June 1, 2020  
Sequoia PTSA's weekly eNewsletter in partnership with the Sequoia High School Education Foundation
PTSA President's Message
Choose to Make a Difference
It is impossible to be a PTSA President without being an optimist.  The struggle between knowing what needs to be done to help build an engaged, vibrant, and unified school community versus the reality of limited material, time, and human resources can appear, for some, too great a challenge.  But I don't look at it that way.  For every general membership meeting that takes place with empty seats and a smattering of attendees, I know that when the call goes out to sign up for a teacher appreciation event, slots are filled in minutes.   When parents reach out to me personally to express frustration about some new policy, rather than being discouraged about the "complaint," I take pleasure in connecting the parent with someone at school who can help resolve their concern.  The time I spend on campus exposes me to the spectrum of teenage behavior - the good, bad, and the ugly, and invariably, the scale tips to the positive; a door being held open, an offer to help carry my load, a "hello" and "good morning" from a student who doesn't even know me.  Let's face it, I choose to see the glass half full.  

But we in the U.S. are living in a time of unprecedented crisis - global pandemic, economic devastation, and an outpouring of anger on our streets due to decades and even centuries of inequality and discrimination.  This is unfolding over the background of climate change, an immigration crisis, and challenges to our democratic system.  All this can cause us to feel angry, afraid, and even disheartened.  Our belief systems are being challenged as we see horrors unfolding on television, social media, or printed news. For our kids, instead of thinking about Prom dresses and Grad Nights, they are considering their futures and the difficult times ahead.  But they are also taking charge, shaping their own destinies.  Already our kids are stepping up to provide tutoring services for elementary and high school students, they're making masks by the hundreds, they're carrying the load of childcare while trying to hold down jobs and complete school work in order to help their families.

This was not supposed to be how our school year ended, but here we are.  And we have some choices to make.

Just like our kids, we can help create a positive difference in this crazy world in which we find ourselves. We can try to channel our feelings whether through individual activities in our own homes or by reaching out to the wider community. We will find goodness, positive inspiration, and a way forward for a better future for the next generation.  I am sure of it.

Thank you, Sequoia Community, for all you have given me.  I only hope I can keep on returning the favor!

Stay safe, keep your loved ones close, and we'll meet each other around campus or in the wider world again, soon!

Lisa Hane
Sr. Families: Graduation Class Events of Note
1) Wednesday, June 3 - Senior Awards Night: A slide show honoring scholarship winners and department award winners will be presented to the community. We are so proud of our highest-achieving 12th graders! Watch for more details to come from the administration.

2) Friday, June 5, 10 a.m. - Virtual Graduation: Gary Gooch will send out the link to the YouTube video presentation. The video will also be available for viewing after the initial broadcast.

3) Monday, June 15 - Diploma Pick Up: Gary Gooch and Sean Priest are working with the Redwood City Police and City to come up with a way to hand out the diplomas to all seniors at school. We hope to make it festive with teachers and staff cheering the students/families on. Please save this date and as details are worked out, more information will be shared.

4) Saturday, August 8, 12-3 p.m. - Class of 2020 BBQ; Please note that this date depends on the County Health Department regulations for large gatherings. Most likely we will need to postpone the event to the summer of 2021 and it will be a one-year reunion for the class. We would like to be able to get the class together one last time and we are doing our best to make this happen.
All Grades Book/Technology/Item Return
We will hold an All Students Textbook/Technology/Item return June 2-4 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. We will accept all items that are on loan from the school, e.g., textbooks, chromebooks, uniforms, cameras, and anything else that belongs to the school. 

All returns will take place in the Elwood Parking Lot (see attached map). Return days and times are organized by Grade Level and Last Name (please see schedule below). Please arrive according to your place in the schedule, as we hope to prevent long lines entering the Elwood Lot. 

As you can see from the map, cars will turn right into the Elwood Lot from the Northbound lane of Elwood Street, proceed into the lot and be directed by staff to drop-off points. Please wear a mask. We will accept walk-up returns from those that do not have access to a car. As we do not yet have plans to allow students to access the inside of the building, we will be doing our best to have locker contents available to return. Locker contents will be available according to the schedule. If we are not able to retrieve locker contents, we will set another date for when those items can be picked up. 

A note to Seniors: You will need to return Chromebooks/Hot Spots (with chargers for both) prior to receiving your diploma on June 15. Thank you!

