October 29, 2017

Sequoia PTSA's weekly eNewsletter in partnership with the Sequoia High School Education Foundation
topA Message from our Principal

This week we are asking all families to complete a brief survey about their experiences at Sequoia. Please use this link to access the survey (Versión en español aquí ). Results will be used to complete our WASC (Western Association of Schools and Colleges) Self-Study Report in preparation for our February 2018 accreditation visit.

Our last full WASC self-study was in 2011. At that time, Sequoia earned the longest possible accreditation period of six years with a mid-term visit. Our next visit will take place this February. To be meaningful, this process should involve all stakeholders, so it's important you understand what all this means for your student.

The WASC process offers us the opportunity to renew on our school-wide goals and focus the work we're doing in all classrooms to support these goals. In WASC-speak, goals take the form of SLOs (Schoolwide Learner Outcomes). With input from staff, students, and parents, we develop a strategic action plan aligned with these SLOs. Each year, the school presents a School Plan for Student Achievement to the SUHSD Board of Trustees. This plan is also aligned with our SLOs. The way in which we allocate staffing resources and target professional development are directly tied to WASC goals.

There are three areas of focus in Sequoia's SLOs. First, on improving student academic performance as measured by standardized assessments and the percentage of students graduating A-G (i.e., U.C. or 4-year college) eligible. Second, improving student literacy across curriculum. Third, improving student numeracy across curriculum. In other words, our students will develop their writing and analytical skills in ALL subject areas.

Sequoia staff has been hard at work over the last 7 months providing input and gathering evidence for our self study in the areas of school organization, curriculum, instruction, assessment, and school culture with regards to how well we are progressing. We analyze student data from a myriad of angles. For the WASC process to have address our most urgent needs, we take on the role of our own harshest critics. This conversation is lively and intelligent. It is another exciting reminder of what a dedicated, collaborative, and thoughtful staff we have here at Sequoia.

Direct input from the community is vital in this process, as well. My hope is that understanding how documents like the WASC Self-Study inform our day-to-day operations, you will feel empowered to engage further into your student's education. Thank you in advance for taking the time to complete the above survey.

Have a great week!

Does your Student Have an  Inner Photographer They Want to release? Check Out Media Center Cameras!
The Media Center is building our equipment collection to include items for check out such as Rebel T3i DSLRs, Rode mics for aspiring podcasters, and plenty of other items to enrich student free time. Visit to request items! ! 

Sequoia Families, Do you LOVE showing off our Beautiful Campus?
Do you have a couple of hours this Saturday between 9:30 and 11:00am to help with 8th grade campus tours?

Contact Lauren Pachkowski at for more details. 

Support a Safe and Sober Grad Night!

Thursday, Nov. 9th Sequoia takes on The Menlo School (make-up game from Oct 13th)

Remember: Friday, Nov. 10th, Veteran's Day is the celebrated holiday, no school!


Senior parents, we need your help selling the famous Deluxe hot cocoas, cold and hot Mochas and fresh Popcorn (all so popular!), under the Friday night lights. Thanks to those who have ALREADY contributed food and time. Pass the word. Proceeds subsidize all expenses toward a Safe & Sober Grad Week in June.

Sign up for a shift or to donate today! Click here:

Contact Adrienne Heist with questions.

Dream Big at Sequoia on November 17th!

Please join Sequoia students, families and faculty for the 8th Annual Dream Club Dinner on November 17th from 6pm - 8:30pm in the Big Gym.

Clear your calendar, open your heart, and get ready to be amazed - this special night is not to be missed!

On-site childcare will be available for kids under 10.
Adults - $10, Students $5, or purchase a table for $80
See flyer for details. Questions? Contact Jane Slater at

And for those who haven't read the message from Sequoia Union High School District's Superintendent Mary Streshly's regarding support for our DACA community, see her message:

Superintendent's Letter

The PTSA is thrilled the School Board has sent a resounding message to those who seek to divide our community. UNITED WE STAND. El pueblo unido jamás sera vencido!!

