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Santa Catalina School

School rating 5 / 5 by

1500 Mark Thomas Drive Monterey CA 93940 United States
9th to 12th
PK to 12th
Girls only


Santa Catalina School review by .

I believe that Santa Catalina's academic program is ideal for college preparation. The academic requirements are as follows: 3 years of mathematics, 4 years of English, 3 years of history including US History, 3 years of science, 3 years of religion and 3 years of an art extracurricular (Choir, Art or Drama). There is a large array of classes for such a small school and many AP and honors courses are offered. All classes are considered college preparatory. As a freshman, the workload is lighter and as you gain maturity, the workload gradually increases. The workload is manageable, with the average freshman having less than two hours of work a night. As a junior and senior, students no longer have a required lights out time and they tend to stay up later working however, the average amount of work was around three hours a night. By junior year, most students are writing papers at a college level. The workload was never extremely stressful and I often felt like I should be doing more work. I completed 10 AP classes by the end of my high school career and I felt that the workload was very manageable. The teachers were wonderful at assigning work to make sure that concepts are clear but not repetitive i.e. there was not a lot of busy work. Due to this type of academic rigor, I felt extremely prepared for the workload at Amherst College. The classes are rather small, with the average class size around 13. Classes in religion, history and English were centered around discussion and science and mathematics classes were more lecture based. Language classes tended to be based on activities and discussion as well. Teachers are very available to talk with students after class and during office hours. Every teacher I worked with was very flexible and willing to meet with students during break times, before and after school and sometimes on weekends, depending on the teacher. There were also peer tutoring opportunities for students who may be having trouble in a class. Teachers were always very helpful in giving students many opportunities to raise their grade if they were having difficulties. Professor availability was one of the biggest factors I considered when deciding between colleges because I was so used to teachers being available to meet one-on-one with me.

College Counseling

Santa Catalina has a very clear program, called the Journey Program, which is meant to....

Sample insights on college counseling

  • They have contacts at most of the major universities and feel perfectly comfortable picking up the phone and advocating for a student to get accepted somewhere they feel is a good fit for that student. However, these counselors are certainly not magic bullets. They cannot guarantee that a student will get into an Ivy League university...
  • For those wishing to move on to Oxford or Cambridge, the provision is second-to-none. In the months running up to application and interview, every subject faculty offers classes (often run by former Oxbridge tutors) exploring further areas of their subject as well as offering advice on personal statements, interview technique and more...

Admissions - Getting Accepted

I worked as an intern in the admissions office during my senior year of high....

Sample insights on admissions

  • For the interview, dress conservatively. Try to be very clean and put together. Also, I was a tour guide for two years and at the end of every tour, we were asked to evaluate the candidate so if you think the tour is not apart of the process, you are very wrong. Ask questions and be interested. Also, tip for the parents: the kids speak on the tour. Do not ask their questions for them...
  • Most younger siblings have an easy time in the admissions process. I can only think of one case of a younger sibling not being admitted. About half of the students who entered with me had come from public schools. The remainder came from private K-6 schools, or had transferred from other New York private schools The Elizabeth Morrow School and St. Bernard were two of the larger feeder schools...

School Life

Catalina is a small friendly community where students have the freedom to be themselves. The community is purposefully laid out in a manner so that students never feel intimidated. At other schools freshmen may never talk to seniors however, at Catalina, freshmen are given a senior "big sister" to welcome them in the first weeks of school and have someone who knows the ropes to help guide them at the beginning of their journey at Catalina. On Monday nights, there are community dinners with assigned seating where students of all grades are seated together with one faculty member at each....

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