May 1, 2017

Sequoia PTSA's weekly eNewsletter in partnership with the Sequoia High School Education Foundation
President's Message
I stepped out of my car in front of Sequoia the other day and caught a whiff of something, well...intoxicating.  No, it wasn't what you may think considering I was in a high school parking lot post-passage of Prop. 64. No, it wasn't the fumes from the cars whizzing by on Brewster Avenue either.

That scent was freshly cut, verdant green grass.  I was compelled to take another deep breath, and a wave of memories came flooding into my head. New grass in Detroit where I grew up signaled the end of frigid winters and inspired the anticipation of summer -- riding bikes, swimming in the lake, and yes, mowing the lawn every Saturday a 9:00 AM, ugh!  My weekly lawn-care chore involved wheeling the hand mower out of the garage, checking for oil levels and filling up the gas tank, and yanking on that darn recoil starter handle (again and again) until the engine rumbled awake. The rest of the morning was spent pushing that mower back and forth and back and forth across the yard with marching band precision (prescribed by my dad) until that shaggy lawn looked like my kids after a visit to Super Cuts; clean and tidy!
There can be something wonderfully meditative about endless repetition of a task despite how monotonous or even mind-numbing that task is. And that repetition (dare I say, practice) can lead to amazing outcomes. Consider our Sequoia students... Anyone who attended the recent Dance Show or the Orchestra/Choir and Band Concerts can attest to the power of practice -- let's run that song one more time, please!  Our spring athletes who have spent hours on the baseball field hitting, throwing, catching (repeat as needed) or who swim length after length in the chilly waters demonstrate what practice can do. In classrooms our students who are asked every day by dedicated teachers to work and re-work a math problem or endlessly revise an essay can feel a real sense of pride when they finally "get it"!
In the life of a student, all this practice culminates with the yearly rite of passage -- the end of another school year.  For our seniors, they'll be moving on to life after Sequoia -- work, college, or university where more challenges and lots more practice awaits!  And for the rest of our students, it will be back to our beautiful campus in August to see friendly faces, meet new friends, and to smell that freshly cut grass.
But until then, we have 29 days left of school, IB tests, final exams and papers, celebrations and evaluations and graduations, and lots to do.  As happens every May and June, there will be lots of requests for parent help around school: 2017 Grad Week activities, teacher appreciation luncheon, textbook returns, and more.  All the support that we receive from our parents means so much to our students and staff and is VERY APPRECIATED!  So parents and students alike, let's roll up our sleeves and launch into these final weeks with positive thoughts and good energy and Sequoia's UNALIYI spirit.  I look forward to seeing you around school!
Happy May!
Lisa Hane

PTSA Meeting: Let's Celebrate!
On Tuesday, May 2nd at 7 PM in the MPR, the PTSA is holding our year-end celebration and we'd love for you to join us!

We will recognize our incoming and outgoing board members as well as honor some special PTSA volunteers whose last student is graduating this year.  Enjoy refreshments while catching up with some old friends and meeting some new families.   Everyone is welcome to this annual tradition!  View the full agenda here.

Sequitur District Newsletter
Did you see the latest issue of the SUHSD newsletter that came out last week?  It includes an introduction to the incoming SUHSD Superintendent, Dr. Mary Streshly, along with other news from the district!   Read the Sequitur here.

Do You Love to Organize?
As we approach the end of the school year, it will soon be time to organize the library and check in all of the textbooks that the students have used during the year.  We need volunteers from May 22 to June 8 to help our library media team with this huge task -- it's a fun way to meet other parents and to see a lot of the students!  If you're ready to do some lifting and get a little dusty,  sign up here   for a morning or afternoon shift.  Being there for even part of the shift will be helpful.  Thank you!

Join Us at Plaza Suite
In Plaza Suite, theater legend Neil Simon rolls out three self-contained one-act relationship comedies, all set in suite 719 of New York City's Plaza Hotel. 

