Sequoia Sentinel
November 30, 2020
Sequoia PTSA's weekly eNewsletter in partnership with the Sequoia High School Education Foundation
President's Message
"Gratitude can transform common days into Thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings." - William Arthur Ward

Hopefully, all of us had a chance to connect with family and friends over the Thanksgiving weekend. This year has been challenging and unique for all of us. For me personally, having lost a few family members and friends during the pandemic, it was tough. And yet, as I started my Thanksgiving evening with close family and friends, I paused and thought of all the wonderful things around us. This year, I am thankful for three things: 

1. The gift of time. Our students were no longer too busy to color, paint, bake or write handwritten notes. Instead of rushing off to practices and classes, they sewed masks to keep our community safe, and taught grandparents how to use Zoom or FaceTime. They reconnected with neighbors, read books, started new hobbies or simply gazed at the stars. 

2. The gift of community. The Sequoia community has gotten stronger and come together even more. Parents have stepped up to volunteer for things that we could not have ever thought of. The organizations that support the school -- PTSA, Boosters, ELAC, Family Center, SHSEF have come together to help each other and tackle every challenge with a smile. 

3. The opportunity to learn and practice resilience. Living through a pandemic is hard. We all are eager for it to end, but going through this is teaching us to embrace difficulties and overcome them. I see our staff and students weathering the ups and downs of distance learning daily, getting creative and making most of the situation. 

Let's all make the most of the opportunity to slow down, breathe and be grateful for what we have. 

Welcome New Staff!
Landa Ruen: draw/paint and IB art

Ms. Ruen hails from Decorah, Iowa and attended Cornell College. She has lived in Washington, DC, China, Italy, Japan, and Boston. She completed several artist’s residencies abroad, and earned her master's degree at Boston University.

Landa’s all-time favorite meal is a dish she first tasted in China called Dan Bing (also known as Jian Bing). It's like a savory breakfast crepe with egg, cilantro, green onion, pickles, a crispy fried bit and sauce. She ate as much of the dish as possible during her second year living in China, and has been working on making it at home. Several restaurants in the Bay Area serve Dan Bing, which Ms. Ruen is looking forward to trying out!
Janette Campos: English III

Ms. Campos grew up in Redwood City and Menlo Park. She is one of seven children -- two of her sisters are Sequoia graduates!

Janette graduated from Woodside High School, attended San Francisco State, and is currently in the credential program at NDNU. She is a first year teacher.

Before joining the special education department to co-teach English III, Ms. Campos worked as a paraprofessional at Carlmont High School.
Parent Announcements
Dream Club Dinner Recap
The Dream Club's 11th annual fundraising dinner (and first-ever virtual event) was a huge success. Over 180 people logged on to support immigrant and undocumented students and their families. With big thanks to Fuse theater for hosting us on their Crowdcast platform, the recorded event is available to watch until December 18 at this link. The Dream Club truly appreciates the Sequoia community!
Dream Club Dinner
Speak to digital film/multimedia class!
Are you a video producer, graphic designer, or social media content manager? We are seeking volunteers with relevant experience to Zoom with students in our digital filmmaking/multimedia class. Click here for more info.
Student Highlights
That's So Raven
On this episode we give thanks for the Sequoia community and focus on gratitude!
Make a visit to the Media Center!
Check out the Media Center’s latest newsletter with links to creative and helpful resources for teachers and students. Follow us on Instagram to keep up with upcoming events, author talks, and more.
Education Foundation
Consider a 2020 gift to SHSEF
As we head into December, we invite you to consider making your gift of cash or stock to SHSEF and take advantage of possible 2020 tax deductions. Help SHSEF continue to support staff, projects and programs to ensure that every student has the opportunity to reach their highest potential.

To make your gift to SHSEF, Donate Here.
Mini-grant inspires
Ms. Chin used a mini-grant to purchase a subscription to for her French and English language development classes. Learn more.
Do you have questions for our Sequoia 2020-2021 PTSA Board? Reach Isha Bhatt, PTSA President and the rest of the team at Have questions about mini grants? Reach Adrienne Heist & Shannon Chi at
From previous issues...
The Parent Education Series
Parent Ed Logo Horizontal
Join us for an interactive workshop with Carin Winter, CEO of Mission Be, to learn mindfulness practices for self-care and stress reduction for parents and caregivers. Sign up today.
How can parents support the mental health of children and teens, especially during a pandemic? With rates of anxiety and depression on the rise, many parents wonder: Should I be worried? Join us for an important conversation with Shashank Joshi, MD, Stanford psychiatrist and an expert in mental health and suicide prevention. Learn how to identify and support students impacted by mental health concerns, and how to recognize the signs of suicidality. Sign up today.
Join us for Parent Forum #5 (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. Sign up today.
Community Resources and Events
Adolescent Counseling Services' Abuse Treatment Program is offering a FREE online workshop intended for parents or caregivers of teens. It will include signs of use, up-to-date research on current substance trends, treatment options, and Q&A time with our clinicians. Sign up today.
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