As an alumnus, I had a great experience at Serra from kindergarten to 8th grade. From 1st-8th grade, I was in the highest math and reading classes (now "advanced plus") and learned from some great teachers. It was a bit sad leaving the school I had called my home for the past 9 years, but many fellow alumni and I believe that we graduated at the right time.
Serra's middle school has only gone downhill since we left.
Ever since we graduated, most of the teachers who had taught us so much have left the school. Even some of the leadership has changed, and not with positive responses. A notable number of middle-schoolers did not return this year, and I am aware of families who plan to leave in coming years.
The leadership has recently changed the requirements to be placed in the advanced plus classes, allowing many students unable to keep up with the rigor to join the class. Even while I was there, the minimum grades needed to receive principal's honor roll and honor roll awards were lowered. The changes in these requirements is due to the leadership trying to appease parents complaining that their children have to be in the highest classes with the highest honors.
The sizes of the advanced-plus classes have doubled, ruining the whole point in having a small class to let those children develop their talents beyond the standards of a normal advanced class. This year, the middle school advanced-plus math classes have been held back by the large number of new students let in by the lowered requirements. The students who took these classes last year have not learned anything new and have repeated the EXACT SAME lessons they learned last year, just so the new students can catch up. This whole situation has been frustrating for both parents and students alike.
Another disappointment I experienced at Serra is the science curriculum. I went into high school science with less knowledge than other students, including those from public schools. I also agree with other reviews about the emphasis on money. Despite these shortcomings, I do believe that Serra provides a great Catholic education. To sum up my review, Serra is a great school for creating an early foundation in the Catholic faith, but inadequate for the advanced student who desires to learn at an accelerated level.
The best way for me to describe this school is that it is like it's own Island. "The island of the elitist kids"! The kids are cruel and rude. Faith based is an understatement. The parents are trying to be as popular as the kids! There are way to many cliques, and there is no teacher supervision when the kids need it the most. The parents have to monitor the kids far too much which is a joke in itself. If you want your kid to grow up not caring about others, talking back, bulling, selfish and mean then this place is for you! Don't get me started on how incompetent the teachers are! You will know more then you want about their personal lives! Oh, and bring your checkbook, you'll need it!!!!
This school has been a blessing. I respect everybody's feedback about their experience, however you would have to go thru the a past experience we went thru, to value what a gem this school is. It checks on everything: 1) academics,2) caring community,3) Catholic values, 4) diversity,5)tolerance, 6) Acceptance,7) Good curriculum for students and many classes for those who are ahead, as well as those who are struggling. Yes, there are areas for improvement, no doubt, but here is a honest willingness to address those areas. I thought I would be in this school for a couple of years, due to how far from our house it is, but now realize this is HOME. Well done to the President, a well run business, with focus on academics and community. Bravo Serra! we are blessed to be part of this community
Left the school based on Bad leadership and loss of ethical priorities. The school is very miss guided as far as teacher children proper values in life. The current leadership is cares more about fun raising than good teaching. Many of the classes are now behind our local Public school. Bullying is very common and not dealt with as many of the bullies are the children of the biggest fundraisers.
Coming from a student that attending here for 1 1/2 years, I do not reccomend this school. I come out of the blue into the middle of the year. It was not very challenging because the teachers didn't really care about me because I just came and the year was close to ending. Then 5th grade came and I was excited but HIGHLY disappointed when the kids surprised me and suddenly became mean, selfish, rude, immature, and very into cliques. The teachers were boring, rude, and not teaching well at all. One teacher insulted me on multiple occasions infron of the class. I was miserable and finally moved to the Bay Area but now I have moved back and I have decided not to attend this school for my two remaining years of middle school. The president of this school worries too much about raiding money and dresses very inappropriately. Also, I am prodistant (VERY close in many ways to Catholicism) and attended for the education. Every time the subject of Prodestants came up everybody would look at me in a bad way. Honestly, if you are going to start your kid from Pre Kindergarten and keep them through 8th then do it but don't have your kid come in in the middle of the year. They will be very sad.
We are very pleased with Serra Catholic School. It has provided our child with the proper experience balance of spiritual, academic, technology, social awareness, and athletic education. We fully support the school's philosophy of education through a Catholic perspective, especiailly in light of the Common Core curriculum concerns that I have. I appreciate the sense of accountability that parents, administrators, teachers & faculty, and the students all hold for one another. The sense of family commitment is reminiscient of the traditions found at Notre Dame University, and our alma mater, the University of Southern California.
My kids are at Serra at the moment, but we won't be returning next year. I have been at the school for 4 years, and I have to say this isn't the kind of environment I want for them. The school cares about money, everything revolves around money. Sure they are "Catholic", but I don't think Catholic education is their strongest value, it isn't perceived in all that they do. The school puts more importance on people who donate money, they will let you be a room parent time and time again if you give money, or be part of the PTO if you give money, but those who don't give, don't stand a chance. The same people are room parents every year, nobody else stands a chance. You have to be on the principals good side in order to be heard. It really is quite sad, we put our children there although it is a financial struggle to us...but our voice isn't heard because we don't give extra money. Although we pay $1600 a month for our kids to go there. I know my kids love the school, but they don't see the problems I see with the administration. Serra is too corporate for us. I have to say though, I have met some wonderful people there and I will miss them tons.
I first experienced Serra Catholic School as a parent in 1997, and I became a staff member in 1999. (I acknowledge that I am biased as a result of my personal and professional experience!) As a Catholic school, Serra strives to teach students to model the Catholic faith and to live in accordance with the spiritual, moral, and ethical principles exemplified by Christ. Although this was our primary reason for sending our children to Serra, it wasn't the only reason. It was also important that our children would receive an excellent education that would prepare them for high school and beyond. Serra met and exceeded our expectations in both regards! The school does an excellent job of educating students with a variety of cognitive, academic, emotional, behavioral, and physical strengths and needs by providing a variety of programs and experiences that develop the unique potential of each child. Serra offers a diversified education program, advanced plus and accommodated classes in Language Arts and Math, a thriving athletic program, and many co-curricular and extra-curricular opportunities for students. It is an ideal environment for students to learn and grow!