Sequoia Sentinel
October 19, 2020
Sequoia PTSA's weekly eNewsletter in partnership with the Sequoia High School Education Foundation
Principal's Message (video)
Sequoia Highlights
Welcome New Staff!
Camille Erskine

"Ms. E" hails from Redwood City and is a graduate of Sequoia! She attended the University of California at San Diego, and completed her student teaching at Sequoia. After teaching at Carlmont, she is back with us teaching biology and human biology in the science department.

Fun Fact: Camille had an unforgettable meal in a small French restaurant that Anthony Bourdain had visited. She dined on fresh burrata, octopus, sea snails, and great wine. What made it so special, besides the ambiance, was being in the company of her friend! Nothing but good conversation and laughter followed by too much dessert and a sunset stroll.
John Holcomb

Mr. Holcomb hails from Mahtomedi, Minnesota and studied chemistry and Spanish in college…habla español! After starting a PhD program, he realized teaching undergraduates was his favorite part. He moved to Chicago to pursue a master’s degree in education, and the rest is history, or more accurately, science.

Before joining Sequoia’s science department, teaching chemistry and Digital Arts Academy chemistry, he taught in Chicago and at San Lorenzo High School in California.

Mr. Holcomb was inspired by his AP calculus teacher, who proved to him he was capable of far more than he thought possible in academics. “She put me on the path to success in college and beyond, and she encouraged me to keep being me.”

Fun Fact: John used to be Allison Stafford’s roommate!
Meditative drawing
After learning about positive and negative space in art, each student in all sections of draw & paint class created a detailed drawing of their spirit animal using the popular meditative drawing method, Zentangle. They were challenged to create a drawing that reflected both the positive space, which is the part of an artwork that is the focal point, and the negative space, which is the part that is unoccupied and surrounds the positive space.

Zentangle is a method of drawing done by creating lots of patterns. You can keep it abstract, or create recognizable images that are filled with the pattern (similar to the spirit animals from draw & paint class). If you haven’t tried Zentangle and are in need of some relaxation, grab a pen and paper and get started! Here is a great article to learn more. For more information about draw & paint, contact Landa Ruen.
That's So Raven
Introducing "That's So Raven" Season 2 with a new production team! Highlights this week are cooking ramen, a sports interview with Kiahn Nice, and Advanced Dance. Visit YouTube to Subscribe and turn on notifications to keep updated on this always entertaining Sequoia ASB Production!
This Halloween, the Red Cross Club will deliver a card and a piece of candy to your friends on Friday, October 30! Please order at this link to help us support the Red Cross in their mission to prepare and educate communities for disasters, and offer services to the affected victims. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Hannah Fiel or visit our website for more info. Follow our instagram @redcrossclubshs for updates!
Two weeks to order holiday evergreens!
Order now to support the sophomore class of 2022 Safe and Sober Graduation activities. In the spirit of the season, decorate with beautiful holiday evergreens. These high-quality and fragrant wreaths, garlands, and centerpieces are $22-35 each. All items will be available for pick-up during the first week of December. Deadline to order is in two weeks: Monday, Nov. 2. Payments can be made through PayPal or credit/debit card. Thank you to the many families that order every year, we appreciate your support! Contact Molly Johnson with any questions.
Author Brunch Zoom
Join us Wednesday, Oct. 21 at noon in the Media Center Zoom for our first ever Author Brunch Zoom, with local writer Samantha Rajaram, who aims to "demystify the publishing process" for aspiring writers. All aspiring writers welcome! Please contact Ms. Snow with questions.
Sequoia swag!
Sequoia High School’s Booster Club supports our talented athletes and cheer teams. The funds we collect are put towards purchasing practice equipment, sound systems, uniforms, and other necessities that foster success and keep our student athletes and cheer teams safe. Support the Booster Club and show your school spirit by purchasing Sequoia High School swag here.
School Resources
At-home learning questions answered
Going bonkers serving as tech support for your student? Have them bookmark the helpful directory of distance learning resources for all students in our district at this link.
Have an hour? Sequoia Special Delivery could really use your help!
"Sequoia Special Delivery" brings critical school materials to wonderful students-in-need who do not have a safe way to get to school right now to pick up their items. Your help would be a HUGE stress relief for these students, parents and their teachers! Please sign up here.

All delivery SignUp slots full?
New delivery dates are added each week or two! Please check in again later.

How does this work? On the date you select, you'll pick up your assigned deliveries and delivery addresses from the Sequoia Family Center, any time between 9 - 11 a.m. or 12 - 3 p.m. (not between 11 a.m and 12 noon). It might be a couple bags of books or science materials, a couple binders, or a couple manila envelopes that need to be delivered. You will then deliver these items to 1-3 students' homes that same day or the next day at a time that works for both you and the student/parent who must be home to receive the delivery. These deliveries are "contactless drop offs" at the door (accompanied by texting the student/parent before and after to make sure they receive it). Masks and cell phone needed for texting/delivery.

What's the commitment?
We'll reach out to you from time to time this year when new delivery needs come up. Volunteer every time or just once a semester -- it all helps! We estimate a "delivery date" will take 30 min-1 hour at the most. Deliveries will be mostly in San Carlos, East Palo Alto and Redwood City.

Can my (current) Sequoia student volunteer for this?
Unfortunately, no. For many reasons, we can only accept adults for these volunteer jobs-- parents or Sequoia alums "attending" college from home.

