September 30, 2019  
Sequoia PTSA's weekly eNewsletter in partnership with the Sequoia High School Education Foundation
PTSA President's Message
Thirty Two Days Gone... 148 To Go

It's amazing to think about what has taken place in our kids' personal and academic lives in just over a month of classes.  For many freshmen, the tentative first days of school wondering with whom they'll eat lunch or "How will I find my locker?" have given way to a newfound confidence.  How many times in the past few weeks have you heard, "Mom, Dad, I've got this!"  Sophomores and juniors are experiencing an increased school workload and raised expectations from their teachers as they are no longer the new kids at Sequoia.  Our seniors are faced with the reality that while there's still lots to do this year, there is a high school finish line and it is fast approaching!  During these past weeks, your student may have joined a club or two, run for class office, performed with the band, competed in a sport, or tried out for the play.  They may even have met a new friend who will join them at their 10th, 20th, and 30th class reunions!
A quick glance at the Sequoia school calendar -- and I hope you check it often --  shows how much has happened these past 32 days for students and their parents, from sporting events to rallies to information nights, and more.  The pressures of a busy school life, along with after-school jobs and other family responsibilities can be enormous for our kids.  As parents, we too face the ceaseless responsibilities of child rearing that while immensely gratifying, can at times seem like a lot to deal with.  This parenting business is hard!
So with everything that is going on, how can we keep our focus on what's really important to us -- raising health, happy kids and shepherding them towards meaningful lives?  Sure, there are lots of books on the subject and there are countless websites that you can peruse during your plentiful free time.  Ha!  But in the meantime, maybe try some simple activities to help keep connected with
your kids as they, and you, navigate the high school years.  Why not take a look at their English reading list and choose one of the books to read and discuss with your child.  It could provide you with a look into what's going on in the classroom and give you some insight into what your kid is thinking about. 
Try to have family meals around the table, be it breakfast, lunch, or dinner, as often as you can.  The research is clear how important it is to break bread together.  And why not go a step further and make these meals device free?  Parents, that means you too!  Finally, get involved in your kid's school in any way you can.  Parent participation in school activities is another indicator for student success.  Don't be afraid to click on the "sign-up" links you see in the PTSA newsletter (the Sentinel) or in the e-mails that you receive from the Sports Boosters and SHSEF.  You never know who you'll meet or what fun you'll have as you help Sequoia thrive.  I am sure you have other ideas about how to stay connected and I would love to hear about them and share them with the parent community!  Please contact me at  
It feels like fall is in the air and October is upon us.  The 2019 - 2020 school year is under way without a doubt and my very best wishes for you and your family this year.  
I hope to see you around campus!
Mark Your Calendars
Please Join Us Tomorrow for First PTSA/ELAC Meeting
Please join us this Tuesday, October 1 at 7:00 p.m. in the MPR for the first PTSA/ELAC meeting of the year.  For starters, Principal Sean Priest will be on hand for your questions and comments.  Then Ms. Shari Schussel from Sequoia's Teen Resource Center will give a presentation on Sequoia's mindfulness program.  Check out Sequoia's mindfulness initiatives from last week's Principal's Message And for more information about Sequoia's Teen Resource Center, please click here. 
The presentations will be followed by updates on Sequoia's PTSA initiatives.  Join us and learn more about what we do, meet some new parents, and help guide the 2019 - 2020 school year!

Freshman Families: IB/College Info Session This Wednesday

Get college application, ICAP, IB, and any college questions answered at the IB College Grade Level Meeting presented by College Advisor Teresa Ignaitis and IB Coordinator Lisa McCahon.  All students wanting to attend a four year university and/or interested in taking an IB course should attend with their parents/guardians.  This meeting will be held on Wednesday, October 2 at  6:00 p.m. in  Carrington Hall.
A separate meeting in Spanish will be held for Spanish-speaking parents in the College Career Center at the same time.  All students should attend the English meeting in Carrington Hall.

Buy Your Tickets for Sequoia's Fall Musical, The Addams Family Now!
THE ADDAMS FAMILY, a comical feast that embraces the wackiness in every family, features an original story and it's every father's nightmare: Wednesday Addams, the ultimate princess of darkness, has grown up and fallen in love with a sweet, smart young man from a respectable family - a man her parents have never met. And if that wasn't upsetting enough, Wednesday confides in her father and begs him not to tell her mother.  Now, Gomez Addams must do something he's never done before - keep a secret from his beloved wife, Morticia.  Everything will change for the whole family on the fateful night they host a dinner for Wednesday's "normal" boyfriend and his parents.

