April 6, 2020  
Sequoia PTSA's weekly eNewsletter in partnership with the Sequoia High School Education Foundation
Message From PTSA President
Brave New World 
My dining table has been converted into a classroom.  Laptops, notebooks, pencils, and cold, half-drunk mugs of coffee are piled up.  My kitchen has been transformed into the set of the TV show, "Chopped".  The challenge: Make a three-course meal out of leftover corned beef, ripe bananas, seasoned tofu, and canned garbanzo beans.  My family room is a gym and yoga studio, and my cat has never been happier with all the extra hands to pet him.
Our daily routines have been fundamentally altered from just a few short weeks ago and all that we were used to, is no more.  Everything has changed.   And yet collectively, our lives have been thrown together like never before.
Have you found yourselves connecting with friends or relatives you've fallen out of touch with, just to see how they're doing?  Are you checking in with older neighbors, perhaps offering to pick up some groceries so that they don't have to leave their homes?  Noticed how many people (behind masks and standing 6 feet away) smile at each other while waiting in line to enter the super market?  There is good that comes with the bad.

Part of our unified struggle finds us navigating the ever-changing regulations and recommendations made by our community and political leaders.  And this includes our school administrators.  Our Principal, Sean Priest and SHSEF Superintendent, Mary Streshly have been dutifully keeping us informed with regular communications.  But if you are like me, when I heard definitively that online learning would be the status quo for the rest of the school year, my heart sunk.  I understand why and I appreciate the abundance of caution for the sake of the common good, but I nevertheless felt sad for the students and teachers who will miss out on the face-to-face connections that make learning so meaningful.  Of course, we will all meet the challenge of this new kind of learning but it is hard not to be disappointed with how this school year will play out.  And maybe there is some consolation that we are all going through this together.  

So while this epidemic runs its course, I am going to try my best to be patient and helpful to my kids and their teachers.  I am going to help serve our school and all the parents to the best of my abilities. And, I am going to treat myself to an extra dose of something that calms, inspires, and rejuvenates me: music. 

I recently found a performance of a song that never ceases to move me, by gifted musician, k.d. lang.  If it brings you joy, I am glad.  If it encourages you to seek out what you need to help yourself at this difficult time - read, write, laugh, play music, or even nap, do it!

Finally, the title of my message today comes from, who else, but William Shakespeare (another inspirational go-to for me) and it sums up how I feel about all the amazing people in our community and beyond who are helping us all process these challenging and historic times.

"O wonder!
How many goodly creatures are there here!
How beauteous mankind is!
O brave new world,
That has such people in't."

Be safe this week.  Keep your family close.  And I hope to see you all in person someday soon.
Lisa Hane
PTSA President - Sequoia High School

Mark Your Calendars
Attend Tomorrow's Virtual Zoom PTSA Meeting/Election In Your Pajamas? You Bet!
Your current PTSA Executive Board is presenting a   slate of candidates for the 2020-21 school year for election - all positions are filled, which is excellent! 
Check out the agenda for tomorrow's meeting.  In addition to elections, Principal Sean Priest will present the current State-of-the School with a brief Q&A.
Now more than ever, a strong and vital PTSA is necessary to help advocate for all Sequoia parents, teachers, and students, and you can be a part of choosing next year's leadership.
Because of the current social distancing situation, we will be holding our meeting online via Zoom - the first time ever.  Access instructions are below. 
If you are unfamiliar with how to load the Zoom app on your device, check out this video tutorial.   
Please consider joining us (in the comfort of your home) for this historic online PTSA meeting - even if it is your first for this school year! 
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Join Zoom Meeting 
Meeting ID: 845 852 708 
Topic: PTSA April General Membership Meeting 
Time: Tuesday, April 7, 2020 7:00 p.m.
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Last Week to Apply for PTSA Mini Grants

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.

Click here for a direct link to the program.

Please contact our Mini-Grant Committee Chairs DeeDee Clarke and Karen Latina with any questions. 
Juniors: Apply for PTSA Scholarships!
moneybag_graphic.jpg Applications for our annual PTSA Junior Scholarships are now being accepted until Sunday, April 19, 2020 at 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 information on applying for PTSA Junior Scholarships.

Sequoia Highlights
The Need is Greater Than Ever!
Veyna Karanth working on her personal goal of 100 masks over Spring Break.
My name is Veyna Karanth and I am a freshman at Sequoia. 
As of March 26th, there have been 6,205 health care workers affected nationally by this pandemic.  This week, 36 doctors have died.  There just isn't enough PPE being delivered to the hospitals.  They need it NOW!
I started making masks on March 16th for the health care workers in California who are risking their lives everyday without protective equipment.  My pledge was to make/collect 500 masks, and as of now, I have about 100 of which I made 64 myself.  I also pledged to collect funds for the Afya Foundation, an organization that collects surplus medical equipment and donates it to hospitals around the country.  They are also collecting money specifically for Covid-19 supplies.  I started a Facebook donation campaign and have exceeded my goal by raising about $2,500 to this date.  Now that t he CDC has announced that everyone should wear a face covering, the demand is increasing.  Over the last three days, folks from various non-profits have been reaching out to me -- cancer organizations to veteran homes, appealing for masks.
Some of the finished masks ready for delivery.
I am on my way to making 100 masks personally.  Not only will I be able to reach my goal but I hope you can help me go beyond to help the people that are risking their lives to help us.  If you need materials, many organizations including Joann's , are giving out free material.  Here are the instruction links and material list for making the masks Please email me if you have questions and I can work with you.

