June 8, 2020  
Sequoia PTSA's weekly eNewsletter in partnership with the Sequoia High School Education Foundation
Principal's Message
To the Class of 2020
It is tradition at our graduation to acknowledge groups within this graduating class who, through their character, grit, confidence, curiosity, discipline, hard work, and passion have embodied the best of what Sequoia High School does. 

Among our graduates this year we look both forwards and backwards at our Seniors who:
  • Have enlisted in a branch of the United States Military 
  • Are enrolling in college this fall 
  • Played a sport while at Sequoia 
  • Danced or participated in a performing art while at Sequoia 
  • Held a job to help support yourself or your family during high school
  • Are the first member of your family to graduate from high school 
  • Are the first member of your family to attend college 
  • Showed Sequoia Pride by wearing purple on Fridays 
If you know how to defend your claims with evidence, test a hypothesis; if you can show an inequality by using mathematical reasoning or by citing primary historical sources; if you stood up tall for something or someone you believe in; if you pledge to carry Unaliyi in your hearts with you -- then you have EARNED the right to receive a diploma from Sequoia High School and we recognize you today.

This is your graduation.  It is an important moment, an important milestone.  You've had your eye on this day and all that it represents for you and your family and friends.  And as you started Senior year, and you thought of this day, you had it all under control.  Since starting in 2016, you had grown more confident, assertive, cool under pressure.  You were making moves.

And when all your expectations were upended by a pandemic, a school closure, and a quarantine that's almost at three months and counting, it knocked you off your stride.  It's ok.  It knocked all of us off our stride.  But let me take this moment to say just how impressed I've been with how you've handled any disappointment, sadness, fear, or grief you've experienced.  You've sat with your feelings, asked for help when you needed it, offered help when others needed it, and gotten up each morning to face a new day.  Because you took your education seriously and had great teachers, you understood the science and why we had to do what we've had to do.  

So, indeed, Class of 2020 can't be forgotten, will never fade in anyone's memory.  For this reason, I'm presenting you with a special gift.  A nickel.  Not just any nickel.  A 1918 Buffalo Nickel, pulled out of a time capsule left behind by the Sequoia class of 1918 - around the time of the last major global pandemic.

And this coin is extra special because of its two sides.  On the first side is humility.  Elections, walkouts, tragedies, smoke days, mascot changes.  You've seen some stuff.  I think it is because of the experiences you had at Sequoia, a place of friends, that you were able to understand the power of humility a lot sooner than most.

Humility simply means you recognize that you are part of something larger than yourself. Through humility, we recognize that we are stronger together.  It allows you to identify the things worth sacrificing for.  And through sacrifice, heroic acts are born.  

I give your parents a lot of credit. I know you do, too. I also give your teachers, coaches, and staff here at Sequoia a lot of credit. I know you do, too. I know you are grateful for those who believe in you.  

That's the other side of the coin: gratitude.  For once recognizing how you are part of something larger and how those around you make YOU stronger means being grateful.  To recognize the ways in which we, through the advantages in our lives, are called to confront injustice and inequity we see around us.  

I've heard so many of you express gratitude despite the fact that this year has ended in such an unanticipated and, perhaps, disappointing way.  But that you have proven yourselves to be so adept at gratitude assures me that you are well-prepared to take on the challenges in your life. If humility gives you the courage to confront and transcend your own struggles, gratitude allows you to turn those struggles into inspiration.

Well now it's my turn to express a little gratitude.  Class of 2020:
Class of 2020, you have met gr aduation requirements based on what's on your transcript.  That is an awesome accomplishment which no one can ever take away.  Celebrate it loudly.  But also celebrate this humility and the gratitude, for they are the keys to unlocking the hero within each of you.  These must be guarded.  You must tend them and strengthen them by finding righteous causes larger than yourself to which to dedicate yourself.  Let love be the motive, as a really smart guy by the name of Reinhold Niebuhr put it, let love be the motive, and justice the instrument.   

Seniors, you made it.  I am proud of you.  Congratulations.

Sr. Families: Graduation Class Events of Note

1) Monday, June 15, 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. - Drive-Thru Graduation Celebration/Diploma Distribution; Beginning at 10 a.m., students and their families (1 family per car) will enter the James Street entrance to the school by turning left from the eastbound lane. Once cars enter the lot, they will proceed northbound, passing Gym 1.

Teachers and staff members will be celebrating with placards and cheers while observing social distancing protocols. Cars will stop at the pullout area directly in front of the new Sequoia Ravens mural, where they will receive diplomas. More celebration and decorations at that juncture, then cars will move through the lot and be directed to exit onto Elwood Street. Redwood City Police Department will be on hand to direct traffic flow and ensure a safe procession.

Graduate's place in line follows alpha order: 
A - L: 10 - 11:30 a.m. 
M - Z: 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. 

2) Sequoia High School 2020 Virtual Graduation is available at this link on YouTube.  Enjoy!

