August 13, 2018

Sequoia PTSA's weekly eNewsletter in partnership with the Sequoia High School Education Foundation
Principal's Message
Principal Sean Priest 
On behalf of the Sequoia teachers and staff, I'm honored to welcome back Sequoia High School students and families!

We are on the cusp of another great year and there is much to be excited about in 2018-19.  Many teachers are already out of the gate well before their official first day back: setting up classrooms, planning engaging lessons, participating in district professional development, or collaborating with colleagues to reflect on 2017-18 and build on what they learned for the new year.  

Many students are also stepping up with extra effort this summer by taking advantage of Sequoia's IB Summer Bridge programs, AVID Prep, 9th Grade Compass, or our Digital Ethics Course offered in partnership with Stanford University.  

This show of dedication and desire from teachers and students is not to be taken for granted.  I am inspired and amazed by the love of learning that defines our community.
Our Multi-Purpose Room will be offline for the first month of school as the finishing touches are put on our new food service area, as will o ur Media Center/Library/Book Room while it is in the middle of a massive renovation.  Though all of our Measure A projects reflect the needs of our kids, as identified by our Construction Committee in 2014, the latter project most directly provides what multiple student focus groups asked for as part of our master planning: a flexible, technology-rich environment for students to work collaboratively and comfortably.    
This year, we have a new platform for students and families to track assignments and progress towards mastery in their classes.   Welcome to the world of CANVAS!  By now, you should have received an email with instructions on how to access your student's CANVAS interface.  CANVAS replaces Schoolloop -- and boy, does it!   Think of the changeover as akin to trading your Motorola RAZR for an iPhone X.  We are excited about the tools CANVAS offers in enhancing learning.

Thanks in advance for your patience as we transition from Schoolloop to CANVAS.  We are trying to be highly intentional about training to meet the diverse needs of teachers and courses but you can anticipate some hiccups as we master CANVAS's grading and communication tools -- especially during the first few weeks of school.  We are encouraging teachers to muddle, prototype, and experiment -- in line with our core values as a school.  Please manage your expectations accordingly.

First day of school procedures are as they've been for the past several years.  Beginning Tuesday night (8/14/17), schedules will be available on the students' Infinite Campus portal, provided the family has completed online registration.  Students who can't access their schedule the night before will be directed by lists posted in the main hall to their first-period classes where the will receive a printed copy of their schedules.  Zero period will begin on the first day.

I can't wait to see all the students on Wednesday and launch another great year at Sequoia --  here's to an awesome 2018-19!


PTA President's Welcome
Welcome to all our new, as well as our returning Sequoia students, families and staff.  When I was a student, we always started after Labor Day, and the weather would always change to signal the start of something new and exciting.  Right now, it may feel like we're still in the middle of summer but many of us have worked to get things ready for the new school year and I think it's going to be a great one!   
null As the PTSA works to build community and support our students, families and teachers, I want to invite all of you to join us.  You may think your kids are too old to need you to be involved in their school (and they may not want you to be!) but the truth is, that old adage about "it takes a village" still applies, and there are many ways for parents to support their students and the entire Sequoia community.  It also provides an opportunity for you to make new connections, including new friends.    
There are many ways to get involved, be it a little, a lot or whatever your schedule will allow.  I hope you will consider joining us - in any capacity.  I'm sure you'll find it fun and rewarding as we work together to build a strong community.  I am looking forward to working with you this year and wish everyone a great start to this new school year.  

