Sequoia Sentinel
January 10/11, 2021
Sequoia PTSA's weekly eNewsletter in partnership with the Sequoia High School Education Foundation
Editor's note: This week half our readership will receive the Sentinel on Sunday, the other half on Monday. We're running a test to see which day gets better open rates. Feedback is welcome and we’ll keep you posted on the results.
Principal's Message
I will never forget the period of time immediately following the presidential election of 2016. There was visible sadness and fear on the faces of so many of our students. I often tell a story about arriving at school the morning after the election of our 45th president and greeting a student as she walked through the door beside me. “Good morning!” I said, reflexively. “Is it?” the student responded, without missing a beat. We shared a look, and I think she at least half-believed me when I told her it was going to be alright.

From all corners I heard stories that week back in 2016 about tension and unrest on high school campuses. One of my favorite things about teenagers is their adherence to a code of right and wrong. They hone in on injustices that, as adults, we’ve learned to live with, inured, and look past. They are indignant. I’ve always been proud of the way our community has navigated the scorching political noise of the last four years. It has been a genuine challenge to need to explain, contextualize, refute, or allay the fear and anxiety spewing from our nation’s leader. This was not who we wanted to be.

But the way Sequoia staff has made our students feel safe amidst chaos and violence has inspired me. Likewise, the way our students have seen through the nonsense and treated one another with respect and humanity. When our monthly SHS Foundation Executive Board meetings share a Mission Moment, the standing agenda item where we learn more about how programs we fund push us closer to our vision of equity in access and outcomes, I might as well be slicing onions. I am so proud to be a part of this community.

So when the disturbing images from our nation’s capitol emerged last week, my thoughts immediately turned to our students and teachers and how we would once again rise to the challenge of validating the good in ourselves, antithetical in every way to what was being modeled on the largest stage our nation’s government has. I had full confidence that our teachers would once again rise to the occasion, this time without the warmth of in-person interaction.

We make space for students to amplify their voices. We listen. We show gratitude when they open up and make themselves vulnerable. We challenge them to think about how different sources of information contrast in how they communicate. We encourage them to connect what they’re seeing today with other momentous events they’ve witnessed prior. We invite them to share how humanity might do better than we are. Finally, we return to our common strategies such as mindfulness to help them monitor their own anxiety and wellness.

We look for the student with the helpless look on their face and do our best to assure her it's going to be alright. We always will.

Deadline Jan 15: Seniors! Fall 2020 Concurrent Enrollment Transcripts
Seniors needing any Fall 2020 community college/concurrent enrollment courses added to their SHS transcript for GRADUATION requirements have until Friday, January 15 to submit an OFFICIAL transcript. Please request that an official transcript from the institution where you completed your concurrent enrollment course(s) be sent to your assigned counselor or Mr. Ruiz, by January 15.

If you don't need the course(s) for graduation requirements, it's completely optional to put them on your SHS transcript, however, you must notify four-year colleges of concurrent enrollment classes you took or are currently taking. If you are not sure if you need to add your concurrent enrollment course(s) to your SHS Transcript or have any other questions, please contact your assigned counselor.
Deadline May 28: Seniors - Edgenuity and Office Hours Reminder
Seniors needing to complete Edgenuity credit recovery course(s) required for graduation and/or A-G requirements need to complete their course(s) by May 28 for June 4 graduation. If seniors or parents/guardians have questions or need to sign up, please email your assigned counselor. Mr. Julio Calles is Sequoia's Edgenuity teacher. His office hours are every Tuesday and Thursday from 4:00-6:00 p.m. 
New eBooks for you!

Our eBook collection is now accessible through your browser. Log in using your credentials and let Ms. Snow know how it goes!

Check out the Media Center’s latest newsletter and Follow us on Instagram to keep up with upcoming events, author talks, and more.
That's So Raven Episode 16

Happy New Year! If you missed the holiday episode (recorded before the winter break), we encourage you to watch the special message from Mr. Priest. View episode.
Education Foundation
Thank you - your contributions make an impact
Thank you for your donations that came in during 2020! The work we do is vital to moving us forward towards our aspirations; we would be a different school without the support SHSEF provides.

SHSEF supports the innovative teaching and learning, the strong school-wide culture of four-year college-going, and commitment to meeting the varied needs of all of our students and families. Contributions of all amounts create a direct and positive impact in our community. Make a donation to SHSEF.
Happy New Year. I hope all of you were able to relax and connect with family members and get some down time.

