parents I have spoken with have a similar opinion. We cannot believe how the school has the girls excited to learn and actively participate on a daily basis. All of the teachers, students and parents have all been extremely supportive and genuine. Our commute to school is not easy, but every morning, my daughter has easily woken up to get ready for school (this was not the case last year). If you are considering Castilleja, you will not be disappointed.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 21, 2014

Great school! The best school I could find for my daughters in the Bay Area.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 28, 2013

My daughter graduated a few years ago and she had such a great experience at Castilleja. She now attends one of the best colleges and she feels her classes there are easy compared to what she did in high school. Her Castilleja classmates at other colleges feel the same way. Through her time in middle and high school, I was continually impressed with the quality of the teaching as well as the amazing opportunities outside the classroom from clubs and sports to the global investigator trip. I have sons at other schools in the area and from what I've seen at their schools, the girls at Castilleja are much more likely to pursue math and science than girls at my sons' schools. When they take honors and AP classes in math and science, there are very few girls, which is obviously not the case at Castilleja where the advance math and science classes are vey popular. My daughter gained so much from Castilleja we are truly grateful for the education she got there.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 26, 2013

I was a shadow student that applied to Casti last year. I felt that there was little diversity in the school concerning race. However, the teachers seemed phenomenal and their facility was top noch.


Posted May 23, 2013

Just another viewpoint about this great school. We love Castilleja and our daughter is excelling there. She does not have a private tutor since her teachers are very supportive and accessible. The class sizes are small so her questions are always addressed. The academics are enriched by many resources outside the classroom, including a local and global outreach/internship program called ACE, a design and engineering lab with state-of-the-art hands-on tools, and a very creative team of teachers who collaborate to bring project-based and interdisciplinary learning into their classes. If you see school as just a straight highway to university, then perhaps Castilleja is not the place for your daughter. If you want a place where she can learn in a dynamic, supportive, and challenging community of passionate learners, then I suggest you consider this wonderful school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 3, 2013

We are parents of a middle schooler who are pulling their daughter out to enroll in the local high school. Our reasons may not be yours. If you look carefully past the razzle dazzle, you will find an average school where parent are encouraged to hire tutors to make up for the uneven teacher quality. Most girls have them. This after spending close to $40K on tuition per year. At the end of which less than 9% make it to the Ivy's and fewer to the UC's. If your goal is to get your daughter to Vanderbilt or Pomona - welcome! So much so for the academic rigor. We saw a constant influx and departure of teachers and any criticism of the program was either actively discouraged or not listened to. For us the maths did not work out - $40K/ year + $5-10K in tuition on a 14 year old who has a less than 1 in 10 chance of getting to the Ivies/UC's was not what we were prepared to do. Do your own research and come to your own conclusions.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 5, 2013

My older daughter is in the Castilleja middle school. The leadership in the middle school is outstanding. The middle school principal seems universally liked and admired by both the students and parents. The academic program is rigorous. There is a lot of homework, but it is rare to see something that is just "busywork". The school pushes the girls to achieve more and faster. The teachers and administration listen to the girls when they express a desire to try something out, to do more, or something different (e.g. my 8th grader is working on Geometry - her choice). They also do a good job of resisting pushy parents - the impetus for acceleration or more rigor has to come from the student. My 8th grader is thriving, and loving it.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted February 26, 2011

My daughter entered 6th grade in fall of 2010. After becoming bored at her last (private) school, she has become highly motivated by her experiences at Casti. She likes almost all her teachers, who seem genuinely interested in treating her as an individual and adapting to individual styles of learning. The curriculum in all the subjects seems demanding and thought provoking. There is a lot of homework, but I think it goes with the territory. This is a school for highly motivated, academically focused girls. There is also an active extra-curricular scene, from "clubs" addressing community service, creative writing, hobby, crafts, and sports; to athletics; to a vibrant performing arts offering. My daughter performed in the middle school play which was a fabulous, professional production. She has also had the chance to try out robotics, debate, and dance, all at the age of 11. We're glad we chose Casti (so far so good!).
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 23, 2011

7 amazing years. I will wear my class ring forever, or at least until I lose it.


