November 7, 2016

Sequoia PTSA's weekly eNewsletter in partnership with the Sequoia High School Education Foundation
Principal's Message
From 10:30 to noon last week, the cafeteria-style tables in the Multi-Purpose Room were filled with students and community leaders engaged in conversation.  The air was filled with the electricity of people -- students and adults alike -- wanting to make a good first impression.  Some of the tension eased as the pairs made their way to the continental breakfast buffet (our common love of donuts breaks even the coldest of ice).  After an hour, the adults were led on a tour of the campus like the new kids in school.

It was the first Academy Mentor Event of the year.  11th graders from Sequoia's Digital Arts and Health Careers Academies are matched with one of 95 volunteer mentors for a monthly meeting.  Mentors come from a wide variety of professions: tech, health care, of course, but also law enforcement, military, finance, non-profit, and business/entrepreneurship.  Some mentors have participated for several years while others are in their first cycle.

Over the course of the year, students work with mentors to develop career skills.  Regardless of their trajectory, they get hands-on experience with interview skills, resume writing, and one-on-one presentation.  They hear about their mentors' career pathways.  They ask questions and receive guidance about ways they can prepare for life after high school and college.

The meetings occur monthly throughout the year, though in some cases mentors have continued to provide guidance beyond the term of the program.  By May, the nervous energy has given way to pride and camaraderie in one of the more predictable cycles of a Sequoia year.  Recruitment of such a large number of volunteers and the organization of the monthly event is a joint collaboration between teachers in the Health Careers Academy and Digital Arts Academy and our ATLAS Volunteer Coordination program.

There are many ways in which Sequoia benefits from an active engagement with our broad surrounding community, whether through grants, partnerships, field trips, guest speakers, and international exchanges.  Our Academy Mentor Program (at 15+ years) is one of our longest-standing community engagement initiatives -- and certainly one of the most consistently fun.

Have a great week!

Fall Mini-Grants Awarded
moneybag_graphic.jpg The results are in!  The SHS PTSA Mini-Grants Committee has selected 28 grants for a total of $8347 in funding.  Grants include "escape room" kits, microphones, a classroom set of student dry erase boards, audio/e-books, yoga instruction, auxiliary lenses for smartphone cameras, and more. For a complete list see the SHS PTSA website. Updates will be published in the Sentinel as these grants are implemented.

Thank you to the Sequoia High School Education Foundation -- funding from SHSEF makes these awards possible.  Thank you also to the Mini-Grants Committee for your reading, assessing and thoughtful deliberation on the applications.  Committee members are DeeDee Clarke, Glenn Bugos, Irma Lopez, Jayne Sungail, Karen Latina, Laura Downs, Lauren Pachkowski, Meg, Fitzpatrick, Rachel Levine, Regine Staufenberg, Sandra Barnett, and Marlena Griffin.  We look forward to awarding another set of Mini-Grants in the spring!

PTSA Mini-Grants are supported by funding from the SHSEF

IB Exam Fees Due Nov. 15
IB Exam fees are due to the IB Office by November 15th. Bills were mailed home. You can pay by cash, check or credit card. Please make checks payable to Sequoia High School and put your student's name and IB Exam  in the memo line. Please contact Ms McCahon via email at  if you would like to pay with a credit card to add the charge to your student's fees on IC. Please note that IC charges a $3 processing fee. 

If you are unable to pay the amount in full by November 15th, please contact Ms McCahon to set up a payment plan. We know these tests are costly. We do believe this program benefits the students in so many ways helping them get into and be successful in college. 

Thank you, from the IB Office

Sequoia Players Present Loserville 
It's 1971. Misfit computer geek, Michael Dork, and his friends are about to change the world. It's just that no one knows it yet. Michael has also discovered a girl, Holly, a prospect (almost) as exciting as his love of binary. If only he had the courage to talk to her! Perhaps things haven't changed that much after all!

Loserville, the smash-hit, new musical from London's West End, takes geek to a whole new rock-pop level.  You would never expect that the geeks would have inherited the world, but they did! Loserville gives us the seventies with a cast of characters that are totally recognizable and a score that is completely contemporary.

Performances are Friday, Nov. 18 at 7 PM, Saturday, Nov. 19 at 7 PM, and Sunday, Nov. 20 at 3 PM in Carrington Hall.  Tickets are available at

GSA Panel This Wednesday 
Sequoia High School's GSA (Gender Sexuality Alliance) is hosting a teacher panel where Sequoia Staff will be discuss-ing their experiences in the classroom related to  LGBTQ+ issues and sharing their perspectives on how it has influenced their teaching! This is a free event with free snacks provided. There will be an open Q&A portion of the panel where the audience members can ask the panelists questions they might have. 

This event is for improving visibility in our school and making students aware of the allies and adults they can speak with on campus should they identify as LGBTQ+ or are interested in the LGBTQ+ community. It is also to bring attention to administration about LGBTQ+ students and teachers and how to make teaching/learning more LGBTQ+ friendly. This is an event open to teachers, students, parents, and other family members in the Bay Area. 

