Volume 22 · Issue 14 · December 8, 2016


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In This Issue
A Message from Our President
Advent Retreat
Santa Grams!!!
In-N-Out® News
Tuition Assistance Luncheon
Student Store News
Santa's Secret Christmas Shop
Scrip News
Semi Annual Tuition and iPad Program Program Direct Debit (EFT) Reminder
After School Computer Science Class
Community Programs of Interest
Living Our Faith


 Prayer Partners &

Prayer Requests


Please CLICK HERE for more information about Outreach Ministries.

Parish Connections Update
CLICK HERE to view this month's Parish events.
Weekly Rosary
Please join us for  our weekly, Friday morning Rosary.   CLICK HERE for more information.

Please  CLICK HERE  to view the many volunteer opportunities that are available here at Serra Catholic
A Message From Our President

If we are looking for PEACE, we truly don't have to look any further than our faith in the birth of Jesus, the son of God. Advent reminds us that he is our PEACE and our HOPE each and every day.  Don't look too far, Jesus is in  your heart.
SJSC Staffing Announcements
There are many staff members who impact the daily life of your children and the overall success of St. Serra Catholic School.  There are some changes in staffing we would like to announce today:
We say goodbye to:
  • Mrs. Dina Leland, Assistant Principal for Curriculum: Mrs. Leland has dedicated over 17 years as teacher, Learning Support Director and Assistant Principal. Her dedication to student success has been such a gift to our children. Mrs. Leland leaves us on December 16 to move to Nevada with her husband. Mrs. Leland's administrative responsibilities will be assumed by our Education Team. The teacher assuming her instructional responsibilities will have the opportunity to meet the students next week.
  • Mrs. Gloria Clifton, Business Manager: Mrs Clifton has dedicated 21 years of service to St. Serra, working with our families in tuition, fundraising, parent hours, scrip, budget preparations and so much more as our Business Manager. Mrs. Clifton will end her ministry here at St. Serra on December 16 to spend more time with her family. As the Business Office undergoes some restructuring, her responsibilities will be reallocated.
Mr. Corey Overton, Assistant Principal for Discipline and Student Services is on leave until January 9.  His assistant, Mrs. Enyeart, can either help you or direct you to the appropriate administrator to address your needs.

Extended Maternity Leave, Mrs. Vanessa Modry, Tk-4 Spanish teacher
Mrs. Modry has requested to extend her maternity leave until the end of the year to care for her little baby girl.  We are here to support Mrs. Modry and look forward to her return next school year.  Mr. Cris Gomez will stay on as Spanish teacher for the remainder of the school year.
Interactive Advent Calendar 
A big thank you to Ms. Beth Thomas for preparing and keeping current our 3rd annual Advent Calendar. As we prepare for the Birth of Jesus, please enjoy the Advent Season through the eyes of our St. Serra students by CLICKING HERE to view this beautiful Advent Calendar. The calendar can also be found on our website under the Quicklinks. 
2016-2017 Service Hours Parent Portal Launch Effective Today!
Recording and tracking of family volunteer hours performed between 5/1/16 and 4/30/17
Thank you for your patience during the delayed launch of this year's Service Hours Parent Portal. We are happy to announce that the 2016-2017 Service Hours Parent Portal will be activated this evening. Families may begin recording their regular service hours performed between 5/1/16 through 4/30/17. Important! Please refer to your family's Service Hours Instruction Card enclosed in today's Weekly Envelope for access instructions and login credentials.
CLICK HERE to access the 2016-2017 Service Hours Parent Portal or go to the school website at Click on the homepage Quicklinks symbol and select Record Service Hours link or CLICK HERE to be taken directly to the portal. Please note to check back as the portal will be activated this evening.
Advent Food for Friends TOMORROW  Friday, December 9
At St. Junipero Serra Catholic School, we believe that in a society marred by deepening divisions between rich and poor, the needs of the poor and vulnerable must be put first. 

