Sequoia Sentinel
October 26, 2020
Sequoia PTSA's weekly eNewsletter in partnership with the Sequoia High School Education Foundation
Principal's Message
For over a decade, Sequoia High School has administered an assessment to all its students. The results of the assessment give us great information about their progress towards mastery in literacy and mathematical reasoning. Unlike the state-administered test, which only 11th-graders complete, Sequoia’s Interim Comprehensive Assessment (ICA) tells us how all students are doing. Because the test is aligned to the same standards from year to year, we can measure growth and the effectiveness of our strategies in teaching and learning.
Usually the ICA is administered in class. This year, we need students to complete the assessment during On-Demand Wednesday. We have been hitting all our usual platforms to make sure students have everything they’ll need to complete the ICA (CANVAS, Gmail, Instagram, etc.). 
Access to the tests will be available to all students on Canvas in the grade-level course (sophomores, juniors, e.g.). The test is not timed nor will it count for or as part of class grades. Completion of the tests will, though, be used for students’ attendance record on October 28 and November 18.  

The first ICA (10/28) covers mathematical reasoning. There are English and Spanish versions of the test. Students can take the test in the language they are most comfortable in. The math test is a Google form. Please make sure to follow the instructions and to press submit in the Google form when you are finished. Here are detailed instructions about how to find the math test and other important reminders. We also made a screencast walking students through the steps.

Students should work independently and make their best attempt on all parts of the test. If you find some of the questions challenging, that’s ok. Including questions that not all students can answer helps us know where to add more support.   
With all of the changes to school in 2020, it is more important than ever to have information on students’ progress. To help us understand our areas of strength, as well as what impacts distance learning has had, the more standardized, norm-referenced data we have, the better.
We hope families can talk to their students about the ICAs. What questions did students find most challenging? What kids of in-class learning activities help most with building confidence towards mastering skills? How do students think the skills they’re learning in school will serve them as citizens?
Thanks in advance for making sure your student is able to complete the ICAs this year.
Have a great week!

Welcome New Staff!
Nancy Rocha: College and Career Center

Please join us in welcoming Nancy Rocha to our College and Career Center! A native of the San Fernando Valley, Nancy was the first in her family to go to college, attending UC Santa Cruz as an undergraduate and receiving her MS in School Counseling from CSU Northridge. Prior to Sequoia, she worked for several years in smaller charter schools. In addition to her academic counseling there, she loved providing social-emotional counseling to her smaller set of seniors, and is excited to bring that focus on social-emotional health to Sequoia, creatively building those same warm, supportive connections even with a larger student body.
Tim Allen: English Department

New to the Sequoia English department this year, teaching I ICAP and II ICAP, is Tim Allen. Mr. Allen hails from the Bay Area, specifically San Mateo and Redwood City, and has a special connection to Sequoia through his grandmother and great-grandmother who both attended Sequoia High School! He is a graduate of Serra High School and the University of the Pacific, and has experience teaching English, AP, drama, and creative writing.

One thing you may not know about Mr. Allen - he is a competitive kickboxer with a black belt in Kung Fu and training in Muay Thai!
Education Foundation Updates
SHSEF donations at work: College & Career Counseling
Among the 36 programs funded by the Sequoia High School Education Foundation (SHSEF) is the expansion of College Counseling services for students. Your donations fund programs, services and staff to help all Sequoia students reach their highest potential, including college and career programs.

To better prepare students for college, SHSEF funds the following:

  • Credentialed College Counselor (Ms. Rocha)
  • SAT for seniors (NEW)
  • PSAT for juniors
  • Freshman College Day and visits
  • Release time for teachers to write college recommendations

To make a SHSEF contribution, donate here.
Student Highlights
Last chance: Candygrams due today 10/26!
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!
A photographic record of student life
Our very own digital photography teacher, Ms. Yurkovich, would like to share select work from her students. Their work is a great record of their first quarter distance learning. The recap captures life and nature in Sunrise to Sunset, Dominant Color, Simplicity, Rule of Thirds, Scavenger Hunts, & Steps in a Process. View the slideshow
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. Learn more about the project and view student art. For more information about draw & paint, contact Landa Ruen.

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. 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.
That's So Raven
Check out Episode 9 of That's So Raven, published on October 19th by the Sequoia News Network. Visit YouTube to Subscribe and turn on notifications to keep updated on this always entertaining Sequoia ASB Production!
Parent Announcements
Edgenuity: Help your senior meet graduation and/or A-G requirements
Seniors and other students needing to complete credit recovery course(s) required for graduation and A-G requirements need to email their counselor if they have not already signed up or have any questions. Please note that counselors have already met with seniors to review graduation status, post-secondary plans and sign up for Edgenuity. Email communication was sent to students and parent/guardians.

Seniors must complete credit recovery by May 28 for June 4 graduation.

Mr. Julio Calles is Sequoia's Edgenuity teacher. He offers virtual office hours for students on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4-6 p.m. Please email your counselor and Mr. Calles, for more information.
Order holiday evergreens before they are gone!
Thank you to those of you who have already placed your orders for evergreens to support the Class of 2023! For those of you who haven’t had the chance to order, this is the last week. Orders due by midnight Monday November 2, 2020.

To help make your holidays festive, we are offering high quality and fragrant wreaths, garlands, and centerpieces. 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.

Order now. Payments can be made through PayPal or credit/debit card. We appreciate your support! Contact Molly Johnson with any questions.
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.
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. 
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.
Parenting forum #4 (English): Virtual parent discussion group
Eran Magen, PhD, How to be your child's favorite conversation partner

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.

Parents and caregivers welcome! Free admission. The Parent Forum is an initiative of Sequoia Healthcare District, in partnership with The Parent Venture.

Questions? Contact Charlene Margot, MA, Founder and CEO, The Parent Education Series, at
Fostering creativity and innovation in an uncertain world
Steve Smith, PhD, University of California, Santa Barbara

Thursday, November 5, 5:00 – 6:00 p.m., Online Event (Meeting)

How can we foster creativity and innovation in our kids, given today's highly unpredictable, uncertain world? Join Steve Smith, PhD, psychologist and professor at UCSB, for a webinar on Fostering Creativity and Innovation in an Uncertain World.

Parents, students, educators, clinicians, and community members welcome! Free admission. This presentation is sponsored by Woodside PTSA, Sequoia Healthcare District, Sequoia Union High School District, and The Parent Venture.

Questions? Contact Charlene Margot, MA, Founder and CEO, The Parent Education Series, at
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.
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