May 28, 2018

Sequoia PTSA's weekly eNewsletter in partnership with the Sequoia High School Education Foundation
Principal's Message
Wildlife at Sequoia
Sequoia's rescued juvenile red-tailed hawk 
Emergency vehicles on campus are always a cause for concern.  We are conditioned to associate fire engines, police cruisers, and ambulances with crisis.  My mind always does a worst-case-scenario somersault every time I see one in front of the school.  Returning from a meeting in the district office on Friday, a different kind of emergency vehicle drew my attention: the response van from the Peninsula Humane Society.  What now?

For the past several weeks, several staff members have taken an interest in a baby red-tailed hawk nested in one of the eucalyptus trees in front of campus.  Watching mom feed while simultaneously trying to intimidate circling predators has created high drama. Thursday night, I received a text from Vice Principal Gary Gooch that the juvenile hawk had fallen from its nest and was limping around the front grove in a daze: alert enough to be frightened but yet unable to fly -- not all that different from how a teenager might feel in an analogous situation.

On Friday morning, a team of staff coaxed our newest enrollee into the locked/gated safety of our new practice field.  Along with Mr. Gooch, Health Academy Coordinator Ashley Gray and Custodian Ramiro Macias took turns monitoring the situation.  By late afternoon, the humane society had arrived and taken stock. They moved swiftly but gently to capture the hawk and transport it to the humane society intake center. As of Sunday, Mr. Gray reported the following via text message: "Really perky yesterday.  Gobbled up the food I offered.  Still being hand fed."

Another crisis averted!

Later that afternoon, I was lucky enough to attend Sequoia's Gender Sexuality Alliance's Bluegrass Pride event in the B-Wing Quad.  Students from multiple clubs, teachers from multiple departments, and parents from multiple neighborhoods gathered to dance to bluegrass music, munch on yummy food ( tacos in a bag , anyone?), and enjoy a mellow chat in the afternoon sun.  

The music was courtesy of Bluegrass Pride, an award-winning band of legit musicians with Nashville roots (and a heckuva backstory ).  When GSA advisor Greg Schmid heard their story, he reached out to see if they'd be willing to speak to the students in the club about their experiences as trailblazers within a musical genre not traditionally known for breaking ground.  They doubled-down, suggesting instead they find a time to perform.

Mr. Schmid put it in the hands of the students to reach out and organize an event.  They contacted members of the band, set up a date, handled the organizational logistics, and partnered with other Sequoia clubs.  Ultimately, they created a festive, joyous space for students to celebrate their individuality and diversity.

Between the rescue of the juvenile hawk and the celebration of pride for our LGBTQ community, Friday afternoon was another great reminder of what Unaliyi can mean.

Nine school days left -- have a great week!

We Are IB! Students Honored for Their Dedication, Enthusiasm and Hard Work  
IB students were honored in a special ceremony on May 22 to a packed house in
Carrington Hall; a total of 320 students challenged themselves with at least one IB course, and 49 students were candidates for the full IB Diploma.  The highlight of the ceremony was hearing the pride in students' voices as they announced their college plans, and the gratitude they expressed to the Sequoia teachers and staff who helped and inspired them along the way.  IB English teacher Jane Woodman gave a rousing speech on the theme "We Are IB," joined by IB Diploma Candidates Alejandra Sanchez Castro and Joseline Lazo.
CAS Scholarships for Creativity, Activity, Service were awarded to Jasleen Pelia-Lutzker, Clara MacAvoy, Michael Yu, and Annika Krueger.  Marlyn Bussey Scholarships for students exemplifying the spirit of IB were awarded to Morgan Taradash, Hannah Marcus, Julie Ahmed, and Maria Rodriguez.
The Sequoia Food students prepared a delicious reception spread for the families attending the event and stoles were donated by the Powell Foundation.  Any student who missed the ceremony should see Ms. Williams or Ms. Patience in the IB office to collect a stole to wear at graduation.
IB candidates take the stage
Winners of CAS Scholarship with Principal Sean Priest 
Media Center Renovations - We URGENTLY Need Help Moving Everything Out! 
The Media Center needs to pack up ALL of the books, including the entire storage room, in preparation for a major remodel and there is still a lot of work to be done!  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:  
Sign Up to Show Appreciation for Our Hardworking Teachers and Staff  
Help us recognize our teachers & staff before school ends with a Thank You Luncheon on Wednesday, June 6Sign-Up to donate food or drinks, or help the PTSA for an hour and treat our dedicated staff to a well-deserved lunch to close out the 2018 school year!  Contact Jennifer DiGrande with any questions at or 650-291-0884.  
Senior Parents - Make Your Child's Grad Week Memorable!
We're almost there on the help needed for our Grad Week events; thanks to all who have volunteered!  
If you haven't had a chance yet, p lease view this SignUp  to help donate items and/or volunteer your time at these events.  Sign-up needs include food items, gift card prizes for Grad Night, volunteering during the BBQ and Brunch, and helping with check-in for Grad Night.  Click here to help out! 
Information on overall graduation activities is on the Sequoia website
Grad Night tickets are still on sale!  The Grad Night event is a Hornblower cruise on SF Bay, which includes a midnight dinner and transportation from Sequoia to/from the cruise.  Purchase a Grad Night ticket here.  Not sure if you bought a ticket already?  Check the   purchased ticket list.
Thank you,
~ 2018 Safe and Sober Graduation Committee
Junior Families - There's Still Time to Help With Graduation Concessions
Get a peek at what Graduation is like!  Click here to volunteer for the Graduation Concession Stand on June 8 by donating items or helping work the event.
Email Lisa Hane (
with any questions.  Thank you for your help!  
~ Class of 2019 Grad Committee 
Grad Year Special for Seniors and Their Families
Join the Sequoia High School Alumni Association for the price of your grad year -- just  $20.18 (instead of the usual $50).  This lifetime membership will allow you to follow your fellow grads, read about Sequoia events, get information on reunions and other activities, etc.  The Grad Year Special ends Aug. 15.

