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Castilleja School

Private K-12 School

Mailing Address
1310 Bryant Street
Palo Alto, California 94301
Phone
(650) 328-3160
Email address
admission@castilleja.org
School Information
"Castilleja School educates motivated young women to become confident thinkers and compassionate leaders with a sense of purpose to effect change in the world." "The pursuit of Castilleja’s mission is supported by a commitment to our core values, the 5Cs: "Courage, Conscience, Courtesy, Charity, and Character "The 5Cs guide students towards ethical Character development. Courage is fostered, and everyone is treated with Courtesy. Conscience propels us to do the right thing, and Charity means making sacrifices to ensure that everyone shares the same rights and privileges. Each and every student, through her Castilleja education, is poised to live her life according to the 5Cs." The school enrolls 422 students, employs 61 faculty, and offers over 100 courses at the Upper School level. (Source: https://www.castilleja.org/meet-castilleja/mission-values) (Source: https://www.castilleja.org/meet-castilleja/at-a-glance) (Source: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1hfoZvor7x429L4QkfV-Pm6NeVxd9AlkkoLslZKPU83Q/edit)
General Information
Castilleja School has implemented an anti-racism initiative. The school is "Reviewing and expanding [its] antiracist curriculum for all students across all disciplines, while enhancing [its] social justice and integrated leadership programming." Additionally, some classes have gone so far as to discuss terms, such as "internalized racism, abstract liberalization, and classism."

Actions Taken

Anti-Racism, Bias, and Diversity Training
  • The school stated, "All employees at Castilleja are expected to participate in ongoing professional development opportunities in the area of equity, diversity, and inclusion, and they are encouraged to engage in learning that has a direct impact on their specific work at Castilleja." For faculty, "Each year there is one PLC dedicated to some aspect of equity and social impact that examines some aspect of the school’s climate, programs, processes, or protocols."
  • For employees and trustees, the school is "Developing ongoing antiracist training for all employees and trustees so that their understanding informs their practices."
Curriculum Changes and Requirements
  • For students, the school is "Reviewing and expanding our antiracist curriculum for all students across all disciplines, while enhancing our social justice and integrated leadership programming."
  • The school announced "a deepened commitment to our social justice thread in our curriculum across all grades."
  • One of the "Antiracism" teaching and learning competencies includes "committing to rewire" and "valuing discomfort and ambiguity."
  • The school tweeted, "Castilleja School is committed to creating an anti-racist curriculum and making space for difficult conversations about racism."
  • The 11th grade "AT English: American Voices" class will discuss terms, such as "internalized racism, abstract liberalization, and classism." In the "Individual and Society" class, faculty introduced "two new units in feminism and anti-racism, with students learning to critique the biases of the philosophers whom they learn about."
  • On June 4, 2020, Castilleja announced on Facebook, “Castilleja School is committed to creating an anti-racist curriculum and making space for difficult conversations about racism.”
Faculty/Staff Requirements
  • The school is seeking a middle school English teacher who demonstrates "a commitment to antiracist values and pedagogy."
Resources
  • The school has "Alum Affinity, Identity, and Interest Groups," which are "designed to honor the various identities each person holds simultaneously and recognize their intersectionality."
  • The school's "global and experiential programs...foster development of antiracist and leadership competencies, which are critical to our mission."
  • The school has a Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity (SEED) group for employees.
  • The school featured "Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Workshops" on its site, with topics including "Unpacking Privilege" and "Exploring Identity and Intersectionality."
  • The anti-racism webpage on the school's website features graphics on "Becoming Anti-Racist" and "How I am Addressing White Supremacy?" It also has readings on topics, such as "white supremacy culture." It also features works by Ibram X. Kendi and the 1619 Project.
Symbolic Actions
  • The message from the Head of School reads, in part, "Understanding the importance of actively teaching and learning antiracism, our leadership competencies prepare Castilleja graduates to lead with compassion and insight to effect meaningful change in the world."
  • The school has created a "Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Board committee."
  • On Facebook, Castilleja announced on August 17, 2020 the introduction of the “orientation with an anti-racist workshop led by our new Equity-in-Residence practioner.” This post was also featured on its Instagram page.
  • On August 10, 2020, Castilleja took to Facebook and spotlighted Dr. Odette Harris, “a trustee and chair of our board’s new DEI committee” which “will elevate and support DEI efforts at Castilleja through sustained partnership with the board of trustees.” This post was also featured on its Instagram page.
  • On August 7, 2020, Castilleja tweeted a link to a discussion on fighting racism. This post was also featured on its Facebook page.
  • On August 3, 2020, Castilleja announced a panel discussion on racial justice on Facebook. This post was also featured on its Twitter account.
  • On July 22, 2020, Castilleja posted on Instagram that the school “must address racism and racialization with honesty, courage, and clarity of conviction, ensuring that our teaching and learning of anti-racism engenders sustainable change” in the context of upcoming policy changes.
  • On June 15, 2020, Castilleja highlighted “resources to help you learn more about becoming anti-racist, historical and modern-day racism, and social justice.” This post was also featured on its Twitter account.
  • On June 10, 2020, Castilleja posted the following on Facebook: “The South Asian Affinity Group leaders created a website "that explores our identities and histories as South Asian-Americans and and begins to confront the anti-Blackness still present in our communities. We talk about what South Asians can do to help the Black Lives Matter movement today, the immigration history of South Asian-Americans, interminority racism, the myth of the model minority, among more. If you identify as South Asian-American, we urge you to reflect on your own experience, dissect your privilege, and begin dismantling racial injustice starting right at home.”
  • On May 31, 2020, Castilleja announced that it will take “a deepened commitment to our social justice thread in our curriculum across all grades” on Facebook. This post was also featured on its Twitter account.
  • On May 31, 2020, Castilleja released a statement on Facebook responding to the death of George Floyd. This post was also featured on its Instagram account.
Last updated July 26th, 2022
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