January 9, 2017

Sequoia PTSA's weekly eNewsletter in partnership with the Sequoia High School Education Foundation
President's Message
Let's hear it for routine!
Over the past few weeks  - 18 days to be exact - if your house is anything like mine, things have been a little crazy on the home front.  The holidays can bring fun and chaos. What we eat, when we sleep, or work or exercise gets a little turned upside down during this time of year. Friends and family come together creating joy and sometimes, know...

Of course with school-aged kids, schedules get even more scrambled as school is out, with no rehearsals or sports practices to go to, after-school activities being cancelled for the break, and the refrain of "What are we doing today?" often heard to parents' disdain.  As much as I like all the excitement and good feelings of this time of year, I am REALLY glad to get back to the routine.  Sure, it's not sexy to like structure and predictability but let's face it, a regular schedule is good for us and our kids.

When our kids were little, we all knew that they were a little more lovable when they had a good night's sleep and ate meals at regular times. As they grew up, knowing what was expected of them and where they had to be made them more independent and confident.  Now that our kids are teenagers, regular schedules allow them to develop habits that help build success. 

I read somewhere that a person's net worth to the world is "usually determined by what remains after you subtract your bad habits from your good ones," and building a routine creates plenty of good habits. When kids create routines like packing their soccer bag the night before the game instead of in the car on the way to school, or looking over the week's anticipated assignments on Sunday evening, these are a couple of the many ways to minimize chaos and anxiety which is not good for anyone in the house! You probably know from your own experience that developing routines, whether you work from home or at an office, allows you to be more productive, and minimizes jumping randomly from one task to another.
We still have a couple of days left before second semester begins on Thursday, January 12th but maybe there's still time for you and your kids to find ways to embrace the beauty of routine and start the new semester off on a strong foot. Do yourself a favor and create a routine to take a look at Sequoia's calendar on the website and see what student activities, parent meetings, and upcoming minimum days and holidays are on the horizon.
I look forward to seeing you at the parent dialogues on January 17th or our next PTSA meeting on Tuesday, February 7th.
Happy New Year to you and your whole family!

Lisa Hane
Sequoia PTSA President

Class of 2018 Basketball Concessions 
Attention Class of 2018 families! Plans are underway for the 2018 Grad Night. Our fundraisers for the winter period are concession sales at the Quad basketball games, and we need your donations to make this as successful as possible! 

The first quad game of the season is this Friday, January 13 vs. Woodside and is bound to be quite the match up! Please sign up to donate items or volunteer to help staff the concession booth for a shift -- it is a lot of fun!  If you have any questions, contact Heather Weber ( or 650.743.7129.
Share Your Sequoia Spirit at Campus Tours
Sequoia will be holding another round of campus tours for prospective 7th-8th grade students on Saturday, January 21 from 10-11:30 AM. We would love to have a few parents available to answer questions during these ASB student-led tours; please contact the PTSA at if you can help.

District News: SUHSD Sequitur
Did you see the December issue of the Sequitur, our district newsletter?  Stay informed about the latest news, including an update on the proposed by-district election map that will be discussed at the next Board meeting on January 18th.

Chromebooks Enhance AVID Resources
The Fall 2016 PTSA Mini-Grants enabled Ms. Teresa Yeager to purchase two Chromebooks for AVID students to check out on a weekly basis to use at home.  So far, five students have borrowed the laptops, and the students report that it has helped greatly with their work completion at home.  With the Chromebooks, students have access to a needed resource which allows for equitable completion of work and less stress overall.  AVID looks forward to growing the program in the future!

Pictured above - Yazlin M. benefits from the use of a PTSA Mini-Grant purchased Chromebook.

PTSA Mini-Grants are supported by funding from the SHSEF

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.  It will be a different format than past conversations, but we're hoping that you will have the opportunity to meet, share with and learn from others in the Sequoia community. View flyers here: English / español.

Festive Staff Appreciation 
Thank you so much to the volunteers who helped celebrate our Sequoia Staff and Teachers on December 21st for the PTSA-sponsored holiday luncheon. Led by Jennifer DiGrande and Elvira Macias, the Teachers, Staff, and Administrators enjoyed a delicious festive lunch including homemade tamales, salads, side dishes, and desserts!  

Especially touching was the presentation by staff member Teresa Yeager recognizing the retirement of history teacher Uel Jones.  His dedication to his students and love of teaching will be missed!

Thank you to all who helped provide or make items, set-up, serve, and clean-up.  It took many helping hands to deliver this special event, including: Jennifer Abbott-Bulka, Carmen Alvarado, Sue Anderson, Annie Baker, Jenny Bender, Jan Benway, Rosemarie Campos, Mary Carroll, Cathy Christensen Siri, Sian Davies, Donna Fiore, Meg Fitzpatrick, Lonnie Gee, Susie Gilbert, Lisa Hane, Janet Hart, Alice Henderson, Sherri Horan, Torri Horovitz, Stacy Huisman, Barbara Jakoby, Rachel Krueger, Andi Lanham, Susan Lier, Alisa MacAvoy, Gabriela Mendoza-Evans, Natalia Menendez, Gloria Moreno, Lauren Pachkowski, Hilary Paulson, Liz Pruhsmeier, Pam Scannell, Caitlin Schneider, Grace Schulz, Regine Staufenberg, Jaime Strauss, Laura Vella-Fukuji, Douglas Villeda, and Todd Trundle.  

A special shout out to all of the amazing families who prepared the homemade tamales and side dishes coordinated by Elvira Macias, and to Merce Carroll for the delicious homemade salads!  

Above - Staff enjoy the Holiday Luncheon on Dec. 21st.  
Below - SHS Administration serve sparkling cider to attendees.

In This Issue
Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017
Classes resume

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

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
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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.