What a great gift idea for the graduating senior!  To obtain a 2018 Grad Year Special Membership Form, contact SHSAA
( or call 650-592-5822.
It's Yearbook Time! 
Yearbooks are now available for $100 in the treasurer's office.  Get one before they sell out!
And, if your student has reserved a yearbook but they haven't picked it up yet, remind them to go to Room 128 or contact Ms. Bray at 
Did you Know Sequoia has a Mountain Biking Team?
(L-R) Cameron Adams and Blaise Baker
Sequoia High School students participated recently at the California State Championships for High School  Mountain Biking and the following students won recognition:
Blaise Baker came in 3rd in the Sophomore Class
Cameron Adams won the Junior Varsity Class
As Mountain Biking is new as a high school sport, Sequoia participates with a local "composite team" lead by Alistair Adams.   High School mountain biking started in Berkeley, Northern California in 1998 .  The NorCal league started in 2001 and in 2009,  NICA  was formed to expand the movement across the US.  There are now 22 leagues in 21 states.
According to coach Alistair, "While the goal is to be a high school team, and wouldn't it be great for Sequoia to have a team the size of  Drake High School, for now we are a composite team drawing students mainly from San Mateo county schools."
This short  You Tube promotional video speaks to the spirit being fostered by the movement -- athletes grow, not just as athletes but as people.  This sport is unique in how it brings kids together from different teams, building long lasting friendships and mutual respect.
For more information contact:
Coach on the Woodside Beasts Composite Mountain Biking Team
Sequoia+Stanford Summer Workshop 2018

Just because we can, should we?  In the Information Age, brilliant people around the world are conceiving of and often executing serious technological feats.  And while a piece of technology may seem exciting in theory, the ramifications can be disastrous.  Everything from social media privacy laws to experimental medical procedures rely on the appropriate application of ethics, which are our societal and personal ideas of what is right, wrong, and in the best interest of the world.  In this class, we will be examining some of the major ethical dilemmas in the field of technology and what we can do to address them.  We will emphasize class discussions, guest speakers, and previous scholarship on the topics to explore the intersection of ethics and technology, especially in respect to Silicon Valley.

We welcome students of all ages and interests.  There is no background coursework or technological proficiency required to take this course.  We encourage those who apply to have in interest in exploring the great power and dangers of a world of highly advanced technology.  The class will be discussion-based, featuring speakers from around the community who are experienced in technology and ethics.  We hope that by the end of the class, students will have begun to consider how to design a more ethical future, and will begin to take actionable steps to do so. 
Where: Sequoia High School, Rooms 242 and 245
When: Mondays & Wednesdays, 3-5 PM, June 25 - July 25
Who: Sequoia High School students, current and incoming (enrolled at Sequoia for 2018-19)
Cost:  FREE
Instructor:  Sarah Sterling, Stanford EdYD Fellow
Interested? Please fill out a workshop application.  

Questions? Please contact:
Director, ATLAS/Sequoia High School  
(650) 387-8390
In This Issue

Monday, May 28
Memorial Day - No school

Friday, June 1
IB Declaration Deadline for 10th Graders, Room 130

Tuesday, June 5
Spring Finals Bell Schedule in Effect

Wednesday, June 6
Lunchtime - Grad BBQ, Front of School

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

Wednesday, June 6
Spring Finals Bell Schedule in Effect

Thursday, June 7
Spring Finals Bell Schedule in Effect - Last Day of School!

Friday, June 8
10 AM  - Graduation,
Terremere Field
Missed the Mandatory IB Meeting? 
Did you attend the Mandatory IB Diploma meeting for 10th graders?  Still haven't decided if you will pursue the IB diploma?  The deadline is Friday, June 1.  Stop by the IB Office in room 130 to complete a declaration form and receive the summer assignment. 

Jamila Williams
Interim IB Coordinator
(650) 367-9780 x63103 
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Community News
Redwood City Pop-Up Park is Looking for Volunteers
Redwood City Parks and Arts Foundation  is helping our Park, Recreation and Community Services Department create a downtown park for a day -  Pop Up Park ! This cool event is not only going to be fun but we will also be collecting your ideas for a permanent downtown Redwood City park.
The foundation is in charge of parking lot A (Library lot across from Milagros) where we will be creating a "Wheel Adventureland" for the younger kids to bring their non-motorized vehicles, and go for an adventure on the two tracks we are creating that include a "Bike Wash", Snack Shack and a booth for the kids to decorate their vehicles and helmets.

Pop Up Park - Saturday, June 9th, 11 AM - 3PM
The City of Redwood City is building a downtown park for a day on Saturday, June 9 from 11am to 3pm! Park activities will be set up in the Downtown Main Library and City Hall Parking Lots. The Redwood City Parks and Arts Foundation is hosting the activities in the Main Library Lot, and we need your help!
Please sign up to be a part of this innovate park idea! 
How to Start Your College Essays  
Learn what goes into essays; brainstorm topics for the UC and Common App essay prompts; practice writing; get planning tips -- all in a small, supportive environment. This  helpful workshop for juniors will be given by essay advisor Heather Woods of Heartwood Editing on May 30, 7:00-8:30 PM at the Redwood City Main Library, $35 Sign up and see more dates at 
The meeting space is provided as a community service by the City of Redwood City. The City neither sponsors nor endorses this event nor the presenting individual or organizations.
"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:
Text:  650-678-9769.

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