Volume 23 * Issue 01 * August 31, 2017
In This Issue

Stronger together... we lift each other up. We are SERRASTRONG! 
And let us consider how to lift up one another, to love and good works
- Hebrews 10:24

A Message from President Trudell

We are so thrilled to have everyone back. We understand this has been a very hot and challenging week to begin school, however the smiles of the students just brighten and make each day so very, very special!
St. Serra Hands Helping Houston
We are preparing a special giving drive to help the victims of Hurricane Harvey in Houston.  As always, we know our St. Serra community will show true generosity.  As we finalize this giving drive, please continue to pray for everyone in the Houston area.  A special email from me to describe our drive will arrive on Tuesday, 9/5.  We are going to show our love and support for those so deeply affected by Hurricane Harvey.

Mark Your Calendar For Our First School Liturgy 
Tuesday, September 12

Our first schoolwide Mass will be held at 9:30 a.m. in the Student Activity Center. We would love for you to join us for Mass and hospitality afterward with our Mass Celebrant and administration. Although only students in Grades 1-8 attend Mass, students Kindergarten - Grade 8 are required to wear their formal uniform on this day. 
Stay Connected With St. Serra!
Here's How To Stay Connected And Informed About What's Going On At St. Serra 

St. Junipero Serra Catholic School is committed to keeping our parents connected to our school through consistent, open, honest, and helpful communication tools. We continue to streamline our communication to help everyone stay connected and not be overwhelmed. 

Below are your "Keys to Communication":

SerraDIPITY- Weekly School-wide Newsletter Generated from the President's Office (You can have this sent to multiple e-mail addresses).

  • Sent out every Thursday late afternoon
  • Messages from the President and Principals
  • Covers school-wide events/fundraisers/topics

The Sunday Parent E-mail 

  • Sent out every Sunday
  • Contains grade-specific information
  • Additional PTO information
Constant Contact
  • Intermittent, topic specific
  • Immediate communications regarding safety incidents at the school and/or important clarifications
  • Reminders on major fundraisers (of which the proceeds help to keep tuition costs down)
School Messenger
  • SJSC currently subscribes to the School Messenger notification system. 
  • Text messages sent to phones are used for emergencies or important notifications only.
To receive text messages from the school, you must OPT IN; messages cannot be sent until you confirm that you wish to receive texts.

If you did not opt in last year, or are new to the school, s end the text Y or Yes to 68453 to be included in the text notifications.

All notifications from the school will be sent from the user "68453" and will begin with "From Serra".

Please note - only cell phone numbers registered with the school who opt in will receive the text notifications. If your cell phone is not registered with the school, please  CLICK HERE to complete a Change of Status form to update your family's contact information. Unfortunately, only parents and guardians may receive notifications from the school.



Download our SJSC APP on Google Play or Apple App Store for easy access to information such as the School Calendar, PTO Events & Programs, Volunteer Opportunities, Athletics Schedules, Mass Scedules, Daily Prayer and much more!

Food For Friends
"And now abide: faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity."1 Corinthians 13:13

On Friday, September 8, we will hold our first "Food for Friends" food drive for this school year. We would like to extend a prayer of gratitude to our community for successfully supporting this outreach program at St. Serra each year which benefits the food banks associated with our parishes. Your monthly contribution will continue to feed hungry men, women, and children in our communities throughout the year. Our food banks became a bit low during the summer months, so your contributions are greatly appreciated. What seems like a small amount can truly help a family in need. Not sure what to donate? Non-perishable canned goods or dry foods are welcome.
  • Canned meats, fish, soup, fruits, and vegetables
  • Pasta
  • Hot & Cold cereal
  • Macaroni & Cheese
  • Beans
  • Rice
  • Peanut butter
Food drives also strengthen our community by giving us an opportunity to live the Gospel teachings of Jesus, "Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me."
  • All food drives will be the 2nd Friday of each month
  • A food flyer will be sent home in the Family Envelope the week before
  • Please use a grocery bag from home if no bag is provided to you
Please contact Louise Valdez lvaldez@serraschool.org with any questions.  

This is an inspiration that is perfect for us to better understand the actions we could take to SHOW LOVE this year. The actions on the poster do not cost money and are not hard...they are actions that build an environment of LOVE and a community reflective of all Jesus taught us.  

