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JSerra Catholic High School has developed the Student Educational Resource Program (SERP) to support students with documented learning challenges. SERP recognizes the need to provide a learning environment which fosters growth and supports the individual needs of all students. It is one segment of an academic support team that encourages and supports collaboration — thereby creating an environment in which all work together for the common good of each student.


Learn more by contacting SERP Director Denise Dale at 949.493.9307 Ext. 1017 or ddale@jserra.org.



SERP services for qualified students include, but are not limited to:

  • Extended time, with up to 50% additional testing time
  • Distraction-free environment and the use of the SERP Testing Center
  • Option to take a Study Skills class period (for credit for four semesters). Class is a 10:2 ratio. Each student is assigned a mentor teacher who specifically assists with grade and assignment tracking, organization, and study skills. Academic support is also provided during this period. All incoming ninth grade students are required to take this course during their freshman year.
  • Walk-in academic assistance by the SERP teachers is provided before and after school. Students who do not have a SERP class period are encouraged to take advantage of this assistance.
  • Classroom and testing accommodations are implemented based upon each student’s diagnosis.
  • Collaboration, student support, and conferences are facilitated between parents, teachers, and staff as needed.


Admission into SERP includes results from a comprehensive psycho-educational assessment. A current IEP, with diagnosis, is also acceptable. This assessment must:

  • Be current, having been completed within the last three years.
  • Include results from a cognitive ability test ( such as the WISC-IV) as well as an academic ability test (such as the WJ-III).
  • Include a specific diagnosis made by the testing professional, along with a listing of the tests and scores utilized to arrive at this diagnosis.
  • Include a complete educational, developmental, and relevant medical history.
  • Include an explanation of current classroom and testing accommodations recommended based upon the diagnosis.


  • With individualized academic support provided in small (10:2) class settings each period of the day. SERP study skills classes help students to manage their work loads effectively and establish successful learning strategies.
  • With additional academic support offered during zero and eighth periods.
  • By promoting communication with their teachers and parents. We encourage SERP students to utilize effective means of communication when discussing their needs in order to receive the most effective accommodations for their specific learning challenge.
  • Through the Testing Center, which provides a distraction-free environment in which students receive a 50% time extension
  • By teaching students life skills necessary for success as they go forward. Throughout the program, students are taught about self-advocacy, accountability, and other essential tools for continued success after graduation.


  • By facilitating communication with the student, their student’s teachers, and JSerra staff.
  • We utilize all forms of communication and make ourselves readily available to SERP families.
  • In addition, SERP assists students and their parents in the application process for ACT, SAT and other College Board tests.


Arizona State University*
Boise State University
Boston Conservatory University
Cal State Channel Islands
Cal State Chico
Cal State Long Beach
Cal State San Marcos
Carnegie Mellon University
Chapman University*
Colorado State University
Curry College*
Dean College*
Dominican University*
Eastern Washington University*
Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne*
Franciscan University
Gonzaga University*
High Point University*
Humboldt State University
Irvine Valley College
Lewis and Clark College*
Louisiana State University
Loyola Marymount*
Loyola of Chicago*
Lynn College*
Manhattan School of Music
Marist College*
Marymount Manhattan College*
McQuery College*
Miami University*

Molloy / Cap College*
Northern Arizona University*
Northern Illinois University*
Notre Dame de Namur*
Oklahoma City University*
Pace University*
Pfeiffer College*
Roosevelt University*
Sacramento State University
San Diego State University*
San Jose State University*
San Francisco State University
Southern Utah University*
Texas Tech University
University of Alabama
University of Arizona*
University of Colorado
University of Dayton*
University of Denver*
University of Hawaii*
University of Montana*
University of Oregon*
University of Redlands*
University of San Diego*
University of Southern California
Xavier University*
Wagner College*
Westmont College*
Whittier College*


* = scholarship(s) awarded

Each child learns a different way. SERP provides this support for my child and for all the students in the department.
The P. Family, '18



Not all children learn the same. We learned this quickly when our son was in the second grade. We had him tested and discovered he had a hard time processing and comprehending information. His elementary and middle school years were a struggle, always feeling less than. . . .

