May 6, 2019  

Sequoia PTSA's weekly eNewsletter in partnership with the Sequoia High School Education Foundation
PTSA President's Message
Regrets, I've Had a Few... 

I've spent a few columns this year talking about things I love and appreciate about Sequoia.  As my role here as a Sequoia parent draws to an end, I thought I'd turn the page and talk about regrets.

And I do have just a few regrets about my time at Sequoia....
  • I didn't attend the Dance Show during my daughter's first year at Sequoia.  She wasn't in it and I wasn't paying attention.  Next year, she was in it and I was amazed by the hard work and sheer talent of our students.  Now it is my favorite Sequoia event of the year, so look for me next year, I'll be back!
  • I never made it to the Crab Feed.  For some reason, the timing never worked for me, but I always heard from guests how much fun it was, and the volunteer crew seemed to have a great time as well.  I'm sorry I missed out.
  • I put off joining the PTSA board until my next-to-last year here.  I feared it would be a black hole that sucked away all my time, but that could not have been further from the truth.  (In fact, it's been a lot of fun.)
Apart from these regrets, it's been a great six years and I can't think of anything else I would have done differently.  Oh, wait, I just thought of something.  I should have had another kid or two so I'd have a few more years as an SHS parent!  Hopefully, I have inspired you to get involved and not have regrets.   Maybe start by stopping in for the PTSA / ELAC Meeting this Tuesday, May 7 at 7:00 p.m. in the MPRClick here for the agenda to tomorrow's meeting.

I hope you're all enjoying the beautiful weather as we gear up for the busy end to this school year.

~ Erika Pretell
Mark Your Calendars
Double Your Donation to SHSEF Now Till Wednesday!

Gifts to SHSEF make a difference in the lives of our 2,100 students.  This year, we have a $525,000 goal to expand enrichment activities and support in the 2019-20 school year.  

As part of the  Stand  Up for Public Schools Campaign, if you donate between now and May 8, 2019, your gift will be matched through a $50K challenge grant.

Thank you and click here or below to donate today and provide an Education that Empowers.

Laugh Along with Three One-Act Comedies in the Spring Play

The Sequoia spring theater production ( May 10 & 11 at 7:00 p.m. in Carrington Hall) presents three one-act comedies - " Mrs. Sorken,"  " Fourteen," and " An Actor's Nightmare."  Tickets ( $10 students and seniors, $15 adults) are on sale online at, the school treasurer, and at the door. 

In Mrs. Sorken, a slightly scattered Connecticut housewife has lost her notes to her speech and gives us a slightly rambling lecture on drama and the theater.

Our second selection, Fourteen, takes us to the home of a society hostess, who has assembled the cream of society to sit down at a table for fourteen for a sparkling soiree.  But the weather dooms her plans when one guest after another can't make it and she must find last minute replacements. 
In Actor's Nightmare,  George dreams that while h aving casually wandered onstage, he is informed that one of the actors, Eddie, has been in an auto accident and has to be replaced immediately.  As he fumbles through one missed cue after another, the other actors shift from Private Lives to Hamlet, then a play by Samuel Beckett, and then a climactic scene from what might well be A Man for All Seasons.

Senior Families: Celebrate Your Student's Successes at the IB Ceremony on May 30, 2019

ib2019 All seniors who have taken one or more IB classes during their time at Sequoia are invited, along with all  their families and friends, to the 2019 IB Ceremony on Thursday, May 30, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in Carrington HallView the invitation here.  This is a wonderful evening to celebrate all the students who challenged themselves with IB classes.  Students will take the stage to announce their plans for college and give shout-outs to all the Sequoia teachers who inspired them along the way.  Light refreshments will be served.

Student speakers will also share why "We Are IB!" and some students will earn awards.  IB stoles to be worn at their graduation ceremony will be distributed.    

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Todos los seniors que han tomado una clase de IB durante su tiempo en Sequoia están cordialmente invitados junto con su familia a la ceremonia de IB 2019: jueves, 30 de mayo, 5.30 a 7.30 p.m. en el Auditorio Carrington HallInvitación aquí­.
Opportunities: Volunteer Positions
URGENT - We Need Two Proctors for This Tuesday PM and Wednesday AM

Thank you to the MANY parents and relatives who have volunteered to serve as a proctor this spring.  What an amazing community effort!  We're almost there.

Unfortunately, two exams are still at risk of being cancelled - IB History HL on Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning. 

Visit this site and  check the "Hide Full Spots" box to find these last two open spots.

Can we count on your help Tuesday or Wednesday?

After signing up, you will be contacted via email by Elisa Niño-Sears, who will provide helpful information about proctoring. 

