January 27, 2020  
Sequoia PTSA's weekly eNewsletter in partnership with the Sequoia High School Education Foundation
Principal's Message
The Daily Substitute Puzzle 
Anilisa Manolache turns on her computer each day before most staff members arrive.  The clock is ticking and there's once again a new puzzle to solve.  She logs in to our automated absence management system to see if any changes have occurred in the last fifteen hours.  Like any organization with a staff the size of ours, they inevitably have: illnesses, family emergencies, etc..  Likewise, there may be changes in the personnel who were assigned to fill in for regular staff who will be absent.  Cancellations, changes, no-shows.  The clock ticks.  Anilisa has about an hour to make sure classes are covered. Today, yesterday, 185 times each year.  

On any given day, anywhere from 5-25 classroom teachers may be absent from their regular duties.  This includes illness and personal necessity leave, of course, but also professional development, collaboration, conferences, field trips, and other vital school-related activities.  Our staff is always reluctant to miss instructional time, so when we ask them to be out for the day, it'd better be worth their time.

Substitute teachers begin arriving in the office of the Instructional Vice Principal around 8:00 a.m., where they are greeted by Anilisa and oriented to the classroom they'll be covering (lesson plans, maps, keys, special instructions, etc.).  Because she is often still in the middle of solving our puzzle when they arrive, her unfailing friendliness is remarkable.  Some faces are familiar, others she is meeting for the first time.  In most cases, because of the general shortage of qualified substitute teachers (Wanna help? Go here for more info ), short-term substitutes cover for multiple teachers over the course of a day.  The pool of substitute teachers is broad and eclectic, ranging from retirees to graduate students.  In some cases, substitutes eventually become a part of our regular staff.  Students in Ms. Webb's Spanish classes at El Camino High School circa 2002 might remember a scruffy substitute who covered their class for a few months when their regular teacher was out for surgery.  Yours truly.

At Sequoia, more often than not, we have to call on our regular staff to cover classes in addition to the substitutes who are brought in on any given day.  It is a considerable sacrifice to forfeit a prep period, but in many cases teachers are compelled to fill in for a colleague's unexpected absence out of dedication to the goals of a curricular team (i.e., the team of teachers who teach the same class) and keeping the students moving forward apace.  For longer-term absences, department chairs and curricular team members work together to ensure lessons, assessments, and grading are aligned.  As one of the members of our astute PTSA Executive Board pointed at a recent monthly meeting when the topic of conversation turned to teacher coverage, this is when standards-alignment and standards-based grading practices take on an amplified importance in ensuring equitable outcomes for students.  Indeed.

There have been days when the clock ticks closer and closer to 8:30 a.m. and it is unclear exactly how Anilisa is going to fit the puzzle pieces together -- too many last-minute changes, bad breaks, and competing variables.  An urgent email is sent to staff; administrators are put on alert that we may be needed.  Then we get the word from Anilisa that all is well and we can breathe easy for another day.  Between her other duties over the course of the day, she is readying tomorrow's coverage plan.  As I'm sure Anilisa will be too busy this morning to read the Sequoia Sentinel, I'm hoping one of you readers forwards it along.

Have a great week   


Mark Your Calendars
Tickets for Winter Formal

This year's Winter Formal will be held at the Fox Theater on Saturday, February 1, 2020 from 8:00 - 11:00 p.m.  The theme will be " Winter Waltz".  Please click here to read more about Sequoia's policies for the dance.
Tickets for the Winter Formal will be available at school from January 27-31 at the following prices:

Purple Card - $35
PAL - $45
Standard - $50

Tickets at the door on the night of the event will be $60.

Senior Families: Buy Your Discounted Grad Night Ticket Now

Welcome to the new year!  There are only 131 days until we ROCK THE BOAT!  Class of 2020, have you bought your Grad Night ticket?  Tickets are currently available for $80/person, which includes transportation, food, and all of the activities on the cruise. 

Please go to the PTSA website to purchase tickets and find more information about Grad Night and all of the other Graduation Activities that are happening at the end of the year.  You will also find a link to a list of who has purchased tickets, in case you don't remember if you have already done so.

The Grad Night ticket price goes up to $90/person on Tuesday, February 25, so buy your ticket today!

Questions about Grad Night? Please contact Gayle Hoch or Lisa Miller.
Interested in the Middle College Program at Sequoia?

