December 5, 2016

Sequoia PTSA's weekly eNewsletter in partnership with the Sequoia High School Education Foundation
President's Message
Let's hear it for random acts of kindness!
I was in an airport the other day waiting in line to buy a coffee. There was a man and a woman in front of me.  They were not together.  It was the man's turn to order and he said to the Starbucks barista, "I'll have a latte and whatever she's having," pointing to the woman behind him in line. The woman demurred saying she could pay for her own drink.  The man insisted that it was on him, paid for her beverage, and walked away saying that someone had done the same for him and now it was his turn.  The woman had a smile on her face that wouldn't go away. And so did I! He made both our days with that simple act of kindness.
Our kids were the beneficiaries of some kind acts in November when Sequoia's ASB students posted affirming notes on their classmates' lockers. What a way to greet the morning given all the stresses of being a teenager these days!
This past November Sequoia families rallied in true UNALIYI spirit and in four days provided Thanksgiving baskets for members of our community who would otherwise go without.  And now, we have the chance to step up again and donate to the Parent Center's yearly Adopt-A-Family initiative. 
Each December, calendars of random acts of kindness are published listing simple gestures that anyone can make to spread a little humanity; nothing profound or earth shattering, just kind. It is fun to take a look at those calendar suggestions for ideas to make someone's day a little nicer.
There are countless ways we can reach out in kindness to family and strangers alike: a simple wave and a smile to a neighbor you don't normally talk to, letting someone merge into a lane during a traffic jam, complimenting your daughter or son about something they have done, before reminding them about all the chores they haven't finished yet.
The recent Presidential election has opened up many discussions on how we conduct ourselves in our communities. No one knows what the weeks and months ahead will bring, but I for one think we should consider the merits of leading lives driven by patience, inclusion, and kindness as we bring 2016 to a close and move into the New Year.
I wish you and yours the very best as we head into the holiday season.  I thank those of you who have joined the PTSA, supported our initiatives to make Sequoia the great school that it is, and I hope to see even more of you around campus in 2017.

Lisa Hane
President, Sequoia PTSA

PTSA Meeting Tomorrow
With guest speaker from Friends for Youth

All are invited to our December PTSA meeting, where we will hear from Principal Sean Priest and from Sarah Norman of the Friends for Youth Mentoring Program.  View the full agenda here.  Staying informed is a great way to support your students!

SHSEF Challenge Grant and Update
SHSEF has been offered a Challenge Grant of $25,000* if we reach $200,000 in donations by December 31st!   Make your donation by 12/31/16 and help us take advantage of this generous grant!

*   Many thanks to our generous Sequoia families who have donated to this grant: Emi and Will Chuang,
Rebecca Joslin-Davis and Reggie Davis, Rebecca Taylor and Anthony Kovscek, Alisa and Neil MacAvoy, Elisa Niño-Sears and Justin Sears, Amy Blodgett and Bill Stafford, Susan and Bob Strehlow, Rebecca and David Tom, and Jennifer and Randy Webb.
More Families to Adopt
Thank you to those who have signed up to donate holiday gifts to Sequoia families in need!  More families have been added to the list, so please check the sign up list to see how you can help.  Bring your items to the Parent Center between Monday, December 12 through Monday, December 19.

Band and Choir Spread Holiday Cheer
Sequoia's Band and Choir shared lots of holiday music in the community this past week!  Last Thursday, the Choir performed at a luncheon for the Redwood City Woman's Club.  On Saturday, both the Band and Choir performed at the Hometown Holidays festival in downtown Redwood City.  On Sunday, the Band provided entertainment at the San Mateo train station, as part of the Caltrain Holiday Train event.  Great job to all the performers for bringing cheer to others and representing Sequoia so well in the community! 

Come enjoy Sequoia music at our Winter Concerts in Carrington Hall this week:
  • Wed, Dec. 7 at 7 PM - Orchestra and Choir
  • Thu, Dec. 8 at 7 PM - Bands

Above - Sequoia's Choir performs at the Redwood City Woman's Club luncheon last Thursday. Below - Sequoia's Band provides entertainment at Hometown Holidays on Saturday.

Holiday Staff Luncheon
There are still spots to fill for the Holiday Staff Luncheon on Wednesday, December 21; thank you if you have already signed up to help!  Click here to provide a food item, donate a gift card, or help at the event (shifts from 10:00-12:00, 12:30-1:30 and 1:45-2:30).

