October 16, 2017

Sequoia PTSA's weekly eNewsletter in partnership with the Sequoia High School Education Foundation
topA Message from our Principal

Sara A's favorite subject has always been science. It began in elementary school, where the generous PTSA funded twice-weekly science pull-out classes and take-home science bags beginning in kindergarten. It was the lesson about metamorphosis that hooked her, unlocking the mystery behind The Very Hungry Caterpillar (the book mom and dad used to read to her when she was a baby). By grades 6-8, Sara A spent most of her free time in her school's robotics lab. Before 9th grade started, she attended coding and neuroscience camps, which included a visit to a research lab at a major local university. The scientists she met there seemed like rockstars to her, theirs was her dream career.

Sara B. has early memories of butterflies, as well. At her elementary school, a charismatic lepidopterist wowed all the kids one year with her presentation of colorful and unique species. There were no regular science classes before sixth grade, but her general education teachers from time to time presented physical science demonstrations or science-themed videos. She kept the poster she made about dry ice and the states of matter in the room she shares with her sisters for over a year. In her middle school science class, she enjoyed learning about different biospheres, plate tectonics, and the water cycle. Her 7th-grade field trip to the California Academy of Sciences was a highlight. Sara B. thinks often about environmental issues and a career working with animals or in conservation interests her greatly.

Sequoia's science department is designed for both Saras. As an International Baccalaureate (IB) School, Sequoia's science classes emphasize investigation -- different approaches and different techniques. Practical science rules within the IB, with students designing investigations, collecting data, analyzing results with peers, and communicating their findings. The IB skills our courses develop and strengthen mirror the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).

Students entering as Sequoia ninth graders next year will enroll in Biology, Physics, or Evolutionary Ecology (EE - a new lab science course we're piloting in 17-18). Placement is based on a student's interests and math/reading level. The four year course of study in science, per the requirements of the UC/CSU, will include a physical science, a life science, and an earth science. Although the UC/CSU requires students to complete 3 years of a lab science, the overwhelming majority of Sequoia graduates complete 4 (or more) years of science.

The goal is to ensure both Sara A. and Sara B are challenged throughout and can be successful in an IB course by 11th or 12th Grade. Their pathways may be different, but we hold as a core value that access the the most rigorous content should be as open as possible Furthermore, we know that both Saras working together greatly enhances their respective understanding of how scientists work globally in the 21st Century. Specifically, the cultural competency developed in a heterogeneous classroom gives them an advantage in how they frame the ethical debates and limitations of creative scientific endeavour -- both or which are recurring themes in IB.

We are fortunate at Sequoia to have a dynamic mix of veteran and young professionals teaching our science classes. It is their dedication to collaboration and equity, as well as the strong leadership of department chair Mitch Weathers, that allows them to address many of the needs that arise within a science program that allows both Saras to thrive and grow in their love of science.

Have a great week!



Dear Sequoia Families, 

On behalf of the PTSA, our heartfelt condolences go out to anyone from our Sequoia family who has experienced loss from the devastating fires ravaging northern and southern California.  

For those of you who would like to help, please read the press release from California PTA

While the impact of these fires has not been fully realized, please know that our Sequoia parent, teacher and student community is strong and willing to support families in need as they begin to rebuild their lives.

This Year's Homecoming Theme: Home Sweet Homecoming

Sequoia students and faculty are busy preparing for the exciting week ahead.
Here are some important updates from Mr. Uhalde:
Long-Sleeved Homecoming Themed Shirts on sale beginning Friday, October 13-Friday October 20. $15 with PAL, $20 without. Shirts may be purchased from the Student Activities Center all week ($15 with PAL and $20 without)... Shirt includes FREE TICKET to the Homecoming Football Game
Spirit Week Theme Days
Monday - Flannel Day
Tuesday - Mathletes and Athletes
Wednesday - Pink Out
Thursday - International Day
Friday - Purple Friday
Canned Food Drive ongoing now. Label the cans with your student's name for the chance to win our BEST SEAT IN THE HOUSE giveaway! Sit on a couch on the field level with two of your friends for the Woodside football game, while ASB students serve you free food and drinks!
Homecoming Tickets on sale all week at the Student Activities Center
$20 with PAL Sticker, $25 without
Dance will run from 8:00-11:00 in Gym 1 on Sequoia's campus. 
All four grades competing in float decoration. Floats will be showcased at halftime of the football game on Friday. Float construction begins Saturday, October 14.