Performances are October 24 - 27 (Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 7:00 p.m., Sunday at 3:00 p.m.) in Carrington Hall.  Tickets ($20-adults, $15 students and seniors) are now available at and from the school treasurer

IB Exam Registration and Dropping Classes

IB exam registration has begun.  Students in a testing year will register for the May 2020 exam session with the IB Coordinator Ms. McCahon during the months of September and October.  Ms. McCahon will sit with every IB student testing to complete the registration process.  All changes to IB exam registrations must be made by November 1st.  Also, all IB courses in a testing year cannot be dropped after November 1st.  After your student has registered, you will receive the IB fee letter in the mail.  Please read the following document for more information about payment methods.

School Photo Helpers

Please sign up below if interested in helping during the upcoming Photo Make-Up Session on: 
  • Wednesday, October 2: Available shifts between 8:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.  

Sequoia 8th Grade Shadow Program Needs Parent Help

Volunteer logo Thanks to all who have volunteered to help welcome potential Sequoia students and their parents on Shadow Mondays.  We have a few more spots to fill during the Shadow season and especially the following Mondays: October 7, November 4, and January 13.  Shifts are from 7:45 - 9:15 a.m. and it is an easy 90 minute opportunity to greet potential families.  No special knowledge of Sequoia is required, just a ready smile and welcoming attitude.  Thank you for your support!  Feel free to contact Sara Mancini if you have any questions.

Senior Families: A Few More Items Needed and A Few More Concession Spots to Fill for Last Two Home Games
Thanks to all who have volunteered to date!!!  We have had a lot of fun with our concession sales! 

Haven't had a chance to volunteer yet?  It is not too late!  There are shifts available at two more games:
  • Friday, October 11 vs. San Mateo (Homecoming)
  • Friday, November 1 vs. Menlo

 *All proceeds go toward a Safe & Sober Grad Week.  Grad Week activities in June 2020 include Senior Brunch and Senior BBQ, as well as Grad Night itself, when our graduates cruise around the SF Bay on board a Hornblower Yacht.  
Come join Senior parents and students as we sell concessions during the last two home football games.  Be a barista for a night making iced or hot mochas, serving other hot drinks, and selling freshly popped popcorn.  If you have questions, please contact Rebecca Taylor.
PTSA Fall Mini-Grants Are Going Live in Two Weeks

Students and Staff: Mini-Grants are coming in October!  Through the support of the Sequoia High School Education Foundation (SHSEF), the PTSA is able to offer financial grants to enhance the excellent education offered at Sequoia High School.  These grants of up to $750 are designed to encourage creative approaches to learning and/or to address compelling need, which would otherwise go unfunded.  Students, teachers and staff may apply.  Applications will be open from Wednesday, October 16th to Friday, November 1st.

Is your student a member of a club or activity that is ready to take on a new endeavor?  Do they have an idea for a project that will benefit Sequoia but requires funding?  Please encourage your student to apply.  Additional information is available on the PTSA page of the Sequoia High School website.

Parents: Would you like to be in the front row of some of Sequoia's innovative, educational efforts?  Consider joining our team to help with the grant selection process.  If you have a few hours to review applications and meet with the committee (usually 1 or 2 evening meetings per year), we would love to have you on board.  No experience is necessary, and there will be seasoned committee members assisting along the way.  This is a great opportunity for new as well as returning Sequoia parents to learn about the great projects happening in our school!

Contact our Mini-Grants committee chairs DeeDee Clarke and Karen Latina at to join the selection committee.
Reflections 2019-20: Look Within 
Some of the submissions from Reflections 2016. 
Don't ignore your inner artist! It's time to start working on your Reflections project for this year's Reflections theme, Look Withintema, Mira Dentro.
Enter your artwork and reflect about its meaning to you in one of six categories:  
  • Dance Choreography
  • Film Production
  • Literature
  • Music Composition
  • Photography
  • Visual Arts
All entries w ill 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.

Be sure to review the rules  on the Reflections page of the PTSA website.

