Cate School - Review #4

Cate School
5

About the Author:

College Enrolled College of William and Mary
Home Town, State (Country) San Luis Obispo, CA
Years Attended Boarding School 3
Activities During Boarding School Freshmen prefect, tour guide, El Batidor (school newspaper) co editor-in-chief, Cate Review (school literary magazine) co editor-in-chief, community service, book club, Cate School Historical Society, lacrosse, Outdoors Program

Reflections and Advice:

1.) What do you think makes your school unique relative to other boarding schools?
The word, I feel, that always describes Cate best is "community." I left my local public high school to attend Cate because I wanted to be in a residential high school community, and that's exactly what I got. The Cate community is close knit and deep. Not only did I have the opportunity to become incredibly close to my peers, but I was able to become close to my faculty as well. Some of my greatest Cate memories are simply baking cookies in a faculty apartment, backpacking with my classmates and faculty members on the Kern River trip, and so many other student and faculty experiences that brought us all closer together. Cate became my home away from home physically but also because it is where I developed my second family.
2.) What was the best thing that happened to you in boarding school?
I grew so much as a person at Cate and developed so many great memories that it is hard to pick just one thing! One aspect of my time at Cate that sticks out to me, however, is my math experience. I hated math until I came to Cate. I struggled with the subject in large part because I never had very good math teachers. While at Cate, however, I came to actually like math. I attribute this entirely to the quality of math teachers I had at Cate and their willingness to help bring me up to speed.
3.) What might you have done differently during your boarding school experience?
I've been asked this question countless time while giving tours of the school, but I honestly cannot think of anything I would have done differently. I came as a new sophomore halfway through my sophomore year, and although I wished I could have had four years at Cate instead of two and a half, I never felt that this later arrival negatively impacted me. I got involved right away, made friends quickly, and ended up loving my Cate experience regardless of how long it was!
4.) What did you like most about your school?
As I've mentioned before, my favorite part of Cate is its community. Cate's community defines it and encompasses every part of what I loved most about the school from its academics to its dorm life.
5.) Do you have any final words of wisdom for visiting or incoming students to your school?
I strongly encourage you to visit Cate School and experience it for yourself. While reading up on the school is important, experiencing the place firsthand is equally as important. When you see the students in the classroom, the dorms, the dining hall, or the sports fields and when you get the opportunity to talk to a student in person, it makes the effect of the words used to describe the school so much more real and powerful.

Academics:

1.) Describe the academics at your school - what did you like most about it?
Before Cate, I had gone to public school my entire life, and I was eager for the small class size that Cate offered. This was one of the greatest aspects of my classroom experience at Cate. The smaller class size allowed for excellent and open class discussions, which enabled me to learn from my peers as well as my teacher. It also allowed me to get the help I needed when I needed a little extra explaining both inside and outside of class.

Athletics:

1.) Describe the athletics at your school - what did you like most about it?
I had never played a sport until I came to Cate. By the time I was interested in playing a sport at home, I felt like it was too late to start. At Cate, however, I had the opportunity to play any sport I chose. Not only was I encouraged to play a sport, but I was surrounded by people who were in similar positions as me. Instead of having a painful and awkward time adjusting to the sports field, my coaches and classmates made the experience fun and enjoyable. By the time I finished Cate, I was playing on the varsity lacrosse team. Seeing me on the sports field is something my dad never thought he would see and something I never thought I'd miss!

Art, Music, and Theatre:

1.) Describe the arts program at your school - what did you like most about it?
I've never been much of an artist, and although I played several instruments growing up, music was something I chose not to continue. After I took the required foundation arts class (which includes studio art, theater, and music), I chose to take ceramics. Since I am rather artistically challenged, it was a struggle for me at first. Not long into the class, however, my skills improved to the point that I actually enjoyed the class. Located in an old (but renovated) school barn, the ceramics studio is a well equipped and tranquil space. Doing ceramics became a sort of escape for me, which is not uncommon for Cate students, and I chose to go above and beyond the requirements of the class because I ended up liking it so much!

Extracurricular Opportunities:

1.) Describe the extracurriculars offered at your school - what did you like most about it?
Cate emphasizes the whole person; this emphasis allows for a certain level of balance in Cate life. At Cate, a person can be a student, athlete, and artist - and still have time to live. I was able to participate in many different aspects of Cate life, but one of the most memorable aspects was my participation in the outdoor program. My involvement in this program allowed me to experience so many different outdoor activities in the state I've spent most of life in but had never truly experienced. Thanks to this program, I've spent weekends backpacking or rock climbing or just splashing around the ocean. California is beautiful, and I loved experiencing it through Cate's outdoor program.

