May 14, 2018

Sequoia PTSA's weekly eNewsletter in partnership with the Sequoia High School Education Foundation
Principal's Message
This Friday at its annual Kent Awards Banquet, the San Mateo County School Boards Association will recognize Sequoia's Judy Romero as the winner of it's Emily Garfield Award, given each year to an individual with outstanding commitment to serving and supporting the success of students through social/emotional development.  Judy coordinates Sequoia's Teen Resource Center.

Picture the Sequoia High School Teen Resource Center: a room large enough for three couches, a communal table, 5 small offices/breakout rooms adjacent, a countertop, and some cabinets.  Imagine time lapse footage of the room, compounding the goings-on of a single school day. Staff enters early: a county therapist, multiple intern-therapists, Americorps interns, a youth development coordinator.

Throughout the day, students drop in or arrive to the TRC for appointments.  At lunch the space fills with students. Some days these students are working on initiatives as part of the Youth Advisory Board, planning a school-wide needs-assessment survey or a health fair.  Other days, the video game club will set up their consoles on the TV screens and commence with raucous play. What you won't be able to discern, even observing a full day in the TRC, is a "type". The Sequoia TRC is a place where all kids are made to feel safe and welcome.  

In the center of this daily wash is Judy Romero, the TRC's Director.  Somehow, amidst so much activity, Judy is meeting with students, advising staff, managing crises, debriefing parents, supervising interns, and administering the myriad partnerships and grants which make such a vital resource possible in a public high school like Sequoia.  What I've described above would be considered a relatively quiet day for Judy.

She has been involved from the outset in Sequoia's innovative Team Ascent and Student Aspirations Advocate Programs which serve the most at-risk incoming ninth graders.  She is part of the open-arms approach used to welcome these students to the school culture, embodying Sequoia's "Place of Friends" motto and making sure the students know there is a place on campus where safety and acceptance are the rule, and how to recognize events and actions that may invoke negative reactions.
Judy is an expert in a trauma-informed approach to working with at-risk youth.  She has also been integral in shifting students and staff culture through the implementation of mindfulness practices school-wide at Sequoia.   Partnering with Mission Be, Judy has overseen the training of over 60 Sequoia teachers who have implemented mindfulness practices in their classes, serving students of all backgrounds and academic levels.  In her understanding that stress, anxiety, and helplessness does not target any one subgroup, and that antecedents arise from all kinds of places, Judy demonstrates how vital she is to every aspect of Sequoia's diverse campus life. We've even implemented mindfulness practices in our staff meetings.

When Sequoia faced the tragic death of one of our students this year, Judy's professionalism, grace, and compassion were at the core of our community's healing.  Her steady guidance and wisdom in the face of trauma strengthened our resolve to hold together. There is no better partner amidst the unspeakable than Judy Romero.

Emily Garfield stood for the belief that every kid has a compelling story and as educators, our compassion and unconditional positive regard is prerequisite to academic success.  Judy Romero, in her work directing Sequoia High School's Teen Resource Center, lives that belief every day and represents a vivid link to the Garfield legacy in San Mateo County.  Congratulations to Judy -- we are lucky to have her as part of the Sequoia High School community.

Have a great week!

Celebrate Spring With the Sweet Sounds of Sequoia's Musicians!  
On Tuesday, May 15 from 4 - 5:30 PM in the B Quad, the Sequoia Choir will have its 7 th Annual Vocal Showcase.
Choir students will present solos and ensembles in different musical styles (pop, country, musical theater and more) as they celebrate their musical heritage and culture!
All are welcome to come relax to some fantastic choral music and a food-filled late afternoon with the Sequoia High School Choir!
Jazz Ensemble will be playing for San Carlos Hometown Days (in Burton Park) from 9 - 10 AM on Sunday, May 20
This year, the Pops concert will be on the baseball field at 7 PM on Thursday, May 24. It's an outdoor free concert featuring the combined music groups (bands, orchestra, and choir). Everyone is welcome and don't forget to bring blankets/chairs to sit on - and maybe pack a meal and enjoy an evening of music under the stars! 
"The Brothers Grimm Spectaculthon" Hits the Stage at Carrington Hall

Don't' miss this fun mashup of all 209 Grimm Brothers' fairy tales in one evening! Performances are Fri and Sat, May 18 & 19, and tickets ($10 students/seniors, $15 adults) are available at , from the school treasurer, and at the door.

