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Public Service

What does it feel like to make an impact in the world? To touch the lives of others in a positive way?

Cate is more of a big family than a small school. In a family, everyone helps out, and you explore the benefits of self interest in relation to community interest. You will be rewarded with responsibility and also get the opportunity to connect to the world around you through global community service initiatives.

You can join one of the many civic or service organizations on campus. There are weekly service outings to organizations in Carpinteria and Santa Barbara where you can visit the elderly and disabled, read to children, or work on environmental improvement projects. Once a year the entire school devotes a full day to volunteering around town with your advisory groups. Or you may want join the group who travels to Mexico to help with a community construction project through the Los Niños program.


Our motto is Servons, which is French for “Let us serve.” Taking responsibility and ownership in the maintenance of your quality of life teaches invaluable lessons, and it is a pillar of the Cate experience.

As an underclassman, you will share responsibility for basic chores around the Mesa, much the same way you’d have chores at home. Freshman help out in the kitchen, sophomores and juniors typically maintain the dorms, classrooms, and grounds. Seniors supervise and help underclassmen, serve as teaching assistants, and often take additional leadership roles in the dorms and across campus.

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Senior Roles

As a senior you will be given significant responsibility for building Cate’s strong sense of community.

There are numerous opportunities for you to develop your skills as a leader and mentor.

Senior prefects oversee dorm life and student government representatives make important decisions about daily life at school. Senior teaching assistants help out in Human Development courses for freshmen, and students take advantage of leadership positions within clubs and service programs as well.

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Round Square

In 2007, Cate joined Round Square, a worldwide network of of 150 innovative high schools in 40 countries around the world. All member schools share a commitment to the pillars known as IDEALS, which stands for Internationalism, Democracy, Environmentalism, Adventure, Leadership, and Service. At Cate you can attend regional and international conferences, go on intercultural exchanges, and participate in international service learning projects. Round Square students from other countries love their stays on the Mesa, and Cate students return from Round Square adventures broadened and deepened.

In 2016, Cate Round Square headed to Los Angeles for the regional conference, sent students to South Africa for a service-learning project, had summer exchanges in Peru and Australia, and sent a delegation to the Round Square International Conference in Switzerland.

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