Sequoia Sentinel
May 16, 2021
Sequoia PTSA's weekly eNewsletter in partnership with the Sequoia High School Education Foundation
My calendar was double, triple, even quadruple-booked at certain points this last Friday afternoon. There was a Boys’ Varsity Baseball game on Bob Anderson Field and a Boys‘ Volleyball game overlapping. The Girls’ JV and Varsity basketball games, the night’s marquee sports events on campus, had to be canceled when one of the mandatory player COVID tests came back positive (we are still VERY much in a pandemic, yellow tiers and vaccinations notwithstanding).

All afternoon while working in my office, I heard the band practicing underneath the giant eucalyptus tree adjacent to Carrington Hall (i.e., Sequoia’s front lawn). “Smooth Criminal”, “Forget You”, and “Miserlou” were among the familiar favorites. I opened my window and enjoyed, grateful to Jane Woodman for bringing the students together on her time and grateful to the students for keeping up with their chops over that last year. Later, after filling their tanks with pizza, the students shifted locations to our quad where they performed the same hits, dusted off and polished, for a gathering of families and friends.  

A troop of Boy Scouts were helping transfer textbooks from the bookroom to a storage container, an example of one of the thousand small but significant moves being made as part of the transition from this year to next. New applications for student graduation speakers trickled in throughout the evening on my email, foreshadowing the myriad celebratory senior events scheduled over the next few weeks -- Academy, IB, AVID, and EL recognitions, the “Prom”, and, of course, our graduation ceremony. It’s my favorite time of year, never moreso than in 2021.

My night culminated in an event for all students, the first of its scale since we went into lockdown: a movie night. Around 250 students, blankets and ziploc bags of popcorn in hand, spread out on our practice field under a waxing crescent moon to watch Pitch Perfect, a perfectly silly film to help us all forget for a couple hours about the losses we’ve experienced together over the last year. Not as many students sang along as I’d hoped, but they left nary a trace of debris behind when they exited at the end of the night.

I was grateful for the time to see kids being kids, hanging with friends in a safe place, performing, competing, laughing, doing something they love. Soon enough we’ll be fully immersed in the stress of mastering the art of more. But for these next few weeks, as we reacquaint ourselves with what matters most in this community, it’s a special time at Sequoia.

Have a great week!

Do you like candy? Our candy lei fundraiser needs your help!

We are making and selling graduation candy leis to our wonderful Sequoia Seniors and middle school families that feed into Sequoia.

All proceeds will go towards the class of 2022 grad week. Please signup to contribute candy and supplies or to help make leis. Thank you in advance for your contributions! Contact Sarah Lively with questions.
Do you have questions for our Sequoia 2020-2021 PTSA Board? Reach Isha Bhatt, PTSA President and the rest of the team at
Our mission is to positively impact the lives of all children and families.
Reserve your yearbook now
This yearbook is going to be spectacular! Shout out to our Editor-in-Chief, senior Andrew Mancini, who has gone above and beyond for Sequoia’s 2021 book. 

The time is now to reserve your yearbook - we will most likely sell out. Click here to order and use Sequoia’s code 7268, or search for Sequoia High School. Please contact yearbook Adviser Eileen Bray for questions. 
Summer literacy experience is here!
I am excited for you to start the new Summer Literacy Experience. You can earn your summer literacy badge (formerly known as summer reading) any time, starting now. If you want to be an official summer reading ambassador, complete your requirements before July 1. 

To get started: visit where you’ll find grade-level instructions, as well as examples. 

To submit your work: go to
All of these resources are on the Media Center website and I look forward to hearing about your summer engagement. Thanks! Ms. Snow.
Sequoia sock club needs your help to support a child in Uganda!
Our club sells socks to sponsor food and education for a child in Uganda. This year we are sponsoring a 10-year-old girl named Christine. She loves to sing, has a pet cow, and wants to be a police officer when she grows up. Learn more about Christine here.

Help us reach our goal, buy awesome and affordable socks, today!. They make great gifts and are fun for everyday wear! We would really appreciate your help, thank you! Questions? Please email the Sequoia sock club.
May 29 and June 4: Parents needed to chaperone events
As the school year winds down, there are several FUN events coming up that require adult chaperones and we need your help! There are two chances to sign up to chaperone:

  • Senior "Prom" on May 29, and
  • Grad Night on June 4 (at SportsHouse).

We need volunteers from families of 9th-11th grade to chaperone the senior events to ensure graduates are able to celebrate without their own families chaperoning. All adults over 21 years are able to participate (parents, guardians, grandparents, aunts & uncles, etc.). Sign up today!
Sequoia Student Poetry Anthology - submit by June 5
Submit a poem for an opportunity to get published in a Sequoia-only student anthology! Everyone will have an opportunity to be published and three contest winners will receive cash prizes.

Submit art for a chance to be on the cover or in the anthology!

The deadline for the contest is June 5 at 11:59 p.m. Contact with questions.
Meet me in the Media Center
Questions about books? Go to the Media Center Website.

Have books to return? How and when to turn in books (Remember, we do not charge fines!)

