February 6, 2017

Sequoia PTSA's weekly eNewsletter in partnership with the Sequoia High School Education Foundation
President's Message
I don't know about things at your home, but dinnertime conversations at our house have taken an interesting turn lately.  The other night my family was talking about the recent immigration ban that was ordered by our newly inaugurated President.  We talked about how last weekend people from all around the country convened at airports to protest the decision and made themselves available to provide support to people whose families and friends were impacted.

We went on to discuss the concept of a "Muslim ban" and how people we know personally could be affected. And then my son asked me a question that at once filled my heart with pride and stopped me cold:  "Mom, if things got really crazy and the government started rounding people up to kick them out of our country, we would be willing to hide them, wouldn't we?" The immediate answer around the table was a resounding, YES, and I was so glad he understood that this was something that our family would do.  What shocked and saddened me was that this conversation was even taking place.  Haven't we as a society learned from history?  Surely, the sins of the past will not be repeated...
To me it is a gift that our kids go to a school with students and teachers from many countries and backgrounds, bringing with them a range of ideas and experiences that they can share in the classroom. In my world, diversity is a beneficial quality, not something to be feared. 

In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., "Men hate each other because they fear each other, and they fear each other because they don't know each other, and they don't know each other because they are often separated from each other." I am glad our kids are together on the soccer field, in the dance studio, in Carrington Hall, in the science labs.  

My kids aren't the only ones who benefit from Sequoia's diversity. My time as a PTSA member and parent volunteer has enabled me to work with many families who bring with them different perspectives that strengthen our parent community. I am glad to be a part of the PTA which for over 100 years has been an organization dedicated to providing excellent educational opportunities to ALL kids.
In the months and years ahead there will be many more dinnertime conversations, some fun and some uncomfortable.  As parents we should embrace them all and know that we'll learn as much from our kids as we think they are learning from us!
In solidarity,
Lisa Hane
PTSA President

PTSA Meeting: School Updates and Teen Talk
We hope to see you tomorrow, Tuesday, February 7th at 7 PM in the MPR for our next PTSA meeting!  

Principal Sean Priest will provide his monthly State-of-the-School update, which is always highly informative.  Then Jennifer Rogers from Health Connected will be presenting on the "Teen Talk" sex-ed curriculum at Sequoia - sure, you know your kids take the class but don't you want to know what they really talk about? And she will give us some tips about initiating conversations with our own kids.

Join us for an evening of fun and enlightenment, e veryone is welcome!  View the full agenda here.

It's That Time: Class Scheduling 
It is time once again for counselors to start meeting with ALL of their students, 9th-11th grades, to update their academic and future plans and select their classes for next school year.  As in past years we will begin with the Rising Seniors!  We will start pulling them out from their elective classes and only when necessary we will pull them from their academic classes.   We will have back-to-back appointments of 30 minutes each.

At the meeting we plan to discuss their future plans and how they can prepare now to achieve them.  We will emphasize the importance of course rigor, high grades, and taking the SAT and/or ACT this spring; all of which four-year colleges and universities use to determine eligibility.  Additionally, we will discuss their current and past extracurricular activities such as community service, sports, clubs, internships and summer programs; which are important to note on college and scholarship applications.  Colleges and universities believe it is critical for students to work on developing their passions and to take advantage of the resources available to them in their community.

We look forward to working with you!  Please feel free to share with me any concerns you may have.  The following is the schedule for Course Selection Individual Appointments for all the grade levels:
  • Jan. 30-Feb. 17:  Rising Seniors 
  • Feb. 22-March 17:  Rising Juniors
  • March 20-April 28:  Rising Sophomores
Guadalupe Navarrete, Head Counselor

Apply for Spring Mini-Grants
The PTSA Spring Mini-Grant application is now open!  Is your student a member of a club or activity that is ready to take on a new project? Please encourage him or her to apply.  Grants of $50 to $400 are available through funding from the Sequoia High School Education Foundation (SHSEF). Funds can be used for club or classroom programs, projects, supplies, etc.  Students, teachers, and staff are encouraged to apply. 
Please see the PTSA website for more information.   The application deadline is Friday, February 17 at 8:00 PM.

