The teachers at this school are, for the most part, pretty good. One exception is in the math department, where it seems teachers last less than a year, and are more interested in coaching sports than teaching math. The turnover of teachers is very high, with many inexperienced teachers on staff.
The lack of school spirit clearly reflects the task-master, follow-the-crowd, vanilla mentality of the student body. If you are a sports star and/or high donor family, you will have no problem at this school. Unfortunately, the rest of us are at the mercy of the administration's questionable justice system. Bullying is a problem, with neither teachers nor coaches being properly trained to handle it. Drugs are another prevalent issue -- often used in the bathrooms on campus.
If you're considering sending your child to this school, consider this. Of the 14 teachers my student had in his two years at the school, 7 were no longer there the following year. 50%! That alone is very telling. In addition, the school is not governed by the archdiocese, so in the event of a grievance you have absolutely no recourse. I will say, the AP and Honors reachers are pretty good, but when you add in the spoiled and entitled student body (mommy & daddy fix all their problems), the questionable disciplinary practices (talking during Mass will earn you a Saturday school, which you have to pay for; using a cell phone during break results in them holding it ransom until a parent forks over $25), and athletes being allowed to behave as poorly as they wish without punishment, you have an unstable educational environment. There are FAR better options in Orange County.
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.