Check out the Media Center’s latest newsletter, follow us on Instagram, and learn about the Summer Literacy Experience.
Senior parents - purchase a candy lei for your Sequoia 2021 graduate by May 26!
Need a fun graduation present? Want to show your school spirit? Purchase a candy lei for your Sequoia graduate to wear at graduation!

All proceeds benefit Sequoia High School class of 2022 safe and sober graduation activities.

Cost: $15

Deadline: Order by May 26

Pickup: June 1 at Sequoia High School (specific location TBD - email to follow)

Upcoming activities for seniors
Our one and only Corey Uhalde and team have created events for the class of 2021. Seniors can celebrate graduation and still follow current COVID recommendations!

June 3: Celebrate during brunch 
The Class of 2021 will gather for a brunch celebration on June 3 from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m., leading into the graduation ceremony practice. Volunteers and donations are needed to help make this event a success. Sign up to volunteer for a little bit or all morning! Questions? Contact Jen Pedrotti.
June 4: Grad Night ticket sales extended, purchase today!
Buy your graduating senior a ticket to grad night! Celebrating begins at 10 p.m. on Friday, June 4 at the SportsHouse in Redwood City, and ends at 2:00 a.m. on June 5.

Buy a ticket now and don't miss this last chance for the Class of 2021 to celebrate together! Tickets are $75. Contact Karen Ha with questions.
Answers to Senior IB questions
Class of 2021 IB students and families: we know many of you have questions about IB final scores - how to check them, how to send them to your college etc.

Boosters news
Sequoia’s baseball and softball seasons are in full swing! Get your Ravens rally caps and other fan gear at Sequoia Sports Boosters

Looking for a low-key way to get involved with Boosters? Consider being a Team Liaison and help us shine the spotlight on your student’s team. Email the Boosters to learn more. 
Check out this week's “That’s So Raven” Ep. 32
“That’s So Raven” is a Sequoia ASB Production.
This week on That's So Raven:

0:56 Announcements

1:53 COVID Vaccine Info

2:12 Finals Tutoring Session Info

3:12 ASB Spotlight (Billy On the Street Edition)

4:38 Outro/Credits
Supporting education that empowers all students
Thanks to our generous community, Sequoia High School Education Foundation (SHSEF) has raised over $400k to date.

With the contributions this year, SHSEF has expanded on and added the following resources to help all students succeed. 

  • College Counselor (New)
  • Onsite SAT Testing (New)
  • Family support (Expanded)
  • Mental health resources (New)
  • At-home supplies including science, learning materials, art kits and musical instruments (New)
  • Equity and diversity training for faculty (New)
  • Technology equipment and resources (Expanded)
Double your impact through May 31 - donations matched dollar for dollar
This school year, Sequoia High School Education Foundation (SHSEF) contributions have helped to optimize quality education; stabilize families; support students’ health; and build college dreams. We are ever more committed to supporting an education that empowers all Sequoia students. Contributions from our generous community make this possible.

Double your impact through a $70,000 challenge grant. Donations received by May 31 will be matched dollar for dollar. Donations of any amount make a difference. Donate today and double your impact!  

How has teenage use of e-cigarettes and vapes changed during COVID-19? How does social media influence the health behaviors of adolescents? Is tobacco use rising or falling?
Join Erin Vogel, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow and social psychologist at the Stanford Prevention Research Center to learn answers to these questions and more. Register now / Registrarse.

What do teenagers really think about vaping, e-cigarettes, tobacco, and other health risk behaviors? Their answers may surprise you.

Join Becky Beacom, former Health Education and Community Engagement manager for Sutter Health/Palo Alto Medical Foundation, to learn her insights into the social norms that influence adolescent behavior. Register now / Registrarse.
What does nonbinary really mean? What is gender nonconforming? And isn't they a plural pronoun?
In this charming and disarming guide, Stuart Getty, author of How to They/Them: A Visual Guide to Nonbinary Pronouns and the World of Gender Fluidity, a real-life they-using genderqueer writer, unpacks all your burning questions in a fun, visual way.
This event will feature remarks from the author, followed by a panel discussion with students from the Sequoia High School GSA (Gender and Sexuality Alliance). Register now / Registro. Zoom link / Enlace de zoom.
May 26: The Rejection That Changed My Life: Helping Kids Turn it Around / El rechazo que cambió mi vida: ayudando a los niños a darle la vuelta
Many of our kids will apply to schools that they don't get into or have ambitions that aren't fulfilled. How can we normalize rejection for our kids and help them turn it around? Jessica Bacal's new book, The Rejection That Changed My Life, provides exciting new ways to think about college and career challenges, changes, and triumphs.

Author and educator Ana Homayoun, MA, is the founder and CEO of Green Ivy Educational Consulting, and the executive director of nonprofit Luminaria Learning Solutions
(Registration link coming soon)
May 20: Youth panel on climate action
Youth. Climate. Action. Who better to illuminate San Mateo County’s carbon-free pathway than our inspirational youth leaders?  

Hear from environmental trailblazers harnessing student power and accelerating change. From plastic reduction to sustainable farming, and from renewable energy to electrified transit, learn how their projects and programs are beacons for local and global transformation.

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