In the first act, The Visitor from Mamaroneck, a troubled suburban couple attempts to return to the scene of their honeymoon to recapture the love they once felt 23 -- or was it 24? -- years ago. Next up is The Visitor from Hollywood, a tale of a movie producer's attempts to seduce an ex-girlfriend, now a suburban housewife. Plaza Suite ends on a high note with The Visitor from Forest Hills, as a bride has locked herself in the bathroom on her wedding day, with her parents desperate to get her out. 

Book yourself a room to see Plaza Suite in Carrington Hall on May 12 and 13 at 7 PM -- tickets are available at

10th Graders Interested in IB Diploma
Are you interested in doing the full IB Diploma? If yes, you must meet deadlines this school year to sign up. Here are the steps to being an IB Diploma Candidate:
  1. Attend the mandatory 10th Grade IB Diploma Meeting on Thursday, May 25th in Carrington Hall during the student lunch. We will begin promptly at 12:15. During this meeting we will review the CAS component for the Diploma. This meeting is for students only. All 10th graders interested in pursuing the IB Diploma must attend.
  2. Officially declare your IB Diploma status by June 1st. After you attend the meeting, you have a week to make your decision. If you want to do the IB Diploma, you will need to come to the IB Office in person and officially sign up by completing the IB Diploma Declaration Form. June 1st is a firm deadline. If you do not meet this deadline, you will not be eligible for the IB Diploma. 
  3. Complete the brief CAS assignment over the summer. The assignment and due date will be reviewed during the May 25th meeting.
  4. Attend the mandatory 11th Grade CAS Meeting on August 29th, next school year. Details and meeting sign-ups to come later....
Please see Ms. McCahon in the IB Office or email her at with any questions.

Pamoja Online IB Course Opportunity
Attention  10th Grade Students and Families:
Are you interested in taking an IB course online through Pamoja next year? Not enough room in your schedule for everything or want to access an IB course like IB Film, Economics or Philosophy that we do not offer at Sequoia?  

IB electives on Pamoja can be used to fulfill a Group 6 Diploma IB elective requirement. All courses are two years and therefore, this opportunity is open to only 10th graders to enroll for junior and senior year. Email or see Ms McCahon for an application. Scholarships are available for students qualifying for free/reduced lunch. You do NOT have to be a Diploma  student to take  Pamoja. Applications ( click here for a copy of the application) are due May 26th to the IB office. 

Thank you,
Ms. McCahon

Save the Date: 
Stand Up for Public Schools
Wednesday, May 10 - Mark Your Calendars!
On Wednesday, May 10th,  SHSEF  is participating in  STAND UP FOR PUBLIC SCHOOLS with other neighborhood schools and districts in a day of giving to support our students.
Our local public schools provide a dynamic, high quality education for our students. Education foundations, like SHSEF, were established in order to bridge the gap between shrinking state funding and the true cost of providing an outstanding educational experience for our students.
On May 10th, make your contribution to support Sequoia High School!   This event is a great way for the Sequoia community to support Sequoia students and teachers by investing in  Academic Enrichment  programs like smaller class sizes College & Career  programs such as College Day for all Sequoia freshmen, and  Professional Development  programs like Staff Technology Training grants.

Join us on May 10th! 
Make your donation and support Sequoia students!

Enjoy a Night Out on the Bay!
9th, 10th and 11th grade Parents: Are you interested in a fun night on the SF Bay? Grad Night chaperones have almost as much fun as the graduates themselves. No, these students may not want to see you out on the dance floor, but you get a free midnight dinner, all the coffee you need to stay awake and best of all, you get an inside view of what your student will be doing on their own Grad Night. 

We have 3 wonderful chaperones so far and we are looking for 7 more volunteers. It truly is a fun event. If you have any questions, feel free to contact Jill Berry at  or Donna Fiore at   Click here to sign up!

Seniors: Buy Your Grad Night Tickets
Don't delay, Grad Night Tickets are still on sale for $75 through the month of May.  Purchase your tickets here for the 2017 Safe & Sober Grad Night Cruise!  