The SUHSD Middle College program at Cañada College is now accepting applications for Fall 2020.  Middle College is a collaboration between SUHSD and Cañada College, and students earn both high school and college credits, enabling them to complete their high school requirements and earn college credit simultaneously.  All classes are held at Cañada College.
Interested students should speak to their counselor and attend one of the Parent/Student information nights on:
Tuesday, January 28
Tuesday, February 11
Tuesday, February 25
Thursday, March 5 
All meetings will be held at the SUHSD Office at 480 James Ave, Redwood City in the Board Room from 6:30 - 7:30 p.m.
All applications must be submitted by March 20, 2020.
Please email Yesenia Haro, Cañada Middle College Staff Assistant or call her at 650-306-3155 with any questions.

Student Art Show 
Sequoia student artists from Art 1, IB Art, Drawing and Painting, Digital Photography, and Ceramics have artwork on display until January 31 in the Powell Gallery.  Stop by at lunch to see the many fine pieces of 2D and 3D artwork!

Note: The Powell Gallery is open during the school day lunch-periods.  All visitors to the campus during the school day will first need to check-in with the AVP office for a visitor's pass.
Join Us at the Conference for Immigrants and Allies 
Save the date for the Conference for Immigrants and Allies at Sequoia High School on Saturday, February 29 from 8:45 a.m. - 2:30 p.m .  This conference is organized by the Sequoia High School DREAM Club, Immigrant Youth Action Team, and Redwood City 2020, and is open to both adult immigrants and allies.
The conference, formerly known as Day of Unity, Understanding, and Supportive Action, will include a resource fair, workshops, and youth performances, to share timely and relevant information as well as build empathy and understanding. 
This year, a workshop track for educators, led by Immigrants Rising will be offered in addition to workshops for adult immigrants and allies.  Topics covered include Know Your Rights, immigration options, the college application process, mental health, and much more! 
Reserve your free tickets at this link or by calling (650)423-2207.  Please email Shannon Chiu  with any questions. 
This conference is run in conjunction with the High School DREAMers Unite! Conference.  Please spread the word to any interested high school students you may know!  Tickets can be found at this link .
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¡Reserve la fecha para la Conferencia Para Inmigrantes y Aliados el 29 de febrero de 8:45 a.m. a 2:30 p.m. en Sequoia High School! Esta conferencia está organizada por Sequoia High School DREAM Club, Immigrant Youth Action Team, y Redwood City 2020 para los adultos inmigrantes y aliados. 
La conferencia incluirá una feria de recursos, talleres, y actuaciones de estudiantes. Se compartirá información de inmigración actualizada y relevante para ayudar formar un sentido de empatía y comprensión en la comunidad. 
Además de talleres de Conoce Tus Derechos, opciones de inmigración, cómo solicitar a la universidad, salud mental, y más para los adultos inmigrantes y aliados, este año Immigrants Rising ofrecerá una serie de talleres para educadores.  
Reserve sus boletos gratis usando este enlace o llama por teléfono a (650)423-2207. Si tienen preguntas por favor de enviar un correo electrónico a Shannon Chiu
¡Esta conferencia es organizada junto con la conferencia de High School DREAMers Unite! Por favor inviten a los estudiantes de preparatoria interesados que conoce. Los boletos se encuentran en este enlace  .

Is Your Child Interested in Medicine and the Doctors Without Borders Organization?

Does you student express an interest in a medical career?  Do they see the importance of helping those in need?  Talk to them about a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to have lunch with the former president of Doctors Without Borders this Tuesday, January 28 during lunch.

The HOSA club, the Health Careers Academy, and the PTSA are very happy to be hosting the former president of Doctors Without Borders, Dr. Joanne Liu, for a special bring-your-own-lunch event.  Due to Dr. Liu's limited availability, we are only able to coordinate a lunch visit where she will talk about her career and will be answering student's questions.
To learn more about this amazing humanitarian organization, watch this video, discuss the organization's impact, and have your student click on this application form   to RSVP.

Due to limited space, we may not have room for all interested students.  Those who submit questions may have an increased chance to attend.

Junior Families: Still Need Help at Next Two Basketball Quad Games

Thank you to the junior class families who helped with our basketball concessions last Friday!

We will be doing concessions again on Friday, January 31st and Friday, February 7th.  Please sign up here to help staff concessions the concessions booth or volunteer to donate items.

Questions?  Contact Jen Pedrotti.

Math Tutorials
Is your child having difficulty understanding certain concepts in math?  Sequoia offers a series of free after-school tutorial sessions and we urge parents to talk with their students about using this free resource.  Please click on this flyer to see the schedule.

