January 25, 2016

Sequoia PTSA's weekly eNewsletter in partnership with the Sequoia High School Education Foundation
Principal's Message
One of my leadership goals at Sequoia is that decisions are made and priorities are set with input from as broad a sample of stakeholders as possible.  Communication is key.  Please take a look at the following surveys which provide families and community members an opportunity to weigh in at the district level:
  1. We are very interested in the use of instructional technology in our classrooms.  Use this link to access the survey.  Teachers and students will also complete a version of this survey which will be used to enhance professional learning and prioritize technology purchasing.
  2. The district is collecting data as part of its LCAP (Local Control Accountability Plan).  LCAPs are prepared by each district in California as a way of describing how resources will be allocated to meet the needs of students.  The LCAP itself follows a template per guidelines set forth by the California Department of Education.  Please participate in this process by completing the survey here.
I am grateful for the PTSA in helping with communication, both for providing this weekly forum, but also in creating two great documents:  
  • First, the Sequoia 101 presentation is now online.  This is a great overview for parents about how things work at Sequoia and where your talents and interests can support the community.  Click here for the presentation in its entirety as a pdf.
  • Next, the PTSA has compiled a fantastic compendium of communication resources for you to stay current with what's going on and be efficient in how you search for information about Sequoia.   
Lastly, if you enjoy the Sentinel every week, tell a friend!  We would love to increase our readership, especially among 9th and 10th Grade families.  I'll be sending an email out within the next few days with instructions on how folks can subscribe.

Have a great week!
Batteries Recharge Drama Program
The drama program at Sequoia has expanded their sound capabilities at Carrington Hall to include 25+ wireless microphones.  Each microphone uses multiple batteries, so hundreds of batteries were being used for every production Through the PTSA Mini-Grant program, director Danny Broome was able to purchase rechargeable batteries.  This will save a substantial amount of funds over disposable batteries and is a much more environmentally sound solution.

Thank you to the SHSEF for helping to make the Mini-Grants Program possible!  

Crab Dinner Is Coming On March 12!
Crab dinner logo
I am Lynn Pierce, Chairman of the Booster Crab Dinner, and I am passionate about athletics at Sequoia.  My children's participating in athletics teaches them good life skills - time management, leadership, how to be a member of a team, and working together toward a common goal with a diverse group of people. Your child doesn't need to actually play a sport to benefit from the Sequoia Athletics program.  My son and his friends were the founding members of the "Club David" student section which started at basketball games.  It was rated the #1 Student Section in the Bay Area by the Mercury News.  

The Sequoia sports activities don't happen without funds.  The amount of funds provided directly by the School District are not adequate.  The Sequoia Boosters helps provide uniforms, transportation, awards, and many other things for our student athletes.  The biggest fundraiser is the Crab Dinner which is happening on March 12th.   Yes, we will have crab! (not necessarily California crab)  Please attend and buy your tickets soon because this event sells out every year.   

We are also in need of donations both small and large for the Silent and Live Auction.  One of my favorite donations is gift certificates to restaurants - they usually are bought above value.  Do you have a gift certificate you probably won't use?  A bottle of wine that you like to donate?  A hobby that you could spare an item or two to donate - jams, scarves, sports memorabilia...?  A vacation home or sporting tickets? Would you like to host a party?  Do you know someone who has a small business - giving a gift certificate is great advertisement!    

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at [email protected].   Thank you for your support!  Go Sequoia Cherokees!

College/Career Center Tips and News
What is the SAT vs. ACT?
The ACT has 4 sections: science, math, reading and English. There is an optional writing section, which you must take for most colleges except CSUs.  The score is out of a total of 36, with no penalty for wrong answers.  You may use a fee waiver; register online at

The SAT reasoning exam has 4 sections: evidence-based reasoning, evidence-based writing, and mathematics (one section with calculator allowed, one section with calculator not allowed).   There is an optional writing section, which you must take for most colleges except CSUs.  The score is out of a total of 1600 (essay scored separately), with no penalty for wrong answers. You may use a fee waiver; register online at  

A free mock combo New SAT and ACT is being offered at Sequoia on Saturday, January 30.  Sign up at the College and Career Center by Tuesday, Jan. 26.

Why should I fill out the FAFSA?  If you don't fill out the FAFSA, you could be missing out on a lot of financial aid! We've heard a number of reasons students think they shouldn't complete the FAFSA. Here are a few:
  • "I (or my parents) make too much money, so I won't qualify for aid."
  • "Only students with good grades get financial aid."
  • "The FAFSA is too hard to fill out."
  • "I'm too old to qualify for financial aid."
If you think any of these statements apply to you, then you should read "Myths About Financial Aid" (on the Federal Student Aid website).  The reality is, EVERYONE who's getting ready to go to college or career school should fill out the FAFSA!

