Saint Jeanne De Lestonnac School

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History of the School

Saint Jeanne de Lestonnac School in Tustin is a private Catholic School, owned and operated by the Sisters of the Company of Mary and accredited by the Western Catholic Education Association and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WCEA/WASC).

The school community of Saint Jeanne de Lestonnac School in Tustin is celebrating 53 years of service in the mission of Catholic education in the Diocese of Orange. The 14 acres on which the school stands partially represents the sacrifice of the numerous orange groves that have given way to the development that has provided a home for the many students and families to which the school has ministered over the years.

The school began in an orange grove in 1961 with what was intended as a small pre-school and kindergarten to provide a site for the teacher training required of young women who at that time were beginning, at the same location, their novitiate (initial step toward becoming a teaching nun). As the population of Orange County increased, the original families requested the expansion of the school with such enthusiasm that a process of gradual growth took root and continues in motion to date in a remarkable measure of parent support for continual upgrading of all aspects of the school program.

The process of gradual growth has proven to be a significant factor in the stability and consistently competent faculty and staff of religious and lay teachers; a lasting tradition of the initial strong parent support for ongoing facility improvements; and the unwavering focus of the school in its emphasis on being faithful to the Gospel of Jesus in the mission it has received to teach as He did. A school that began fully-staffed by nuns soon became a learning environment with the wealth of collaboration among dedicated lay teachers and women religious.

The Philosophy and Mission Statements of the school are based on the Educational Project of Saint Jeanne de Lestonnac, Foundress of the Company of Mary. Saint Jeanne established the first school of the Company of Mary in Bordeaux, France, in 1610, with principles and goals for a solid education that have surpassed the test of time and, even now, set the tone for all the schools of the Company of Mary in 26 countries where the Order is present.

April 2, 1961: Saint Jeanne de Lestonnac School began its preschool program with seventeen pupils. Sister Mary Salud Estrada was the first principal and Sister Raphael Garcia was the first teacher.

September, 1961: The school started its first kindergarten class. Thereafter, growth continued and enrollment expanded. A new grade was added each year.

Fall, 1963: The Home and School Association provided a cash allocation to begin the first phase of the school library.Since then the library has grown to become one of the most modern, well-equipped elementary school library media centers in Orange County.

Fall, 1967: Mrs. Marian Huhn became the first lay teacher on the faculty.

September, 1969: Saint Jeanne's proudly opened its junior high building which included an expanded library, and an impressively equipped science laboratory.

Spring, 1970: In commemoration of Saint Jeanne's first chaplain, Father Jerome Denk, the Denk Memorial Field was dedicated.

June, 1970: A new four-classroom building that could be converted into an auditorium was completed.

Fall, 1972: Saint Jeanne's opened its doors to: three preschool classes, two kindergarten classes; and two classes of grades six through eight.

Fall 1988: A state of the art office, theater, and gymnasium complex opened its doors.

Since 1990 Saint Jeanne de Lestonnac School:

