Whittier Union’s La Serna High School has been recognized as a 2021 California Distinguished High School, receiving the honor from the California Department of Education for the fifth time.
The California Distinguished School award is the state’s top honor for high-achieving schools, celebrating successes in boosting student achievement, attaining strong graduation rates and fostering college and career resources. Given to 241 middle and high schools this year, the award recognizes schools for their excellent work in achieving exceptional student performance.
La Serna boasts a graduation rate of 93.2%, and serves its students through rigorous college and career readiness programs and robust intervention policies.
La Serna provides an Expanded Horizons program, which offers students advice on how to acquire financial aid, fill out a college application, sharpen computer skills and complete A-G requirements, working with District partners such as Rio Hondo College, Tri-City ROP and Cal State Long Beach’s Cal-SOAP. Expanded Horizons also provides English learners with resources to boost their academic performance and to assist them in preparing for the English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC) exam.
The school's Puente Program is a University of California-sponsored academic program that combines writing, counseling, and mentoring and an interdisciplinary, multicultural curriculum to help students become college eligible.
La Serna offers several career technical education pathways, including the Green and Clean Academy for small business entrepreneurs, the Film and Media Academy for aspiring filmmakers, and the Sports Career Academy for students headed toward sports-oriented career paths.
The school's student leadership component includes the OASIS and HAVEN programs, which assist struggling sophomores and juniors by teaming them with student mentors. Stressing core values such as accountability, respect, and compassion, OASIS and HAVEN have helped improve the lives of La Serna students.
La Serna’s expanded its Leadership activities during the 2019-20 school year by creating two additional ASB classes. Lancer Spirit is an ASB course for sophomore and Lancer Pride is an additional course for juniors and seniors, providing opportunity for school-wide events and campaigns.
“La Serna has a proud tradition of achievement and a strong commitment to providing our Lancers with a pathway to success,” La Serna Principal Griselda Castro said. “This honor recognizes the contributions of La Serna’s amazing faculty and staff, who are proud to serve the Whittier community and help our children to achieve their goals.”