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Staff report

Serra High School is reverting to its original name of Capistrano Union High School, after the Capistrano Unified School District Board of Trustees approved the renaming during an April 21 meeting.

The renaming has been in the works since last year, when Trustee Gila Jones originally brought up the matter following scrutiny of Father Junipero Serra, the school’s namesake. The campus is a continuation school in San Juan Capistrano.

The school originally opened in 1920 as Capistrano Union High School and became Serra High School in 1981. The campus is separate from JSerra Catholic High School, also in San Juan.

“There’s so much confusion every time you try to Google this amazing school,” Trustee Amy Hanacek said. “I just love the name, Capistrano Union High School. It’s very retro.”

Principal Meg Ervais supports the renaming, saying students understand why the name is being changed given the name confusion. The renaming is also intended to celebrate the school’s 100th year.

The change in school signage, stationery, spirit wear, and other new name needs will cost approximately $40,000. Father Junipero Serra’s interactions with Native Americans have been criticized by some, particularly after last summer’s “Black Lives Matter” protests.

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