November 21, 2016

Sequoia PTSA's weekly eNewsletter in partnership with the Sequoia High School Education Foundation
Principal's Message
We set aside 40 minutes today and tomorrow for our All-School Literacy and Numeracy Assessments.  Understanding how well our kids are mastering skills in these areas is aligned with our school goals.  Using results from these assessments, we identify areas of focus in teaching and learning to help our kids become stronger readers, writers, critical thinkers, and data analysts.

The format of the assessments mimics the performance task portion of the Smarter-Balanced state tests completed by 11th-Graders each spring.  The tasks require students to synthesize multiple texts, make conclusions, and defend their reasoning with evidence from the text.  In numeracy assessment, there is an emphasis on explaining process and identifying the most important (or missing) pieces of information.

The assessments are formative, meaning that they are designed to provide kids and teachers with a snapshot of progress.  They are not factored into student grades, but we expect students to put their best foot forward in order for the results to be meaningful.  In January, before the students return from break, the entire staff sits down for several hours to grade each piece by hand.  General trends are observed and noted after this activity and the raw scores are aggregated for further analysis.

I encourage you to discuss the assessments with your students.  I don't have any illusions that they'll come running home to tell you how fun the all-school literacy assessment was this year, but I do hope they understand the importance of the activity and how the results we obtain will help us better meet their needs as learners.

On a final note, I want to thank the many parents and family members with whom I've interacted in person, by phone, or over email in the last two weeks regarding the state of our community.  I appreciate your feedback and encouragement.  It heartens me greatly going into Thanksgiving that so many smart, engaged people care as much as I do about the safety and success of all Sequoia kids.

I hope this holiday week provides much restful and joyful time with family and loved ones.


Holiday Shopping to Support the Class of 2017

HONEY BEAR TREES! If you're going to purchase a tree or wreath this holiday season, please consider visiting a Honey Bear Tree lot at one of their three locations:

  • Woodside Road in RWC;
  • El Camino Real in San Carlos; or
  • Delaware Street in San Mateo. 

  • When purchasing your tree, just bring this flyer  (volante aquí­) and let them know you're a Sequoia High School family. If you forget to bring your flyer, don't worry, there will be extras there. Spread the word! Tell your local friends, family, and neighbors to also purchase their trees and wreaths at a Honey Bear Tree lot and ask them to mention Sequoia High School at checkout . The Class of 2017 receives 15% back on every purchase to go towards their Safe and Sober Grad Week Activities. 

    LOVEBAGS! Are you looking for nice yet easy Hostess, Birthday or Holiday gifts? Look no further.  Shop at and enter the code 5ZF16 upon checkout along with Sequoia High School Class of 2017, and our class will receive 40% back on each order placed. In addition to their nice-looking, sturdy, reusable grocery tote bags, they also have insulated coolers, compact & sturdy totes, and lightweight backpacks that are perfect for travel. They offer free shipping on orders of $75 or more, so check it out and get shopping without the hassle or crowds! Pass the link and code on to co-workers, friends and family and ask them if they're interested in purchasing LoveBags too.

    The Geek Shall Inherit the Earth
    Congratulations to the cast and crew of Loserville for their outstanding performances this past weekend!  The audiences were enthusiastically entertained with a 1970's story of high school students becoming true to their real selves, set to rock-pop music that was uplifting to all.

    Special thanks to the staff members who made this production possible: Director Danny Broome, Music Director Othello Jefferson, Choreographer Lauren Reibstein, Costume Designer Britt Broome, and Technical Director Dave Briggs.

    Dreams Come True
    The Dream Club's 7th annual dinner last Friday, Nov. 18, was a huge success.  Working in collaboration with Stacey Ardelean from Redwood City's Fuse Theater, the students wrote and then performed powerful pieces in front of a standing-room-only crowd of over 300 people.  As in previous years, several courageous students shared their personal stories, moving many audience members to tears. Thanks to Sequoia staff, students, and families as well as many others from the Redwood City community for coming together to create such a positive and supportive environment!

    Thanksgiving Meals Completed
    The Parent Center would like to recognize Jane Taylor and the Sophomores from Girl Scout troop 30873 who helped in the packing of 74 Thanksgiving boxes for Sequoia families!  The families received a box with everything they needed -- including chicken, milk, and vegetables -- for a beautiful dinner.  Thanks again to the Sequoia community who donated food towards this effort, and to Mayela Ramirez who did a fantastic job once again in organizing this project.

    The Parent Center filled with food waiting to be packaged into Thanksgiving boxes.

    In This Issue
    Monday, Nov. 21
    B day (rally schedule)

    Wed-Fri, Nov. 23-25
    Thanksgiving holiday

    Monday, Nov. 28
    Collab Day

    Wednesday, Nov. 30
    7 PM - Fall Sports Awards, Carrington Hall

    Tuesday, Dec. 6
    7 PM - PTSA Meeting, MPR

    Wednesday, Dec. 7
    7 PM - Choir and Orchestra Winter Concert, Carrington Hall

    Thursday, Dec. 8
    7 PM - Bands Winter Concert, Carrington Hall

    Dec. 19-21
    Finals schedule

    Thursday, Dec. 22
    Winter break begins
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