May 25, 2020  
Sequoia PTSA's weekly eNewsletter in partnership with the Sequoia High School Education Foundation
Principal's Message
Traditions and Routines
The last week of our truncated school year has arrived. May 29 being the final day for all SUHSD students. As a discussion topic in last week's virtual staff meet-up, some teachers shared their creative plans for providing opportunities for closure with their students. Traditions such as signing yearbooks not being available this spring, new ways to make the end feel as special as it is are in order. Perhaps new traditions will be born.

So it is, as well, with graduation. Betsy Snow, theater manager Krystal Amaya, our five student speakers, and I met to film the ceremony last week on the stage of Sequoia's venerable Carrington Hall. Everyone made it through their speeches and many teardrops fell. Our students not only have amazing stories to tell, but they tell them so well. We're proud of the virtual ceremony we produced to honor the Class of 2020. The ceremony blended old traditions (passing the Lamp of Learning, recognizing the diverse groups which make our community so rich) with new ones.

As we look ahead to next year, still uncertain what the return to school in August will entail, we understand more than ever the value of routine, structure, and predictability. We're doing our best adjusting to less predictability than we've grown accustomed and finding ways to build on successes we've had with the structures and routines we've built over the last ten weeks. Feedback about the weekly schedule we adopted after spring break has been almost unanimously positive from both parents and students.

If we do remain in some form of distance learning next year, our students' success will rely heavily on how successfully we are able to strengthen the partnership that exists between school and families. We recognize that structure and routine play a huge role in that partnership thriving. I have also seen the power of students displaying or performing their work for an authentic audience. The Virtual Dance Show, Drama club performance of 10 Ways to Survive Quarantine, and now the IB Art Show were great showcases for hard work and mastery.

In Superintendent Streshly's message yesterday, she invited families to participate in the decision-making process for developing routines and structures for next fall. Let's have a big turnout from Sequoia families. Access the survey here.

Have a great week.


Revised 2019-20 Instructional Calendar

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the District modified the end of the 2019-20 instructional year cancelling our traditional finals week.

The modification includes ending instruction on Friday, May 29, 2020 to provide students time during the first week of June to submit missing assignments, as well as to supply our teachers with four additional workdays to jointly redesign and enrich courses for the 2020-2021 school year.

Some additional important dates:

Returns for Seniors only are as follows:

  • Elwood Street Parking Lot 10am - 1pm
  • Wednesday, 05/27 Last Name N-Z
  • Thursday, 05/28  Last Name A-M

Dates/Times for turning-in items for 9-11 graders will be forthcoming.

A BIG Thank You

As we reach towards ending the school year, we wanted to thank the outgoing Sequoia Sentinel Editor Jocelyn Keleman for her outstanding contribution. Jocelyn assumed the role in 2017 and for the last 3 years has shaped the Sentinel to it's current form. She works tirelessly every weekend, collecting articles, editing, formatting and giving final touches to the Sentinel so it's ready and set to go on Monday. We appreciate your contribution and we will miss you. 
Double Your SHSEF Donation Today!

Gifts to SHSEF make a difference in the lives of our 2,100 students.  This year, we have a $630,000 goal to expand enrichment activities and support in the 2020-21 school year.

If you donate between now and May 31, your gift will be matched through a $70,000 challenge grant sponsored by a group of Sequoia families.

Donate today and provide an Education that Empowers.


IB Update for Seniors  

How can I get my final IB scores?
IB will release your final IB score online on July 6th. You will have to log in to view them. They are NOT mailed to you.

How do I log in and access my IB scores online?
Each of you will have a unique code to log on with. You cannot log on using a friend's code. Ms Galvan will email every IB senior and a parent/ guardian with the instructions on how to log on and your unique codes. This email will go out in June and you should receive it no later than June 19th. This will be sent to the student's Sequoia gmail and the parent/guardian email listed in Infinite Campus so please continue to check your Sequoia gmail in June.

How do I ensure my college will get my official IB scores?
IB will send one free official score report to the institution you are attending. You were sent an email already about this from me. If you have not already, please complete this form in order for us to get IB to send your official scores. If you change your mind or get off a waitlist after you have completed the form, please email Ms Galvan,, or myself,, to change it with IB.

Will my college accept these IB scores since we didn't have the May exams?
Remember, these scores will be based on all assessments completed (IAs etc.), your predicted grades and historical/ current data. IB has been working with colleges to show their methods make your score valid. We have heard from many many colleges (including the UC and CSU system) that they are accepting these scores and issuing credits and/or course advancement as they normally do. If you have a question about your specific college and their IB policy this year without the May exams, please contact them directly.

When will I get my actual IB Diploma or IB Certificate?
IB mails the actual Diploma/ Certificates at the end of August normally. We have not heard anything yet from IB that states otherwise. Once we receive them, we email all students through Naviance which goes again to your Sequoia gmail account so please continue to check that account through August. In that email we will inform you how to pick them up from Sequoia.

A Special Message from the Sequoia Family Center: Sequoia Students and Families Need Your Help!

