Volume 23 * Issue 14 * December 7,  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


Another Milestone Towards the Completion of Our Chapel
It was an honor today to place the rocks signed by students, staff and parents at the base of the altar of our new Chapel. The day started with a special prayer service highlighting to the students, the importance of our new Chapel to their days here at St. Serra. The graces, peace and joy we will experience with the presence of the Blessed Sacrament in our new Chapel sets the foundation for our faith to grow in the hearts of everyone in our community.  Our parent team was well represented today by the members of the St. Serra construction committee, who have worked so hard to help bring this project to life. Another beautiful day in St. Junipero Serra Catholic School history, another step closer to the dream, another moment in time filled with Christ's presence.

Promenade Paver Opportunity
Leave your footprint on the cornerstone of our campus by taking advantage of this year-end giving opportunity!
Join us in this one-time occasion to leave a permanent tribute on the walkway to our new Student Creation Center and Chapel.  We welcome you to commemorate your entire family, your individual students, a beloved faculty or clergy member, or your business with this unique opportunity to inscribe your tribute on the pavers along this walkway. 
Please refer to today's Monthly Envelope for a flyer with more details and CLICK HERE to reserve your inscription on one of the pavers.
There are a limited quantity of pavers available, so don't miss the chance to be part of this exciting campaign.  All donations are 100% tax deductible to the fullest extent of the current tax laws and support the Chapel Fund directly. This appeal ends January 31, 2018.  
Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception Mass
Please join us tomorrow,  Friday, December 8 at 9:30 a.m. in the Muzzy Family Student Activity Center, as Father Thomas Naval from Santiago de Compostela celebrates the feast day of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, a Holy Day of Obligation. At this beautiful Mass we celebrate one of the most important events in salvation history. We will remember how our Blessed Mother was born into this world free from all sin and we will honor her devotion to her Son, our Lord.

ALL students in TK - Grade Eight are to wear Formal Uniform.  We do have a permit parking exemption for this day, so you're are able to park in the neighborhood, but NOT in the Memorial Healthcare Facility parking lot.

Missionary Childhood Association- MCA Christmas Collection at Mass
At each of our school-wide Masses, the students of St. Junipero Serra support Missionary Childhood Association by making a small donation into our collection baskets. These monies do not go unnoticed as we serve the poorest children around the world. Thank you for remembering to support this ministry as this donation will be our Christmas gift to MCA.

Food For Friends- TOMORROW, Friday, December 8
Do you want to do something for others less fortunate than you during the Advent /Christm as season this year? How about creating a "Blessing Bag" for a family within our community. Thanks to St. Kilian Parish your child will receive a bag to fill with a few non-perishable items this week. We are thankful for your continued support in feeding those who need a little assistance this Advent as we prepare our hearts to celebrate the birth of Our Lord.

New Procedure for Student Absences
Your child's safety and well being is our highest priority here at St. Junipero Serra Catholic School. Each school day SJSC needs to know when and why a child is absent and parents/caregivers need to be assured that their child has been accounted for each day. This is done for a multitude of reasons including in the event of a school lock down or disaster. Improvements in technology and its widespread use have made notifications readily accessible for parents faster than ever. 

Beginning on Monday, December 11, 2017, SJSC will begin using a new automated calling system. The following will occur:
  • When your child is absent from school and the absence has not been verified by staff as of 9:00 a.m., you will be called on your family's preferred phone number
  • The system will begin calling at 9:10 a.m.
  • If the system is unable to contact you at 9:10 a.m., it will repeat the call until it is able to either contact an individual or leave a message to ensure that you are notified
  • If you receive one of these notifications, please contact the SJSC attendance voicemail line at (949) 546-8899 during regular school hours, to ensure they have correct information regarding your child's absence
During this blessed Advent and Christmas season, let's remember that we can give these gifts to others many times over, while still keeping them for ourselves. It doesn't cost us anything! 

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
Academic Recognition Grades 5-8 
Students who are enrolled in Grades Five through Eight are eligible for academic recognition. 

