November 9, 2015

Celebrating Sequoia High School's 120th Anniversary!
Sequoia PTSA's weekly eNewsletter in partnership with the Sequoia High School Education Foundation
Principal's Message
The school-family partnership remains among the greatest determinants for academic achievement with both individuals and communities.  I speak often of my gratitude for the support we receive from our parents in the form of volunteer hours, financial support for the SHSEF, innovative ideas, and community goodwill ambassadorship.  

My end of the bargain is to provide the best educational experience I can for every student at Sequoia.   The great teachers, counselors, and staff at Sequoia bring passion and intelligence each day to that endeavor.  We are reflective and mission-driven to find better ways to engage students every day.

Recognizing, however, the power of well-informed parents/guardians to help in the daunting task of transforming teens into substantive young adults, we also work hard to keep parents on the cutting edge.  In addition to grade-level meetings with counselors, college information nights, community dialogues, and PTSA/ELAC meetings to help families stay on top of the business of being a Sequoia student, for the past 5 years Sequoia has hosted a Parent Education Series Event each quarter.  

The Parent Education Series is a district program partially funded by the Sequoia High School Education Foundation.  You may have seen the announcements at the bottom of these weekly emails.  In addition to the program at Sequoia, both Woodside and Menlo-Atherton High Schools also host events (which are open to all).  I encourage folks to take advantage of these opportunities.  Our location at an innovation epicenter -- along with the formidable rolodex of the program coordinator -- affords us an opportunity to hear from globally recognized leaders in the field of learning and adolescent development.

Below are the remaining dates for this year's Sequoia Parent Education Series events:
  • Wed. Nov. 18, 7 PMSteve Smith, PhD, Clinical Psychologist, "Helping Young Athletes Reach their Potential"
  • Thursday, Feb. 18, 7 PMMaria Furtado, Executive Director, Colleges that Change Lives (CTCL)
  • Thursday, April 21, 7 PMJulie Lythcott-Haims, Former Dean of Freshmen, Stanford University, Author of How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success
Have a great week!
Help for Families in Need
As you prepare for the holidays, please consider taking a little time to reach out and support Sequoia families in need! Here are opportunities to help:

> Shopping: We need volunteers to purchase grocery items for food baskets. Volunteers will be provided with a list of needed items, and can be reimbursed by the Sequoia High School Education Foundation. The items will need to be purchased and delivered to the Parent Center at Sequoia by Wednesday, November 18. 
> Distributing: We need volunteers to help assemble and distribute food baskets to the families in need, who will be picking them up from the Parent Center. These volunteers will be assisting the Parent Center from 5:00-6:30 PM on Monday, November 23 and Tuesday, November 24.

If you would like to help in either way with the Thanksgiving Food Baskets, please email Kristine Westerlind at [email protected].

We will need many volunteers to help supply basic needs for the holidays for families in need. Please keep your eye out for further details and an opportunity to sign up immediately following Thanksgiving.

Nothing warms you up quite like opening your heart to someone else!

Dream Club Dinner - November 20
Please join us on Friday, November 20 from 6:00-8:30 PM in the MPR for the Dream Club's 6th annual fundraising dinner, including door prizes, student stories, student art, education and family-friendly fun! Tickets will be available at the door or from any Dream Club member.  All proceeds go to our scholarship fund.  See this flyer for more details.

Read this great article about the Dream Club that was posted in the Daily Journal!

SHSEF Fall Mailing Volunteers Needed!
The Sequoia High School Education Foundation (SHSEF) is seeking volunteers to help assemble our fall brochure and appeal mailing this Thursday, Nov. 12 (morning or evening) and Friday, Nov. 13 (morning). Can you spare a couple of hours to fold, stuff and stick while enjoying great snacks and even better conversation? Please sign up though this Volunteer Spot link.

Thank you for helping SHSEF give all Sequoia students the opportunity to reach their highest potential!  Questions? Contact Jennifer Webb, SHSEF Annual Giving Chair, [email protected].

Congrats Sailing Team! 
Sequoia sailing team members Gavin Bradley and Christian Brown took third place overall in the 2015 Norcal Divisional #1 PYSF Regatta on October 31.  Congratulations!

Sequoia High School Alumni Association Donates $7395 to Sequoia High School
The Sequoia High School Alumni Association announced it has awarded $7,195 to teachers at Sequoia High School under its annual "Cherokee Grants" program, as well as $100 to the Cheer Team and $100 to the Football Team. The "Cherokee Grants" program was established to fund the purchase of instructional equipment, materials or services that are not included in the current Sequoia Union High School District budget. Grant applications are given to every Sequoia High School teacher.  The "Cherokee Grants" Committee studies each request and makes a decision as to how monies can best be spent to benefit the most students or the most worthy programs. Several thousand dollars have been awarded since the program was instituted in 1987.  

Thank you to the Alumni Association!  See this press release with more details of the grants awarded.

