Football is what it's all about. Football players have priority over using the weight room and getting the extra conditioning workouts. All other sports force parents to raise money for FOOTBALL. After the thousands you pay to attend, more thousands to just join a sport, they still hound you for donations year-round. Academics are good but some teachers lack experience. Get ready to spend $20k at least. Some teachers even complain that the kids are so spoiled, if their parents call to complain, the kids gets away with whatever they did. Barely any volunteering spirit in student body. They're in need of more spiritual guidance, a stronger presence in that arena. A lot of drug problems, too much money. Happens everywhere, yes, but this comes from adult comments and my daughter and what she sees and hears. They have international students just for the money, they charge them so much, no one else can afford that kind of $. These foreign kids are spoiled, entitled, very elitist and set a horrible example with cheating and driving without permits (we've hosted a few - never again). The school won't kick them out because of the amount of money they bring in. International dept. is bringing down JSerra's high academic reputation. JS has a long way to go but in general not too bad. Don't know if I want my other 3 kids growing up with such wealth and entitlement around them. Try Mater Dei.
Two of my children graduated from Jserra and I can not say enough wonderful things about it! The AP classes were taught by teachers who truly cared about each students AP exam. They stayed late at night leading study groups and preparing them, it was really amazing. The AP Euro teacher was so superb, I think almost everyone received a four or five on the exam. All the other teachers were equally caring and compassionate. The student body and parents are a community with different talents, temperaments and convictions. Both of my kids had amazing friends! The school really attracts kind people. I know my two older kids would never both be at top 20 universities if it were not for Jserra.
I have one graduate from this school, and two children currently attending JSerra. I knew when I attended back-to-school night for my oldest 6 years ago, that she would get a good education because the teachers seemed enthusiastic and caring. My instincts were correct. Just like life, no school is perfect but my children have received great academic and value-oriented educations. Teachers are very caring and responsive to parents and children's needs.
Tons of people are saying that JSerra inflates their grades. I must be stupid then, if I'm failing Geometry. At any rate, the teachers here actually care about their students, unlike a few *other* schools I could mention. I'm not naming names, but most schools out there don't really care. Okay, sure, it's ridiculously expensive and hard times are going on, but it's so completely worth it. Some people just like to hate on schools for no reason, and I really can't understand it. I'm a freshman, and I've only been at JSerra for a few months, but the teachers have already began to help me shape who I am. JSerra is a wonderful school regardless of what others choose to say about it. And for the record, if they were inflating grades, I would have an A+ in every subject, which, sadly, I do not. So, there. JSerra is amazing.
I am currently a sophomore at JSerra Catholic High School, and it has been the greatest blessing of my life. It is the best school for a faithful Catholic who prefers a rigorous set of courses, a great athletic program and spiritual guidance. The priests here are the best of the best, and are amazing teachers (I'm upset that they won't be teaching next year, but very happy that they'll still offer spiritual guidance). The rest of the teaching staff is amazing as well, and they thoroughly comprehend their subjects and give great aid. This is a school that I want to get up in the morning to go to, because it's really an all-in-one package with great athletics, rigorous academics, spiritual guidance, and a friendly environment. It's not the school for everybody, but it's the perfect school for a person like me. I have only benefitted from going here, and the only disadvantage is the heavy price tag, but the school does offer plenty of financial aid. I love JSerra! I'd send my kids here.
The grade inflation here is insane. I was a former student at JSerra, but I now attend Aliso Niguel in the Capistrano Unified District. JSerra's curriculum, rigor, and academics are much easier compared to my current classes at public school. My public school courses go much more in depth, and tests are weighed much more heavily, especially in mathematics. While I JSerra, I easily maintained a 4.0+, however, since transferring to Aliso, my GPA has dropped significantly. They keep the parents happy by inflating grades and handing out easy A's, and the teachers and students at the school are all aware of this. JSerra graduates, for the most part, attend expensive private colleges like the mother below stated.
For students who choose to take the challenge of AP classes, the academics are rigorous but if you're not in the honors/AP classes it is difficult to fail at this school. On parent review accuses the school of giving easy grades which is untrue. We've had our children attending the local public high schools as well as this school and they are no different. Like most schools we've come across in the US, grades are given in the 'normal' classroom more on homework and attendance. You can fail your tests and still pass a class. It is not this school - it is the US education system. This school has many dedicated teachers and an excellent counseling /administrative staff who care about their students and go the extra mile to make sure students needs are being met. You only need to ask! The school also stresses the importance of community and helping others. They strive to help provide financial aid to those students interested in attending who may not have the means. We have been very pleased with this school compared to the local public high schools are others attended.
This school has very weak academics. Many teachers are not highly educated in their fields, and it shows in the watered down curriculum. But, they keep the parents happy by handing out easy A's. The sad thing is they are shortchanging students who will not be able to make it in an academically challenging university. Maybe that's why lots of J. Serra grads go on the overpriced, private schools with no serious academic reputations.