CAPTA Scholarships for Seniors
The California PTA provides two annual scholarships to seniors:
  • $750 Volunteer Service Scholarship:  This scholarship recognizes graduating seniors for their volunteer service in schools and communities, allowing them to register for courses at accredited colleges, universities, trade or technical schools. Applicants must be PTA members graduating from a California high school between January 1 and June 30 of the current academic year.
  • $500 Dr. Ralph E. White Graduating Senior Scholarship:  Honoring the volunteer and public-service legacy of Dr. Ralph E. White and his wife, Eleanor, this additional scholarship provides $500 each to two successful applicants of the Volunteer Service Scholarship who intend to pursue a career in a medical field.
The applications for these scholarships are due by February 1, 2020.  To learn more about the these scholarships, click here
Sequoia HIghlights
Sequoia Mural is Newest Contribution to Redwood City Public Art

Mural artists from the pilot ESL after-school art class posing with their finished artwork.

Team Leader Laurus Myth (right), ESL Teacher Stacy Wenzel (far left) and Stanford volunteer Analaura Amezquita Calam at the unveiling ceremony.
Sequoia's mural contribution titled "Pieces of Our Lives" now graces the alley behind the Sequoia Hotel in downtown Redwood City, brightening up the space along with nine other winning murals.  The public unveiling ceremony was held yesterday afternoon and attendees were honored for their participation in Redwood City's latest beautification project through public art.

Kudos to our student artists: Antony, Brenilin, Daniela, Dulce, Emilio, Jasmin, Samuel, Sofia, and Wilson.  And special thanks to team leaders Laurus Myth and Suzanne Gayle, and the after-school ESL art program sponsored by SHSEF.  The mural will be on display for the next nine to twelve months so take a stroll behind the Sequoia Hotel the next time you visit downtown.

In This Issue
Tuesday, Jan. 28
6:30 - 7:30 p.m.
Middle College Info Meeting 
Board Rm,
SUHSD Office on James Ave.  
Thursday, Jan. 30
7:00 - 8:30 p.m. 
Parent Ed: The Self Driven Child, MA-PAC, Atherton 
Friday, Jan. 31
3:15 p.m.- JV Girls 
4:45 p.m. - JV Boys
6:15 p.m. - V Girls
7:45 p.m. - V Boys
BB Quad Game vs. Woodside,
Gym 1   
Saturday, Feb. 1
8:00 - 11:00 p.m.
Winter Formal,
Fox Theater, RWC
Monday, Feb. 3  
First Day of Spring Sports
Tuesday, Feb. 4 
7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
Thursday, Feb. 6  
7:00 - 9:00 p.m. 
Senior Community College Fair, MPR  
Friday, Feb. 7 
3:15 p.m.- JV Girls 
4:45 p.m. - JV Boys
6:15 p.m. - V Girls
7:45 p.m. - V Boys
BB Quad Game vs. M-A,
Gym 1 
Monday, Feb. 10 
No School
Staff Development Day 
Tuesday, Feb. 11 
6:30 - 7:30 p.m.
Middle College Info Meeting 
SUHSD Office on James Ave.
Board Rm,
Feb. 17 - 21 
No School
Mid-Winter Break 
Quick Links
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The Sentinel 
Our readers enjoy hearing about activities, events, and accomplishments of our Sequoia students, staff, and community.  If you have articles to submit to the Sentinel (including photos and links), please email the article/blurb by the Thursday before publication.  See the following Guidelines for news submissions. 
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En Español
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 Parent Education

