Town Square

Post a New Topic

Castilleja School

Original post made by Old Palo Alto on Nov 10, 2013

Castilleja School is back in the news:
Web Link

Comments (5)

Posted by C-C-C-Casti, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 10, 2013 at 8:07 am

It seems the threat of a $300,000 fine does not worry Castilleja administrators. Nor do they care about being good neighbors. It is high time to raise the penalty to something closer to $1,000,000


Posted by palo alto resident, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Nov 10, 2013 at 1:30 pm

To me this is pretty simple, Casti has plenty of money and can afford its staffing levels without growing and even if they shrink to the size they are supposed to be. They should reduce their enrollment in two ways:

Allow student attrition until that grade level is at 60 students or less (no one comes off the waiting list).
Admit 60 students for its incoming 6th grade class.

This will bring the enrollment down to the level they are supposed to be at without actually asking students to leave (which would be unfair).


Posted by Character & Conscience, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 11, 2013 at 9:43 am

It is time for Castilleja School to find a new leader who will come clean with the truth to the community and stop the shenanigans. The school leadership, unbeknownst to many including many it's own trustees let alone tuition paying Castilleja parents, attempted to coerce the neighbors and subsequently the City into increasing their officially permitted enrollment to 510 students from the officially permitted enrollment of 415 students. The school this year is 33 students over the existing permit at 448 students.

They publicly failed, and were found to deceptive and untruthful in their tactics. As a result, they are being forced to retrench and reduce enrollment back to the original 415 students as mandated by the City years ago. Besides the $300,000 penalty, the ruling will cost the school millions of dollars in tuition and gifts in the years ahead, making this blunder a fiscal disaster as well as a public relations one.

Some words of advice to the Castilleja trustees - come clean to the community, admit your mistakes, and do the right thing. Retrench to 415, start consolidating your budget and finances, and move on. Castilleja will survive and eventually prosper once again, just as it has for over 100 years. If your current school head cannot do the right thing, ask her to move on and find a new head of school who will, with both good character and clean conscience.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 11, 2013 at 10:20 am

I tend to think the community is being too hard in its criticism of Castilleja.

All schools are growing in enrollment. There are more people living in the area and more people wanting an education for their children at all levels. From good preschools to places in the UCs and private colleges, all are being pressured to enlarge enrollments.

I tend to think that Casti should increase its enrollment to enable more parents of qualified girls to get places. All schools at all levels should be serving the community not becoming more exclusive and more competitive just to get in. Is it as hard to get a place in Casti as it is at Stanford, or so it seems? This will make it even more difficult. No, I haven't tried to get my daughter in so I am not speaking from the point of view of sour grapes.

Now the parking situation is a different situation all together. Like Downtown, College Terrace, the areas near Gunn, Paly, and in fact all our schools, etc. etc. parking is a big problem in Palo Alto. This area is no different.

I suggest we get realistic about parking, making it easier to park for longer time without having to buy monthly/annual passes. We need to make realistic shuttle services that serve all our schools for a reasonable fare. We should also be looking at satellite parking lots with shuttles into town.

Stop giving Casti a hard time for doing what all other schools are being forced to do and other successful businesses aim to do, grow.


Posted by palo alto resident, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Nov 11, 2013 at 3:41 pm

@resident – All of our local schools are growing, but the big difference is that private schools have both control of their growth AND a financial incentive to grow. As far as Castilleja becoming "more exclusive and more competitive" generally that is the point of a private school unless it has a particular educational bent such as Charles Armstrong. Part of the lure of a private school is usually its small size.

A school is not a business it does not need to grow larger in order to "grow" its students. There is no reason, other than the financial benefits to Castilleja, to allow Castilleja to grow its enrollment.


If you were a member and logged in you could track comments from this story.

Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

Veggie Grill coming soon to Mountain View's San Antonio Center
By Elena Kadvany | 16 comments | 3,112 views

College applications: round three
By Sally Torbey | 26 comments | 2,056 views

Is HBO's Silicon Valley Any Good?
By Anita Felicelli | 19 comments | 2,025 views

Finding mentors in would-be bosses
By Jessica T | 0 comments | 1,763 views

PAUSD Leadership Challenges
By Paul Losch | 20 comments | 1,567 views