Voter Hall of Fame Established
With the generous help of the Sequoia PTSA from a Mini-Grant in the Fall of 2015, the Sequoia High School Social Studies Department is thrilled to have established a "Voter Hall of Fame" for those seniors who have participated in the democratic process.    Students who vote in an election, complete a Take Ten Program (get ten registered voters to commit to voting in an election), or work as a student poll worker or for non-citizens or those under 18 years old, will have an opportunity to have their name added to this honor roll. In addition to having their names enshrined, each new inductee will receive a "Voting is Cool" bumper sticker and a certificate signed by their teacher and principal.

The Vernon Dahmer Voter Hall of Fame honors the voter registration work of the late Vernon Dahmer and his family. Vernon Dahmer lived in Hattiesburg, Mississippi and served several terms as president of the Forrest County Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and led voter registration drives in the 1960s. He kept a voter registration book in his store in late 1965 to make it easier for African Americans to register. Dahmer also helped the local African American population pay a poll tax for the right to vote. His mantra was, "If you don't vote, you don't count," and those words, which he repeated on his deathbed, were used as his epitaph. 

This year, 43 students will be a part of the inaugural group to be enshrined into the Vernon Dahmer Voter Hall of Fame, including first time voters, student poll workers, and four students who completed the Take Ten Program.

The location of the Voter Hall of Fame is in a case in the front hall of the school, directly across from the College & Career room. The accompanying art work is from a student in a Sequoia High School 2016 Fall Photography class.

You can also check out a CBS news article that was published in October about this Voter Hall of Fame!

PTSA Mini-Grants are supported by funding from the SHSEF

Considering Middle College?
The SUHSD Middle College program at Cañada College is accepting applications for the Fall 2017 semester.

Middle College is collaboration between SUHSD and Cañada College.  Through this unique program students earn both high school and college credits, enabling them to complete their high school degrees and earn college credit simultaneously.  All classes are held at Cañada College.

Middle College is looking for Juniors for the fall semester.  Interested students should reach out to their counselor, find information by looking up Canada Middle College and attend our Parent / Student information nights in January, February, and March.  All applications must be submitted by March 17th.

Middle College Informational Meetings
  • Thu, Jan. 19, 6:30-7:30 PM - 480 James Ave, RWC
  • Wed, Feb. 1, 6:30-7:30 PM - 4200 Farm Hill Blvd, RWC, Building 2, Room 10
  • Wed, Feb. 15, 6:30-7:30 PM - 4200 Farm Hill Blvd, RWC, Building 2, Room 10
  • Thu, March 2, 6:30-7:30 PM - 480 James Ave, RWC
Holiday Trees and Wreaths
Remember to visit a Honey Bear Tree lot to buy your holiday tree or wreath!  They have 3 locations:  Redwood City (Woodside Road), San Carlos (El Camino Real), and San Mateo (Delaware Street).

When purchasing your tree, just bring this flyer  (volante aquí­) and let them know you're a Sequoia High School family.   The Class of 2017 receives 15% back on every purchase to go towards their Safe and Sober Grad Week Activities. 

Junior Class: Grad Committee Planning Meeting Dec. 12
Junior class parents are invited to help with the 2018 Grad Committee!  Our next fundraising activity is winter basketball concession sales, which we need to start planning for now.  The work is light and the grad party costs are low if we all lend a hand!

Come learn about how you can help - in small ways or large - at our planning meeting on Monday, Dec. 12 at 7 PM, at Sian's home (142 Alberta Ave., San Carlos).  Can't come to the meeting but want to find out more info?  Contact Sian Davies to stay informed about grad activities.

In This Issue
Monday, Dec. 5
Collab day

Tuesday, Dec. 6
7 PM - PTSA Meeting, MPR (agenda here)

Wednesday, Dec. 7
7 PM - Choir and Orchestra Winter Concert, Carrington Hall

Thursday, Dec. 8
7 PM - Bands Winter Concert, Carrington Hall

Monday, Dec. 12
Collab Day

Dec. 12-19
Bring Adopt-a-Family gifts to the Parent Center, Room 129

Dec. 19-21
Finals (Finals schedule here)

Wednesday, Dec. 21
Holiday Staff Luncheon

Thursday, Dec. 22

Winter break begins

Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017
Classes resume
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Free Informational Session

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