October 3, 2016

Sequoia PTSA's weekly eNewsletter in partnership with the Sequoia High School Education Foundation
President's Message
Shhhhh...There is a revolution going on.
And it's happening right under our noses.  Over the past decade or so, the way students conduct research for school projects has changed dramatically.  And as such, the location where students find information has changed as well. Smart technology has enabled students to search the web anywhere from their phone or laptop -- in the classroom, in their home, even while riding the bus on their way to school.  Contrast that to when we were in school. Remember taking trips to the school library, pencil and notebook in hand, searching the stacks for just the right book?  It took time, but personally, I loved having that quiet, distraction-free space to do my work. My kids, well they approach things differently. Their quest for information happens while tapping away on a keyboard, sitting at my kitchen counter. "You're doing research? Are you sure?"
So what does this mean for the future of school libraries?  Does the digital really replace the analog going forward?  Are those silent, somewhat stuffy rooms destined to disappear from our schools completely?  If you ask Sequoia High School's new Media Specialist, Betsy Snow, I bet the answer would be, well...yes and no.  New to Sequoia but not new to education, Ms. Snow, along with Ms. Shannon Schadler, has begun to transform Sequoia's library into a "busy, bustling learning laboratory" to use the phrase from David Loertscher, professor of library and information science at San Jose State University and author of Reinvent Your School's Library in the Age of Technology: A Handbook for Principals and Superintendents

Since the new school year began, the stacks have been joined by Chrome carts filled with tablets for student use.  Tables have been reconfigured for more student-to-student collaboration. The windows allow in sunshine and views of the beautiful newly landscaped tea garden, and the campus quad will be accessible through the library's back doors.  Ms. Snow has plans to begin offering workshops on Photoshop and other digital media editing tools. In the words of professor Loertscher, the library will begin to transition from "a place of consumption to a place of creation." And despite the inevitable digital shift that is taking place in libraries, Sequoia's many contemporary and classic books and its significant collection of primary source material will continue to be available to students and faculty alike. 
Today's students are experiencing a whole new way of utilizing the school library and by extension, the role of the librarian.  Ms. Snow stands on the shoulders of past Sequoia librarians who gave so much to our students. The library team will still be on hand, as they have always been, to help students develop and refine a search question, or find that crucial bit of information for an assignment. 
On Tuesday night at 7 PM, Ms. Snow will give a presentation at Sequoia's PTSA meeting about her ideas for the Media Center, see details below.  We will also be initiating a Library Committee for those parents who wish to get more involved with library initiatives going forward. We hope to see you there!
I am so excited about these changes and I hope you are too! After all -- "What did one book say to the other one?"  "I just wanted to see if we are on the same page."
Happy October!
Lisa Hane, Sequoia PTSA President

Learn About Our New Media Center
Join us at our first PTSA meeting of the school year tomorrow - Tuesday, October 4 at 7 PM!  

The evening will begin in the Multi-Purpose Room with Principal Sean Priest speaking.   At 7:30, we will move to the Library/Media Center to hear from our new Media Specialist Elizabeth Snow.   Following Ms. Snow's presentation we will share some PTSA activity updates.  View the full agenda here We hope to see you there, all are welcome!

It's Greased Lightning!
Lots of activities are in store for this year's Homecoming week! Each day will have a different theme:
  • Monday - Purple Monday
  • Tuesday - Camouflage Day
  • Wednesday - Wear pink for Breast Cancer Awareness month
  • Thursday - United Nations Day
  • Friday - Greased Lightning Day
These spirit days lead up to the football game against South San Francisco on Friday night and the "Greased Lightning" Homecoming Dance on Saturday from 8-11 PM in Gym 1.

Also, each grade will be producing parade-style floats that celebrate the theme of our Homecoming week. Students will be constructing these floats in the afternoons and evenings throughout the week.  They will unveil them at the pep rally on Friday and then again will showcase them at halftime of the Homecoming game.

SAFE Programs Are Underway
Does your student need some extra academic support, or are they looking for a new activity to try?  Then check out Sequoia's SAFE program, which stands for Sequoia After-school Focused Enrichment.

SAFE classes are open to all Sequoia students and offer free academic tutoring and a wealth of fun activities including ceramics, coding, exercise/sports, computer skills, and culinary arts in our brand new foods lab -- and many more!  The various classes take place before and after school, and dinner is offered for SAFE participants staying after school.

Download this brochure to view the great variety of classes that are available. Most are on a drop-in basis unless noted otherwise, so you can come at any point in the year!

Freshman Parent Welcome at Oct. 14 Home Football Game
Freshman Sequoia parents - please join us at a Football Welcome on Friday, October 14  starting at 7:00 PM when the Sequoia varsity football team takes on Half Moon Bay at our own Terremere field.  Join us in the Freshman/New parent section of the stands and meet other new parents (look for the purple balloons).  We'll be handing out spirit items so you can help us cheer on the Cherokees.  Don't forget to wear purple!

Senior Portraits
Seniors who have not already taken their senior portrait should call now for an appointment. Please get portraits taken by Halloween.

Portraits are taken at Prestige Portraits in San Carlos,  650-597-1433.

