April 8, 2019  

Sequoia PTSA's weekly eNewsletter in partnership with the Sequoia High School Education Foundation
PTSA President's Message
Many Hands Make Light Work 
I know it's an overused idiom but I do feel strongly about the truth of this statement, especially in our Sequoia community. The last few weeks, I had the joy of being part of the Sequoia Prom Gallery, collecting formerly-loved prom and bridesmaid gowns from the community so that Sequoia students could put them to good use.  Volunteers helped set up a "shop" (as elegant as it could be in a music wing classroom with an open ceiling due to a leak repair!) with racks of gowns, shoes, jewelry, and accessories.  It was so much fun seeing students choose the perfect dress - or maybe the dress chose the student?  And then all too soon it was time to break it all down and put the remaining items into storage.  In my imagination, the gowns are now hibernating, dreaming of being chosen next year so they can attend the prom.  Thank you to all who donated and volunteered for this special program. It's just one of many ways in which many folks get together to make something great happen at Sequoia.  I'm also thinking of the recent Crab Feed Dinner, a huge amount of work that somehow always turns into one of the most fun events of the year.   
Coming up - we need lots of help proctoring end-of-year IB and AP exams.  It's an easy volunteer effort and doesn't require any training.  And if your skills turn toward running a committee, we're looking for folks to lead next year's Reflections Contest and Junior Scholarships.  It takes a lot of hands, indeed, but we make the work light!  
We hope to see you at our second-to-last PTSA and ELAC general meeting of the year on Tuesday, April 9, in the MPR.  Principal Sean Priest will lead off with his usual welcome and commentary at 7:00 p.m.  This week, we have something special before the meeting as we'll be celebrating the Reflections contest entrants with a reception at 6:30 p.m.  Please come early and enjoy the exhibit and light snacks as we honor the students who participated in this program.

Best wishes,
Erika Pretell  
Mark Your Calendars
Adjusted Bell Schedule This Week for Freshmen, Sophomores, and Seniors 
Please note the shortened days this week, Tuesday through Friday, April 9 - 12, due to 11th grade testing.  This schedule is for 9th, 10th and 12th graders only.  
Tuesday, April 9 and Thursday, April 11 - Shortened A-Day
Start time: 10:45 a.m.  
Period 5 End Time: 2:35 p.m.
Period 7 End Time: 3:40 p.m. 
Wednesday, April 10 and Friday, April 12 - Shortened B-Day
Start time: 10:45 a.m.  
Period 6 End Time: 2:35 p.m.
Period 0 End Time: 3:40 p.m.
Please Join Us in Celebrating this Year's Reflections Participants!
Reception: Tuesday, April 9, 6:30 p.m. 
Location: 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.
Please see the entries that advanced to the district level here.

Prom Tickets

If your student hasn't bought his/her ticket yet, there's still time!  Prom 2019 will be held at the Bently Reserve in San Francisco.  It will start at 8:00 p.m. and end at midnight this Friday, April 12, 2019.  All attendees will need to be picked up by 12:15 a.m.  School conduct applies.

Standard Ticket Sales
Monday, April 8 - Wednesday, April 10
Lunch @ Student Activities Center
with PAL Sticker - $90
no PAL Sticker - $95

Wednesday, April 10 is the final day to purchase tickets.  There will be no ticket sales Thursday (4/11), Friday (4/12) or at the door.  

Put on Your Walking/Running Shoes for the 8th Annual Sequoia Stampede

Run your troubles away on April 20 at the  Sequoia Stampede & Tot Trot .  It's a great Saturday morning event for the whole family and Sequoia staff can register for free.  At the end of registration, please enter coupon code "SequoiaStaff" for your complimentary registration.  This annual event at the historic Sequoia High School track in Redwood City, CA, is arguably one of the most beautiful 5K's in the area.

Runners and walkers of all ages and abilities are welcome.  The 5K Race starts at 8:30 a.m. and the Tot-Trot (2 laps around the track) begins at 9:30 a.m.

