March 11, 2019  

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

I'm proud that Sequoia is a school that takes student wellness and mental health as seriously as it does.  This means having open and honest conversations which includes students' voices. It also means empowering students with resources and information which will enable them to make intelligent choices in their lives and be resilient when inevitable challenges arise.

For the 14th time today, Sequoia's Teen Resource Center will partner with on-campus groups and community agencies to host its annual Health Fair.  Over 30 presenters will "table" in Gym Two (the event outgrew Gym Three some time ago) and classes will take a break from their regular programming throughout the day to visit the fair and interact with participating groups.  

When I visit the Health Fair each year, I see students asking questions, playing games set up by the presenters, and collecting "swag".  I hear from community partners how impressed they are with the extent to which Sequoia students engage in the topics presented and avail themselves of the resources at the event.

This year's fair will present attendees with some difficult choices as to how they should maximize their time.  The Black Student Union (presenting on the dangers of vaping products) will join the Youth Advisory Board, Dream Club, Peer Mediators, and Health Academy among the student-led programs.  

Community partners will present on topics such as teen yoga (yes, there will be demonstrations), distracted driving, vaping, healthy eating, and the mental health impact on online activity.  The broad selection of topics means that the Sequoia Health Fair has something for all students.

Our empowerment efforts are not limited, however, to students.  Part of our schoolwide efforts to educate and arm ourselves involves putting our staff in a position to better meet the needs of our kids.  Last week, Sequoia's Youth Advisory Board hosted a student panel at lunch. Teachers gathered over pizza to listen and ask questions of three brave students willing to talk candidly about their struggles with depression and anxiety.  

For the past several years, these quarterly lunchtime panels have covered a variety of student-generated topics and provided teachers with the all-too-rare opportunity to stop and listen to students speak from experience about topics generally seen as taboo.  Creating a safe space for such a dialogue to occur is testament to the culture everyone has invested in here at Sequoia.

Like I said at the outset., I'm proud of how this community faces the challenging issues that matter most to our students.  It is lamentable in the broader educational sphere how many systems are enacted to measure how our young people are doing and how little time we spend with simple questions like "How are you doing?" There is no standardized measure we can substitute for listening.


Mark Your Calendars
Reserve Your 2019 Sequoia Yearbook Now!

Three ways to reserve yours:
1)  Go to Josten's.
2)  See Mrs. Gordon in the treasurer's office
3)  On Infinite Campus, find the "Payment" button and find your way to the yearbook.
The price will go up after spring break so reserve yours now!

Questions? Contact Ms. Bray.

Sequoia Hosts Music Festival - All Welcome to Enjoy the Music! 
music notes On this Friday, March 15, the Sequoia Instrumental Music Program will host its annual music festival.  Both Sequoia Bands and the Orchestra will perform, and also welcome middle school bands and orchestras from Kennedy, Central, and Ralston.  All groups will play for two judges who will give written and verbal feedback, ratings, and a clinic.  This event is a wonderful way for students to showcase challenging music in a very professional setting, and also for directors to continue fostering strong relationships with our feeder schools. 
Sequoia's Orchestra performs at 8:30 a.m., Advanced Band takes the stage at 2:25 p.m., and Intermediate Band closes the day at 3:35 p.m. Parents and families are welcome to attend. 
Please Join Us in Celebrating this Year's Reflections Participants!

Reception: Tuesday, April 9, 6:30 p.m. in the Multi-Purpose Room

Come view participants' artwork, meet the artists, and enjoy light refreshments. At 7:00 p.m., we will honor all Reflections participants and announce the winners who advanced to the district and state competitions at the PTSA meeting immediately following the reception.
Congratulations to the 2018-19 Sequoia Reflections Participants!