Erika Pretell
PTSA President
Welcome Back!
With school starting on Wednesday, we are here to help you get your year off to a great start! 
  • 11:00 AM - Welcome Back Luau Luncheon for Teachers and Staff
  • 2:00-4:00 PM - Welcome Help Desk: PTSA members will be in Sequoia's main hall to answer questions about back-to-school info.
  • 5:30-7:00 PM -  Freshmen Ice Cream Social: Please join us on the front lawn (in front of the office) to meet other freshmen and their parents before the year starts.  See the flyer.
  • 8:30 AM-4:00 PM - Welcome Help Desk
  • 9:00 AM-1:00 PM - Freshmen and New Student Orientation: Students report to Terremere Field (football stadium); parents go to the tables near Carrington Hall ( click here for more details)
  • 12:30-4:00 PM - Early Photo Day for Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors.
  • 2:00-4:00 PM - Parking Permit Pre-Sale in the AVP Office
    Students must bring in the signed form (parent and student signature), and other items as outlined  here on the website. 
  • After 4:00 PM - Student schedules released on Infinite Campus.
Volunteer Opportunities 
Welcome Back Staff Luau Luncheon - Monday, August 13 
Help us welcome our amazing Sequoia teachers back to school TODAY with the PTSA luncheon - Hawaiian style! Thank you to all who responded to our earlier appeals and filled the donation spots. We're still looking for a few volunteers to help set-up, decorate and clean-up for 1-2 hours and make this year's luncheon a success.  Sign-up to participate and meet our Sequoia teachers & staff as they prepare for another year ahead.  
PTSA Welcome Volunteers - Monday, Aug. 13 and Tuesday, Aug. 14
Monitor the Help Desk to answer questions about Sequoia, or help check-in students and parents at Freshman/New Student Orientation.  Sign up to be a Welcome Volunteer. Times are:
  • Monday, Aug. 13: Help Desk 2:00-4:00 PM
  • Tuesday, Aug. 14: Various shifts between 8:30 AM-4:00 PM for Help Desk and Orientation volunteers
Smile! It's Time for School Photos - Tuesday, Aug 14th 
LifeTouch Studios will once again be on campus in Gym 3 for Early Photo Day.  This is a good time to ensure that you get your photo taken and avoid the busyness of the school-wide photo day on Aug. 21st and 22nd.  It is not mandatory, but again, it is an opportunity to check off the photo box early.  Please see below for schedule by grade level:  
  • Freshmen will take photos during orientation
  • 12:30-2:00 PM - Sophomores
  • 1:30-3:00 PM - Juniors
  • 2:30-4:00 PM - Seniors (these will be used for school ID cards and are in addition to the formal portraits that you were notified about)
School dress code applies during school photos, and students will not be able to obscure their appearance with hats, wigs, non-prescribed eyewear, etc. 

If you would like to purchase the photos ahead of time, click here.   Once you are on the LifeTouch website, click on the blue link in the center of the web page that reads: "Find your picture day and your picture day ID."  Follow the prompts from there.  Pre-purchasing is not required, but it will speed the process of purchasing photos.
School Photo Helpers Needed - August 14, Aug. 21 & 22 and Sept. 28  
Assist LifeTouch photographers with handing out name cards and organizing students.   Sign up to help with photos. 
  • Tues, Aug. 14: Shifts are between 9:15 AM-4:00 PM
  • Tues-Wed, Aug. 21-22: Shifts are between 8:30 AM-3:00 PM
  • Fri, Sept. 28 (re-takes): Shifts are between 8:30 AM-3:30 PM
Can You Help in the Media Center?
With the Media Center operating out of Room 128 this year, we are looking for volunteers to help with the mobile check-in process in classrooms.  We will need volunteers who are mobile as well as comfortable with a light tech task (scanning).  We can also use volunteers to help process new textbooks in Room 128.

We will need an army of volunteers once our new space is ready!  Thank you in advance for your dedication to the Sequoia Media Center!  Please report to Ms. Elizabeth Snow. 
  • Aug. 15-24:  8:30-11:00 AM or 1:00-3:30 PM. Two volunteers per shift - sign-up here.
Sequoia Sport and Spirit Boosters 
The mission of the Sequoia High School Sport & Spirit Boosters organization is to promote school spirit and support Sequoia's athletic teams.  We arrange Sports Awards Nights, coordinate concessions at football games, assist teams with funding for uniforms & equipment, maintain the MVP and Championship Banners in the gym, and assist in funding safe transportation for our athletes to as many events as possible.
The leadership team includes Susan Alley - President, Lisa Caswell - Vice President, Ann Berljafa - Secretary, and Kim Rosenmiller - Treasurer.  We have a lot of volunteer opportunities available, and can use your help!  If you care about promoting the sports programs at Sequoia, even if your student doesn't play a sport, click here. 

Susan Alley
SHS Sport & Spirit Boosters President
Show School Spirit on the Bleachers 
Enjoy watching sports but hate those hard stadium benches?  We've got the solution for you with our comfortable stadium cushions.  They feature Sequoia's Unaliyi logo in white on a dark purple background.  There's also a convenient carrying handle.  The cushion sale fundraiser benefits the Class of 2019 Safe and Sober Night.
Show your school spirit and pick yours up at Freshman Orientation day on Tuesday, August 14 or online at   
12th Annual Alumni Association Picnic August 18th
The 12 th Annual Sequoia High School Alumni Association "Celebrate Sequoia" picnic, catered by Emergency BBQ, is being held on Saturday, August 18, from 10:30 AM - 3 PM on the beautiful Sequoia campus.  Activities include: campus tours, Sequoia Choir and cheer performances, and a vintage car exhibition. 
All Sequoians are welcome (alumni, students, parents, staff, PTSA, Boosters, Education Foundation, and community members).  Tickets are $35 per person.  A limited number of tickets will be available at the door at $40 per person.  Reservations are due by August 14 and may be made online, email or by calling (650) 592-5822.
In This Issue
Welcome Back!

Today, August 13
2:00-4:00 PM
Help Desk in the Main Hall.

