Educating and Empowering Young Women

Castilleja was founded 110 years ago in Palo Alto to equalize educational opportunities for women. Today, Castilleja seeks to close the female leadership gap by gradually adding students over four years. Making this opportunity available to more young women is central to furthering our mission.

We are also seeking to modernize our campus to provide a 21st century learning environment. This includes replacing four aging campus buildings with one energy-efficient building and an underground parking garage.

I Support Educating More Young Women and Modernizing the Castilleja Campus!

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Welcome to the Castilleja School’s Master Plan website homepage.

Castilleja has called Palo Alto home for more than 100 years, well before much of the city around the school’s campus came into existence. Founded just 13 years after Palo Alto was chartered, Castilleja shares a rich history with the City including hundreds of community initiatives born out of the partnership.

As we enter the fourth year of our Master Planning process, Castilleja has launched this project website to provide information and updates on our amended CUP application and share our vision. Since we filed the amended CUP application in June 2016, we have made several changes to the plan in response to neighbor input including relocating the underground garage exit and reworking the building’s footprint to preserve more trees.

Reconstruction of the oldest buildings around campus is required to both meet Castilleja’s mission to provide a comprehensive college preparatory education that helps young women reach their potential, and to ensure seismic safety and accessibility for students and teachers who inhabit them. Our classroom buildings were built in the 1960s, many of them originally as dormitories. Castilleja’s Conditional Use Permit application seeks to gradually add students over a four year period to establish a better environment and provide innovative educational opportunities to more remarkable young women while ensuring we comply with the city-imposed traffic, event, and other standards under our CUP.

Please explore the website for details of the modernization plans, garage design, and Castilleja’s commitment to maintaining and enhancing its tree-lined campus. You will also find the latest updates about our project and proposal, new renderings and site plans, and other useful information about Castilleja School and the public review process.


Kathy Layendecker
Associate Head of Finance and Operations
Castilleja School