Janelly Baladad
Tyler Christensen 
Alden Cuhna
Laniah Dickenson
Leonel Esquivel
Katherine Hansen
Nismah Ismail
Aidan Kolokithas
Ricardo Landa
Emily Murphy
Adriana Nava Revuelta
Marta Olson
Jennifer Ramirez
Miguel Rodriguez
Angelina Salgado
Ximena Sanchez Martinez
Samantha Santos
Christopher Saravia
Anna Serrano
Amelia Wiggin

Please see the entries that advanced to the district level here.

And thanks again to our judges and especially committee coordinator, Viki Young for supporting these student artists !
There's Still Time to Buy Tickets for March 23 Crab Feed at Hiller Aviation
Don't want to miss out on a great night of food, fun, and fundraising! Get your tickets to the 10th Annual Sequoia Boosters' Crab Feed now.
Purchase  your tickets to the Crab Feed hosted on  Saturday, March 23, 2019  at Hiller Aviation Museum, San Carlos
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.
Donations :
In order to make our silent and live auctions successful, we are seeking donations (it's tax deductible!).  Click on this link to donate .  We 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 a few volunteers to help with the event.  Click on this link to sign up .
Last Week at Sequoia...
Student Ambassadors Show off New Media Center!

Sequoia's New Media Center

On Tuesday, March 5th PTSA and ELAC parents were given a tour of the brand-new Media Center (formerly the library and now a library and so much more!). It is bright, light, inviting, with lots of books, comfortable seats, and places to study, computers to use, and even a faux fireplace with couches surrounding it. Old Sequoia memorabilia is on display along with some old technology that the students are allowed to touch.  Ms. Snow and her team did an amazing job transforming this old, dark space into a bright, modern center for learning. Be sure to check out the Media Center during Open House on Thursday, March 28. In the meantime, here is a video that Ms. Snow put together to give you a preview of this wonderful new addition to Sequoia High School.
A shout out to student Media Center Ambassadors Bea Rienhoff and Irene Katakis who led parents on the tours! And thanks again for all the parents and students who have helped bring the Media Center to life.

As the saying goes: "It takes a village!"  
Opportunities: Volunteer, Donate, Scholarships, Jobs
Juniors: Apply for PTSA Scholarships!

Applications for our annual PTSA Junior Scholarships are now being accepted and are  due Tuesday, April 16 by 10:00 p.m .  There are three categories of scholarships to recognize students: academic success, community service, or achievement in the face of socio-economic challenges.  We have 20 scholarships to offer, each worth $250.

This is a great way for juniors to get a head start on college applications, to be recognized for all they've done to make Sequoia a better place, and to earn some extra money to continue their education!   Click here for more info on applying.
PARENTS : We are looking for freshman, sophomore, and senior parent volunteers to join the Junior Scholarship Committee.  The commitment would be 2-3 hours reviewing applications, a 2 hour meeting in mid-April to assess the applications, and some follow-up emails.  Email Anne Scholes if you are interested in joining our group.
Prom is Around the Corner - April 12, 2019 - Make it Possible for Every Sequoia Student! 
Here are four ways you can help:
Sequoia's Prom Gallery will be open the week before spring break, on March 26, 27 and 28 during lunch, 7th period and after school.  All students (all genders) can visit the Family Center in Room 129 to sign up for an appointment at the Gallery.  We'll have over a hundred free dresses, many suits and tuxes, and loads of accessories for students to choose from.  For more info, contact Elvira Macias  or call (650) 367-9780 ext. 63110 between 7:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Time to clean out your closets!  We need dresses, suits, tuxedos, ties, jewelry, shawls, wraps, dress shoes, clutches, cuff-links, etc.  All items must be formal enough for prom, in great condition , and completely clean.   (We do not have the funds to mend or dry clean.)  All sizes and styles accepted! Donations accepted March 4 - 20 to one of our three convenient locations :
  • The Family Center (Sequoia Room 129), weekdays only, 7:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
  • Redwood City Home (81 Iris St, RWC): weekdays or weekends, 8:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.  Questions about this drop-off site? Please email Erika Pretell.
  • San Carlos Home (144 Belvedere Ave, SC): weekdays or weekends, 8:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. Questions about this drop-off site?  Please email Sarah Sorensen.
Some of our students-in-need won't be able to find an outfit at the Prom Gallery.  You can help by donating a gift card to Ross or Men's Wearhouse !  (While many of our students have found nice dresses at Ross for around $50, tux rentals can cost students over $100!)  Please visit this online sign-up to donate any size gift card.  Every dollar helps!
* Kudos to Men's Wearhouse in Redwood City  for donating free and reduced-cost tux rentals to our Prom Gallery this year.
Visit this online signup  to volunteer to help with our Prom Gallery preparations!
For more info about donating or volunteering , e-mail Elisa Nino-Sears or call her at (650) 387-8390.
For more info about free or reduced-price prom tickets , visit the Family Center (Room 129), email Elvira Macias , or call (650) 367-9780 ext. 63110 between 7:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Sequoia is committed to making sure all our kids can enjoy a fun and safe prom! Your generous, thoughtful support will light up a grateful student's face this spring! Thank you! ¡Gracias!
And wait! There's more...

