Day in the life

As a student at Catalina, you will have a different class schedule every day. Conversations with friends, meetings with teachers, Journey Days, team practices, and play rehearsals mean no two days are alike and something new is always around the corner.

Follow some of our students, both boarding and day, to learn a little more about what a typical day is like for a Catalina girl.


Sammy '17


Studio Art (7:55 a.m.)

Every Monday, I start my day with Studio Art. Starting my week with Studio Art is great because it is relaxing and gives me a positive start to my week.

Peace & Justice (8:45 a.m.)

In Peace and Justice we learn about the teachings of important spiritual leaders such as Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. Before this class, I only knew rough outlines of their accomplishments, but now I better understand changes they made to our world.

School Assembly (9:35 a.m.)

Assembly is where I regroup from my morning and prep for the rest of my day. I am reminded of meetings and events for the day and week, which is very helpful.

Free period (10:05 a.m.)

During this time I try to get as much homework done as possible. My favorite place to study when I have a tough workload is the library. However, since the opening of the Math and Science building, I have found the new space to be a stimulating place to study, so I occasionally go there for a nice study environment.

French 3 (11:55 a.m.)

French class is different every day. Madame O’Dowd might review our homework, go over new vocabulary, or discuss the french culture. Every day is a surprise with Madame, but her spontaneity helps us become well rounded French students.

AP English Literature (11:45 a.m.)

In AP English Lit, Dr. Kapolka usually leads a discussion on the book we are currently reading. Dr. Kapolka assigns us challenging books, such as Dante’s Inferno and Crime and Punishment. Dr. Kapolka does a great job at preparing us for the AP, as he always challenges our reading skills.

Lunch (12:30-1:00 p.m.)

Lunch is my break in the middle of the day where I can eat and talk with friends, or eat with people I may not have had a chance to get to know. It’s nice that the lunch tables aren’t separated by friend groups, as it allows for people to intermingle and get to know the whole community.

AP US History (1:00 p.m.)

After Lunch, I head to my AP United States History class (APUSH). The majority of every class is devoted to Mr. Place’s lectures which cover the reading homework he has given us. Mr. Place’s lectures are interesting and help me understand the reading more thoroughly.

Biology Lab (1:50 p.m.)

My last class of the day is Biology. Every Monday, our Biology class is devoted to a lab. At the beginning of class we might turn in homework, then receive directions for our lab. Labs are a fun opportunity for hands-on learning and allow me to gain a more comprehensive understanding of what we study in class.

After School

After school I get ready for either water polo, the gym, or swim, depending on the season. After school sports are a great way for me to re-energize after a long school day.

Sarah '17


Advisory/Club Meetings (7:55 a.m.)

Every Wednesday, we have this short period before school for either advisory or club meetings, depending on the week. On weeks when we don’t have advisory, we sign in with our advisors, and then attend any club meetings scheduled, which, for me, usually means yearbook. Having this period is new this year, and so far it’s been a great chance to get to have meetings that we might not otherwise have time for.

AP US History (8:45 a.m.)

APUSH is one of my favorite classes this year. I love history in general, US history in particular is incredibly interesting to me because my family has a lot of connections to things we’re learning, so it’s fascinating to see how my personal history relates to class. Mr. Place, our teacher, is also extremely knowledgable, and willing to answer any and all questions. His sense of humor helps bring the events to life.

Chapel (9:35 a.m.)

Chapel is a chance to pause and reorganize for the rest of the day. The school also makes an effort to include other religions in services, highlighting important events like Martin Luther King Jr. Day or Hanukah.

AP English Literature (10:05 a.m.)

I’m a pretty voracious reader and have always enjoyed english, so between Dr. Kapolka’s singing and some pretty funny class discussions, this class is turning out to be one of my favorites. It’s not all fun and games though – Dr. Kapolka is making sure that we are all well prepared for the AP in May, using class discussion and essays to make sure we are ready.

Biology Honors Lab (10:55 a.m.)

Science is not my best subject, but I’m having a lot of fun with biology this year. Dr. Williams makes sure to include a variety of hands on experiences, such as sand crabbing at the beach, to make sure that we all get a chance to really see what we are learning about. That’s one of the best things about the school: the close proximity to the ocean gives us unique opportunities to see text book concepts come to life. This, coupled with the new building, means that we can take science to a whole new level.

