May 29, 2017

Sequoia PTSA's weekly eNewsletter in partnership with the Sequoia High School Education Foundation
Principal's Message
"There are 100 days in May."  So goes the old saying in education.  With weeks like last one, I'll take 100 more.  We had so many successes to celebrate that I wanted to share the highlights with you all:
On Monday the Health Careers Academy , led by the organizing efforts of Mr. Schmid, held its inaugural Go-Bag project with his 3rd- and 4th-period classes.  HCA 11th-graders assembled home emergency kits with supplies provided by community partnerships developed by HCA teachers.  On Thursday, those same students took part in Stop the Bleed trauma response training with the Stanford Trauma Center. Both events gave the students the knowledge and skills to act as first responders in the event of an emergency or disaster.  Media coverage of the trauma response training is  here (ABC7 News), here (NBC Bay Area), and here (SF Chronicle).
Monday evening the Sequoia Dream Club was recognized with a prestigious Kent Award as one of the outstanding school programs in San Mateo County.  Students Joanna Fuentes, Litzi Mendoza, Ximena Sanchez, Karolina Soto, Miriam León, Yareli Solís were on hand along with advisors Kate Sheehan and Jane Slater to accept the award.

The Sequoia Dream Club being presented with the Kent Award last Monday.

Tuesday night our IB Seniors were honored at the annual IB Ceremony.  Retiring Superintendent Lianides was a featured speaker, and the keynote was presented by Dr. Deborah Stipek from the Stanford Graduate School of Education.  My favorite speaker of the night was Ms. McCahon, who spoke from the heart about what IB means at Sequoia. The students, as always, gave their own tributes to the teachers who have inspired and supported their success.
Tuesday night, teachers and staff from our ELD program (English Language Development)  recognized the outstanding work of students, including departing seniors from the ELD program, at the annual ELD Graduation Dinner.  It was truly inspiring to watch as the families of these outstanding students heard from teachers, peers, and alumni about the impact these students have made on our community during their time at Sequoia.
Thursday morning, seven Sequoia seniors were recognized as scholarship awardees as part of the Al Teglia Jobs for Youth Program .  Hats off to Joscelin Aguirre, Leslie Civil, Julissa Polvo, Karoline Reynaga, Leslie Vasquez, Diane Zermeno, and Jessica Garcia as well as the AVID teacher team for all their support. There were 20 scholarships given county-wide, seven went to our kids -- awesome!

Sequoia Seniors receive scholarships from the Al Teglia Jobs for Youth Program.

On Friday, the Polynesian Club absolutely crushed it with their performance at lunch. Sequoia's Pacific islander community is vibrant and proud. Ms. Ignaitis and Coach Fine deserve props for the work they do with this great group of students and families.
The celebration of the end of the year is only just beginning, but it's already been a great run.  I'm sure I'm leaving out a bunch of highlights because there's just so much going on!  Hope you had a restful weekend and are as excited as I am for the last two weeks of school and graduation events for the Class of 2018.

Senior IB Students Honored
On Tuesday, May 23 three hundred seniors were honored at the IB Ceremony held in Carrington Hall. Anyone who had taken one or more IB classes was invited to walk across the stage and announce their name and what their plans were for the following year. They were then presented with their IB stole and a small treat.  The evening ended with a reception in which wonderful treats prepared by the Foods Class (see photo above) were served.

Several scholarships were presented during the evening. Congratulations to these award winners listed below!
  • IB Marlyn Bussey Scholarship - Joscelin Aguirre, Jayleann Guadalupe, Jeena Kapadia, Fabiola Pardo Garcia, Daniela Patino Mota, Luca Richardson and Alicia Shristie
  • CAWS Outstanding Community Service Award - Joanna Fuentes
  • IB CAS Scholarship - Lani Komatsu and Phillip Tyson
The best part of the evening was the open microphone portion, when s tudents were encouraged to speak on stage to thank the teachers, staff and parents who have made an impact in their high school education.  Congratulations to all our seniors who were part of the IB program during their time at Sequoia!

IB Marlyn Bussey Scholarship winners receive their awards at the IB Ceremony last Tuesday.

Help Appreciate Our Teachers & Staff
Thank you to those who have signed up to help with our End-of-the-year Teacher/Staff Luncheon on Wednesday, June 7.  We need additional people to  sign up  to donate desserts or drinks, or help with the lunch (shifts are from 10:30-noon, 11:45-1:00, and 1:00-2:00 PM).  Let's treat our dedicated staff to a well-deserved lunch to close out the school year!

Stack 'Em Up!
We have a few more open spots to help our Library media staff organize the library and check in textbooks through the end of the year
Sign up here   for a morning or afternoon shift; being there for even part of the shift will be helpful. Thank you!

