March 5, 2018

Sequoia PTSA's weekly eNewsletter in partnership with the Sequoia High School Education Foundation
President's Message
Supporting Community/Court Schools and Foster Youth
At this week's PTSA/ELAC meeting on Tuesday evening, we will have two members from our District PTA share information about the Community/Court Schools, as well as information about Foster Youth programs in our community. 

Many in our community don't realize that these programs exist, but they serve a valuable role and  support students with the greatest needs within our Sequoia community.  Community Schools offer an alternative education program that provides positive engagement for students who are in these programs.   There are several Community Schools in San Mateo County and, because of its size, students from the SUHSD often make up a majority of the students enrolled in these programs.  Many students participate for 1-2 semesters but then return to their home district to complete their education.

Over the past few years, our District PTA has worked to support the students in these Community Schools.  Books, art supplies and restorative justice training have been some of the most requested items in the past.  These kids need and deserve our support.

A few years back, one particular Community School, that was supported by the Peninsula Boys & Girls Club location, received a grant from Adobe.  With this support, the students wrote, performed and produced some amazing videos, and received national recognition for their work.  Check out one of the videos here. It's very compelling.

While our PTSA cannnot offer the same level of support as a major corporation, we can do something and it is meaningful!  I am grateful that the Sequoia PTSA makes a conscious choice to support students in these programs, and I encourage you to attend our meeting this week to learn more!

Lauren Pachkowski
Sequoia PTSA President
Spring Sequitur Available Now!
Click here to read our most recent community newsletter from the Sequoia Union High School District.

Por favor, siga este enlace para leer nuestro boletín comunitario más reciente.
PTSA Meeting and Reflections Art Show Tomorrow Night
reflections art program
Meet the students behind the work!
Come join us at 6:45 PM tomorrow - Tuesday, March 6 in the Multi-Use room for our PTSA Reflections reception.   All the art entries will be on display, and you can meet the students who created them!   Light refreshments will be served.
At 7 PM, our student artists will be officially recognized by Principal Sean Priest.  Everyone is then welcome to stay for the monthly State-of-the-School message followed by the PTSA and ELAC meetings.  

PTSA Guest Speakers:
We will have Keiko Smith and Lori McBride from the 17th District PTA presenting information to us at our meeting. They will inform us about the Community/Court School and Foster Youth program and how our school community can support these students.

View the full agenda here.  All are welcome!
Sequoia High School Presents: "The Diary of Anne Frank"
To escape the horrors of Nazi persecution, Otto Frank hides with his wife, Edith, and two daughters, Margot and Anne, in the annex above his Amsterdam office from 1942-1944. Also hiding with the Franks are four other people - the Van Daans, their son Peter, and a dentist, Mr Dussel. The families depend solely on their "Helpers," who risk everything to keep their friends safe. Through her words, Anne Frank portrays the triumph of the human spirit in the midst of suffering and cruelty. 

With the recent events related to devastating mass shootings and the development of the student-led Never Again movement, there is no better time to see this powerful work, reflect on the past, and consider the importance of unity against hate and intolerance.

Performances are March 9 & 10 at 7 PM, and March 11 at 3 PM in Carrington Hall.   Tickets are available from the school treasurer, at the door, and online at .
SAT Prep Course at Sequoia
Sequoia High School is proud to partner with local test prep experts Tried & True Tutoring throughout the 2017- 2018 school year.  Tried & True is offering an 8-week SAT compressive course designed to teach students the complete content and strategies for success on the SAT Exam, in an engaging environment.

Five more students are needed to enroll TODAY in order for the course to take place this week (starting Wed., March 7). Go to to register; select "SAT/ACT Comprehensive Courses" and then select "Sequoia HS ."  The price is $399 with discount code Sequoia  S18.
You Gotta LOVE It!
Love bags 2015-16
We continue our Love Bags sale through April.  These bags are well-made, attractive, eco-friendly and make great gifts. 40% of each order placed goes directly to support our 2018 Safe & Sober Grad Week activities.  

See this flyer  for details.  Bags can be ordered at , enter code SEQUOIA.
Mini-Grants Deadline THIS Thursday, Don't Delay!
Twice each year, the PTSA, through the support of the SHSEF, offers Mini-Grants to enhance the excellent education offered at Sequoia High School. These grants are designed to encourage creative approaches to learning and/or to address compelling need which would otherwise go unfunded. Students, teachers and staff may apply. 