The Princess Project Silicon Valley has thousands of beautiful, free dresses in all sizes at their Cupertino "store".  Their dress giveaways are on March 9, 10, 13, 16, 17 and 19.  Please visit their website  to register for a shopping spot ahead of time.  Please note that you will need to provide your student ID, an address (can be home or school address), and a signed waiver (with a parent signature if you are under 18).  For more info, please email Sarah Sorensen.
IB Ceremony Needs Your Help!

Did you know that last year over 400 Sequoia students took one or more IB Classes?  This year we are on track for even more and we want to celebrate their achievements.

The annual Sequoia IB Ceremony is May 30 at 5:30 p.m. in Carrington Hall.  All seniors who took one or more IB classes are asked to attend, along with their family and friends, to celebrate all they've accomplished.
Parent volunteers, of non-senior students, are needed that evening to help make it all sparkle.  If you can help, please contact Glenn Bugos.  More information about the ceremony will be sent closer to the date. 

Last Call! SHSEF Operations Manager Position Open for Applications Until March 15, 2019 

The Sequoia High School Education Foundation (SHSEF) is seeking prospective candidates for a new part-time operations manager position to support the mission, sustainability, and continued growth of the foundation. SHSEF fundraising revenues and program support have increased tenfold over the past ten years and the foundation is at a pivotal point where a staff position is necessary to ensure continued success in funding programs that support academic enrichment, college and career services, staff professional development and family support at Sequoia High School.

The Operations Manager will report to the Board President and will provide organizational and administrative support, supplementing the many volunteer hours that our community contributes to ensure that every student has the opportunity to reach their highest potential.
If you are interested in helping SHSEF make an even bigger impact, check out the position description here .  To apply for this opportunity, please send your resume and a cover letter to by Friday, March 15, 2019 .
Volunteer at the College and Career Connection

The College and Career Connection is a fun event made possible through partnerships with Sequoia Union High School District and Skyline College, which allows high school students to practice important career skills and to research career options that await them after high school.  This year's College and Career Connection will be March 13 & 14, 2019 at Skyline College, 3300 College Drive, San Bruno

We need approximately 120 volunteers for each event day to fill Mock Interviewer volunteer positions.  If you would like to volunteer as a Mock Interviewer please sign-up here.  The Mock Interviewer portion of the event will run from approximately 10:40 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. each day, and will be divided into three separate rotations of 45 minutes each.

Volunteers may register for one or both days, and as many rotations desired.  We ask that Volunteers arrive at least 15 minutes before their scheduled rotation.

The primary purpose of the College and Career Connection 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.  To see a past event in action, please see an excellent highlight video made by one of our former students. To learn more details about the College and Career Connection, please visit our FAQ, also located on the event website.