Lip Dub This Friday
Calling enthusiastic parents who want to show off their Purple Pride!  The 2017 Sequoia Lip Dub will be filmed on Friday, June 2nd at approximately 3:30 PM. We expect the filming to be completed by about 5:00. If interested, there are two very important required steps.
  1. Sign up using this link or by contacting director of Student Activities Corey Uhalde at
  2. Arrive on Friday dressed in all your Sequoia gear and have some fun!
Feel free to check out Lip Dub films from the previous two years: Lip Dub 2015 and Lip Dub 2016

Light Boxes Illuminate Art Classes
Art teacher Clare Szydlowski was awarded a PTSA Mini-Grant this Spring 2017 to purchase a light box for tracing and layout/design work.  She reports on the impact this has had on her students:

" This light box has a smooth surface and bright bulbs making it easier for students to transfer and lay out their drawings and designs, resulting in better quality line work as students can see what they are doing.

Students in all my classes use this high quality light box for tracing contour lines, creating layouts and for transferring drawings to other surfaces.  It is used nearly every day in every period.  When I first set it up, students actually clapped and cheered.  We are so grateful for this generous grant from the PTSA!"

Art students use the new light box that was purchased with a PTSA Mini-Grant this spring.

PTSA Mini-Grants are funded by the Sequoia High School Education Foundation

Stress-Free Graduation Parking
A few more VIP parking spots are available for graduation day at $50 per space, which allows you to park to the left of Nicotine Field, located directly behind the football field and in front of the school's main entrance! 

Click here to purchase VIP graduation parking  (scroll down in the list of Crab Feed auction items).  All proceeds help fund Sequoia Athletic Programs.

Seniors: Stay in Touch through the Sequoia HS Alumni Association
Join the Sequoia High School Alumni Association for the price of your grad year: just $20.17 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 August 15.

What a great gift idea for the graduating senior!  To obtain a 2017 Grad Year Special Membership Form, contact SHSAA at or call 650-592-5822. 

Also, save the date for the Alumni Association's 11th annual picnic on Saturday, August 19, which includes a catered lunch, musical performances, alumni reunions, and more!

In This Issue
Monday, May 29
Memorial Day Holiday

Thursday, June 1
Deadline for 10th graders to sign up for the IB Diploma program - see Ms. McCahon at the IB Office

4 PM - Superintendent Reception, Carrington Hall

7 PM - Spring Sports Awards, Carrington Hall

Monday, June 5
Traditional Monday schedule

Tue., June 6 - Thu., June 8
Finals schedule

Wednesday, June 7
12 PM - Senior BBQ

7 PM - Senior Awards night, Carrington Hall

Thursday, June 8
11 AM - Senior Brunch, MPR

Last Day of School

Friday, June 9
10 AM - 2017 Graduation Ceremony, Terremere Field
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Parent Education

SUHSD Parent Education Mini-Series
"Safe and Healthy Teens"

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

Sequoia Union High School District Office - Birch Room
480 James Avenue, Redwood City

In this last of 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.

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,

Community News

Sequoia+Stanford Summer Workshop 2017
Is your son/daughter interested in exploring engineering, math or science this summer? Sequoia+Stanford 2017 invites you to join us for a six-week workshop starting June 22!

CAN I FIX THAT?: Exploring creative engineering through real-world projects
  • Where: Sequoia High School, Rooms 242 and 245
  • When: Mondays & Thursdays, 3-5 PM, June 22-July 27
  • Cost:  FREE for current Sequoia HS freshman, sophomores and seniors as well as incoming 9th graders
  • Instructor:  Jodie Sheffels, Stanford EdYD Fellow
  • Interested? Students can fill out a workshop application here
Wonder what it's like to be an engineer? Want to make a difference in your community and the world beyond by proposing creative solutions to serious problems? Do you get excited about solving puzzles a nd building things with your hands? In this six-week workshop, you'll explore a variety of fields of engineering through innovative, student-directed projects. As engineers-in-training, you'll get to do what real software, bio-, civil and electrical engineers all over the world do every single day, from researching a problem, to proposing a solution, to implementing that solution and fixing your mistakes. Our projects will focus on issues relevant to your own community, ranging from sustainable energy, to environmental protection, to earthquake-resistant buildings. You'll also learn about real-world projects when we tour local engineering companies and Stanford University Labs to hear from professional engineers. Along the way, you'll challenge yourself to think in new ways and build confidence in your own ability as a student and engineer.

We welcome students with all levels of experience. No previous coursework necessary. Don't worry if you don't think you'll be "good" at engineering--no one is good at anything when they first start. All you need is a positive attitude, a willingness to ask questions, and a deep curiosity about the world around you. The rest of it, we'll learn together as we take on some of the world's coolest puzzles.

Social Skills & Executive Function Boot Camp
Complimentary Info Session for Sequoia Families
For incoming freshmen through college
Flexible scheduling June through Labor Day

Is your teen exhibiting organizational issues? Time management issues? Disorganization of thought during writing tasks, not great at prioritizing, attentional challenges?  Or, has difficulty with figurative language? Social cues? Whether you are readying them for college or just beginning high school, this program is designed for changing patterns.
Talking Playhouse (across from campus) is offering a crash course boot camp for high schoolers and parents to set up successful systems for practice over the summer. Establish systems that allow your child to practice independently with successful neuroscience behavioral techniques that take action and work. An added benefit is the program is set up to work local or from afar.
Talking Playhouse | 155 Birch St, Suite 2, Redwood City | 650-678-9769