February 10, 2020  
Sequoia PTSA's weekly eNewsletter in partnership with the Sequoia High School Education Foundation
Principal's Message
A Slice of the Sequoia PTSA Pie

Teachers and students with a vision for how to take their program, class, or activity to the next level are once again getting a big boost this year from Sequoia's awesome PTSA Mini-Grant Program.  New posters celebrating inspiring figures in history?  Hung.  Field trips for students in our Independent Living Skills Program?  Booked.  Robotics tournament entry fees?  Paid.  

Parents DeeDee Clarke and Karen Latina are heading up the Mini-Grant Program this year.  Teachers, staff, and students may apply for up to $750 in order to enhance the educational experience offered at Sequoia High School.  The mission of the Mini-Grant Program is to encourage creative approaches to learning and address compelling needs which would otherwise go unfunded.  Students, teachers, and staff are eligible.  After an initial round of awards in the fall, the committee distributes funds in a series of rolling grants throughout the remainder of the year.  The responsive nature of this format means great ideas don't have to wait until next year to find a place in the budget.  DeeDee and Karen's engagement and mission-focus are big reasons the mini-grants have the impact they do.
The program is also a great example of how the stakeholder organizations at Sequoia work to complement one another.  The PTSA Mini-Grants are funded entirely by the Sequoia High School Education Foundation (SHSEF), which allocates resources directly to the initiative as part of its annual budgeting.  Not having to worry about raising money allows the PTSA members to focus on the work of coordinating, promoting, and awarding mini-grants in a way that promotes equity and excellence for Sequoia students.  This cooperation is not something we take for granted in our community, but speaks to the strong trust we've built over the years.
Some beneficiaries of PTSA Mini-Grants this year include: The Media Center, Social Studies Teacher Pablo Aguilera, Math Madness Contest participants, The Sequoia Garden Project, the Anime Club, Model U.N., English Teacher Lillian Humphrey, and The College/Career Center.  A complete list of recipients can be viewed here
The Sequoia Young Feminists Club, which has emerged over the last few years as a strong engine of advocacy and information on our campus, used a PTSA Mini-Grant to help subsidize its "Pink Box" Initiative.  The initiative has the dual purpose of providing a source of free feminine hygiene products and de-stigmatizing menstruation among students and staff.  Last month, the students behind the initiative presented their work at our staff meeting.  We were, as always, proud to see our students engage in meaningful and constructive social change.  
Have a great week!

Mark Your Calendars
Buy Your Tickets to Sequoia Booster's Annual Crab Feed at Hiller Aviation on Saturday, March 21, 2020 Before It Sells Out
You don't want to miss out on getting your tickets to the 11th Annual Sequoia Boosters Crab Feed!  This event sells out every year so make sure to purchase your tickets early.

Click here to purchase tickets to the Crab Feed hosted on Saturday, March 21, 2020 at Hiller Aviation Museum, San Carlos.

The Sequoia Crab Feed is one of the main fundraisers of the year for Sequoia Boosters, which helps fund equipment and uniforms for Sequoia Athletics.

We know that not everyone can attend, but if you still want to help us in our biggest fundraiser of the year, consider volunteering with the team, or donating something.

In order to make our silent and live auctions successful, we are seeking donations (it's tax deductible!).   Click on this link to donateWe are especially looking for restaurant gift certificates and bottles of wine valued at $20 or more for the "Wine Pull" game.  Here are some other donation ideas:

* Gift cards (restaurants, services, or Costco/Smart & Final to offset our food costs)
* Memorabilia, sporting event tickets
* Hosted parties (dinners, Moms & Margaritas night, bowling night)
* Getaway vacation homes.
* Have airline miles to spare?  Let's bundle them with some of our live items!

We are still looking for volunteers, including check-in/check-out helpers, item fulfillment, clean-up supervision, someone to make pasta sauce, someone to help with dessert, and a roving drink ticket seller.   Click on this link to volunteer and let your friends know about it.

Senior Families: Buy Your Discounted Grad Night Ticket Now

graphic 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, 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.

Join SHSEF for a Non-partisan Forum on Education with California Senate District 13 Candidates

SHSEF is co-sponsoring a meet-the-candidates event for California State Senate District 13.  Join us for a non-partisan forum on the topic of education featuring candidates running for election this year.

