Hello Serra Families--
We stand united in these unprecedented times with the students at Serra and their families beyond the schoolhouse.
When I came on board as principal some amazing things were starting to develop in terms of healing from a variety of public issues that were plaguing the school for quite some time. While there were many great things starting to happen in response to those issues; I definitely made it a goal when hired to work alongside students and push the envelope of equity and access for all students. I have only been principal for 3 years (as I came late into my first year) and the difference in climate and culture is palpable for the better.
Change is always hard; as principal I have always tried to be transparent; and I am doing so now. I need your help.
A year ago I started a conversation about a possible mascot change. If you look up the Conquistadors there is a long list of unfavorable things written. I have been very clear with students the need to be integrated and not separated and to me this was an issue of division and our mascot targeted a specific group of people. I was sharing my concern to a state employee at the Capitol in Sacramento who pointed out very clearly that our school name was inappropriate as well, and went into the history which lead me to do further investigation and agree with the state employee. I had no idea that only months later, we would be seeing that Junipero Serra statues are being torn down all across the state as recently as this past week.
I restarted this conversation about our name and mascot again and was told other schools in the district were engaging in the same conversation. In addition, the stars aligned and many students have reached out in support in the last few weeks without even knowing this work was already taking place.
In order for us to do this I need your help. I need you to sign this petition. This petition shows there is a true interest and thats all I need. Please click below and sign. I will use this to further the students wishes as evidence of support from you!
The new name will be geographical to avoid this ever happening again: Tierrasanta High School (THS). In addition we will need a new mascot and an animal makes sense for the purpose of again not having this happen.
Please fill out this google form (below) for your opinion of a new mascot. and since we are possible making huge changes, I need your help on deciding if we need a school color change as well.You will get a choice. We are not changing the colors if there is an overwhelming "no." If there is a true interest we will get more details (and the cost..its not cheap) and talk about actual colors later on. So just a yes or no on colors will suffice for now. Click here:
PLEASE ask your student to fill it out as well. They have their own opinions and they attend this school and its their choice in addition to yours. We will be blasting this on all fronts as soon as possible but please share!
Lastly-- I am going to hold a Principals Coffee on this issue this Friday at 9am. Zoom can only accommodate 100 people so you will need to register if interested. The coffee will be to talk about this issue of changing the Serra name/mascot/colors. I have no details on the opening of school yet. When I get those details; you will get them. This is a meeting about rebranding the school. THIS MEETING IS FOR CURRENT PARENTS/STUDENTS ONLY (not graduates but incoming ninth graders-class of 2021; staff will have a separate forum when the time comes but they can fill out the links.
Here is the registration link.
You are invited to a Zoom meeting.
When: Jun 26, 2020 09:00 AM Pacific Time (US and Canada)
Register in advance for this meeting:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
I thank the students who brought this to me and it is more evidence that we are developing amazing leaders and change agents for our future. I couldn't be more proud to stand with them.
Dr. Erica Renfree