Tutor orientation and training this Wednesday!
healthy cities tutoring
Join our community of volunteers who range in age from 14-96 and provide one-on-one tutoring and mentoring to students for 30-45 minutes per week to improve their academic performance, engagement in learning, and self-esteem. This year with distance learning we are seeking volunteers willing to be trained in tutoring a student remotely once a week. We expect the need to grow this year and hope you or someone you know will get involved in this rewarding volunteer experience.

If you are interested in learning more, please mark your calendar for our annual new tutor orientation and training, which will be held via Zoom this Wednesday, October 21, 7-8:15 p.m. RSVP here. For more information about becoming a Healthy Cities tutor, visit and click VOLUNTEER to complete the online application, or email Reach a child. Touch a Family. Build a community. Great for earning CAS (Creativity, Activity, Service) hours for IB Candidates!
Senior class parent volunteers needed!
The Graduation Committee is looking for parents and guardians of seniors to help with graduation. We need creative ideas for fundraising and graduation events and activities. Join us to help plan, implement or just to add your support. Email
Sequoia Academy Mentor Program
Would you like to transform the trajectory of a Sequoia student? Become a Sequoia Academy mentor. For less than two hours a month for six months, Sequoia High School Academy mentors work one-on-one with students from the Digital Arts Academy or Health Careers Academy on career-related skills.

Adults can support a student by sharing your knowledge and experience about how to take steps towards a successful and rewarding career. Join our team! Whatever stage you are in, our students can learn from your career journey. Please refer to our website or contact our coordinators Greg Stein or Gregory Schmid for more information about how to participate in this year's virtual program.
Education Foundation Updates
Supporting students during distance learning
While the Sequoia community is not together on campus right now, Sequoia High School Education Foundation (SHSEF) is working to ensure students have the resources they need to succeed during distance learning. This year SHSEF is funding an additional college counselor, more Chromebooks, tech resources, at-home supplies, and equipment (including art kits, musical instruments, and learning materials). Thank you to the supporters who helped us reach our 2019-2020 goal, which supports staff, programs, and other resources for this school year. To make a SHSEF contribution, Donate here.
The PTSA board wants to hear from you
Do you have questions for our Sequoia 2020-2021 PTSA Board? Reach Isha Bhatt, PTSA President and the rest of the team by sending email to
Have questions about Mini Grants? Reach Adrienne Heist & Shannon Chi by sending email to
The Parent Education Series
Parent Ed Logo Horizontal
Parents, students, educators, clinicians, and community members welcome! Free admission. The Parent Education Webinar Series is sponsored by Sequoia Healthcare District and Sequoia Union High School District.
For videos of popular events, visit our YouTube and Vimeo channels, and connect with us on Facebook for the latest parenting news. Register for The Parent Education Newsletter.
Questions? Contact Charlene Margot, M.A., Founder and Director, The Parent Education Series. 
Navigating Emotionally Intense Conversations with Your Child or Teen
Eran Magen, PhD, Founder, The Center for Supportive Relationships

Thursday, October 22, 12:00 – 1:00 p.m., Online Event (Webinar)

In this interactive (virtual) workshop, you will learn how to be more effective and comfortable offering emotional support when your child is experiencing strong emotions such as stress, frustration, anxiety, or anger.

Dr. Eran Magen is the founder and scientific director of the Center for Supportive Relationships which provides relational skills training for parents, school districts, high education institutions, healthcare professionals, and private corporations.

Parents, students, educators, clinicians, and community members welcome! Free admission. This presentation is sponsored by Carlmont PTSASequoia Healthcare DistrictSequoia Union High School District, and The Parent Venture.
The Future of College Admission: More Questions, A Range of Answers?
Dr. Angel B. Pérez, CEO, NACAC & Alice Kleeman, retired M-A College Advisor

Thursday, October 29, 12:00 – 1:00 p.m., Online Event (Webinar)

Dr. Angel B. Pérez, new CEO of the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), joins Alice Kleeman, retired M-A College Advisor, for a wide-ranging interview on a variety of college admission issues and trends, in light of the uncertainty introduced by COVID-19.
Strengthening Communication with Your Child or Teen
Eran Magen, PhD, Founder, The Center for Supportive Relationships

Friday, October 30, 12:00 – 1:00 p.m., Online Event (Meeting)

Join us for an all-new Parent Forum 2020-21 (English) with Eran Magen, PhD, founder of The Center for Supportive Relationships. This series of (virtual) parent discussion groups will focus on parent-child communication and managing relationships with your child or teen.
Having Courageous Conversations About Race and Systemic Racism
Dr. Donald Grant, ED, Center for Community & Social Impact, Pacific Oaks College

Wednesday, November 4, 12:00 – 1:00 p.m., Online Event (Webinar)

Join Donald Grant, PhD, for a "Courageous Conversation" about Race and Systemic Racism in America today. Learn how to be a disruptor of anti-Black racism and discrimination by increasing your knowledge and empathic awareness.
Community Resources and Events
Join Challenge Success for reVISION 2020
Join Challenge Success Friday, October 23 at 11 a.m. for an exciting 45-minute livestream event hosted by Challenge Success Co-Founders, Dr. Denise Pope and Dr. Madeline Levine, and featuring keynote speaker Lori Gottlieb - registration is free.

Challenge Success is an educational non-profit focused on what matters -- student well-being and engagement with learning. Challenge Success works to shift attention away from extrinsic markers of success such as standardized tests, GPA, and selective college admissions, which we know can negatively affect the social, emotional, and academic health of kids.

The reVision 2020 virtual parent education event and fundraiser will share specific tips and strategies for educators, students, and families in this unique time of need, as well as highlight the important work. You can register for the Challenge Success reVision 2020 event here.
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