Monday, October 16, 2017

Week 8

Hello Q Nation!!!
If you would like to subscribe to my blog, please enter your e-mail address in the field at the top of this page.

What a great week at Serra! We are looking forward to This week and in addition we had a great professional development session on creating common assessments and aligning curriculum so every class has similar academic requirements.This goes with our focus on engagement for all students regardless of content area. Have a great week!

Flash back to the 1950's for Serra Homecoming
This Friday, Serra High School kicked off it's homecoming festivities at 8:30 in the morning with Fox 5 San Diego.


At the end of the school day, all Conquistadors made their way into the gym for our annual Homecoming Pep Rally.  There was fun for all.  Even some of our teachers got into the homecoming SPIRIT, by dressing in 50's attire and performing a dance routine!  Check out the video below.

The fun didn't end at the Pep Rally.  The next night over 700 Conquistadors attended our Homecoming Dance "Jukebox Rock".  There was music, games, free milkshakes, and great food.

De Portola and Farb Articulation to Serra
We welcome any and all parents of 8th graders in our cluster and beyond to come and hear what Serra is all about. We have amazing things going on here in order to make your child top candidates for college or anything they want to pursue. We will be engaging the middle schools this month in a series of events. DON'T MISS OUT!!!!Reminders will come as well.
  • 10/23: Serra Prospective Parent Meeting: 6 pm in Media Center
    • Farb and DP parents come over for information :
  • 10/26: Serra/DP/Farb--8th grade walkover--during the day JOIN YOUR CHILD!
  • 10/30-10/31: Parent Tours of Serra
    • 10/30: Tours at 12:15 pm-2:20 pm
    • 10/31: Tours at 9am-11am
Great California Shakeout
October 19th is the great california shakeout. Every child in the state at the same time goes through their emergency earthquake drill. This is great practice for students and staff in case of the unexpected. We look forward to our students doing great.

This Thursday right after school is our Governance meeting. This board is an advisory board to the principal on instructional issues. We want to congratulate Ryan Brock and Jessica Serrata for being elected and a host of new student to the panel as well. You may not be able to vote in these meeting but you are more than welcome to attend. 2:30 in th Media Center.

Teacher Feature!!

Mr. Wrasidlo (Pre-Calc)
Students working in groups to solve graphing problems through multiple means, each group gets send a representative explain to the teacher their rationale on how they solved their problems.  This keeps the students all engaged because no one knows who in the group will be called. Purpose is listed using the Promethean Board and is the first slide in the lesson. Students totally engaged in class. One student interviewed stated he would recommend this class to others. One of the best classes he has taken here at Serra.

Girls Volleyball:
Girls volleyball Senior Night is this week Thursday 10/19/2017, it starts after the JV/Fresh game usually around 4:45 p.m. and the Alumni Game is next week Thursday 10/26/2017 at 5:00 p.m..  Serra girls volleyball is undefeated in league and about to win a league championship for the first time in over 20 years!!!

Hoping to see you guys at the game Thursday. It's the last home game and Senior Night.

 April Ranches won her exciting match play round today on the 9th Hole "Up-One” against her opponent Mia Hernandez from Scripps Ranch.  April now advances to play in the Semifinal round of match play tomorrow Thurs 10-12-2017 at 2:00 pm at the Rancho Bernardo Country Club (CCRB).  Thank you for your support and well wishes.  More details to follow as April continues to pursue her quest to compete in the CIF State Finals. 

Serra Students Educate at Statewide Summit

Road trip! Serra students traveled to Orange County in September at the request of Mothers Against Drunk Driving. 

Ehson Pirouzian, Natalie English and Chance Carter gave three presentations at MADD’s annual Teen Influencer Summit at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa. They spoke with high school students from around the state, talking about the short and long term effects of alcohol, DUI laws and strategies to avoid drinking and driving. 

After seeing a video featuring victims of drunk drivers, Carter led the group discussion. 
“I play basketball,” she told the group. “I can’t imagine getting hurt and losing a scholarship because someone else decided to drink and drive.” 