Posted June 22, 2010

The students are wonderful, the faculty is excellent (and a handful are master teachers in the truest sense of the term), but the administration is troubled and troubling. Time will tell whether the problems at the top erode the educational quality.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 19, 2008

I am a current student at Castilleja and all I am going to say is that i never want to leave. The curriculum is exceptional and the facualty and staff are sooo lovely. I will agree though that sometimes there is a bit of pressure. It is nice to have friends that think like you do. Casti also has a wonderful sports program, that is how i fell in love with water polo.
—Submitted by a student


Posted March 26, 2006

I am the parent of two Castilleja school graduates. Both went to an Ivy League college. The elder got a master's degree from another Ivy League college. The younger has been accepted to medical school. As I recall, 3/4's of the girls in my younger daughter's class rated National Merit Commendations or above. To state the obvious, Castilleja has one of the top academic programs in the country. As such, it is probably less than ideal for an average or under motivated student. Yes, the faculty and staff are excellent at addressing the developmental issues that young women face. Yes, school offers an outstanding arts program and a good athletic program. Nonetheless, this is not a school for those for whom academics are not thier top priority. The school counts among its parents various Silicon Valley movers and shakers and that too can be intimidating.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 13, 2006

It really is a great school! Very good and very great!
—Submitted by a former student


Posted January 18, 2006

There is no better high school than Castilleja. Although serving grades 6-12, my daughter joined the 9th grade class. The academic rigor, the small class size and quality environment of facilities, teachers, and staff make this the ideal environment for the academically gifted student. Although the academic intensity is high, the support, academically and relationally is such that the journey is doable. Typically more than 50% of the graduating seniors make National Honors. Normally 100% of graduating seniors go on to four year colleges. While sports are a strong suit, there are other activities available including music and drama. As a presitigious school, they are able to draw in outstanding guest speakers. Just last night I attended a speech by former vice-president Al Gore. Girls are challenged and encouraged to go beyond simple learning and to become active learners. Outstanding Administrative leadership provides strong direction and support to staff and students.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted December 3, 2005

My mother worked there as a house mother when Miss Espanosia was head mistress. The facilities were good, well maintained, and the staff were caring and helpful.
—Submitted by a staff


Posted September 20, 2005

Good academic program and art and chrous. Very good
—Submitted by a former student


Posted June 20, 2005

I would recommend this school to any parents. It is just an outstanding school, in my opinion. The student-teacher ratio is just unbelieveable.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 21, 2004

nice place, very expensive.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 17, 2004

Great school. Expensive but worth it.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 9, 2003

As the parent of two daughters who attend (and have attended--one has graduated) I can say wholeheartedly that this school is top notch academically. They quality and intensity of their classes has been extraordinary. My older daughter entered college very well prepared, and claims that her college courses are easier than her Castilleja courses had been. I only wish this type of school were available for my son!
—Submitted by a parent


Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.

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 61% 26%
Asian or Pacific Islander 30% 11%
Black 3% 6%
Two or more races 3% 3%
American Indian/Alaska Native 2% 1%
Hispanic 1% 52%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0% 1%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

Teacher resources

Special staff resources available to students Assistant principal(s)
Art teacher(s)
College counselor(s)
Computer specialist(s)
Cooking/Nutrition teacher(s)
Dance teacher(s)
Gardening teacher(s)
Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
Librarian/media specialist(s)
Math specialist(s)
Music teacher(s)
PE instructor(s)
Poetry/Creative writing teacher(s)
Reading specialist(s)
Robotics/Technology specialist(s)
Security personnel
School social worker/counselors(s)
Tutor(s)
Read more about programs at this school
Source: Provided by a school official.

Let your school shine!

School leaders: Help your school shine on GreatSchools
by verifying community responses, adding program highlights
and more! Get started »

Special education / special needs

Level of special education programming offered
  • None - the school offers no services

Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM)

Staff resources available to students
  • Computer specialist(s)
  • Gardening teacher(s)
  • Math specialist(s)
  • Robotics/Technology specialist(s)
School facilities
  • Computer lab
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Science lab

Arts & music

Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Dance teacher(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
  • Poetry/Creative writing teacher(s)
School facilities
  • Art room
  • Music room
  • Performance stage
Visual arts
  • Ceramics
  • Design
  • Drawing / sketching
  • Painting
  • Photography
  • Printmaking
  • Sculpture
  • Textile design
Music
  • Chamber music
  • Choir / Chorus
  • Orchestra
  • Vocal lessons / coaching
Performing and written arts
  • Creative writing
  • Dance
  • Drama
Media arts
  • Graphics
  • Technical design and production
  • Video / Film production

Language learning

Foreign languages taught
  • Chinese (Mandarin)
  • French
  • Italian
  • Spanish

Health & athletics

Staff resources available to students
  • Cooking/Nutrition teacher(s)
  • Dance teacher(s)
  • Gardening teacher(s)
  • Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
  • PE instructor(s)
School facilities
  • Access to sports fields
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Gym
  • Kitchen
  • Multi-purpose room ("cafegymatorium")
  • Swimming pool

Gifted & talented

Instructional and/or curriculum models used
  • Advanced placement courses
School leaders can update this information here.

