May 4, 2020
Sequoia PTSA's weekly eNewsletter in partnership with the Sequoia High School Education Foundation
It is National Teacher Appreciation Week!
I don't know about your family but mine has never been much into "Hallmark" holidays, as I call them. The ones that are advertised incessantly leading up to "Mother's Day" or "Father's Day" encouraging folks to spend money on a card or gift - something "special" for mom or dad. I remember early on in my marriage, my husband asked me a little sheepishly on the morning of February 14
, "We don't really celebrate Valentine's Day... do we?" He was relieved when I let him off the hook. My take has always been that we can show love and gratitude for each other any time throughout the year - no need for a corporation to tell us when and how.
But what about during a pandemic?
I am thinking much more about the truly meaningful things we can do for each other, each day, as we collectively try to make it through shelter-in-place. Do we really need a box of chocolates or a bouquet of flowers? Over the last month we have seen how our own Sequoia community members are giving gifts that really matter: creating personal protective equipment for our front-line workers, helping elderly neighbors with grocery purchasing, or distributing much-needed food or securing rent support for families who are struggling through lay-offs, temporary or permanent. This kind of generosity can really make a difference in people's lives.
This year, I am making one exception when it comes to celebrating arbitrarily created holidays. Tomorrow, May 5
is Teacher Appreciation Day. This day of recognition was accepted by Congress in 1980 and expanded in 1985 to include the first full week of May. And I, for one, am in favor of a big celebration - even if it is virtually!
Having lost what made our teachers go into this career in the first place - the face-to-face interactions with their students - they are now resigned to Zoom calls, Google hang-outs, and Canvas assignments in the isolation of their homes. And even though we are seeing that there can be a place for this new way of teaching, it's just not the same as in-person interaction.
I was talking to my sister (a career educator) about what the PTSA could do this year to acknowledge our amazing staff at Sequoia and she said, "What really meant something to me was when I got a letter (hand-written or e-mail) from my students or their parents. Knowing that somebody thought enough to write me a message was really powerful."
My wise sister is not alone in her thinking. Check out this website about what teachers want from their students.
This year, an amazing team of parents did just that. On Monday, 242 hand-written, stamped letters were put into the mail to be delivered to each of our staff members. Yes, it's not the same as an in-person celebration, that will have to wait for better times, but until then:
Happy Teacher Appreciation Week,
All You Sequoia Classroom Rockstars!
Also, thanks to the team of letter-writers:
Caitlin Schneider, Angie Lax, Adrienne Heist, Gail Blomstrom, Linda Burt, Marianne Jett, Carolyn Arbuckle, Cheryl DiTargiani, Karen Ha, Sarah Mancini, Danielle Sunshine, Anne Scholes, Brett Gardner, Pamela Ehrlich, Casey Inman, Karen Latina, Solly Chin, Betsy Parkhurst, Jenn DiGrande, Christy Martin
, and students
Paul Graff, Sophia Rivera, and Alyssa Sylverthorne.
Until we see each other in person around campus, be safe and take care!
Last PTSA General Meeting of Celebration and Information is Tomorrow!
Tuesday, May 5
, join us for our last PTSA General Membership meeting from
7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
welcome the new PTSA leadership for 2020-2021.
We will acknowledge and thank all those PTSA members who have helped make this a great year.
thank and say "farewell" to those "Graduating" PTSA volunteers whose last kid is graduating this year.
As always, we will hear a state-of-the-school update from Principal Sean Priest and there will be time for Q&A.
Everyone is welcome!
Meeting ID: 924 2820 6910
A special virtual Reflections Reception honoring our student participants is being held at 6:30 p.m., right before the PTSA meeting using the same meeting ID. Please refer to the Reflections article below for detailed Zoom instructions on how to join the meeting.
Please Join Us in Celebrating This Year's Reflections Participants!
Reflections is a PTSA-sponsored art event, in which we participate with other high schools in the 17th District PTA. The 2019-20 theme was Look Within! (
). We will honor all of Reflections students and announce the winners who advanced to the district and state competitions.
Zoom Celebration: Tuesday, 6:30pm (prior to the PTSA general meeting at 7:00pm).
View the student participants' artwork and hear about the artists.
Congratulations to the 2019-20 Sequoia Reflections Participants!
Madeline (Mac) Brennan
Click here to join the Reflections PTSA Ceremony, prior to the General PTSA meeting. ** (There is a password that must also be entered to join the meeting.)
Join Zoom Meeting:
Meeting ID: 924 2820 6910
Is Your Sophomore Interested in the IB Diploma Programme?
Interested in doing the IB Diploma? If your child would like to sign up as a full IB Diploma Candidate, here are the steps:
- Attend the IB Diploma CAS Zoom Webinar on Friday, May 15 from 11:00 a.m - 12:00 p.m. Link for meeting. See below for more details about the Zoom webinar.
- If unable to attend the webinar due to COVID related issues, please email Ms Galvan at firstname.lastname@example.org no later than May 15. You will be emailed the recorded webinar and instructions for what you have to do to demonstrate your participation.
