September 25, 2017

Sequoia PTSA's weekly eNewsletter in partnership with the Sequoia High School Education Foundation
topPrincipal's Message
In 2011, I was hired to be the Administrative Vice Principal at Sequoia.  Among my duties in this new position was oversight of the buildings and grounds.  In July, before students and teachers arrived, I walked back and forth from El Camino to Ellwood surveying and prioritizing the facilities needs of the school.  A significant renovation of the performing arts wing was at the top of my list from day one.

Thanks to our community support in the form of the passage of Measure A, we are months away from that vision being
Sean Priest and Gary Gooch in the new Performing Arts Wing
Sean Priest and Gary Gooch in the new Performing Arts Wing
realized.  Last week the windows were installed and now we are in the final phases of the project, giving our student musicians a digital keyboard lab along with larger band and choir rooms -- all with state of the art acoustic design.

The exterior of the building will remain true to the historical Mission Revival style of the rest of campus, with the bas-reliefs of famous composers intact and the iconic oversized arched windows still prominent on the north side of the building.

Measure A is also to thank for the new field under construction in front of campus. It will provide much needed practice space throughout the year for football, soccer, and lacrosse. I am pleased to report that none of our heritage trees needed to be fallen as part of this project and the unique character of Sequoia's campus front remains unchanged

The same can be said, I suppose, of Measure A construction overall.  Although the campus has changed significantly (new buildings, classrooms renovations, a major power upgrade, opening the Tea Garden to students, and increased parking), we're still the same beautiful Sequoia High School.

I'm grateful for our patient and understanding staff, the district construction team led by Chief Facilities Officer Matthew Zito, and our cooperative students and families (I heard only the slightest of grumbling when students had a semester-long detour around the A-Wing construction to get to their English classes).

We're already looking ahead to future projects with an eye on creating cool new spaces where kids can learn. Measure A began when we converted an old Foods room into an innovative learning lab and may very well wrap up in the Media Center a few meters away.  Can you hear us knocking, Ms. Snow?

Have a great week!

Sean Priest
Sequoia High School
650-367-9780 x60010

PTSA Membership Growing and There's Still Time for You to Join!

Click HERE
Don't want to hassle with another online login? Go old school!
Fill out this form in English  or Spanish.

Put the form and your check in an envelope and drop it off at the school office. We'll take care of the rest!

With your membership you can:
  • Be a part of Sequoia's community of parents, teachers and students who make our school welcoming, united, and engaged!
  • Lend your voice to the national PTA's fight against school funding cuts and for quality education for every student!

Not sure if you have joined yet this year? No problem! Check here for our updated membership list.

Photo retakes September 28th
Students who wish to have their school photos re-taken should
 report to Gym 3 during brunch or lunch this Thursday,September 28.  If the process takes longer than that allotted time, students will be provided with passes to class.
Boys Basketball team meets Kevin Durant and Myles Nunez wins big!
Kevin "KD" Durant, (Golden State Warriors, #35) and the Sequoia boys' basketball team met up at the Redwood City Boys & Girls Club of the Peninsula last Monday to unveil a brand new outdoor court. The b-ball court was donated by the Kevin Durant Charity Foundation.

As part of the dedication ceremony, Durant called for a Free Throw contest. Sequoia's own Senior point guard, Myles Nunez, won the title of champion and walked away with two round-trip tickets on Alaska Airlines. Following the dedication, Sequoia team members and their coach, Fine Lauese, taught kids from the club fundamentals of basketball with several skill building drills.

"I was impressed that KD came down to Redwood City. And there were so many kids there to see him and check out the new court," said Senior point guard, Jonathan Heist.

Durant's Foundation, #BuildItAndTheyWillBall, is building courts around the world, including New York City and as far away as Delhi, India. 

Photo: Judy Stone
Kevin "KD" Durant stopped by the Boys & Girls Club in Redwood City last Monday. Durant was joined by the Cherokees' boys' basketball team to unveil a new outdoor court, donated by his Charity Foundation.

