Volume 24 * Issue 13 * December 6,  2018
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

Household Goods Drive
On Friday, December 14, St. Junipero Serra Catholic School will be collecting Household Goods for families in need in our very own community. In partnership with St. Kilian Parish, this will replace our monthly food drive. Your donations will benefit families who visit the St. Kilian Food Pantry. Currently they are in need of everyday cleaning supplies along with personal hygiene items such as shampoo and toilet paper. Please see the recommended list of items on the green flyer included in today's Monthly Envelope. Thank you to our SJSC Scouts for assisting with our Food for Friends outreach.

God bless you all for your generosity!
"Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me". John 12:26

2019-2020 Intent to Return and new Sibling Survey 
Please look for an important Constant Contact coming next   Tuesday, December 11  regarding Intent to Return and a survey for families interested in applying for a sibling for the 2019-2020 school year. 
Our Campus is Alive with Christmas Spirit! 
Those of us who work in the Student Creation and Leadership Center have enjoyed watching the enthusiasm and JOY of our students as they shop at Santa's Secret Christmas Shop in the Parent Hub. The delight on the student's faces as they walk out with their bags full of gifts, which they've carefully picked out for family and friends, warms our hearts with the giving spirit of Christmas. We are also looking forward to attending the upcoming Christmas Concerts, starting with tonight's performance from Grades 2-4. I hope to see you there! 
"Give the gift of HOPE to all"
As we prepare for the second Sunday of Advent, we are reminded by scripture how John the Baptist went throughout the whole region of Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
"Lord forgive me, bring me hope, and help me claim the joy you have earned for me. Help me believe in your love so that I may live joyfully."

Saturday December 8 - The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary
This Saturday is a Holy Day of Obligation in our Catholic Church. It is a day set aside to recognize how the Mother of our Lord came into this world free from all sin to fulfill her vocation of bringing Christ into the world and then giving Him away to the world. We hope you will join one of our four parishes on Friday evening or Saturday morning to celebrate the holiness of Mary our Mother.
When the world says "give up", Hope whispers "try it one more time."

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

Mrs. Angeline Trudell
Mrs. Carol Reiss, Principal Preschool - Grade 4
Mrs. Alison Daley, Principal Grades 5 - 8
Renaissance Technical Issue
Renaissance is still experiencing technical issues with the Parent Portal. Many parents are not able to view their child's Accelerated Readers results. This is a problem on Renaissance's end and we have requested to be notified when it is resolved. Once we have been notified, we will let you know. 

In the meantime, please go directly to the AR Home Connect site. Parents will need to log in with their child's credentials. This site is only for Accelerated Reader and does not have the STAR results. It does have a feature where you can sign up to receive email notifications when your student takes an AR test.
Give Hope and JOY this Christmas!
  • Thank you to the many St. Serra families who contributed to our 2018 Adopt-A-Family program. If you have not yet contributed and would like to participate, now is your final chance.  All wrapped gifts are due to the classroom by Monday, December 10.
  • Your gifts will make Christmas gift giving possible for over 200 people. The families we are supporting this year are carefully selected by Catholic Charities of Orange County as the most in need. Many of these families are worried about whether they will have enough to eat for the next few weeks - let alone enough to buy Christmas presents.  
  • Please contact your room parent if you have any questions or to find out what last minute items might be needed for your classroom's family. You may also contact Carol Lawson at adoptafamily@serraschool.org.

    Thank you for your generous heart and participation!

Please join us as our students in Preschool - Grade 8 tell us the story of the beautiful Nativity, and celebrate the Christmas Season with song. 

This year's Christmas performances will all be held in the Student Activity Center on the following dates:
  • Grades 2-4 - TONIGHT, Thursday, December 6 at 7:00 p.m.
  • Grades 5-8 - Tuesday, December 11 at 7:00 p.m. 
  • TK, Kindergarten, and Grade 1 - Friday, December 14 at 10:00 a.m.
  • Preschool - Wednesday, December 19 at 10:00 a.m. 
All students Preschool through Grade 8 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
For information regarding parking, arrival times and dismissal procedures, please see the article in last week's SerraDIPITY.
Our Creativity Lab robot, Botley, would like to thank the  families who have already generously given to this year's
Annual Fund. He is encouraging those who haven't made their gift yet to do so before the holidays are upon us!  As you know, this year's Annual Fund is specifically earmarked to support the cost of the Creativity Labs - that means buying BOTLEY and more of his friends who are helping your students learn to CODE!
Let's finish December strong and take advantage of the tax deduction available to us before the year is up!  Won't you please consider joining those who have already donated, including most of our staff, by making your donation today?

