Sequoia Sentinel
March 14, 2021
Sequoia PTSA's weekly eNewsletter in partnership with the Sequoia High School Education Foundation
Principal's Message
There has been so much news to celebrate over these past several weeks, especially if you see connections between scaled back public health restrictions with improved quality of life. Proliferation of the vaccine, opportunities to be in-person at school, and economic activity elicit hopeful anticipation for a variety of reasons across our community.

There is still, however, plenty of reason to be cautious about Covid-19. As this German television ad humorously illustrates, patience remains a paramount virtue of our time. We have always taken safety seriously as a school community. I tell every family the same thing I want to hear from my kids’ school: you and your students are safe on our watch.

For students returning in-person (over 800), there can be little flexibility on measures such as masking, social distancing around campus, staggering bathroom entrances, and washing hands. These expectations are non-negotiable. More importantly, a spirit of cooperation and community will be required.  

Students will space out and forget about their masks from time-to-time, they’ll drift closer to their friends in conversation, and they’ll need to be reminded about the expectations. We don’t plan on draconian measures to enforce guidelines, but staff will be assertive when redirecting behavior. “With love in our hearts...pull that darn mask up!” Please talk to your students and remind them not to take these kinds of interactions for anything other than they are: adults (and hopefully peers) who care about their health and safety.

Likewise, as athletic events get underway, we will need families in attendance to respect one another by observing these same strict precautions while on campus. Masks, respecting the 4-6 ft. of minimum social distancing with those outside their household -- even if outdoors -- non-negotiable. Interaction, especially when only the eyes can smile, will need to presuppose best intent. Patience remains a paramount virtue. So many parents have asked how they can help make in-person activities succeed. Perhaps more than anything, being a role model for the rules might be number one.   

We have done such an incredible job as a community looking out for one another. The generosity and grace that has held us intact will continue to be tested as we enter this transitional phase together. Friday, I ran into an IB art student who was setting up the curated display of her work. I had so many questions, and could have listened to her updates all afternoon. I’m sure she was more than a bit relieved when I finally bid farewell. I’ve heard similar anecdotes from colleagues; we are so excited to have students back on campus. The restrictive guidelines to which we’ll adhere won’t make Sequoia any less of a Place of Friends.

Have a great week!

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Make Sequoia PTSA your charity on AmazonSmile

Do you know there is a way for AmazonSmile to donate 0.5% of your eligible Amazon purchases to Sequoia High School PTSA? Here’s how:

  1. Visit
  2. Sign in with your credentials
  3. In "Your Account" under the "Other Programs" section, click on “Amazon Smile Charity”
  4. Search for and select "Sequoia High School PTSA"
  5. Start shopping!
  6. Remember to bookmark to make it even easier to shop at AmazonSmile!
Do you have questions for our Sequoia 2020-2021 PTSA Board? Reach Isha Bhatt, PTSA President and the rest of the team at
Our mission is to positively impact the lives of all children and families.
Superintendent office hours

Superintendent Crystal Leach will be holding regular office hours in English and Spanish through the end of the school year.

Click here for the dates and times in English and Español.
Volunteers needed for SAT exams on 3/24 and 4/13

Sequoia is hosting two special administrations of the SAT Exam on campus this spring for Sequoia students who have not yet had the opportunity to take the exam because of cancellations. Masks, physical distancing, temperature checks and other health protocols will be strictly enforced. To make this work, we need the help of 28 volunteers on 3/24 and 4/13. Volunteers will assist our lead proctors with the administration of this exam — checking in and supervising test takers. No special skills required. Please sign up here if you can help.

  • Volunteers for the SAT exam cannot be relatives of any student taking the test that particular day. (But if your student is taking the test one month, you as a relative can volunteer for the other month!)
  • This exam is subject to cancellation pending the county's public health status.
  • For info about participating in this SAT exam as a STUDENT, please contact Teri Ignaitis or Nancy Rocha in the College & Career Center. 

Volunteer questions? Please contact: Email Elisa Niño-Sears or phone 650-387-8390.
Senior threads - ON SALE NOW!

Seniors - you've achieved a lot, and you're going places! Rock that message on a beanie, cap, hoodie or tee created just for the Class of 2021. Click here to shop.
Yearbook updates

Reserve your yearbook today! We will sell out quickly! We are #7268 or you can search for Sequoia. Parents: you can now create a parent ad in the yearbook! You can find more information at Seniors: be sure to share your Senior Memories doc with Ms. Bray by March 17. The sooner, the better. See your email for more information.
See’s Candy for Red Cross Club fundraiser!

The Sequoia Red Cross Club is holding a See’s Candies fundraiser! All profits will benefit the Sequoia Red Cross Club and the American Red Cross. We hope to use profits to make care packages for healthcare workers and hospitals in and around the Sequoia community, as well as continue our support of the Red Cross while it helps communities in need. Click here to browse the spring holiday-themed candies. Orders will be shipped right to your door!
‘Dare to Donate’ senior class fundraiser

This past year we have seen how Covid-19 has drastically turned lives upside down and exacerbated the inequalities within education. Our ‘Dare to Donate’ fundraiser is to benefit Larkin Street Youth Services, a nonprofit empowering young people to move beyond homelessness. Our goal of $300 will provide $150 to Larkin Street Youth Services and the remaining will go towards 2021 senior class graduation activities.

