Cate School

1960 Cate Mesa Rd, Carpinteria, CA 93013

Curtis Wolsey Cate was a graduate of Harvard who journeyed west to teach. In 1910, he founded the Miramar School in Santa Barbara's Mission Canyon. The following year, Mr. Cate moved the school to the foot of a rural mesa bounded by Lillingston and Gobernador canyons in the Carpinteria Valley. He changed its name to the Santa Barbara School. In 1929, he moved it again, this time to the top of "the Mesa," as the 150-acre campus has come to be known. In 1950, the school was formally renamed Cate School to honor its founder, who served as headmaster until that year. Originally, the school featured grades 6-12, but the younger classes were gradually phased out. Girls were admitted for the first time in 1981. Boys and girls in grades 9 and 10 are required to take a course in each of six academic departments—the arts, English, foreign language, history, mathematics and science—in addition to a human development curriculum. Those students in grades 11 and 12 choose electives in all disciplines, including honors and Advanced Placement sections, and may take noncredit enrichment classes. Directed studies permit students to pursue a particular interest by designing a course not offered in the regular curriculum; these offerings may combine academic study with fieldwork. Seniors may spend the final marking period working on individually designed projects, either on or off campus. Athletics are integral to the overall program at Cate. All students take part in after-school options during each of the three seasons. An extensive selection of interscholastics and intramurals is available; an outdoor program and recreational sports provide an alternative to competitive teams. Other extracurriculars include clubs, services, special events and publications. Public service is strongly encouraged through participation in local community projects and involvement outside the school, and all but seniors perform daily chores ranging from kitchen duty to dormitory and campus cleanup. The entire school community convenes each week for convocations, and individual classes spend time together during an outing week in the early fall. Five-week summer language and culture programs based in Spain, China and Japan enable participants to improve their foreign language skills by living, traveling and studying in a foreign country.

General Information

Academic OrientationCollege Preparatory
Grade RangeBoarding and Day — Coed Grades 9-12
Coed, Boys, or GirlsCoed
Full Address1960 Cate Mesa Rd, Carpinteria, CA 93013
Year Established1910
Legal StatusNonprofit
Religious Affiliation(None)
AdministratorBenjamin D. Williams IV
Applications DueJanuary
Total Enrollment265
Boarding Students220
Day Students45
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