Commitment to Community Care

In response to the independent report published in Fall 2021, Cate School and its Board of Trustees have implemented a series of measures to prevent and address sexual misconduct. These actions underscore our unwavering dedication to accountability and the safety and welfare of our students. Click below to read more about these efforts.

If a student experiences discomfort due to sexual remarks or behaviors from another student, faculty, or staff member, they should immediately seek assistance from a trusted faculty member, the Sexual Harassment Information and Resource Team (SHIRT) Liaisons, or contact a member of SHIRT. SHIRT investigates complaints, follows mandated reporting requirements, and determines appropriate actions, which may include mediation, counseling, education, or disciplinary measures. Even without a formal complaint, SHIRT may convene if school standards are not met. All incidents of abuse, including sexual, physical, emotional, neglect, and family violence, must be reported to Child Protective Services. Students have the right to seek legal counsel and report incidents to the police, Child Welfare Services, or the Head of School.


Cate provides comprehensive training and resources for students, including:

  • Partnership with Standing Together Against Sexual Assault (STESA) for training on sexual assault awareness.
  • Human Development curriculum covering mental health, coping strategies, gender roles, sexual health, and consent.
  • Collaboration with Planned Parenthood for sex education.
  • Training on healthy boundaries for Prefects and Teaching Assistants.

To maintain a positive and safe environment, all adults in the community receive:

  • Bi-annual anti-harassment training.
  • Annual mandated reporter training.
  • Periodic presentations by experts on student mental and physical health.Students and faculty collaborate to address challenges and improve communication within the community. Initiatives include preparing students for difficult topics, enhancing communication channels, clarifying reporting protocols, and promoting kindness and compassion.

Students and faculty collaborate to address challenges and improve communication within the community. Initiatives include preparing students for difficult topics, enhancing communication channels, clarifying reporting protocols, and promoting kindness and compassion.

The Committee on Community Care and Accountability (CCA) is a standing and permanent committee of the Board, committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of students. Its responsibilities include:

  • Ensuring SHIRT proceedings are handled confidentially and equitably.
  • Ensuring the school follows best practices for a safe environment.
  • Providing education and training to Trustees on sexual misconduct policies and survivor-centered care.

SHIRT and CCA Collaboration

SHIRT and CCA collaborate to address incidents of sexual misconduct, prioritizing student privacy while sharing necessary information with trustees.

Board of Trustee Trainings

The Board has received education on sexual misconduct policies and survivor-centered care, including:

  • Understanding the survivor experience and trauma-informed care.
  • Learning about STESA’s partnership with Cate and their programs.
  • Regular updates on corrective measures based on the OIG report.

For immediate crisis intervention, general information, and resources:

  • RAINN: Contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800.656.HOPE (4673) or
  • STESA: Access STESA’s crisis hotline at 805-564-3696

Additional Resources

Corrective Actions

Incident Reporting Protocol

Contact the CCA

Our Partnerships

In order to continue the important work of creating a safe environment on the Mesa, Cate has established partnerships with local and national level organizations to provide resources, training, and support to students, faculty, and alumni. Learn about these partnerships below.

Cate is strengthening its partnership with Standing Together to End Sexual Assault (STESA). Formerly the Santa Barbara Rape Crisis Center, STESA, a local affiliate of RAINN, provides confidential counseling and support services to survivors of sexual assault and their loved ones.

  • Crisis Hotline: In cases where a student is uncomfortable using established reporting protocols to share an experience by approaching a peer or adult at the School, Cate students are encouraged to access STESA’s crisis hotline 805-564-3696. Trained advocates are available 24-hours a day to provide confidential counseling and information. While all caller identities, histories and experiences are protected, STESA experts are mandated reporters and are legally obligated to contact Child Welfare Services in the case of child abuse. This partnership and access to STESA is widely shared with the student body through Cate’s residential life and health and wellness programs.
  • Best-Practice Guidance: The School has engaged the victim advocates at STESA to further review and enhance our existing procedures around reporting protocols. While Cate School used NAIS and TABS guidelines and outside advisors to perform a full review and overhaul of all policies and protocols around sexual misconduct, STESA’s victim-centric approach will provide additional expert advice that can only enhance the current program. It is the responsibility of the School to provide a safe environment that encourages students to report potential abuse or boundary-crossing behavior and to have a system in place that allows for a thorough, thoughtful and respectful process and response to all allegations. STESA’s guidance and continued evaluation of our program will assist the School in maintaining best practices.
  • Education and Training: For the past two years Cate has worked with STESA to deliver trainings for faculty, staff and students around topics including maintaining healthy boundaries, sexual harassment prevention, consent and reporting standards. STESA will continue to work with the School to further educate students, adults and families of the Cate community and will also work with the Board to provide education around sexual misconduct prevention and response.

Cate Therapy Fund: In an effort to support our survivors, Cate School has established a therapy fund to assist alumni and former students desiring reimbursement for therapy related to sexual abuse during their time at Cate. We have engaged RAINN, the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization, to operate the dedicated Cate School Therapy Fund Hotline, and provide confidential support and information on how to access the fund.

The funds will be distributed through an independent, third-party claims administrator, and neither RAINN nor the claims administrator will provide the School or the Board with any personally identifying information about those who call the hotline, or who access the fund. Additionally, alumni and former students who were harmed by adults while at Cate can access these services but are not required to participate in the School’s investigation.

The fund has been formally established and the Cate School Therapy Fund Hotline, operated by RAINN, launched on Monday, October 4. Additional information for the Cate School Therapy Fund can be found here.

We recognize that, for survivors, even our outreach can cause emotional difficulty. For immediate crisis intervention, and general information and resources, available 24/7, contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800.656.HOPE (4673) or

Cate School Therapy Fund