Sequoia Sentinel
December 14, 2020
Sequoia PTSA's weekly eNewsletter in partnership with the Sequoia High School Education Foundation
Editor's note: This is the final edition of the Sentinel before Winter Break. We wish you a happy and healthy holiday and will see you in your inbox when we publish next on January 4!
Principal's Message
Each year I set aside this final email of the first semester to share some of my favorite things from my yearly media diet. If you’re like me, you’re looking forward to at least a day between now and New Year’s to clear out your twitter/browser bookmarks, read a book or two, or go down a Youtube rabbit hole. In other words: shamelessly consume the kind of content that normally makes us feel like we’re procrastinating or avoiding “real” work. 
As always, some of these directly informed our work this year, others indirectly, and others are just fun. I’ll let you figure out which is which:

Yesterday, today, and tomorrow -- always relevant: Elie Weisel’s Nobel Prize acceptance speech. We know that every moment is a moment of grace, every hour an offering; not to share them would mean to betray them. Our lives no longer belong to us alone; they belong to all those who need us desperately.”

My kids have been lobbying hard since last spring for a pet. I’m holding them off with videos about pets. Here’s a short one about how cats domesticated humans. Counterpoint: Are Cats Domesticated?

I’m fascinated to learn from people whose jobs are different than mine. Tom Whitwell is a hardware engineering consultant. He wrote about the 52 lessons he learned this year.  

I commute. I listen to podcasts. Here are a few of my favorites:
"Nice White Parents": A case study of a Brooklyn middle school spanning several decades
"Work Life w/Adam Grant": Bite-sized forays into how we function in professional settings
"Broken Record": Insider talk with musical recording artists. Huey Lewis, RZA, and everything in-between
"Wind of Change": As in...the Scorpions in...what if the Scorpions were CIA? 
"You’re Wrong About": Humorous reconsideration of the stories we’ve heard (and told) over the years
"Hardcore History": Does a 9-hour dive into the Persian Empire sound interesting? If so, dive away.

Of the books I read this year, these stood out: 
  • "Homegoing" by Yaa Gyasi (The kind of novel that makes you want to read everything written by the author)
  • "I’m Not Dying With You Tonight" by Gilly Segal and Kimberly Jones (A YA novel I read quickly over a weekend last summer. Urgent and authentic.)
  • "Say Nothing" by Patrick Radden Keefe (Non-fiction study of how a generation of Northern Irish chose to remember its violent history)
  • "Vanishing Half" by Brit Bennett (A great novel about racial identity across multiple generations of Americans)

I never thought much about the long-term impact of solitary confinement until I listened to this conversation with survivors.  

For something less intense, this video is mesmerizing. Concatenation.    

For a long-read series, this collection of Weird Internet Careers has been fascinating. We often talk about the jobs that don’t yet exist and this is a nice peek around the corner.

Hope everyone’s break is safe and relaxing. On behalf of Sequoia High School, Happy New Year from our families to yours!

Welcome New Staff!
Ida Tang: School Psychologist
Ida Tang School Psychologist
Ms. Tang is in her 18th year as a school psychologist and has spent most of her career in the South Bay. She is excited to return to the Peninsula where she was born and raised. Ida has always wanted to work in education, and entered the field of psychology because it allows her to work with students individually. She enjoys collaborating with staff to help students realize their strengths, pinpoint areas in which they need support, and determine other factors that impact their education. Ms. Tang is a budding gardener and is proudly tending to her flourishing citrus trees and blueberry bushes!
Donate auction items
Despite the remote learning situation, we still anticipate holding Sequoia sports practices and games/matches. Some of our teams have older equipment that needs to be replaced, and when the leagues start up again there are going to be plenty of costs involved.

We will hold an online auction in March to raise money for the Sequoia Booster Organization, which helps fund equipment, uniforms, busses and much more for ALL Sequoia sports teams. Go Ravens!

Contribute to the 2021 yearbook!
The 2021 Sequoia Yearbook is going to be extra special. Our goal is to represent the bigger Sequoia Community and our experience during the COVID pandemic. It is going to be a place for people to learn about our experiences for many decades to come.

Literacy volunteer needed
Stacy Wenzel is looking for a volunteer on Mondays from 8:45-10:10 a.m. in her academic literacy class. The volunteer experience is entirely online and no special experience is needed except basic Google Doc skills. Volunteering will start Monday, Jan. 11.

Edgenuity office hours during finals
Mr. Julio Calles is Sequoia's Edgenuity teacher. He will offer office hours during Finals Week on Tuesday and Thursday from 2-4:00 p.m. Please email your counselor and Mr. Calles, for more information or if you have any questions. Seniors must complete credit recovery by May 28 for June 4 graduation.

Seniors and other students needing to complete credit recovery course(s) required for graduation and A-G requirements need to email their counselor if they have not already signed up, or have any questions.

Please note that counselors have already met with seniors to review graduation status, post-secondary plans, and sign up for Edgenuity. Email communication was sent to students and parent/guardians.
New eBooks for Winter Break
Our eBook collection is now accessible through your browser, just in time for some fun reading over the winter break. Log in using your credentials and let Ms. Snow know how it goes!

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.
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.
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.
That's So Raven
Cheers to Season 3! Jack and Jack are back in Episode 15 of That's So Raven, which offers study tips for finals and a sports report featuring our very own competitive moguls skier.
Dream Club dinner recap
The Dream Club's 11th annual fundraising dinner (and first-ever virtual event) was a huge success! The recorded event is available to watch until December 18.
Education Foundation
Donate a 2020 gift to SHSEF
With December 31 nearing, we invite you to consider making your gift of cash or stock to SHSEF this year and take advantage of possible 2020 tax deductions. Your donations help SHSEF continue to support staff, projects and programs to ensure that every student has the opportunity to reach their highest potential.

Students honored for expressing themselves through art
What I reflect by Sharon S.
Sequoia PTSA would like to recognize the 37 students who created an artistic piece for the 2020-2021 Reflections Art program, with this year’s theme I Matter Because/Yo Importo Porque. We are so proud of all the students who took the time to participate.

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
Now, more than ever, the mental health of our children and families has become a public health priority. Join Dr. Aaron Nayfack, Sequoia Healthcare District Director and Developmental/Behavioral Pediatrician, for a town hall meeting as he shares his expertise and observations on helping kids thrive during the holidays and COVID-19. Simultaneous Spanish interpretation will be provided. 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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