It's Mini-Grant Time...Apply Now!
There is a crispness in the air; classes are in full swing.  Innovative ideas are buzzing through Sequoia's halls.  Clearly, Mini-Grants season is upon us!  The PTSA Fall Mini-Grants application is now open! Grants of $50-$400 are available through funding from the Sequoia High School Education Foundation (SHSEF) for classroom programs, club projects and more! Students, teachers and staff can apply.
Is your student a member of a club that is ready to tackle a new endeavor? Encourage her to apply for Mini-Grant!  Information as well as the application is available on the PTSA website.
The application deadline is October 2, 2017, at 8:00 pm.
Parents, would you like to help support some of the creative programs and projects happening at Sequoia?  Do you have a few hours in early/mid October and again in early spring?  Volunteers are needed for the PTSA Mini-Grants Committee.  Please join us! For more information, contact our Mini-Grants committee chair Marlena Griffin.
Raise Dollars for a Safe and Sober Grad Night - Class of 2018!
Join Football Concessions
You've generously contributed food and drinks. Thank you!
Now join fellow Senior parents as we sell concessions under the Friday night lights.

Proceeds from the Class of 2018 Football Concessions go toward a Safe & Sober Grad Week in June.
See your friends and their smiling children as they come up for freshly popped popcorn or a homemade mocha!

Sign up for a shift today! Click here to sign up ... 

Friday, October 13 vs Menlo School
Friday, October 20 vs Kings Academy (and Homecoming!)
Friday, October 27 vs Woodside

Contact Adrienne Heist at with questions.

Padres de Seniors: Semana de Graduación
Venta de Boletos de Noche de Graduación:
Por un solo día los boletos de la noche de graduación estarán a la venta ¡por el precio más bajo que se haya visto en años! El 5 de Octubre comenzando a las 8 AM, los boletos costarán tan solo $60. El viernes por la mañana el precio subirá a $70. ¡Así que compren sus boletos antes!

Aquí está el LINK  para usar el 5 de octubre a partir de las 8 am

Estamos trabajando arduamente para recaudar fondos para la semana de actividades de graduación "Safe & Sober" que tomará lugar la última semana escolar de junio. Tendremos el: Senior Brunch, Senior BBQ, y la Noche de Graduación en donde los estudiantes abordarán el Yate Hornblower que dará una vuelta por la Bahía de San Francisco. Tendremos comida, música, juegos y fotos. Si tiene preguntas contacte a Jayne Sungail a email. 

Senior Parents - Mark Your Calendars!
Flash Sale for Discount Grad Night Tickets Available October 5th
One day only grad night tickets will be on sale at the lowest price not seen in years! Mark your calendars for October 5th starting at 8 AM tickets will be $60. Friday morning the price will increase to $70. So get your tickets early!

Here is the LINK to use on October 5th starting at 8AM

Sure, it seems like a long way off but Grad Week will be here before you know it. 

We are working to raise funds for the end of year Safe & Sober Grad Week Activities that include Senior Brunch, Senior BBQ, and Grad Night for our graduates onboard a Bay cruise on the Hornblower Yacht where we'll have plenty of food, music, games, and photo booths. Don't miss out and save some cash by purchasing your tickets now!

Contact Jayne Sungail with questions

IB Students View French Films Thanks to Ms. Kuttan and the Mini Grants Program

french_flag_in_wind.jpg With her spring 2017 PTSA mini-grant, IB French teacher Ms. Laetitia Kuttan purchased French movies that aligned with IB themes for the year.
In her impact statement, Ms. Kuttan says she chose the films, "to help students get a better understanding of the themes, to use the films as support during discussions, and to help
weathered-movie-reel.jpg  student relate to a topic". She states that, "the French movies will be an asset to the students" and "while we have some "cult" movies, the more recent movies we purchased with the money will help tremendously to keep students engaged and interested". The films were ordered in the spring and will be in the classrooms this fall.

Thanks Ms. Kuttan for going the extra mile to support your students!

