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Other Programs

Champions® at Helen Carr Castello
Discover our great solution for busy working families: fun activities and homework help all in one safe, convenient place. Our experts have put together a variety of group and individual activities designed to keep your child exploring and growing! Sign up today!
Program Hours: 6:30am-6pm
Site Phone number: 916-690-8718
Call 800-350-5034 or visit
The goal of the GATE program is to provide high quality instruction, acceleration, and differentiated curriculum for students who are identified as having abilities and/or potential for high performance.   GATE and accelerated opportunities are provided in the classroom and through extracurricular opportunities.
How are students identified as GATE?
The Elk Grove Unified School District GATE identification process is based on multiple criteria which consider measures of academic achievement and potential. It is designed to provide and equitable basis for entry into the GATE program for all students.
Based on the research literature, best practices from the field, and input from stakeholders in EGUSD, the following measures were selected for inclusion into the GATE Identification Matrix:
  • California Standards Test scores
  • Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test scores
  • Grade point average
  • Equity factor
  • Accelerated classroom performance
  • Creative ability
GATE Referral Forms are completed by your school site GATE Coordinator. GATE Referral Forms will not be accepted by the Elk Grove Unified School District Gifted and Talented Education Program unless complete with all signatures and qualifying documentation. Parent and site administrator signatures are required. Transfer students’ evidence from other school district GATE Programs are accepted by Elk Grove Unified School District criteria.
Instrumental Band
We currently have 65 students in grades 4th through 6th who are learning how to play musical instruments together on the stage in our Multi-Purpose Room for an hour Wednesdays and Thursdays. We encourage our students to work together as they begin to realize that they are experiencing all of the learning modalities, such as, math, science (each instrument requires an understanding of its uniqueness), reading, writing, and harmonizing music (some might consider this part a foreign language), body kinesthetics (eye/hand coordination, posture and breathing techniques), and understanding someone else’s thinking and feeling outside of themselves. In addition to learning empathy, understanding differing points of view, and appreciating how important the musical arts contribute to a civilized society, we learn that practice and working harder together makes playing together more fun. Each student learns how important s/he is to the whole group. They have something to be proud of. We invite you to join us in celebrating the joy of music at one of our concerts. Please contact our school if you have any questions.
Mad Science
The science club is a fun, hands on, after school program that focuses on individual and group projects. We start each session with some type of challenge activity that is usually science related. Then we continue with some type of exploration activity that usually involves some type of building. We build things such as kites, towers, macaroni cars, and bridges.
Meet the Masters
Meet the Masters is a PTA funded, all inclusive art program that every child at Castello benefits from.  The program includes a brief history of an artist, examples of their work, and all the supplies for the children to do an artwork of their own.  It teaches them about art concepts as well as application.
Musical Mayhem Productions
MMP was founded in April of 2012 to fill the need of the Theater Arts for the children of Elk Grove, CA and opened our doors June 1, 2012. In the years since we began, we have had the pleasure of working with thousands of  young stars from Elk Grove and surrounding areas, and have brought the magic of live theater to thousands more!
Musical Mayhem Productions is a 501(c)3 tax exempt non-profit corporation in Elk Grove, CA that provides quality theater education for children and special needs adults through rehearsal and workshop classes. The educational classes enrich participants by expanding creativity and enhancing confidence while conveying the importance of Theater Arts to the community through fun and entertaining performances. With over 16 years stage and 10 years instruction expertise, MMP’s founders have created a structured, educational, and fun program to maximize the theater experience, both on and off the stage.
National Elementary Honor Society (NEHS)
NEHS is a program of the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) in cooperation with the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP). NEHS recognizes elementary students for their academic achievement and demonstrated responsibility and empowers them to enhance their leadership skills as they provide service to the school and community. Our chapter’s mission is to enhance the minds and hearts of children by emphasizing academic excellence, character and leadership development, and the promotion of community strength and service so that our students effect change in the world.
Show Choir
Rhythm and Vocals is a show choir for 4th-6th grade.  Students perform songs with movement, participate in dance routines, and sing solos. Rehearsals are after school and culminate in a performance for the school during the day and an evening performance for parents and the community.
We have two sports teams at Helen Carr Castello. Volleyball occurs in the spring time. Basketball occurs during the fall/winter season. Both sports teams are co-ed and open to the 5th and 6th graders.  Our hope is to create more sports participation opportunities for the students at school. We enjoy the school and parent support. It is a lot of fun to see the students cheering for each other at games.
Student Leadership
Castello’s Student Leadership meets once a month after school.  Leadership students consist of 5th and 6th grade students and must go through an application process.  Members are chosen based on teacher recommendation.  Student Leadership members will participate in a variety of service projects that may include the Kids Can Drive, Pennies for Patients, and The Adventure Project.  Student Leadership members also spend part of their recess time mentoring students in the primary grades.
Watch D.O.G.S.
These men are not teachers nor are they acting as school resource officers. Dads Of Great Students are fathers and father-figures (grandfathers, uncles, and other male adults who are directly linked to our students) who are asked to spend at least one day a year at their student’s school volunteering as a positive role model and an extra set of eyes and ears. Their mere presence may offer additional security at the school during the day.
The Watch D.O.G.S.  always work in the presence of, and under the direction of, an educator. They are asked to help with a variety of activities which include:
  • Patrolling the school campus,
  • Assisting in unloading and loading cars and/or buses
  • Reading and working on flash cards with students,
  • Being a referee at recess,
  • Eating lunch side by side with the students,
  • Sharing about their career, and many other activities.
However, at the end of the day, the greatest accomplishment is the satisfaction that the Watch D.O.G.S. feel when they complete their investment of a day in the school life of their student (s) and knows they’ve done whatever it takes ‘to sow seeds of success in the lives of students.’

Resource Links

Scholastic Reading Counts
Scholastic Reading Counts! is the only Lexile-based independent reading management program for K-12 students that provides a fun and kid-friendly learning environment. With multiple measures to report student success, SRC! engages students by allowing them to generate reading lists based on their Lexile level and personal reading interests. After reading a book, a student takes a computer-generated comprehension quiz to assess the student’s understanding. SRC! asks the student for feedback on the book he’s read and helps him to set achievable reading goals. Instantly-generated reports provide teachers and parents with valuable information about students’ reading progress and help match students to the right level of reading challenge. The reports also reveal when a student is struggling and needs intervention, an important part of adequate yearly progress (AYP) requirements.
Helen Carr Castello Library Book Search
Check out what books are available at our library.
Go Math!
go math
Go Math! is our newly adopted math curriculum for grades K-6.  It is aligned to the new California Content State Standards.
Unlock the Wonders of Reading!
Reading Wonders is the first and only reading program designed specifically for the Common Core State Standards for Reading/Language Arts. Combining research-based instruction with new tools to meet today’s challenges, every component and every lesson is designed for effective and efficient CCSS instruction.
Using a rich range of diverse print and digital media, Reading Wonders provides the instructional support and materials you will only find in a program that was created to teach the rigor, intent, and depth of the new Common Core State Standards.
The program provides unmatched support for
  • Building a strong reading foundation
  • Accessing complex text
  • Finding and using text evidence
  • Engaging in collaborative conversations
  • Writing to sources
Learn more here
Connect Ed