October 7, 2019  
Sequoia PTSA's weekly eNewsletter in partnership with the Sequoia High School Education Foundation
Principal's Message
The Many Creative Paths for Student Artists to Shine Within Sequoia's Visual and Performing Arts Programs  
Art by Suzanne Cadagan 
Ms. Szydlowski's IB Art students were given an assignment recently.  Create nine unique works over ten days to be showcased in the Powell Gallery.  Constraints were intentionally loose, but the works had to be linked thematically and the students needed to be able to explain their artistic choices as part of the process of curating the installation. 

The students responded to the challenge in varying ways, as shown in the accompanying pictures.  This exercise sets them up well for a major component of the IB Art culminating assessment, which is the curation of the work they've produced over their two years in the program.  Each artist will select the works which speak best to the themes that have dominated their artistic growth and values.  The chosen works are displayed in small installations which take place in the Powell Gallery in the spring of their senior year.  It's a must-see at Open House.

Art by Hugo Greenhill 
Growth and sophistication as an artist involves intentionality.  The ability to curate is an essential outcome of the IB Art curriculum and this careful curation is a vital component of a thriving visual and performing arts program at a school like Sequoia. 

Case in point: Sequoia's student musicians are preparing for their October 30th concert by perfecting a series of spooky selections.  I was lucky enough last Friday during seventh period to catch the Orchestra (led by Mr. Broome) working out the kinks on Bernard Herman's iconic score from the film Psycho.

After leading the class, it's a rapid transition across the back hall of the M-Wing for Mr. Broome in order to start after-school rehearsals for Sequoia's fall production of The Addams Family musical.  The Sequoia theater program thrives across genres, but comedic timing and staging are always a strength in Mr. Broome's productions, so this one should be a lot of fun when the opening night curtain goes up on Thursday, October 25th.

The thoughtful curation of our students' creative talents is present elsewhere, as well.  New ceramics works are on display in the main hallway, a new Instagram account (@seqphotographyclass) showcases the talent in our digital photography program, and the dance classes are putting the final touches on their routines for Friday's homecoming rally.

The creative footprint left on a school community in any given year is shaped collectively.  Each year is different than the last.  The teachers' prompts are vital -- what they assign and how they nudge.  The trends within the broader context of the community (local, national, global) inform and influence choices students make.  Of course, it is the individual students themselves -- their tastes, beliefs, talents, work ethic, and experiences -- who exert the greatest influence on how the artistic landscape in a school manifests from year to year.  One of the important duties we have as a school community is to properly showcase these unique features by empowering the voices of our student artists.

In 2019-20, we are well underway.

Have a great week!
Mark Your Calendars
It's Spirit Week at Sequoia in Celebration of Homecoming

Friday, October 11 will be the Homecoming football game v. San Mateo (JV at 4:00 p.m. and Varsity at 7:00 p.m.). Come out and support our team!

The Homecoming Dance theme is "Beach Ball", a tropical-themed soiree which will be on Saturday, October 12, 7:00-10:00 p.m.  Homecoming dance tickets are available all week at lunch from the Student Activities Center ($15 with PAL, $20 with PAL, $25 regular...$30 at the door).

Homecoming shirts (see design below) will also be on sale all week until supplies run out.  Shirts are $10 each and if you wear a shirt, you get in FREE to the football game.

Holiday Evergreens in October? 

Can you believe it's time to order your holiday evergreens from Sequoia?  The holidays may seem far off, but they'll be here before you know it!  Our  order deadline is  Sunday, November 3, 2019, so we are officially kicking off the Sequoia High School Evergreen Sale!  Sales support the Sophomore Class of 2022 Safe & Sober Graduation activities. 

 We are offering beautiful and fragrant wreaths, garlands, and centerpieces for $22-28 each.  Plus, back by popular demand, an adorable decorative set of reindeer for $22.  These high quality items will be available for pick-up during the first week of December.  This link will take you directly to our product and ordering page.  Payments can be made through PayPal or credit/debit card.

We have many families that order every year and we appreciate your support!  Please contact Christy Fletcher with any questions.

You Know You've Been Meaning To...   