They also explained the consequences of getting a DUI when you’re under 21, such as losing your driver’s license, being put on probation, and losing a job or scholarship. 
English said a DUI can cost up to 15,000 dollars in fines and legal fees. “That’s half your tuition if you wanted to go to SDSU. Would you rather be paying off your college debt or working to pay fines from a DUI?” 

PTO and Foundation Meetings:

Tuesday October 17th at 630 is a PTO meeting where we discuss fundraisers and contributions to Serra to make a difference! All are welcome!

The next Foundation meeting is November 1 at 630 in the Media Center.

Instructional Leadership Team
Did you know that once a month I meet with Department chairs in order to collect data from them on how their departments are doing and in addition talk about walkthroughs and mentoring they are doing of the teacher in their department? Also we work on Professional Development for the staff the following month that is led by other teachers and colleagues so it doesn't feel top down. Lastlly we plan visits to the middle schools to calibrate as well. Tomorrow is ILT and we will focus on the purpose of the lesson and in addition different ways of assessing students and teaching them so students have access to the curriculum in more than just one format.
Did you know that SHS planners cost over 8000 dollars to create and many students do not use them. This year due to budget cuts we are not providing them. Please provide one to you child if they use one. If you would like us to supply some type of notebook for you child to keep track we can do that.

Grading Period is Over!
The grading period ended this last Friday. Progress Report will go home with your child on Friday October 20th 2017. This will be the last paper progress report we send home. You are encouraged to check PowerSchool Parent Portal. However report card in January and June will be mailed home. If you don't have access to PArent Portal please email and she can help you.

Seniors--Extended Day/Night School
Extended Day Credit Recovery will start on October 16 to December 12th from 2:30-5:00 p.m. and we will start with English.  If your student needs to make up a credit in English, please have the student see their counselor immediately.  Attendance is  important and students cannot miss no more than 2 days per district policy.  Encourage your student to re mediate their English class if a student received a D or an F.  


There are lots of great scholarship available to our students.  Click the link below and see if one is right for you!
Click Here for SCHOLARSHIPS!

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Week 7:

Hello Q Nation!!!
What a great week at Serra! We are looking forward to Homecoming Week and in addition we had a great professional development session on how to make our specific subject areas applicable to the real world! This goes with our focus on engagement for all students regardless of content area. Have a great week and we will see you at Homecoming Football Game!

Next week is homecoming week!  Don't forget about our Spirit days.  Our underclassman ASB produced this cute little video to remind people to participate!


Next Thursday (10/12) is the last day to purchase a homecoming dance ticket. 
Click here to download a dance agreement.

Deportola and Farb Articulation to Serra
We welcome any and all parents of 8th graders in our cluster and beyond to come and hear what Serra is all about. We have amazing things going on here in order to make your child top candidates for college or anything they want to pursue. We will be engaging the middle schools this month in a series of events. DON'T MISS OUT!!!! Reminders will come as well.
  • 10/23: Serra Prospective Parent Meeting: 6 pm in Media Center
    • Farb and DP parents come over for information :
  • 10/26: Serra/DP/Farb--8th grade walkover--during the day JOIN YOUR CHILD!
  • 10/30-10/31: Parent Tours of Serra
    • 10/30: Tours at 12:15 pm-2:20 pm
    • 10/31: Tours at 9am-11am
Teacher Feature!!
Mrs. Moyes - Chemistry

Objective was verbally stated.  Students seating in groups aligned in a U shape facing the front of the room.
Students given an assignment to read about Pasture Patties (Buffalo Chips). 5 minutes given for students to read a handout.  Teacher roamed the room checking for students who might need assistance.  
Teacher explained the step to review the reading.  Students must turn to a partner and discuss how do you compare and contrast coal to a piece of buffalo patty.  Students must have been taught how to do this already since they went to work and appeared to be familiar with this activity. Teacher walked the class asking probing questions and checking for understanding. Most students were engaged in the activity.  Teacher selected students at random and asked them to answer questions based on the reading.  I guess you can say it was a great lesson for a stinky topic. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Federal Survey Cards: 

This past Wednesday, Federal Survey cards went home with your children. This year they are a little different. They are pre-populated so all you have to do is sign them. These cards and their return have a massive impact on the funding for the school. With more and more budget cuts Serra high School needs this money to function in the best interest of your children. In fact we are offering all sorts of incentives to your children to get them back as soon as possible! Please please please ask your child to show you the card tonight if possible for return tomorrow. 