Free Period (12:35 p.m.)

This is just a short flex period, so I usually continue doing whatever I was doing during lunch.

Philosophy (1:00 p.m.)

Philosophy is taught by Dr. Murphy, who always has a modern take that makes even the most complex theory very interesting. We cover everything from Socrates to Freud, and most of what’s in between. This class is quite enthralling in that it pushes you to reconsider everything about life, from the pursuit of happiness to your relationship with the spiritual.

Algebra 2 & Trig (1:50 p.m.)

My favorite thing about math is that it’s (usually) pretty clear cut; the lack of ambiguity is pretty satisfying. This year, Ms. Duncan has been making sure everyone has the basic foundations of math straight while also working with us on PSAT and SAT prep. Math is an obviously important subject, and she makes sure everyone is confident in their skills.


Brittany '18


Intermediate Drama (7:55 a.m.)

In intermediate drama we learn the history of theatre and how to properly act on a stage. One of my favorite things our teacher, Mrs. Devlin teaches us is “the most important character to develop is your own”. She helps guide us to achieve that goal by inspiring us to develop key qualities. One of my favorite parts of drama is that we learn extremely valuable public speaking skills.

Spanish 2 (8:45 a.m.)

In Spanish 2 we learn how to develop our conversational skills, and make proper grammatical use of verbs. One aspect of this course that I enjoy is how Señora Sheets helps us to feel comfortable speaking the Spanish language in front of the class.

Assembly (9:35 a.m.)

During assembly I obtain a clear understanding of everything that is going on at Catalina, from club activities, to the accomplishments of sports teams. We are even challenged to understand global issues such as poverty and women’s’ rights, and determine ways for us to contribute solutions.

World Religions (10:05 a.m.)

World Religions gives me a great understanding of the many religions that are practiced by people throughout the world. I also achieve an understanding and appreciation for the differences of these religions, as well as what is significant to the people who practice them.

Free period (10:55 a.m.)

During my free periods I usually meet with teachers about ways I can improve in their courses and complete homework assignments. I also make sure to spend time with my friends and have fun!

Algebra 2 & Trig (11:45 a.m.)

In Algebra II Trigonometry, Ms. Duncan goes out of her way to provide us with extra assistance with topics that are challenging. This course gives us a strong foundation in order to succeed in upper level math.

Lunch (12:30 p.m.)

Lunch at Catalina is always phenomenal and I look forward to every meal and spending time with my friends. It is a great time to relax and have fun.

English 2 Honors (1:00 p.m.)

English 2 Honors with Mr. Hunt is one of my favorite courses. Mr. Hunt gives every student a reason to love literature; he engages us in every class, which makes us more involved in the learning process.

World History Since 1500 (1:50 p.m.)

World History is another one of my favorite courses, I enjoy learning about people, cultures, and the reasoning behind why certain events occurred. Dr. Lumsden makes the information he teaches extremely relatable, and presents it in an engaging way.

Victoria '19


Before Class

After I arrive at school, I head to Study Hall to drop off my books and prepare for my next class. I greet my friends and occasionally do some homework or studying if needed.

Spanish 2 (7:55 a.m.)

Right now we are learning different types of verb conjugations. I have taken spanish classes before but this is the first time I have done listening comprehension as well as speaking and writing evaluations. During class, if a majority of the class had a hard time with the homework, we answer questions that the book provides us with, and we write down example problems and notes.

Free period (8:45 a.m.)

This is my only free period of the week that takes place in the morning. It is one of my favorite times of day to have a free, because I can do homework or review for tests later on that day. Usually, I stay in Study Hall but we can study in the Library, outside, or in the new math and science center, as well.

Assembly (9:35 a.m.)

Assembly is my favorite time of day! It is the perfect break from classes. I enjoy listening to everyone’s announcements and having time to catch up with friends. I use the time after assembly to pack up for my next three classes.

Conceptual Physics Honors (10:05 a.m.)

Generally, science is one of my favorite subjects. I love learning about how things work and what they are made of. In Conceptual Physics Honors, we observe creative demonstrations, work on labs, and study with partners. It is really nice that we receive the opportunity to understand the basics of physics before taking a regular physics class.

Scripture (10:55 a.m.)

We are currently reading The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis. My favorite part of taking a religion class is to debate with my friends about concepts we learn in class.

