Sequoia Sentinel
December 7, 2020
Sequoia PTSA's weekly eNewsletter in partnership with the Sequoia High School Education Foundation
Principal's Message
COVID-19 cases in our county are soaring. We moved into California’s ”Purple” tier last week, which imposes restrictions on businesses, churches, and other places where large groups gather. It reinforces the importance of limiting the time we spend in crowds, wearing face-coverings. It may impact your travel plans or opportunities to spend the holidays with extended family.  

Sequoia continues to provide a safe, quiet workspace with reliable high-speed internet to 48 students spread across four stable cohorts during the school day. Students in the daily cohorts are screened with questions and a temperature check through a single point of entry. All responses to the daily screenings are logged by our Health Clerk, Claudia Rendón. They are also greeted by our friendly campus aides and sometimes one of the members of our administrative teams. Last week some students exchanged hellos with members of our Board of Trustees, who were on campus to observe the action in anticipation of this week’s study session.  

After completing their daily screening, students disperse via a prescribed outdoor path of travel to one of four parts of campus where our cohorts are housed: the MPR, the Biotech Lab, the A-wing, and Room 128 adjacent to the Tea Garden. The sticker given to them by the health clerk is their ticket into the classroom. We are using space on campus with access to the outdoors to give our students options as to where they want to work and eat lunch. Desks are spaced at least eight feet apart (more in larger spaces) and in the smaller rooms we are providing plexiglass shields for each student. Face coverings are required; social distance protocols are enforced with reminders from supervising adults. The kids have been great.

In addition to the daily cohorts, we began operating after-school enrichment and support cohorts. This, plus the athletic training cohorts that we’ve been operating throughout the fall, represent a strong foundation on which to build next semester. Slowly, steadily, and -- most importantly -- safely, we are bringing more students on campus to interact with staff and each other. If you haven’t already completed the SUHSD Family Survey, please do so since much of what comes next hinges on questions about scale, priorities, and interest. We have received some great input from students over the past few weeks already.   

Because we continue to uphold the strictest protocols around screening, PPE, contact tracing, and access to facilities, our efforts to bring students back push forth irrespective of which tier the county is in. For more details about efforts district-wide to prepare campuses for more students regularly participating in support or extra-curricular enrichment, please see this dashboard.

We head into the final two weeks of this semester with a greater degree of confidence in our online teaching and learning complemented by momentum with our in-person offerings. I may sound dorky saying so, but the problem-solving, planning, and collaboration required to do this work is really exciting. I am grateful for the people with whom and for whom we are doing this work. People have really stepped-up.

Hard to believe the semester is so close to the end. This is our last week before Finals and then Winter Break -- let’s make it a successful one together!

Welcome New Staff!
Juana Marchal
Juana Marchal: Spanish II, IB Spanish yr 4

Maestra Marchal (or Sra. Marchal) was born in Andalucia, Spain and raised in Madrid. She started her career as a marketing entrepreneur after attending Complutense University of Madrid. She taught Spanish to native speakers and earned her master’s degree in philology (language and literature in Spanish and French) and now has eight years of teaching experience.  

Sra. Marchal is a fan of Kefir, and creates different flavored yogurts for her family. Her specialty is Greek yogurt, along with plain yogurt and yogurt with strawberries. The Kefir grains are growing every day, so let her know if you would like to try your hand at Kefir yogurt!
Edgenuity office hours and credit recovery
Seniors must complete credit recovery by May 28 for June 4 graduation.

Mr. Julio Calles is Sequoia's Edgenuity teacher. During study week his office hours are Tuesday and Thursday 4-6:00 p.m. During finals week, his office hours will be Tuesday and Thursday 2-4:00 p.m. For questions or information, email your counselor and Mr. Calles at

Seniors or students needing to complete credit recovery course(s) and/or A-G requirements should email their counselor if they are not signed up, or have questions. Counselors have met with seniors to review graduation status, post-secondary plans, and to sign up for Edgenuity. Email communication was sent to students and parents/guardians.
Check IB exam registration for errors!
Attention IB seniors and IB juniors (in a one-year IB testing course) registered for May 2021 IB exams: We have completed the registration process for the May IB exams. Official IB registration confirmations were mailed the week of Nov 23 to home addresses listed in IC. You should have received yours by now. Please thoroughly review your registration to ensure there are no errors. If you find errors, please email Ms. Galvan so corrections can be made with IB.
De-stress during study week of Dec 7-11!
Zoom links for the Youth Advisory Board & Teen Resource Center (TRC) activities were shared with students in CANVAS and SEQ email. Activities available during study week:

  • Virtual TRC drop-in office hours 3-4:30 p.m. Counselors available.

  • Mindfulness 12-12:15 p.m.
  • Virtual Yoga 12:15-12:30 p.m.
  • Virtual TRC drop-in office hours 3-4:30 p.m.

  • Virtual TRC drop-in office hours 3-4:30 p.m.

  • Virtual TRC drop-in office hours 3-4:30 p.m.
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.
Love the smell of pine needles?
Buy a HONEY BEAR holiday tree to benefit the class of 2021!

Lots in Redwood City and San Carlos are open seven days a week 10:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
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.
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!
That's So Raven will return next week with a new episode!
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.
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
The Parent Education Series
Parent Ed Logo Horizontal
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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