August 31, 2020  
Sequoia PTSA's weekly eNewsletter in partnership with the Sequoia High School Education Foundation
Principal's Message
We Can Do Hard Things (That's So Raven)

Thanks to everyone who made Back to School Night a success this year.  I was incredibly proud of our staff, the first in the district to hold this event, for their facilitation of welcoming sessions.  I've added a plant to my personal "ZOOM room" after seeing what chic backgrounds our teachers have curated.

It was another in a series of firsts for our community.  We are developing a new set of norms.  For this to work to succeed in the abridged time frame we all need to bring ourselves up to speed, it's important that we understand some of the common terms being thrown around.  Inspired by this article from Edutopia, here are some terms you may have heard thrown around over the past few weeks and what they mean for you:

"Asynchronous learning": Learning that is student driven, where the teacher provides instructions or materials, sets expectations, but the student is working independently.  Could be called "on demand" learning.

"Synchronous Learning": The teacher and students are both present, connecting digitally via ZOOM or another video chat platform.  Could also be called "live learning."

"Hybrid," or "Blended": These terms refer to learning that takes place by combining live (synchronous) and on-demand (asynchronous) experiences for kids.  "Blended learning" existed prior to the pandemic.  It was also called a "flipped classroom."  Students were expected to read or watch a video which would teach concepts or provide information and the teacher would focus their energy on facilitating collaboration and hands-on problem-solving.  Several Sequoia teachers pioneered blended learning. 

We will continue to create a new vocabulary of common terms.  Based on what I saw last Thursday night, I know how hard parents are working to be good partners in learning.  I appreciate it.  I know it's no easy feat.  As our awesome Science Department Chair Jessica Magallanes said in the first episode of That's So Raven, Sequoia's new weekly video show, "We can do hard things."

Yes we can -- have a great week!

That's So Raven Sequoia News Ep 1 | SNN
That's So Raven Sequoia News Ep 1 | SNN
Principal's Welcome Virtual Meeting - Tues 6:30 p.m.
Join Principal Sean Priest for a Welcome to Sequoia Zoom on
Tuesday, September 1 at 6:30 p.m. Sean will welcome new and returning families to Sequoia, talk about how the beginning of the year is going and how to get involved. Leadership will also be there from Sports Boosters, our education foundation SHSEF, Visual and Performing Arts Boosters and PTSA. See you there!

Please tune in at this Zoom link Meeting ID: 976 3146 8495 Passcode: 220326. 
One tap mobile
+13017158592,,97631468495# US (Germantown)
+13126266799,,97631468495# US (Chicago)

Dial by your location
        +1 301 715 8592 US (Germantown)
        +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
        +1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
        +1 646 876 9923 US (New York)
        +1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)
Meeting ID: 976 3146 8495
Find your local number:
New Student Photos and Textbook Pickup - Wed
9th Graders and new students will have an on-campus photo and textbook pickup day this Wednesday, September 2! A staggered schedule of assigned times will be distributed by email and is also available on the Sequoia website. Photo dates for 10th-12th graders have not yet been scheduled.
We are looking for volunteers to help with textbook distribution Tuesday through Thursday of this week. If you have some time to spare, come join us. Fill out your availability on this spreadsheet and contact Pamela Ehrlich for questions or details.
ELAC Parent Meeting - Wed 7 p.m.
Le invitamos a la reunión de Padres/tutores "El Plan de Continuidad del Aprendizaje y Asistencia (LCAP). Esta es su oportunidad de aprender sobre el plan del Distrito Sequoia para abordar varios problemas que fueron provocados por el cierre de escuelas y el aprendizaje a distancia. También es su oportunidad de dar su opinión sobre El Plan de Continuidad del Aprendizaje y Asistencia. Favor de comunicarse con Elvira Macias al (650) 367-9780 ext 63110 o envía un correo electrónico a si necesitas ayuda.

La reunión es el miércoles 2 de septiembre del 2020 a las 7 de la tarde a través de Zoom. 
Identificación de la reunión: 955 7141 9525
Contraseña: 557893

You are invited to the English Learner Advisory Committee (ELAC)'s  "Learning Continuity & Attendance Plan (LCAP) meeting. Your feedback is very important to us. This meeting will be Spanish-Only. Please call Elvira Macias (650) 367-9780 ext 63110 with questions or concerns.
Meeting ID: 955 7141 9525
Passcode: 557893
Zoom Troubleshooting Tips
Here are some helpful tips from SUHSD Technology. Please login to each day before trying to login to your Zoom classes.  Zoom often logs users out each night.  This will help make the start of each class much smoother for everyone. If you have not yet done so, please be sure to register your Zoom account with  Here are the instructions for doing so in English and Spanish. Thank you!

Inicie sesión en todos los días antes de intentar iniciar sesión en sus clases de Zoom. Zoom a menudo cierra la sesión de los usuarios cada noche. Esto ayudará a que el comienzo de cada clase sea mucho más sencillo para todos. Si aún no lo ha hecho, asegúrese de registrar tu cuenta de Zoom en Aquí están las instrucciones para hacerlo en inglés y español. ¡Gracias!
Join the PTSA Now and Complete Your Back-to-School To-Do List!