Grading Period Almost Over!
The end of the first progress reporting period is Friday, October 13, 2017.  Signed Marks Verification are due on Monday, October 16, 2017 at 7:20 a.m.

Seniors--Extended Day/Night School
Extended Day Credit Recovery will start on October 16 to December 12th from 2:30-5:00 p.m. and we will start with English.  If your student needs to make up a credit in English, please have the student see their counselor immediately.  Attendance is  important and students cannot miss no more than 2 days per district policy.  Encourage your student to re mediate their English class if a student received a D or an F.  

Parent/College Nights 
We would like to invite all of you to the upcoming Parent Nights scheduled for next week, where Serra’s counseling team will be presenting valuable college and graduation information. Each night begins at 6 pm in the Media Center. The schedule is as followed:

Monday October 9 we will be hosting Senior College Night. There will be presentations from local colleges. 

Tuesday, October 10 we will be hosting Jr Parent Night. There will be presentations from local colleges. 

Wednesday, October 11 we will be hosting Sophomore Parent Night and Thursday, October 12 we will be hosting Freshmen Parent Night. 

Hope to see you all there!! Students are encouraged to attend with their parents!!!

9th Grade English Teachers Visit De Portola

On Friday, September 29th, five 9th grade English teachers and Vice Principal visited De Portola Middle School. They met in the morning with the principal, then headed out to observe several classes in an effort to vertically align their curriculum. When they returned to Serra, the 9th grade team met to debrief their observations. Following their debrief, they collectively began to plan future units that will increase the rigor, improve student engagement and raise student achievement in 9th grade English Classes at Serra.

Serra Alum Returns to BioMed Class

Serra’s 2 new Principals of BioMedical Science classes were visited by two former Serra alum to speak on their jobs as AMR EMT’s. Shamiq and Andrew gave awesome presentations to the classes on what their jobs are all about, and the steps to becoming an EMT. Their interest started in 2011 when they took physiology as seniors at Serra. It was a special day to see these young adults thriving in a new exciting career.


Due to budget constraints Serra High School no longer prints planners. The annual cost was over 8,000 dollars. However the first few pages will be distributed electronically within the next month in order for you to review policies. If your student does need one please supply them to them or we are more than happy to provide a notebook. Thanks for your understanding.

Interesting programs to consider for your child!!!!

o    Rotary Youth Leadership awards
o    Applicants must be current juniors who are at least 16 years of age
o    Transportation included
o    Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) is a program that originated with Rotary International and has subsequently been specifically designed by Rotary District 5340 for the students in San Diego and Imperial Counties. RYLA encourages servant leadership in youth by recognizing and rewarding deserving 11th grade students who are chosen to attend RYLA as an "award" for their past and present leadership and service activities. These select young people attend an all-expenses-paid camp where they are inspired by a diverse group of exceptional speakers, make lifelong friends through fellowship activities, and discuss the ethical and social issues of today. These activities are conducted in an atmosphere of trust and respect. The result is that these students return to their schools and communities motivated to take on additional leadership roles and to find additional ways to serve.
  • 2018 RYLA Conference: April 20th - 22nd, 2018
  • Idyllwild camp (take bus from San Diego)
o    Deadline for application January, 31 2018

