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Junipero Serra High School5
Posted December 05, 2013
- a parent
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.
The overall quality is not too bad, teachers are rather friends. But it might not be a prior choice for students who are strong in academic. Over restricting students for possibly lowered pass rate. Required "elective" courses waste a lot of time. However, it's also a place to learn time management and improve self-study skills for students who are really self-motived. The rate is for course-selecting system.
The tuition is an incredible amount of money for the academic and extra-curricular experience Serra provides. Local public school provide a better academic experience. The athletics programs appear to be driven by deep pockets and alumni connections rather than on each student's skills and talents. Looking forward to having my child move back to the public school system.
Excellent high school which has a fantastic Academic Resource Center for those boys who have been diagnosed with learning differences. The boys are taught to advocate for themselves and are given accommodations to level the playing field. The most common learning difference is dyslexia. While having dealt with the horror of the public schools which sweep everything under the rug, Serra actually tries to help all students be successful. I give them an A+ for helping the LD students. I would highly recommend this school to any parent of a child with language based learning differences.
Junipero Serra High school is a one stop education investment for your children. Excellent academic standards; combined with unequaled arts, music and sports program; and backed by strong faith and spiritual foundation. From the principal to the maintenance staff, the discipline and care for children are astounding. A school that supports the less privileged, but deserving students. I am very glad that our family is a part of this community.