Thank you all for your continued support of our monthly food drives. Tomorrow  will be our final drive supporting our St. Kilian parish for 2016. This food pantry is in need of many basic items (see the flyer attached to the food bag sent home with your child) . However, any contribution you can offer will be greatly appreciated. Your generous contributions feed hungry men, women, and children within our communities. What seems like a small amount can truly help a family in need. What a beautiful way to celebrate the Advent Season by continuing to sacrifice a little for others in need and by living the Gospel teachings of Jesus.
"If you can't feed 100 people......first feed just one" Saint Teresa of Calcutta

God is Good...All the Time.
Christ's Blessings,

Angeline Trudell


"Be brave, take heart, all who put their HOPE in the Lord." - Psalm 31:24

Principals' Corner
Mrs. Carol Reiss, Principal, Preschool - Grade 2 &  Mrs. Julie Tipton, Principal, Grades 3-8
Christmas Concert Information

This year's remaining Christmas performances will all be held in the Muzzy Family Student Activity Center on the following dates:

  • TK, Kindergarten, and Grade 1 - Tomorrow, Friday, December 9 at
    10:00 a.m.
  • Preschool - Thursday, December 15 at 11:00 a.m. 
All students should wear their Christmas best! 
We ask that you please abide by the SJSC uniform dress code.  
  • Nice dresses, skirts, or dress pants for girls
  • Nice pants and dress shirts for boys; ties are optional
  • Christmas accessories should be kept to a minimum
  • No shorts, jeans, or open-toe shoes
Dismissal of students:  
In order to safely dismiss students at the conclusion of the concert, the students will return to their choir or home rooms following the performance. Parents please remain seated until students have exited the SAC. Mrs. Reiss will then invite parents to pick up their children from the classrooms.

Parents are invited to join us for refreshments, provided by our PTO, in the homeroom classrooms after both the TK - Grade 1 and the Preschool concerts.

Parking Grades TK/K/1
Inner Road: Enter the main parking lot from Banderas via the road near Kindergarten. There will be no access off of Antonio. The Banderas entrance will be marked with a cone/flashing light and a staff member in a reflective vest. Please watch for them and follow their direction.

Neighborhood:  We DO have Permit Parking on this day so you may park in the adjoining neighborhood, but as always, we ask you to please be respectful of our neighbors.

Memorial Care Parking Lot: NO PARKING in the Memorial Care lot as they will be open for business and need the spaces for their staff and patients. 

Preschool Parking  
Inner Road:   Enter the main parking lot from Banderas via the road near Kindergarten. There will be no access off of Antonio. The Banderas entrance will be marked with a cone/flashing light and a staff member in a reflective vest. Please watch for them and follow their direction. 

Neighborhood: We DO NOT have an exemption to the Permit Parking Program on this day, but you are free to park in the neighborhood beginning at 9:00 a.m.
Memorial Care Parking Lot: NO PARKING in the Memorial Care lot as they will be open for business and need the spaces for their staff and patients. 

Christmas Accessories in December
Students are invited to show their holiday spirit by wearing Christmas accessories  ONLY  on the day their grade will be hosting their Christmas party/celebration. Just what are Christmas accessories? Christmas accessories represent the 'flavor' of the holiday season with Snowmen, Angels, Santa Claus, and Reindeer.

Parents are asked to help their children select the appropriate, joyful accessories to wear, using the following guidelines:
  • Students must wear uniform bottoms including belt, if appropriate. (if they have PE, then they must wear their PE shorts)
  • All students must wear shoes that meet the school's dress code.
  • Christmas and Holiday-themed shirts/sweatshirts and socks
  • Christmas and Holiday-themed earrings, bracelets, headbands, bows, ribbons, and rings
  • Christmas and Holiday-themed hats which may have to be removed while in class
  • Wear any make-up (other than that which is outlined in the Parent Handbook for students in the Eighth Grade)
  • Have hair that is dyed, colored, tinted, bleached, and/or painted any color, not even to go with the Holiday season.
You may find the dates of the Christmas parties/celebrations for the various grades on the parent calendar on the website. All parties/celebrations take place the week of December 12.
Parenting in a Digital World Presentation

Cyber Safety, Threats & Solutions

The faculty and staff of SJSC understand the challenges you and your children face in today's digital world. To help support you, we offer an important presentation Parenting in a Digital World. This is a 2-hour cyber safety seminar that will prepare parents to effectively supervise their child on social media sites and protect them from online threats. The class explains the current technology and applications children are using to access the Internet and social media networks. Cyber-bullying and other online threats are defined with current trends and real world examples that Clay Cranford has investigated in schools. Participants will be given tools and an action plan that they can immediately begin using to help keep their children safe online. Participants will receive an Internet Safety Contract and the Cyber Safety Checklist. This class is for parents ONLY. Children are not permitted. Please check today's Weekly Envelope for a flyer with more details. Y ou may also view the flyer by  CLICKING HEREClay Cranford's book, Parenting in a Digital World, will be available for sale at the event. $20.00 (cash or credit card)