CLICK HERE  to read more about the requirements for academic recognition and for the list of Trimester 1 Academic Recognition recipients . You will need your Passkey to access this page in the Parents Only section of our website. Students will receive a certificate for the Principal's Honor Roll from Mrs. Tipton.


Grades 2-4 Performance, TONIGHT, Thursday December 7 at 7:00 p.m.
Muzzy Family Student Activity Center

Please join us as our 4th-grade students tell us the story of the beautiful Nativity, and ALL students celebrate the Christmas Season with song. 

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, leggings, or open-toe shoes
Parking for Tonight's Performance
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 who will be holding a flashlight. Please watch for them and follow their direction. 

Neighborhood: As the hours of this performance are after the Permit Parking Program, you are free to park in the adjoining neighborhood, but as always, we ask you to please be respectful of our neighbors. 

Memorial Care Parking Lot: Available AFTER 6:10 p.m. We will have a staff member at each entrance to their lot until that time, so please honor Memorial Care's request.

Arrival Times Tonight's Performance
The doors to the Muzzy Family Student Activity Center will open at 6:30 p.m. for open seating. Students in Grades 2-4 w ho participate in their Christmas Performance will receive non-uniform dress on Wednesday, December 12.
Students are asked to arrive according to the times listed below:
All students should be in their assigned waiting areas no later than 6:30 p.m.
Pre-concert waiting areas will be opened at 6:15 and are designated as follows:
  • Tiny Trebles meet in KD
  • Serra Singers meet in KC
  • 4th-grade Nativity Play cast meet in the MEC Faculty Room
  • All other students will meet in their PEB homerooms
Dismissal of students:  
In order to safely dismiss students at the conclusion of the concert, the students will return to their home rooms following the performances. Parents please remain seated until students have exited the SAC. Mrs. Trudell will then invite parents to pick up their children from the classrooms.

Refreshments will be provided by our PTO after the concert outside the SAC. Parents are invited for refreshments after the Preschool concert in the homeroom classrooms.

Preschool Performance, Friday December 15 at 10:00 a.m.
Muzzy Family Student Activity Center -  Doors will open at 9:30 a.m. for families to be seated.

All students should wear their Christmas best!   
  • Nice dresses, skirts, or dress pants for girls
  • Nice pants and dress shirts for boys
  • Christmas accessories should be kept to a minimum
  • No shorts, jeans, or open-toe shoes

Parking for Preschool Performance  
In addition to the Preschool parking spaces in the Antonio parking lot, other parking options include:
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. 

Arrival of Students and Parents
All Preschool students who attend preschool on M/W/F or M-F should come to school at the regular drop off time.  Preschool Extended Care will be available as usual in the morning at 6:30 a.m.

All students who attend Preschool on T/Th should arrive with their parents by 9:45 a.m. to the Muzzy Family Student Activity Center to meet Mrs. Reiss and Mrs. Botterill before the performance. T/Th Preschool students do not need to be signed in at the School Office on this day.  They may come directly into the SAC. They should not be brought to the Preschool classrooms prior to the concert, nor should they be signed into the classrooms that morning.
Dismissal of Students:
In order to safely dismiss students at the conclusion of the concert, the M/W/F and M-F Preschool students will return to their home rooms with their teachers following the performance. Parents, please remain seated until students have exited the SAC.  Students who attend Preschool on T/Th will remain in the SAC with Mrs. Reiss and Mrs. Botterill. Mrs. Reiss will then invite M/W/F and M-F parents to join their children in the classrooms and sign them out for the day.  After those students and parents have exited, she will then invite the T/Th parents to come to her and Mrs. Botterill, where they will release the children to them in the SAC so they can walk with their families over to the classrooms for refreshments.
Families are invited to join us for refreshments in the classrooms, provided by our PTO, after the concert.
TK - Gr. 8 Siblings Attending the Program
Siblings in TK - Gr. 8 may attend the concert.  Parents must go to the School Office and request for the siblings to be called out from class.  Parents must let the receptionist know if the sibling will return to class after the concert or if they will be going home with their parents following the concert.
Gifts and Gift Cards Due TOMORROW, Friday, December 8