Distance is measured exact to 5k.  For registration and more information please visit our website.  Race sponsors and vendors are welcome to contact race administration.  Parents of student athletes are encouraged to volunteer to help with this event - please sign up here.  Sequoia Stampede is hosted by Sequoia Boosters to benefit Sequoia Sports and Cheer.

Dance Show is Back - Get Your Tickets Before They Sell Out!

Dance show tickets are now on sale!   Every year, each show has been a sell-out event so make sure you get your tickets early.  Advanced purchases online are $14 each and ticket prices at the door are $20.  In celebration of 50 years of dance at Sequoia, we will have three shows this year:
  • Thursday, April 25
  • Friday, April 26
  • Saturday, April 27
All shows start at 7:30 p.m. in Carrington Hall.
Opportunities: Volunteer, Donate, Scholarships
Get Involved Get Involved in Sequoia's PTSA (Parent Teacher Student Association)

The PTSA is looking for parents interested in being involved in Sequoia's teacher and student programs.  If you want to feel connected to your child's school experience and get to know other parents, teachers, and staff, please contact Meredith Park .  We have various volunteer roles available for next year.  Incoming Freshman parents welcome!
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.  

This is a great way to get a head start on your college applications, to be recognized for all you've done to make Sequoia a better place, and to earn some extra money to continue your education!  Click here for more information and the application for junior scholarships.
Help Proctor IB and AP Exams
Are you looking for a way to get involved at Sequoia that will only take a few hours of  your time?  Help proctor IB or AP exams between May 3 and May 24 If your student will be participating in the IB program at some point and you can be available during the day, the expectation is to proctor at least once each year.
Please help us fill the 107 proctoring spots. Here's how it works in 3 easy steps:

1) Click this link to see available spots .
2) Review the options listed and choose the spot(s) you like.
3) Sign up! It's Easy - you will NOT need to register an account or keep a password on

After signing up, you will be contacted via email by Elisa Nino-Sears, Sequoia's Volunteer Coordinator. There is a quick and simple clearance process for all volunteers placed in academic settings with students.

AP Contact: IVP Office: Kristin Stout 
IB Contact: IB Coordinator: Lisa McCahon
Thank You for Spoiling Our Teachers and Staff After Open House!

Teachers and staff enjoying morning goodies and hot beverages at the Sequoia Coffee Cart.

THANK YOU to all of the families (including parents and students) who served hot espresso drinks and tasty breakfast treats to much deserving Sequoia teachers and staff members the morning after a late night Open House.  Many teachers pre-ordered and received convenient in-class deliveries while others stopped by the staff lounge.  All enjoyed the delicious hard boiled eggs, mini-bagels, fruit, yogurt, granola, cream cheese, and peanut butter, as well as a hot beverage of their choice.  Each teacher and staff member expressed their appreciation and it was the perfect pick-me-up and a great way to spring into spring break! 

Volunteers from the PTSA hospitality team set up this spring breakfast spread, and leadership students jumped in to help with the deliveries.  Thank you very much to everyone who helped make this event special for our amazing Sequoia staff, including: Annie Baker, Linda Burt, Kirsten Crum, Jennifer DiGrande, Patricia Eisenberg, Ines Farris, Laura Vella-Fukuji, Lisa Hane, Adrienne Heist, Diane Holman, Sherri Horan, Barbara Jakoby, Marianne Jett, Jocelyn Kelemen, Rachel Krueger, Karen Latina, Susan Lier, Whitney Liu, Marci Lyzun, Sara Mancini, Holly Matsuo, Liza Meak, Lisa Miller, Betsy Parkhurst, Marisol Pineda, Caitlin Schneider, Jen Sharratt, Kirsten Smith, Julie Ulrich, Heather Weber, and Jamie Williams.

A special shout-out to our Leadership students who helped assemble orders and make deliveries:  Alison Barrientos, Ruby Cortez, Julia Ferrer, Abbey Haas, Olivia Meak, Alyssa Williams, and Rut Zamora!