Please join us on December 12, 2016, at 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. in the Student Activity Center for this very important and informative presentation. 
Have you Considered Your End of Year Giving?
As we move into 2017 and the inauguration of our 45th President, charitable giving and the tax benefits associated with it are not guaranteed at their current levels.  The initial Trump tax plan could include capping itemized deductions for both individuals and couples in future years.

In order to take advantage of the current charitable giving tax benefits, we humbly ask you to pray about a year-end gift to support St. Junipero Serra Catholic School or consider including the school in your planned giving decisions.

Thinking about how to direct your gifts?  Here are a few ideas. 
  • An Annual Fund gift directly impacts the educational experience of every Serra student and keeps us SerraStrong. This year's Annual Fund gifts will help fund upgraded science lab furniture and equipment in the middle school, and additional 3D printers.    
  • The Tuition Assistance Fund helps provide a Catholic education here at SJSC for those who rely on financial assistance to come to begin or continue their St. Serra Catholic education.  
  • A donation to our Miracle Blossoms Campaign will support Phase 4 of our master plan building project - an opportunity for us to finalize our campus. You can even earmark your gift directly to the Chapel Fund.

We are so grateful for the generosity of this community and thank you in advance for your year-end donation.  If you have questions, please contact Gina Kerley, Vice President of Advancement  at x171 or .
Advent Retreat at SJSC with  Immaculée Ilibagiza 
December 9 & 10

Would you like a little spiritual "pick me up" this Advent?  St. Junipero Serra Catholic School will be hosting a very special retreat this Advent Season. Our guest speaker will be world renowned Immaculee Ilibagiza, the Rwandan genocide survivor who will speak on Forgiveness & Hope. This retreat will be held in the Student Activity Center beginning the evening of  Dec.9 at 5 p.m.  and will then continue the morning of  Dec.10  with mass at  8:30 a.m.  and ongoing testimony from Immaculee concluding at  12:30 pm . Ilibagiza's entire family, except for one brother, was killed during the genocide in the 1990's when members of the Hutu militia slaughtered about one million Tutsis - Ilibagiza's tribe. llibagiza survived for 91 days with seven other women in a 4-by-3-foot bathroom in the home of a local pastor. She chronicled the experience in her first book "Left to Tell," which sold more than a million copies. She tells a very compelling story of love for our Blessed Mother. We hope you will join us for this amazing experience.   CLICK HERE  to register and for more information. 
Extended Care News

There is NO AFTERNOON Preschool or TK - Grade 8 Extended Care on 
Friday, December 16 . This is a minimum day and the last day of school before Christmas Break. Extended Care will be open the morning of  December 16 . Please plan accordingly!
Santa Gram
LAST CHANCE to order Santa Grams!

Student Council is now selling Santa Grams on the Student Council web page.

Your LAST CHANCE to order Santa Grams is TOMORROW Friday, December 9.
  • Santa Grams are $1 each and include a peppermint candy cane as well as a personalized message. If you do not wish to give candy, but would like to give a note, please indicate "no candy" on the back of your order form.
  • You may pay with cash or check (payable to St. Junipero Serra Catholic).
  • All printed forms and payment are to be turned into the School Office with attention to "Santa Grams".
  • Santa Grams will be delivered to classrooms the week of December 12.  We cannot accommodate individual requests for delivery dates/times.
Adopt-A-Family Advent Program
All Gifts Due by 8:00 a.m. Monday, December 12

This is your final "call to action" for the 2016 ADOPT-A-FAMILY ADVENT PROGRAM !  For those who have already contributed, we would like to personally thank you for your donations. Your gifts will make Christmas possible for more than 200 people who will be eternally grateful for your display of God's love and compassion.