Final "Call to Action" for the 2017 Adopt-A-Family Program!  Thank you to those who have already contributed...your gifts will make Christmas possible for more than 200 people.  We will be collecting all wrapped gifts from the classrooms on Monday, December 11, at 8:00 a.m. and delivering them to Catholic Charities.  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 mandc_lawson@me.com. CLICK HERE to view the Adopt- A-Family video.
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.
All the class Christmas celebrations are taking place December 13-15. You can check the December Parent Calendar on our website for the specific date for your child. 


Did you know that 10% of students at St. Junipero Serra Catholic School receive some type of Tuition Assistance - an average of 2 or 3 students out of every single homeroom? Sometimes it's just for a short period of time, sometimes for longer while their family handles bigger, life-changing issues.  Tuition Assistance allows these families to remain at St. Serra often without their children ever knowing until the season passes and life continues.  While we cannot always make those issues better, we can all help our fellow parents and children by supporting the Seasons Tuition Assistance Luncheon.  This beautiful afternoon in January is one of fellowship and community that raises funds to help these families while kicking off our celebration of Catholic Schools Week. 

You can help by registering to attend the Luncheon or volunteering to help with the luncheon as a sever, cashier, or on the set-up and tear-down crews.  Double Service Hours are offered for servers and tear-down on Sunday.  Don't wait, these spots will fill-up fast!

You can also help through donations of Scrip or Underwriting. It all adds up and makes a difference right in our own school community.
Please Consider Making Your Donation Before the End of the Year!
We would like to thank the families who have already generously given to this year's Annual Fund!  In this season of giving, let's finish December strong as well as take advantage of the end of the year tax deduction available to us!  
Won't you please consider joining those who have already donated, including 85% of our staff, by making your donation today?  These funds are specifically earmarked to purchase items for the Student Creation Center, which will open in the Fall.
Please help us purchase the items needed to help us elevate your children's educational experience.  
Next Deadline is January 7, 2018

Don't wait until it's too late! Submit your ad by Sunday,   January 7, 2018 to take advantage of the lower pricing. The FINAL deadline to submit an ad is Sunday, February 4.  CLICK HERE  for pricing, deadlines and information on creating your ad, or visit our Yearbook Page on our website.
Please contact Cindy Kennedy, Communications Director if you have any questions at  ckennedy@serraschool.org.

Don't forget to order your 2018 Yearbook! CLICK HERE to order. 

Christmas Schedule:
Monday, December 11, 8:30 am (Last weekly order before Christmas Break).  IMPORTANT :  NO LATE ORDERS WILL BE ACCEPTED AFTER THE 8:30 am DEADLINE.  PLEASE PLAN ACCORDINGLY.
**shopwithscrip.com Prestopay physical card  order. The delivery schedule for the physical cards ordered directly on shopwithscrip.com via Prestopay is similar to our weekly orders.  Therefore, any physical cards ordered after the cut off of 7:30 a.m. on Monday, December 11 will be processed and delivered AFTER the Christmas Break. 
Virtual and Reloadable cards will continue through the break.
Tuesday, December 12 (Last daily order before Christmas Break).
Daily Sales, 7:40-8:30 a.m. will continue through Friday, December 15, but limited to quantity on hand.
Vendor Update:
PURCHASE SCRIP WITH YOUR CREDIT CARD for a limited time, for orders totaling $500 or more.   CLICK HERE for a list of available vendors, ordering instructions and delivery schedule. 
SPECIAL DENOMINATIONS now available via weekly order ONLY.  Please feel free to add them to the green weekly order sheet. 
$5 - Barnes & Noble, Panera, Starbucks
$10 - Albertsons, Amazon, Applebee's, CVS, Olive Garden, The Home Depot, IHOP, Outback, Red Lobster, Regal, Target, Walmart
Scrip Lifts UP SJSC:
Scrip gift cards are a wonderful way to support SJSC outreach programs.
Adopt-a-Family wish lists were sent out via Room Parent emails.
CLICK HERE for the special order form for Season's Luncheon.