Some of the panelists are: Mr. Bliss, Mr. Gray, Ms. Nguyen, Ms. Woodman, Ms. Vaughan, Mr. Schmid, Ms. Murray, and a few others. Please let us know you will be attending by visiting Sequoia GSA's Facebook page.   The panel is on Wednesday, November 9 from 4:30-6:30 PM in the MPR. If you would like additional information, please conta ct .

Time Saver for PTSA Members 
It is November and the holidays are upon us.  Save time by trying Google Express -- PTSA members get 25% off your first order on home, school and holiday supplies!  With Google Express, you can shop from trusted stores like Costco, Target and Ulta and get everything delivered fast. 

Use the code CAPTASAVE at checkout; good until November 9, 2016 Click here for more details.

nullSequoia had wonderful representatives this past Saturday during our 8th Grade Campus Tours. Thank you to our ASB Leadership students, Student Activities Director Corey Uhalde, and PTSA parents Sian Davies, Susie Gilbert, Carmen Alvarado, Judy Adams, Glenn Bugos, Jayne Sungail and Lisa Hane.

Some comments from the approximately 100 students and parents who attended included, "I really like the vibe here," and "This campus feels like Tahoe!"  Parents also loved looking at the beautiful culinary arts classroom and were equally impressed by the wood shop.  Special thanks to math teacher Mr. Moaveni who unsuspectingly was in his classroom preparing for next week when several large tour groups visited his classroom, and Mr. Moaveni was welcoming and willing to answer questions with a smile.

Above - Prospective families prepare to tour Sequoia's campus. Below - Mr. Uhalde with some of the ASB Leadership students and PTSA parents who led the tours.

Enjoy Some Art 
reflections art program
We can still use a few more judges for our PTSA Reflections arts entries.  You can choose to judge in one or more of the 6 categories -- dance, film, literature, music, photography, and visual arts.   It's only a small time commitment (under 2 hours), and you will be given guidelines and a rubric to follow.

Please email or  Rachel  Levine at if you can help.

Dreams Come True
Please join Sequoia's Dream Club for our 7th annual Making Dreams Come True dinner on Friday, November 18 from 6:00-8:30 PM in the MPR.  Support immigrant youth as they pursue their educational dreams!  All proceeds from the dinner go to our scholarship fund, see this flyer for details.

In This Issue
Monday, Nov. 7
Block B Day

Wednesday, Nov. 9
4:30-6:30 PM - GSA Panel discussion, MPR

Friday, Nov. 11
Veterans Day Holiday, No School

Monday, Nov. 14
Collab Day

Tuesday, Nov. 15
Deadline to submit fees for IB Exams

Friday, Nov. 18
6 PM - Dream Club Dinner, MPR

Nov. 18-20
7 PM Fri & Sat, 3 PM Sun - Sequoia musical "Loserville," Carrington Hall; tickets here

Nov. 23-25
Thanksgiving holiday

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

M-A Parent Education Series, Peninsula Arts & Letters and Kepler's Books 
Dr. Dan Siegel, Mind: A Journey to the Heart of Being Human
Monday, November 14, 2016, 7:30 PM
Kepler's Books, 1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park, CA 94025
Internationally acclaimed author and UCLA psychiatrist Dr. Dan Siegel will share the exciting neuroscience behind the heightened social, emotional and creative energy that drives adolescent behavior. Dispelling myths of raging hormones and immaturity, he explains how crucial changes in the brain prepare us to thrive as interdependent adults.
This special evening is presented in partnership with the M-A Parent Education Series. 
Parents, students, and community members welcome!  Advance ticket purchase required. 
For more information, contact Charlene Margot, MA, M-A Parent Education Series events are sponsored by the M-A PTA, the Sequoia Healthcare District, and the Sequoia Union High School District.

M-A Parent Education Series 
GENERATION FOUND - Documentary (Youth Addiction & Recovery)
Thursday, November 17, 2016
M-A Performing Arts Center (PAC)
555 Middlefield Road, Atherton CA 94027
6:30-7:00 PM Pre-Reception, Refreshments, and Resource Tables
7:00-7:15 PM Introduction by Fay Zenoff, Center for Open Recovery
7:15-8:40 PM Film Presentation 
Purchase tickets online:
You can also click on this link to watch the movie trailer.
Join us for an important community event on youth addiction and recovery! From the creators of THE ANONYMOUS PEOPLE comes  GENERATION FOUND, a powerful new film about one community coming together to ignite a youth addiction recovery revolution in their hometown.
Parents, students, faculty/staff, and community members welcome!   Spanish interpretation will be available. Ticket purchase required; scholarships available for students. 
This event is sponsored by The Parent Education Series, D'Anne Burwell, author of Saving Jake: When Addiction Hits Home, the Sequoia Healthcare District, and the Sequoia Union High School District. 
For more information, contact Charlene Margot, MA, For Spanish, contact Lilly Quiñonez, Parent Center Coordinator, at 650-322-5311, Ext. 50255.