For questions not answered in the FAQ, please contact Greg Stein.
Do You Know a Purple Patriot? Honor Them With a Nomination

The Sequoia High School Alumni Association is soliciting nominations for its annual Purple Patriot Award.  Recipients will receive a framed certificate as well as have their name inscribed on a perpetual trophy on permanent display at the high school.
The Purple Patriot Award is an annual award instituted to honor both individuals and organizations who have demonstrated outstanding service or provided a significant benefit directly to Sequoia High School.  Nominees may be from Sequoia High School or the community at large.
Please indicate the nominee's individual name or organization name, and why the nominee should receive this award.  Be specific about the nominee's role in directly providing the service or benefit to Sequoia High School and explain in detail what the service or benefit was.
Nominations must be submitted in writing to the Sequoia High School Alumni Association, P. O. Box 2534, Redwood City, CA 94064, e-mailed, or placed in the Sequoia High School Alumni Association mailbox near the Principal's office no later than Friday, March 22.  If you have any questions, please contact Ken Rolandelli
In This Issue


Thursday, March 14
7:00 p.m.
Parent Ed:  Tech Sex,
Woodside HS PAC

Friday, March 15
Music Festival,
Orchestra - 8:30 a.m.,
Adv. Band - 2:25 p.m.,
Int. Band - 3:35 p.m.,
Carrington Hall

Saturday, March 23 
6:00 - 10:00 p.m.
Crab Feed,
Hiller Aviation

Wednesday, March 27 
7:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Spring Concert:
Orchestra, Band, Jazz Band, & Choir,
Carrington Hall

Thursday, March 28 
7:00 p.m.
Open House,
Sequoia HS

Friday, March 29 
Minimum Day Schedule
Sequoia HS

Tuesday, April 9
6:30 p.m.
Reflections' Reception,
Multi-Purpose Room

Quick Links
Buy Your Grad Tickets Now 
Visit the PTSA store
  to purchase your Grad Night Cruise tickets today!   
Find out all about grad activities here
Check Out the Latest Raven Report
January 2019 Issue  
Help From Stanford Tutors and Assistants  on Campus  
Does your student need support in math or college related applications?  Help is available for FREE! 



3:50 - 5:10 p.m.

Room 222. (Pre-Algebra through Algebra 2)  



3:45 - 5:45 p.m.

Room 216 (Pre-Algebra through PreCalc)

3:45 - 5:00 p.m.
Room 115 (C&C Center)
Join the PTSA  Anytime!  
Visit the
  to purchase your 2018-19 PTSA membership today, and contribute to Sequoia's Unaliyi spirit and programs!
Sequoia 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.  
Find past issues of the Sentinel at   
En Español
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 Parent Education