September is here and Sequoia's Distance Learning is well under way!
By now hopefully you have:
  • Watched your student navigate their classes via Zoom
  • Familiarized yourself with Canvas for Parents 
  • Attended Virtual Back to School Night last week
  • Marked you calendar for the PTSA sponsored, Principal's Welcome this Tuesday evening via Zoom
Now it's time for one more thing...

Join the PTSA and be a part of the parents (moms, dads, guardians, grandparents), teachers, and students who are joined together to build a strong, supportive community to help Sequoia navigate this challenging year.

In spite of our current distance from our school campus, the PTSA is still dedicated to launching our Fall Mini-Grants Program, teacher Appreciation initiatives, and monthly membership meetings with guest speakers from the school and community.

We welcome you if you're new and welcome you back if you're returning to Sequoia!
If you have any questions, comments, or ideas about sequoia's PTSA - contact Lisa Hane PTSA membership chair at
Become a Tutor! Orientation & Training 9/15; Great for CAS Hours
healthy cities tutoring
Join our community of volunteers who range in age from 14-96 and provide one-on-one tutoring and mentoring to students for 30-45 minutes per week to improve their academic performance, engagement in learning, and self-esteem. 
This year with distance learning we are seeking volunteers willing to be trained in tutoring a student remotely once a week. We expect the need to grow this year and hope you or someone you know will get involved in this rewarding volunteer experience. 
If you are interested in learning more, please mark your calendar for our annual new tutor orientation & training which will be held via Zoom on Tuesday, September 15. There are two identical sessions, 10-11 am OR 7-8 pm. Please RSVP via the links to attend whichever time is most convenient for you. 
For more information to become a Healthy Cities tutor, visit and click VOLUNTEER to complete the online application or email Healthy Cities Tutoring is recruiting volunteers - Reach a child. Touch a Family. Build a community.  
Reflections 2020-2021: I Matter Because... (Yo Importo Porque...
With shelter-in-place remaining, we announced this year's PTSA Reflections theme,  "I Matter Because...; tema, "Yo Importo Porque..." this summer.  Students can create artwork and reflect about its meaning in one of six categories:  
  • Dance Choreography
  • Film Production
  • Literature
  • Music Composition
  • Photography
  • Visual Arts
See official rules here in English and Spanish. All entries will be recognized for their artistic achievement--participation itself is a meaningful contribution to the Sequoia community!  First-place finishers in each category enter the district competition.  District winners move on to the state level, and winners there ultimately compete at the national level.  Click here to watch the Call for Entries video.  More information will be forthcoming in September.  Questions?  Contact
Sequoia Highlights
First-Ever Virtual 9th Grade and New Student Orientation a Success! 
The first-ever virtual orientation was held on Wednesday via Zoom. Students met Sequoia leadership students and had questions answered about academic, athletic, and extracurricular opportunities. For more information, visit the Incoming Students Page on the school website.
Backpack Drive in the Age of Online Learning

Local churches, Family Center and SHSEF teamed up to distribute 150 backpacks filled with headphones, masks and new school supplies to Sequoia students
Sequoia staff, volunteers and caring community members have been working hard this August to make sure ALL our Sequoia students have the materials they need to study and "attend" class from home, work or school this year. We would like to give special heartfelt thanks to Cari Pang Chen, Kelly Madden and Reverend Iain Stanford and the congregations of St. Peter's, Epiphany and Fellowship Bible Churches for their generous donation of 80 brand new laptop backpacks. 

We'd also like to give a BIG shout out to volunteers Jen Pedrotti, Jan Benway, Avani Gupta, Paula Ebejer Moffitt, Emilie Nolf, Cheryl DiTargiani, Andrea Hernacki, Tanya Lazzaroni, Pamela Ehrlich and Becky Morris for spending hours and hours sorting, packing and preparing new school supplies, masks and backpacks for 150 Sequoia students in need. Fifty of the students did not have a safe way to pick up their materials at school given the challenges of this month's fires and ongoing Covid19 crisis. 

Another twenty-five Sequoia volunteers stepped up to deliver backpacks and headphones to student homes. Thank you, Jenny Stahler, Alana Corso, Kristine Webb, Lisa Haaga, Shannon Chi, Cynthia Belnick, Christopher Kashap, Jo Jeffs, Tanya Lazzaroni, Mariane Jett, Eva Iglesias, Amy Ollmann, Heather Hansen, Jen Pedrotti, Becky Morris, Dina Acreman, Megan Goulden, Christina Parsey, Martha McDaniel, Lisane Drouin, Sarah McCaughey, Aimee Swanson, Jessica Rosenberg and Carlin Politzer, for taking time out of your busy weekend to make these important deliveries.
And last but definitely not least, the Family Center would like to extend a HUGE thank you to the generous supporters of the Sequoia High School Education Foundation (SHSEF), who made all this back-to-school support happen. Your donations paid for headphones, 70 laptop backpacks, thousands of school supplies, fabric masks and much, much more. This critical back to school support project is one of the many ways that SHSEF supports staff, projects and programs to ensure that every student has the opportunity to reach his or her highest potential. Thank you for your support! ¡Mil gracias!
Video Exchange Among Midpeninsula School Superintendents
Whether and when schools reopen was on every family's radar throughout the summer. Midpen Media gathered four local district superintendents to discuss what it's been like to contend with changing guidelines and interest groups whose needs and goals are sometimes at odds. Watch the hour-long edited version on the Midpen Media YouTube Channel here to view the discussion.
The superintendents include Mary Streshly of the Sequoia Union High School District, Gina Sudaria of the Ravenswood City School District, Don Austin of Palo Alto Unified School District, and Erik Burmeister of the Menlo Park City School District. 
In This Issue

