January 16, 2017

Sequoia PTSA's weekly eNewsletter in partnership with the Sequoia High School Education Foundation
Principal's Message
"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."  -  Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) is an executive order signed by President Obama in 2012.  Young people who come to the United States as undocumented children -- provided they have no criminal record, are in school or graduated, or are veterans of the US military -- are eligible to apply for security against deportation and legal work status.

DACA was developed, of course, with an eye on economic and social justice.  For those of us who work closely with families directly touched by these issues, DACA's defining characteristic is its humanity.  Every California educator has a story about a student with tremendous talent and work ethic who was discouraged by justifiably fearful family members from attending an important overnight (and potentially life-changing) field trip or whose drive to attend college dissipated as graduation neared and questions about immigration status loomed silently.  This silence was often the most frustrating part.  From an early age, they are told that immigration status is not something to be spoken of.  Knowing that in so many cases this was a burden borne alone by a student is what's most heartbreaking to an educator/advocate.

From a larger policy perspective, DACA is about common sense allocation of resources and prosecutorial discretion.  Its existence means more hard-working, smart, talented young people are studying and working without fear.  Likewise, law enforcement and immigration services have a mandate to focus their limited energy on urgent matters of public safety.

Sequoia High School has long recognized the plight of undocumented young people in our community.  Since before DACA was signed, our DREAM Club has been illuminating the plight of our "Dreamers" and raising money to support post-secondary educational opportunities.  Since DACA was signed, opportunities for Dreamers have increased.  For those of you who heard the graduates and current students speak at last semester's DREAM Club dinner, the societal benefits and moral certitude of DACA was self-evident.

I have been thinking a lot about DACA in the context of our students since November.  Certainly the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday is as good a time as any to examine our commitment to what we believe to be right.  I am proud of the Sequoia Union High School District Board of Trustees for recently adopting a resolution affirming its commitment to the rights of immigrant students.  I am proud of our staff's dedication to supporting this mandate, evident in this photo taken last week:

"The ultimate test of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and moments of convenience, but where he stands in moments of challenge and moments of controversy."  
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

Have great week!

Share Your Perspectives with Incoming Families
Whether you're a freshman parent helping your child with the transition to high school, or have made it through to being a senior parent who has experienced the ups and downs of high school life over four years -- all of these perspectives are valuable to incoming families! 

If you are willing to answer questions about Sequoia from prospective families during campus tours on Saturday, January 21 from 10-11:30 AM, please contact the PTSA at  The actual tours are led by ASB students, so all you have to do is show up and be available to chat with attendees!

PSAT Info for 10th/11th Graders
All School PSAT Result Pass Back - Tuesday January 17th During 3rd Period

PSAT Results Evening Meeting (originally Jan. 17) Has Been Canceled  

All 10th and 11th graders will get their PSAT test booklets and a paper copy of their score report in their 3rd period class on Tuesday, January 17th.  Teachers will show College Board videos on how to understand their score reports as well as how to link their scores to Kahn Academy for free individualized SAT Prep.  Students will also be receiving an email with more instructions on how to access and use their scores. 

Due to a conflict with another event, the evening meeting on the same day has been canceled. 

The upcoming College & Career Center weekly emails will have a specific section that includes common questions about standardized exams and the college process.

Coffee, Cookies and Conversation
Please join us on  January 17 at 6:45 PM in the MPR for coffee, cookies and conversation -- to share your thoughts with other parents and guardians as well as with Sequoia staff.  

There will be  fun activities that will encourage people to interact with parents and staff members whom they may have never met.  We want everyone to share their varied experiences and perspectives!  View flyers here: English / español.

Upcoming Basketball Concessions: Class of 2018 
Thank you to all of the Junior parents who helped with our first basketball concessions this past Friday!  There are two more opportunities to join in  the fun  and meet other parents, at our quad games on  January 27  vs. Menlo-Atherton and February 10 vs. Carlmont.   Please sign up to donate items or volunteer to help staff the concession booth for a shift.   If you have any questions, contact Heather Weber ( ) or 650.743.7129.  Thank you!
The Crab Feed Is Coming!
Please join us for the 8th annual Booster Club Crab Feed, Auction and Raffle!  It will be held on  Saturday, March 4 from 6:00--10:00 PM at the  American Legion Hall,  651 El Camino,  Redwood City.