Reflections Art Competition - Still Open!

How many times have you said to your student, "That drawing (or essay, or composition) is AMAZING! You should enter it into a competition?

Well, here's your chance to mention it again and here's their chance to participate!

We would love to recognize his/her efforts. Please tell your students about Reflections, the PTA Arts Recognition Contest. reflections art program There are 6 possible categories in which to enter. The theme their art must address this year is "Within Reach." How they interpret it is up to them.

An overview, the rules, and entry forms are available on-line at the California PTA website. Further information is available on the Sequoia PTSA website under the Programs / Reflections tab and full instructions are available in the College and Career Center.  

The deadline is November 6, 2017.  For more information e-mail

As the song goes...Love the Bag You're With!

Love Bags are now available for purchase! These bags are well-made, attractive and make great hostess or birthday gifts. 40% 
of each order placed goes directly to support our 2018 Safe & Sober Grad Week activities.   See this flyer for details. Bagscan be ordered at Enter code SEQUOIA

Support Sequoia Organizations by shopping Online!

Did you know that while shopping online you can help Sequoia with a click of a button?

Check out the Amazon Smile Program

And select a deserving Sequoia organization of your choice:
  • Sequoia High School PTSA
  • Sequoia High School Education Foundation
  • Sequoia High School Spirit and Sports Boosters

And while you're at it, every time you find yourself in Office Depot buying school or work supplies, make sure you tell the cashier to credit your purchase to Sequoia High School.  A percentage of each purchase will go to Sequoia, thanks!

Sequoia Sentinel
Another Monday! 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

Wednesday, September 27
6pm 11th grade College and IB Info Night - Carrington Hall

Thursday, September 28
Photo Retakes 

Thursday, September 28
7pm Sequoia Parent Education, "The Well-Balanced Student"
- Carrington Hall

Monday, October 2
Mini grant application deadline 8pm  [ Apply Here ]

Tuesday, October 3
7pm - PTSA Meeting - Everyone Welcome, MPR

Wednesday, October 4
6pm - 10th grade College and IB info Night, Carrington Hall

Wednesday, October 11
PSAT for 10th and 11th grade students

Tuesday, October 17
7pm - College Financial Aid Information Night - 12th grade students and families,
Carrington Hall

Wednesday, October 18
6pm - 9th grade College and IB Info Night, Carrington Hall

Thursday, October 19
6pm - Band and Orchestra Concert, Everyone Welcome!

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En Español
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Parent Education

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


Know a recent college grad interested in education, social work, counseling or therapy? Please connect us!!
If you know of a recent college grad who is currently looking for work in the fields of education, social work, counseling or therapy, please let him/her know about this exciting paid opportunity at Sequoia, starting immediately. Thank you for helping us to spread the word!

Sequoia High School is looking for two enthusiastic recent college graduates who want to serve their country by becoming AmeriCorps Volunteers! (We are hiring now for THIS academic year.) 

 The AmeriCorps team plays a vital role on the school's campus by:
  • Supporting students in a mentoring relationship
  • Assisting in college readiness classes
  • Teaching after school enrichment courses

Some benefits of joining our program include:
  • Bi-weekly living stipend
  • Access to subsidized housing
  • Access to health Insurance
  • Education award upon completion of term

If you are between 21 and 30, interested in education, social work, counseling or therapy, this is a great opportunity to gain hands-on experience in a supportive environment! For more information, please go to, email Natalie Reina at or call (650) 486-2178 ext. 256.

White Oak Walk-a-thon: Calling all Volunteers!

It's time for the White Oaks Walk-a-Thon, where our preschool through 3rd grade kids come out for an afternoon of fundraising and fun!  We're looking for high school volunteers to help with the Family Fun Day on Sunday, Oct. 1st.  Student volunteers lead yard games, supervise the bouncy slide, hand out snacks and more.  It's a great way to get volunteer hours while helping out our local school.  

Make sure to find the opportunities specially marked for students. Thanks in advance!