Scrip Afternoon Sales - REVISED:
Please note the new time for afternoon sales on Thursdays will be from 1:30-2:30 p.m.

For questions on any of the above or to place a Scrip Order, contact Tina Maroutian, Scrip Coordinator at  tmaroutian@serraschool.org  
We hope this Holiday Season brings you great joy as we gather as family and friends to welcome Baby Jesus! The Parent Teacher Organization would like to extend a heart-felt thank you for lifting the spirits of so many people through our Adopt-A-Family Program.  Your generosity is overwhelming. Merry Christmas and countless blessings to you and yours!
 -Dana Maas, PTO President 
December 2017
  • 8th, 15th: Parent Rosary at the Blessed Mary Statue
  • 8th: Mass for Grades 1-8 (Rosary prior to Mass); PTO Parent Fellowship & Coffee Social
  • 10th: Special seating for St. Serra families at The Nutcracker (Pre-sale)
  • 15th: Private Opening Day Screening of STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI (Pre-sale)
January 2017
  • 5th, 12th, 19th, 26th: Parent Rosary at the Blessed Mary Statue
  • 11th: PTO Meeting - All parents welcome!
  • 16th: St. Serra Parent Education Speaker Series - Parenting in a Digital World
  • 26th: Catholic Schools Week Mass; PTO Parent Fellowship & Coffee Social
  • 25th-26th, 28th-Feb. 2nd: PTO Sponsored Scholastic Book Fair
Visit our PTO EVENTS AND PROGRAMS HOMEPAGE for more details.  Questions?  Contact us at serrapto@serraschool.org.

The PTO would like to send a THANK YOU to the following hard working and enthusiastic parents for bringing Santa's Secret Christmas Shop to the St. Serra students this Christmas season:
  • Heather Boyajian and Joan Baird - 2017 Santa's Secret Christmas Shop Event Chairs
  • Cheryl Redfern, PTO VP - Campus Events
  • Kate Brahm and Dawn Lauriano - Finance Leads
  • Celine Cate and Kathy Kenner - Cashier Leads
  • Trish Lagestee - Volunteer Coordinator
  • Jamie Salata and Grace Ghelfi - Inventory Leads
  • Amie Bianchini and Jamie Medley - Decorations
  • Shannon McGuire and Cynthia Szuba - Event Check Processing
  • Joan Younkin - Flyer Preparation
We appreciate the many parent volunteers who gave the gift of their time in The Shop and the classroom, as well as the Teachers and Staff who kept all the students on schedule during this busy time of year. The Library was a winter wonderland and the students were SO excited to make their gift purchases for the family and friends on their shopping list!  We hope you enjoy that special gift under the tree!

Did you volunteer for Santa's Secret shop or another opportunity?
CLICK HERE to record all of your regular service hours on the 2017-18 Service Hour Portal.
As a reminder your credentials for the Service Hour Portal are:
Username: Your family's preferred email address
Password: Your family's 3 or 4 numerical family ID
For questions, contact Francine Stotko at  fstotko@serraschool.org or ext. 194
Friday, December 8, 2017
10:30 - 11:00 a.m. in the SJSC Courtyard
Let us come together this Advent Season for some fellowship and friendship following our St. Junipero Serra Immaculate Conception Mass.  Fifth Grade Room Parents will be providing light hospitality, coffee and water at this PTO hosted Parent Coffee Social in the SJSC Courtyard. All are welcome!
Tuesday, January 16, 2018

All parents are invited to join us on Tuesday, January 16, 2018, 6:15 - 8:15 p.m. in the Student Activity Center (SAC) for the next PTO sponsored Parent Education Speaker Series. We are pleased to welcome Sgt. Clayton Cranford, a law enforcement professional and one of the nation's leading educators on social media and behavioral threat assessments. He is the author of Parenting in a Digital World and winner of the National Bullying Prevention Award. Visit the   PARENT EDUCATION  webpage for more details. Please note that this is a parent-only event.