1990
  • Expanded the computer lab to accommodate an entire class by adding eight additional computers
  • Purchased additional educational software for the computer lab
  • Designed and installed an audio-visual control booth in theater
  • Added initial theater sound equipment
  • Enhanced elementary classroom instruction by providing Apple computers for classrooms
  • Purchased emergency earthquake supply bin
  • Contributed to the Marilyn C. Davis Scholarship Fund
  • Provided lights for the parking lot
  • Bought benches for the preschool yard
  • Acquired lights for the locker area
  • Repaired the roof on the Library Media Center
1991
  • Initiated Rainbows support group program
  • Purchased additional computers for IBM computer lab
  • Founded Alumni Association
  • Formed "Moms in Touch" prayer group
  • Purchased three additional stereo systems for the classrooms
  • Initiated the Elly Young Living Memorial Library fund
  • Replaced windows in back building with earthquake-safe glass
1992
  • Remodeled the snack shack
  • Installed energy-saving devices on air conditioning units
  • Resurfaced gym and theater floors
1993
  • Planted trees around campus
  • Replaced louvered windows
  • Replaced science lab stools
  • Purchased gym matting
  • Re-furbished faculty room
  • Re-carpeted and re-painted preschool and kindergarten classrooms, the elementary building, and the "Writing to Read" Computer Lab
  • Refurbished the Library Media Center
  • Remodeled the audio/visual control console in the theater
  • Enhanced theater sound system and purchased a video projector
  • Built shelves for the art closet
1994
  • Installed an initial phase security system for select buildings
  • Initiated the S.T.A.R. Reading Program
  • Completed re-accreditation process for W.A.S.C.
1995
  • Purchased new exterior benches and lunch tables
  • Purchased new lockers for the fifth through eighth-grade students
  • Upgraded and networked existing computer system
  • Completed first phase of T3 for enhanced technology integration including a Saint Jeanne de Lestonnac School on-line web site page
  • Installed computer automation of the library's holdings
  • Planted additional shade trees on the perimeter of the playground
  • Secured a new wide-screen television for the science lab
  • Purchased an additional set of bulletin board cutting blocks for the teachers
  • Installed electronic security gates for entrance and exit to the school
  • Installed additional wrought iron gates for security
1996
  • Refinished the floor of the gymnasium
  • Painted the office, theater, gym, cafeteria building exterior
  • Erected a twelve foot high wrought iron fence along the back of school
  • Completed final phase of T3 project for enhanced technology integration
  • Installed security system for kindergarten and preschool building
1997
  • Painted the inside of the gymnasium, the door of the elementary, the Library Media Center, and the junior high buildings.
  • Replaced vertical and venetian blinds
  • Resurfaced classroom shelves with formica
  • Replanted trees
  • Installed preschool/kindergarten gate
  • Repaired all roofs
  • Cleared all drains in preparation for “El Niño”
  • Initiated the Enrichment Program for accelerated students
1998
  • Instituted security procedures for campus
  • Purchased second follow spotlight for theater
  • Major renovation of preschool play area, including the purchase of new equipment
  • Instituted Student Senate
  • Slurry coated all asphalt areas
  • Installed new air conditioning unit over computer lab
  • Expanded Enrichment Program to include tutorial program
  • Replaced seal of the school with a mural of the SJDL School Logo
1999
  • Science Lab modernized
  • Replaced all library shelves
  • Floors replaced in the preschool and Science Lab
  • DSL internet line installed and networked in entire school
  • Purchased new sound system for the theater
  • Accelerated Math program initiated in grades six through eight
  • Parenting classes conducted by middle school teachers in the fall and Dr. Bruce Baldwin in the spring
2000
  • Slurry coated all asphalt areas
  • Purchased two additional wireless microphones for theater
  • Purchased three ambient microphones, two hanging, one on floor
  • Purchased new volleyball nets for gym
  • Remodeled the softball field
  • Added storage space for Library Media Center
2001
  • Refinished the floor of the gymnasium
  • Purchased Tuff Shed for storage, replacing bins
  • Via a generous donation, upgraded all computers in lab to Pentium III’s
  • Purchased four additional wireless microphones for the theater
  • Accelerated Math program initiated in grades three through five
  • Outdoor Science Program extended to all grade levels
2002
  • Refinished the floor of the gymnasium
  • Purchased Tuff Shed for storage, replacing bins
