March 13, 2017

Sequoia PTSA's weekly eNewsletter in partnership with the Sequoia High School Education Foundation
Principal's Message
Open House is coming up this Thursday night.  Here is my to-do list for our guests:
  • Talk to a representative from the Education Foundation about some of the vital Sequoia programs funded by your gift to the SHSEF's Annual Campaign.
  • Cross through the Unaliyi gates and visit the brand new A-Wing to see state-of-the-art science and general education classrooms as well as the unique outdoor blended-use space.
  • Ask one of our student ambassadors from ASB (the ones in the purple t-shirts) for directions.  Then ask them what they love about Sequoia.
  • Visit the PTSA table and learn about some of the teacher-student initiatives funded by this semester's mini-grant program.
  • See if you can find your student's portrait on the Media Center's wall of smiles.  
  • Give yourself plenty of time for the annual IB Art Show.  The students' creative output merits a deep dive.
  • Check in with the Boosters for the latest Sequoia gear as well as results from the swim meet, track meet, and baseball games being played on Thursday afternoon.
  • Congratulate Administrative Vice Principal Mike Kuliga on his recent appointment as the new principal of the Sequoia Union High School District's forthcoming small school, TIDES Academy.
  • Take a break in one of the comfy Adirondack chairs dispersed throughout the newly renovated Tea Garden.  Let's hope for a warm night!
  • Track down some of your student's favorite teachers and let them know how much their hard work and dedication is appreciated.
There's lots more to discover on Open House night.  Keep your eyes open for middle school families who look like they may have questions about Sequoia life.  I'll put my money on Sentinel readers as great ambassadors for our place of friends.  See you Thursday!

Have a great week!

Looking for a Few Good People
The SHS PTSA is already planning for next year, but we need your help. Our commitment to the school is great, but we need your help to support our programs and efforts at the school.  Please keep in mind that while PTAs in elementary and middle schools can be very time consuming, at SHS we work hard to keep the commitments and meetings to a very manageable level.  And, we are trying to fill small jobs as well as larger jobs, so we have something for everyone.  Please let us know if you are interested in joining our team, it's a great way to get more  involved at Sequoia!  Contact Lauren Pachkowski via if you'd like to learn more.

Open House This Thursday
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Please join us for our annual Spring Open House on Thursday, March 16th, from 7:00-8:30 PM. Open House provides an opportunity to explore the school, visit classrooms, talk with faculty members and gather information about the school's programs and offerings.  More details are on these flyers: Spring Open HouseCasa Abierta de La Primavera.

Help Appreciate Our Staff
Thank you to all who have signed up to help with our PTSA Coffee Cart the
day after Open House!  We still need a few more food contributions and volunteers to help on Friday, March 17th .  Please consider   signing up  to treat our deserving staff and teachers with a St. Patrick's Day pick-me up!

Plan Ahead for IB and AP Exams
IB exams are approaching. To help prepare, please see these Exam Tips & Rules, this IB Test Calendar which is a monthly view, and the IB Exam Chart which lists the exams by IB subject and includes estimated student release times. These calendars list AP exam dates as well. Due to IB regulations and exam security, all students are excused at the end of the exam. We cannot allow students to leave early even if they are finished. Please do not ask to do so. Please use these calendars now to plan ahead by informing any coaches or after school activity supervisors that you may be late on applicable days. Students are also required to inform their teachers ahead of time if they are missing class due to exams. Students are responsible to make up any missing work. Please also read through the Exam Tips & Rules to know what students can and cannot bring to exams. Students will receive a packet with these documents during class in April, including the IB Exam Calendars, Exam Tips & Rules and the official IB Conduct of Examinations. 

IB does not offer any make up exam dates. If students miss an exam, they will be missing an assessment component for the subject and therefore, will not be able to receive a score. Their IB score will be an N (representing no score due to missing assessment components). Students have worked extremely hard to prepare for these exams and thus, the exams need to be the priority over other activities. Also, students reported to their colleges what exams they planned to take. Colleges admitted students based on that information, and not following through with an exam can lead to a college rescinding their admissions offer. Colleges expect students to sit and put forth full effort as they expect to see an IB score that resembles the academic work they submitted in their application. Students should do everything they can to be there. If there is a health issue, students should inform the lead proctor. Again, IB will not reschedule an exam due to a health reason like a cold, pink eye, upset stomach, etc. 