Parent Ed Logo Horizontal

Parent Ed
Vanessa Kellam
Vanessa Kellam, Educator, Health Connected 
Tech Sex & Teen Dating Relationships
Thursday, March 14, 2019, 7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
Woodside High School, Performing Arts Center (PAC)
Join Vanessa Kellam, Parent Engagement Coordinator at Health Connected, for an interactive workshop about the impact of social media and online "tech sex" on teen dating relationships.  Contrary to popular belief, teens want parental input and advice about sexual health and relationships! 
Woodside Parent Education Series events are sponsored by Woodside PTSA, Sequoia Healthcare District, and Sequoia Union High School District.
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Stephen Smuin and Richard Ceballos, The Stanford Tobacco Prevention Toolkit
Vaping/JUUL Education Workshop
Monday, March 18, 2019, 7:00  - 8:30 p.m.
Sequoia Union High School District Office, Birch Room
480 James Avenue, Redwood City
What do parents, students, and educators need to know about vaping, JUUL, e-cigarettes, and vape devices?   The Stanford Tobacco Prevention Toolkit  is a new resource aimed at preventing middle and high school students' use of electronic cigarettes/vapes (including JUUL and other pod-based systems).
**Seating is limited
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Jacob Gonzalez, Impact Teen Drivers & CA Highway Patrol
Parent-Teen Distracted Driving Workshop
Thursday, March 21, 2019, 7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
Sequoia High School, Carrington Hall
Automobile collisions are a leading cause of death for our nation's teens. The overwhelming majority of these crashes are caused by inexperience or distractions, not thrill-seeking or deliberate risk-taking. Impact Teen Drivers is a nonprofit organization dedicated to reversing the trend of distracted driving.
Sequoia Parent Education Series events are sponsored by SHSEF, Sequoia Healthcare District, and Sequoia Union High School District. 
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Kelly McGonigal, PhD, Stanford University
Born to Move: The Scientific Link Between Movement, Joy & Belonging
Monday, March 25, 2019, 7:00  -  8:30 p.m.
Menlo-Atherton High School, M-A Performing Arts Center (PAC)
Kelly McGonigal , PhD, Stanford University, author of The Upside of Stress, will discuss her latest research and new book, Born to Move: The Scientific Link Between Movement, Joy & Belonging, on how physical activity can lead to joy and belonging-if we open our minds and bodies to it.

Sequoia Parent Education Series events are sponsored by SHSEF, Sequoia Healthcare District, and Sequoia Union High School District. 
Parents, students, educators, and community members welcome!  Free admission and light refreshments.  Spanish interpretation will be available.
Questions?  Contact Charlene Margot, M.A., Director of The Parent Education Series .

March is Arts Education Month in California

California State PTA and the California Department of Education recognize March as Arts Education Month in California! It's a wonderful opportunity to celebrate all five domains of artistic expression - dance, media arts, music, theatre, and visual arts.
There are three ways you and your PTA can show your support for arts education during Arts Education Month.
First, join CreateCA! Learn more about California's movement for arts education here.
Even more resources are available on our arts education page here.   Remember, creativity is not optional!
Second, we'd love to hear how arts education has touched your child, your family and your PTA. Have an arts story to share? We'd love to connect and hear your story.Fill out the submission form  here.
And lastly, be sure to check out your local community theatres, county arts commissions, and museums for more events near you.
Art events throughout the state include:
Look for additional ideas and activities from California State PTA all month to celebrate Arts Education Month in California.

 Community News

Support for Teens by Teens!

The SafeSpace Youth Action Board in coordination with local mental health professionals is presenting "This Affects Us All: Helping a Friend in Crisis,"  a 90 minute workshop on how to help a friend struggling with their mental health, handle and defuse crisis situations, encourage help-seeking behaviors, and discuss difficult topics. This free presentation offered twice is for young people ages 11-20.
When: March 28 and April 18,   6:30 - 8:00 p.m.
Where: SafeSpace Community Engagement Center, 708 Oak Grove Ave. Menlo Park, CA  
Please register through Eventbrite
In partnership with 7 Cups of Tea, SafeSpace now offers young people a new 24/7 compassionate listening app, SafeSpace Support Line. Teens can anonymously chat one-on-one about their problems with a non-judgemental trained active listener in multiple languages in a secure environment at any time, on their own device, at no cost.  The smartphone app is basically a supportive friend in one's pocket. This online emotional support service is not meant to replace therapy. Users can choose a random listener, or select one based on the life experiences, ethnicity, and expertise as provided on their profile.  The app provides an extensive selection of exercises, or personal growth paths, that help users gain skills and knowledge on specific issues that concern them, like social anxiety, stress, or loneliness.
SafeSpace is a local student-led organization that empowers young people to engage with their local schools and communities by creating and implementing initiatives to change the conversation around mental health by empowering peers to speak out, share with others and seek help when needed.
Lesley M. Martin, Ed.D.
Managing Director
SafeSpace Center 
708 Oak Grove Ave.
Menlo Park, CA 94025
New generation, new conversation