August 17, 2015
Sequoia PTSA's weekly eNewsletter in partnership with the Sequoia High School Education Foundation
Principal's Message
A heartfelt welcome on behalf of the Sequoia High School staff to the 2015-16 academic year.  Nothing beats the first week of school for excitement and energy.  We educators thrive on the annual renewal of our professional relationships and goals.  It's palpable.  Already I've talked to teachers and staff about exciting innovations sparked by summer travel and professional development.  I've seen our disciplined athletes and coaches putting in the long hours in preparation for another great fall sports season.  And I'm, of course, so grateful for Lisa Hane and all the awesome PTSA volunteers putting together our help desk, supporting 9th grade orientation, and feeding the staff on the first day back.  The unaliyi is alive and well -- you're in for a great year!

If you've been around this summer, you've seen the dust.  Measure A work is well under way at Sequoia.  While we've done our best to minimize the disruption to student learning, there's no way to build ten new classrooms, remodel two other classrooms, and expand student parking without making some noise and bumping some heads.

The expanded student parking, in particular, will be a big inconvenience over the first 25 school days.  The demolition of obsolete district maintenance facilities was a project with a scope that could not be contained within a summer.  As such, we are down a significant portion of parking until late September and had to limit the number of student parking passes sold at the outset of school.

I appreciate everyone's patience and understanding, and promise it will be worth the trouble when our new James Street student parking lot is complete.

Other than the student parking headache, first day of school procedures are as they've been for the past several years.  Students will be directed by lists posted in the main hall to their 1st period classes where they will receive their schedules for the day.  Schedules will be available on the student's Infinite Campus portal tonight.  Zero period will begin on the first day.

I can't wait to see all the students tomorrow and launch another great year at Sequoia.  Here's to 2015-16!

Sean Priest
Sequoia High School Principal
PTSA President's Message
William Shakespeare once wrote:
I can no other answer make, but, thanks, and thanks. 
I know how he feels.  School has not even started, and already dozens of PTSA parents have stepped up to help with back-to-school events including the Staff/Teacher luncheon, preparing New Teacher Gift bags, staffing the Welcome Back Check-In Help Desk and assisting with class photos.  I am filled with gratitude, and it is not even the first day of school!
Throughout the school year the PTSA, with the financial support of Sequoia High School Education Foundation, offers Mini-Grants for teachers, scholarships for Juniors, and hosts several teacher appreciation events.  We will help organize the International Festival, and assist proctoring IB and AP exams.  We will hold parent social events and help provide a fantastic Grad Week experience for our graduating seniors. I could go on but... there are many opportunities to get involved a little or a lot, whatever your schedule will allow. 

As the president of PTSA this school year, I look forward to meeting you and getting to know our wonderful and talented community even better.  Our membership is open to all parents, students, and teachers of Sequoia and we'd love to have you join! 
So, why quote a quote from the Bard?
This weekend, Sequoia will have the pleasure of hosting Bay Area Shakespeare's production of Romeo and Juliet on our beautiful campus.  If you have the chance to see this free production you won't be disappointed!
I wish you all a great start to the school year.

Lisa Hane
Sequoia PTSA President
Welcome Back Check-in & Help Desk

Freshmen Orientation will take place on Monday, August 17 at 9:00 AM, for both students and parents.  There will also be a BBQ for 9th grade families starting at 12:00.


10th-12th graders: If you have not yet taken care of back-to-school forms and payments, come to the Welcome Back Check-in and Help Desk on Monday, August 17 between 1:00-4:00. Copies of the forms are available here.


Today is Picture Day

Photos for 9th graders will occur during freshmen orientation.  Photos for 10th-12th graders will be taken during the time slots listed in the "Calendar" section of this newsletter.


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 of school, PTSA, SHSEF, and community information.  It will be sent out every Monday morning.


If you have articles to submit to the Sentinel, please send the information to [email protected]  by the end of the day on Thursday.


Freshmen families:  Be sure to update your contact information by adding your freshman student, and selecting the "Class of 2019" email list.  Visit in the "Stay Informed: Subscribe" section.


NOTE: If you no longer wish to receive the Sentinel, please unsubscribe using the link at the bottom of this email. Our fees are based on the number of people on our distribution list, so keeping our email list accurate is helpful to us!  


Grace Schulz, Sentinel Editor


PTSA Member 
Did you know that there are many perks that come with a PTSA membership?  For example, discounts to the California Academy of Sciences, Legoland, Enterprise Rental, and other organizations are available.  Find out about other member perks here

Become a member of the Sequoia PTSA by visiting our PTSA Store

Sequoia High School Education Foundation
Thank You 2014-15 Supporters!