Mini-Grants - Another Successful Season and Shout Outs are in order! 
The PTSA Mini-Grants program received nearly 40 applications this fall.  We will be sharing the projects with our readers in the months to come but until we do we'd like to recognize the team of parents who helped make this program a success! Many thanks to the Mini-Grants Committee for their thoughtful work in reviewing, assessing and prioritizing these requests.  Marlena Griffin lead the committee which was made up of the following members: DeeDee Clarke, Glenn Bugos, Jayne Sungail, Jessica Mihaly, John McAfee, Karen Latina, Laura Downs, Meg Fitzpatrick, Matt Kowitt, Rachel Levine, Sherri Horan and Lauren Patchkowski.

Thank you to the Sequoia High School Education Foundation for providing the funding that makes the Mini-Grants program possible. 

The Sequitur, The District's Newsletter is Available Now:

And more from the District:

Jacqueline Dixon from Redwood School has extended an invitation for parents and community membersto attend a Community Law Information Night on November 6th from 5:00pm - 8:00pm. Lawyers will be present to answer questions at this free event. Everyone is welcome! 

Volunteers Needed for SHSEF

Are you looking for opportunities to get involved with the Sequoia community? Interested in supporting programs and services that provide enriched learning environments for all our students? Do you need volunteer opportunities to meet community service hours? Or maybe you have a couple hours to spare to contribute to your school? Well, look no further! Join the SHSEF Annual Appeal Team for a stuffing party! We will prep /stuff envelopes for the annual appeal letters in a fun and relaxed environment. Sign up here for a shift today. Feel free to bring a friend and students are welcome too!
  • Monday, November 6
  • Wednesday, November 8

Contact Elvie Tomacder at  with questions.  

Get Ready for Sequoia's Fall Musical:Chicago
Tickets Available Now!
Come see Sequoia's fabulous student theatrical performers and musicians in this Tony Award-winning AND Academy Award-winning musical: Chicago!
In roaring twenties Chicago, chorine Roxie Hart murders a faithless lover and convinces her hapless husband Amos to take the rap...until he finds out he's been duped and turns on Roxie. Sent to the Cook County Jail to await trial, Roxie and another "Merry Murderess" Velma Kelly, vie for the spotlight and the headlines, ultimately joining forces in search of the "American Dream": fame, fortune and acquittal. This sharp edged satire features a dazzling score that sparked immortal staging by Bob Fosse.

This is a show you don't want to miss.  Get your tickets before they sell out!
Spread the Word:
8th Grade Information Night - Wednesday, November 1
  • 6:30 PM - Come to Carrington Hall to hear our band and orchestra! 
  • 7:05-8:00 PM - Receive an overview about Sequoia, hear from students and alumni, and see a preview of our fall musical.  After the presentations, roam the campus to view classrooms and activities!
  • View more details here
Campus Tours - Saturday, November 4, 10 AM (last tour departs at 11 AM)
Take advantage of this opportunity to have a guided tour of the school! Each tour will be led by two Sequoia leadership students and will showcase several important locales around campus. Tours will also be accompanied by a PTSA volunteer who can help provide a parent's perspective on the school. No need to sign up ahead of time, just drop by and meet us at the front of the school! For further details, contact Director of Student Activities Corey Uhalde .  Campus Tours will also be held on Saturday, January 27, 2018.
Upcoming Events
Enjoy these other events that will help you experience Sequoia!
  • Chicago, the Musical - Fri & Sat, Nov. 17-18 at 7 PM, and Sun, Nov. 19 at 3 PM, in Carrington Hall.  Our fabulous fall musicals always pack in the crowds; get your tickets at
Feel free to forward the Sentinel to other 8th grade families, and encourage them to subscribe to this "Class of 2022" list via the Sequoia PTSA website on the Stay Informed/ Subscribe page.

Want to see Sequoia's Art Up Close?

PTSA is looking for people who would like to judge our students arts entries in the Reflections program. The theme this year is "Within Reach..."
You can judge one category or multiple categories. They are
reflections art program
 choreography, music composition, literature, film production, photography, and visual arts.
We are particularly interested in you if you have experience in any of the categories. Do you compose music? Dance or teach dance? Are you a writer or an extreme reader? Are you a designer or an artist?
We do not know how many entries there will be--we never know until the deadline which is Nov. 6, 2017 3 p.m. All entries will be available on-line so you can view them on your own schedule and there will be an opportunity to see the visual arts and photography entries in person sometime before the end of November.
If you are willing to be a judge, please -email 

Love Bags Still Available - Get Yours in Time for the Holidays!

