November 26, 2018  
Sequoia PTSA's weekly eNewsletter in partnership with the Sequoia High School Education Foundation
TopPrincipal's Message - Recommendations Galore 
Leading into the final month of the year, the long Thanksgiving weekend always serves as a great time to clear out my Twitter/browser bookmarks and take stock of my media diet.  As in previous years, I wanted to share some of my favorites.  Some have directly informed the work we do at Sequoia, others indirectly, the rest are just fun.  I'll let you figure out which is which:

I've watched Danger of a Single Story every few months since discovering it a couple of years ago.  Only last week did I realize it was written and delivered by the author of the book I'm currently reading ( Americanah , which I also highly recommend).

Of the other books I read this year, these ones stood out:
  • The Thief and the Dogs by Naguib Mahfouz (on our IB English reading list, I foraged it from the book room as we were packing up in anticipation of the media center remodel)
  • Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann (engrossing, tragic, infuriating)
  • The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson (engrossing, tragic, inspirational, one of the best books I've read in years)
  • It's Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini (first-hand account of adolescent depression and mental illness, sad but illuminating)
  • Coach Wooden and Me by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (title says it all: a powerful friendship chronicled beautifully)
Neil Postman's 5 Things We Need to Know About Technological Change (from a 1998 lecture) is still very applicable today.

I'm looking forward to some free time over the long break in December to tackle a few of these 49 Math Puzzles.

If you're on Twitter, I recommend:

F  @fastcrayon
O  @ValaAfshar
L  @DrPamelaCantor
O  @seqhsmc
W @SheaSerrano

The 2018 winners from Scuba Diving Magazine's underwater photo contest.  Whoa!

" What Artists Would Do if They Could Fly to the Moon " is total clickbait (hooked me), but a fun read nonetheless.

Sequoia's impressive variety of CTE pathways does not include a noodle-pulling academy .  Maybe it should.

Hope everyone's Thanksgiving break was joyous and restful.  We're now in the home stretch for the end of the semester.  
Have a great week!

Make a Difference For a Sequoia Family In Need This Holiday Season! 
Holiday Gift Program Please join us in donating a gift to Sequoia's Annual Adopt-a-Family Holiday Gift Project.  Help Sequoia students and their families enjoy this holiday season with a gift that inspires joy, builds community, and reduces stress.  Over 70 Sequoia families are facing a particularly stressful time this year.  You can help!   Please click here to sign up to contribute one or two gifts... or gifts for a whole family! 
Please gift-wrap and label each gift with the family's number and family member description.  Deliver your gift(s) to Sequoia's Parent Center (Room 129) the week of December 10 - 14 between 8 a.m. - 3 p.m.   
Questions?  Please contact Elisa Niño-Sears, SHSEF Family Support Chair,, (650) 387-8390.  Thank you!  ¡Gracias!
Take Note - Modified B-Day Schedule Today, Early Dismissals on Thursday and Friday 
This week's dismissal schedule is slightly different so please make note of release times on Thursday, November 29 and Friday, November 30.
Also, due to cancellation of school from the smoky weather the previous Friday, today will be a modified B-Day schedule for all students.
Musical Theater is Alive and Well at Sequoia! 
Janet Van De Graaff (played by Alexis Westphal-Cullen) explains to reporters that she is giving up show business.  
From left to right: Isabelle Bravo, Alexis Westphal-Cullen, Tyler Madsen, Logan Chin, Alex Lanham, Jacob Crosby, Luje Kovscek, and Ava Barganier.
This year's fall musical, "The Drowsy Chaperone" had over 60 students participating as actors, technicians, and musicians; they performed for over 1,500 audience members during their 5-show run over 2 weekends.  
Congratulations to all who participated, including the many parent volunteers.  Many thanks to Theater Director Daniel Broome and Sequoia's Visual and Performing Arts Department for supporting our students with fabulous stage productions!
Take a Moment to Give Back Tomorrow
Tomorrow, Tuesday, November 27, is for giving back!  Invest in Sequoia  during this season of giving and help support innovative programs, exceptional faculty, and deserving students.  
Spring 2018 Mini-Grant Impact Story: First Impressions
Welcome Folders 
We designed and purchased 250 professional-looking folders to hold school forms, the school calendar, and other information for families new to Sequoia High School.  The folders were given out at the Online Information Update event on May 18 & 19, 2018.  This event was for students who needed additional support with online registration at Sequoia; having all the necessary information and materials neatly organized in one folder was particularly helpful for them.

We received positive feedback from parents and staff with regards to its quality and look.  The mini-grant process was also very straightforward and user-friendly.
Thank you!

