May 2, 2016

Sequoia PTSA's weekly eNewsletter in partnership with the Sequoia High School Education Foundation
President's Message
Sunday morning... my favorite day of the week.
My usually chaotic house is quiet enough for me to grab a section of the New York Times, pour a cup of coffee and plunk down on the couch to read an article or two before my kids interrupt my nirvana.
This Sunday morning, I temporarily set aside the Times to  write my last monthly contribution for the Sentinel and as school is out in six weeks, I can't help but find myself thinking about the passing nine months.  It really does seem like yesterday as I wished my son good luck on his first day of junior year and watched him walk out the door.  
My relationship with Sequoia changed this year as I transitioned from parent and once-in-a-while volunteer, to PTSA president.  The move was intimidating to be sure -- following in the shoes of the many dedicated and dynamic presidents who have contributed immensely to Sequoia High School is no easy task. In a meeting last August where I was trying to orientate myself to all the systems, schedules, and players here, I remember Principal Sean Priest asking, "Does it feel like you're trying to take a drink from a fire hose?" And, yes, at first, it did.  But with the help of an incredibly capable Executive Board willing to jump in whenever needed, scores of supportive parents who throughout the year demonstrated their volunteer chops in so many ways, and an extraordinarily helpful staff and administration, I feel we were able to continue to demonstrate the PTSA mission: To positively impact the lives of all children and families. I will add to that our continued goal to help provide support to our teachers and staff in order for them to thrive at Sequoia.
Our time as high school parents seems to fly by and it can be easy to forget that as our kids transition into young adults before our eyes, our involvement in the place where they spend more of their waking hours than anywhere else is as vital as driving on a 3rd grade field trip or baking cookies for a class party.  Don't get me wrong, helping our public schools at any level is beneficial to our communities, but there's something special about the high school years.
I have been elected to serve a second and final term as PTSA president and I can't wait to see what 2016-2017 holds in store. Our Board is strong and we are full of ideas. If next year finds your student here, I look forward to seeing you, too.  I am sure you have thoughts about how we can help to make SHS the best it can be.
There's still plenty going on for parents and students in these coming weeks:  Jr./Sr. Prom, IB/AP testing, final exams, 2016 Grad Week activities, graduation, and much more.  Good luck and try to enjoy the ride.  I hope to see you soon!
Now, isn't it time for another cup of joe and the travel section?

Lisa Hane

Last PTSA Meeting of the Year
We hope to see you tomorrow -- Tuesday, May 3 at 7 PM in the MPR--for our PTSA end-of-year celebration. We will hear from Principal Sean Priest, honor senior PTSA parents, install next year's Executive Board, and more! View the full agenda here.

Help With Textbook Collection
During the last two weeks of school, the librarians check in all of the textbooks that the students have used during the year.  We need volunteers to help with the collection -- it's a fun way to meet other parents and to see a lot of the students!  Sign up here for a morning or afternoon shift; being there for even part of the shift will be helpful.

Voter Hall of Fame
With help from a PTSA mini-grant, teacher William Ashley Gray will create a "Voter Hall of Fame" to honor seniors who have participated in the democratic process. Students who vote, serve as poll workers, or complete a "Take Ten" program (getting 10 eligible people registered and pledged to vote) will have their name added to this honor roll.  Students will receive a certificate signed by their government teacher and the Principal, and receive a "Voting is Cool! Sequoia High School Vernon Dahmer Voter Hall of Fame" bumper sticker.  The Voter Hall of Fame will honor the registration work of Vernon Dahmer, a Mississippi voting activist.  "If you don't vote, you don't count."

As the next large-scale election does not take place until November, 2016, this event will not be celebrated until late in 2016.  In the meantime, the site of the Hall of Fame has been secured and stickers will be purchased.

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

Sequoia Art To Be On Display
Mark your calendars for May 21 and 22, where art from a few Sequoia students will be on display at the Redwood City Art Show at the Community Activities Building, 1400 Roosevelt Avenue!