Declare your IB Diploma status no later than June 1st (Firm deadline). We will send out a Google Form in lieu of a hard copy document
Once you have completed your IB Diploma status form (online through Google forms), you will be emailed the mandatory CAS summer assignment.
- No student video cameras or mics will be shown or heard in the webinar format.
Zoom Meeting Details:
Or iPhone one-tap:
Dial (for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location)
+1 669 900 6833 or
+1 253 215 8782 or
+1 346 248 7799 or
+1 312 626 6799 or
+1 929 436 2866 or
+1 301 715 8592
Webinar ID: 870 6362 1092
|Seniors: Cap and Gown Distribution
In case you didn't see this message from Administrative Vice Principal Gary Gooch, we are reprinting it here:
Greetings Sequoia Seniors and Parents,
(A Spanish version of this email is available on Canvas.)
I wanted to let you know that we have developed a schedule for cap and gown handout. The cap and gown distribution will take place on Wednesday, May 6 from 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. In order to maintain Social Distancing Protocols as best we can, we will need to distribute these items by an alphabetically organized schedule (see below). All students/parents will need to abide by the conditions outlined below. There are over 450 Seniors/Graduation Candidates, so maintaining efficiency in this process is a must. Sequoia Administrators, Teachers, and the PTSA thank you in advance for complying with this necessary requirement.
All cap and gown distribution will take place in the Elwood Parking Lot (see attached traffic flow diagram ), which can be accessed via Elwood Street. In order for traffic to move smoothly and efficiently, all cars will need to approach the Elwood Lot entrance by turning North onto Elwood from James Avenue. Once you are heading North on Elwood, you will turn right into the Elwood Parking Lot, where you will then be directed where to drive in order to pick up your cap and gown package. All caps and gowns will need to be handed through the window of a car. Students/parents are not allowed to exit the car. Once the package is handed off, you will need to exit the parking lot and turn to the right toward Brewster Avenue. These are important considerations that are intended to minimize the risk that the virus could be passed between people. We will also not accept walk-up requests, as again, we need to follow one process to ensure the safety of students, parents and school staff. Additionally, please do not attempt to return books, computers, or ask to access any area of the campus, as time will be of the essence in making sure that everyone has the opportunity to receive their cap and gown.
For students who did not order a cap and gown, please be prepared to ask for one in the preferred size and color (purple or white), and we will do our best to provide the one of your choosing.
Arrival Schedule by last name:
9:00 - A-B
9:30 - C-D
10:00 - E-G
10:30 - H-J
11:00 - K-L
11:30 - M-N
12:00 - O-P
12:30 - Q-S
1:00 - T-Z
1:30 - Anyone who missed Window
Please do your best to arrive during your allotted time, as we will have the caps and gowns organized alphabetically. Arriving before your indicated time could mean that your box has not yet been brought to the distribution area.
We realize that this process is not ideal, and that having to follow such a strict process can place a burden on some, which is why we will remain on site to respond to any special circumstances that may prevent some students/parents from arriving during their scheduled time.
We also want to recognize that this will not in any way make up for the celebrations that Sequoia Seniors should be having. We are doing what we can to provide an opportunity for all of us to recognize the accomplishments of our Seniors, but we also know that it in no way stands in for the real thing.
We hope that all Sequoia Students and their Families are staying safe during this difficult time.
Gary C. Gooch
Administrative Vice Principal
Sequoia High School
Juniors: Last Week to Apply for PTSA Jr. Scholarship
Applications for our annual PTSA Junior Scholarships have been extended to
Sunday, May 10, 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.
Senior Athletes: Judy Carmona Memorial Scholarship
Judy Carmona was a true supporter of softball here at Sequoia. She had two daughters, Angie and Missy, who played all 4 years at SHS. Judy's husband Paul also coached the team when their girls were playing. Judy had great school spirit and was a wonderful supporter of Sequoia sports. Judy passed away at an early age from cancer, so the Boosters decided to have an annual scholarship in her name.
Eligible students are seniors who have participated in at least one season on a Varsity team (or equivalent, when sports do not have a V team), and whose family has been a Sequoia Sports Boosters member in the current school year. Applications are due at 7:00 p.m. on May 15, 2020.
See the full eligibility requirements
PTSA Mini Grants Still Available
We have a challenge for you:
We are living in an unprecedented time dealing with the complications caused by COVID-19. Can you identify a current need within our Sequoia community and come up with a solution to that need? If your solution requires funding, we have about $3500 left from the Sequoia High School Education Foundation. Each request can be up to $750. Students, teachers, clubs and staff may apply. If you are a parent, please encourage your students to come up with an innovative idea, and submit it to our committee.
The application deadline has been extended to Friday, May 15, or until funds run out.
Click here for a direct link to the application form and grant requirements.
Click here to see a list of projects that have already been funded this year.
Visual and Performing Arts Going Strong During Distance Learning
Over the next few weeks, we'll be sharing some highlights of how Sequoia students in Visual and Performing Arts classes are exercising their creativity as well as sharing it during Distance Learning.