Your contributions support the following programs for the 2015-16 school year:
* Smaller Class Sizes
* Chromebooks and Graphing Calculators
* College Services and Staffing
* Academic Enrichment
* Staff Development
* Family Support

More information coming soon on the 2015-16 campaign!
Sequoia Students Teach at Fitness Event

On May 21, 2015, students from Sequoia's Health Academy participated in the Dignity Health "Make Time for Fitness Event" where they worked with Redwood City School District 4th graders.


Students taught at a variety of stations which included info on healthy eating, yoga, the sugar contained in food/drinks, why drinking water is important and an anti smoking session which talked about the chemicals found in cigarettes and e-cigs.


See the students in action, starting at about 2:15 in this video!


Parking Permits car-sales-lot.jpg
With ongoing construction at Sequoia High School, parking has become highly impacted campus-wide. Specifically, demolition of a district building adjacent to the James Street parking area has led to a temporary decrease in available spaces.

To address this shortage, student parking permit sales have been limited to 12th graders only.  All parking permits allocated for Seniors have been sold.  A new parking area will be completed in late September, and at that time we will re-open the permit-selling process to Seniors. Please also note that Senior permit holders are allowed only in the James Street parking area. The Elwood Street parking area is now reserved for Sequoia H.S. teachers and staff.

Thank you and we apologize for the inconvenience.

In This Issue


Monday, August 17
9:00-12:30 Freshmen Orientation

1-4 PM Check-In & Help Desk, Sequoia main hallway 

School Photos, Gym 3
10th - 12:00-1:30
11th - 1:00-2:30
12th - 2:00-3:30
Tuesday, August 18
First Day of School



Tuesday, Sept. 1
7:00 PM - Principal's Reception

Wednesday, Sept. 2
6:00 PM - 12th Grade College and IB Diploma Info Night, Carrington Hall

Monday, Sept. 7
No School - Labor Day

Wednesday, Sept. 9
6:00 PM - 11th Grade College Info Night, Carrington Hall

Thursday, Sept. 17
6:30-9:00 PM - Back-to-School Night

Tuesday, Oct. 6
7-8 PM - PTSA meeting, MPR

Wednesday, Oct. 7
6:00 PM - 10th Grade College Info Night, Carrington Hall

Monday, Oct. 12
No School - Staff Development Day

Wednesday, Oct. 21
6:00 PM - 9th Grade College Info Night, Carrington Hall

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Community News
What would it take for every student to be Most Likely to Succeed?
On Saturday, August 22, 1:45 PM at the Redwood City Main Library, see a free screening of Most Likely to Succeed, a 2015 Sundance Film Festival documentary film about a California charter school. High Tech High replaces standardized test and compartmentalized learning with project-based learning and a student-focused curriculum to develop young adults to all become most likely to succeed in a technology-driven world with a global labor force. Sal Kahn of Kahn Academy says, "The 21st century is going to be all about building, creating and innovating. This remarkable film shows a path of how we can empower all of our children to do that."

Most Likely to Succeed, a film about education, followed by a conversation about the ideas
Date: Saturday, August 22, 1:45 PM
Location: Redwood City Main Library, 1044 Middlefield Road, Redwood City

Reserve a free ticket here - NOTE: Sequoia HS students and families can use the promotional code "RC" to receive tickets (free) that have been set aside for schools.  The event is displayed as "sold out" for regular tickets.

See the film trailer here
Sponsored by Girls Innovate!

Shakespeare in the Park at Sequoia

The San Francisco Shakespeare Festival presents Romeo and Juliet for its 33rd season of Free Shakespeare in the Park.  This production will celebrate Shakespeare's remarkable genre-defying play, which soars to the heights of romantic comedy before plunging into heartbreak.


Performances will be held on the grounds of Sequoia High School on Saturday, August 22 at 7:30 PM and Sunday, August 23 at 4:00 PM Audiences can further their enjoyment of this production by attending a 15-minute Green Show (30 minutes before the performance), which provides context and historical background for the play in a fun, family-friendly format.

Parent Education
Sequoia Parent Education Series: 2015-16 Fall Schedule
 Thursday, September 25 
"Be Here Now: Developing Mindfulness, Resilience, and a Growth Mindset" - with Leah Weiss Ekstrom, PhD, HopeLab, Stanford University 
7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
Carrington Hall
Thursday, November 5
"Helping Young Athletes Reach their Potential" -  with Steve Smith, PhD, Professor and Co-Director of PGSP-Stanford PsyD Consortium, Palo Alto University
7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
Carrington Hall