...So click the purple button on the right and JOIN NOW!
With your membership, you can:
  • Be a part of Sequoia's community of parents, teachers and students who make our school welcoming, united, and engaged!
  • Empower the California State PTA to speak up on behalf of our families.  Our State PTA has a long history of protecting and supporting California's most valued assets, our children.  The greater our number, the stronger our voice.
Not sure if you have joined yet this 2019-20 year?  Check the latest Membership List.

Get Involved

Sequoia Academy Mentor Program Still Seeking New Mentors!
For only two hours a month for six months, SHS Academy Mentors can make a huge impact on the life of a Sequoia student.  Working one-on-one with a student from the Digital Arts Academy or Health Careers Academy, mentors help students develop career-related skills and create a plan for success. 
Who makes a good mentor?  Adults in our community who can listen to and support a student while sharing the steps taken to become a working adult.  Whatever stage you are in, our students can learn from your experiences and the journey towards achieving your career success.
Please refer to our website or contact our coordinators Victoria Mitchell or Gregory Schmid for more information about how to participate in this program this 2019-2020 school year.

Last 7 Sequoia Stadium Cushions On Sale Now!

Support Class of 2020 Graduation Activities!

Just in time for the Homecoming Game, get your purple Sequoia Stadium Cushion to make sitting on those cold, hard, metal bleachers so much better.

On sale now for $10. Only 7 left, get them while they last!!!

Click here to buy them now.  Thank you for supporting Class of 2020 graduation activities.

Have an Idea That Needs Funding? PTSA Fall Mini-Grants Are Going Live Next Week

moneybag_graphic.jpg 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 
Public exhibition of entries.
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
Wellness Culture on Campus

Sequoia TRC on James Ave.
PTSA members were given insight into Sequoia's efforts to create a "Wellness Culture" when Ms. Staci Schussel from the Teen Resource Center (TRC) presented an informative talk on the subject at last Tuesday's general membership meeting.  Her talk centered around mindfulness and other methods which are being introduced to help students manage stress and improve their health.

Ms. Schussel provided an evidence-based presentation on the benefits of wellness exercises such as meditation, "centering", and mindful moments that are being utilized at Sequoia by students and teachers alike.  She also talked about initiatives to train student and teacher leaders who will help spread the program throughout school.  One of the highlights of the program includes "mindful Mondays" where all students are invited to come to the TRC for 15 minutes during lunch to practice group mindfulness for stress reduction.

If you would like to find out more about the program, please contact the Teen Resource Center and ask for Ms. Schussel.
In This Issue
Monday - Friday, Oct. 7 -11
Spirit Week
Thursday, Oct. 10
4:40 p.m. - Fr. Girls Volleyball
Sequoia vs. Crystal Springs Uplands, Gym 1
Friday, Oct. 11 (Homecoming) 
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   
Thursday, Oct. 24
7:00 - 8:30 p.m. 
Parent Ed. Series: No Such Thing as a Bad Kid, MA-PAC  
Thursday - Saturday, Oct. 24-26 
7:00 - 8:30 p.m.  
Sunday, Oct. 27
3:00 p.m. 
Fall Musical: The Addams Family, Carrington Hall 
Buy Your Tickets for Sequoia's Fall Musical,
The Addams Family Now!

October 24 - 27
Thursday, Friday &
Saturday at 7:00 p.m.
Sunday at 3:00 p.m.
Carrington Hall

$15 students and seniors 

Buy tickets at: or from the school treasurer.

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 Parent Education

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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.
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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.
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP
Know Your Rights, Know the Law: Sex, Bullying, and Social Media
Thursday, November 7, 2019, 7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
Menlo-Atherton High School
M-A Performing Arts Center (PAC)
Skadden offers Know Your Rights, Know the Law: Sex, Bullying and Social Media, a free workshop for parents and teens with practical and legal information about sharing information on social media. 
Parents, students, educators, and community members welcome! Free admission and light refreshments. Spanish interpretation will be available.
M-A Parent Education Series events are sponsored by M-A PTA, Sequoia Healthcare District, and Sequoia Union High School District.
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Questions?  Contact Charlene Margot, M.A., Director of The Parent Education Series .

Community Events