For those who donated at least $25 to the Annual Fund by December 3, 2018 your commemorative Christmas ornament can be found in today's Monthly Envelope as a JOYful token of our appreciation.
Why Attend This Event?.... Tuition Assistance Affects Us All
Did you know that 11% of students at St. Serra receive some type of tuition assistance? That's an average of 2 or 3 students out of every single homeroom. Most often it's just for a short period of time, but sometimes for longer, while the family handles bigger, life-changing issues. No matter what, tuition assistance allows these families to remain at St. Serra until that season of difficulty passes and life continues.
While we cannot always make those situations 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 attending the Luncheon or volunteering to help with the luncheon as a server, cashier, or set-up and tear-down crews. Double Service hours are offered for servers and tear-down on Sunday. 

Your gifts of time, talent and treasure all add up and make a difference right in our own school community.
If you purchased a 2018 Memorial Ornament please look for it in your Monthly Envelope today. If you purchased one and it was not in your Monthly Envelope please contact Cindy Carpino in the Advancement office at ext. 239 or email at ccarpino@serraschool.org.
Afternoon Extended Care for Preschool- Grade 8 will not be available on Wednesday , December 19 . This is a minimum day and the last day of school before Christmas Break. Extended Care will be open the morning of  December 19 . Please plan accordingly!
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Want to know what's happening around St. Serra's campus each week? Follow us on  Facebook,   Instagram and Twitter . We post pictures and information frequently on what's happening around campus - both inside and outside the classrooms.
The confidential Family Directory was updated on our website this week. The directory can be found in the Parent's Only section of our website.

PLEASE REMEMBER:  The information contained in the Family Directory is confidential and not to be used for commercial use or mass distribution. All SJSC families are not included in this directory, as some families have requested omission of their family information from the directory during the registration process. 
Christmas Scrip Sales Schedule:  CLICK HERE  for important deadlines. Last Weekly Order before Christmas is on Monday December 10, 2018. All orders are due by 8:30 a.m. - NO EXCEPTIONS.
Maximize your rebates with your Holiday shopping:
Gaming enthusiasts : Xbox (6%), iTunes (5%), Gamestop (3%), Sony Playstation (4%)
Fashionistas : Gap/Banana Republic (14%), Forever 21-ecard only (5%), Nordstrom (6%), Macys (10%), TJMaxx (7%), Ross/Burlington (8%), Bloomingdales (12%), Kohls ( 4%)
Weekend Warriors : Home Depot/Homegoods (7%), Lowe's/ Wayfair (6%)
Hosting this Year? Mother's Market/Sprouts (5%), Safeway/Albertsons/Pavilions (4%), Whole Foods (3%)
Most Wanted : No Fee Visa (1.25%), Amazon (2.25%), Target/Walmart (2.5%), Starbucks (7%)
Earn rebates even when school is closed by enrolling in our online programs. Contact the Rebate Program office to set up your accounts.

For questions on any of the above, or to place a Scrip Order, contact Tina Maroutian, Rebate Program Coordinator at tmaroutian@serraschool.org.

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. Christmas accessories represent the 'flavor' of the holiday season with Snowmen, Angels, Santa Claus, and Reindeer.

For Christmas Accessories guidelines please see the article in last week's SerraDIPITY
  • Join your St. Serra community for a fun day at Circus Trix! Limited tickets are available for a private St. Junipero Serra Catholic event at CIRCUS TRIX on Wednesday, December 19, 12:30-2:30 p.m.
  • Cost is $20 per ticket (special ticket price includes lunch of pizza and water).
  • CLICK HERE for details and to register.
  • Questions? Contact Melissa Singleton at pto-community@serraschool.org.
Student Leadership is selling Santa Grams, now through TOMORROW, Friday, December 7.  CLICK HERE for the Order Form. Please turn in your orders to the School Office with attention to "Santa Grams". Payment must be enclosed with your completed forms. 
  • 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, and would like to give a pencil instead, please indicate "Pencil" on the back of your order form.
  • You may pay with cash or check payable to St. Junipero Serra Catholic
  • Santa Grams will be delivered to classrooms the week of December 17. We cannot accommodate individual requests for delivery dates/times.
Thank you for your support!
Paul Effman Music classes will begin Thursday, January 10.  A minimum of 20 students must enroll in order for the program to begin in January.   

Classes will be held on Thursdays after school beginning on January 10 at:

 2:15-2:45 for grades 1 and 2
 2:45-3:15 for grades 3 and up.

CLICK HERE to for more information or to sign up. 
CLICK HERE for information on instrument rental.