Community College Information Night
Seniors who did not apply to a four year college - you should attend this event!  There will be important information about upcoming workshops and due dates you need to successfully attend community college next fall.  Sequoia High School will hold this Community College Night for Senior Families on Thursday, February 4th from 7:00-9:00 PM in the MPR.  There will be representatives from Canada College, College of San Mateo, De Anza, and Skyline.  These representatives will present overviews of their respective programs and their admission process.  Canada College will also have a financial aid representative to present information and answer questions.  Students and parents will be able to speak to schools individually

College Search presentation - Maria Furtado, Executive Director of Colleges that Change Lives, will speak on Thursday, February 18 at 7 PM in Carrington Hall.  Read more below in the parent education section of this newsletter.

Possible SamTrans Route Extension
The San Carlos PTA has been discussing with SamTrans the possibility of restoring bus lines in San Carlos, which includes having a route between San Carlos and Sequoia High School.  If you would like to find out more information or sign a petition regarding this matter, visit 

Shout-out to all the students who participated in the Reflections Art Program in the fall!  You can view some of the entries in the main hall at school; thank you to Rachel Levine for chairing the program and putting these displays together!

Photo Scavenger Hunt
Where does this "33" appear on campus?

Last week's answer: These stairs are in the Carrington foyer.

In This Issue
Monday, Jan. 25
Collab Day

Saturday, Jan. 30
8:30 AM - Mock new SAT and ACT, MPR

10 AM - 8th Grade Campus Tours

Monday, Feb. 1
Collab Day

Tuesday, Feb. 2
7 PM - PTSA Meeting, MPR

Thursday, Feb. 4
7 PM - Community College Information Night, MPR

Fri, Feb. 12 & Mon, Feb. 15
No school - Lincoln's Birthday and Presidents' Holiday

Tue, Feb. 16
6 PM - Spring Sports Info Night

Thursday, Feb. 18
7 PM - Sequoia Parent Education, Finding the Right Fit / College Search, Carrington Hall

Feb. 19-21
Winter Play - Rehearsal for Murder
Quick Links
About Us 

Submit news to the Sentinel: [email protected]. For instructions, click here.


Find past issues of the Sentinel: 
En Espa�ol
�Quieres traducir este bolet�n ahora? Siga estas instrucciones para obtener una traducci�n:
1. Haga clic en "Click here" en la parte superior del correo electr�nico: "Having trouble viewing this email? Click here."
2. Mantenga presionada la tecla Control (PC) y la tecla A para seleccionar toda la p�gina, a continuaci�n, mantenga presionada la tecla Control y haga clic en la tecla C para copiar la p�gina entera.
3. Abra una p�gina nueva del navegador web y vaya a
4. Coloca el cursor en la caja y mantenga presionada la tecla Control y haga clic en la tecla V para pegar el bolet�n completo en el cuadro de traducci�n.
5. Aseg�rese de seleccionar "To: Spanish" en la parte superior de la p�gina. Haga clic en el bot�n Traducir. La traducci�n al espa�ol debe aparecer en el lado derecho.
Parent Education
Sequoia Parent Education Series
"Finding the Right Fit - A Conversation about the College Search" - with Maria Furtado, Executive Director, Colleges That Change Lives (CTCL)
Thursday, February 18, 2016, 7:00 - 8:30 PM
Carrington Hall, Sequoia High School
1201 Brewster Avenue, Redwood City

Join Maria Furtado, Executive Director of Colleges That Change Lives, for a conversation about helping your student find the "right fit" for college. Colleges That Change Lives, Inc. (CTCL) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement and support of a student-centered college search process. CTCL supports the goal of each student finding a college that develops a lifelong love of learning and provides the foundation for a successful and fulfilling life beyond college.

Maria Furtado has worked in higher education for over 20 years. Maria speaks all around the country to students, parents, and counselors about college rankings and popular misperceptions about college admission, the strength and worth of a liberal arts education, and offers tips for students and parents on how to manage the college search.

Parents, students, faculty/staff and community members welcome! Free admission.
Simultaneous 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., Director, The Parent Education Series, at [email protected] or (650) 868-0590. For Spanish, contact Mayela Ramirez, Parent Center Coordinator, at (650) 369-1411 Ext. 63105.

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.