Saturday's performance is our annual Sequoia Players Scholarship performance, with all proceeds going to scholarships for SHS drama students.
Come join the fun and support Sequoia's theater program.
Mandatory IB Meeting for Class of 2020 - All Interested Candidates
Current sophomores interested in pursuing the IB Diploma, you are required to attend a mandatory meeting that will be held in Carrington Hall on Wednesday, May 23, during lunch.  If you are sick and unable to attend, you must email Ms. Williams ( immediately to set up another meeting to review the presentation and obtain the summer CAS assignment. 
This meeting is not optional.  If you are undecided about pursuing the IB Diploma, we strongly encourage you to attend to have any questions you may have answered.   This meeting is for students only.  A separate meeting will be held for parents in the fall.  We look forward to seeing you there!
- IB Coordinator 
Help Bring in the Books!
As always, the end of the year means the library is busy collecting and organizing books.  If you can, please sign up here to help our wonderful Media Center Duo - Ms. Snow and Ms. Schadler!
And while you're there, you just may get the inside scoop on the exciting renovation plans for our new media center.
Contact Betsy Snow for more information:  
Special Olympics at Sequoia! 
Sequoia High School once again hosted the annual Special Olympics "Super Stars Day" track and field events on Friday, May 4 th .
The day was an unqualified success with more than 480 athletes participating and 210 volunteers from around the County lending their help.  Sequoia Leadership students, ASB students, and Sequoia Basketball players all took roles in making the day run smoothly.
The day consisted of an opening ceremony with a parade, events such as wheelchair-assisted races, mile run, throws and jumps, and relay races. The day concluded with a closing ceremony, food, and celebrating on the field. Congratulations to all our athletes and to all the folks that helped make this day great! 
According to Mr. Bell, the event organizer:
"There are so many people that need to be acknowledged! Coach Fine and Felicia helped implement so many aspects, from preparing and delivering lunches to the athletes, to singing the National Anthem, and coordinating basketball players to support the event.  Student leadership and ASB students served as ambassadors, event set-up and management, and opening ceremony support...including Master of Ceremonies.
Sequoia staff and administration who went the extra mile:
Corey Uhalde for helping get the leadership students rallied, and the entire admin department, Gary Gooch, Kristin Stout, and Sean Priest, making sure we had all of the facilities and support we needed."

Special Olympics 2018
Au Revoir to Sequoia's French Exchange Students

The Sequoia French program is always happy to participate in language and cultural exchange each year.  Sequoia families recently hosted 8 students from the northwestern part of France.  They arrived April 26th and returned home on May 10th.  Thanks to their American buddies and their teachers, the French students were able to experience real, American high school life!
From the State PTA: May is Mental Health Month
When we talk about health, we can't just focus on heart, liver or brain health and not on the health of the entire body, which includes your mind.  You have to see the whole person, and make use of the tools and resources that benefit minds and bodies together.  That's why this year, the May is Mental Health Month theme is  Fitness #4mind4body .
Since 1949, Mental Health America and affiliates across the country have led the observance of May as Mental Health Month by reaching millions of people through the media, local events and screenings.
California State PTA joins with Mental Health America and other organizations to join in spreading the word that mental health is something everyone should care about by using the May is Mental Health Month toolkit materials and conducting awareness activities. Learn more at 
Attention Class of 2019: Grad Night Fundraising Help Needed!
It's hard to believe that our students are just over a year away from graduating!  Plans for Grad Night 2019 are already underway, including fundraisers that help keep ticket prices affordable for students.  Please consider helping with one or both of these projects that are happening over the next month; they're a fun way to get to know your fellow parents!

Candy Leis
We are making and selling graduation candy leis to incoming 8th grade families and we need your help.  We still need a few candy donations and a couple more people to make leis on May 18th. Please SIGN-UP


Email Susie Vick ( with any questions.
Concessions at the 2018 Grad Ceremony
Get a peek at what Graduation is like! Click here to volunteer for the Graduation Concession Stand: 
  • Donate food - donuts, muffins and beverages
  • Help at the Concession Stand on Friday, June 8 - shifts are from:
    1. 8:00-10:30 AM
    2. 10:00AM-12:30 PM
    3. 12:20-2:30 PM. 
Email Lisa Hane ( with any questions. Thank you for your help!

~ Class of 2019 Grad Committee 
'Tis the Season For IB Celebration!
Do you Have an Hour or Two to help?
Parent help is needed to make the IB Ceremony a success.  Set up, clean up, and help with food on the day of the ceremony, Tuesday, May 22 from 5:30 to 7:30 PM in Carrington Hall. To volunteer, email Glenn Bugos at
Senior families - Even if you can't help, don't forget to join us on Tuesday evening at this wonderful event to honor our students! 
In This Issue

Tuesday, May 15
4 PM - 5:30 PM - 7th Annual Vocal Showcase , B Quad
Wednesday, May 16 
7 PM - Spring Sports Award Ceremony, MPR
Saturday, May 19 
4-8 PM - Support SHS Cheerleaders by Dining Out at Chipotle , San Carlos. 50% of proceeds go to the cheerleaders! 
Fri & Sat, May 18-19
7 PM - Spring Play: The Brothers Grimm Spectaculthon , Carrington Hall
Sunday, May 20 
9 AM - Sequoia Jazz Ensemble will perform at the San Carlos Hometown Days Festival, Burton Park 

Tuesday, May 22
5:30 PM - IB Ceremony, Carrington Hall

Wednesday, May 23
Lunch - Mandatory IB Meeting for 10th Graders interested in the IB Diploma (students only), Carrington Hall.