I sought out JSerra when it was time for our son to start high school. I had heard of the SERP program and Mrs. Dale through our son's 8th grade teacher. When we enrolled him at JSerra and the SERP program, we met Mrs. Dale, listened to her philosophy, and had a chance to talk with her and her team. It brought me to tears to know my son was understood. The program not only helped his comprehension but he was able to have help with homework, and had the willingness to ask questions.

Mrs. Dale, her team, and the entire SERP program helped our son be excited for his future. Now as a sophomore, he takes charge of his school work with determination and confidence. We feel so blessed to have the program all four years, especially as his work load grows. I recommend Mrs. Dale and her SERP program if your student has any kind of learning challenge.


Our son was diagnosed with serious language/learning difficulties at a young age. His elementary experience was filled with testing, therapy sessions and multiple specialists trying to "catch him up" so he could be "normal." We drove all over the county for the best therapists, spent countless hours waiting and hoping for some miracle. As we approached his high school freshman year, we were gripped with fear that he would not be able to attend a traditional high school and have the high school experience he deserved. We interviewed and toured over 10 high schools. We were scared that he would end up in "special education" in a public school setting and get lost in the system.

Then we met Denise Dale. The SERP program at JSerra answered all our prayers. They approached our son as a whole, capable child. He was given a chance at having a traditional, normal high school experience! He completed his freshman year with a 3.5 GPA, joined a club, played tennis and made meaningful friendships.

The SERP teachers have allowed our son to have a successful relationship with his school work. He is thriving and loves to go to school everyday. This would not be possible without the SERP program and JSerra. He has a manageable homework load that is appropriate and he is able to complete with minimal support from us. This alone has allowed him to create his sense of independence and confidence. The teachers treat him with respect and give him a sense of accomplishment. We will forever be indebted to this program.


We chose JSerra because of the SERP program. We heard from a close friend that it was invaluable to their daughter and can now attest firsthand that it has been a true blessing to our son. Last year as a freshman, the transition to a much larger school and heavier homework load was overwhelming. But the teachers in his SERP class guided him through. He was supported academically with organizational skills, and emotionally, which gave him the confidence to persevere through the transition and ultimately achieve a 4.0 in his second semester. All the SERP teachers, which my son insists are the best in the school, as well as Denise Dale, are behind him and encouraging him. As a mother who has walked his learning journey with him, I can’t express the gratitude I feel that they not only advocate for him, but also more importantly, have taught him how to advocate for himself.

Our son takes advantage of the distraction-free testing center where he is able to ask for clarification and/or use extra time as needed on tests. He is so comfortable with Mrs. Dale that he goes directly to her via email in the event he has issues with scheduling or teachers. During the SERP period, he gets help with any subject that he needs tutoring on and enjoys the camaraderie with other kids.

The school and the SERP department have done a wonderful job creating an atmosphere in which the kids are respected and not judged. My son feels no stigma in being in the program. On the contrary, he feels proud and lucky to be in SERP because he recognizes how much it helps him.

JSerra is an excellent school with teachers who really care about our children. Communication with all the teachers is encouraged and they are very responsive. This is especially obvious in SERP.

My husband and I have marveled at our son’s growth, confidence, and feeling of empowerment in just one year. With a grateful heart, I thank the SERP program for being a primary factor in this process of growth where he has been given the tools to recognize and reach his true potential.

The W Family, '20

As we wind down to the last week of our first year at JSerra, we wanted to send you a letter of gratitude and thanks for providing such excellence in education and support to our child! This year has been a true blessing to the entire family. Our daughter, who prior to this program would labor for hours on end doing homework without complaint, is now moving right along, absent of all the stress and self-doubt she formerly felt in elementary and middle school. We are happy to report she is finishing her freshman year with either a 3.9 or 4.0.

The SERP program at JSerra is more than we ever hoped or dreamt was possible. Because of the program, which works in complete alliance with the wonderful JSerra teachers, our daughter has literally flourished and grown in confidence and achievement beyond what we thought would ever be possible! Working with the SERP team, and you Denise, has our daughter not only looking forward to learning, but actually enjoying school. When asked by anybody how she likes high school, our otherwise mellow mannered girl, describes with enthusiasm how much she loves school and how much appreciation she has for her SERP support program! Her success this year, and feelings of self-confidence and accomplishment, we owe to you and your amazing team! Thank you so very much for all that you do and for this wonderful, amazing program you have created and fostered to help those who learn differently.