January 4, 2016

Sequoia PTSA's weekly eNewsletter in partnership with the Sequoia High School Education Foundation
President's Message
New Year's resolutions...Does anyone out there make them? I'll admit it - I do. I just can't help myself. Despite the fact that everything you read about resolutions indicates that most are broken before the end of January, folks still feel the need to take stock of their lives once a year and make a decision to do, or not do something that will make them feel better, healthier or happier.

This year, knowing that I am usually one of the many resolution breakers, I have decided to try something a little different.  I am going to create resolutions that need only be done once to have an impact.  In addition, I am also going to follow some wisdom that I read recently about how to create a successful resolution:  Make it simple, make it tangible, and make it obvious.  To this list I will add: MAKE IT SEQUOIA!

In 2016, I resolve to:
  • Cook and eat a meal together with each of my kids, at least once.  Well, we have to eat anyway, right?  And someone has to prepare it.  You never know what conversations might be sparked while scrambling a couple of eggs and buttering some toast.  And to sit and talk with your kid at the table or the counter even for a few moments enjoying this feast... golden!
  • Have a conversation with one of my kids' teachers at Sequoia - but not about my kid.  The teachers at Sequoia bring a wealth of life experience to their jobs each day.  They are more than just what they do for a living.  I want to ask about hometowns, hobbies, favorite movies.  These are some of the things that make them the wonderful teachers they are.
  • Attend at least one school event or activity that does not directly involve my kid.  As a parent with a kid involved in the performing arts, I find myself at a lot of plays and musical events.  But Sequoia is much more. It is high time I set myself down at a basketball game, wrestling match, robotics or debate event, or... you get the idea.
  • Between now and the end of the school year, I will go to at least one of the FREE parent education workshops. SUHSD has a fantastic parent education series that runs throughout the year and offers excellent and timely topics with dynamic speakers.  There are two advertised in the Sentinel this week.  Parents learn, kids learn.  Win, win.
I wish the best for you all as we launch into the new semester.  I look forward to seeing you at one of our PTSA meetings or events, and go ahead...ask if I am keeping to my resolutions!

Lisa Hane
Sequoia PTSA President
Check out the December issue of the Raven Report!

Class of 2018, 2019, 2020 Email Lists
We encourage freshmen and sophomore parents to subscribe to their class email lists! These lists are used by the PTSA to inform you of grade-specific information such as college info meetings and Grad Week fundraising and planning (yes, this starts beginning freshman year).

For families who have 8th graders, we also have a Class of 2020 email list to notify you of events and activities for next year's incoming freshmen.  If you know of other families who are considering coming to Sequoia next year, feel free to let them know that they can join this list.

To subscribe to any of these lists, sign up through the Sequoia PTSA website by marking the appropriate "Class of" box. Even if you are already subscribed to the Sentinel or other class email lists (e.g. juniors and seniors), remember to update your subscriptions for all your children.  Any questions, contact [email protected].  

Adopt-A-Family Spreads Cheer
Thanks to the generous donations of our Sequoia community and the hard work of Mayela Ramirez and Angelica Maldonado at the Parent Center, a record number of families in need were provided with gifts this holiday season.  In the days leading up to winter break, the Powell Art Gallery was stuffed full of packages conjuring up images of the North Pole - ho, ho, ho! Helping Mayela and Angelica were the families of Noreen Abad and Katie O'Hara who organized and wrapped presents late into the night before the Parent Center Holiday dinner on Thursday, December 17th where many of the gifts were distributed.

Thank you also to the SHSEF for their support of the Adopt-A-Family Program!  

Share Your Sequoia Spirit!
The debut of Sequoia's 8th grade Campus Tours were a success in November, and we will be offering them again on Saturday, January 30.  These tours are led by ASB students, with Sequoia parents being on hand to answer questions.

If you are available from 10 AM to about noon on Jan. 30 to help out, please contact [email protected]. This is a great opportunity to share your insights and experiences with prospective Sequoia families.  We especially invite dads to join us, as many of the visiting parents in November were dads.  Thanks for your help!

Spirits were high as Sequoia staff and faculty were treated to the annual PTSA/ELAC holiday luncheon on December 17!  Administrators Sean Priest, Sophia Olliver, Gary Gooch and Mike Kuliga served glasses of sparkling cider at the entrance of the MPR as guests made their way to a buffet table laden with delicious homemade salads, tamales, beans, rice and desserts thanks to many Sequoia families.

This event was a great way for our staff to begin their winter holiday, thanks to all the PTSA/ELAC members who donated gift cards and food items and helped on the day of the event:

Lauren Pachkowski, Noreen Abad, Karen Jackson, Elizabeth Gomez, Rachel Krueger, Gayle Hoch, Janet Hart, Tobey Bergen, Diana Laguna, Virginia Rosales, Michelle Futornick, Jenn Bulka, Hilary Paulson, Grace Schulz, Laura Nibbi, Rebecca Joslin-Davis, Pooja Mehra, Jayne Sungail, Karen Sand, Lin Chan, Jill Berry, Caitlin Schneider, Stacy Huisman, Sian Davies, Rosemarie Campos, Marlena Griffin... and our Hospitality Chair Donna Fiore!

Photo Scavenger Hunt
This king of the beasts is poised as a fountain head on our campus, do you know where?

Last week's answer: This torch emblem is in the Carrington lobby.

In This Issue
Tuesday, Jan. 5
School resumes

Monday, Jan. 11
Collab Day

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

Wednesday, Jan. 13
6 PM - 8th Grade IB Info Meeting, Carrington Hall

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

Saturday, Jan. 16
8 PM - Winter Formal, Fox Theater

Monday, Jan. 18
No school - Martin Luther King holiday

Saturday, Jan. 30
10 AM - 8th Grade Campus Tours
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Parent Education
Woodside Parent Education Series
"Distracted Driving Workshop" - with Kelly Browning, PhD, Impact Teen Drivers (California Highway Patrol)
Thursday, January 14, 2016, 7:00 - 9:00 PM
Woodside High School, Multi-Use Room (MUR)

Automobile collisions are the leading cause of death for our nation's teens. The overwhelming majority of these crashes are caused by inexperience or distractions, not "thrill-seeking" or deliberate risk-taking. Teen drivers are at the highest risk: the crash rate (per miles driven) for 16 years olds is four times that of adults. 

In this workshop, you will learn about: 
  • Strategies to keep your teens safe on the road
  • Graduated Drivers Licensing (GDL) laws
  • The Rules of the Road for teen drivers
  • How YOU can stop the  #1 killer of teens in America--reckless and distracted driving
Since 2007, Impact Teen Drivers has emerged as a leading nonprofit organization dedicated to reversing the pervasive yet 100% preventable crisis of "distracted driving." Impact's mission is to change the culture of teen driving, thereby saving lives in this and future generations of drivers. 

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.
Questions? Contact Charlene Margot, M.A., Director, The Parent Education Series, at [email protected] or (650) 868-0590. For Spanish, contact Maricela Lopez, Bilingual Parent Liaison, at (650) 367-7263 Ext. 45323.

Menlo-Atherton Parent Education Series
"Mastering Difficult Conversations with Your Teen" - with Eran Magen, Ph.D.
Thursday, February 4, 2016, 7:00 - 8:30 PM
M-A Performing Arts Center (PAC)
Menlo-Atherton High School
555 Middlefield Road, Atherton

Trying to offer support when your adolescent seems upset or stressed can feel like tiptoeing through a minefield. In this highly interactive 90-minute workshop, you will learn how to offer emotional support comfortably and effectively when your teen is experiencing strong emotions such as stress, frustration, anxiety, or anger. You will learn how to respond in a way that helps your student feel better and think more clearly, while strengthening your relationship.
Eran Magen, Ph.D., is the founder and scientific director of the Center for Supportive Relationships, which provides relational skills training for school districts, higher education institutions, healthcare professionals, and private corporations. Dr. Magen received his MA in education and PhD in psychology from Stanford University. 
Parents, students, faculty/staff, and community members welcome!
Spanish interpretation will be available. Free admission.
 M-A Parent Education Series events are free, sponsored by the M-A PTA, the Sequoia Healthcare District, and the Sequoia Union High School District. This event is open to parents, faculty/staff, and community members.
Questions? Contact Charlene Margot, M.A., Director, The Parent Education Series, at [email protected] or (650) 868-0590. For Spanish, contact Lilly Qui�onez, Parent Center Coordinator, at (650) 322-5311 Ext. 5255.