Free Sports Physicals Available at Sequoia

Will your student be participating in any of Sequoia's athletics teams this year?  No time to make a doctor's appointment for a physical?  Free sports physicals will be available at Sequoia on Tuesday, October 17th at 4:00pm.

Have your student report to Gym 2 and we'll take care of the rest!  Questions? Contact Athletic Director Melissa Schmidt at

Read All About It!
For those of you who like to find out about what Sequoia
students are thinking and doing, look no further and click on this link for this year's first edition of the Raven Report!

The Raven report is funded by a generous grant from the SHSEF.
All 'Class of 2018' Families Welcome to help Sell Concessions!
Thank you for your ongoing support of football concession sales. Now join fellow Senior parents for a few more opportunities as we sell concessions under the Friday night lights.

Proceeds from the Class of 2018 Football concessions go toward a Safe & Sober Grad Week in June.

See your friends and their smiling children as they step right up to our purple PTSA tent up for freshly popped popcorn or a delicious, homemade mocha!

Click here: to  Sign up for a shift today!
  • Friday, October 20 vs Kings Academy (and Homecoming!)
  • Friday, October 27 vs Woodside

Contact Adrienne Heist at with questions.

Little Red Riding Hood had her basket for Granny, How about a LOVE Bag for yours?

Love Bags are now available for purchase! These bags are well-made, attractive and
 make great hostess or birthday gifts. 40% 
of each order placed goes directly to support our 2018 Safe & Sober Grad Week activities.

  See this flyer for details.

Bags can be ordered at Enter code SEQUOIA

Homework Initiatives help Motivate Students thanks to Mini-Grants !
While the Mini-Grant committee is busy reviewing Fall 2017 submissions, here's an impact statement from English teachers Hoffman and Nguyen from a grant they earned received year:
English I teachers  Hoffman and Nguyen wanted to devise a way to provide positive incentives to encourage students to track and turn in their homework. 

"Students who completed all but one homework assignment in a month were rewarded with a party. As we checked off homework, in class daily, students were very excited to see that they remained eligible for the party. We saw increased completion of homework in our classes compared to classes that did not have a positive reward system. We also had far fewer Fs in our classes than ever before. We would love to do this again next year."

Thanks to our teachers for their initiatives and Thank you to the Sequoia High School Education Foundation for making the Mini-Grant program possible!

Mini-Grants made possible with funding from SHSEF

Do you Know any 8th Grade Families Considering Sequoia?  Show Your UNILYI Sprit and Pass Along this Information
8th Grade Information Night - Wednesday, November 1
  • 6:30 PM - Come to Carrington Hall to hear our band and orchestra! 
  • 7:05-8:00 PM - Receive an overview about Sequoia, hear from students and alumni, and see a preview of our fall musical.  After the presentations, roam the campus to view classrooms and activities!
  • View more details here
Campus Tours - Saturday, November 4, 10 AM (last tour departs at 11 AM)
Take advantage of this opportunity to have a guided tour of the school! Each tour will be led by two Sequoia leadership students and will showcase several important locales around campus. Tours will also be accompanied by a PTSA volunteer who can help provide a parent's perspective on the school. No need to sign up ahead of time, just drop by and meet us at the front of the school! For further details, contact Director of Student Activities Corey Uhalde .  Campus Tours will also be held on Saturday, January 27, 2018.
Upcoming Events
Enjoy these other events that will help you experience Sequoia!
  • Bands and Orchestra Concert - Thu, Oct. 19, 7 PM in Carrington Hall
  • Homecoming Football Game - Friday, Oct. 20 at Terremere Field, 5 PM Junior Varsity, 7:30 PM Varsity. During the varsity football game, you'll also get to see floats constructed by student groups and performances by our dance and cheer groups!
  • Chicago, the Musical - Fri & Sat, Nov. 17-18 at 7 PM, and Sun, Nov. 19 at 3 PM, in Carrington Hall.  Our fabulous fall musicals always pack in the crowds; get your tickets at
Feel free to forward the Sentinel to other 8th grade families, and encourage them to subscribe to this "Class of 2022" list via the Sequoia PTSA website on the Stay Informed/ Subscribe page.