Ms. Waters' students have been recording lectures and project demonstrations using Screencast-o-matic for her Ceramics classes to explore patterns in art and their surroundings. Students started by observing and documenting patterns through sketches and then produced "Object Arrangements" from household items and shared them as a class using Flipgrid video clips. [include 3 photos.] Next, they studied patterns in Mimbres Pottery and have been designing their own animal symbols using bold patterns which they will draw and share with Ms. Waters on CANVAS.
According to Ms. Woodman, in addition to keeping their chops up on their main instruments, SHS Band students are also working on projects of their choosing this month, doing everything from learning secondary instruments to arranging acapella, and reading books about music to making podcasts. Here's what a few musicians have to say about their recent adventures:
"In band I usually play drums/percussion, however, during pep season I play both drums and trumpet at football games. For my project, I am taking the song "Snuff" by Slipknot, and changing the genre to mid 2000s pop-punk, as well as creating a music video for it. I've learned that it's very hard to try and keep the skeleton of the original song while creating a new arrangement and concept. It's very fun though!"
~ Sarah Martin
"I am a junior clarinet player. For my project, I am learning the guitar. I've wanted to learn the guitar for a long time, given that I already know piano. So far in two weeks, I've learned over 10 chords, and the next step is being able to transition between all these chords quickly and fluidly
~ Javier Niño-Sears
"Just because our bands can't play together doesn't mean we're not continuing to learn about music! In addition to practicing trombone independently, I'm creating a podcast series exploring what it's like to be a music teacher, featuring excerpts from interviews I conduct with local music teachers. The project has given me a unique insight into a potential career that student musicians like myself can pursue - and I've learned that music education majors have to learn how to play almost every instrument in college! It's another reminder that our teachers, especially our music teachers, are so talented!"
~ Andrew Mancini
"Normally, I play trombone in Sequoia's Advanced band and Jazz Band. For my project, I am composing music for a trombone ensemble. I have always wanted to try writing music, so I am glad that the Band project has given me the opportunity to express myself creatively in a new way!"
~ Dominic Olson
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: Media Center May Newsletter
- The Raven Report is filled with new stories reported by our Sequoia writers -- from hobbies to fill the time to thoughts on grades, distance learning, etc.
- Create At Home offers opportunities to explore all manners of creativity through art education.
- 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.
REST OF SCHOOL YEAR
Distance Learning in Effect
Tuesday, May 5, 2020
Tuesday, May 5, 2020
Wednesday, May 6, 2020
12:00 - 1:00 p.m.
Friday, May 8, 2020
2:00 - 3:00 p.m.
Friday, May 15, 2020
11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Breakfast and Lunch Meals
The SUHSD Food Services department will be offering FREE breakfast and lunch meals to all SUHSD students for the rest of the 2019-2020 school year. Please see the attached flyer for times and location.
For the most up to date information, please visit our website.
Still Time to Order Yearbooks
Reserve yours now, so you won't have to worry about it later. Yearbooks will be arriving in June and distribution information is yet to be determined. We will let you know when we know.
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...
...to be a part of the Sequoia community!
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THE NEW PARENT EDUCATION WEBINAR SERIES
Welcome to the NEW
Parent Education Webinar Series
! In response to COVID-19, we are offering free virtual events to support "Safe and Healthy Teens." Click
to view NEW "COVID-19 Parent Resources" on The Parent Education Series webpage. Take care and stay well, everyone!
The Long View: Helping Kids Gain a Sense of Control During COVID-19
Ned Johnson, Founder of PrepMatters, Co-author of The Self-Driven Child
Wednesday, May 6, 2020, 12:00 - 1:00 p.m.
Online Event (Webinar)
(Zoom link provided upon registration)
How can we help our kids feel a sense of control, even during COVID-19? And how can we help them take the "long view," even in the midst of a pandemic?
Join Ned Johnson, professional tutor-geek, president and founder of PrepMatters, and co-author of The Self-Driven Child, for an engaging virtual event (webinar) on helping kids gain a sense of control over their lives, even in the midst of a pandemic.
Keep Calm: Managing Stress and Anxiety During COVID-19 (Spanish Version)
Alnardo Martinez, MS, Behavioral Technician, Child Mind Institute
Friday, May 8, 2020, 2:00 - 3:00 p.m.
vie. 8 de mayo de 2020, 14:00 - 15:00 Hora de verano del Pacífico de Norteamérica hora de Estados Unidos (Los Ángeles)
Online Event (Webinar)
Alnardo Martinez, MS
, behavioral technician in the Anxiety Disorders Center at
Child Mind Institute
- New York, for a virtual webinar to help you and your family navigate the anxiety associated with the coronavirus, school closures, and distance learning.
Parents, students, educators, and community members welcome! Free admission.
The Parent Education Webinar Series is sponsored by Sequoia Healthcare District and Sequoia Union High School District.
Questions? Contact Charlene Margot, M.A., Founder and Director, The Parent Education Series