We are asking for small donations of $5 (more would be greatly appreciated!). As we reach each dollar milestone, your donation grants you access to videos of the dares and challenges being performed by members of the ASB senior class. Click here for more information. 

Ways to donate: Venmo @olivia-meak or @alyssa-knopf - please indicate it is for the “Senior Class Fundraiser” or schedule a drop off of gently used clothes or other items.
May 4: Multimedia, filmmaking, communication and marketing professionals speak to students

The Sequoia High School Digital Arts Academy is hosting a symposium for the sophomores in our program to learn more about multimedia, filmmaking, and the broader topics of communication and marketing.

Join us for career roundtables where professionals will speak in small group formats about their careers, educational backgrounds, current job descriptions, and pros and cons in their field. The symposium will be held via Zoom on May 4, 9:25 - 10:15 a.m. RSVP here. For questions, please contact Faith Velschow.
Another chance to see Sequoia Players original production of "Breakout Rooms"

Did you miss Sequoia Drama’s production of "Breakout Rooms" last week? Here's another chance to view the original production of students delivering monologues conceived and written by other Sequoia students. Don't miss these stories that range from the dark moments of pandemic quarantine to more humorous reflections on its perks as well as a narration of an impressively illustrated graphic short story. Watch it here.

Happy International Women's Day! This week on “That's So Raven” we reflect on being one year into the pandemic. Be sure to check out the inspiring and moving description of Sequoia’s Operation Smile Club, which helps raise money for surgeries for kids with cleft conditions. “That’s So Raven” is a Sequoia ASB Production.

1:15​ Announcements
1:49 Club Spotlight: Operation Smile
3:44​ Weather
3:50​ Football Interview
5:20 Fun Feminist Facts
6:50​ Outro/Credits
Meet me in the Media Center

Check out the Media Center’s latest newsletter and follow us on Instagram to keep up with upcoming events, author talks, and more.
Education Foundation
Your contributions create a positive impact

The work SHSEF does is vital to moving us forward towards our aspirations. SHSEF funds programs for family support and parent education; mini-grants for students; professional development; and college and career counseling. SHSEF relies on our community’s generosity to achieve fundraising goals, which helps bridge the gap between state and federal funding. Invest in Sequoia so our students have what they need to succeed. A contribution of any size can make a difference at Sequoia. Donate today.

Many employers will match your gift to SHSEF. To learn more, contact us.
The Parent Education Series

Each person has a set of shared human needs – for support, expression, recognition, meaning, and connection. By closing the gap between who we are on the inside and who we show up as at home, work, or school, we create more meaningful connections, healthier communication, deeper engagement – and ultimately more powerful results. Ashanti Branch, M.Ed., is the founder and Executive Director of the Ever Forward Club, an organization providing support for African American and Latino young men and women. Simultaneous Spanish interpretation will be provided. Register now. 

In this webinar, Amanda Freeman, Program Director at RTS, will share the realities of online youth culture. You will come away with new resources to increase online safety for your children and teens, along with tips to spark family conversations. Register now. A Spanish version of this workshop will be offered on Thursday, April 22.

Anna Lembke, MD, is a professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University School of Medicine. Her bestselling book, “Drug Dealer, MD – How Doctors Were Duped, Patients Got Hooked, and Why It’s So Hard to Stop,” (2016) sounded the alarm about opioid over-prescribing and the opioid epidemic. Dr. Lembke recently appeared in the Netflix documentary, “The Social Dilemma,” an unvarnished look at the impact of social media on our lives, to discuss how technology impacts brain development. Register now.

This workshop provides parents with research-based strategies for self-care, including monitoring strong emotional reactions, combatting stress-inducing thinking patterns, effective goal setting, coping skills, and incorporating mindfulness and relaxation techniques. David Anderson, PhD, is the Vice President of School and Community Programs at the Child Mind Institute. Dr. Anderson specializes in evaluating and treating children and adolescents with ADHD and behavior disorders. Simultaneous Spanish interpretation will be available. Register now.
Community Resources and Events
Mar. 15: Alumni Purple Patriot nominations due

The Sequoia High School Alumni Association is soliciting nominations for its annual Purple Patriot Award that honors individuals and organizations who have demonstrated outstanding service, or provided a significant benefit to Sequoia High School. Recipients will receive a framed certificate and have their name inscribed on a trophy displayed at Sequoia.

Nominees may be from Sequoia High School or the community at large and must be submitted no later than Monday Mar. 15. Please indicate the nominee's individual or organization name, state why the nominee should receive this award, indicate specifically what role the nominee played in providing the service or benefit to Sequoia High School, and explain in detail what the service or benefit was.

Nominations may be submitted in writing to Sequoia High School Alumni Association, P. O. Box 2534, Redwood City, CA 94064; emailed to the alumni Association; or placed in the Sequoia High School Alumni Association mailbox near the Principal's office.
For questions please contact Ken Rolandelli, President of Sequoia High School Alumni Association, 650-368-0805.
SUHSD Middle College applications due Mar. 19

Click here for more information: SUHSD Middle College program.
Tales of Quarantine competition

Tales of Quarantine is a nationwide initiative challenging students ages 6-18 to showcase COVID’s impact through a wide variety of artistic expressions. Sponsored by Mission InspirEd, the competition will span from February 22 through March 21 and cover three categories of art: Media, Visual, and Writing. Students are encouraged to submit an original piece of artwork that showcases their creativity and skills, and can win up to $1,000 and be featured on the news. Learn more on MissionInspirEd’s website! 
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