Thursday, February 13, 2020
7:00 - 8:30 p.m.

Redwood City Downtown Library
Second Floor, Community Room
1044 Middlefield Road
Redwood City, CA

SUHSD Career Fair at Skyline College Seeks Volunteer Interviewers
If you have ever been on an interview or a hiring committee, this is the perfect volunteer opportunity for you!  Sign Up Here!

What: Mock Interviewers Needed

When: Tuesday, April 7 and Wednesday, April 8 (Sequoia students will attend on Wednesday)

Where: Skyline College, 3300 College Drive, San Bruno, CA.

Times: 10:40 - 11:25 a.m., 11:35 a.m. - 12:20 p.m., and 12:30 - 1:15 p.m.

The primary purpose of the Career Fair is to act as a capstone learning experience for students who have prepared for the event by writing a personal resume, practicing job interview skills, learning about proper business etiquette, and to continue exploring career education pathways.

Please join us for 1, 2 or 3 hours on either day of the event.  We will have approximately 130 students each day in 3 rotations.  This is an amazing opportunity for students to practice their interviewing skills in a safe and relaxed environment and many then go on to land important first jobs for the summer after their junior year.

grantRolling Applications for PTSA Mini-Grants are Open!
Through the support of the Sequoia High School Education Foundation (SHSEF), the PTSA is able to offer financial  grants to enhance the excellent education offered at Sequoia High School. 

These  grants are valued up to $750 and are designed to encourage creative approaches to learning.  Students, teachers, and staff may apply.  Currently, there is $7,000 remaining to be awarded!
Applications will be accepted online until Friday, April 10, 2020.

To apply for a grant through the school website:
Click on PTSA under the "Parents and Community" tab 
Under the "Quicklinks" title, click on "Sequoia PTSA website"
Click "Programs"
Click " Mini- Grants"
Click "Application and Requirements"

Or click here for a direct link to the program.

Please contact our Mini-Grant Committee Chairs DeeDee Clarke and Karen Latina with any questions.
Volunteer With the PTSA for the 2020-21 School Year
  Get Involved
Being part of the PTSA allows you to be connected with the school, community, and your child's education.  The PTSA is looking for volunteers at every level and in any capacity for this next school year.  Positions ranging from web master to board positions are available!  Please help us spread the word to incoming Freshman parents. 

Contact Isha Bhatt or Lisa Hane with any questions.  

Looking for Volunteer Drivers for ESL Field Trip

San Jose Inspiring Connections Outdoors (San Jose ICO - a branch of the Sierra Club) has been offering trips to English learners at Sequoia High School for over ten years.  David Ortiz and Stacy Wenzel are the volunteer staff liaisons at Sequoia for the organization.  ICO needs volunteer drivers for a snow trip February 29 - March 1, 2020. 

There is a short volunteer training (under 2 hours) required.  Please see the website for more information about volunteering.  Additional training sessions can be added (beyond those listed on the website).  If you are interested, please email Bob Segalla and mention that you are available to drive on the February 29th - March 1st snow trip. 

Thank you for considering!

~ Stacy Wenzel, ESL Teacher

Feedback Needed: Tell Us How We Can Improve the Sequoia Sentinel

Our goal for this newsletter is to keep the parents and the Sequoia High School community informed on events, announcements, and opportunities related to the school and the school district.  In order for us to better serve the interests of the parents, guardians, and community through the newsletter, please take this short survey and provide your feedback by Friday, February 14, 2020.

Please note that the Sentinel crew will be taking a week off during the mid-Winter Break and will be back on Monday, February 24th.
Sequoia HIghlights
Shadow Program a Success!

For ten Mondays, from September 2019 through January 2020, Sequoia High School hosted 8th grade student "shadows" interested in attending next fall; each "shadow" was paired with a Sequoia student host.  This year's program was another great success, thanks to the outstanding leadership of Activities Director Corey Uhalde!  Sequoia hosted over 550 shadows, with 65 regular Sequoia hosts and 20 alternates.  We accommodated many personal requests and all in all, 150 different Sequoia students hosted a shadow at some point throughout the year.