  • The Freedom Foundation offers An exceptional leadership program designed to educate, inspire and prepare academically-motivated high school students… Presented by the Freedoms Foundation, Educating and inspiring an awareness of the principles upon which America was founded and the responsibilities of citizens in a free society since 1949. Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge is a patriotic, non-political organization dedicated to "teach, support and foster the principles”.  Cost is $1600, but students only need to raise $500 and needs counselor recommendation and outside recommendation.
  • Transportation included
o    Valley Forge Pennsylvania campus
o    $500 for the week.
o    1 week long sessions in April 5-11, 2018
o    Must have Academic Endorsement & Community Endorsement
o    Should attend the FF Youth Forum at the end of October (October 27, 2017) from 9:30 – 1 pm
o    Deadline Nov 22, 2017  for applications

o    American Legion Boys State and American Legion Auxiliary Girls State are the premier programs for teaching how government works while developing leadership skills & an appreciation for your rights as a citizen. 2-3 rising senior boys and 1 rising senior girl from each high school in America is eligible to participate.  Ask your school for details. As a participant in the program you, will run for office, learn public speaking, create and enforce laws and actively participate in all phases of creating and running a working government in this exciting and fun week-long FREE summer program.   Selection in January 2018 and interviews in February 2018. 
  • 1 week June 25- 30, 2018 (Girls State)   June 16-23, 2018 (Boys State)
o    Claremont McKenna College (Girls) and Sacramento State (boys)
  • SHS is sponsored by American Legion Auxiliary 731 in Linda Vista for Girls State.
  • See counselor for interview nomination
  • Transportation not included for Girls State but maybe for Boys State
  • Deadline January 2018 for selection and February 2018 for interviews

o    MAP Application Process Opens to High School Students – May 1, 2018
o    Program is open to high school students in grades 11-12. Highly motivated 10th graders with a research project in mind may also apply.
o    MAP Coordinators did a massive outreach effort across San Diego County. 225 students from 70 different high schools applied to MAP. 77 students were selected by 42 mentors. For the end-of-mentorship Symposium, 65 students presented 48 projects. The presenting students were represented by  34 mentors and 24 departments across campus. The Symposium drew nearly 250 guests invited by students, including school district administrators, principals, teachers, parents, grandparents, extended family and student siblings.
o    MAP Student Applications Deadline – May 31, 2018
o    Period of Mentoring – September 2018 – May 2019

  • The San Diego Supercomputer Center’s 9th Annual Research Experience for High School Students (REHS) Summer 2018 Volunteer Internship Opportunities at the University of California, San Diego
  • The Research Experience for High School Students program, a part of the San Diego Supercomputer Center’s (SDSC) student outreach program, has been developed to help increase awareness of computational science and related fields of research to students in the San Diego region. Students gain exposure to career options, hands-on computational experience, work readiness skills, and mentoring by computational research scientists.
Through the eight-week volunteer program, students are involved with an established research project. Students learn how to formulate and test hypotheses, conduct computational 
  • experiments and draw conclusions from those experiments. They also learn to take part in regular lab meetings and group discussions. At the end of the program, students will develop scientific posters, reflecting on their summer experience and highlighting their research and future career goals. Posters will be displayed during a celebratory event in mid-August.
  • JUNE 18–AUGUST 11, 2018 (EIGHT WEEKS)
  • The REHS Application Process Opens February 15, 2018
  • Period of Internship:  June 18- August 10, 2018
1.     The Carson Scholars Program recognizes and rewards academic excellence in young students (4-11 grade) who also have strong humanitarian qualities. Students are nominated by their schools and honored at one of nine regional awards ceremonies across the country. New scholars receive a $1,000 scholarship towards college and previous winners are eligible to reapply for Carson Scholar Recognition annually provided that they maintain their academic status and high level of volunteerism. The program is designed to identify and encourage future leaders and is active in all 50 states.
2.     The 2018 scholarship season begins in the fall when application materials and instructions for nominating a student is distributed to schools.
3.     You must be nominated by your school in order to apply to our scholarship program. Students will have until Monday, January 8, 2018 to complete their application. The application includes essay, biographical information, community service details, report card and teacher recommendation.
4.     After the application deadline (January 8, 2018) your principal will be emailed instructions to complete the principal verification. This is a required step and must be completed by Friday, January 12, 2018. Your application is not complete without the principal verification.
5.     All applicants will be notified of their status in March 2018.
6.     If you have any questions about the scholarship program, please call 410.828.1005 or email

