October 21, 2019  
Sequoia PTSA's weekly eNewsletter in partnership with the Sequoia High School Education Foundation
Principal's Message
A Busy Week of Prepping for College at Sequoia 
Ninth graders getting a taste of a local 4-year college campus. 

A handful of lucky ninth grade students came home last Tuesday with a special souvenir: bright yellow foam fingers used to communicate the general ranking of San Jose State University among things in the universe (#1).  It was College Day at Sequoia, our annual tradition of sending all ninth graders for a visit to one of several local colleges and universities.  When I asked one of the foam-finger-wagging freshman how they had managed to score such a coveted prize, they responded, "Mr. Williams (Sequoia PE teacher and Spartan Alum) hooked us up!" 

Students this year visited one of several local 4-year colleges and universities, including UC Santa Cruz, University of the Pacific, UC Berkeley, and SF State.  The visits spurred discussion in 9th Grade classes such as English and Life Skills as well as upcoming class visits from counselors introducing students to Naviance and 4-year academic planning.

On Wednesday, all 10th and 11th Graders took the PSAT, a practical step for college readiness that follows up the excitement generated by the 9th grade college visits.  In addition to being a great practice for the SAT itself, results of the PSAT can lead to eligibility for   National Merit Scholar status.  

At the core of Sequoia's mission is the belief that all students want to succeed in learning.  Our job is to prepare students, upon graduation, to attend and thrive in a 4-year college/university setting.  Achieving this goal requires commitment from all stakeholders, most importantly the students.

To this end, we work hard at Sequoia to foster a college-going culture.  It is visible on the walls of the hallways, the classrooms, the guidance office, and the recently renovated College Center.  It informs staff collaboration, community development, work of the Sequoia HS Education Foundation , and the rigor of instruction for all students.  College Day and the PSAT exams are funded 100% by the SHSEF.    

The work coordinating these endeavors is a true community effort.  IVP Kristin Stout, AVP Sophia Olliver, administrative support personnel, campus aides, instructional paraprofessionals --  everyone plays a role.  Our College/Career Coordinator, Terry Ignaitis, is of course a vital asset for our students and families (encourage your student to get to know her ASAP).  Our counselors, in their four-year planning with students and support of individual academic programming, emphasize passing classes required for University of California A-G eligibility -- another crucial practical follow-up step for being college-ready.  

We appreciate your support of this tremendous annual undertaking -- it lays a strong foundation for the student experience over the next four years.  We also appreciate your role in helping our strong college-going culture flourish -- thank you!

Have a great week!

Mark Your Calendars
Eighth Grade Info Night is on November 6, 2019

This year, we will be hosting 8th Grade Info Night on Wednesday, November 6 starting at 6:00 p.m.  Please help spread the word to prospective families who would like to learn about Sequoia's programs and what makes our school a Place of Friends. 

The evening will begin with welcome remarks by Principal Sean Priest in Carrington Hall. Following this, prospective families will have the opportunity to visit presentations, watch performances, talk with current students and teachers, and tour our facilities.  Please refer to this flyer for the full program.
Mid-semester Art Show Open Till October 30
Please stop by the Powell Art Gallery sometime in the next two weeks for Sequoia's Mid-semester Art Show.  The show will feature Drawing, Painting, Art I, Ceramics, Digital Photography, and IB Art Years I and II.  It is the first group show for all visual arts students.  Come see students' diversity of artistic expression on display.
Note: The Powell Gallery is open during the school day lunch-periods.  All visitors to the campus during the school day (including the Powell Gallery) will first need to check-in with the AVP office for a visitor's pass.

Senior Families: Time to Plan for Grad Activities

Senior year is going to fly by and we want to give you a head's up about what happens at the end of the year.  Please make note there has been a correction to the sequence of events for June 3rd and June 4th.  The PTSA organizes four celebratory events for seniors in the last week of school:

May 28: IB ceremony
June 3: Senior BBQ
June 4: Senior Brunch
June 5: Grad Night 

This is when all of the fundraising and volunteering we've been doing since August of 2016 come to fruition.  With a last push from football concessions and Honey Bear tree sales, we are on track to keep the cost of Grad Night tickets affordable.

What is Grad Night?  It's a midnight cruise around the San Francisco Bay for the new graduates! This fun event is well attended every year and includes a buffet, DJ, dancing, casino games, and a photo booth.  The ticket price includes transportation from Sequoia to San Francisco and back, as well as all of the activities on board. 

