Sequoia Sentinel
January 24/25, 2021
Sequoia PTSA's weekly eNewsletter in partnership with the Sequoia High School Education Foundation
Editor's note: Testing, testing! Yet again half our readership will receive the Sentinel on Sunday, the other half on Monday. We're running a test thru Feb. 8 to see which day gets better open rates. Feedback is welcome and we’ll keep you posted on the results.
Principal's Message
Another cohort of Sequoia teachers began formal training this week in how to implement mindfulness strategies into their classrooms. Since the 2014-15 school year, a critical mass of teachers, counselors, and other staff members have found success with mindfulness curriculum through our partnership with a project called Mission Be.

Student stress comes in all shapes and sizes. Anxiety about the future, dysfunction at home, and drama within social groups don’t care which zip code you live in. It’s a lot of noise that gets in the way of students being able to do the vital work of reflecting on their identity and setting priorities for the future. Throw a global pandemic into the mix -- the need to empower students with tools to fortify and focus their energy has never been greater.

Sequoia’s mindfulness curriculum includes a handful of mini-lessons teaching students how to identify stress or anxiety triggers along with healthy strategies for coping. It also includes making these habits a part of the learning day-to-day. Breathing exercises, for example, might become part of a class’s routine. 

We believe that academic success extends beyond mastery of skills and content. Too often, impediments like the ones listed above overwhelm teaching and learning goals. Mindfulness strategies seek to proactively address the socio-emotional needs. Over my 20 years in education, I’ve seen almost every student response to stress you could imagine -- everything from a quiet shut-down to full-blown crises. Seeing a student transported via EMT in restraints is something you never forget.  

By providing students with tools they need to manage the stress in their lives, we hope they’ll be both more productive learners at Sequoia. More importantly, we hope they’ll be better adjusted adults finding success in whatever endeavor they choose after high school.

Our mission statement affirms our belief that the experience of being a Sequoia student transcends academics. We remain excited about how mindful practices can help empower our students towards not only educational success but self-esteem and self-direction. Each of our staff meetings begin with a mindfulness activity. I encourage our families to join us. Here’s an article with ideas for how to get started. Or just take a minute, focus on each breath, try and slow down your thoughts, and see where it goes from there.

Have a great week!

Sequoia athletics conditioning/skill sessions are starting back up!
Sequoia Athletics
Athletic competition is not able to begin yet, but many teams are doing skill sessions outdoors. Please check for more info, or email the coach of the sport you are interested in. 
Reserve your 2021 yearbook; senior baby pictures due Jan. 31

Reserve your yearbook at this link now. Our code is 7268 or you can search for Sequoia High School. You can also reserve a yearbook on Infinite Campus. There is a dropdown menu and you can add the yearbook to your cart. We need to predict our numbers, so please do not count on extras. Seniors: If you haven’t already, send your baby picture to Ms. Bray by Jan 31. 

Wondering if you will be well represented? It’s totally up to you! We're relying on your participation in this unusual year. Students can be in the book as much as they would like -- get all the details!
No Boosters crab feed this year

Happy New Year to our Sequoia family from all of us at the Boosters! We are certainly hoping this new year and second half of the school year will bring us all health and the ability to get our athletes and teams back on the field, in the pool, on the track or court, and in the gym as soon as possible! 

This has been a difficult year for all students, coaches, and families. In recognition of this, the executive board and general members of Boosters have made the difficult, but realistic decision to not pursue our annual Crab Dinner Fundraiser which has been a treasured Sequoia tradition for many years. Believe us, the crabs are the only ones that are happy about this. Find out more.
Red Cross Club mask drive
Red Cross Club mask drop off through Jan. 31

The Red Cross Club is conducting a mask drive to help the Sequoia community and the hospitals that are serving the Bay Area. You can make masks yourself or buy them, both are necessary and greatly appreciated. Please see the Red Cross Club website for more information or contact Malia Leung.
Deadline May 28: Seniors - Edgenuity and office hours reminder
Seniors need to complete Edgenuity credit recovery course(s) for graduation and/or A-G requirements by May 28 for June 4 graduation. If seniors or parents/guardians have questions or need to sign up, please email your assigned counselor. Sequoia's Edgenuity teacher, Mr. Julio Calles, holds office hours 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

Welcome back to That's So Raven! We have a good and interesting episode to start off the year!

0:57 Announcements
1:38 Senior Sunrise
2:08 Martin Luther King Jr. Day
3:40 Capitol Riot Reactions
7:42 Outro/Credits
Education Foundation
Your contributions make an impact
The work SHSEF does is vital to the students, staff and families of the Sequoia community. Your contributions help ensure our students have what they need to succeed and make the most of this challenging school year. Contributions of all amounts create a direct and positive impact on our community. Make a donation to SHSEF.
Mini-grant funds available for worthy projects

The PTSA has funds remaining to award to students, faculty, or staff who have a project idea for enhancing education at Sequoia. Mini-grants of up to $750 are designed to inspire creative initiatives to learning and/or to address a compelling need (such as for equipment or registration fees) that might otherwise go unfinished. Applications are now being accepted.

Help needed with the PTSA website
PTSA is looking for a WordPress programmer that can help us develop a new PTSA website. We may select an existing theme and plugins to create the site, but would like the option to work with a programmer who can create a custom WordPress if needed. If you are a WordPress designer and programmer and would be interested in designing the new PTSA website, that opportunity is available too. Please contact Cynthia Wiggin.
Do you have questions for our Sequoia 2020-2021 PTSA Board? Reach Isha Bhatt, PTSA President and the rest of the team at
The Parent Education Series
Parent Ed Logo Horizontal
Jan 27: The art of the possible: raising resilient children and teens

How is it possible to raise resilient children and teens, especially in such turbulent, uncertain times? In this special virtual event hosted by San Mateo County Office of Education, Leah Weiss, PhD, an international authority in resilience and compassion, will share her expertise on the four "Pillars of Resilience." Register now.
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 now.

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 and social sciences at Claremont Graduate University, and lead investigator at the Adolescent Moral Development Lab. Register now.
Questions? Contact Charlene Margot, MA, Co-Founder and CEO, The Parent Venture (The Parent Education Series).
Community Resources and Events
SUHSD Middle College info sessions and applications due March 19
Applications for the SUHSD Middle College program at Cañada College must be submitted by March 19. The program enables students to complete their high school requirements and earn college credit simultaneously. Students interested in applying for fall of 2021 should speak to their counselor and attend one of our parent/student information sessions.
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