Geometry Honors (11:45 a.m.)

Mr. Whitchurch takes into account all of our learning styles. He writes down notes and examples on the board, explains it verbally, and gives us practice problems. He is always willing to meet with us during frees if we do not understand a problem.

lunch (12:30 p.m.)

Lunch is another great part of the day. We have delicious meals with a variety of choices; my favorite meal is orange chicken.

World History to 1500 (1:00p.m.)

Mr. Oder really makes our class fun. His animated and enthusiastic teaching style keeps the class lively and interesting. His many years of experience in the History Department make him a valuable source of historical knowledge.

Chamber Choir (1:50 p.m.)

Our choir has an amazing group of girls. We learned to perform beautiful four part pieces and have win multiple awards. It’s great to be part of such an talented group!

After School

Earlier this year when I was in the school play, I attended rehearsal after school on Thursday. Since I am taking dance this trimester, I have class on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Victoria '16


Free Period (7:55 a.m.)

As a senior, I don't have to be at school until the start of my first class period, so I have the opportunity to utilize my first period free in a variety of ways. I can go to a coffee shop for a special Friday breakfast, go for an early morning run, finish studying for a test, or just sleep in!

AP Studio Art (8:45 a.m.)

AP Studio Art is the highest level art class at Santa Catalina: the class environment is meant to emulate that of a college course or even a private studio. We drift between the Apple desktop computers and 3-D printer in the digital media lab and the pastels, paints, pottery wheels, and printing presses in the art room to create pieces that will contribute to the portfolios that will be graded by the College Board at the end of second semester. It's a great way to start the day, especially after a long week!

Assembly (9:35 a.m.)

When I get to study hall, I chat with friends and organize my books for the day. Soon, I hear our Student Body President say "please stand for the pledge," and then "student announcements, come on up." During announcements, I am reminded that the French Club is meeting at lunch today, learn that the Mock Trail team took first place on Sunday, and fondly look back on freshman year physics when Mr. Tuttle announces that his class will begin building their "egg shoes" today. Then today's lunch is announced, and I get ready for third period.

Senior Journey (10:05 a.m.)

Journey and AP English Language are my favorite parts of my Friday schedule. As seniors, we discuss and work on college applications in Journey during first semester, and learn about and prepare for college life, Catalina end of the year festivities, and senior privileges during second semester. Journey class is a great change of pace at the end of the week and a sanctioned time to reflect on my Catalina career and plan for the future.

AP Biology (10:55 a.m.)

Though challenging, the material we cover in AP Biology is engaging, and our teacher Dr. Williams frequently relates the topics and organism systems that we study to current events and phenomena that can be observed everyday. This really helps me absorb the concepts and makes me eager to learn more.

AP English Language (11:45 a.m.)

AP English Language is my favorite class this year, and on Fridays the class period often revolves around a long, semi-spontaneous discussion of a topic that has been in the news recently, or an age old philosophical question. One of my favorite memories of this class is a forty minute Friday discussion about animal rights. This discourse started as a round of complaints about coyotes and mountain lions that prey on small pets, then morphed into an analysis of the accidental hunting of Cecil the Lion, and ended with a debate as to whether or not animals have "souls".

Lunch (12:30 p.m.)

The food at Catalina is amazing! We have a main entree with side dishes everyday at lunch, plus a full salad bar, fruit, a peanut butter and jelly toast bar, and two soups to choose from. Lunchtime is also an opportunity for me to sit and talk with friends that I didn't have classes with today.

AP French Language (1:00 p.m.)

AP French is my last class of the day on Fridays. Like in AP English Lang, my teacher Madame Odowd often uses the Friday class period as an opportunity to discuss interesting topics- en français, bien sûr! During first semester, each student was assigned a region of the francophone world, and shared a news article about that region with the class on Fridays.

Free Period (1:50 p.m.)

I like to keep my Fridays free of after school extracurriculars, so the start of this free period marks the beginning of my weekend!

After school

As I said before, my Friday afternoons are usually free of after school commitment, however, depending on the semester, Monday-Thursday after school I will either be working in the Performing Arts Center building and painting sets for musicals as part of the tech crew, or in the dance studio taking a ballet, jazz, or contemporary class.

At Catalina, each day's schedule is a bit different. Follow some of our students, both boarding and day, to get a feel for a day in the life of our students.

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