Dorm Life:

1.) Describe the dorm life in your school - what did you like most about it?
An only child, I'd never shared so much as a room with anyone near my own age. Living in the dorms at Cate was an entirely new (and welcomed) experience for me - and I loved it. It was a good transition for me because the majority of Cate students have their own room. My best friend lived just a door or two down from, and although we had study hours and lights out, we could still run down the hall to each other whenever we needed. Cate has a strong sense of community, and this is magnified in the dorm. I loved always having someone to go to whether that was my best friend, my prefect, or a dorm parent.

Dining:

1.) Describe the dining arrangements at your school.
Although much could be said about the quality and selection of food at Cate, not to mention the friendly dining hall staff, one of the most memorable aspects of meals at Cate is the dining hall itself. Cate's dining hall has a view of the ocean. Whether it was breakfast, lunch, or dinner, eating with a view of the ocean is something I never got over enjoying.

Social and Town Life:

1.) Describe the school's town and surrounding area.
Carpinteria is a fairly small California town. I felt comfortable going to high school in Carpinteria because it is a small enough town that it provided me with everything I needed. Moreover, it is not too isolated or too big of a city, which would make me feel uncomfortable. Santa Barbara is just about fifteen minutes down the road - close enough to provide me with a little more hustle, bustle, and variety if I wanted it.
2.) Describe the social life at your school - what did you like most about it?
The sense of community was my favorite part about Cate while I was there, and it continues to be my favorite part. I was able to make close, lasting friends at Cate, and the community is so open and friendly that it is easy to talk to anyone whether they are a student or a faculty member.

Daily Schedule:

Weekday
7:30 AMBreakfast
8:00 AMSchool day begins (about 5 classes per day)
2:45 PMSchool day ends
3:00 PMSports
4:30 PMBreak before dinner
5:30 PMDinner
6:30 PMBook Club meeting
7:00 PMhang out with friends before study hours
8:00 PMStudy hours
10:30 PMLights out
Weekend
9:30 AMSleep in!
10:30 AMGrab brunch with friends
11:45 AMTake the bus into Carp for a trip to the beach
1:00 PMGet a late lunch at Taco Grande
4:00 PMTake the bus back up to Cate
5:30 PMGet dinner with friends
6:00 PMStart working on homework
8:00 PMStudy hours
10:30 PMLights out

Alumni Reviews
  Review School

  • Review Description
  • Cate School Alumni #1
    Class of 2016
    5 Stars   1/18/2017
    Yale University
    On the surface Cate is defined by its dedicated commitment to service (the school motto is "Servons" meaning "to serve"), its more casual and down-to-earth California vibes, and its interest in the outdoors as a. . .
  • Cate School Alumni #2
    Class of 2014
    5 Stars   6/12/2017
    Trinity University
    I have heard that the majority of schools on the west coast have a relaxed environment but Cate had that coupled with the incredible location on a hill overlooking Carpinteria and the Pacific Ocean. Our. . .
  • Cate School Alumni #3
    Class of 2011
    5 Stars   11/29/2016
    Brown University
    At Cate I engaged with learning in a completely different way. I entered Cate thinking that the best thing about this kind of education was it would get me into a good college and therefore. . .
  • Cate School Alumni #4
    Class of 2010
    5 Stars   7/19/2011
    College of William and Mary
    The word, I feel, that always describes Cate best is "community." I left my local public high school to attend Cate because I wanted to be in a residential high school community, and that's exactly. . .
  • Cate School Alumni #5
    Class of 2010
    5 Stars   7/26/2011
    Reed College
    Community is a key aspect of the Cate experience. Being a Cate student means living in a community of well-rounded people who are all striving to create an atmosphere that is conducive to the development. . .
  • Show more reviews (5 reviews)
Recent Articles
5 Challenges Parents Face
October 24, 2017
How to handle five basic challenges involved in choosing a boarding school.
Choosing a School: Comparing Schools
September 28, 2017
Use a spreadsheet to develop your initial list of schools. Here's how.
How Can an Educational Consultant Help with a Boarding School Search?
September 28, 2017
Finding the right boarding school for your child is one of the most important and expensive decisions you will ever make.