Wednesday, May 23
4 PM - AVID Graduation, Carrington Hall

Thursday, May 24
7 PM - Pops Concert (Bands, Orchestra, Choir), Sequoia baseball field

Monday, May 28
Memorial Day - No school

Wednesday, June 6
6:30 PM  - Senior Awards, Carrington Hall

Thursday, June 7
Last Day of School!

Friday, June 8
10 AM  - Graduation,
Terremere Field
Update Your  Info for the 2018-19 School Year
Don't forget to update your info to ensure your child is registered for the 2018-19 school year. The mailed info packet contains instructions on how to submit your online information update - please do so by May 25, 2018.

The packet also contains information about summer school, summer reading requirements (see also the English department webpage), and fall athletics.   Click here for the SUHSD 2018-19 calendar.
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SUHSD Parent Education Series - All Are Welcome
Jess Shatkin, MD, MPH, Author, Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist (NYU)
Born to Be Wild: Why Teens Take Risks, and How We Can Help Keep Them Safe 
Thursday, May 17, 7:00-8:30 PM 
M-A Performing Arts Center (PAC)
Acclaimed adolescent psychiatrist and educator Dr. Jess Shatkin brings more than two decades' worth of research and clinical experience to the subject, along with cutting-edge findings from brain science, evolutionary psychology, and other disciplines -- plus a widely curious mind and the perspective of a concerned dad himself. 
Jess Shatkin, MD, MPH , is Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Pediatrics at New York University School of Medicine. His new book, Born to Be Wild, is a winner of the 2017 National Parenting Product Award. 
Parents, students, educators, and community members welcome! 
Free admission and light refreshments.
The Parent Education Series events are sponsored by Carlmont PTSA, M-A PTA, SHSEF, Woodside PTSA, Sequoia Healthcare District, and Sequoia Union High School District. Special funding from Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF).
Questions? Contact Charlene Margot, M.A., Director, The Parent Education Series. 
Community News
Free Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra (PACO) Spring Concerts  
Enjoy a series of Spring concerts (May through June) featuring winners of this year's PACO Concerto Competition. These talented young string players will perform music by Haydn, Bruch, Saint-Saens, Ravel and more. Don't miss the collection of works from Bach to Bernstein with violin soloist Robin Sharp in Senior PACO's last program of the season. If you do, you'll have a second chance on June 15 before they bring this winning collection on tour of Spain and Portugal. All concerts are ADMISSION FREE and for the entire family to enjoy. 
Sat, May 19, 7:30PM, Cubberley Theatre  (Benjamin Simon, conductor) Senior PACO
Sun, May 20,  3PM, Mitchell Park Comm. Center (Benjamin Simon, conductor) Preparatory Orchestra
Sat, Jun 2, 7:30PMCubberley Theatre  (Benjamin Simon, conductor) Sinfonia Orchestra  
Sun, Jun 3, 12PMCubberley Theatre  (Natasha Makhijani, conductor) Superstrings Orchestra 
Sun, Jun 3, 4PMCubberley Theatre  (Benjamin Simon, conductor) Debut Orchestra
Fri, Jun 15, 7:30PMCubberley Theatre (Benjamin Simon, conductor) Senior PACO  
For more information about  PACO and concert details, please visit or email
Alpine Strikers Fall Soccer Tryouts 
Is your child excited to play soccer and wants to try out for club soccer and receive coaching from our professional soccer coaches? Consider our local club serving our Menlo Park, Portola Valley, Woodside communities. Making new friends with like-minded soccer enthusiasts, training and working on soccer skills within a high energy team environment. Tryouts are at different times for each age group toward the end of May. For details and registration, please visit 
Voter's Choice Act - Education Workshops
The San Mateo County's Registration & Elections Division is hosting public workshops for non-Eng lish speakers, seniors and the disability community to discuss the Voter's Choice Act a nd hear feedback from members of the public.  The Voter's Choice Act fundamentally transforms elections to an All-Mailed Ballot/Vote Center Model.

California Gov. Jerry Brown signed this landmark law on Sept. 29, 2016.  See the list of upcoming events and if your organization would like to host a Voter's Choice Act event, contact us at 

Please click here for a listing of Voter's Choice Act information events, held by the League of Women Voters. For more information on the Voter's Choice Act, go to
District Elections - It Matters to You!
The SUHSD Board of Trustees held a public meeting on the election process for their Board under a new by-district voting plan, which should make the Board more representative and reduce the cost of running.  Many Sequoia families live in what is now area A, the neighborhoods in San Carlos, Redwood Shores, and Redwood City to the northeast of the Sequoia campus. 

Many other Sequoia families live in area D, south of Roosevelt Ave. toward Menlo Park.  Trustees for both areas A and D will be elected on November 6.  August 10 is the filing deadline.  To see which area you live in, check the districting map found the election site.

For information on how to file to run, visit the San Mateo County Registration & Elections Division site.  For preliminary questions on the Board election process, please contact SUHSD Superintendent Mary Streshly (