March 27, 2017

Sequoia PTSA's weekly eNewsletter in partnership with the Sequoia High School Education Foundation
Principal's Message
"Stability in government is essential to national character and to the advantages annexed to it, as well as to that repose and confidence in the minds of the people, which are among the chief blessings of civil society."
- James Madison, Federalist No. 37

This Thursday, four representatives from each 3rd period class will participate in the 3rd Annual Sequoia High School ASB Convention .  A guest speaker from the Redwood City mayor's office will address students on the topic of civic engagement.  Candidates will give speeches, debate topics, and take direct questions from the elected representatives.  The assembled body of students will then vote.   Those results are combined with results from the schoolwide general election to determine next year's ASB officers.  

The selection of delegates will be different in every class.  Many teachers use the event as an opportunity to discuss how a representative government functions and ways in which delegates can best advocate on behalf of their constituents -- always a topical and relevant subject.

This event borrows elements from national political conventions, the U.S. Electoral College, a parliament, and a constitutional convention.  It is a hands-on social studies lesson which students very much seem to enjoy.  Activities Coordinator Corey Uhalde encourages students to take the role-playing elements of the activity seriously by assigning each class delegation a state to represent.  He also encourages students to dress thematically with their state.  I'll buy lunch for the delegation who brings along a box of scuppernong grapes, the state fruit of North Carolina.

The Sequoia ASB convention will take place between 9-12.

A reminder that Friday 3/31 is a non-student, non-teacher day at Sequoia.  Monday 3/27 will be a B-Day schedule, with the rest of the week following the A/B pattern.

Have a great week!

Spring 2017 Mini-Grants Awarded
moneybag_graphic.jpg The Sequoia PTSA Mini-Grants committee is pleased to announce the 2017 Spring Mini-Grants recipients!  We had nearly 40 applicants and were able to grant 24 awards.

It is exciting to see the many and varied projects that Sequoia teachers and students are proposing. Ear mounts for theatre program microphones will enhance the actor and audience experience while protecting our investment in the microphones.  Ms. Snow, our media specialist, plans to create a podcasting station for the media center; and Chrome-cart headphones for the Health Careers Academy will help bring lessons to life.  Tower gardens to be built near the environmental science and culinary classrooms will benefit both of those programs.  By assisting with national dues, the PTSA will be able to help Sequoia's Best Buddies Club focus on projects such as a Best Buddies Prom for special ed students and general ed friends.  Other awards include field trips, incentive programs, and more.  For a complete list, see the PTSA website.

Many thanks to the PTSA Mini-Grants committee for their insight and thoughtful deliberation.  Thank you DeeDee Clarke, Glenn Bugos, Irma Lopez, Jayne Sungail, Karen Latina, Laura Downs, Lauren Pachkowski, Meg Fitzpatrick, Rachel Levine, Regina Staufenberg, Sandra Bennett, and Matt Kowitt.  Thank you also to Principal Sean Priest for helping to sort through the grants and finding funds for many worthy projects that we were unable to fund.

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

Prom Gallery: Donate Dresses, Shoes, Accessories
The Sequoia Parent Center is collecting new and very gently used prom dresses for the  Sequoia Prom Gallery.  The Prom Gallery will be held Thursday, April 6th and Friday, April 7th at Sequoia for any Sequoia student who feels discouraged by the cost of a prom dress. Donations may be dropped off at the Sequoia Parent Center by Wednesday, April 5th. We are also accepting new and very gently used shoes and accessories. If you have any questions, please contact Tammy Bené at

A Night at the Symphony
Last Friday evening, twenty-five Sequoia band students took a field trip to a concert by the Peninsula Symphony at the San Mateo Performing Arts Center.  The concert featured trumpet soloist Mary Elizabeth Bowden who performed two works, and violinist Debra Fong who soloed during the performance of Scheherazade.   The students were able to attend a pre-concert talk to learn more about the pieces in the program, and also had the opportunity to meet Ms. Bowden after the concert.  A big thanks to Ms. Woodman for organizing this wonderful opportunity for our band students!

