Fairness does not exist at this school. The Polynesian favoritism is ridiculous. Unless your family is donating serious monies, or your child is getting his education paid for, your child will be a second class citizen.
As a parent of a Serra student, I am very disappointed with many things about my child's experience. Politics are everywhere, but they are extreme here. The academic climate should be stronger, but too many kids, for the sake of sports (namely football), are admitted that do not merit admission. There is a reason that so many Polynesians are at Serra.....many don't merit admission at the other private schools that value education first (as they should). Parents, in my honest opinion, I strongly suggest that you consider elsewhere for your child. This place has done nothing but destroy my child's perception of himself.
Serra is the place that made me who I am today. If I end up raising boys in san mateo county they will all go to Serra. Sports are great at serra, but it also has a great AP and honros programs. I was in a few AP classes and they push you intellectually but not to the point of breaking like some schools (SI). Most importantly I learned life skills that are more valuable than any academics.
We sent our 3rd son to Serra and wish we'd sent the other two. The oldest attended another all boys school in San Jose and our brilliant middle attended a rigorous public high school on the mid peninsula where he as neither challenged or held to a higher work ethic. # 3 is neither an athlete or a huge honors student, but he still is getting the attention he needs and the school is very proactive about communicating their high academic expectations in a supportive way. In the last four years, Serra has worked very hard to up its academic game and frankly it's nice to be at a school where family wealth and who is flying in a private jet are not the primary topics among the students, teachers and administrators. Our neighbor had the choice of attending any of the private high schools on the peninsula and San Jose and he chose Serra because he thought the kids were the most down to earth. And believe you me, he is challenged in his honors classes. Don't listen to the naysayers. Check it out yourself.
If you are not an athlete on the Football, Baseball or Basketball team or they haven't decided you are an Honors student you will be treated like a second class student. The parents are really cliquish. If you are not in the "in crowd" you will be ignored.
The Good: Serra has a committed athletics program to the big booster sports and a loyal following. Now for the bad - Serra's academics are sub-par. I've sent a few of my boys through this school and it's changed. They are helping me write this review as it's gotten really bad at Serra. First of all, they are about a decade behind in technology. Have you seen their computer lab? One-to-one devices? They are lagging behind even the public schools let alone private schools. Their leadership administration is stuck in the past in their old ways. Michael Peterson cared about the growth of the school even if he himself was old school. But the new Dean Strange and the principal Thornton are all talk, all politician, and no substance from my time spent talking with them. I talked to a few teachers and they are MAD at these folks. I have a few friends who have taught and coached my sons and they all say that it's not a great place to work under these clowns. Now, boys are taking video up teacher's skirts here? No respect for Serra anymore. I transferred my son to a public school....he said it's much tougher academically! Don't overpay for Serra anymore....it's just not worth it.
Excellent high school! I received a great education here and grew as a young man. Everything they offer - academics, campus ministry, athletics, etc. - was top notch. I am a proud Serra alumnus and I recommend it to everyone who has boys considering Catholic high school.