God is Good All the Time...All the Time God is Good.

Mrs. Angeline Trudell
Mrs. Carol Reiss, Principal Preschool - Grade 2
Mrs. Julie Tipton, Principal Grades 3 - 8


We are looking forward to seeing all our parents at Back-to-School Night!

Back to School Night Itinerary 
5th - 8th Grade
Tuesday, September 5, 2017

* PLEASE NOTE change of time Advanced Plus  MATH & Small Group  MATH Sessions.

Schedule as follows:
5:55 p.m.         Doors to MEC Open
6:00 - 6:25       Advanced Plus ELA
Grades 7 & 8 in 7D
Grade 6 in C3-208
Grade 5 in 5A
Small Group  ELA 
Grades 6, 7 & 8 in 8D
Grade 5 in C1-113
6:15                 Homeroom Doors Open
6:25                 Parents in student's homeroom
6:30                 Mrs. Trudell and Mrs. Tipton Welcome
7:00 - 7:20       Session 1
7:20                 Parents to move to their next session
7:25 - 7:40       Session 2
7:40                 Parents to move to their next session
7:45 - 8:00       Session 3    
* 8:05 - 8:30   Advanced Plus MATH 
Grades 6, 7 & 8 in 7D 
Grade 5 in 5A
Small Group MATH
Grades 6, 7, & 8 in 8D
Grade 5 in C1-113

Back to School Night Itinerary
3rd and 4th Grade
Thursday, September 7, 2017

In order to provide the opportunity for our parents to meet more of their child(ren)'s teachers at Back-to-School Night, we have reorganized the evening. We have also condensed the meetings so our parents do not need to come early or stay late for Small Group and Advanced Plus meetings.
PLEASE NOTE change for our Small Group and ADV+

Schedule as follows:
6:15 p.m.        Homeroom Doors Open
6:25                Parents in student's homeroom
6:30                 Mrs. Trudell and Mrs. Tipton Welcome
6:55 - 7:20      Session 1 HOMEROOMS
7:20                Parents to move to their student's ELA classroom
7:25 - 7:40      Session 2 ELA PRESENTATIONS
7:40                Parents to move to their student's MATH classroom
7:45 - 8:00      Session 3 MATH PRESENTATIONS

Back-to-School Night for Grades 1 & 2 is Tuesday, Septemebr 12. 
Back-to-School night for Preschool, TK & K is Thursday, September 14
When Will Students in Grades 1 and 2 Bring iPads Home?

The students in Grades 1 and 2 will be bringing their iPads home for homework this year.  Your child's teacher will let you know when your child will begin to bring the iPad home at Back to School Night on  September 12.

Sycamore Education
All parents of students in Kindergarten through Grade Eight are encouraged to utilize Sycamore daily for ongoing information pertaining to your child's education. Please note Sycamore is used to post grades, behavior management system reports (grades 3-8), and much more. Teachers will not be posting grades until after September 6


Renaissance STAR Testing
The testing windows for the 2017-2018 school year are:
  • September 5 - September 15
  • January 16 - January 26
  • May 7 - May 18
Please see our website at Academics>Renaissance STAR Testing for testing schedules and to read more about STARâ„¢ Assessments in the Parent's Guide to STAR Assessments.

  • GRADES 5-8 must have earbuds (earphones) for testing.
  • Students grades 1-4 will be provided headphones in the technology lab
  • The Fall assessment schedule takes into account the Labor Day holiday on Monday, September 4 and our Mass celebrating the new school year on Tuesday, September 12
  • All students in Grades 2-8 will take the STAR Reading and STAR Math assessments.
  • First Grade students will take the STAR Early Literacy and Math assessment during the fall and transition to the STAR Reading and Math assessments in winter and spring.
  • Kindergarten will take the STAR Early Literacy and Math assessments in winter and spring.
  • Grades K-4 will take the STAR assessments in the Mac Lab. Grades 5-8 will take the STAR Reading assessment during their ELA class and the STAR Math assessment during their Math class.  
  • If your child will be absent on the day of the assessment, please notify his/her teacher by email so that your child can be scheduled for a makeup session.
  • Please be sure to review your child's January scores between September 16 and January 15. Please keep in mind that these assessments represent one snapshot in time and are only one measure of your student's skills at that time. 
  • Make sure your children have eaten well on test days. Studies suggest that good nutrition is related to improved attention and concentration.
  • Help your children by encouraging a good night's rest.
  • Ensure that your children make it to school on time so that they do not miss any instructions and are allowed ample time to settle in and relax before the test begins.
  • Please do not schedule dental or doctor appointments on testing days.
  • Although it is important to let students know the tests should be taken seriously, it is also important not to increase any test-taking anxiety.
Get on the Bus!
Riding the Bus Update