In This Issue
Monday, May 1
School holiday

Tuesday, May 2
7 PM - PTSA Meeting, MPR (agenda here)

Monday, May 8
Collab day

Wednesday, May 10
Stand Up for Public Schools day

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

Tuesday, May 16
4 PM - Sequoia Choir Vocal Showcase

Tuesday, May 23
5:30 PM - Senior IB Ceremony, Carrington Hall

Wednesday, May 24
7 PM - Pops Concert (Bands, Orchestra, Choir), Carrington Hall

Thursday, May 25
12:15 PM - Mandatory meeting for 10th graders interested in the IB Diploma (students only), Carrington Hall

Monday, May 29
Memorial Day Holiday
Quick Links
About Us 

Submit news to the Sentinel: For instructions, click here.

Find past issues of the Sentinel: 

En Español
¿Quieres traducir este boletín ahora? Siga estas instrucciones para obtener una traducción:
1. Haga clic en "Click here" en la parte superior del correo electrónico: "Having trouble viewing this email? Click here."
2. Mantenga presionada la tecla Control (PC) y la tecla A para seleccionar toda la página, a continuación, mantenga presionada la tecla Control y haga clic en la tecla C para copiar la página entera.
3. Abra una página nueva del navegador web y vaya a
4. Coloca el cursor en la caja y mantenga presionada la tecla Control y haga clic en la tecla V para pegar el boletín completo en el cuadro de traducción.
5. Asegúrese de seleccionar "To: Spanish" en la parte superior de la página. Haga clic en el botón Traducir. La traducción al español debe aparecer en el lado derecho.
Parent Education

SUHSD Parent Education Mini-Series
"Safe and Healthy Teens"
Sequoia Union High School District Office - Birch Room
480 James Avenue, Redwood City
In a series of four SUHSD Parent Education Mini-Series events on "Safe and Healthy Teens," attendees will learn from leading mental health professionals, psychologists, and nonprofit organizations.

  • Thursday, May 4, 2017, 10:00-11:30 AM - "Managing Emotionally-Intense Conversations with Your Teen" with Eran Magen, PhD, Stanford University
  • Tuesday, May 9, 2017, 10:00-11:30 AM - "Get Connected! Talking to Your Teen About Sexual Health," with Abi Karlin-Resnick, Executive Director, Health Connected 
  • Friday, June 2, 2017, 10:00-11:30 AM - "Help is a Text Away: How Crisis Text Line Saves Teen Lives," with Libby Craig, Regional Director, and Pamela Weiss, Crisis Counselor, Crisis Text Line
Parents, students, faculty/staff, and community members welcome!   Free admission.
Parent Education Series events are sponsored by the Sequoia Healthcare District and the Sequoia Union High School District. Special funding for this series from Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF).
Questions? Contact Charlene Margot, M.A., Founder & Director, The Parent Education Series,

Menlo-Atherton Parent Education Series
"Rethinking the College Arms Race: What Do Companies REALLY Want?"
Wednesday, May 10, 2017, 7:00 - 8:30 PM
M-A Performing Arts Center (PAC)
555 Middlefield Road, Atherton CA 94025

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? Does college make a difference? What about internships? 

Come hear from a panel of Silicon Valley professionals  responsible for sourcing talent for their companies. Learn  what matters most -- and what doesn't matter -- in making decisions about who to hire. Discussion produced and moderated by Dr. Don Williams, Palo Alto child and adolescent psychologist. 

Parents, students, faculty/staff, and community members welcome!
Spanish interpretation will be available. Free admission.
M-A Parent Education Series events are sponsored by   the M-A PTA, the Sequoia Healthcare District, and the Sequoia Union High School District.
Questions? Contact Charlene Margot, M.A., Founder & Director, The Parent Education Series, at  cmargot@csmconsulting.netFor Spanish, contact Lilly Quiñonez, Parent Center Coordinator, at 650-322-5311, Ext. 50255.