Thank You for Supporting Sequoia's Annual Prom Gallery! 
The many dress selections available in the Prom Gallery.
A Men's Wearhouse rep ensuring a proper tux fitting.
Prom is this Friday!  Thanks to a small army of donors and volunteers, over 54 Sequoia students will be able to experience this special milestone looking stylish and feeling confident, without the financial stress of purchasing costly formal wear.  Our annual Prom Gallery provides a respectful, fun, beautiful space for students to select new or gently-used dresses, accessories, shoes and tuxedo rentals... all for free.
We'd like to give special thanks to Tammy Bené who has led this effort with tremendous energy, attention to detail and love for many years, to Sarah Sorensen who connected us with the Princess Project, resulting in an infusion of hundreds of additional dresses, to Erika Pretell who collected formal wear donations from hundreds of community members, and to Alaura and Juanita from The Men's Wearhouse who not only measured and assisted students with tux rentals, but also donated 12 of them for free to our school.  In fact, they were so impressed with our students' charm, maturity and bilingual talents that they recruited them to apply for sales positions at their Redwood City store!  We'd like to thank Dynasty Cleaners as well fo r their generous sponsorship of SHSEF's Family Support projects.  Thank you also to the Dare, McCloskey, Hultgren, Crum, Pedrotti, and Park families for donating hundreds of dollars worth of gift cards.  Also, thank you to Gail Blomstrom, Megan Goulden, Gayle Hoch, Holly Marlow, Yolanda Mendez, Matilde Niño-Murcia, Marta Roig, Kirsten Smith, Jane Taylor, and Chris Woo for volunteering to set up, host and tear down the gallery "store".  And finally, to Elvira Macias and Elisa Niño-Sears for all they did to coordinate the program.
Let us continue to help all our students enjoy prom in the future while taking good care of our earth by recycling garments after this year's prom!  If you are interested in donating your gently-used formal wear, please kindly have it dry-cleaned or laundered and then email Elisa Niño-Sears to arrange drop-off or pick-up.  
In This Issue


Tuesday, April 9
6:30 p.m.
Reflections Reception,

Tuesday, April 9
7:00 p.m.
PTSA/ELAC Meeting,

Wednesday, April 10
6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Cheer Info Session, including incoming Freshmen,

Friday, April 12
8:00 p.m. - 12:00 a.m.
Bently Reserve, SF

Saturday, April 20
8:30 a.m.
Sequoia Stampede,
Terremere Field

Tuesday, April 23
6:30 - 8:00 p.m.
Incoming Student Welcome,
Gym 1

Thursday, April 25
Friday, April 26
Saturday, April 27
7:30 p.m.
Dance Show,
Carrington Hall

Quick Links
Read the Latest Raven Report
Buy Your Grad Tickets Now 
Visit the PTSA store
  to purchase your Grad Night Cruise tickets today!   
Find out all about grad activities here
IB Ceremony Needs Your Help!

Annual Sequoia IB Ceremony

May 30 at
5:30 p.m. in
Carrington Hall.
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.  
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   
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 Parent Education

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Safe and Healthy Teens
The One Love Foundation
Escalation - Film Screening & Discussion
Thursday, April 18, 2019, 7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
Sequoia Union High School District Office, Birch Room
480 James Avenue, Redwood City
Join One Love for this special community screening of their award-winning film,  Escalation. Learn how to talk about healthy and unhealthy relationships with the young people in your life.
**Seating is limited
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Denise Pope, PhD, Challenge Success, Stanford Graduate School of Education  
A Well-Balanced Perspective on Co llege "Fit"
Thursday, April 25, 2019, 7:00pm - 8:30pm 
Menlo-Atherton High School, Performing Arts Center (PAC)
The college admissions process can be a source of stress and anxiety  for students and parents alike. In this interactive presentation, Dr. Denise Pope will explore strategies to help reduce unnecessary pressure around the college admission process.

Dr. Denise Pope  is a senior lecturer at the Stanford University Graduate School of Education and the co-founder of  ChallengeSuccess , a non-profit organization affiliated with the Stanford GSE.  
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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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 .
 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: 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