The Purple Tent is Open For Freshman Parents and New Families !

Come meet other freshman and new families at our
 Football Welcome on Friday, October 20, 7:30 PM at theSequoia/King's Academy varsity football game! Join us at the PTSA tent where we'll have coffee and snacks and be handing out spirit items to cheer on our team.  Then look for the purple balloons marking the Freshman/New Parent section in the stands. Wear your purple, and we hope to see you there!
Questions? Contact

PTSA Reflections recognition Within Reach!

There is still time for the artist in your home to submit a piece of art, photograph, short story or... 

AND we would love to recognize his/her efforts. Please tell your reflections art program students about Reflections, the PTA Arts Recognition Contest. There are 6 possible categories in which to enter. The theme their art must address this year is "Within Reach." How they interpret it is up to them. 

An overview, the rules, and entry forms are available on-line at the California PTA website. Further information is available on the Sequoia PTSA website under the Programs / Reflections tab and full instructions are available in the College and Career Center.  

The deadline is November 6, 2017.  For more information e-mail

Want to Deck Your Halls With Some Boughs?
Order Your Evergreens and help the class of 2020!

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 November 4, 2017, so we are officially kicking off the Sequoia High School Evergreen Sale! This year the sale will support the Sophomore Class of 2020 Safe & Sober Graduation activities.

We are offering beautiful and fragrant wreaths, garlands, and centerpieces for $20-$25 each. Plus, back by popular demand, an adorable decorative reindeer for $18. They will be available for pick-up during the first week of December (exact dates TBD). This link  will take you directly to our ordering page where you can pay through Paypal or credit/debit card.

Thank you for your support, and please contact with any questions.

Sequoia Sentinel
Another Monday! We hope you are enjoying the Sentinel.  We welcome your feedback and input

If you have articles to submit to the Sentinel, please send the information to our article collection address  by the end of the day on Thursday. Guidelines for news submissions can be found on the Sequoia PTSA website

Class email lists: In addition to the Sentinel, the PTSA sends out grade-specific information during the year. Be sure that you are subscribed to your "Class of" list for EACH of your students! Visit the Stay Informed: Subscribe section of the PTSA website. 

With Kindest Regards,

Torri and Alex Horovitz
2017 - 2018 Sentinel Editors 

In This Issue
Upcoming Events

Tuesday, Oct. 17
7pm - College Financial Aid Information Night - 12th grade students and families,
Carrington Hall
Wednesday, Oct. 18
6pm - 9th grade College and IB Info Night, Carrington Hall
Thursday, Oct. 19
6pm - Band and Orchestra Concert, Everyone Welcome!
Friday, Oct. 20
7:30 - All freshman and new families welcome - Terremer Field
Saturday, Oct. 21
8pm - 11pm - Sequoia High School Homecoming Dance
Tuesday, Nov. 7
7pm - 8:30pm - PTSA meeting - MPR
Friday, Nov. 10
School holiday - No classes
Friday, Nov. 17 - Sunday, Nov. 19
Fall musical, Chicago!
For tickets and times:
Wednesday, Nov. 22 thru Friday, Nov. 24
Thanksgiving Holiday - No classes

Quick Links
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Submit news to the Sentinel: For instructions, click here.

Find past issues of the Sentinel: 

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Parent Education - Events Open to Everyone
Join One Love CEO Katie Hood for a special Escalation screening and discussion

On October 18th One Love's Bay Area office will be hosting a special screening of Escalation followed by a discussion led by One Love CEO Katie Hood.  RSVP now.

