September 7, 2015

Celebrating Sequoia High School's 120th Anniversary!
Sequoia PTSA's weekly eNewsletter in partnership with the Sequoia High School Education Foundation
PTSA President's Message
I love fall.  Sure, I am from the midwest and growing up each year I saw the warm, green summer give way to autumn and I watched the leaves turn brilliant colors and felt the chill in the air.  That has always signaled "back to school" for me.  It was my favorite time of year. Now that I live in Northern California I have become used to the dry, warm weather in August as it gives way to warmer and drier September.  Not at all like my hometown of Detroit, but I still love the fall.

So many of us have moved here from someplace else bringing with us different memories, different traditions. But no matter where you grew up, if you have school-aged kids in California, the end of August means the same thing: Time for school.  For students it can offer the anticipation of new beginnings, a brave new year with different classes, teachers, and challenges.  For parents it can provide the opportunity to hear your kid play in the band, or see them compete in a team sport, or watch as they navigate high school life. For parents and students alike it can mean making new friends or rekindling old friendships.  Yes, it does also mean early rising, the commute to school by foot, bus, carpool or bike, and late night homework sessions. But what's great about the beginning of a new school year is that we all have the opportunity to start again.  We can consider what worked (or didn't) last year, and we can make a change.  We can try something new. We're a year older, and hopefully a year wiser.
For many people, spring is the season of renewal.  For others, January 1st is the time to start fresh.  For me, well, the new school year is that time when that re-set button is pressed, the balance is tared and we can all begin again. 
With school in session for the past couple of weeks and Labor Day officially here, there's no going back to summer. I hope we all can find a little time today or in the weeks and months to come to talk with our kids to find out about their thoughts, hopes and dreams for the future - at Sequoia and beyond. We might be surprised at what we hear.
I welcome you all to the season of new beginnings.  I love fall!

Lisa Hane
Sequoia High School PTSA President
Happy Birthday Sequoia!
We are pleased to be celebrating Sequoia's 120th anniversary this year!  This is the first of a series of articles in honor of this milestone.

Sequoia HS opened September 16, 1895 with an enrollment of 53.  As it was the only high school on the Peninsula between Santa Clara and San Francisco, a five-dollar tuition fee was charged to students from outside the district.  Classes were held upstairs in the old Central School building, which was razed to permit the construction of the Sequoia Theater, presently the Fox Theater, on Broadway in downtown Redwood City.  After Redwood City had been decided upon as the site for the school, the name Sequoia was chosen as the most fitting to stand for the district as a whole. Sequoia, the name of the great redwood, is named after Sequoyah, the great Cherokee Indian scholar and inventor of the writing system for the Cherokee language.

In 1904 the High School District constructed a building on Broadway between Middlefield and Jefferson, and except for the reconstruction period after the 1906 earthquake, that building housed Sequoia's students until completion of the present facility in 1924. Immediately this new structure on the present campus was famous for its Spanish renaissance architecture.

Are you a multi-generation Sequoia HS family?  Let us know at [email protected]!  We will be gathering this information for a future article.
Shout-Out to All Volunteers!         
Shout-out to all the many Sequoia volunteers who last year logged 6500 volunteer hours, making Sequoia a better place!  Did you know that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the value of volunteer hours in 2014 to be $23.06 per hour?  So, Sequoia parents provided almost $150,000 in volunteer time.  That is in addition to all the generous financial support families provide.  Thank you!!!

Principal Sean Priest receiving the volunteer "check" from PTSA President Lisa Hane at the Principal's reception last Tuesday evening.
140 Sequoia parents and guardians filled the Multi-Purpose Room to hear from Principal Sean Priest and new AVP Gary Gooch. Mr. Priest and Mr.  Gooch responded to a wide variety of questions on topics ranging from "do you think our kids get too much homework?" to "what is the status of all the construction?" to "how is Sequoia responding to the changing environment of Redwood City?"  The questions were deep and not easily responded to, but parent concerns and comments were heard.

We are truly fortunate to have an administration that is so willing to reach out and listen to our parent community.
Don't forget that on the first Tuesday each month, Sean Priest addresses parents prior to the ELAC and PTSA meetings.  All are welcome to attend.

Grad Week Fundraisers
Love bags 2015-16
Reusable Love Bags Sale
Help "Spread the Love" and keep our environment free from disposable bags.  Love Bags are made from beautiful fabrics, have a sturdy construction, and are convenient and fun.  Pick from a variety of products including reusable shopping bags, stash it bags, cooler bags, backpacks, lunch boxes, pencil cases, and more!  All proceeds go towards the Safe and Sober Grad Activities Week for the Class of 2016.

Order online at Enter our school ID, 6ZF15, on the page that asks for your shipping information. Online orders will be shipped directly to you. If you prefer to see a catalog and pay by check, please email Cecilia Canale at [email protected].  Orders should be placed by Friday, September 25th.

Class of 2016 Football Concessions 
We are making and selling coffee and tea specialty drinks, popcorn and other snacks at the Home Football games.  No experience necessary.