Ideally, I would like to pick up all the masks and deliver them to the hospitals a week from today.  Please share this appeal with your friends and family -- anything and everything helps.

Thank you, 
Veyna Karanth

Last Minute Boosters Online Auction Raises Close to $30K - THANK YOU to Volunteers and Supporters!

We are pleased to announce that, although we didn't raise as much money as we have traditionally, our 11th annual (and 1st online!) Boosters Crab Dinner and Auction was a huge success!  We raised close to $30K!!  We are so very grateful for the generosity of our community of online bidders and the folks and businesses who contributed to making this accomplishment a reality. 

We are also indebted to the hard work and tenacity of a few amazing volunteers who were responsible for our success!  Having only days to shift from having 300 people attend our usual sit-down dinner and silent/live auction event, our team of amazing volunteers worked tirelessly to make the auction portion of the event a virtual reality!

I would like to extend a HUGE thank you to Adam and Karyn Kurland, our Event Chairs.  This dynamic husband and wife team opened their home for multiple meetings, storage of all the goods, and spent a multitude of hours learning online bidding systems, packaging and photographing items, etc. Also, another HUGE thank you to Paula Ebejer-Moffitt, our Donations Chair, and her team for procuring so many wonderful items to bid on!  And, of course, we'd like to extend our thanks to those volunteers and student athletes who had worked behind the scenes leading up to, and to those who were to work at the event. 

Going through times like these and missing out on traditions and events is undoubtedly difficult.  Looking forward, it will be our intention to make next year's Booster Crab Dinner and Auction an event to be remembered!!  Join us in looking forward to a bright future.

Stay safe, stay healthy, and stay inside! 

~ Ann Berljafa, 2019-2020 Sequoia Boosters Club President

Parent Resources
Links to Explore During Shelter-in-Place 
As all of us are getting used to the new routines and distance learning, here are a few curated resources to tap into:
  • NEW Create At Home offers opportunities to explore all manners of creativity through art education.
  • NEW Redwood City Parks, Recreation and Community Resources has a plethora of links to keep you connected with our local community as well as opportunities for wellness through online classes, volunteer opportunities, and essential services.
  • The Media Center at Sequoia has the Distance Learning Center site up. This site is updated periodically, so please bookmark the Distance Learning Page and visit it occasionally.
  • Audible has launched Audible Stories, a free service that offers educational and entertaining audiobook content for kids, teens, and families.
  • Without a doubt, many of us are feeling anxious as we navigate the uncertainty of COVID-19. We're feeling it too, and we wanted to share some of the tools we're using to take care of our minds and stay grounded. 
  • Because of coronavirus, teenagers are missing out on major rites of passage. Offering compassion paves their way toward feeling better. Read: Quaranteenagers: Strategies for Parenting in Close Quarters (NYT Subscription required to read)
  • These 12 famous museums offer Virtual Tours you can take on your couch.
In This Issue
Monday, Apr. 6
No School
Teacher Work Day 
Tuesday, Apr. 7
7:00 p.m. 
Apr. 7 - Jun. 4  
Distance Learning in Effect
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 Parent Education

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Welcome to the first in our NEW Parent Education Webinar Series! We are delighted to welcome Adina Glickman and Dr. Devorah Heitner to kick off the online program.
Also, click here to view the NEW "COVID-19 Parent Resources" section on The Parent Education Series website. Take care and stay well, everyone!
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Raising a Resilient (Distance) Learner
Adina Glickman, MSW, founder and director of the Stanford Resilience Project  
Tuesday, April 7, 2020, 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Online Event (Webinar)  
Info & Tickets for Raising a Resilient (Distance) Learner (Zoom link provided upon registration) 
Students who thrive develop a range of intellectual and social-emotional skills and capacities. The Resilient Learner is an integrated approach to learning that can help children and teens flourish - even during "distance learning"
Adina Glickman, MSW,  is the former founding director of the Stanford Resilience Project  for Stanford's Learning Strategy Programs, and co-founder of The Academic Resilience Consortium. 
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Balancing Screen Time, Unplugged Time, and Well-Being 
Devorah Heitner, PhD, Founder of Raising Digital Natives
Thursday, April 9, 2020, 12:00 p.m. - 1:00p.m.
Online Event (Webinar)
Info & Tickets for Balancing Screen Time (Zoom link provided upon registration)
In this virtual workshop, Devorah Heitner, PhD , addresses the social-emotional learning (SEL) components of balancing screen time, tech time, and distance learning during this unusual period in family life.
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For videos of popular events, visit our YouTube and Vimeo channels, and connect with us on Instagram and Facebook for the latest parenting news.

Questions?  Contact Charlene Margot, M.A., Founder and Director, The Parent Education Series .