We will be collecting all wrapped gifts from the classrooms on Monday morning at 8:00 a.m. and delivering them to Catholic Charities later that morning.  Please contact your room parent to find out what last minute items might be needed for your classroom's family.  If you have any questions, please contact Adopt-a-Family Event Chair, Carol Lawson, at . Thank you in advance for your support !
In-N-Out® Ordering is Now Open!
Month of January and Annual (Jan - May) Orders
Monthly ordering for January is now open. In January, In-N-Out ® lunch will be served on Thursday, January 12, 19, and 26.  This will also be your last chance to place the Annual In-N-Out order for the remainder of the school year(January - May) All In-N-Out® ordering will close on  Friday, December 16.

Please note the early close date due to the Christmas break.  In-N-Out® will not be served on Thursday, January  5, so please plan accordingly.  CLICK HERE to visit our In-N-Out® page to place your order.

As previously announced, there will be NO In-N-Out® lunches during the month of December.
Tuition Assistance Luncheon
 January 29, 
after Open House
 12:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Early Bird Registration ends tomorrow night
Friday, December 9
$80 per person
Reserve your seat today!
Don't Forget to Order Your 2017 Yearbook!

Yearbooks can only be purchased online and now cost $58. To place your order(s):
  • Go to 
  • Click on "BUY YOUR YEARBOOK"
  • Enter "St. Junipero Serra Catholic School - RSM" from the drop-down menu
  • Click on "Yearbook"
  • Add Recipient's Name (Student's Name) Student's Last Name, Grade, Homeroom, Recipient's E-mail (would be your own and not the student's e-mail address). If you have a TK student, please select Kindergarten as the grade and indicate TK as the homeroom.
Note: to place multiple yearbook orders, you will have to click on the "Continue Shopping" button to add additional forms to complete for each student's yearbook order you would like to place.

Don't Miss Out! Next Deadline is January 8 for Dedication Ads
Final deadline is Sunday, February 5. 
Yearbook ads are a great way for parents, families, and friends to commemorate student achievements and important milestones.
Have lots of photos and unsure of how to organize them in an ad?

Never designed an ad before and not sure where to start?
Dedication ads are digital with online templates and easy submission to help you design a lasting recognition for your family!

Shout-Out Ads are Back Again!   
Is your  child celebrating their first Holy Communion? Graduating from 
Kin de rgarten? Want to send a special message to your child's teacher? The possibilities are endless!
Let everyone know how proud you are of your student with a Shout-Out Ad -- a unique way to show the special Serra Bear in your family how amazing they are...straight from your heart and into the yearbook. 

For more information on how you can design, preview and pay for your Dedication or Shout-Out ad online, please  CLICK HERE.
CLICK HERE for more information on St. Junipero Serra Catholic School's Yearbook Ad Guidelines and   Frequently Asked Questions
For more information, please contact Cindy Kennedy, Communications Director at
Student Store News

REMINDER Our Student Store will be closed, starting Monday, December 12 through January 3 for year-end inventory. We will reopen Wed., January 4.
Santa's Secret Christmas Shop 2016
Thank you for your support!
The St. Junipero Serra PTO would like to thank Carrie Mulvee, our 2017 Santa Secret Christmas Shop Chair, and Kathy Bonin, the PTO VP of Santa's Secret Christmas Shop. Their dedication, vision and hard work transformed this year's SSCS into a winter wonderland for all of our students (and parents) to enjoy. We would like to extend a very special THANK YOU to our Lead Finance Chair, Kathy Kenner, for keeping the committee on track and within budget, and to President Trudell, for her non-stop support in keeping SSCS alive this year!

In addition we would like to thank these hard working and dedicated Committee Chairs:

Amy Diaz - Volunteer Coordinator
Grace Ghelfi - Inventory Lead
Amie Bianchini and Carrie Mulvee - Decorations
Shannon McGuire - Event Check Processing
Joan Younkin - Flyer Preparation
A HUGE THANK YOU to our MANY parent volunteers who gave the give of their time and talents. Thank you to all teachers and staff who accommodated us and kept us on schedule. 

We wish EVERYONE a very Blessed and Merry Christmas!
Save the Date!!
Wednesday, January 11, 2017
9:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

Please invite a friend and join us at the All Parent PTO Meeting, January 11 in the SAC! All are invited to join the St. Serra PTO Board, Mrs. Trudell, Mrs. Reiss, Mrs. Tipton, the Assistant Principals and School Vice Presidents for a morning of fellowship, SJSC event information, and light hospitality. Mr. Rich Meyer, Headmaster at JSerra High School, will speak on parenting topics and there will be an open forum for Q&A with all in attendance.
Be sure to mark your calendars for the final All Parent PTO Meeting on May 3, 2017.

Parish Happenings for December 2016 -
News on upcoming events at our Parishes...  Read More
Rooted in Faith
Saturday, May 20, 2017
Newport Beach Marriott Hotel & Spa
"Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies." - Saint Teresa of Calcutta
The 22nd annual Anchor Ball will be held on Saturday, May 20, 2017, at the beautiful Newport Beach Marriott Resort and Spa. Meredith Giraudi, PTO VP Anchor Ball, and our Anchor Ball Event Chairs Mary Broomfield, Sarah Doyle, Gabrielle Peloquin, and Aimee Stevenson are excited to announce our 2017 theme: Rooted in Faith
. Hotel reservations available now! Volunteers Needed!

New Gift Gathering Social invitations coming soon! Invitations will be sent to your primary e-mail address on file here at St. Serra. 
Day of Prayer and Solidarity with Families of Immigrants
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has called for December 12, 2016, the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, to be a Day Of Prayer And Solidarity With Families Of Immigrants. It will be a time to place before a merciful God the hopes, fears, and needs of all those families who have come to the U.S. seeking a better life. CLICK HERE to read more about this important opportunity for solidarity during the Advent season. 
Scrip News

Virtual and Reloadable Cards available online, year-round
As a reminder, our 2 online programs are a great tool to keep earning rebates during this time as they offer e-cards and online shopping.  Please contact us on or before Friday, December 16 to set your account so you will be able to shop and earn rebates over the Christmas Break.  Account activation is immediate on, and 2-3 days on  Please email Tina Maroutian, Scrip Coordinator, at
Monday, December 12 - NO WEEKLY ORDER
Regular Weekly Orders will resume on Monday, January 9. 
PRESTOPAY PHYSICAL CARD Orders placed on after 7:30 a.m. Monday, December 5 will be processed on Monday, January 9 and available for pick up on Thursday, January 12.
Wednesday, December 14 (Final Daily order before Christmas Break)
Daily Box Sales will continue through Friday, December 16 from 7:40 to 8:30 a.m. and will be limited to inventory on hand.
Tutto Fresco - Currently Unavailable
For questions, contact Tina Maroutian, Scrip Coordinator at tmaroutian@
2016-2017 Semi-Annual Tuition and iPad Program Direct Debit (EFT) Reminder
TK-8 iPad Program Semi-Annual Direct Debit (EFT) Deduction Schedule: December 20.
Semi-Annual 1:1 iPad Program Direct Debit (EFT) deductions are scheduled for December 20 or as designated on your 2016-2017 Direct Debit (EFT) authorization.
EFT Banking Information Record Changes (Due by Thursday, December 15)
Please note that ALL EFT record changes require a minimum five (5) business days' notice to the Business Office.   CLICK HERE   for Preschool - Grade 8 EFT Record Change Authorization Form for banking information changes.  
CLICK HERE   for Grades TK-8 rates. 
For questions, please contact Dana Hardenburgh, Senior Accountant at  or extension 181.
After School Computer Science Class
Come and learn the basics of computer programming using Scratch!

Next session choose between two themes: Sports or Animation
Dates:  January 23 - February 16, 2017
Mondays & Thursdays,  2:45-4:00 p.m. in the PEB tech lab.

CLICK HERE for more information and to sign up. If you have any questions, please contact Ms. Thomas at
Community Programs of Interest

JSerra Christmas Orchestra Concert
Saturday, December 10, 2:00 p.m.
Mariners Church, Ocean Hills

Join us on Saturday, December 10 for a wonderful show put on by the JSerra Orchestra Department. CLICK HERE to reserve your spot.

JSerra Christmas Choral Concert "Oh Holy Night"
Friday, December 16, 2016, 7:30 p.m. 
Mission Basilica, San Juan Capistrano 

Please join us for an evening of Heavenly voices raised in Heavenly song.  General Admission is free. For limited reserved VIP seating  CLICK HERE.