Mini-Grants News
Application Deadline Approaching!
Is your student an officer or member of a club or activity that is ready to take on a new endeavor?  Mini-grants of $50-$400 are available through funding by the Sequoia High School Education Foundation (SHSEF).  Funds may be used for supplies and equipment, publications (books, magazines, newspapers, instructional CDs, videos, and software), electrical or electronic equipment, construction materials for small projects, admission fees, etc.  Students, teachers and staff can  apply for a Mini-Grant . The application deadline is this Friday, October 7, 2016, at 8:00 PM.
Volunteer Opportunity
Would you like to learn about some of the creative projects happening in classrooms and clubs at Sequoia?  Would you like to help spend $15,000?  Please join the PTSA Mini-Grants committee.  Responsibilities include reviewing summaries of the applications received and attending one meeting each semester to assess and prioritize requests for funding.  For more information contact our Mini-Grants committee chair Marlena Griffin at

Thank you to the SHSEF for making the PTSA Mini-Grants Program possible!

Class of 2017 Grad Week Items
Looking for a few hours of fun? Come help with Football Concessions (coffee drinks, popcorn and cup-o-soup sales) this Friday, 10/7, and also 10/14 and 11/4.   See this sign-up to donate items or work a shift at the stand. Come have fun and meet other senior parents at the same time!

Grad Night Tickets are available online now for the "early bird" price of $65.   Click here to purchase tickets.

Questions? Comments? Contact Donna Fiore or Jill Berry.

Shop in Style with LoveBags
LoveBags are still available for purchase! These bags are well-made, attractive and make great hostess gifts, birthday gifts, or are a great gift idea for that "hard to shop for" someone in your life! 40% of each order placed goes directly back to 2017 Safe & Sober Grad Week fundraising.   See this flyer  for details. Bags can be ordered at  and enter code 5ZF16.

nullThank you to our volunteers who helped with school photo retakes last Thursday:   Lauren Pachkowski, Sian Davies, Lisa Miller, Laura Nibbi, and Beth Robertson.  We are so grateful for our parent community that helps out in so many ways for Sequoia!

In This Issue
Monday, Oct. 3
Collab Day

Tuesday, Oct. 4
7 PM - PTSA Meeting, MPR

Wednesday, Oct. 5
6 PM - 10th Grade College and IB Info Night, Carrington Hall

Friday, Oct. 7
Homecoming Football Game

8 PM - Deadline for  PTSA Mini-Grants Applications

Saturday, Oct. 8
8-11 PM - Homecoming Dance, Gym 1

Monday, Oct. 10
Collab Day

Tuesday, Oct. 11
Freshman College Day

Friday, Oct. 14
7 PM - Freshman Parent Welcome at the SHS football game

Tuesday, Oct. 18
7 PM - Band and Orchestra Concert, Carrington Hall

Wednesday, Oct. 19
PSAT, 10th and 11th grades

Saturday, Oct. 22
12-4 PM - Sequoia International Festival

Tuesday, Oct. 25
7 PM - Sequoia Parent Education "Reforming the College Admissions Process," Carrington Hall

Wednesday, Oct. 26
6 PM - 9th Grade College and IB Info Night, Carrington Hall

Thursday, Oct. 27
6:30-8 PM - 8th grade info night

Monday, Oct. 31
Deadline for Senior Portraits
Quick Links
About Us 

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

Find past issues of the Sentinel: 

En Español
¿Quieres traducir este boletín ahora? Siga estas instrucciones para obtener una traducción:
1. Haga clic en "Click here" en la parte superior del correo electrónico: "Having trouble viewing this email? Click here."
2. Mantenga presionada la tecla Control (PC) y la tecla A para seleccionar toda la página, a continuación, mantenga presionada la tecla Control y haga clic en la tecla C para copiar la página entera.
3. Abra una página nueva del navegador web y vaya a
4. Coloca el cursor en la caja y mantenga presionada la tecla Control y haga clic en la tecla V para pegar el boletín completo en el cuadro de traducción.
5. Asegúrese de seleccionar "To: Spanish" en la parte superior de la página. Haga clic en el botón Traducir. La traducción al español debe aparecer en el lado derecho.
Parent Education

Sequoia Parent Education Series
"Turning the Tide - Reforming the College Admissions Process" with Lloyd Thacker, founder of the Education Conservancy
Tuesday, October 25, 7:00 - 8:30 PM
Carrington Hall, Sequoia High School

Join us for an interactive conversation with Lloyd Thacker,  founder of the Education Conservancy and co-author of Turning the Tide: Inspiring Concern for Others and the Common Good through College Admissions. Thacker is  leading a national effort to reform college admissions, and he will help us understand what is at stake, the forces at play, and how to proceed thoughtfully, ethically, and successfully.    
Before founding the Education Conservancy in 2004, Lloyd Thacker spent 30 years in college admissions and counseling. Thacker is the editor of College Unranked and the author of several research studies on college admissions and financial aid. He is currently collaborating on Turning the Tide, an initiative sponsored by Harvard Graduate School of Education's Making Caring Common. 

Parents, students, faculty/staff and community members welcome! Simultaneous Spanish interpretation will be available. Free admission.
Sequoia  Parent Education Series events are sponsored by the SHSEF, the Sequoia Healthcare District, and the Sequoia Union High School District.
Questions? Contact Charlene Margot, M.A., Founding Director, The Parent Education Series, at  or 650-868-0590 For Spanish, contact Mayela Ramirez,  Parent Center Coordinator, 650-367-9780, Ext. 63105