5:30-7:00 PM
PTSA Freshmen Ice Cream Social, Sequoia Main Entrance

Tuesday, August 14
9:00 AM - Freshmen Orientation, Terremere Field

12:30-4:00 PM - Early Photo Day, Gym 3

Wednesday, August 15
First day of school for 2018-19. Check the Bell Schedule.

Thursday, August 30
Back-to-school night

Quick Links
Let us help you clear your Back to School to-do list!
  1. Buy school supplies √
  2. Return textbooks from last year √
  3. Organize carpool √
  4.  JOIN the PTSA <- DO THIS!
Your $20 annual membership shows your commitment to a group whose purpose is to help make Sequoia a place where, Parents, Teachers, and Students are welcome and can feel the UNALIYI spirit!

PTSA parent volunteers...
  • organize staff hospitality events to help create an environment where our teachers feel welcome and appreciated.
  • put together welcome baskets for our new teachers and provide them with a $150 grant for classroom start up supplies.
  • work hard every week producing the Sequoia Sentinel on-line newsletter to ensure you are informed.
Whether you are able to be involved just a little or a lot, we can't wait to meet you!
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California State PTA Statement on Family Separation and the U.S. Administration's "Zero Tolerance" Immigration Policy
Sequoia Sentinel
Welcome to the first issue of this year's PTSA weekly newsletter!   We hope that you will find this newsletter useful in staying informed about school events, PTSA, SHSEF, and other community information.  It will be sent out every Monday morning except during school breaks.

If you have articles to submit to the Sentinel, please email the article/blurb by the end of the day on Thursday.  Guidelines for news submissions can be found on the Sequoia PTSA website

Class email lists: In addition to the Sentinel, the PTSA sends out grade-specific information during the year.  Be sure that you are subscribed to your "Class of" list for EACH of your students in the Stay Informed: Subscribe section of the PTSA website. 

For families who have left Sequoia - we will miss you! If you no longer wish to receive the Sentinel or PTSA emails, please unsubscribe using the link at the bottom of this newsletter or send an email to Jocelyn Kelemen, Editor
Find past issues of the Sentinel at  
En Español
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Parent Education

Parent Ed Logo Horizontal

ANGST: Raising Awareness Around Anxiety
Documentary Film + Panel Discussion
Tuesday, October 16, 2018, 7:00 - 8:30PM
Sequoia High School, Carrington Hall 
1201 Brewster Avenue, Redwood City

What's causing the anxiety epidemic in our children and teens? Join us for a special screening of the IndieFlix documentary, ANGST: Raising Awareness Around Anxiety, followed by a panel discussion with students, mental health professionals, and ANGST executive producer Karin Gornick.
This powerful new film features candid interviews with youth and young adults who suffer from, or have suffered, from anxiety. ANGST includes discussions with mental health professionals about the causes of anxiety, as well as help, resources, and tools for students and parents.
Parents, students (ages 10 and up), educators, and community members welcome! Spanish subtitles will be available. Free admission and light refreshments.
ANGST presented by SUHSD Wellness Advisory Council (WAC). Sequoia Parent Education Series events are sponsored by SHSEF, Sequoia Healthcare District, and Sequoia Union High School District.
Questions? Contact Charlene Margot, M.A., Director, The Parent Education Series.
Charlene Margot, M.A. l  CSM Consulting
650.868.0590 |
Community News

Redwood City Community Theatre Presents: The Wedding Singer
In Carrington Hall
Fridays and Saturdays: August 17-18 & August 24-25 at 7 PM 
Sundays: August 19 & 26 at 3 PM 
Tickets available HERE 
It's 1985 and rock-star wannabe Robbie Heart, who still lives in his grandmother's basement, is New Jersey's favorite wedding singer. He's the life of the party until his fiance, Linda, leaves him at the altar.  Shot through the heart, Robbie is so distraught that he makes every wedding as disastrous as his own. When he meets Julia, an admiring young waitress, Robbie falls madly in love. The only trouble is that Julia is about to be married to a Wall Street shark, and unless Robbie can pull off the performance of a decade, the girl of his dreams will be gone forever.
With a score that pays loving homage to the pop songs of the 1980s, The Wedding Singer takes us back to a time when hair was big, greed was good, collars were up, and a wedding singer might just have been the coolest guy in the room!
More details can be found at
How to Start Your College Essays
Aug. 22--last date of How to Start Your College Essays Workshop
In this practical and engaging workshop for seniors, learn what goes into essays, explore the UC and Common App essay prompts, and get writing and planning tips.  Essay advisor and local parent, Heather Woods of Heartwood Editing, creates a comfortable environment for students to reflect, write and ask questions.  Near WHS, August 22, 7-8:45 PM, $35. Register at