Escalation is an eye-opening and relatable film that follows a young relationship from their very happy beginnings to a tragic end. The screening of Escalation and discussion will be held from 6:30-8:30PM at Aquarius Theater in Palo Alto.
Come learn how to talk to young people about healthy and unhealthy relationships and ways that you can bring this critical conversation to your community.

When: Wednesday, October 18th at 6:30 PM
Where: Landmark Aquarius Theater, Palo Alto
Who: Parents, Educators, and Community Members  
RSVPGo here to RSVP, and please pass along the invitation to your network!

Cynthia Colón, Ed.D. 
Tips, Tales & Truths for Teens: Advice from a College Admissions Expert
Wednesday, October 25, 2017, 7:00 - 8:30 pm
Sequoia High School - Carrington Hall 
1201 Brewster Avenue, Redwood City 

Whether your student is the first in your family to attend college, has siblings in college, or parents who graduated from an Ivy League institution, applying to college is new to YOU. Tips, Tales & Truths for Teens offers a practical road map to follow throughout high school. 
Parents, students, educators, and community members welcome!
Spanish interpretation will be available. Free admission & light refreshments. 

Cynthia Colón, Ed.D. 
Tips, Tales & Truths for Teens: Advice from a College Admissions Expert 
Thursday, October 26, 2017, 7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
Woodside High School - Multi-Use Room (MUR)
199 Churchill Avenue, Woodside 
Whether your student is the first in your family to attend college, has siblings in college, or parents who graduated from an Ivy League institution, applying to college is new to YOU. Tips, Tales & Truths for Teens offers a practical road map to follow throughout high school. 
Parents, students, educators, and community members welcome! 
Spanish interpretation will be available. Free admission & light refreshments. 

ANGST: Raising Awareness Around Anxiety - Documentary Film + Panel Discussion 
Thursday, November 9, 2017, 7:00pm
Carlmont High School - Performing Arts Center (CPAC)
1400 Alameda de las Pulgas, Belmont 
Join us for a special screening of the new IndieFlix documentary, ANGST: Raising Awareness Around Anxiety, followed by a panel discussion with ANGST co-producer Karin Gornik. This powerful film  includes discussions with mental health professionals about the causes of anxiety, as well as help, resources, and tools for students and parents.
Parents, students (ages 10 and up), educators, and community members welcome! 
Spanish interpretation will be available. Free admission & light refreshments.

Eduardo Briceño, Co-Founder & CEO, Mindset Works Growth Mindset Parenting: The Myths, the Meanings, the Approaches
Thursday, November 16, 2017, 7:00 - 8:30 pm
Menlo-Atherton High School - M-A Performing Arts Center (PAC)
555 Middlefield Road, Atherton

What is Growth Mindset Parenting? Parents often wonder what they can do to change their child's mindset from fixed to growth. The good news is that mindsets can change, and there are strategies you can use to see a big difference in your student's challenge-seeking behavior. Join us to learn about the latest research in growth mindset - the myths, the meanings, the approaches.
Parents, students, educators, and community members welcome! 
Spanish interpretation will be available. Free admission & light refreshments. 
The Parent Education Series events are sponsored by Carlmont PTSA, M-A PTA, SHSEF, Woodside PTSA, Sequoia Healthcare District, and Sequoia Union High School District.
Questions? Contact Charlene Margot, M.A., Director, The Parent Education Series,


Silicon Valley Jazz Festival - Hear Sequoia's Jazz Band Jam with the Greats!

The city of San Carlos is hosting the
FIRST EVER Silicon Valley Jazz Festival. 

Burton Park will be hopping on Saturday and Sunday, October 21 and 22 from 11am to 6pm. Sequoia students will share the stage with Jazz greats Donald Brown, the Dave Miller Trio with Rebecca DuMaine, and the Pascal Bokar Band, along with students from Central Middle School, Carlmont, and Woodside and many others!

Bring your lawn chair and settle in for some fantastic music!

Visit this link for more information: