August 27, 2018     

Sequoia PTSA's weekly eNewsletter in partnership with the Sequoia High School Education Foundation
TopPrincipal's Message
New soffits being constructed in the Media Center 
Back-to-School Night is here!  For two hours this Thursday, August 30, Sequoia families will fill the halls, shuttling from class to class, conversations with old friends truncated by the 1-minute warning bell.  Families with siblings may reunite with a favorite teacher from their older child's schedule.  There will be important reminders about homework policies and grading systems, but I'm fairly certain the most interesting information our teachers share will be about themselves: the origin stories of their passion for their subject and profession.  

As we welcome you back to campus, we once again ask you to excuse our dust.  Just like in each of my previous 4 years as principal, Sequoia's physical plant is evolving to meet the needs of 21st Century learners.  There are three projects underway.  The library/media center is undergoing a complete renovation and is (likely) the last major project under Measure A.  It will transform the space to support more student collaboration, personalized technology learning, and access to reference resources.  There will also be a lot more sunlight!

Across the quad, a redesign of Sequoia's food service kitchen in our Multi-Purpose Room, is in its final stages.  Addressing traffic flow issues and putting students closer to their food options are the priorities of the project.  When completed, the windows from which the students were once handed their food will be replaced by lines/bars from which they can select their food before reaching the point of sale.  

Our final project is smallest in scale but perhaps the most exciting, especially for basketball and volleyball enthusiasts.  The floor in Sequoia's main gym is being refinished for the first time since the building opened in 2008, complete with a new image at mid-court.  Additional artwork was installed on the western wall of the gym earlier this summer.   These spirited enhancements come courtesy of the Sequoia Sports Boosters and were designed by the same artist used by the Sacramento Kings and Golden State Warriors.   

One of the joys of working at Sequoia for these past years has been my involvement in the campus transformation process under Measure A, meeting the needs of today's learners while honoring the beauty and integrity of Sequoia's historic campus.  Maybe next year for Back-to-School Night, we won't have heavy machinery and dirt piles to redirect our friends around.  Maybe, but don't count on it.

Have a great week and see you Thursday!


PTSA Membership Drive is Up & Running!  
Get Involved Our fall membership drive is off to a great start with parents, teachers, and students alike standing up to support our Sequoia High School PTSA.  
Haven't joined yet?  Sign up on-line  HERE  or stop by the PTSA table in the main hall at Back-to-School Night this Thursday.
By having a PTSA at Sequoia, we are part of a national organization that has been around for more than  100 years advocating for stronger schools, teacher support, and legislation that ensures all kids get a chance at a quality education.  The greater our numbers, the greater our voice and as legislators make decisions on school funding, we need to be heard! 
Even if you choose not to join, everyone in our parent community is welcome to come to our meetings, volunteer for activities, and be a part of this wonderful school!  But we'd love your membership, too!
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Join the SHSEF Team!
SHSEF is a volunteer, parent-led organization.  There are many ways to help support Sequoia beyond making a monetary donation. Get involved!
In particular, the SHSEF Business Sponsorship team is looking for parent volunteers.  The Business Sponsorship Program provides a way for local businesses to contribute to Sequoia in a meaningful and lasting way.   This a great opportunity for those who need flexibility and require limited time commitment.  Interested?  Please contact Kelly Baird ( ).
Learn more about our programs, how to volunteer and make a donation online at
to help us reach our $525K goal for the 2018-19 campaign.  
Back-to-School Night is Thursday, August 30 

Bell Schedule
Friday, August 31 Bell Schedule
Come at 6:30 p.m. to hear the band and orchestra, and to visit Sequoia's clubs and organizations in the main hall.  Don't forget to swing by the PTSA table to find out about membership and the PTSA in general.

Beginning at 7:00 p.m., you will follow your child's schedule of classes.  Be sure to bring a copy of your student's schedule with you!

Note that Friday, August 31 will be a MINIMUM DAY schedule due to the long Labor Day weekend. Monday, September 3, is a school holiday. 
coffeeStaff Appreciation Coffee Cart Needs Your Attention! 

Thanks to all who have signed up already but we are only halfway there.  We still have a few days to stock the PTSA coffee cart with tasty breakfast treats so let us all pitch-in.  This annual tradition is much appreciated by our Sequoia staff & teachers the morning after a late Back-to-School Night.  Our teachers really enjoy having the breakfast options offered.
Please sign-up for a food item donation or to help serve hot beverages.  Let us make this event special for our hard working Sequoia team on Friday morning, August 31.  
Principal's Reception is Tuesday, September 4
We hope to see you next Tuesday at the Principal's Reception on September 4 at 7 p.m. in Carrington Hall.   Come listen to Principal Sean Priest speak about the latest developments at Sequoia, followed by a question & answer session.
Also, meet other Sequoia parents and find out more about PTSA activities; it's a great way to start off the year!
PTSA Fall Mini-Grants!  
It's nearly Mini-Grants time!  Twice each year, the PTSA, through the support of the SHSEF, offers Mini-Grants to enhance the excellent education offered at Sequoia High School.  These grants of up to $500 are designed to encourage creative approaches to learning and/or to address compelling needs which would otherwise go unfunded.  Students, teachers and staff may apply.  Applications will be accepted Wednesday, August 29 through Friday, September 14.
Is your student a member of a club or activity that is ready to take on a new endeavor?  Please encourage him or her to apply.  Additional information and the application are available on the PTSA website.
Would you like to be on the front row to some of Sequoia's innovative educational efforts?  Consider joining our team to help with the selection process.  If you have a few hours to review applications and meet with the committee, we would love to have you on board.  No experience is necessary, and there will be seasoned committee members assisting along the way.  This is a great opportunity for new as well as returning Sequoia parents to learn about the great projects happening in our school!
Contact our Mini-Grants committee chairs Marlena Griffin and DeeDee Clark at
Attention IB Families!   
How can you get information about the ICAP and IB Programs?  What are you and your student suppose to be doing each year to prepare for the college application process?  Get these questions answered and many more at the IB College Grade Level Meetings presented by the College Advisor, Teresa Ignaitis, and the IB Coordinator, Lisa McCahon.  All students wanting to attend a four year university and/or interested in or taking an IB course should attend with their parents/guardians.  All grade-level meetings are held at 6 pm in Carrington Hall.  
A separate meeting in Spanish will be held for parents at the same time in the College Career Center.  All students should attend the English meeting in Carrington Hall.
  • 12th Grade: September 5th
  • 11th Grade: October 10th
  • 10th Grade: October 17th
  • 9th Grade: October 24th
These meetings are the main way Sequoia disseminates information about college and IB to families.  We look forward to seeing you all there! For more information, contact: 
Lisa McCahon (
IB Coordinator
650-369-1411 Ext.#63103 
For students testing this year, registration will take place in class in September and October.  Please read about payment instructions here
In This Issue

Monday and Wednesday, August 27 & 29
'B' Day Schedule

Tuesday and Thursday, August 28 & 30
'A' Day Schedule

Thursday, August 30
6:30 p.m.

Back-to-School Night

Friday, August 31
Staff Appreciation Coffee Cart, Teachers' Lounge on 2nd Floor of Main Building

Friday, August 31
Minimum Day Schedule

Monday, September 3
Labor Day - No School

Tuesday, September 4
7:00 p.m.
Principal's Reception, Carrington Hall  

Wednesday, September 5
6:00 p.m.
IB 12th Grade Info Meeting, Carrington Hall

Quick Links
PTA Slogan
California State PTA Statement on Family Separation and the U.S. Administration's "Zero Tolerance" Immigration Policy
Sequoia Sentinel
If you have articles to submit to the Sentinel, please email the article/blurb by the end of the day on Thursday. See Guidelines for news submissions. 
Find past issues of the Sentinel at  
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Parent Education

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ANGST: Raising Awareness Around Anxiety
Documentary Film + Panel Discussion
Tuesday, October 16, 2018, 7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
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 |
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