Cate School is set on a bluff with beautiful views of the ocean on one side and mountains on the other side. The campus, called the Mesa, is located in the Southern California coastal town of Carpinteria, 20 minutes away from Santa Barbara and about 2 hours away from Los Angeles.
At first glance, the school has a casual Southern California sensibility, as you might expect. It’s a very warm and welcoming atmosphere that doesn’t feel stuffy at all. The kids are very engaging, as rules such as restricting cell phone use to dorm rooms encourage more social interaction and a strong sense of community. Spending some time at Cate it is clear that it does not have relaxed standards for the students.
The academic curriculum is quite rigorous, and students are expected to balance their course load with extracurricular activities, community service, an active dorm life and participation in the chore program. To help new students adjust and manage a busy schedule, 9th graders participate in a freshman seminar that teaches study habits and research skills.
Cate School is a great place for kids who are looking for a challenging yet tight-knit environment. It is a place where students learn to manage themselves well in a setting that provides numerous outdoor activities year-round.