Due on Tuesday, November 12, 2019, at 3:00 p.m. in the Attendance Office.  
reflections art program

Sequoia HIghlights
Check Out Sequoia Media Center's Latest Newsletter

media center
Ms. Betsy Snow, Sequoia's Media Specialist, distributes this guide to teachers and staff monthly.  The newsletter includes links to fun and helpful resources, including book recommendations for teens, and student-created "how to" videos for proper conduct and use of materials in the Media Center.

In This Issue
Tuesday, Oct. 1
7:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Wednesday, Oct. 2
Photo Make-Up Day  
Wednesday, Oct. 2 
6:00 - 7:30 p.m. 
Freshman IB/4-Yr. College Meeting, Carrington Hall (Spanish - Career Ctr.)   
Friday, Oct. 11
4:00 p.m. - JV Football 
7:00 p.m. - V Football 
Sequoia vs. San Mateo, Terremere Field  
Saturday, Oct. 12
7:00 - 10:00 p.m.
Homecoming Dance 
Monday, Oct. 14
No School 
Indigenous People Day
Tuesday, Oct. 15
College Day for Freshmen 
Tuesday, Oct. 15
7:00 p.m. 
Boosters Meeting,   
Staff Rm. 
Wednesday, Oct. 16
8:30 a.m - 12:15 p.m. 
PSAT for 10th and 11th Gr. students. Modified B Schedule after lunch for ALL students. 9th and 12th Gr. 1:00 p.m. start time. 
Thursday, Oct. 17
7:00 - 8:30 p.m. 
Parent Ed. Series: OMG of College Admission,
Carrington Hall 
Join the PTSA! Your Membership Helps Sequoia Programs Thrive
Our membership is our strength and our voice, and without our members, we wouldn't be able to do all the good things we do for children and families.  Please  JOIN  the Sequoia PTSA today.

Having trouble buying your membership through the PTSA store?  Please let our Membership Chair Brett Gardner know.

Sequoia Bleacher Cushion

Consider purchasing a Sequoia bleacher cushion to show off your school spirit at games; it'll provide a soft landing pad for yourself or a loved one.

Quick Links
Sequoia 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.
Find past issues of the Sentinel at   
Click below to subscribe or resubscribe.  We cannot add you back if you initiated the unsubscribe authorization at any point.  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

Maria Furtado, Executive Director, Colleges That Change Lives (CTCL)
The Good, The Bad, and The OMG of College Admission
Thursday, October 17, 2019, 7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
Sequoia High School, Carrington Hall
1201 Brewster Avenue, Redwood City
Parents and students have been conditioned to fear the college admission process, and in so doing we often fail to see the good moments and the positive outcomes. Join Maria Furtado, ED, Colleges That Change Lives (CTCL), for an insightful discussion about the college admission process.
Parents, students, educators, and community members welcome!  Free admission and light refreshments.  Spanish interpretation will be available.
Sequoia Parent Education Series events are sponsored by SHSEF, Sequoia Healthcare District, and Sequoia Union High School District.
page separator
Charlie Appelstein, MSW
No Such Thing as a Bad Kid: Using a Positive, Strength-Based Approach for Effective Parenting
Thursday, October 24, 2019, 7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
Menlo-Atherton High School, M-A PAC
555 Middlefield Road, Atherton

Join us for two San Mateo County-wide parent and community education events featuring prominent youth care expert Charlie Applestein, MSW .  His acclaimed book, No Such Thing as a Bad Kid , is packed with positive principles and techniques to help families develop powerful and transforming relationships with their children and teens.
Parents, students, educators, and community members welcome!  Free admission and light refreshments.  Spanish interpretation will be available. 
This special event is sponsored by San Mateo County Office of Education, San Mateo County Health, Sequoia Healthcare District, Peninsula Health Care District, and The Parent Education Series.
page separator  
Questions?  Contact Charlene Margot, M.A., Director of The Parent Education Series .

Community Events

Multi High School Girl Scout Troop Forming

This troop is based out of Redwood City and will be for Senior and Ambassador level Girl Scouts.  They will meet bimonthly on Sunday evenings between 6:30 - 8:00 p.m.  Troop activities will be girl-driven and will focus on earning each member's Gold Award, service activities, camping, Peninsula Day Camp counseling, participating in local Girl Scout events, and adventure outings.

Contact troop leader for more details: Lisa Perry,