August 28, 2017

Sequoia PTSA's weekly eNewsletter in partnership with the Sequoia High School Education Foundation
Principal's Message
For the last seven years, I've been leading campus tours on behalf of the school at the annual Alumni Picnic.  Ken Rolandelli, president of the Alumni Association , runs a tight agenda for the event and gives me a strict 45-minute time frame to complete each tour. Two departures from the Argo Tower: one at 11; another at 2.

Like any proud principal, I endeavor diligently to provide a memorable ramble, showcasing a broad array of the school's facilities: our 21st-century culinary arts wing, the renovated Tea Garden, the biotech lab, the woodshop, Carrington Hall, etc.. Sequoia's campus stretches 35-acres and the 370 picnic attendees include graduates from the 1990s through the 1940s.  A purposeful route is essential if we're going to cover my highlights in a timely, safe, and considerate manner.

Thankfully, our alumni are unsparing in their feedback: "Why'd you get rid of the auto shop?!?"; "That banner is missing our 1957 league championship!"; and, justly, "all these new buildings and rooms are great, but we really just want to walk down the halls and pass by our old lockers." In fact, it is always the slow march through the main building that elicits silence and awe from the group -- enough nostalgia to give me chills, too.  

At this year's event, I met Olympic athletes, business owners, career public servants, and other successful, contributing members of this or other communities around the world.  I heard wild tales about the Atomic Loop, the Dragan Wagon, disastrous senior pranks (never am I more grateful for our security cameras!), and triumphant games and performances.  Under the canopy of our Lawson Cypress, this year's rendition of The Sequoia Hymn by Treble Clef (the choral ensemble founded in 1907 and still conducted by retired teacher Jay Selby) quieted even the birds.  Notably, volunteer extraordinaire Grace Schulz was recognized for her contribution in recent years with a Purple Patriot Award.

The annual Alumni Picnic renews my faith in the impact of this special place on the lives of our students beyond their 4-years of high school.  As educators, we are laser-focused on learner outcomes, improving our practice, and shepherding outstanding achievement with all kids.  Beyond the classroom, however, the relationships, the personal disasters/triumphs, and quiet moments walking through the trees are what build character and community.  The flood of memories our alumni experience as they walk through the halls each August occurs because this place is tied firmly to the core of their identity.

I don't take this for granted when thinking about who our students will be in 2067.  Outstanding teachers give them confidence, skills, and adaptability to succeed in college and career.  The alphabet of trees helps them learn the value of lingering in a daydream.  And then there is the unique legacy of Unaliyi. T his gift we're entrusting our children to protect will, hopefully, help them understand what kinds of traditions are worth preserving in order to make the world a better place.

"I hope you know how lucky you are to work here," said one alumni as we wrapped up the afternoon tour.  I do.

Have a great week!


PTSA President's Message
The weeks and days prior to school starting often include a furious scramble of teachers, staff, administrators AND parents working to get everything ready for the first day!  While that burden clearly falls mostly on the school personnel, the support our parents provide is important. 
I would l ike to thank the following members from our parent community for their work to support our teachers, staff, administrators and most importantly our students on those 'first days and weeks'.  Our PTSA could not have done it without your help, and we truly appreciate the time, energy and talents you shared with Sequoia!  
New Student Orientation and Help Desk Helpers:  Sian Davies, Susie Gilbert, Yadell Hernandez, Gayle Hoch, Rachel Krue ger, Alisa MacAvoy, Teresa Morales, Hilary Paulson, Jasmin Peccei, Erika Pretell, Becca Schulz, and Grace Schulz 
Special shout out to Susan Alley, Susie Gilbert, Elvira Macias and Elisa Nino-Sears for joining me on stage at our Seq101 presentation.  They represented some of the other parent groups that work together to support our community. I appreciated their sharing information about their organizations with the families new to Sequoia.
Photo Helpers:
Jane Acreman, Judy Adams, Bonnie Alesna, Carolyn Arbuckle, Meredith Armienti, Linda Burt, Lisa Carreno, Steve Donovan, Katherine Frazer, Eugene Gershtein, Lisa Hane, Yadell Hernandez, Wendy Mandujano, Maria Martin, Gabriela Mendoza-Evans, Grace Mizutani, Teresa Morales, Debbie Nunez, Katie O'Hara, Hilary Paulson, Brenda Reeves, Caitlin Schneider, Grace Schulz, and Sabine Won.
Library Helpers: (Another shout out to some in this crew who answered our last minute 'SOS'!)
Judy Adams, Sue Anderson, Carolyn Arbuckle, Alicia Bladen, Sian Davies, Dorith Dooley, Lisa Hane, Adrienne Heist, Andrea Hernacki, Katie Hultgren, Alisa MacAvoy, Maria Martin, Jessica Mihaly, Grace Mizutani, Hillary Paulson, Caitlin Schneider, Grace Schulz, and Jane Taylor.  Special thanks to student Karina Bender for her help!
Thank you for helping to welcome our students, families and staff back to school!
Lauren Pachkowski
PTSA President  

Staff Appreciation Coffee Cart:
Can you help?
We need your help to support the PTSA coffee cart and tasty breakfast treats to show our appreciation for our Sequoia staff & teachers the morning after Back-to-School Night. Our teachers really appreciate being perked up, so please sign-up  and help make this event special for our hard working Sequoia team on Friday morning, September 1st , by either contributing a food item or helping serve hot beverages.
Membership Drive is Up & Running!
 Our fall membership drive is off to a great start with parents, teachers, and students alike standing up to support Sequoia High School PTSA.  

Haven't joined yet? Sign up on-line  HERE

Your $20 membership dues support many in-school initiatives but more importantly, 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!

And please know that 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!

Sequoia's Doors are Open and You're Invited!
Join Sequoia's teachers and administrators as they host Back-To-School Night this Thursday, August 31st.

Come at 6:30pm for live music and fun then, don't be late for first period at 7:00pm as you follow your student's schedule hearing presentations from all of their teachers.
It will be a fun night to walk Sequoia's halls!
See the attached flyer for information.  Information can also be accessed on the school's calendar page and on Sequoia's home page "quick links".

Senior Parents: Help Your Class Earn Dollars for Grad Night!
The Class of 2018 parents  are working to raise funds for Safe & Sober Grad Week Activities that happen the last week of school in June:  Senior Brunch and Senior BBQ, as well as Grad Night itself, when our graduates cruise around the SF Bay on board a Hornblower Yacht.  Join the effort to make this a successful, safe and memorable week!

Football Concessions : Be part of the action during the Friday night home football games.  Chat with  students and parents while making iced mochas, serving hot drinks and selling freshly popped popcorn. Sign up for a shift at one of the Sequoia  home  games (including this Friday, Sept. 1st against Burlingame ).  Can't make it to the game? Sign up to donate items needed to run the concession stand.   Click here to help out

Contact Adrienne Heist with questions.

Going, going, gone ...
Students and teachers poured on to the school grounds on Monday August 21st to witness the Great American Solar Eclipse of 2017!

The eclipse that crossed a swath of the entire contiguous United States was seen through pin hole boxes, special glasses, and even through holes of spatulas and colanders!  The Media Center was filled with excitement as live coverage of the eclipse was viewed by students gathered around the large screen on the library wall.

A tremendous THANK YOU to all of our supporters!

Because of your support, 
we made our 2016-2017goal of $375,000!

As your student starts the new school year, you can be proud that your contribution will be supporting our students, teachers and staff in so many ways:
  • Class Size Reduction
  • After-School Math Tutors
  • College & Career Counseling Assistant
  • PTSA Mini-Grants
  • Freshman College Day
  • IB Math Staff
  • PSAT Day
  • Student Run Newspaper "Raven Report" Printing
  • Chromebooks, Tablets & Graphing Calculators
  • Staff Development Day

Sequoia Sentinel
It's Monday Morning again! We hope you are enjoying the Sentinel.  We welcome your feedback and input

If you have articles to submit to the Sentinel, please send the information to our article collection address  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! Visit the Stay Informed: Subscribe section of the PTSA website. 

With Kindest Regards,

Torri and Alex Horovitz
2017 - 2018 Sentinel Editors 

In This Issue
Upcoming Events
Thursday, August 31
Back-to-school night (6:30pm)

Friday, September 1
Minimum Day

Friday, September 1
First Home Football Games

Monday, September 4
Labor Day, School Holiday 

Tuesday, September 5
Principal's Welcome (7:00pm)

Saturday, September 16
Sequoia Stampede

Quick Links
About Us 

Submit news to the Sentinel: For instructions, click here.

Find past issues of the Sentinel: 

En Español
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Parent Education

Lee Daniel Kravetz and Julie Lythcott-Haims
Social Contagion: How to Catch Resilience
Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017, 7:00 - 8:30 pm
M-A Performing Arts Center (PAC)
555 Middlefield Road, Atherton CA 94025

Register Here 

Join us for an enlightening conversation with Lee Daniel Kravetz, author of Strange Contagion: Inside the Surprising Science of Infectious Behaviors and Viral Emotions and What They Tell Us About Ourselves, and Julie Lythcott-Haims, NY Times bestselling author of How to Raise an Adult and Real American (2017).

Parents, students, faculty/staff, and community members welcome!
Spanish interpretation will be available. Free admission.

the M-A PTA, the Sequoia Healthcare District, and the Sequoia Union High School District.
Tauheed Zaman, M.D.
Clearing the Smokescreen: The Evidence on Marijuana
Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2017, 7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
Woodside High School, WHS Performing Arts Center (PAC)
199 Churchill Avenue, Woodside

What does the current evidence show about marijuana (cannabis)? As a parent, what should you know about the potency of today's marijuana - "weed" - and its effect on the developing adolescent brain? Don't miss this critical presentation on "clearing the smokescreen" around marijuana. 

Parents, students, faculty/staff, and community members welcome!
Spanish interpretation will be available. Free admission.
Woodside Parent Education Series events are sponsored by the Woodside PTSA, the Sequoia Healthcare District, and the Sequoia Union High School District.

The Well-Balanced Student, Challenge Success, Stanford Graduate School of Education

Thursday, Sept. 28, 2017, 7:00 - 8:30 pm  
Sequoia High School, Carrington Hall
1201 Brewster Avenue, Redwood City

When we are too focused on grades and performance, we deny our children the time and energy they need to tackle the demanding work of growing up. In this presentation, you'll learn how you can establish a healthier home environment for your school-aged student, reduce academic stress without sacrificing achievement, and increase your child's resilience, creativity, and well-being.

Challenge Success, founded in 2003 at the Stanford Graduate School of  Education, partners with schools and families to provide kids with the academic, social, and em otional skills need to succeed now and in the future. Mary Hofstedt, Ed.M., is the Community Education Direc tor for Challenge Success.  Parents, students, faculty/staff and community members welcome! Spanish interpretation will be available. Free admission.

Sequoia Parent Education Series events are sponsored by the SHSEF, the Sequoia Healthcare District, and the Sequoia Union High School District.

Questions? Contact Charlene Margot, M.A., Director, The Parent Education Series, via  email or 650-868-0590. For Spanish, contact Mayela Ramirez, Parent  Center Coordinator, 650-367-9780, Ext. 63105