December 10, 2018  

Sequoia PTSA's weekly eNewsletter in partnership with the Sequoia High School Education Foundation
TopPrincipal's Message - Spreading Kindness and Reducing Stress  
At the heart of any true community is the desire for your friends, families, and neighbors to find success and fulfillment.  The end of a school semester, with important deadlines barreling towards us (finals week is just around the corner), we can measure the strength of our community by the efforts we see to lift one another up.  

Through this lens, I see much to be proud of at Sequoia, particularly in the ways in which various student leaders have leaped into action around the cause of minimizing stress and anxiety linked to this time of year.

Exhibit A: students leaders from the ASB created and distributed a Kindness Calendar (see below).  If any of our families are wondering what was behind their student's recent thoughtfulness last week, this might explain some things.  Hoping the recommendation for yesterday ("Spend 20-minutes sitting quietly without distractions.") or December 24 ("Go for a 20-minute walk outside and leave your phone at home.") will become a regular routine.  Mindfulness practices are powerful.

Adjacent to ASB, in the Teen Resource Center, students from the Sequoia Youth Advisory Board have put together a series of events for Study Week.  Their goal for these activities are to help students manage stress through self-care, community-building, and cheer.  Lunchtime activities for the week include:

Monday: Low-stress study tips workshop
Tuesday: Guided mindfulness and meditation
Wednesday: Unaliyi tree decorating
Thursday: Cookies and crafts
Friday: Yoga

In case you are wondering, what an Unaliyi tree is, Wellness Specialist Shari Schussel explains, " Practicing gratitude is an amazing way to take your mind off of stress and focus on what wonderful things are happening all around us.  We are going to spend Wednesday at lunch, in the Quad, "decorating" a Sequoia Unaliyi Tree with our hopes, wishes and gratitudes."  Classes who choose to participate will spend 1-2 minutes in class writing a hope for the new year or one thing for which they are grateful.  Each colorful strip of paper will be strung into a paper chain and draped on our secular seasonal "tree."

I'm very proud of the leadership our students have shown in making Sequoia's tradition of Unaliyi a part of the fabric of who we are.  I hope you are, too.

Have a great week!

Give the Gift of Gently Used Coats, Mittens and Scarves    
purple coat
The Sequoia Health Careers Academy is once again sponsoring a coat drive for those in need.  Last year, we managed to gather 55 coats.
Please donate gently used coats, mittens, and scarves of any size to Room 125, and help others in our community stay warm in the cold months to come.
Any questions, please contact Ashley Gray at  
Ring in the Holidays With Sequoia Orchestra, Band and Choir Performances This Week     
Come to Carrington Hall this Wednesday and Thursday at 7:00 p.m for Sequoia's Annual Winter Concert to hear some beautiful music.  Enjoy Sequoia's Choir and Orchestra perform on the first night and all bands on the second.  From classical to contemporary and everything in between, there will be something for everyone.  See you there!   
Holiday Luncheon to Celebrate Sequoia Teachers & Staff
Thanks to all who have signed up to help the PTSA send our staff & teachers off for the holidays with a luncheon on Thursday, December 20!  There are still ways to get involved and pitch in to show our appreciation to our amazing team at Sequoia.
Click here to provide a food or drink item, or help at the event (shifts from 9:00 - 11:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m., and 1:00 - 2:30 p.m.).
Sequoia Panorama Surveys

If you have not completed the surveys, please do so this week. It will help our school plan for the future as we begin to look at the feedback from our parent/guardian community as a whole.  Our parent liaison Elvira Macias can help if you have any questions. Please email her at  Thank you!
Class of 2019: Buy Your Grad Party Tickets Now 
Celebrate graduation aboard the HORNBLOWER YACHT!  Cruise starts at 11:59 p.m. on Friday, June 7 until 3:00 a.m. on Saturday.  You and your fellow graduates will enjoy a 3-hour party cruising around the San Francisco Bay.  The evening will include food, music, dancing, photos and other fun activities.  Transportation to and from the event is included. The bus will return to school around 4 a.m.  Click here to purchase. 
While a graduation celebration may be a given for many, a few students  may not have the means for this culminating celebration of high school.  Help a student in financial need attend the 2019 Grad Night Hornblower Yacht Cruise.  Your donation will help subsidize grad night tickets available to students who otherwise would not be able to attend.  Thank you! 
Sex Education, It's Not Just for Students