Once again, we have had an overwhelming response to the St. Serra Bus Program. We would like to thank our returning St. Serra bus families and welcome our new riders to the bus program. We are happy to report that two of our three buses are filled to capacity at this time for the PM routes.  There is currently PM availability on our bus to the Ladera Sports Center.  The great news is that there is still room available on all buses for the AM routes. If you are interested in riding the buses in the morning, please send an e-mail to Transportation@serraschool.org and we will forward you the necessary information to get started. If you are still interested in the PM routes for the buses that are filled at this time, and want to add your name to the wait list please notify the Transportation Team via email.  You will be notified of availability as they occur in the order in which your request was received. Details regarding locations / time / cost for the bus can be found on the school website, under the Parents Only section - Transportation Program .   Information on the daily Parent Shuttle Program can also be found below in this newsletter.

Parent Shuttle Bus Service
No parking - No problem!  

We are very excited to continue to offer a shuttle service for the second year starting on Tuesday, September 5!  
We have designated parking spaces available for St. Junipero Serra parents and guests located at the Applied Medical offices at 22931 Arroya Vista. This parking lot is located on the corner of Arroya Vista and Empresa, about one mile from campus. You may park your car at that lot and take our own SJSC school bus to campus. The designated spots will be indicated with a school sign. Please park in those designated spots only. 
The shuttle bus will run to and from campus from this parking lot continuously throughout the school day. The shuttle bus will drop you off right in front of the School Lobby.  If when you arrive at the parking lot you do not see the bus, please wait for the next shuttle. Make sure that you allow yourself enough time to take the shuttle and to sign in at the School Office before reporting to your volunteer duty, event or meeting. 

CLICK HERE for more information and for the shuttle schedule.
"Walker" Authorization Form
Required for students to leave campus unaccompanied after school

As in the past, students may not leave campus without having a written authorization form on file with the school. Per Diocesan policy, students may leave campus unaccompanied after school only under two scenarios: if a student lives within 1.5 miles of the school, or if a student is walking to the bus stop adjacent to the school on Antonio Parkway (a bus route number must be written on the form). There are no other circumstances under which a student may leave campus unsupervised at dismissal. 
The authorization forms are available on our school website at Parents>Forms and must be returned to the school for approval before a student may leave campus unsupervised at dismissal (approval may take up to three school days). Once approved, the form will be sent to the student's homeroom and they may then begin leaving campus unsupervised after school. All students must exit through the Kindergarten gate (New for 2017-2018 Construction year only ) and check out with the staff member on duty. The staff member will also give the student his/her walker pass the first time he/she leaves campus after school. If you have any questions, please e-mail Mr. Corey Overton, Assistant Principal, Student Services at coverton@serraschool.org.

Recording Service Hours 
Parent Portal 2017-2018 - Coming Soon! 

Thank you for your patience. We continue in our efforts to permanently refine our Service Hours Parent Portal. In the meantime, we ask families to please keep track of their hours performed for 2017-2018 as you will have the opportunity to record your hours once the Service Hours Parent Portal goes live.  Details on the portal activation date and login instructions will be provided in a future SerraDIPITY article. We thank you for your continued patience and service to St. Serra.

For questions, contact Francine Stotko at  fstotko@serraschool.org or ext.194.
Safe Environment Training & Fingerprinting for Volunteers

The Diocese of Orange requires that all volunteers who have contact with students at a school site: 
1. Must be fingerprinted 
2. Must complete Safe Environment training (an online training course)
Please CLICK HERE for more information on how to fulfill these requirements. 