Is your student a member of a club or activity that is ready to take on a new endeavor? Please encourage him or her to apply. Additional information and the application form - due Thursday, March 8 - are available on the PTSA website

PARENTS: Would you like to be on the front row to some of Sequoia's innovative educational efforts?  If you have a few hours to review applications and meet with the committee, we would love to have you on board. No experience is necessary, and there will be seasoned committee members assisting along the way. This is a great opportunity for new as well as returning Sequoia parents to learn about the great projects percolating in our school!   Contact our Mini-Grants committee chair Marlena Griffin at .

PTSA Mini-Grants are generously funded by the Sequoia High School Education Foundation
Sequoia Choir Members Attend Chanticleer Choral Festival
Last Friday, 10 members of Sequoia's Chamber Choir and Choral II group had the honor of being invited to participate in the High School Youth Choral Festival in San Francisco hosted by Chanticleer. Chanticleer is a Grammy award-winning men's ensemble that performs all over the world.  Chanticleer also provides music education experiences for students, such as this choral festival.

During the day-long event, choir members had a workshop with Chanticleer members to get feedback on selected pieces, rehearsed group pieces with Chanticleer and the other 4 high school groups who attended, and then performed a concert with all the groups in the evening. Our Sequoia students were greatly inspired by all they learned and by the amazing performances they heard (and participated in) during the event!

Above - Sequoia choir members in a workshop with Chanticleer singers last Friday.
Below - Rehearsal for the 200+ person combined choir from 5 high schools and Chanticleer at the choral festival.

Sequoia's Musicians Host Festival
music notes
The Sequoia High School Instrumental Music Program is thrilled to host Sequoia's annual Sequoia Music Festival in Carrington Hall on Friday, March 16th.
Sequoia's two bands and orchestra will be joined throughout the day by six groups from our feeder schools. All groups will play three pieces and then receive feedback, ratings, and a clinic from two judges. 

We enjoy putting on this festival every year not only because it is a wonderful opportunity for our students to showcase their hard work and get a chance to work with other directors, but also because it reinforces the strong connections we have with other music programs in the area. The Sequoia Advanced Band takes the stage at 9 AM, Intermediate Band at 10:20 AM, and Orchestra at 1 PM. Come and hear some fantastic music!
Juniors: Apply for PTSA Scholarships!
Applications for our annual PTSA Junior Scholarships are now being accepted and are due Tuesday, April 17 by 10 PM. There are three categories of scholarships to recognize students: academic success, community service, or achievement in the face of socio-economic challenges.   We have 20 scholarships to offer, each worth $250.

This is a great way for juniors to get a head start on college applications, to be recognized for all they've done to make Sequoia a better place, and to earn some extra money to continue their education!   Click here for more information on applying for PTSA Junior Scholarships.

NON-JUNIOR PARENTS: We are looking for freshman, sophomore and senior parent volunteers to join the Junior Scholarship Committee. The commitment would be 2-3 hours reviewing applications, a 2 hour meeting in mid-April to assess the applications, and some follow-up emails. Email DeeDee Clarke at  if you are interested in joining our group. 

PTSA Junior Scholarships are generously funded by the Sequoia High School Education Foundation
Don't Miss the Crab Boat - Only a Few Tickets Left!
Join us for Sequoia's 9 th Annual  Crab Dinner & Auction on Saturday, March 24th, 6-10 PM at the Hiller Aviation Museum.  

This fun event raises money to support all Sequoia Athletes.  This year alone we have purchased equipment and/or new uniforms for Girls Basketball, Lacrosse, Track, Baseball, Tennis, Football, Soccer, Cross Country, Golf, and Volleyball!  

Tickets are going fast, so don't miss out!

If you want to help but aren't able to attend, please consider donating an item or volunteering some of your time to help us make this a success.

We welcome donations like:
  • Gift cards (restaurants, services, or Costco/Smart & Final to offset our food costs)
  • Memorabilia, sporting event tickets
  • Hosted parties (dinners, Moms & Margaritas night, bowling night)
  • Getaway vacation homes.
In This Issue

Tuesday, March 6
6:45 PM - Reflections Arts reception and PTSA Meeting (7 PM), MUR

Thursday, March 8
8 PM - Deadline to apply for Sequoia PTSA Mini-Grants

March 9-11
Fri & Sat at 7 PM, Sun at 3 PM - Sequoia Drama: "The Diary of Anne Frank" in Carrington Hall (tickets here)

Monday, March 12
7 PM - Parent Education, "Tech Sex and Teen Dating Relationships," Carrington Hall

Wednesday, March 14
7 PM - Meeting for Juniors applying to private colleges, Carrington Hall (Spanish version in Room 115)

Friday, March 16
All day - Sequoia Music Festival, Carrington Hall

Saturday, March 24
6 PM - Sports Boosters Crab Dinner, Hiller Aviation Museum

Tuesday, March 27
7 PM - Spring Concert: Bands

Friday, March 30
Cesar Chavez Day - No school

Wednesday, April 4
7 PM - Spring Concert: Orchestra and Choir, Carrington Hall

Thursday, April 5
7 PM - Open House

Friday, April 6
Minimum Day (schedule here)

April 9-13
Spring Break

Tuesday, April 17
10 PM - Deadline to apply for PTSA Junior Scholarships

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Parent Education - All Are Welcome
Tuesday, March 6, 7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
Carlmont High School, Performing Arts Center (CPAC)

We hear a lot about "21st Century Skills," but what does that really mean? What kinds of skills or qualities are companies REALLY looking for in their new hires?

Come hear from a panel of Silicon Valley HR professionals - Kleiner Perkins, Google, and Tesla - responsible for sourcing talent for their companies. Discussion moderated by Dr. Don Williams, Palo Alto child and adolescent psychologist. 

Tech Sex & Teen Dating Relationships

Vanessa Kellam, Parent Engagement Coordinator, Health Connected
Monday, March 12, 7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
Sequoia High School, Carrington Hall

Join Vanessa Kellam of Health Connected for a thought-provoking discussion around the sexuality and dating culture of teenage digital natives.  Talking points will include the impact of social media and online pornography on relationships, and how parents and trusted adults can engage their children in open and honest conversations. 

Parents will receive helpful hints and learn what they can do to encourage a safe and positive dating landscape for their teens. Contrary to popular belief, teens want parental input and advice about sexual health and relationships. Come and be inspired to engage your teen in a new way! 

What Do You Consider Lethal? Parent-Teen Safe Driving Workshop
Leanna Clegg, Education Outreach Coordinator, Impact Teen Drivers
Thursday, March 22, 7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
Woodside High School, Multi-Use Room (MUR)

Automobile collisions are the leading cause of death for our nation's teens. The overwhelming majority of these crashes are caused by inexperience or distractions -- not "thrill-seeking" or deliberate risk-taking.

In this workshop, you will learn about:
  • Strategies to keep your teen safe on the road
  • Graduated Drivers Licensing (GDL) laws
  • The Rules of the Road for teen drivers
  • How YOU can stop the #1 killer of teens in America--distracted driving

Fostering Mindfulness and Emotional Intelligence in Teens
Roni Habib, Founder, EQ Schools
Wednesday, March 28, 7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
Menlo-Atherton High School, M-A Performing Arts Center (PAC)

Emotional Intelligence skills are more predictive of a person's long-term success than academic achievement. Teens who are emotionally intelligent are more resilient and optimistic about their lives. The best way for kids to learn these skills is through watching their role models practice it. 
Yet, what does it mean to be mindful?  And what does it mean to "emotion coach" as a parent? In this workshop, Roni Habib, founder of EQ Schools, will explore what our kids need to thrive and offer concrete tools to help us in our parenting journey.

Parents, students, educators, and community members welcome! 
Spanish interpretation and light refreshments offered. Free admission.
Parent Education Series events sponsored by Carlmont PTSA, M-A PTA, SHSEF, Woodside PTSA, Sequoia Healthcare District, and Sequoia Union High School District.
Questions? Contact Charlene Margot, M.A., Director, The Parent Education Series. 

Community News
"Get a Leg Up" This Summer on the #1 Primary Executive Function Skill: Working Memory
Working Memory requires a symphonic network of pictures, sounds, text, experiential connectors, executive  functioning & pragmatic language skills so that information truly is categorized and remembered the right way. Otherwise "poof" it's gone after the test. This is especially key for individuals who are great at rote memory for facts but struggle in other areas. This affects our academic performance, problem solving, social interactive skills, motivation, impulse control, etc.

WORKSHOPS SUMMER 2018: 1x-weekly all summer or intensive 5-days a week (2 wks)
Please email:  info@talkingplayhouse.comEarly Registration (save $150.00 by May 1st.)
Text:  650-678-9769.

SHS parents receive a complimentary assessment & session before June 1.