~ Anilisa Manolache
PTSA Mini-Grants are offered twice each year to enhance education at Sequoia High School.  The grants are awarded to students, teachers, staff members and school groups who need financial support for projects or supplies that benefit the Sequoia community.  Grants are available up to $500 and are made possible by funding from the Sequoia High School Education Foundation (SHSEF).
Mark Your Calendars for Our Next PTSA Meeting on December 4
ptsa logo Join us at this month's PTSA General Meeting and ELAC meeting on  Tuesday, December 4 at  7:00 p.m. in the  MPR.   
Special guest Vanessa Kellam of Health Connected, provider of Sequoia's  comprehensive sexuality education curriculum, will be our guest speaker at the PTSA meeting.  It's no longer just about the birds and the bees - come learn more and bring your questions!
With Thanksgiving Over, It's Time to Put Up a Tree From...
Help the Class of 2019 When Purchasing Your Christmas Tree This Year!
Sequoia 2019 Grad Activities receives 15% of the purchase price when  you buy a holiday tree at HONEY BEAR TREES.  Bring this flyer when you purchase your tree and wreath. (If you happen to forget it, there will be extra flyers on the lot.) 
There are three locations convenient to our Sequoia school community:
  • 955 Woodside Road, Redwood City
  • 1579 El Camino Real, San Carlos
  • 651 El Camino Real, Redwood City
Tree lots are now OPEN.  Hours are 9:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m., 7 days a week!
In This Issue
Monday, November 26
Modified B-Day

Thursday, November 29
Minimum A-Day
Note Dismissal Times

Friday, November 30
Minimum B-Day
Note Dismissal Times

Tuesday, December 4
7:00 p.m.

Tuesday, December 12
7:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Winter Concert - Orchestra and Choir, Carrington Hall

Wednesday, December 13
7:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Winter Concert - Bands, Carrington Hall

Quick Links
Our list of student volunteers leading campus tours in last week's edition should have included Tyler Madsen.

- Sentinel Editor
AVID Bike Drive 
If you would like to donate your old bikes gathering cobwebs in the garage, or if you'd like to make a monetary donation, please contact:  Scott Stalder-Skarmoutsos: and Stephanie Weden: 
Join the PTSA  Anytime!  
Visit the
  to buy your 2018-19 PTSA membership today and contribute to Sequoia's Unaliyi spirit! 
Sequoia Sentinel
If you have articles to submit to the Sentinel, please email the article/blurb by the end of the day on Thursday.  See Guidelines for news submissions. 
Find past issues of the Sentinel at  
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Parent Education

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Stay tuned for exciting new topics beginning in January 2019 - college admissions, finding the right college fit, teen driving, teen relationships, perfectionism, etc.

Community News

2018 Redwood City Hometown Holidays Celebration
Saturday, December 1
Time: 10:00 a.m.
to 8:00 p.m.
Location: Courthouse Square and around Downtown

Each year, Downtown Redwood City's business groups celebrate the beginning of the holiday season with a parade, special performances, snow, Santa, carnival, and a tree lighting ceremony at 5:45 p.m.  Bring your family and don't miss the festivities!

Sequoia's Band will be performing at 10:00 a.m. and Sequoia's Choir will follow at 10:30 a.m. on the Courthouse Square.  For more information on the day's program, click here.
Looking to Help Our Neighbors to the North?
Our hearts are heavy as we hear about the catastrophic fires and fall out in Butte County.  Many Sequoia community members have already begun to help families who have been directly affected.  In the event you may be looking to do the same, here are some organizations that are receiving donations and assistance - of course, these are not the only organizations, but they may be a start.
Monetary donations:
CaliforniaVolunteers, the state agency that oversees and encourages volunteer efforts across California, says financial contributions are the best way to help people in the immediate aftermath of a disaster.  The organization "strongly encourages donors to carefully research charitable organizations prior to donating to ensure that their donated funds will have the desired result."

Here are some organizations that are currently accepting monetary donations:
Provide shelter:
The Airbnb Evacuee Program is looking for people with available housing to provide shelter for evacuees who have been forced from their homes. Find more on their Open Homes program and sign up your home  here.

The Oroville Hope Center needs volunteers to help sort and organize donations.  The organization now has a toll-free hotline for questions regarding volunteering and donations: 1-833-OROHOPE (1-833-676-4673).

The organization Caring Choices says it has received around 1,500 applications from people interested in volunteering to help fire victims.  It has temporarily suspended new applications until the backlog is cleared. Please check back on their website for their latest needs.

Material donations:
CaliforniaVolunteers  encourages people to think twice about donating unsolicited material goods, especially used items. Agencies often have to spend time and resources dealing with donations that may not fit the needs of survivors.

Hope Center is currently not accepting material donations as they attempt to sort through and distribute the large amount they have already received.  Hope Center is accepting monetary donations and gift cards.

For gift card donations, the address is:

Oroville Hope Center
1950 Kitrick Ave A
Oroville, CA 95966

A Hope Center representative said the organization will begin accepting material donations again when they've distributed most of their current stock.

Paly Choir Invites You to Their 16th Annual Madrigal Feaste
Saturday, December 8
Sunday, December 9

Time: 1:30 p.m. for seating and refreshments; 2:00 p.m. performance

Location: Westminster, also known as Palo Alto High School Performance Art Center,
50 Embarcadero Rd, Palo Alto, CA 94301 

King Henry VIII welcomes ye to his 2018 16th Annual Feaste.  The King welcomes all to his palace to join him and his family in the festivities of the season.  Ye shall hear the finest choir in all the lands, see a jester of unparalleled talent, and feast on sumptuous tea sandwiches and desserts.  Appropriate and fun for all ages.  Huzzah!