Another reason to attend PTSA meetings! At this month's PTSA meeting, we had the pleasure of hearing from Vanessa Kellam, Parent Engagement Coordinator for Health Connected, the group that offers the Human Sexuality program at Sequoia.  Health Connected provides the  High School Teen Talk Program during Freshman Life Skills class, and lasts 10-12 hours over a few weeks.  There is also an optional Refresher Course in the senior year.   To learn more about the Teen Talk curriculum, go here. 
Health Connected also offers Parent Services:
Tree Shortage in the Bay Area - Get Yours at Honey Bear Trees Before They Disappear!
News outlets reported a Bay Area tree shortage last week!  Don't get caught treeless this year if you are in the market for one. 
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
Hours are 9:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m., 7 days a week!
Spreading Cheer at Hometown Holidays Parade   
2018 Hometown Holidays
Sequoia's cheer squad displaying high spirits in spite of the overcast weather.
The day started off with thunderous rains but by the time the Redwood City Hometown Holidays Parade began, only gray clouds remained.  Sequoia's Cheer Squad was there to represent our High School with bright smiles, high-kicks and spirited pom-pom enhanced cheers.  They did a great job showing their SHS Spirit!  
Family Center Adopt-a Family Holiday Gift Project: Please Bring in Pledged Items This Week   
Holiday Gift Program Thank you to everyone who has pledged a gift to our 90+ families!  The window to drop off your item(s) is this week. 
Please include a gift receipt (or gift card activation receipt) whenever possible, gift-wrap and label each gift with the family's number and family member description.  Deliver your gift(s) to Sequoia's Family Center (Room 129) any day that works for you between December 10 -14, between 8 a.m. - 3 p.m.  If the Family Center is closed when you deliver, please deliver to the IB office across the hall.  Questions?  Please contact Elisa Niño-Sears, SHSEF Family Support Chair,, (650) 387-8390.
Spring 2018 Mini-Grant Impact Story: Math = Lunch 
Lunch Math Contests 
Mini-grant of $170
2018 Mini Grant
Students working hard on math challenges during lunch. 
I purchased Atlantic Pacific Math Contests and California Math League Contests with the funds from this mini-grant.  We have well over 100 students testing their mathematical might at lunch contests every Wednesday-Friday from October through March.  Students who earn a perfect score of 6 or two scores of 5 earn a coveted Sequoia math T-shirt.  This year, we are implementing a raffle for students who take 5 or more contests in the first semester.  These contests are given throughout the U.S. and Canada, and test critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
Ms. Laura Larkin
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).
In This Issue

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

Tuesday - Thursday,
December 18 - 20
Finals' Week
Fall Finals Bell Schedule

Thursday, December 20
11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Teacher & Staff Appreciation Luncheon - Sign Up to Help

Friday, December 21 - Tuesday, January 8, 2019
Winter Break - No School

Wednesday, January 9
Back-to-School: Collaboration Schedule
Quick Links
Don't Forget a Love Bag for Your Loved One This Holiday Season
Check out all the different styles and order at  Remember to use Promo Code  SEQUOIA18 at checkout. 
School Spirit Cushions
Show your school spirit and enjoy watching your favorite Sequoia games on a comfortable stadium seat cushion with carrying handle.  Buy yours in our Webstore
Giving Tuesday May be Over but Giving Never Goes Out of Style   
Visit SHSEF now 
 to make your 2018 tax deductible donation! 
Donate Your Old Bike - All Sizes Welcome 
If you have some bikes in your garage gathering cobwebs, 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  
En Español
¿Quieres traducir este boletín ahora? Siga estas instrucciones para obtener una traducción:
1. Haga clic en "Click here" en la parte superior del correo electrónico: "Having trouble viewing this email? Click here."
2. Mantenga presionada la tecla Control (PC) y la tecla A para seleccionar toda la página, a continuación, mantenga presionada la tecla Control y haga clic en la tecla C para copiar la página entera.
3. Abra una página nueva del navegador web y vaya a
4. Coloca el cursor en la caja y mantenga presionada la tecla Control y haga clic en la tecla V para pegar el boletín completo en el cuadro de traducción.
5. Asegúrese de seleccionar "To: Spanish" en la parte superior de la página. Haga clic en el botón Traducir. La traducción al español debe aparecer en el lado derecho.
Parent Education

Parent Ed Logo Horizontal

Parent Ed
Photo courtesy of (c); used with permission.

Alice Kleeman , College Advisor and  Angel Pérez, PhD , Vice President, Trinity College
Twenty Years in College Admission - What Has Changed, What Hasn't: Reflections from Both Sides of the Desk
Wednesday, January 16, 2019, 7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
Menlo-Atherton High School
M-A Performing Arts Center (PAC)
What has changed in college admission over the past 20 years? And what has not changed? 
Join  Alice Kleeman , former M-A College Advisor, and  Angel Pérez, PhD , Vice President of Trinity College, for a lively conversation around college admission--from both sides of the desk. 
Parents, students, educators, and community members welcome!   Free admission and light refreshments.  Spanish interpretation will be available.
Questions?  Contact Charlene Margot, M.A., Director, The Parent Education Series, at .
Community News