Choir Starts Tuesday September 5!
Sign up TODAY! 
  • Tiny Trebles Choir (first grade) - Tuesdays  1:50pm-2:30pm in KD
  • Tiny Trebles Choir (second grade) - Thursdays 1:50pm-2:30pm in KC
  • Serra Singers (grades 3 & 4) - Tuesdays/Thursdays 6:50am-7:30am in Upper PEB (Evans/Rivera)
  • Serranade Choir (grades 5-8) - Tuesday/Thursday 6:50am-7:30am in 7D
  • Bellissima Handbells (grades 5-8) - Tuesdays/Thursdays 8th Period in Ms. Becerra's room
For detailed descriptions of each choir or to sign up, please visit our website at Campus Life>Choir and Handbells
2017-2018 Lunch/ Recess Service Hours Scheduling
Scheduling for Lunch Service hours is now LIVE!

CLICK HERE to sign up today using  Sign U p Genius. Online s cheduling is available until  September 30  ONLY! After this date you must contact Mrs. Chavez  rchavez@serrascool.org  / 949-888-1990 ext. 140 

Scrip News

Welcome Back St. Serra families!   Your scrip packet was sent home with your oldest child on the first day of school.   Please make sure you return the backpack waiver to facilitate returning your scrip to you. 
Ralph's Renewal and Rebate Reporting:
Participants are required to register or renew their registration every year on September 1, 2017, even if you registered as recently as June, July or August 2017.   CLICK HERE for instructions.
Rebates  for Quarter ending May 31, 2017 are now due and must be emailed to the Scrip Coordinator by September 29.  NO EXCEPTIONS WILL BE MADE FOR LATE REPORTS DUE TO RESTRICTIONS FROM RALPH'S. CLICK HERE  for instructions.
For questions, contact Tina Maroutian, Scrip Coordinator at  tmaroutian@serraschool.org

Save the Date - School Pictures
Start practicing those smiles! 

School pictures will be held the week of September 19. A detailed schedule will come out ahead of time so check your SerraDIPITY.
Would you like to help with school pictures?  Please e-mail Mr. Corey Overton, Assistant Principal Student Services at coverton@serraschool.org.
PTO logo 2013
Welcome from your PTO 

Welcome to the 2017-18 school year!  The   PARENT TEACHER ORGANIZATION(PTO) is a partnership between parents and teachers dedicated to enriching the lives of our children through their journey at St. Serra.  
Our PTO events focus on building community, providing outreach and faith enrichment to our neighbors, and raising funds to keep tuition affordable for every child that wants to experience a Catholic education. 
We encourage every parent to attend our monthly PTO Board meetings held at the San Francisco Solano Catholic Church Parish Center and to become involved with the St. Serra Community.  For the latest information on upcoming PTO events and service opportunities, visit the PTO SECTION  of the St. Serra Website or check out the new SJSC App.  Select Parents>PTO Events or Ready Set Go and find all the links at your fingertips!

Dana Maas - 
SJSC PTO President
SJSC Golf Classic 2017
Thursday, September 28, 2017
Tijeras Creek Golf Course
  • Just 29 Days away!! GOLFER REGISTRATION is open.  Gather your foursomes!
  • Consider one of our many SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES
  • Ball Drop is here! Parents and Students take a chance at winning $3,000. Amazing incentive prizes each week include Amazon, Target or iTunes gift cards.  VIEW Order form and rules.
  • We are looking for additional support on the following committees: Sponsorships, Underwriting, Silent Auction and 19th Hole Raffle.  Earn your services hours early in the school year! E-mail golfvolunteers@serraschool.org.
  • Silent Auction Donations are needed!  We are in search of sports-related items - (tickets, memorabilia); weekend getaways and other fun experiences.
Visit the GOLF CLASSIC HOMEPAGE for the latest information .  Questions?  Please contact the Golf Classic Leadership Team at golfclassic@serraschool.org .
2017 Harvest Festival
Sunday, October 29, 2017
11:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Start planning your day of fun now by checking out the following:
  • Underwriting Opportunities - We encourage you to help us make this day a success through your generous donations and in return we offer some amazing benefits such as FRONT OF THE LINE PASSES, RESERVED E-Z UPS and more! 
  • T-Shirts - Shirts are on sale now ($15.00 each) through the Online Student Store!  Students can wear them on PE days and every Friday through December!
  • Event Volunteers - So many fun ways to earn your service hours!  Visit our Sign Up Genius lists.
  • Feed the Festival - Interested in showcasing your cooking talents?  Come together with friends to host a food booth or specialty item!  
Visit the  Harvest Festival Homepage - for the latest information.  Questions?  Please contact PTO VP Harvest Festival - Teacia Andrew, teaciaandrew@gmail.com .
SerraStrong Celebration Kicks Off New School Year