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The Self-Driven Child: The Science and Sense of Giving Your Kids More Control Over Their Lives
Dr. William Stixrud & Ned Johnson, Co-Authors
Thursday, January 30, 2020, 7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
Menlo-Atherton High School,
M-A Performing Arts Center (PAC)
555 Middlefield Road, Atherton
In this engaging presentation, Dr. Bill Stixrud and Ned Johnson, co-authors of The Self-Driven Child, provide research-based advice about how to help children and teens become more resilient, balanced, and motivated for learning.  Stixrud and Johnson theorize that a sense of control is the 'antidote to stress,' touching on common stressors for American kids such as social media, homework, and lack of sleep.  
Parents, students, educators, and community members welcome!  Free admission and light refreshments.  Spanish interpretation will be available.
M-A Parent Education Series events are sponsored by M-A PTA, Sequoia Healthcare District, and Sequoia Union High School District.
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Creating Gender Inclusive Environments for Children and Teens
Joel Baum, Senior Director for Professional Development, Gender Spectrum  
Thursday, February 27, 2020, 7:00 - 8:30 p.m. 
Woodside High School
Multi-Use Room (MUR)
199 Churchill Avenue, Woodside
As one of the most fundamental aspects of self, gender impacts everybody--particularly children and teens.  
Gender Spectrum's mission is to create a gender-inclusive world for all children and youth.  Today's young people have significantly different understandings of gender than previous generations, with consequences for children, families, organizations, and institutions. 
Parents, students, educators, and community members welcome!  Free admission and light refreshments.  Spanish interpretation will be available.
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Parenting Through the College Admission Process
Alice Kleeman, former M-A College Advisor &  Jim Rawlins, Director of Admissions, University of Oregon
Thursday, March 5, 2020, 7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
Menlo-Atherton High School
M-A Performing Arts Center (PAC)
555 Middlefield Road, Atherton 
In a lively armchair conversation, Parenting Through the College Admission Process brings Alice Kleeman, former M-A College Advisor, and Jim Rawlins, Director of Admissions at the University of Oregon to the M-A stage.  Alice and Jim will share their views from the high school, college, and parent perspectives.
Parents, students, educators, and community members welcome! Free admission and light refreshments. Spanish interpretation will be available.
M-A Parent Education Series events are sponsored by M-A PTA, Sequoia Healthcare District, and Sequoia Union High School District.
Woodside Parent Education Series events are sponsored by Woodside PTSA, Sequoia Healthcare District, and Sequoia Union High School District.
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LIKE: The Impact of Social Media On Our Lives
Documentary Film Screening & Panel Discussion
Tuesday, March 17, 2020, 7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
Carlmont High School, Performing Arts Center (PAC)
1400 Alameda de las Pulgas, Belmont
Join us for an exclusive showing of LIKE, the new IndieFlix Original documentary that explores the impact of social media on our lives. By understanding the impact of technology on the brain, we can learn how to navigate it more safely with our teens.
Parents, students, educators, and community members welcome!   Free admission and light refreshments.  Spanish interpretation (film subtitles) will be available.  Film showing to be followed by a panel discussion.
Carlmont Parent Education Series events are sponsored by Carlmont PTSA, Sequoia Healthcare District, and Sequoia Union High School District.
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Questions?  Contact Charlene Margot , M.A., Founder and Director, The Parent Education Series.

Community Events

Based on the classic Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film, by special arrangement with Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures, Inc.
Music published by EMI, all rights administered by Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
(Original Movie Choreography by Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen)
Produced by Arrangement With Maurice Rosenfield, Lois F. Rosenfield and Cindy Pritzker, Inc.

Thursday, February 6 at 7:00 p.m.
Friday, February 7 at 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, February 8 at 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, February 9 at 2:00 p.m.
Come join Carlmont Performing Arts for one of Hollywood's most beloved musicals.  Set in the 1920's during the silent movie era, our movie star, Don Lockwood, knows that the future of movies is in talkies, but his leading lady, Lina Lamont, has a voice better suited for silence.  The public demands to see Don and Lina in talkies, but what can they do about Lina's screechy voice?  Filled with every hilarious moment from the movie, a downpour of unforgettable songs, and tons of tap dancing, this show is sure to entertain the whole family!  With a cast, crew, and student orchestra of over 100 of Carlmont High School's most talented, dedicated, and creative students, this show is one not to miss.
Center Orchestra: $25, Side Orchestra: $20, Rear Orchestra: $17
Why the Census is Important to the PTA

2020 is an important year for the state and the country - it's the once-per-decade time that every person in America is counted in the U.S. Census. Census-taking starts in March 2020.

Why is this important to you as a PTA member or leader?  In a nutshell, responding to the census helps your community get its fair share of funding for the next 10 years.  Census data guides how more than $675 billion in federal funding is distributed for the following:
  • Schools
  • Health care facilities
  • Roads and transportation
  • Recreation centers
  • Social services
  • And much more!
In terms of education and schools, the census count impacts the next 10 years' worth of funds that your community's schools will receive for special education, classroom technology, teacher training, after-school programs, school lunch assistance, and so on.  If your child is in second grade now, the census count will have an impact on her education until she graduates from high school!

You have the power to shape the future for the children of California by helping to ensure that everyone in your community is counted in the 2020 Census.