Starting  January 11, 2018

St. Serra will be offering an instrumental music program. Paul Effman Music serves several schools throughout the area and is pleased to bring this program to St. Serra. Students in grades 3-8 (for band) and grades 1-8 (for Violin) are eligible to enroll. 

Classes will be on Thursdays: 
  • Grades 1 & 2 from 1:50 - 2:50 p.m. 
  • Grades 3 - 8 from 3:00 - 4:00 p.m. 
Please Click Here to register Registration ends December 15. 
Last chance to join the rebellion!  There are still a few tickets available for the private screening of Star Wars: The Last Jedi at Kaleidoscope Stadium 10 on OPENING DAY, Friday, December 15, at 3:00 p.m.   Visit the PTO COMMUNITY EVENTS webpage to purchase tickets. This is an exclusive opportunity for SJSC families!

Online Student Store
SAVE 20-25% when you buy 1 of 4 " SPIRIT PACKS " - available for a limited time & perfect for Christmas gifts!
  • *New* SJSC LOGO items, including license plate frames, stadium chairs, teddy bears, travel blankets and more
  • Online shopping available until Tuesday, December 12 at 4:00 p.m. Get it all at our ONLINE STUDENT STORE
Used Uniforms on Sale
USED UNIFORMS are now available for sale on Tuesday and Wednesdays 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.
As we continue our commitment to STEAM education and look forward to our new facility, we encourage our students to  participate in AFTER SCHOOL STEAM Classes.
4th - 8th grade students are invited to be a part of St. Serra's BEGINNING LEGO Robotics After School Class.   

Powered by the LEGO Mindstorms Education EV3 Base Set and software, students will explore the exciting world of robotics and engineering. Combining the versatility of the LEGO building system and intuitive drag-and-drop programming software, this adventure will have students working in teams, making friends, and creating robots from day one. CLICK HERE for more information. 
4th - 8th grade students with Robotics experience are invited to be a part of St. Serra's LEGO Robotics Intermediate After School Class.   

Students will learn intermediate and advanced features to help them complete more complex challenges with the EV3 Base Set and LEGO Building system. CLICK HERE for more information. 
There is NO AFTERNOON Preschool or TK - Grade 8 Extended Care on    Friday, December 15 . This is a minimum day and the last day of school before Christmas Break. Extended Care will be open the morning of    December 15 . Please plan accordingly!

There are 
NO In-N-Out lunches during the month of December Please plan accordingly. 

CLICK HERE to place your January order. 
CLICK HERE to place your Yearly Order. 
Both January and Annual In-N-Out ordering will close on Friday, December 15 at 3:00 p.m. 
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 the remainder of this academic year. 

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

JSerra offers the High School Placement Test on January 20  and February 3  from 7:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.  Dr. Courtney Harkins will give a talk during each testing session entitled, "My Teen is in High School - Now What?" and campus tours will be available.  

Visit JSerra's Open House on January 21  from 2:00-4:00 p.m., or sign up for a Shadow day to get a more in-depth look at what a day as a Lion is like. 

Santa Margarita Catholic High School Admissions
Attention Parents of 8th-grade students:  All applications to Santa Margarita Catholic High School can be submitted online  here  www.smhs.org/admissions.   If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact the SMCHS Admissions Department at 949-766-6076.
Mater Dei High School Admissions

Early Qualification deadline is coming up next  Wednesday, December 13.  CLICK HERE for more information about the admissions process.
City of Rancho Santa Margarita
Art Contest ~ New Year's Eve Event

The City of Rancho Santa Margarita is enthusiastically preparing for their "Celebrating Family & Friends" New Year's Eve event, which will take place on Sunday, December 31 from 5:00 - 9:00 p.m. at Central Park. One of the highlights of the event is the Children's Art Contest - which will be displayed in the Bell Tower Community Center.  CLICK HERE for more information on both the Art Contest guidelines and the New Year's Eve event. Flyers are also available in the School Office.