$75 per person = unlimited fresh crab, salad, french bread, appetizers and homemade dessert + fun with friends, an opportunity to bid on restaurants, vacation homes, sports paraphernalia and much more! Enjoy wine and beer at the bar!

Purchase tickets here.  All proceeds benefit Sequoia High School Sport and Spirit Booster Club:
  • Funding for uniforms & equipment
  • Safe athlete transportation
  • MVP and championship banners
  • Sports awards night
We also need donations for the Silent Auction (it is tax deductible!).  We are especially looking for restaurant gift certificates and bottles of wine -- new at this year's Crab Feed will be a "Wine Pull."  If you have any questions about the Crab Feed or are interested in volunteering, please contact Lynn Pierce .

In This Issue
Monday, Jan. 16
No school - Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday

Tuesday, Jan. 17
6:45-8:15 PM - Cookies and Conversation, MPR

Wednesday, Jan. 18
7 PM - Parent Education - The College Solution: Finding the Right School at the Right Price, Carrington Hall

Thursday, Jan. 19
6 PM -  8th Grade IB Info Meeting , Carrington Hall (7 PM en  español en la biblioteca )

6:30 PM - Middle College Information Meeting, 480 James Avenue

Saturday, Jan. 21
10-11:30 - 7th/8th Grade Sequoia Campus Tours

Monday, Jan. 23
Collab Day

Saturday, Jan. 28
8 PM - Winter Formal, Fox Theater

Thursday, Feb. 2
7 PM - Community College meeting for Seniors, MPR

Tuesday, Feb. 7
7 PM - PTSA Meeting, MPR

Mon, Feb. 20-Tue, Feb. 21
President's Holiday - No school
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En Español
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Parent Education

Sequoia Parent Education Series
"The College Solution: Finding the Right School at the Right Price" 
with Lynn O'Shaughnessy, College Expert  

Wednesday, January 18, 2017, 7:00 PM
Sequoia High School, Carrington Hall 
1201 Brewster Avenue, Redwood City
Lynn O'Shaughnessy is a nationally recognized college expert, higher-education journalist, speaker, and author of  The College Solution: A Guide for Everyone Looking for the Right School at the Right Price.  Her chief goal is to help families with teenagers shrink college costs and become smart college shoppers. 
Come hear expert information on the following topics - and more!  
* Strategies to increase admission chances
* How to evaluate colleges and universities academically
* The real story behind college rankings
* Will you qualify for financial aid?
* How to tap into the biggest sources of college money
* How to find the most generous colleges for your child
* How investments impact financial aid
Parents, students, faculty/staff and community members welcome! Simultaneous Spanish interpretation will be available. Free admission.
Sequoia  Parent Education Series events are sponsored by the SHSEF, the Sequoia Healthcare District, and the Sequoia Union High School District.
Questions? Contact Charlene Margot, M.A., Founding Director, The Parent Education Series, at  or 650-868-0590 For Spanish, contact Mayela Ramirez,  Parent Center Coordinator, 650-367-9780, Ext. 63105.

Community News

AFS Intercultural Programs Information
High School Study Abroad and Scholarship Session - Feb. 11 at 12 PM

Have you ever thought about what it would be like to live with a family in Italy?  Or maybe drink coffee in a café in Chile with your new Chilean friends while you learn Spanish?  How about eat real sushi in downtown Tokyo, Japan?  Maybe you could even spend your weekends on the beaches and in the jungles getting to know Indonesia or Malaysia?  There are so many amazing opportunities waiting for you to explore the world. What are you waiting for - learn about study abroad!
AFS, the largest exchange program with the mission of promoting cultural understanding as a way to bring peace to the world, has an informal information event on February 11th at the RWC Roundtable Pizza. You and your family can learn about the global programs and scholarships available to you and talk to local students who have studied abroad.  This is an opportunity for interested students, families, and educators to learn more about cultural exchange, opportunities, and $3 million in scholarships.  Scholarship information preview here.

In recent years Sequoia has sent students overseas with AFS as well as hosted students. Please attend the meeting if you would like more information.  Local returnees, their parents, and volunteers will share their exchange experiences and answer questions. 
Event details: February 11th at 12 PM at the Redwood City Roundtable PizzaSee this flyer for more info and  RSVP here.