Thank you to the many SJSC families, faculty and staff who came out to celebrate SerraStrong last Thursday! The event was a wonderful kick-off to the school year and a great way to welcome new SJSC families into our community.
We hope everyone has a chance to stop by and see the amazing Serra Strong wall that our kids helped create...their collective handprints celebrate that we are "Stronger Together."  A special thank you to PTO Event Chair Melissa Singleton, and Stephanie Angelos, PTO VP Community Events, for making this special event come together. 
Student Store News

The On-line Store is Up and Running!
To place an order visit our website at Parents>Student Store/Uniforms , then scroll down to find the link to start placing your orders.  Once you have completed your order, please print a copy of your receipt. The order will be processed within 48 hours and delivered to your oldest child's classroom.  You can also order via the St. Serra App on your iPhone/iPad device.  
The sketch diaries and recorder instruments are available for purchase.  Currently, we are out-of-stock of $1.00 rosaries. Please note, if you are ordering under a different name from the student's last name, please make a notation in the memo box on your order.  


Dennis School Uniform Store

Current hours:
Monday-Thursday 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Friday and Saturday 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Sunday - closed

Questions? Contact Catherine Tirado, Student Store Coordinator at ctirado@serraschool.org
Join Our SJSC PTO Community Facebook Page PTO logo 2013

The St. Junipero Serra Catholic Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) oversees many social events, fundraisers, fun activities and lots of volunteers which benefit all students at SJSC. We hope this "closed group" will be a place for our SJSC parent community to connect for support, information, thanks and more - swap uniforms, find carpools, request prayers, last minute volunteer requests, etc! Got educational questions? Please contact your teacher or principal directly.  To be invited to join, email us at  serrapto@serraschool.org  .  *Note - you must have a Facebook account to join the group. 
Social Media Notice
We here at St. Junipero Serra feel that social networking is a wonderful tool for us to share with you the events, news and accomplishments of our students. At present, SJSC only uses Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. 

Parents -  it's also important to know that under no circumstances should our St. Junipero Serra Catholic School name (whole or in part), school logo, photos of our buildings, use of our Charism, Mission or Vision statements, or any part of these statements be used in creating a personal social media account. It is not only our policy, but also falls under the restrictions, rules, or content boundaries of all social media when creating a page. 

Posting Photos of SJSC Students on Social Media
Please be cognizant and refrain from posting photos of ANY SJSC student where their name is clearly visible to the viewers. This would include any photos where the student is wearing their student identification badge or sitting at a desk where their name is visible.

Please know that privacy and safety of our students is always our number one priority when making decisions and putting policy and procedures into place.
Essential Learning Systems (ELS) Program
ELS has openings in both after-school sessions!

Younger students who are struggling with letter recognition, letter sound association, decoding skills, reading fluency, reading comprehension, attention and memory may benefit from this program. Older students struggling with these skills or who lack confidence in their academic skills, have difficulty understanding and/or remembering information, take a long time to complete schoolwork and homework, have limited independent learning skills, and/or benefit from additional academic support can also benefit. 

ELS is a computerized, multi-sensory, interactive program that improves focus, strengthens information processing skills, and enhances a variety of academic skills (e.g., reading decoding, reading fluency, comprehension, vocabulary development, and spelling). ELS provides a fun environment where students strengthen their skills in a game-like format and earn points and prizes for their efforts. Two after-school classes are available:  1:50-2:35 p.m. (for students in Grades K through Two) and 2:50-3:40 p.m. (for students in Grades Three through Eight). Students attend ELS four days per week (Monday through Thursday) for a minimum of one academic year. 

Please e-mail Dr. Lori Quigley  at  lquigley@serraschool.org f or more information or to enroll your child.