3) 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.
Virtual Yearbook Signing
We are excited to announce that the Sequoia yearbook signing tradition is alive and it's fully digital to suit our socially-distanced students.

Jostens has just launched a new platform, Yearbook Digital Signing Pages, that gives every student in our school the chance to create virtual signing pages, invite their friends to leave messages, and print out the final pages to keep with the yearbook as a permanent keepsake. This is free for every student whether they purchased a yearbook or not.

This link is where you can get started with yearbook signing: .  Yearbooks can still be reserved at . They will be delivered to school in two weeks. Distribution arrangements are in the works.  If you have any questions about Sequoia's yearbook, please email our yearbook adviser Eileen Bray .
CAPTA General Meeting for Members
Wednesday, June 17, 6:30 - 8:00 p.m. - District PTA General Meeting: The Future of Our Schools.
Virtual Meeting via Zoom for PTA/PTSA members in San Mateo County Advance registration required - RSVP  by Monday, June 15.
Special Guests Nancy Magee, San Mateo County Superintendent of Education will report on the latest information and issues facing public schools in San Mateo, and Carol Kocivar, Past President of California State PTA , will share information about "Schools and Communities First," a statewide initiative that will be on the ballot in November.
Hear PTA leaders on PTA tools and programs that make your PTA/PTSA tasks easier, efficient, and fun! Get updates on workshops (via Zoom) for incoming PTA/PTSA officers!  Additional meeting information will be emailed to registered participants, including the Zoom link to join the meeting.  Questions? Contact Colette Rudd , Vice President of Leadership. Don't forget to register for the Virtual CAPTA Meetings, happening June 9, 10 and 11, 2020. Find information and register at this link .
Miércoles 17 de junio, 6:30 - 8:00 p.m. - Reunión general de la PTA del distrito: El futuro de nuestras escuelas. A través de Junta Virtual Zoom. GRATIS para miembros de PTA/PTSA en el Condado de San Mateo. Se requiere inscripción anticipada - RSVP antes del lunes 15 de junio.
Invitados especiales Nancy Magee, Superintendente de Educación del Condado de San Mateo informará sobre la información más reciente y los problemas que enfrentan las escuelas públicas en San Mateo, y Carol Kocivar, ex presidenta de la PTA de California , compartirá información sobre "Escuelas y Communidades Primero," en todo el estado iniciativa que sera en la boleta en noviembre.
¡Escuche a los líderes de la PTA sobre las herramientas y programas de la PTA que hacen que sus tareas de la PTA/PTSA sean más fáciles, eficientes y divertidas! ¡Obtenga actualizaciones sobre talleres (a través de Zoom) para los nuevos funcionarios de PTA/PTSA!
Se enviará por correo electrónico información adicional de la reunión a los participantes registrados, incluido el enlace Zoom para unirse a la reunión.  Preguntas? Póngase en contacto con Colette Rudd , vice presidenta de liderazgo.  No olvide registrarse para las reuniones virtuales de CAPTA, que se llevarán a cabo el 9, 10 y 11 de junio de 2020. Encuentre información y regístrese aquí:
Senior IB Ceremony 2020
The Sequoia IB Program wants to recognize all the hard work and growth our IB Class of 2020 has achieved. In lieu of our usual IB Ceremony, we are celebrating our IB seniors with an IB Ceremony Video and an IB Yearbook .

All seniors who participated in IB will receive a printed hardcopy of the IB Yearbook when they pick up their High School Diplomas at Sequoia. To view both celebratory items, please click the links above.

Please note that the IB Yearbook will be online through the summer and then will be taken down. If you would like to keep an electronic copy, you can download it from the issuu program by viewing the IB Yearbook in full screen mode and then clicking the download icon in the upper lefthand corner.

A huge thank you to Dina Acreman , our parent volunteer who designed the IB Yearbook, and Betsy Snow , our Media Center Specialist/Librarian who edited the IB Video.  Congrats to all the IB Seniors and thank you for your participation in IB!
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  

This is the last issue for the Sentinel for the 2019-20 school year. 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 at any time. 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.
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 EVERYTHING 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
Raven Report Senior Issue

Please enjoy the digital version of the Raven Report Senior Issue -- and hats off to our hardworking team who put this together remotely! 
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:
  • TheRaven 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, June 15
10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Drive-Thru Graduation Celebration/Diploma Distribution
A-L: 10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. 
M-Z: 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. 

Wednesday, June 17
6:30 - 8:00 p.m.
CAPTA General Meeting: The Future of Our Schools

Wednesday, June 30
Last Day to Donate to SHSEF for '20-'21 school year

Saturday, August 8
12:00 - 3:00 p.m.
Class of 2020 BBQ

Tuesday, August 11
9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Freshman Orientation

Wednesday, August 12
First Day of Classes
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.

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 
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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.  

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

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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 .