  • Purchased new playground equipment for the elementary and junior high playground
  • Installed chandeliers for the stairways of the theater
  • Replaced asphalt with concrete throughout the school including area between gym/theater and elementary building, the play area between the gym and the field, and the area between the LMC and the elementary building
  • Purchased and installed new electronic scoreboard for the football and softball fields
2003
  • Refurbished the Technology Center
2004
  • Updated technology programs with Rediker software
  • All teachers given an introduction to applying Rediker software
  • Replaced Open Court Reading Series with 2004 edition
  • Acquired approximately 12 acres of property adjacent to school
  • Broke ground for “Field of Dreams” on June 6, 2004
  • Completed the athletic fields of the “Field of Dreams” expansion project
2005
  • Purchased 27 handheld computers
  • Updated the network infrastructure 10/100 switches
  • Updated the school’s website to Edline (LancerLine)
  • Enhanced home to school academic communication with GradeQuick software
  • Generated data base report cards and transcripts
  • Teachers in grades 5-8 received new computer stations
  • Installed a computer projector in the computer lab
  • Replaced monitors in the computer lab with LCD screens
  • Purchased new 3,500 lumen projector for the theater
  • Completed the athletic fields of “The Field of Dreams”
  • Completed the Lancer Parking Lot
  • Completed the Marian Grotto
  • Installed new lockers for grades 5-8
  • Refurbished playground equipment in the preschool play area
  • Refinished all of the tricycles for the preschool
  • Resurfaced the gym floor
  • Slurry coated the asphalt two times
  • Purchased new athletic equipment
  • Repaired desks and chairs throughout the school
  • Reupholstered the faculty room chairs
  • Replaced the teachers’ classroom chairs
  • Replaced the chairs of the office staff and the Administration
2006
  • Purchased and installed new carpets in the elementary building, the Library Media Center, classrooms J-1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and both classrooms of the new annex building
  • The Lestonnac Expansion was completed including two classrooms, an office, and the Snack Shack
  • Painted inside of selected classrooms and other areas
  • Expanded area space of the Clothes Closet (recycled uniforms)
  • The daycare rooms were relocated to the Lestonnac Daycare Center
  • J-8, one of the two daycare rooms, was converted in to work space for the Home and School Association
  • Updated and reorganized the Saint Jeanne de Lestonnac School Faculty Handbook
  • Refurbished the children’s bathrooms
  • Installed a new school-wide phone system
2007
  • Refurbished and completed the Home and School Office that was once the Daycare Building
  • Reorganized and refurbished the Clothes Closet that was once the Snack Shack
  • Purchased and installed new playground equipment for the preschool playground
  • Completed first phase of surveillance camera system
  • Planted a memorial jacaranda tree in honor of Sister Mary of Jesus Rodriguez, O.D.N.
  • Installed plaque in memory of teacher, Mr. Robert Piasecki, donated by Piasecki Foundation
  • The Class of 2007 purchased new desks for the various classrooms
  • Purchased new social studies series of books and supplementary materials
2008
  • Selected a new uniform for the students – to be phased in over three-year period
  • The Class of 2008 purchased two podiums for the stage of the theater
  • Placed a memorial marker and statue next to the jacaranda tree dedicated to Sister Mary of Jesus
  • Purchased 25 new classroom desks
  • Designed and established a second Computer Lab (in the former Enrichment Room) for the preschool through kindergarten
  • First-grade classrooms equipped with new hardware and software programs
  • Inauguration of a new “ pull out” tutorial program for select students
  • Purchased new 47” wide-screen televisions for the elementary classrooms
  • Projectors installed in classrooms for grades 1-8
  • Installed an upgraded Bose Sound System in the Marian Center Theater
  • Installed Macintosh computers for the main Computer Lab
  • Installed a new multi-media Macintosh Computer in the Marian Center Theater
  • Computer projectors installed in all classrooms grades 1-8
  • Secured a grant and hosted an inservice for a formal anti-bullying program including all instructional materials
2009
  • Re-painted the name of the school on the junior high building with funds from the Student Council and Student Congress
  • Installed new carpet and tile, and refurbished the team rooms: J-9/J-10
  • Established a Zen meditation garden and waterfall near J-6 (Eagle Scout project)
  • Installed new carpet and refurbished the Faculty Lounge
