For over 100 years, Cate has been combining the best of East Coast tradition and West Coast energy and innovation in the service of highly motivated, independent-minded kids. Residential life is structured to develop well-being and leadership through the practice of self-discipline and service. In addition to an inquiry-driven curriculum designed to elicit the greatest possible growth in every student, all students participate in an extracurricular program that includes athletics, drama, music, dance, community service, and an extensive outdoor program. With more than 50 honors and advanced courses, the Cate curriculum can meet the demands of the most ambitious students. A typical applicant to Cate has impeccable character, a history of high academic achievement, and is mature, curious, adventurous, and willing to assume responsibility and independence.
Cate’s CULTURE OF INQUIRY is central to our work in the classroom and animates our community discussions. Each school year is organized around a school-wide question that fosters inquiry across the disciplines. Senior Inquiry Projects are presented and celebrated at Inquiry Day in the spring. Convocation – a weekly series of speakers, performers, and special guests – adds breadth and depth to our curriculum.
By senior year, faculty rely on the LEADERSHIP skills of each Cate student to accomplish the School’s purpose, program, and operations. Seniors hold positions with unusually high leadership expectations that support every facet of campus life. Prominent roles include prefect, teaching assistant, peer tutor, Servons Speaker coordinator, Public Service Program head, El Batidor (newspaper) and The Mesan (yearbook) editor, and student body president and vice president.
In keeping with the Cate motto, Servons, SERVICE is a fundamental way of life both on and off campus. Service hours are not required or logged, yet each week, Cate students volunteer at local food banks and shelters for Public Service Night. Cate also connects to outside communities through Public Service Days, holiday donation drives, and after-school tutoring at local elementary schools. Since the 1970s, Cate students have traveled to Mexicali for Los Niños service learning trips, working with local residents to enhance community centers and neighborhoods.
Servons is key to Cate’s membership in ROUND SQUARE, a network of 160 high schools in 40 countries with six shared ideals: internationalism, democracy, environmentalism, adventure, leadership, and service. Cate participates in international conferences, service projects, and student exchanges worldwide, including Australia, India, Jordan, Peru, South Africa, and Switzerland. (www.roundsquare.org)
Cate’s OUTDOOR PROGRAM, rooted in the natural beauty of the California wilderness, is a constant reminder that we are part of a world much bigger than ourselves. Daily opportunities to surf, hike, bike, rock climb, kayak, paddle board, and camp abound. Outings Week, a rigorous backcountry expedition, is anchored by senior volunteers who assist trip leaders. Grade-level trips explore California’s National Forests and National Parks.