If we do not fill all the volunteer spots for an exam, due to IB regulations, we cannot offer that exam. Please help us avoid cancelling any tests.

Questions? Please contact:
AP Exams: IVP Office:  Kristin Stout 
IB Exams: IB Coordinator: Lisa McCahon
Junior Class Families: Help with Candy Lei and Graduation Concession Fundraisers

Attention Class of 2020 families!  Plans are underway for the 2020 
Grad Night.  Our fundraisers for this spring are concession sales at Sequoia's 2019 Graduation Ceremony and  candy  lei sales to students graduating from 8th grade.  Both events will go toward funding the Class of 2020's graduation activities.  

We need your help to make both as successful as possible!  Please sign up below to donate items to these events or to help sell.

Media Center Seeking End of Year Help

We are seeking volunteers on Mondays to help out with text book check-outs, scanning, and sorting. 

Additionally, we have spots throughout the week for assisting with managing inventory and additional support tasks, including greeting and orienting students, shelving books, etc. 

Please sign up for whichever shifts fit your schedule.  No experience necessary.  Ms. Betsy Snow will show you the ropes.

Sequoia Highlight
Fall 2018 Mini-Grant Recipient: VIA Heart Screening Project
Two mini-grants of $500 for a total of $1000

Sequoia's Health Occupation Students of America (HOSA) club and the Health Careers Academy (HCA) would like to express our heart-felt appreciation to the PTSA for the mini-grants in support of the VIA Heart Screening Project.  The $1000 was directly used to pay for the two custodians who supported the event in November.  Consequently, this allowed the district to buy food for all of the volunteers.

With the help of 102 community volunteers and more than 183 student volunteer hours, we screened 299 individuals, 38 of whom needed follow-up, and 6 had previously undiagnosed cardiac issues.  This event was, by all measures, a huge success.  Not only did we identify heart conditions that needed attention, we taught CPR to every student screened and raised awareness of heart health in our community.

Thank you again for all your support!

~ Gregory J. Schmid 
(Teacher: Human Biology & Medical/Clinical I Coordinator for the Health Careers Academy Mentor Program)

In This Issue

Tuesday, May 7
7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
PTSA / ELAC Meeting,

Friday, May 10
Saturday, May 11
7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
Spring Play - Mrs. Sorken, Fourteen, and The Actor's Nightmare,
Carrington Hall

Thursday, May 16
4:00 - 5:30 p.m.
Choir Vocal Showcase,
Student Activities Room

Saturday, May 18
8:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
French Club Carwash

Monday, May 27
No School
Memorial Day

Thursday, May 30
5:30 - 7:30 p.m.
IB Ceremony
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
Join the PTSA  Anytime!  
Visit the
  to purchase your 2018-19 PTSA membership today, and contribute to Sequoia's Unaliyi spirit and programs!
Interested in Being a Co-Editor for the Sequoia Sentinel?
Do you like making sure parents are in the know about events and activities at Sequoia?  Thoughts on improving the Sentinel?  We are looking for a co-editor to share in the weekly publication duties for this upcoming year.  Please contact Jocelyn Kelemen to find out more.
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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Lily's Wings: An Anti-Trafficking Community Project and Play
Wednesday, May 15, 2019, 7:00pm - 8:30pm
Menlo-Atherton High School, M-A Performing Arts Center (PAC)
Lily's Wings is an original project and play produced by Fuse Theatre to raise awareness about human trafficking.  The program will include the play, a short introductory piece on human trafficking, and a panel discussion about HT awareness, advocacy, and finding support.
Open to parents, youth 13+,educators, and community members!  Free admission and light refreshments . Lily's Wings is a bilingual play in Spanish and English.
Special thanks to Dignity Health Sequoia Hospital, Fuse Theatre, and The Parent Education Series for their support of this premier event. 
M-A Parent Education Series events are sponsored by the 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

Executive Function Bootcamp: Complimentary Assessment for SHS Families (All Ages) 

Worried about your kiddo going off into the deep ABYSS called college?
Summer workshops to help them navigate the process at THE TALKING PLAYHOUSE:
  • 100 DAYS TILL COLLEGE: EF Preparedness for Planning, Studying, Staying Schedule Connected & More.
  • SKYPE EF COACH: Learn how to help your kiddo stay on track while at College. (by Certified EF Therapist)
  • TRAINING THE BRAIN: Organize the brain for life! 
Exclusively for Sequoia Families: Please email for a COMPLIMENTARY assessment and game plan for your kiddo!  Jenn Bulka, Memory Specialist, SLP, CCC-Sp (Cal State Lic#14600), 155 Birch St. (Across from SHS)