Tuesday, September 1
6:30 p.m.
Principal's Welcome via Zoom.
Wednesday, September 2
8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
New Student Photos & Textbook Pickup

6:00 - 7:30 p.m.
IB/College 12th Grade Level Virtual Meeting 

7:00 p.m. 
ELAC Parent Meeting 

Monday, September 7
Labor Day - No School (see bell schedule for the remainder of the week)
Quick Links

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), please use the link below to receive our weekly newsletter.  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.
Mental Health, Social & Emotional Resources at Sequoia

Judy Romero, MFT and Elvira Macias recently held very informative meetings to inform incoming parents of all the wonderful mental health and social and emotional resources available to students at Sequoia, especially during this challenging time.

Recordings of these meetings are available in both English and Spanish on the Sequoia Family Center YouTube Channel and also in the Sequoia Counseling webpage for anyone who was not able to attend. 
This helpful list of school resources was provided to students by Sequoia teacher Diana Nguyen in the English I course syllabus:

Sequoia High School Student and Family Needs and Resources List
  • This is a list of resources for General Student Needs, Tech and School Needs, Housing and Food Support, and Mental Health & Wellness Resources.

The Family Center
  • A resource to parents and helps them navigate the school system, answers questions, and makes referrals to school and community programs.  The Family Center can be found in room 129.

The Guidance Office - Distance Learning Resources
  • The Guidance Office has compiled a list of resources to provide students and parents support during Distance Learning. Resources are available in English and Spanish for Canvas, digital support, technical support, & more!

Student At-Home Learning Tech Resources 

Teen Resource Center
  • The TRC provides free confidential counseling, and youth development services to help students increase their academic performance, improve behavior and personal relationships, make positive decisions and set future goals. 

 Parent Education

Parent Ed Logo Horizontal

Welcome to the NEW Parent Education 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.  

The Anti-Racist Parent: Engaging Youth Through an Equity and Justice Framework
Victor Rios, PhD, University of California, Santa Barbara
Tuesday, September 15, 2020, 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m., Online Event (Webinar)
What does it mean to be an "Anti-Racist Parent"?  Join Victor Rios, PhD, tenured professor at UC Santa Barbara, TED Talk  
speaker, author, sociologist, and national thought leader on at-opportunity youth.
Dr. Rios will provide parents with practical strategies for being reflexive about anti-racism, and for having courageous conversations with their children, friends, and family.
page separator
Parent Forum #3 (English) - Virtual Discussion Group  
Strengthening Communication with Your Child or Teen 
Eran Magen, PhD, The Center for Supportive Relationships 
Friday, September 25, 2020, 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m., Online Event (Webinar)
Join us for an all-new Parent Forum 2020-21 (English) with Eran Magen, PhD, founder of The Center for Supportive Relationships.  This series of (virtual) parent discussion groups will focus on parent-child communication and managing relationships with your child or teen.
Parent Forum #3 (English): Friday, September 25, 12:00 p.m.
Parent Forum #4 (English): Friday, October 30, 12:00 p.m.
Parent Forum #5 (English): Friday, December 11, 12:00 p.m.
Space is limited!  Register today to secure your spot in The Parent Forum.  
Parents and caregivers welcome!  Free admission.  The Parent Forum is an initiative of Sequoia Healthcare District, in partnership with The Parent Education Series / The Parent Venture.
page separator
The Future of College Admission: More Questions, A Range of Answers?
Alice Kleeman, retired M-A College Advisor & Dr. Angel B. Pérez, CEO, NACAC
Thursday, October 29, 2020, 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m., Online Event (Webinar)
In their 2019 Parent Education session "20 Years in College Admission - What Has Changed? What Hasn't?" Dr. Angel B. Pérez and Alice Kleeman provided perspective from both sides of the desk on college-admission-related issues. 
In this webinar, Angel and Alice come together again to offer a sequel, "The Future of College Admission: More Questions, A Range of Answers?" addressing these issues and more, in light of the uncertainty introduced by COVID-19.
Angel Pérez, CEO of the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), will be interviewed by Alice Kleeman, retired M-A College Advisor. 
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 Facebook for the latest parenting news.

Questions?  Contact Charlene Margot, M.A., Founder and Director, The Parent Education Series. 
Community Events