Let your school shine!

School leaders: Help your school shine on GreatSchools
by verifying community responses, adding program highlights
and more! Get started »

School basics

School start time
  • 8:00 am
School end time
  • 3:15 pm
School Leader's name
  • Ms. Nanci Kauffman
Gender
  • All girls
Boarding options
  • Day school
Is there an application process?
  • Yes
Affiliation
  • Nonsectarian
Associations
  • NAIS

Programs

Instructional and/or curriculum models used

Don't understand these terms?
  • Advanced placement courses
  • College prep
  • Project-based
  • STEM
Specific academic themes or areas of focus

Don't understand these terms?
  • None
Bi-lingual or language immersion programs offered

Don't understand these terms?
  • No
Level of special education programming offered
  • None - the school offers no services
Foreign languages taught
  • Chinese (Mandarin)
  • French
  • Italian
  • Spanish
Level of ESL/ELL programming offered
  • None

Resources

Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Assistant principal(s)
  • College counselor(s)
  • Computer specialist(s)
  • Cooking/Nutrition teacher(s)
  • Dance teacher(s)
  • Gardening teacher(s)
  • Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
  • Librarian/media specialist(s)
  • Math specialist(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
  • PE instructor(s)
  • Poetry/Creative writing teacher(s)
  • Reading specialist(s)
  • Robotics/Technology specialist(s)
  • School social worker/counselors(s)
  • Security personnel
  • Tutor(s)
Extra learning resources offered
  • Career/college counseling
  • Counseling
  • Mentoring
  • Tutoring
Transportation options
  • Buses/vans for students only
  • Free Palo Alto Shuttle
School facilities
  • Access to sports fields
  • Art room
  • Audiovisual aids
  • Auditorium
  • Cafeteria
  • Chapel/spiritual reflection center
  • College/career center
  • Computer lab
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Gym
  • Internet access
  • Kitchen
  • Learning lab
  • Library
  • Multi-purpose room ("cafegymatorium")
  • Music room
  • Performance stage
  • Science lab
  • Swimming pool
School leaders can update this information here.

Let your school shine!

School leaders: Help your school shine on GreatSchools
by verifying community responses, adding program highlights
and more! Get started »

Sports

Boys sports
  • None
Girls sports
  • Basketball
  • Cross country
  • Diving
  • Golf
  • Lacrosse
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Track
  • Volleyball
  • Water polo

Arts & music

Visual arts
  • Ceramics
  • Design
  • Drawing / sketching
  • Painting
  • Photography
  • Printmaking
  • Sculpture
  • Textile design
Music
  • Chamber music
  • Choir / Chorus
  • Orchestra
  • Vocal lessons / coaching
Performing arts
  • Creative writing
  • Dance
  • Drama
Media arts
  • Graphics
  • Technical design and production
  • Video / Film production
School leaders can update this information here.

Upcoming Events

No upcoming events found for this school
Searching for school events...
Date
Title
  • {{date}}
    {{title}}
Export calendar
Outlook.com
Microsoft Outlook
iCal Format
Google Calendar
Print Calendar
Uploading, please wait...
POWERED BY
Tandem

School culture

Dress Code
  • Uniforms
Parent involvement
  • Attend parent nights
  • Chaperone school trips
  • Join PTO/PTA
  • Organize cultural events
  • Present special topics during curricular units
  • Serve on school improvement team or governance council
School leaders can update this information here.

Apply

 

Submit your application by

January 16, 2014

 
 
Apply now
Notice an inaccuracy? Let us know!

1310 Bryant Street
Palo Alto, CA 94301
Website: Click here
Phone: (650) 470-7751

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Compare this school
to nearby schools

Compare schools »

Compare

Add this school to compare

Nearby schools

St. Elizabeth Seton
Palo Alto, CA







ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT