December 7, 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 hammers are swinging," says our newest Vice Principal, Gary Gooch, about the construction and renovation currently underway at Sequoia.  If we remain on schedule, by March 2016 room 128 will be a large, flexible learning innovation lab and the new culinary arts classroom will be filled with the smells of Sequoia's top chefs.  

85 additional parking spaces are now available in the James Street parking lot, and the ground is broken on the new classroom wing with increment one completed and increment two underway.  Furniture has been ordered, colors have been selected, and the new classrooms should be online by late next fall.

I recently met Sequoia's Measure A construction committee on next steps of our bond construction.  Over the course of last year, that group laid out a 5 year plan prioritizing capital improvements, athletic fields, and other areas of campus likely to be impacted by the anticipated growth in student population between now and 2020.  It consists of parents, students, school and district staff, and architects from Spencer and Associates.  It's a dynamic group with a strong vision for 21st Century Sequoia High School.

The next major project we will undertake is a renovation of our performing arts wing, where our band, orchestra, choir, and stagecraft classes practice.  Mr. Broome, Mr. Jefferson, and Ms. Woodman offered expert input on the priorities of the department.  The project is early in the planning stages with the goal of providing first rate acoustics, more efficient storage, and inspiring design.  

I'm very excited about continuing to steward the improvements to our beautiful campus.  I will continue to use this forum to periodically update Sentinel readers on Measure A construction.

Speaking of performing arts, don't miss this week's double bill of performances from Band, Orchestra, and Choir.  The Winter Concerts will take place over two nights: December 8th and 10th.  Tuesday will feature orchestra and choir, and Thursday will feature both concert bands and the jazz band.  I'm personally looking forward to selections from the movie Brave (with a 5-year old daughter, we're all in on Merida) as well as the Nightmare Before Christmas suite (Danny Elfman!).  Hope to see many of you there.

Have a great week!
Thanksgiving Magic! 
Holiday magic was conjured this Thanksgiving as Mayela Ramirez and Anjelica Maldonado readied boxes brimming with food for 60 Sequoia families in need.  Through individual, school, and community donations, Mayela and her team filled the Parent Center with food donations for each family to come and collect before the Thanksgiving break.  Contents of each box included canned foods, fresh chicken, fresh fruits and vegetables, bread, butter, sugar, flour and eggs.

In addition to the food items, tables were spread with donated clothing items available for any of the families who visited the Parent Center.

As usual, Mayela went the extra mile and this year she had a representative of Second Harvest Food Bank on hand to register families desiring food assistance beyond the holidays.  Once registered, families will be able to access food bank resources available at Redwood City School District Community School locations.

Of course, Mayela and Angelica had help making all this happen.  Thanks to everyone involved, but a SPECIAL thanks goes to 3 Sequoia families: Noreen Abad and her son Joseph (2017), Katie O'Hara and her daughter Emma (2016), and Rachel Krueger with daughter Anika (2018).

If you find yourself at school and have a moment, drop by the Parent Center and say hi to Mayela and Angelica and hear about the fantastic work they do for our community every day!

Sequitur Newsletter
The December issue of the Sequoia High School Union District's newsletter can be found here.  This month's newsletter includes articles about Instructional Technology, Parent Workshops, and campus updates.

There's Still Time to Adopt A Family!
Thank you to so many people who have signed up to provide holiday gifts for families in need in our Sequoia community. There are still families who need items; click here to sign up. Gifts should be wrapped and delivered to the Parent Center at school by December 14.  Thank you for your generosity!

The SHSEF provides funds to help support the Adopt-A-Family program

Hometown Holidays Spirit
In the midst of this busy holiday season, Sequoia students and teachers found time to participate in Redwood City's Hometown Holidays this past Saturday.

On the main performance stage, band members led by Ms. Woodman and choral students led by Mr. Jefferson each entertained the delighted audience with holiday musical selections. 

Sequoia's Key Club led by Ms. Yeager spent the day selling hotdogs and offering face painting for kids. The 15 members (including Nayeli Duran, Leslie Civil, Anthony San Juan, Alberto Vasquez, Oscar Bracamontes, Maria Magana, Joshua Hsu, Blake Carbonneau, Ulises Morales and Joscelin Aguirre) raised $535 which will be used to participate in this year's annual district Key Club convention. 

Finally, Sequoia's Dance Team represented Cherokee pride as they marched in the Hometown Holidays Parade which was viewed by thousands of Redwood City holiday revelers.

Appreciating Our Staff
Do you have a few minutes to help provide a festive Holiday Luncheon for our staff on December 17?  You can participate in a variety of ways, from donating a gift card to providing a food item, to volunteering at the event (shifts from 11:00-12:30 and 1:45-2:30).  Let's celebrate our wonderful Sequoia staff!

Discounts on Attractions
Planning a trip locally or elsewhere over the holidays? You can save on car rentals, or tickets to attractions such as Legoland, California Academy of Sciences, and Aquarium of the Pacific by being a PTSA member.  Join today through our Sequoia PTSA website!

Thanks for Supporting Grad Night!
Thank you to all who have been supporting our fundraising efforts to make the 2016 Grad Night tickets affordable for all students!  Whether you have been purchasing items from our fundraisers or volunteering for projects and events, all the efforts are greatly appreciated.

Part of our fundraising is based on direct donations.  Our Direct Drive will go through the end of the month; your tax deductible donation can be made through the Sequoia PTSA website.  Remember that your contribution can be doubled if you work for a company that makes matching donations.  Thank you!

Also, remember that if you buy your holiday tree or wreath at Honey Bear Trees, a portion of your purchase will support 2016 Grad Week activities.  Just mention Sequoia High School, or bring in this flyer.

Shout-out to Mayela Ramirez, Kristine Westerlind, and the Parent Center for organizing the Adopt-A-Family program!  The holidays are brighter for many Sequoia families thanks to their efforts.

Photo Scavenger Hunt
Have you seen this artwork, depicting Sequoia's campus?

Last week's answer:  This is one of two lions guarding the entrance to the Japanese Tea Garden on our campus.

In This Issue
Monday, Dec. 7
Collab day

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

Wednesday, Dec. 9
7 PM - Fall Sports Awards, Carrington Hall

Thursday, Dec. 10
7 PM - Winter Concert, Bands

Monday, Dec. 14
Traditional Day schedule

Dec. 15-17

Friday, Dec. 18
Winter Break Begins

Tuesday, Jan. 5
School resumes

Monday, Jan. 11
7 PM - Senior Financial Aid night, MPR (English) & Carrington Hall (Spanish)

Thursday, Jan. 14
7 PM - PSAT meeting,  Carrington Hall (English), Room 115 (Spanish)
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