Many of you have asked, "How can I help students and families during this COVID-19 crisis?" or "How can I help the Family Center right now?" 
Thank you!  We are deeply grateful for your concern and support.  Here are the top three ways you can help the Family Center at this time:
1) Donate to SHSEFEvery dollar helps.  SHSEF  is funding emergency support for students and families through the Sequoia Family Center.  As parents and families experience the chaotic effects of COVID-19, this emergency support is more critical than ever.  Thanks to SHSEF funding, the Family Center is providing customized help to our most vulnerable students and families through emergency gift cards to local stores, emergency supplies delivered to homes, and more -- emergency assistance that students need to stay safe, complete their studies, and cross that graduation finish line.  You can  donate online here .
2) Join our "Sequoia 500 Masks Challenge."  The Family Center has partnered with Peninsula Mask Makers (PMM)  and Sequoia's newly formed, student-run club "Sequoia C.A.R.E.S." (COVID-19 Action, Relief, Education & Support) to provide hand-sewn masks for 500 of Sequoia's students in need.  These will be rectangular masks with elastic ear loops, three layers of fabric, made to the highest standards for cloth masks as established by the CDC and university hospitals.  PMM's army of volunteer sewists will sew 250 masks for Sequoia's Family Center to distribute.  PMM has challenged Sequoia to sew the other 250 masks. Here's how to join the challenge: 
  • Have a sewing machine and some time?  PMM and Sequoia C.A.R.E.S. will provide you with a FREE brown bag filled with EVERYTHING you need to create TEN masks (material and notions, plus step by-step instructions with a link to an online video).  Please send us an email telling us how many sets of ten masks you would like to sew and by when. (We will be accepting masks June 1 through August 1).
  •  Not a "sewist" but want to help?  Sponsor a set of masks by donating supplies or money to PMM.  Please send an email telling us what you'd like to donate to this mask challenge.  We'll then send you to the appropriate supplies collector or GoFundMe page. 
3) Encourage your student to join Sequoia C.A.R.E.S. today to do volunteer work for the Family Center this summer.   Sequoia's newly formed, student-run club "Sequoia C.A.R.E.S." (COVID-19 Action, Relief, Education, & Support) is working hard to support Sequoia's students in need with masks, hand sanitizer, public health education, supplies, and more.  Students will be working on various projects throughout the summer and into the school year -- lots of volunteer opportunities that are fun, rewarding, and can be safely carried out at home.  You don't have to sew to join!  For more information, please email Sequoia student Veyna Karanth.
Questions?  For more information about SHSEF Family Support and the Sequoia Family Center, please contact SHSEF Family Support Chair Elisa Nino-Sears.
Sequoia Highlights
Art 1 & 1B Art Year 1  
Wondering what art students at Sequoia have been doing during Distance Learning?  Ms. da Pinto Costa asked her students to reimagine classic artworks and here are some examples of what a few students came up with.  If you have a student in Art 1 or IB Art and haven't seen their artwork from this semester, ask them to show you what they've been creating!
Names of artists whose work is represented in the attached photos: 

Art 1


1)Jessica Wagner (freshman) "Girl with the Pearl Earring" by Johannes Vermeer

IB Art Year 1: 

1) Zoe Kelemen "Leaning Tower of Pisa" by architect Bonanno Pisano


2)  Prerna Sharma "Dr. Gachet" by Vincent Van Gogh



3)  Citlali Navarro "The Accident" by Willem Geets

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:
  • 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.
In This Issue

Monday, May 25, 2020
No School 
Memorial Day

May 25 - May 29*, 2020
Distance Learning in Effect
* revised date
Wednesday, Jun 3, 2020
6:30 - 8:00 p.m.
Virtual Senior Awards Night  
Quick Links

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

2019-20 Yearbooks are still available to order through Josten's Yearbooks.

Yearbooks will be arriving in June and distribution information is yet to be determined.  We will let you know when we know.
Questions can be sent to Eileen Bray.

Support Sequoia All Year

Copy and paste SHSEF's AmazonSmile link below onto your browser bar for quick access to future contributions while shopping!

The 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. 
For those who wish to subscribe or resubscribe, we cannot add you back if you initiated the unsubscribe authorization at any point so use the link below to receive our weekly newsletter.  Please check all appropriate boxes for grade level or special interest communications.
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 Parent Education

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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 here to register for The Parent Education Newsletter.  

Monday, May 25, 2020, 12:00 am - Sunday, May 31 Midnight (1 week)
Online Event (Webinar)  
(Livestream link to be provided upon registration) 
The goal of  ANGST , an IndieFlix Original documentary film, is to start a global conversation and to raise awareness around anxiety.

ANGST features candid interviews with kids and young adults who suffer, or have suffered, from anxiety and what they've learned about it. The film includes discussions with mental health experts about the causes of anxiety and its sociological effects, as well as help, resources and tools.
Parents, students, educators, clinicians, and community members welcome! The FREE livestream includes Spanish subtitles. Viewing is available from Monday, May 25 through Sunday, May 31 (midnight).


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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.
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 . 
 Community Events

How to Start Your College Essay Online Workshop for Juniors on June 10, 2020

Heartwood Editing Logo
Learn what college essays need and explore what to write about in this practical workshop for a small group of rising seniors. Heather Woods of  Heartwood Editing creates a comfortable environment to ask questions and reflect.  
Date: Wednesday, June 10, 2020 
Time: 7:00 - 8:45 p.m.; via Zoom 
Cost: $35; workshop packet included 
Learn more, see more dates, and register at