This year, we want to  Rock the BoatWatch for a flash sale of Grad Night tickets happening on October 29 and 30.  Tickets will be $70 on these two days and then will increase to $80 on Halloween.  Mark your calendars and be sure to take advantage of this early-bird price!

Fill Your Home with Fragrant Holiday Evergreens and Friendly Reindeer

In the spirit of the season, decorate with beautiful holiday evergreens. These high quality and fragrant wreaths, garlands, and centerpieces are $22-28 each.  And how can you resist an adorable decorative set of two reindeer for $22?  All items will be available for pick-up during the first week of December.  Deadline to order is in two weeks: Sunday, November 3, 2019.  Order now to support the Sophomore class of 2022 Safe and Sober Graduation activities.

This link will take you directly to our product and ordering page.  Payments can be made through PayPal or credit/debit card.

Many families order every year and we appreciate your support!  Please contact Christy Fletcher with any questions.

College and Career Center Seeks Data Entry Volunteer
 The College and Career Center is looking for someone to do data entry for one to two hours each week.  The best person for this job would be someone who can come in (whether I am here or not) and work independently.  If interested, please contact Teresa Ignaitis.

Thank you in advance.

PTSA Fall Mini-Grants are Open! Two More Weeks to Submit
The Mini-Grant application period is officially open!  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.  Students, teachers and staff may apply. 
Applications will be accepted online until Friday, November 1, 2019.

To apply for a grant:
Click on PTSA under the "Parents and Community" tab 
Under the "Quicklinks" title, click on "Sequoia PTSA website"
Click "Programs"
Click "Mini-Grants"
Click "Application and Requirements"

Contact our Mini-Grants committee chairs DeeDee Clarke and Karen Latina at with any questions.
Reflections 2019-20: Look Within 
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
Sequoia Sophomore Debaters Kick Off Season
Debaters Marta Olson, Isabelle Simon, Julian Ward, and Alyssa Sawyer prepping for their season opener.

Four sophomores on the Sequoia Debate Team started their season at the CFL Super Debate at Milpitas High School on Sunday.  The teams competed in the parliamentary format, where two teams of two debaters face off on a topic announced only twenty minutes before the debate starts.  Students debated topics ranging from property taxes to foreign military aid to encryption of Internet messaging.  The first team of Isabelle Simon and Marta Olson, and the second of Alyssa Sawyer and Julian Ward, competed against debaters from Gunn, Monta Vista, Evergreen Valley, Nueva, Los Altos, and Lynbrook high schools.

The Sequoia Debate Team has tripled in size this year, growing to over thirty students who practice each Friday after school, developing their public speaking skills, learning about argumentation strategy, and broadening their understanding of current events.  The team's two coaches are Stanford undergrads and award-winning national debaters with years of experience coaching and captaining debate teams.
In This Issue
Thursday, Oct. 24
4:00 p.m. - JV Girls Vball
5:15 p.m. - V Girls Vball
Sequoia vs. Westmoor, Gym 1
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   
Tuesday, Oct. 29
4:00 p.m. - JV Girls Vball
5:15 p.m. - V Girls Vball
Sequoia vs. Half Moon Bay, Gym 1
Wednesday, Oct. 30
7:00 - 10:00 p.m. 
Fall Concert, Carrington Hall
Tuesday, Nov. 5 
7:00 - 8:30 p.m.  
Wednesday, Nov. 6 
6:00 - 8:00 p.m.  
8th Grade Info Night, Carrington Hall 
Thursday, Nov. 7 
7:00 - 8:30 p.m. 
Parent Ed. Series: Know Your Rights, Know The Law, MA-PAC
Monday, Nov. 11  
No School   
Veteran's Day 
Last Chance to Buy Your Tickets for Sequoia's Fall Musical,
The Addams Family!

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.

You Know You've Been Meaning To...  
...So click the purple button on the right and JOIN NOW!
Not sure if you have joined yet this 2019-20 year?  Check the latest Membership List.

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 Parent Education

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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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Stanford Tobacco Prevention Toolkit
What's All the Buzz with JUUL & Similar Vape Devices?
Wednesday, November 20, 2019, 7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
Woodside High School, Multi-Use Room (MUR)
199 Churchill Avenue, Woodside
What do parents, students, and educators need to know about JUUL, vaping, e-cigarettes, and vape devices?
The Stanford Tobacco Prevention Toolkit offers education for parents and teachers to prevent middle and high school students' use of e-cigarettes and vapes (including JUUL and other pod-based devices).
Parents, students, educators, and community members welcome! Free admission and light refreshments. Spanish interpretation will be available.
Woodside Parent Education Series events are sponsored by Woodside PTSA, 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 .