Civility Scholarship: SDUSD in partnership with USD and League of Women Voters
Creating Civility on Campus scholarship
Rules of Submission:
1. Each site student finalist may submit only one entry for the contest.
2. Each site student finalist who submits an entry must provide a signed parental/guardian release statement granting permission to reproduce the student’s work, name, and photo.
3. All entries must include the student’s name/school at the top of essay papers, on artwork, or clearly identified in the any video submission.
4. All artwork submissions must include a 100-250 word artist’s statement.
5. All submissions must be rated PG: no references to inappropriate activities and no inappropriate language – the idea is to model Civility.
6. All submissions must follow SDUSD Network Use and Academic Honesty Guidelines.
All site student finalist entries must be submitted electronically to:
Juliana Liebke, TK-12 History-Social Science Curriculum Specialist
by 5:00 PM on Tuesday, February 7, 2017. We are unable to accept late submissions. Judges’ decisions are final.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Week 6

Hello Q Nation!!!

Welcome to my weekly blog where you will be hearing about all the great things going on at Serra so you are in the know!


Please note: Absences must be cleared within five (5) days of the absence.
You may leave a message on the attendance line to clear. (858-496-8342 ext. 205)

Food Delivery during lunch

UberEats and other food delivery services are not permitted to service schools. There are several reason for this: 
1. Severe allergies other students have 
2. The time it takes away from the office. The food is being called for during class time and many times is being delivered to the front office for distribution. Lunch is a VERY busy time in the office and our staff are busy with working with students and can not deliver food. 
3. Lastly we have had many complaints from children who are ordering food and then not getting paid from others and wanting us to resolve the dispute. 

There is a clear sign on the main gate and on all SDUSD properties stating that outside food is not permitted. We appreciate you helping us to resolve this matter so we can focus on the schools daily operation.  We will not deliver food that has been ordered if delivered to our office. Please let your children know so they don't lose money ordering food. We are more than happy to call students for food you have dropped off for them because they forgot.

Homecoming Dance
It's Homecoming season at Serra!

Homecoming is right around the corner! This year our ASB chose a 1950's theme for the dance. The name is Jukebox Rock and the dance will be on Saturday October 14, right here at Serra High School! There will be great music, games, and food.  Also, the ASB has been working all this weekend on decorating the halls of the 200 and 400 building to help get the campus fired up for homecoming.  

Students should be sure to pick up a dance agreement from the finance office and buy a ticket ASAP, as the prices go up the closer we get to the dance. Here is the pricing rundown for the dance. 


$20 w/ASB Card and $30 w/o ASB Card (9/18 – 10/6) 
$40 FLAT (10/9 – 10/12)

Click here to download a dance agreement.

Homecoming Spirit Week October 9th through October 13th!

Music Monday - Oct. 9th

(Rock out your favorite band/artist tee) 

Tourists Tuesday - Oct. 10th

(Dress up as a local tourist... button ups, shorts, fanny packs, hats, sunglasses, sandals, and more!)

Wacky Wednesday - Oct. 11th 

(Mix match day... mismatch shoes, socks, wear
crazy patterns, messy hair) 

PINKOUT - Oct. 12th

(Support breast cancer awareness month by wearing pink)

Spirit Colors - Oct. 13th

(Support your class by wearing your very own spirit colors: Seniors- white, Juniors- gold, Sophomores- brown, Freshman- grey) 

The Hispanic College Fair

The Hispanic College Fair is opened to 11th and 12  graders who undecided of which college to attend.  Thus far I have 30 students attending and it will be from 9:00 to 11:45 at the Scottish Rite Temple.  Please note that the bus capacity is at 45. It is free of charge and first come first served. You can grab an application in the counseling office.

Trip to Panama, Nicaragua,
and Costa Rica

Mrs. Holbrook is organizing a trip to Panama, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica through EF Tours. If your son, daughter or anyone else is interested, please attend the first parent meeting on October 5th at 5:30 in room 403. Hope to see you there. It will be an incredible trip!

California Scholarship Federation (CSF)


CSF is an academic honors organization comprised of students who have met the CSF grade requirements (see application). Eligibility is determined by the student’s grades from his or her most recent high school semester report card. Members will not only receive academic recognition at SHS, but colleges and universities also tend to look favorably on CSF membership when reviewing applications.