Special thanks to our shadow committee in ASB that helped coordinate the speakers, pizza lunch, evaluations surveys, etc.:  Paul Graf, Alexis Westphal-Cullen, Lucy Miller, Reese McKeon, Kaitlyn Lynch, Olivia Meak, and Anikka Erickson.  And an extra special thank you to the parent volunteers who checked in shadows and hosts, gave directions on where to park, and provided a warm, welcoming smile to nervous students and their parents:  Michelle Chang, Alana Corso, Marianne Jett, Angie Jones, Rachel Krueger, Lanham, Andi Victoria Mendiola, Megan Murray, Jessica Rosenberg, Susannah Sallin-Scherer, Linda Solon, and Cynthia Wiggin.  Many thanks to Sara Mancini for her role in helping coordinate the Shadow Program this year.  Some of the parent volunteers helped out multiple times.  Thank you so much to everyone for making the program a success!

THANK YOU, Junior Class Families!

concessions A HUGE thank you to all the wonderful volunteers for the Basketball Concessions supporting the Class of 2021 Grad Night.  Over 30 parents gave their time or donated items to help raise funds for next year's graduation celebration.

Helpers and Donors included: Dina Acreman, Meredith Armienti, Marianne Cheatham, Robb Cloyd, Tim Cullinane, Jenn DiGrande, Cheryl diTargiani, Julie Gleason, Karen Ha, Krissy Haslam, Andrea Hernacki, Diane Jacobson, Julie Juergens, Karyn Kurland, Patty Leeper, Susan Lier, Maria Manzo, Sarah McCaughey, Jackie Melz, Victoria Mendiola, Megan Miller, Krista Morey, Becky Morris, Amy Ollmann, Jasmin Peccei, Anthony Pendrotti, Katherine Schembri, Caitlin Schneider, Jen Sharratt, Annie Singler, Tessa Solomon, Kristine Webb, and Karen Wray.

Special thanks to Jen Pendrotti for organizing this fundraiser!   The next Class of 2021 fundraiser will be coming up in April (candy lei sales!)Information on how you can help will be posted in the Sentinel, so be on the lookout. 

In This Issue
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  
Tuesday, Feb. 25  
7:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Boosters Meeting, Staff Lounge Rm. 233
Tuesday, Feb. 25  
6:30 - 7:30 p.m.
Middle College Info Meeting, SUHSD Office on James Ave. - Board Rm.
Saturday, Feb. 29   
8:45 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Conference for Immigrants and Allies, Sequoia High School 
Monday, Mar. 2
7:00 - 9:00 p.m. 
Spring Sportsmanship Night, Location TBD
Tuesday, Mar. 3
7:00 - 8:30 p.m. 
Thursday, Mar. 5  
6:30 - 7:30 p.m.
Middle College Info Meeting, SUHSD Office on James Ave. - Board Rm.
Friday & Saturday,  
Mar. 6  & 7 
7:00 - 10:00 p.m.
Sunday, Mar. 8 
3:00 - 6:00 p.m.
Winter Play " The Mousetrap,"
Carrington Hall 
Quick Links
Support Sequoia All Year

Copy and paste SHSEF's AmazonSmile link below onto your browser bar for quick access to future contributions while shopping!

It's Always the Right Time... be a part of the Sequoia community!

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. 
For those who wish to subscribe or resubscribe, we cannot add you back if you initiated the unsubscribe authorization at any point so use the link below to receive our weekly newsletter.  Please check all appropriate boxes for grade level or special interest communications.
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En Español
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 Parent Education

Parent Ed Logo Horizontal

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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Ready or Not: Preparing Our Kids to Thrive in an Uncertain and Rapidly Changing World
Dr. Madeline Levine, Psychologist and Bestselling Author 
Friday, February 28, 2020, 7:30 - 9:00 p.m.
Kepler's Books
1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park
Dr. Madeline Levine, bestselling author of The Price of Privilege and Teach Your Children Well , shares a hopeful vision of how we can help our children embark on their futures with confidence.  This special event is sponsored in partnership with Kepler's Literary Foundation and the M-A Parent Education Series.
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

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.