If you have any questions regarding IB exams, please direct them to Lisa McCahon, IB Coordinator, at If you have questions regarding AP exams, please direct them to the IVP Office (Elvira Macias & Sophia Olliver Good luck to all our students, and thanks to the IB teachers who have helped our students prepare. 

Interested in a Moonlight Bay Cruise with Your Sweetheart?!
To all Parents of Juniors, Sophomores & Freshman who don't also have a 2017 graduating Senior:
We are nearing our Safe & Sober Graduation week for the 2017 Seniors. One of the big events is the Moonlight Grad Night Cruise on the San Francisco Bay on Friday, June 9th.  We need volunteers to attend as Chaperones. Sign up with your spouse, friends, college-aged and older children, or other family members, or come on your own and make a few new friends!  

You'll enjoy pre-arranged transportation to SF and back to Sequoia, a buffet dinner onboard the cruise, and entertainment. This is a fun night to remember! I attended as a Chaperone last year, and I can honestly say it was a beautiful night and quite heartwarming to watch these wonderful graduates spend their last night as a class together.

More details will be sent in a separate email blast, but if you are interested in chaperoning, please contact Donna Fiore at or 650-704-4378.

Crab Feed Success!
This year's Crab Feed was one of the most successful ever (and the crab and food was delicious)!!!!  Thank you to the Sequoia High School Community for helping us raise funds to support our student athletes.  Thank you to all who attended and bid on wonderful auction items donated by:  businesses in our community, parents, sports teams, and Sequoia HS teachers and coaches who really went above and beyond this year by donating some very unique items, some that call for significant personal time.  Thank you to the student athlete servers and the numerous parents who volunteered to help with the Crab Feed.  

In addition, the Crab Feed couldn't have been done without the following fabulous Chairpeople:
  • Joanna Dagum and Alessandra McCarty weren't seen at the Crab Feed because they spent the entire day Saturday in the American Legion's kitchen preparing a delicious meal for the attendees.  People were raving about their appetizers!
  • Alisa MacAvoy and Ann Berljafa led the raffle and the new Wine Pull.  The Wine Pull with bags illustrated by Eddie Berljafa were pieces of art themselves and were a big hit!  (see photo below)
  • Dina Acreman and Meredith Armienti transformed the American Legion Hall, and the Head of American Legion said it was the best looking Crab Feed they had ever seen!
  • Marianne Amaya, Irena Petani, and Cathy Siri spent countless hours contacting donors for the wonderful auction items.
  • Jill Berry and Ann Berljafa organized the bar that all enjoyed.
  • Karin Lubeck took things up a level this year with the Marketing of the event.
  • The behind-the-scenes work on the catalog, tickets, check-in, etc. was done by the extremely competent crew of Susan Alley, Merce Carroll, and Jennifer Marino.
Thank You!
Lynn Pierce, Chairman of the Crab Feed

In This Issue
Monday, March 13
Collab Day

Wednesday, March 15  
7 PM - Winter Sports Awards, Carrington Hall

Thursday, March 16
7 PM - Open House and IB Senior Art Show

Friday, March 17
Minimum Day

7 PM - Talent Show, Carrington Hall

Deadline to  apply for Middle College

Monday, March 20
Collab Day

Friday, March 31
Cesar Chavez Day observed - No school

Tuesday, April 4
7 PM - PTSA Meeting, MPR

Friday, April 7 and Saturday, April 8
7:30 PM - Sequoia Dance Show, Carrington Hall (tickets at

April 10-14
Spring Break

Tuesday, April 18
10 PM - Deadline to apply for PTSA Junior Scholarships

Saturday, April 22
7 PM - Prom
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Community News

College Essay Writing Workshop
High School Juniors:  Wondering how to approach the new Common Application essay questions for the 2017-18 application season?  Get help with UC essay prompts as well as Common Application essays at a Peninsula College Advising Personal Statement Workshop this summer.  All workshops are led by college writing instructor and advisor Beth Harrison (
There are still some openings for June, July and August workshops.  Need-based scholarships are also available.  For more information and to register visit: