April 17, 2017

Sequoia PTSA's weekly eNewsletter in partnership with the Sequoia High School Education Foundation
Principal's Message
Tuesday through Friday of next week (4/25-4/28), Sequoia 11th Graders will take the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (AKA CAASPP).  Current 11th graders have taken a practice version of the test (in the form of pilot tests and interim assessments) at least 3 times going back to ninth grade.  

The CAASPP is an adaptive test, meaning questions students are asked are, in part, determined by responses they give to previous questions.  The test is administered through a web portal.  Our students will be given Chromebooks to take the test and provided headphones for listening portions.

Each portion of the test (ELA and Math) will require students to complete a performance task.  In ELA, this will involve writing.  In math, demonstration analysis and reasoning will be required, which will also include a written component.  The CAASPP is aligned with Common Core Standards.

This is the third year we've administered this form of standardized assessment at Sequoia.  The test is only taken by 11th graders, but ALL students 9-11 completed an interim assessment in the Fall.  The purpose of the interim assessments is to measure progress and help familiarize students with the testing format.  

Like last year, families will get a mailing with their student's individual scores from the state sometime this summer.  It is a six-page report containing both qualitative and quantitative feedback on student performance.  Districts and schools will also receive individual and aggregate performance results.  For the second time since we started with the implementation of CAASPP, we will be able to compare this year's results to 2014 and 2015 baseline data.  

Performance on the test will be used by California State Universities as a measure of college readiness for incoming freshmen, so scoring well could save time and money on placement tests for college-bound California high schoolers.

Standardized assessment should never be the sole measure of school success.  It is a useful tool to identify ways in which we can better serve our students.  It also reflects outwardly how we're doing as a school, so the results matter for the community at large.  Your student contributes to the good of the school by doing their best on the CAASPP.

Thanks and have a great week!

Prom Gallery Extended Through Tuesday
Many girls were able to choose prom dresses at the  Sequoia Prom Gallery before spring break!  To enable even more students to benefit from this opportunity, the Prom Gallery has been extended. Interested students should come to Room 127 (the Art Gallery) on Monday or Tuesday during lunch or after school until 6 PM.   If you have any questions, please contact Tammy Bené at

Spring Spirit Week!

This year's Spring Spirit Week themes are:
  • Mon, 4/17: Tacky Tourist Day
  • Tue, 4/18: Tie-Dye Tuesday
  • Wed, 4/19: Wayback Wednesday
  • Thu, 4/20: Dynamic Duos
  • Fri, 4/21: Color Day
    • Freshmen: white
    • Sophomores: black
    • Juniors: purple
    • Seniors: all
Students will be given Spirit Cards, and when students dress up for one of the spirit days, they will get their punch card stamped on the appropriate day. At the end of the week, they can turn in their cards for chances to win prizes. The more days they dress up, the more chances they have to win!!

Photographers Honored
Congratulations to Photo 2 Students  Alan Calvillo, Jessica Garcia, Erik Huisman, Kayleen McSweeney and Josh Woodward,  whose work were selected in the Finalist Category of the Photographer Forum Magazine's 37th Annual College and High School Photography Contest. Their photographs will be published in the "Best of College and High School Photography 2017" publication coming out in June 2017. 

Established in 1977, Photographer's Forum magazine is an award-winning quarterly publication dedicated to quality reproduction of photography in the United States. Photographer's  Forum Magazine hosts high school and college photography contests every year.  Sequoia Photo 2 students have participated in these contests for the last three years.  Over 13,000 high school students from all over the country submitted their photographs for consideration.  This year's winners can be viewed on the Photographer's Forum website .
Photo contest 2017 Photo contest 2017 Photo contest 2017
Photo contest 2017
Photos by: Top row - Josh Woodward, Kayleen McSweeney;
Middle row - Jessica Garcia, Alan Calvillo;
Bottom - Erik Huisman

Just a Few More Proctors Needed
There are only 9 spots left to fill for proctoring IB and AP exams! Sign up here today so that the clearance process can be completed in time.  Thank you to everyone who has already volunteered for this very important task!

Dance Shout-Out
Congratulations to the Advanced Dance class, Intermediate Dance class, guest senior boys, and dance teacher Ms. Taylor White for their fabulous performances on April 7 and 8!  The show continued the tradition of demonstrating the amazing dancing and choreography talents of our Sequoia students!

PTSA Junior Scholarship Applications Due April 18
Juniors, remember that applications for our annual PTSA Junior Scholarships are due tomorrow:  Tuesday, April 18 by 10 PM.   The scholarships recognize students for their academic success, for community service, or for achievement in the face of socio-economic challenges.

This is a great way to get a head start in your college applications, to be recognized for all you've done to make Sequoia a better place, and to have some extra money to continue your education!   Apply for PTSA Junior Scholarships here. 

In This Issue
Spirit Week!

Monday, April 17
Collab day

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
7:30 PM - Prom, SF City Hall

Monday, April 24
Collab day

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

April 28-May 24
IB & AP Exams

Monday, May 1
School holiday

Friday, May 12 and Saturday, May 13
7 PM - Sequoia comedy: Neil Simon's Plaza Suite, Carrington Hall

Tuesday, May 23
5:30 PM - IB Ceremony, Carrington Hall
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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 SCREENAGERS 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
Community News

"Med School Morning"
Stanford Medicine "Health Matters" Community Event
Saturday, May 20, 9 AM-2 PM
Stanford University School of Medicine  
Li Ka Shing Center for Learning and Knowledge, 291 Campus Drive, Stanford

Is your student considering a career in medicine?  The first step in the long, challenging and rewarding journey of becoming a health care professional is deciding if a career in medicine is right for you.  On Saturday, May 20, Stanford Medicine will host "Med School Morning" for high school students interested in coming to campus to attend a program that touches upon a variety of medical and scientific topics taught by some of the country's top experts.  This popular program is free and will include lectures, hands-on presentations and interactive activities.  Participants will receive a certificate of completion after attending and fully participating in the morning.

Space is limited and the program fills up quickly.  Registration for this event is now open, see this flyer for more information.  To register or learn more please visit

Med School Morning is a part of our larger community event, Health Matters.  Parents and all community members are welcome to join and participate by attending the Health Talks or the Health Pavilion.