All Grades Book/Technology/Item Return
Freshman and Seniors: Tuesday, June 2
Seniors may return at any time
A-H  9:00 - 11:00
I-P 11:00 - 1:00
Q-Z 1:00 - 3:00
Sophomores and Seniors: Wednesday, June 3
Seniors may return at any time
A-H 9:00 - 11:00
I-P 11:00 - 1:00
Q-Z 1:00 - 3:00
Juniors and Seniors: Thursday, June 4
Seniors may return at any time
A-H 9:00 - 11:00
I-P 11:00 - 1:00
Q-Z 1:00 - 3:00
Senior IB Ceremony 2020
Congratulations to all our IB seniors of 2020. In lieu of an IB Ceremony this year, we will celebrate with a virtual IB Ceremony Video and an IB Yearbook. We will send out links to the IB Ceremony Video and the IB Yearbook sometime during the first week of June. Students will also receive a hard copy of the IB Yearbook when they pick up their high school Diplomas. A huge thank you to Dina Acreman, our parent volunteer, for designing the IB Yearbook and Betsy Snow for editing the IB Video.
Donate Today to Meet our 2020-21 Fundraising Goal!

Thanks to your donations and the challenge grant, we are getting so close to our  $630,000 fundraising goal for the 2020-21 school year! We have raised $550K to expand enrichment activities and support.  Gifts to  SHSEF  make a big difference in the lives of our 2,100 students.  Gifts received by June 30 will be applied for the 2020-2021 school year.

Donate today and provide an Education that Empowers. 
Unsubscribing or Updating Profile for Sentinel, Class News, and IB News  

As the year comes to an end, the Sentinel will be sending out its last issue for the 2019-20 school year next Monday. All graduating families will continue to receive this weekly newsletter in the coming year unless the associated email is unsubscribed. You may unsubscribe using the "Safe Unsubscribe" link at the bottom of each newsletter. Once unsubscribed, we will not be able to re-subscribe you without your approval via email. You may re-subscribe yourself at any time from our  PTSA website.

For those who wish to continue receiving only class related updates, please click on the "Update Profile" link (also found at the bottom of each Sentinel) and indicate the topics which may interest you going forward.
PTA Statewide Association Meeting - ONLINE and open to all members!  

Think the PTSA is just about volunteering at Sequoia?  Think again! The Statewide PTA meeting registration closes today, June 1, but there's still time!

The yearly statewide meeting is your opportunity to have a say in advocating for our students locally, regionally, and nationally.  This year, because of social distancing regulations, the convention will be held online and it will be easier than ever to participate in discussions on such important issues as: vaping, mental health, chronic disease and injury prevention, and zero-emission schools.  Here's your chance to make a difference!

Click here for convention details and registration information.
Sequoia Students and Families Need Your Help!

Many of you have asked how you can help Sequoia students and families during the COVID-19 crisis.  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 SHSEF.  SHSEF is funding emergency support for students and families through the Sequoia Family Center. As our most vulnerable parents and families experience the chaotic effects of COVID-19, this emergency support is more critical than ever, via emergency gift cards to local stores, emergency supplies delivered to homes, and emergency assistance that students need to stay safe, complete their studies, and cross that graduation finish line.  You can donate online here.
2) Join the "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." to provide hand-sewn masks for 500 of Sequoia's students in need. PMM and Sequoia C.A.R.E.S. will provide you with a FREE brown bag filled with EVERYHING you need to create TEN masks. 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 how many masks you'd like to make or what you'd like to donate to this mask challenge.  

3) Encourage your student to join Sequoia C.A.R.E.S. (COVID-19 Action, Relief, Education 
& Support) to do volunteer work for the Family Center 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
PTSA Jr. Scholarship Recipients

We are excited to share that PTSA Jr. Scholarships have been awarded to 22 outstanding Junior students.  Their selection is a reflection of all of the hard work they put into their academic careers, contributions to the community, and overall making Sequoia High School a better place.  

We are thrilled to recognized the following students: Alessandro Kashap,  Alex Ferfas, Alexis Espinosa, Andrew Mancini, Anne Marlow, Arth Shukla, Becky Marcus, Bianca Vail, Elizabeth Budde, Hudson Acreman, Jake diTargiani, JanCarlo Avila, Jason Melz, Javier Niño-Sears, Kevin Medrano, Leslie Reyes, Logan Chin, Melissa Piccolotto, Remington Allen, Ryan McAfee, William Swinnerton, Zoe Kelemen

Thanks to Jr. PTSA Scholarship Chairs Angie Namenuk and Linda Solon  for organizing this opportunity for our Juniors, and taking time to review and select this year's scholarship recipients.

IB Update for Seniors

How can I get my final IB scores?
IB will release your final IB score online on July 6. 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.
Thanks and Welcome!