  • Purchased a new digital audio mixer, two standing microphones, and installed twelve wireless microphones in the theater
  • Acquired new Algebra I textbooks
  • Updated the Language Arts Writing Accountability process
  • Installed concrete in front of J-1 around the tree where students sign in for daycare
  • Added a tie and a jacket to the school uniform
  • Created a new donor recognition area for the “Field of Dreams” including a new statue of Saint Jeanne de Lestonnac
  • Inaugurated the first annual Family Campus Renewal Program to beautify the campus facilities
  • Inaugurated the first annual California “Shake Out” earthquake preparedness exercise
  • Initiated the first school-wide Spring Musical for grades 3-8
2010
  • New carpet in the pre-school building
  • Painted the lockers of the middle school locker area
  • Beautified the circular raised planters in front of the school office and theater
  • Held our second annual school-wide Spring Musical for grades 3-8
  • Added 25 new, large student desks which were donated by the parents and students of the Class of 2010
  • Reviewed and adopted a new religion series of text books for the entire school
  • Updated the Family Life Program of the religion curriculum
  • Painted and refurbished the elementary and junior high student restrooms
  • Initiated a Special Assemblies Program to invite speakers and performers to make presentations in the school theater for the entire student body
  • Adopted and purchased new textbooks for the sixth-grade math program
  • Continued the second phase of the California “Shake Out” earthquake preparedness exercise
2011
  • The 50th anniversary of the school…a new logo was designed
  • Drink coasters were designed as gifts for the 50th Anniversary
  • Held school-wide celebration of the 50th Anniversary, buried a “time capsule", in front of the theater
  • Celebrated the 400th Anniversary of the Feast of the Child Mary (grades P – 8), November 2010
  • Bathrooms in the elementary and junior high buildings were remodeled
  • Portable air cleaners were provided from the funds raised by our jog-a-thon
  • The registration fees included special assemblies, yearbooks, student planners, paperbacks, etc.
  • The first year all girls wore skorts, skirts, or jumpers in the new plaid of the school
  • Preschool and pre-kinder students began wearing the school uniform
  • The “No Parking” red paint included more area for safety per the OC Fire Authority
  • The “Schoology” learning management system was established to provide the parents and students with real time reporting of academic progress online
  • The Technology Program of Saint Jeanne de Lestonnac School was re-approved by the Diocese
  • Purchased new sixth-grade, Pre-Algebra, and Algebra I textbooks available for online reference
2012
  • School accreditation process continued and completed
  • 1 to 1 computing for students in 6th-8th grades utilizing iPads
  • Curriculum maps and time-line updated
  • Continued teacher training in integrating technology with the curriculum
  • Painting of the school building
  • Installment of physical fitness equipment
  • Painting of mural on the freeway wall
  • Installation of astro-turf under elementary play equipment
  • Counseling program reinforced and extended to family
  • Moved and renovated Science Hall
  • Added second math teacher to junior high to enrich instruction and reduce teacher to student ratio for individualized instruction
  • Created SLE Song and Pledge
  • Posted banners of the SLE’s and Alma Mater in the gym
  • Two Eagle Scout projects completed on school grounds
  • Initiated annual Family Campout by the Home & School Association
  • iPad cart purchased for elementary grades with 25 iPads
  • Discernment and adaptation of State Common Core Standards to Catholic School Education
  • Emphasis on formative and summative assessments
  • Upgraded technology backbone and infrastructure
  • Implementation of FACTS tuition management program
2013
  • WCEA/WASC school accreditation visit
  • Saint Jeanne de Lestonnac School receives full 6-year accreditation renewal
  • 1 to 1 computing extended to 5th grade
  • iPad cart purchased for Pre-school, Pre-kindergarten and Kindergarten with 25 iPads
  • Desk top computers installed in pre-school and pre-kindergarten
  • Library Media Center renovated
  • Computer Lab re-designed for use as school conference room
  • Two Eagle Scout project completed
  • Added soccer shot for pre-school through second grade (after school program)
  • Initiated marketing program
  • Calendared additional parent-teacher conference in March
  • Purchased new server
  • Established weekly newsletter
  • Teacher inservices on differentiation of instruction
  • Adoption of Catholic Common Core Identity Initiative
  • Revamped the school website
  • Hired additional personnel for school financial administration