This is the home stretch - or the "Red Zone Push" as they say - to support 2016 Safe and Sober Grad Week.  Sign up here to help or to donate supplies for the home games on Sept. 11, Sept. 18, Oct. 9, Oct. 23 and Oct. 30.  Thank you!
SAFE Program
Have you ever wanted to know what Sequoia's SAFE program is all about? SAFE stands for Sequoia After-school Focused Enrichment.  It is open to all Sequoia students and includes free academic tutoring and a wealth of fun activities ranging from horsemanship to ceramics to open water paddling.  It is available every school day from 7:15-8:15 AM and 3:45-5:45 PM.  For anyone staying after school, dinner is provided!

More than 40 classes are offered, which are described in the SAFE brochure and this great video. Most classes are on a drop-in basis unless noted otherwise - so you can come at any point in the year!

If your student is looking for some fun activities or a bit of academic tutoring, have them check out the SAFE program. They won't be disappointed!
Pay It Forward...          moneybag_graphic.jpg
Each year the outgoing senior class endeavors to leave a gift in the amount of $500 to the incoming freshman class. This is intended to alleviate some of the stress that comes with starting from zero on a fundraising campaign, and of course, it is just a kind gesture intended to welcome a new group of students to the Sequoia family. 

In addition, after the fun of Safe and Sober Grad Night is over and the senior parent fundraising has finally come to an end, any cash that wasn't spent goes into the coffers of the remaining PTSA class funds to give them a boost as the new school year starts.

Two great traditions that show our Sequoia spirit!

Coffee Cart Sept. 18            
Thank you to everyone who has signed up to help with the coffee cart or provide healthy snacks for our Sequoia teachers on September 18, the Friday morning after Back to School Night.  We still need a few more people to bring food items - Click here to sign up!

In This Issue
Monday, Sept. 7
No School - Labor Day
Wednesday, Sept. 9
6:00 PM - 11th Grade 4-Year College Bound Info Night, Carrington Hall

Monday, Sept. 14
Collab Day

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

Monday, Sept. 28
Picture Re-Take Day
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. 14
8:30-12:10 - PSAT, 10th & 11th Graders

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

Wednesday, Oct. 28
6:30-8:30 PM - 8th Grade Information Night
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Community News
Diabetes and Sports Health Camp
September 26 & 27, 10:30 AM to 3 PM
Carlmont High School
DASH (Diabetes and Sports Health) is a non-profit organization focusing on diabetes education and management empowerment, whose mission is to transform the world's view of Diebetes to Livabetes. DASH is organizing a camp at Carlmont HS to inspire the belief that one can thrive with diabetes. Programming will include activities of dance, theatre, soccer, dodgeball, Diabetes Math, Symptom awareness tag, and the DASH Ninja Warrior competition. Please see this flyer for more detailed information, or sign up here.

Parent Education
M-A Parent Education Series and Kepler's Books Present:
"Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain" - An evening with Dr. Daniel J. Siegel

Wednesday, September 16, 7:30 PM - Doors open at 6:30 PM
Menlo-Atherton Performing Arts Center (PAC)

The Peninsula Arts & Letters and Kepler's Books are pleased to bring internationally acclaimed author and UCLA psychiatrist Dr. Daniel Siegel to the M-A Performing Arts Center (PAC) to present his new work: Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain

Dr. Siegel will share the exciting neuroscience behind the heightened social, emotional and creative energy that drives teen behavior. Between the ages of 12 to 24, the brain changes in important and, at times, challenging ways. In "Brainstorm," Dr. Siegel dispels a number of commonly-held myths about adolescent behavior and demonstrates that during these years children learn vital skills, such as how to leave home and enter the larger world, connect deeply with others, and safely experiment and take risks. 

Drawing on important new research in the field of interpersonal neurobiology, Siegel explores exciting ways in which understanding how the brain functions can improve the lives of adolescents, making their relationships more fulfilling and less lonely and distressing on both sides of the generational divide.
The event is open to parents, students, faculty/staff, and community members.  Tickets are available here.  Kepler's Books will offer sales of Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain.
This special evening is presented in partnership with the M-A Parent Education Series and Menlo-Atherton High School. 

Questions? Contact Charlene Margot, M.A., Founding Director, The Parent Education Series, at [email protected] or 650.868.0590.

Sequoia Parent Education Series
"Raising Teens with Mindfulness, Resilience, and a Growth Mindset" - with Leah Weiss Ekstrom, PhD, and Fred Dillon, HopeLab
Thursday, September 24, 7:00-8:30 p.m.
Sequoia High School, Carrington Hall
This session will explore the science and application of mindfulness, resilience, and a growth mindset. Learn practical, evidence-based tools that will help your teen not only bounce back, but actually learn from setbacks. Come hear from the experts! 

Leah Weiss Ekstrom lectures on compassionate leadership at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and teaches at Stanford's Compassion Cultivation Program (CCARE), founded by HH the Dalai Lama. In addition, Leah leads Compassion Education and Scholarship at HopeLab, an Omidyar Group research and development nonprofit focused on resilience. Fred Dillon plays a key role in shaping HopeLab's new initiative to promote human resilience and inner values through social tech innovation. 
Parents, students, faculty/staff and community members are welcome!  Simultaneous Spanish interpretation will be provided.  Free admission; register here.
Sequoia Parent Education Series events are sponsored by the SHSEF, the Sequoia Healthcare District, and the Sequoia Union High School District.
For more information, contact Charlene Margot, Founding Director, The Parent Education Series, at [email protected] or 650.868.0590
For Spanish, contact Mayela Ramirez, Parent Center Coordinator, 650-369-1411 x 63105.