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Junipero Serra High School

Private | 9-12 | 572 students


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Situated in an inner city neighborhood. The median home value is $301,500. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $1,190.

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14 reviews of this school

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Posted November 2, 2011

The bullying incident went way better than expected. There is a zero tolerance policy so there will never be a "next time". The perpetrator apologized, they shook hands and there hasn't been an issue since. Kids at this school are great. Parent's very involved. What we like best: the block schedule, kids always have 2 days to complete homework. Expectations are set incredibly high and these kids are held to it. Very very strict. Parents love that, kids not so much. Everyone is expected to attend 4 year university after graduation. Applying is actually part of the curriculum. We were told at back to school night that if we did not intend to send our kids to a 4 year institution for college this was not the high school for our children. Everyone has to volunteer- kids included and service seems to emphasized greatly. So far we are impressed, and the homework load seems much more tolerable than our Catholic elementary school. Bottom line- we are very happy we chose Serra for our child
—Submitted by a parent

Posted January 11, 2011

There is nothing positive to say about this horrible academic institution. This is not a college preparatory school. Only about 2 percent of the seniors go on to 4 year colleges while the rest of the students attend community colleges. The only thing the Serra administration cares about is football. Academics are not up to par nor are the students motivated to learn. Some of the teachers are not qualified to teach at the high school level and do not fully understand the subject they are teaching. My son often complained of the many fights that occurred at Serra. A handful students were withdrawn from the school for low grades when they should have been supported and encouraged to raise their grades. Ever since the school was assigned a new principal, the school and its students have gone downhill. Anyone who is paying five thousand dollars a year for this school is simply throwing their money away and aspiring for their child to attend a junior college. Parent to parent, I strongly advise against sending your child to this school.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted October 18, 2010

As a graduate student, I will tell you the "truth" about Serra, because only a "student" can give you the proper critique. Serra is "safe;" however, the school's academic system is poor. Primarily, Serra focuses more on athletics than academics or "religious" service. If a student is not naturally motivated to succeed or become educated, she or he will "fail" in college. Just as a previous critic said, many Serra students attend a junior college or a less prestigious university such as Cal State Dominguez. And. the reason isn't solely due to financial situations. Sorry to say, most of these students are simply "dumb" or unmotivated because they were taught by many unprofessional and under-educated "teachers." Luckily, I was one student that succeeded "academically." Look, if you, the parent, desires a quality education for your child then go elsewhere. Otherwise, pay $5,000 dollars a year for horrible staff.
—Submitted by a student

Posted April 28, 2010

Serra provides everything a school should a safe, college going, and supportive environment. This year it made history being the first school in California to win the State Championship in both Football and Basketball in the same year. In addition the girl's Basketball team won its CIF title and the Boy's and Girl's Track team have won several State and CIF titles. Recently ESPN ranked Serra as having the 27th Best Sports Program in the Nation. The students have won academic decathlons and math competition awards. Last year the French Club visited Europe with the assistance of the Booster Club. The opportunity to learn and excel are available at Serra if the parent and student are serioius about education. Parent involvement does need to improve . Additional support needs to be provided to the teachers & an enrichment program established on campus and available to all students.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted April 17, 2010

This school is most definentely not five stars. Yes they keep the children safe, but that's it. As far as sports. please tell me how they've won CIF and All State etc. and MOST of the athletes get into a JC! They are not helpful, if you want to get something done you have to do it yourself. And why is it that if its such a great institution, not a lot of students are getting into 4-year colleges. Most of them get into El Camino and other local JC's, you see more of Serra students in Ca.State Dominguez...think twice before rating this school with a 5.
—Submitted by a student

Posted October 16, 2009

Serra is pure excellence. I can say that I completely hated it my first two years attending the school but now I couldn't imagine having gone to another school. We've had the chance to have our students go to Lourdes, in Europe and a huge trip to France as well. We've gotten the chances to speak with the top uc school representitives on a one on one level and we achieve a 100% college acceptance every year. Sports at our school is amazing. Last year almost every team went undefeated and got to go to places like Idaho and Vegas to play. This year when the question was asked of my entire senior class, who would have rather gone to another school only two hands were raised.
—Submitted by a student

Posted December 4, 2008

this school is not one i recommend to many students to attend, if your looking for great sport teams this is defiantly the wrong choice!, none of there school sport teams get past the first round of most championships! This school also fails to take care of student problems!!! most students face constant drama entering this school ! on top of that there teachers don't really give much help to students!

Posted November 7, 2008

My son attended under Father Pilato's administration from 2000-2005. I truly cannot say enough about the faculty, support staff and counselors. The school afforded my son an academically-challenging and well-rounded high school experience. There was a real family atmosphere there which nurtured my son and his classmates. Thanks to Serra my son was accepted at a top-rated local university and is graduating next year. What was also instilled in Serra students was a responsibility to give back to the community and to others. My son has done just that becoming heavily involved in outreach to at-risk youth and mentoring them so they will be college-eligible.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted July 21, 2008

I have been at Serra H. S. only twice, and I am already enchanted with it for many reason among them: the beautiful and clean school with the beautiful paintings, chapel and Our Lady's home, the warm welcome by administrators, Father Pilato, the staff, teachers, and students, the family atmosphere, the peace and the spirituality surrounds the campus, ETC. To my understanding Father Pilato, the new superintendent of the Catholic Schools during his years as a Principal has increased the faith of his community and has inspired students to become successful. Mr. Ruvalcaba, the new principal, is following his steps very closely, the few time I have spoken with him he talks as Jesus did with dedication and faith to his school. Mrs. Anderson is a great example of an exemplary woman of faith; she teaches religion. This is a great school.
—Submitted by a teacher

Posted May 2, 2008

Serra High School Is the best Catholic high school in LA Archdiocese. The school allows the students to have a classic high school experience while preparing them to enter the nation's best college. Serra provides it's students with a great learning environment and opportunity to grow spiritually. I am a proud alumni and I would not have wanted to spend four years anyhwere else. Serra High School truly prepared me to attend a four year university.
—Submitted by a student

Posted March 15, 2008

i love the school and everything about it and in it but the uniforms...they need to let the kids have freedom...but its an (A) school to me....=]
—Submitted by a student

Posted October 16, 2007

Junipero Serra high school is not a school I recommmend. The school does have an excellent athletic dept. but the teachers are lacking effort and are not motivating the students. I'm thinking of removing my daughter from this school. A lot of the students do not get along and issues are not being taken care of.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted August 21, 2007

Serra has an excellent math department and a great girls athletic department also. The parent involvement is great and the kids get along very well.

Posted February 24, 2004

Serra High's winning formula is high standards, uncompromising academics, coupled with a highly-motivated and talented student body, dedicated teachers and administrators plus committed parents. It's one of the top schools in the LA Catholic Archdiocese. No wonder the enrollment in 2003/04 is at an all-time high!
—Submitted by a parent

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The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.

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Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
Black 68% 6%
Hispanic 22% 52%
Two or more races 4% 3%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 3% 1%
Asian or Pacific Islander 1% 11%
White 1% 26%
American Indian/Alaska Native 0% 1%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

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  • Computer lab
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School basics

School Leader's name
  • Dr. Christian De Larkin
  • Coed
  • Roman catholic
  • NAIS
  • NCEA


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  • Religious


School facilities
  • Computer lab
  • Library
Partnerships with local resources and organizations
  • Archdiocese of Los Angeles
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14830 South Van Ness Avenue
Gardena, CA 90249
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Phone: (310) 324-6675


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