2020 was challenging for so many of us in so many different ways, and it's a blur in my mind. The many folks I have spoken with all were hoping that come January 1, things would be new and different and 2020 would be behind us.

As we embrace the new year, there is positive news with the vaccines, however it is quite clear that it's not a whole new world. The reality is that we are still in shelter in place, COVID-19 cases are still rising, and the events unfolding in Washington have shaken us all. 
While we, the Sequoia PTSA and the Sequoia staff, have worked to find solutions and also surrender and find gratitude for what is, we want to express our appreciation to this community for its patience, support, extra effort, faith, and continued care for one another.
As I think of the year ahead, these are a few things that are top of mind: 
  • Partner with Sequoia staff and teachers to think about what Spring 2021 will look like. 
  • Look ahead and plan for the 2021-2022 school year. 
  • Collaborate with our partners SHSEF, Boosters, ELAC, etc., to ensure we are supporting students and parents through the end of 2021.
  • As we continue in distance learning, please spread the word about the need to support our students through SHSEF. The education foundation still has a long way to go to reach their annual goal, and the coming months are crucial.  
  • Work with the District to develop the candidate profile for the incoming superintendent. There will be a series of sessions with different community groups to collect feedback. 

Our next PTSA General Meeting is January 12 at 6:30 p.m.
Meeting ID: 569 274 1389
Passcode: 932885
One tap mobile
+16699006833,,5692741389#,,,,*932885# US (San Jose)
+13462487799,,5692741389#,,,,*932885# US (Houston)
Dial by your location
        +1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)
        +1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
If there are any areas that are top of mind for you, feel free to reach out. 
Wishing all of you good health and positivity,
Do you have questions for our Sequoia 2020-2021 PTSA Board? Reach Isha Bhatt, PTSA President and the rest of the team at Have questions about mini grants? Reach Adrienne Heist & Shannon Chi at
The Parent Education Series
Parent Ed Logo Horizontal
Jan 15: Parent Forum #6: Helping your child or teen develop good habits

Join Eran Magen, PhD, CEO of Circles of Support and founder of Parenting for Humans for a new parent forum. This series of (virtual) parent discussion groups will focus on parent-child communication and managing relationships with your child or teen. Space is limited, sign up early. Register here.
Jan. 20: Prepared or petrified? How to be an askable adult for your ‘quaranteen’

Join Vanessa Kellam, Parent Engagement Manager at Health Connected, for a timely conversation aimed to inspire and equip parents to engage their 'quaranteen' in meaningful conversations about sexual health and relationships. Register here.
Jan. 28: Digital Media and COVID-19

Strategist, analyst, author, and speaker, David Kleeman, SVP at Dubit, has been a global thought leader in children’s and youth media for 25+ years. In this live (virtual) event, Kleeman will explore the impact of COVID-19 on kids’ media, best practices in playful learning, and the integration of child/adolescent development and research across media, technology, and games. Register here.

Drawing on nearly two decades of scientific research, this live (virtual) event will explore: What is purpose? Why does it matter? And, how can we — as parents — help our children and teens discover their purpose in life?

Kendall Cotton Bronk, PhD, is a professor of psychology in the Division of Behavioral & Social Sciences at Claremont Graduate University, and lead investigator at the Adolescent Moral Development Lab. Register here.
Questions? Contact Charlene Margot, MA, Co-Founder and CEO, The Parent Venture (The Parent Education Series).
Community Resources and Events
Applications for SUHSD Middle College program due March 19
The SUHSD Middle College program at Cañada College will start accepting applications in January for the Fall of 2021. Middle College is a collaboration between the SUHSD and Cañada College. Students earn both high school and college credits, enabling them to complete their high school requirements and earn college credit simultaneously. All classes are held at Cañada College.

Learn more by watching this brief informational video or flyer. Interested students should speak to their counselor and attend our Parent/Student information sessions.

All Q&A meetings will be held on zoom from 6:30-7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 27, Thursday, Feb. 11, Tuesday, Feb. 23, and Wednesday, Mar. 10.

Please check our webpage for Zoom links and more information: Canada Middle College.
All application components must be submitted by March 19.
En Español:

¿Quieres traducir este boletín ahora? Siga estas instrucciones para obtener una traducción.
Sentinel Newsletter:

Our readers enjoy hearing about activities, events, and accomplishments of Sequoia students, staff and community. 

Submit articles by the Thursday before publication.To subscribe or resubscribe use the button below.