Ms. Woodman and band students at the Peninsula Symphony concert last Friday.

Did You Know...
In addition to this Sentinel newsletter and the Sequoia HS website, there are lots of other resources for you to find information about Sequoia!  Check out these websites:
And these documents may also be helpful:
Proctors Needed: Please Sign Up This Week, Don't Wait!
Thanks to our fabulous parent volunteers, we have signed up nearly half the proctors needed for our IB and AP exams from April 28 to May 19 -- but we still need to fill 41 of 80 slots.  So please sign up this week so we can get all our volunteers cleared before spring break.

Parents may proctor an IB exam their student is taking, but please check with your student first to be sure they would be comfortable with this.   For  AP exams, you may not proctor an AP exam that your student is taking. 

To find out more and sign up for a slot, click here .  After signing up, you will be contacted via email by Elisa Nino-Sears, Sequoia's Academic Volunteer coordinator. There is a quick and simple clearance process for all volunteers placed in academic settings.

IB FUN FACT:  Sequoia will have 368 students sitting for 917 IB exams this testing session (2017).  Each IB subject exam is carried out over two to three days.

Questions? Email Erika Pretell at .

Are You Social? Introverted? Creative? An Organizer?
Whatever your skills and talents are, there's a place to make an impact at Sequoia!  The Sequoia PTSA hosts a wide variety of activities each year -- teacher appreciation events, Reflections Arts program, Grad Week activities, awarding funds through Junior Scholarships and Mini-Grants, supporting families in need, internal duties such as communications and financials, and much more.

We have something for everyone, from small jobs to larger jobs, and all help make Sequoia the great community that it is.  And, it's a great way to get to know other parents, students, and the Sequoia staff while you're at it!  We invite everyone to get involved, please contact  Lauren Pachkowski via  if you'd like to learn more about PTSA opportunities for next year.

Order Your LoveBags This Week!
Sales for LoveBags will end on March 31st!    See this flyer  or visit  and enter code 5ZF16 along with Sequoia High School Class of 2017.  We'll receive 40% back on each order received! There is free shipping on orders of $75 or more, so do some early Mother's Day shopping today.  Thank you to everyone who has bought LoveBags this year to support our Grad Week activities!

In This Issue
Monday, March 27
B Day schedule

Friday, March 31
Cesar Chavez Day observed - No school

Monday, April 3
Collab day

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

Wednesday, April 19
6:30 PM - Incoming Freshmen Welcome Event, MPR

Saturday, April 22
7 PM - Prom

Tue, April 25-Fri, April 28
CAASPP Bell Schedule (late arrival for 9, 10, 12 grades)

Wednesday, April 26
7 PM - Orchestra and Choir Concert, Carrington Hall

Thursday, April 27
7 PM - Band Concert, Carrington Hall
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En Español
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Parent Education

Sequoia Parent Education Series
Documentary Film - SCREENAGERS: Growing Up in the Digital Age 
Thursday, April 20, 7:00-9:00 PM   S Parent Ed
Sequoia High School, Carrington Hall  

Join us for the last showing of SCREANAGERS this year!  Award-winning documentary SCREENAGERS probes into the vulnerable corners of family life, depicting messy struggles over social media, video games, academics, and internet addiction.
Through surprising insights from authors, brain scientists, parents and kids, solutions emerge on how we can empower kids to best navigate the digital world.
Parents, students, faculty/staff and community members welcome! 
Spanish subtitles will be available. Free admission.
Sequoia Parent Education Series events are sponsored by the SHSEF, the Sequoia Healthcare District, and the Sequoia Union High School District.
Questions? Contact Charlene Margot, M.A., Director, The Parent Education Series, at   or  650-868-0590 . For Spanish, contact Mayela Ramirez, Parent Center Coordinator,  650-367-9780, Ext. 63105