  • Ideas for Christmas! The Serra Spirit Store has great gifts and stocking stuffers for everyone on your list!
    • Tervis tumblers, water bottles, hair accessories, hats, pocket angels, stadium chairs, gift sets, rosaries, and more!
  • Spirit Store Holiday Hours
    • December 6 through December 11: Monday-Friday 7:30-8:30 a.m. OR order online HERE.
    • Please be advised that the Spirit Store will be closed from Tuesday December 11 at 3:00 p.m. until the return from Christmas Break.
    • In Stock online orders placed by December 11 will be delivered to your oldest child's homeroom by December 19.
    • Questions? Please e-mail Mrs. Catherine Tirado, SJSC Merchandise Coordinator, at studentstore@serraschool.org
PTO would like to thank our Santa's Secret Christmas Shop Event Chairs - Joan Baird and Heather Boyajian. Their dedication, vision and hard work transformed this year's SSCS into a winter wonderland for all of our students (and parents) to enjoy. Thank you to PTO VP - SSCS, Cheryl Redfern, and PTO President, Shannon O'Connor, who worked behind the scenes to make this event a huge success. A very special thank you to Mrs. Trudell for her support and keeping SSCS a special St. Serra tradition!

We would also like to thank the following hard working and dedicated Committee Chairs:

Celine Cate - Finance/Cashier Lead
Greta Wadkins and Jody Zielinski - Event Check Processing
Trish Lagestee - Volunteer Coordinator
Grace Ghelfi and  Amanda Ugay - Inventory Leads
Jamie Medley and Jen Fischel - Decorations
Joan Younkin - Paper Communications
Joan Baird and Kathy De Santi - Electronic Communications
A HUGE THANK YOU to our MANY parent volunteers who gave the gift of their time and talents. Thank you to the teachers and staff who accommodated us and kept us on schedule.

We wish EVERYONE a very Blessed and Merry Christmas!

On behalf of your St. Serra Parent Teacher Organization, I would like to wish you and your families a Blessed Christmas Season. This is a wonderful time of year to reflect on our many Blessings and to be JOYful as we await the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ.
PTO would also like to thank YOU for opening your hearts and making a difference in the lives of so many families who are less fortunate through our Adopt-A-Family program. Your generosity is overwhelming and so appreciated. Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! -Shannon O'Connor, PTO President
December 2018
  • 7th, 14th: Parent Rosary in the Rosary Garden
  • 12th: PTO Meeting - All parents welcome!
  • 19th: Private St. Serra Event at CIRCUS TRIX
January 2018
  • 4th, 11th, 18th, 25th: Parent Rosary in the Rosary Garden
  • 16th: PTO Meeting - All parents welcome!
  • 25th: Catholic Schools Week Mass; PTO Parent Fellowship & Coffee Social
  • 25th-31st: PTO Sponsored Scholastic Book Fair
  • 30th: Serra Social Club Event: Common Thread Boutique Shopping Night at St. Serra Family Residence
Visit the    PTO SECTION  of the St. Serra Website for more details!  Questions?   Contact us at serrapto@serraschool.org.

ELS is a program offered at St. Junipero Serra for students who learn differently. 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).
Please e-mail Dr. Quigley at  lquigley@serraschool.org or call ext. 243 or visit our ELS webpage if you would like more information.
Holy Trinity Youth Night
Friday, December 14, 2018 

Once a month, Holy Trinity Youth Ministry welcomes all 6-8th graders for an evening of games, snacks, and fellowship. It's a great opportunity to make new friends and also have some fun! The next Youth Night will be on December 14, 2018 from 7:00 - 8:30 p.m. CLICK HERE for the flyer.
San Francisco Solano Church

Upcoming Events
San Francisco Solano Church would like to invite you to three upcoming events at their parish. All three events are FREE! Please click the links below for more information on each event:
San Francisco Solano Altar Servers  
Is your Serra Bear ready to be an altar server?  We will be training a new class of Novices to begin serving in January.  Altar Servers must be at least 10-years- old, have had their first communion, and be able to serve at least once a year at the 7:00 a.m. Mass. You may select your regular serving times the rest of the year. One parent needs to attend the training to get acquainted with the parish's ministry software. Training is Sunday, December 16
 at 1:00 p.m. in the church.
Questions or RSVP to Karin Hendrick at 
Mater Dei High School Admissions Information

Early-Qualification Process
Become Accepted to Mater Dei NOW!
Visit www.materdei.org/admissions

Entrance Exam
Saturday, January 26, 2019. 7:45 a.m. Register today at www.materdei.org/entranceexam