We are fortunate to have a dedicated parent community at Sequoia that is willing to generously volunteer their time and energy to strengthen our school.  As is our tradition, we provide a wrap up and "thank you" to our parent volunteers in the Sentinel after each activity takes place.  Over any given year, there are hundreds of folks that we acknowledge and we are so grateful for all their hard work.

As we bid adieu to 2019-2020, it is time to thank a very special group of parents who have dedicated many hours over the entire school year:  the PTSA Executive Board.  They attend monthly membership meetings and monthly executive board meetings, coordinate activities, provide guidance to volunteer parent committees, offer parent perspectives to our administration, ensure there is communication for our parent community, and much more.

This year's PTSA Executive Board:

Adrienne Heist - VP of Special Projects
Isha Bhatt - VP of Communications
Deedee Clarke and Karen Latina - VP Mini-Grants
Karen Eller Ha - Treasurer
Gail Blomstrom - Auditor
Shannon Chi - Historian
JR Bae - Parliamentarian
Natalie Henderson - Secretary
Linda Burt - Grad Night Rep 2020

And, not on the Board but vital contributors:
Jocelyn Kelemen - Sentinel Editor
Karen Gebhart -  Back-up Editor
Jill Kadlec - Web-star

And a heartfelt welcome to our incoming Board Members for 2020 - 2021:

Isha Bhatt - President
Karen Eller Ha - Executive VP
Deedee Clarke - VP Special Projects
Cynthia Wiggin - VP Communications
Shannon Chi and Adrienne Heist - VP Mini-Grants
Kate Corpus - Treasurer
Lisa Hane - Auditor
Martha McDaniel - Historian
Jo Jeffs - Parliamentarian
Anne Scholes - Grad Night Rep 2021

And a special thank you to our incoming Sentinel team: 
Michele Moyer - Sentinel Editor
Karen Gebhart - Back-up Editor
Jill Kadlec - Web-star

If you know any of these fine folks, please thank them.  They deserve it!

Lisa Hane
PTSA President - 2019 - 2020
Letter from the Editor
Farewell, Thank You, and a Big Welcome to Our New Editor
It is time for me to say farewell to the Sentinel as the new crew takes over for the 2020-21 school year.  The last two years have been a rewarding experience in getting to know and experience Sequoia through the news that graced my email inbox weekly.  I would like to thank Lisa Hane , who diligently compiled the various emails initially and later as my go-to for interesting news from Sequoia.  Thank you as well to I sha Bhatt for her support in acquiring news and to Karen Gebhardt for being my back-up editor this past year.  Karen will be staying on as the back-up editor.  And to Principal Sean Priest and all contributors to the Sentinel, without whom there would be no news.  Lastly, thank you to all our Sentinel readers !  I am deeply gratified you take the time to open up the emails on a weekly basis.

As I transition away from the role, I'd like to introduce all of you to our new editor, Michele Moyer , who enthusiastically replied to our open position blurb.  She is an incoming freshman parent who has similar experience from the Belmont-Redwood Shores school district .  You may see some changes as she puts her personal touches on future publications but the Sentinel will be in good hands!
All the best this summer, 
Jocelyn Kelemen
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 - Friday, June 1-5
No School
Teacher Work Days

Tuesday, Jun 2, 2020
9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Freshman & Senior Item Return

Wednesday, Jun 3, 2020
9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Sophomore & Senior Item Return

6:30 - 8:00 p.m.
Virtual Senior Awards Night

Thursday, Jun 4, 2020
9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Junior & Senior Item Return

Friday, Jun 5, 2020
10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Virtual Graduation Ceremony  

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.
Join Our Mailing List
En Español
¿Quieres traducir este boletín ahora? Siga estas instrucciones para obtener una traducción:
1. Haga clic en "Click here" en la parte superior del correo electrónico: "Having trouble viewing this email? Click here."
2. Mantenga presionada la tecla Control (PC) y la tecla A para seleccionar toda la página, a continuación, mantenga presionada la tecla Control y haga clic en la tecla C para copiar la página entera.
3. Abra una página nueva del navegador web y vaya a 4. Coloca el cursor en la caja y mantenga presionada la tecla Control y haga clic en la tecla V para pegar el boletín completo en el cuadro de traducción.
5. Asegúrese de seleccionar "To: Spanish" en la parte superior de la página. Haga clic en el botón Traducir. La traducción al español debe aparecer en el lado derecho.
 Parent Education

Parent Ed Logo Horizontal

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.  

Happy Summer! SUHSD Parent Education Series will resume in Fall 2020.

page separator
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 .