Love Bags are now available for purchase! These bags are well-made, attractive and make great hostess or birthday gifts. 40% of each order placed goes directly to support our 2018 Safe & Sober Grad Week activities. See this flyer for details.  Bags can be ordered at Enter code SEQUOIA

Want to Deck Your Halls With Some Boughs?
Order Your Evergreens and help the class of 2020!

Can you believe it's time to order your holiday evergreens from Sequoia? The holidays may seem far off, but they'll be here before you know it! Our order deadline is November 4, 2017, so we are officially kicking off the Sequoia High School Evergreen Sale! This year the sale will support the Sophomore Class of 2020 Safe & Sober Graduation activities.

We are offering beautiful and fragrant wreaths, garlands, and centerpieces for $20-$25 each. Plus, back by popular demand, an adorable decorative reindeer for $18. They will be available for pick-up during the first week of December (exact dates TBD). This link  will take you directly to our ordering page where you can pay through Paypal or credit/debit card.

Thank you for your support, and please contact with any questions.

Sequoia Sentinel
Another Monday! We hope you are enjoying the Sentinel.  We welcome your feedback and input

If you have articles to submit to the Sentinel, please send the information to our article collection address  by the end of the day on Thursday. Guidelines for news submissions can be found on the Sequoia PTSA website

Class email lists: In addition to the Sentinel, the PTSA sends out grade-specific information during the year. Be sure that you are subscribed to your "Class of" list for EACH of your students! Visit the Stay Informed: Subscribe section of the PTSA website. 

With Kindest Regards,

Torri and Alex Horovitz
2017 - 2018 Sentinel Editors 

In This Issue
Upcoming Events
Tuesday, Nov. 7
7pm - 8:30pm - PTSA meeting - MPR

Friday, Nov. 10
School holiday - No classes

Monday, Nov. 13
6:30pm - Winter and Spring Sportsman Night for info.
Gym 1

Friday, Nov. 17 - Sunday, Nov. 19
Fall musical, Chicago!
For tickets and times:

Wednesday, Nov. 22 thru Friday, Nov. 24
Thanksgiving Holiday - No classes

Wednesday, Dec. 6
Choir and Orchestra Winter Concert - Carrington Hall

Thursday, Dec. 7
Bands Winter Concert - Carrington Hall

Friday, Dec. 22 - Winter break begins. 
Wednesday, Jan 10 - Classes resume.

Quick Links
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Submit news to the Sentinel: For instructions, click here.

Find past issues of the Sentinel: 

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Parent Education - Events Open to Everyone


ANGST: Raising Awareness Around Anxiety - Documentary Film + Panel Discussion 
Thursday, November 9, 2017, 7:00pm
Carlmont High School - Performing Arts Center (CPAC)
1400 Alameda de las Pulgas, Belmont 
Join us for a special screening of the new IndieFlix documentary, ANGST: Raising Awareness Around Anxiety, followed by a panel discussion with ANGST co-producer Karin Gornik. This powerful film  includes discussions with mental health professionals about the causes of anxiety, as well as help, resources, and tools for students and parents.
Parents, students (ages 10 and up), educators, and community members welcome! 
Spanish interpretation will be available. Free admission & light refreshments.

Eduardo Briceño, Co-Founder & CEO, Mindset Works Growth Mindset Parenting: The Myths, the Meanings, the Approaches
Thursday, November 16, 2017, 7:00 - 8:30 pm
Menlo-Atherton High School - M-A Performing Arts Center (PAC)
555 Middlefield Road, Atherton

What is Growth Mindset Parenting? Parents often wonder what they can do to change their child's mindset from fixed to growth. The good news is that mindsets can change, and there are strategies you can use to see a big difference in your student's challenge-seeking behavior. Join us to learn about the latest research in growth mindset - the myths, the meanings, the approaches.
Parents, students, educators, and community members welcome! 
Spanish interpretation will be available. Free admission & light refreshments. 
The Parent Education Series events are sponsored by Carlmont PTSA, M-A PTA, SHSEF, Woodside PTSA, Sequoia Healthcare District, and Sequoia Union High School District.
Questions? Contact Charlene Margot, M.A., Director, The Parent Education Series,