PTSA Mini-Grants are funded by the Sequoia High School Education Foundation

Opinions About Dead Week?
Encuesta Sobre La "Semana Muerta"
The Sequoia Site Council/Site Leadership Team (SSC/SLT), a decision-making body of parents, students, and staff, is interested in gathering opinions about the week before final exams (sometimes known as "Dead Week"). Please take this brief survey by February 16 to give your thoughts . Data will be collected and analyzed at one of our upcoming monthly meetings. For more information about SSC/SLT, please visit this website . Thank you very much!

Plan Ahead for IB Exams
Click here for a chart of all the IB exams for May 2017; the chart includes the exam start time and the estimated release time. Students MUST report to the gym doors at least 5 minutes prior to exam start time. We begin the exams on time and cannot wait for tardy students. Also, please understand that the release time is our best estimate but it may vary. We work hard to get students out as soon as possible. Per IB policy, no students are allowed to exit early. All students are dismissed together once all exam material is collected. Please do NOT ask if you can leave early for any reason.

Students should prioritize their IB exams as they have worked so hard to prepare for them. This means students should check ahead of time and alert any supervisors of other activities (sports teams, etc.) that they miss or will be late to due to IB exams. Also, students must inform all their teachers of class periods they are missing due to an IB exam. Students are responsible for making up any missed work.

If any changes are made, we will update students. We will hand out a calendar in April prior to the IB exams.  Good luck to our students in their last semester preparing for their exams. 

Thank you,
Lisa McCahon, IB Coordinator

Sequoia Theater Presents "Tartuffe"
"People do not mind being wicked," said Moliere, "but they do object to being made ridiculous." 
Sequoia High School's winter comedy, Jean Baptiste Moliere's "Tartuffe," performs in Carrington Hall on February 24 & 25 at 7 PM and February 26 at 3 PM. The Sunday Matinee is the drama program's annual scholarship performance, with all proceeds going towards scholarships for SHS theater students.  Tickets are available at  
In the play, the wealthy merchant Orgon is made ridiculous by his overwhelming preoccupation with Tartuffe. Tartuffe appears to be an extremely pious and devout man of religion, and Orgon regards him almost as a saint. Offering the stranger his best food and drink, Orgon places the needs of his guest above those of his wife and children, who believe Tartuffe is nothing more than a con man who pretends to be of the highest moral authority, but does not practice what he preaches.
Louis XIV found the first production, on 12 May 1664, "most amusing." His mother, the devout Queen Anne, was shocked and horrified, and a row ensued between mother and son.  Moliere struggled with the censors, and the play was actually banned for almost five years. It has since been recognized as one of his finest works.

Crab Feed: Fabulous Food and Auction Items
Remember to  purchase your tickets  for the Crab Feed! The event will be held on  Saturday, March 4 from 6:00-10:00 PM at the  American Legion Hall,  651 El Camino,  Redwood City; view a flyer here.  
All proceeds benefit Sequoia High School Sport and Spirit Booster Club, including: f unding for uniforms & equipment,  athlete transportation,  MVP and championship banners,  Sports Awards night.

We also need wine donations for the Wine Wheel, which is a fun part of the silent auction! We're asking for bottles of red, white, or champagne.  Alisa MacAvoy and Ann Berljafa will pick up your bottles right from your house!  Just email us to make your wine donation arrangements. 

In This Issue
Monday, Feb. 6
Collab Day

Tuesday, Feb. 7
7 PM - PTSA Meeting, MPR, with guest Jennifer Rogers speaking about Teen Talk (meeting agenda here)

Monday, Feb. 13
Collab Day

Friday, Feb. 17
8 PM - Deadline to apply for Mini-Grants

Mon, Feb. 20-Tue, Feb. 21

President's Holiday - No school

Feb. 24 & 25 at 7 PM,
Feb. 26 at 3 PM

Winter Play - Tartuffe, in Carrington Hall (tickets here)

Saturday, March 4
6 PM - Booster Club Crab Feed, American Legion Hall

Friday, March 17
Deadline to apply for Middle College
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Community News

Pacific Mambo Orchestra Benefit Concert
To keep music in Redwood City schools

Come and salsa or just sit back and listen to the captivating sounds of Grammy Award winning Pacific Mambo Orchestra with s pecial guest, Latin Jazz Youth Ensemble of San Francisco,  7 PM, February 10, 2017 at the Fox Theatre in Redwood City.   Tickets are $20-$35, students $15, and can be purchased at

The money raised goes for music in the RWC School District, which ensures there are quality music students coming in to Sequoia's music programs!