Thank you to the 30+ people who donated their time and/or supplies to the Class of 2016 Safe & Sober Grad Night Football Concessions!  We could not have done it without all of you, and it was nice to meet and get to know everyone.

We're on the home stretch for Grad Night; buy your student's ticket here and remind your friends to as well!

Ever Wanted To Be A Tour Guide?
Help out at our 8th Grade Campus Tours on Saturday, November 21st!  You don't need to be a Sequoia expert, just a parent who wants to show 8th grade families our beautiful campus.  Contact us at [email protected] to volunteer.

Look for Sequoia ASB students who will be outside the front entrance of the school at 10:00 AM on Nov. 21, rain or shine!

Collector's Scholarship
The Sequoia Stamp Club of Redwood City is offering a $500 scholarship to a Sequoia graduate who has shown an interest in collecting stamps, or has been deeply involved with some other similar hobby or activity.  Applicants must have a minimum GPA of 2.0 or better, and plan on continuing their education at either a 2 or 4 year college.  The selected applicant will attend a meeting of the Sequoia Stamp Club and speak to our members about his or her hobby and how it has enriched their life.  Applications must be submitted to Ms. Ignaitis by May 3, along with a 250-500 paragraph on your particular hobby and what it has meant to you.

Photo Scavenger Hunt
Hopefully most people have noticed this on our campus... where is it? 

Sequoia seal library window

Last week's answer:  This seal is in the Library window, over the door.

If you have a photo you would like to submit, please send it to [email protected]. Be sure to include information about what the item in the photo is and where it is located.  We look forward to hearing from you!

In This Issue
Monday, Nov. 9
Block schedule - B day 

Wednesday, Nov. 11
No school - Veteran's Day

Sunday, Nov. 15
Due date for IB Exam fees

Monday, Nov. 16
Collab day

Wednesday, Nov. 18
7 PM - Sequoia Parent Education, "Helping Young Athletes Reach Their Potential," Carrington Hall

Friday, Nov. 20
6 PM - Dream Club Dinner, MPR

Nov. 20 & 21, 7 PM; 
Nov. 22, 3 PM
Fall Musical "Brigadoon," Carrington Hall; tickets here

Monday, Nov. 23
Block schedule - B day

Nov. 25-27
Thanksgiving Holiday - No school

Tuesday, Dec. 1
7 PM - PTSA Meeting, MPR

Tuesday, Dec. 8
7 PM - Winter Concert, Orchestra and Choir

Thursday, Dec. 10
7 PM - Winter Concert, Bands
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Community News
Sequoia Students Perform in Nutcracker
Come see the Bay Area's most family-friendly Nutcracker performance at the historic Fox Theater in Redwood City on Friday, December 4th at 7:00 PM and Sunday, December 6th at 1:00 PM & 4:00 PM.  Ballet America's show has it all: professional dancers, alongside 100 local performers, including Sequoia's very own Tirzah L., Sadie R., Lauren S., Ellis S., and Harper G.  Tickets range in price from $22-$39 and are available via the website: Get your tickets early before they sell out. See you at the ballet!

Woodside HS Holiday Boutique - November 14
The Woodside Class of 2016 is hosting a Holiday Boutique on Saturday,
November 14 from 10 AM to 3 PM in the small gym.  $1 entry fee - door
prizes & bake sale.  There will be over 40 amazing vendors and crafters.  Parking is available on both the Churchill and Alameda entrances.  Get your holiday shopping
done before Thanksgiving!

Support College Success for Local Low-Income Students
Volunteer Opportunity: Become a Mentor to a Talented First-Generation College Student
The Peninsula College Fund, which provides four-year college scholarships, 1-1 adult mentors, college and career success training, and summer internship support to low-income, first-generation college students, is seeking volunteers to serve as mentors to college students. Mentors offer advice, support, and role modeling to a student throughout the student's college career. Prospective mentors can learn more about this life-changing experience at This highly effective organization serves mid-peninsula high school students from Palo Alto to Redwood City. For questions about mentoring, contact Iris Bustos, Program Coordinator at [email protected] or at (650-779-5002. Make a difference today! Thanks!

Parent Education
Sequoia Parent Education Series
"Helping Young Athletes Reach their Potential" - with Steve Smith, PhD, Palo Alto University

Wednesday, November 18, 7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
Sequoia High School, Carrington Hall
Register here.
How can parents support their student's participation in sports to encourage a lifelong healthy lifestyle and to reach their potential? The balance between sports, academics, and downtime can be challenging -- come learn how to prepare your young athlete for the future. 

Steve Smith, PhD, psychologist and professor of clinical psychology in the PGSP-Stanford PsyD Consortium of Palo Alto University, will provide guidelines for parents and coaches to consider for healthy sport participation. Dr. Smith served as the consulting psychologist for the Division I Department of Intercollegiate Athletics at UC Santa Barbara. He maintains a private practice, Sport Psychology and Research Center (, where he works with school, club, and professional teams and athletes of all ages.
Parents, students, faculty/staff and community members welcome! Free admission.  Spanish interpretation will be available.

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., 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.