Students qualify based on the course they take each semester and the grades they earn. Below is the information we provide the students with the application. I have attached a copy of the application as well.


Students who wish to apply must personally submit their completed application and $7 cash or check made payable to “Serra High School” (with the student’s first and last name in the memo section) to the CSF Officers in room 211 during the application period.

Applications will be accepted during lunch during the application period only. You may not mail the application, e-mail it, or turn it in to the school office. Please do not have someone else submit it for you in case there is an issue with your application. Students must take responsibility to submit their applications on time. Late applications will not be accepted. Students do not need to include a copy of their report card/ transcript.

CSF membership is for one semester only. Accordingly, students must reapply each semester in order to maintain their CSF status and to accumulate the four semesters necessary for Life Membership.

All eligible students must apply for membership during an enrollment period established by the adviser, which must occur sometime during the first four weeks of the semester. Retroactive membership may not be granted to any student who has failed to take advantage of the opportunity to become a member. (Article IV: Section 2)


Each application is verified for accuracy at the time of submission. Membership lists will be updated about a month after the application period ends and members names will be posted in room 211. It is the student’s responsibility to check this list to verify membership.


All CSF members receive a membership pin to be worn at Graduation.

Life Membership is awarded to students who have qualified for membership during four semesters (grades from sophomore, junior, and first semester of senior years). One semester must be during senior year. Life Members will wear a gold cord at graduation, receive a membership pin and a CSF Gold Honor Seal will be affixed to their diplomas.

Life Members with 5 or more qualifying semesters (100% Membership) will receive a cord, a sash, pin to be work at Graduation and have the CSF Gold Honor Seal affixed to their diploma. 

Grades from freshman year may be used to qualify for CSF membership, but they do not count towards Life or 100% Membership.


United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP)

Deadline:  October 4, 2017
Amount:  $10,000 and an all-expense paid trip to Washington, DC from March 3-10, 2018
Ø  High School Junior or Senior
Ø  Interested in public service, leadership and currently serving in an elected capacity in student government, civic or educational organization
Ø  Be a permanent resident of the U.S.
Ø  Currently enrolled in a secondary school located in the state in which either one of his or her parents or guardians legally resides
Ø  Students must be nominated by their High School Principal to be considered for the USSYP
Ø  Apply online at

Make the U/ Haz La U Hispanic Scholarship Program

Deadline:  October 15, 2017
Amount:  $2000 - $15,000
Ø  Graduating High School Senior
Ø  Must have an un-weighted 3.0 GPA
Ø  Be of Hispanic Heritage including (includes Spain, Brazil, Philippines)
Ø  Planning to enroll full-time in a bachelor’s degree program at an accredited higher education institution in the fall directly after your graduation from high school
Ø  If selected, attendance to the regional ceremony is mandatory. Travel to the ceremony will be at the recipient’s expense
Ø  Be a Permanent Resident, DACA, U.S. Citizen or Eligible Non-Citizen
Ø  One (1) Letter of Recommendation
Ø  Provide Transcript
Ø  Essay: Must apply to see essay topic

Horatio Alger Scholarship

Deadline:  October 25, 2017
Amount:  $6000 - $25,000
Ø  High School Senior planning to enter a college in the United States no later than the fall following graduation
Ø  Exhibit a strong commitment to pursue and complete a bachelor’s degree at an accredited non-profit public or private institution in the United States (students may start their studies at a two-year institution and then transfer to a four-year institution)
Ø  Demonstrate critical financial need ($55,000 or lower adjusted gross family income is required)
Ø  Be involved in co-curricular and community service activities
Ø  Display integrity and perseverance in overcoming adversity
Ø  Minimum GPA: 2.0
Ø  Be a United States citizen

Coca-Cola Scholarship

Deadline:  October 31, 2017
Amount:  $20,000
Ø  Current High School (or home-schooled) Seniors attending school in the U.S. (or select DoD schools)
Ø  Must be U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, U.S. permanent residents, refugees, asylees, Cuban-Haitian entrants, or humanitarian parolees
Ø  Planning to pursue a degree at an accredited U.S. postsecondary institution