Spring Comedy This Weekend
Come see Sequoia High School Drama's Spring comedy All in the Timing this weekend!  Comments about this work by David Ives: 
  • "Like sketches for some hilarious, celestially conceived revue. The writing is not only very funny, it has density of thought and precision of poetry... All in the Timing is by a master of fun. David Ives spins hilarity out of words." -The New York Times
  • "Theatre that aerobicizes the brain and tickles the heart. Ives is a mordant comic who has put the 'play' back in playwright...A wondrous wordmaster." -Time Magazine
  • "An original turn of mind is to be saluted in our tired theatre...A playwright with ideas, his own ideas, in his head is relatively rare. Such a one is David Ives." -New York Magazine   
Performances are in Carrington Hall May 6 & 7 at 7 PM. Tickets ($15 for adults, $10 for students and seniors) are available from the SHS treasurer, at the door and online at www.showtix4u.comAll in the Timing contains material that may be inappropriate for pre-teens.

Reflections Theme for 2016-17
reflections art program
The national PTA has announced the Reflections Art Program theme for next year: "What Is Your Story?"  We encourage students to consider submitting entries next fall in any of these six arts areas: Dance Choreography, Film/Video Production, Literature, Musical Composition, Photography, and Visual Arts.  General information about the Reflections Art Program can be found on the California PTSA website.

Shout-Out to Exam Proctors
nullThank you to all the parents who have signed up to proctor IB and AP exams during the month of May!  It would not be possible to administer these important exams for the students without all of your volunteer help.  A special thank you to Erika Pretell for coordinating the proctors this year!

In This Issue
Monday, May 2
Collab Day

Tuesday, May 3
10:30 AM - SUHSD Parent Education: "Question, Persuade, and Refer Training," District Office

7 PM - PTSA end-of-year celebration, MPR (agenda here)

Friday, May 6 & Sat., May 7
7 PM - Spring Play: All in the Timing, Carrington Hall (tickets here)

Monday, May 9
Collab Day

Tuesday, May 10
10 AM - SUHSD Parent Education: "Mastering Difficult Conversations with Your Teen," District Office

Saturday, May 14 - Prom

Tuesday, May 16
6 PM - Math Awards

Wednesday, May 17
6 PM - EL graduation

7 PM - Music Concert and VPA awards, Carrington Hall

Thursday, May 19
Lunch - Mandatory meeting for 10th graders interested in IB diploma, Carrington Hall

4 PM - AVID graduation & dinner, Carrington Hall & MPR

Tuesday, May 24
5:30-7:30 PM - IB Ceremony, Carrington Hall

Wednesday, May 25
5 PM - BUILD graduation, Carrington Hall

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Parent Education
SUHSD Parent Education Mini-Series
Join us for a SUHSD Parent Education Mini-Series on "at-risk" teens. These workshops will focus on substance use/addiction, suicide prevention, and parent-teen communication. Free admission. 

Part 2) "Question, Persuade, and Refer (QPR) Training" with Alejandro Martinez, PhD, Stanford University
Tuesday, May 3, 2016, 10:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Sequoia Union High School District Office, Birch Room
Question, Persuade and Refer (QPR) offers training on how to recognize and respond to an individual in psychological distress. In this workshop, you will learn how to recognize the warning signs of someone in distress and possibly prevent a suicide. 

Part 3) "Mastering Difficult Conversations with Your Teen" with Eran Magen, PhD, Stanford University
Tuesday, May 10, 10:00 AM - 12:00 noon
Sequoia Union High School District Office, Birch Room

Trying to offer support when your adolescent seems upset or stressed can feel like tiptoeing through a minefield. In this interactive 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.

For more information, contact Charlene Margot, M.A., Director, The Parent Education Series, [email protected] or 650-868-0590
Parent Education Series events are free and open to SUHSD parents, faculty/staff, addiction/mental health professionals, and community members. The Parent Education Mini-Series is sponsored by the Sequoia Healthcare District and the Sequoia Union High School District.

Community News
Stanford Medicine Community Day: Health Matters
Managing Concussions on the Sidelines and
Super Genes: Do Exceptional Athletes Hold the Key to Health?
Saturday, May 14, 9 AM-2 PM

If you play, coach or have children who are active in team sports, you won't want to miss Stanford Medicine's Community Day, Health Matters on Saturday, May 14. 
The morning will feature a talk on concussion detection and treatment by Scott Anderson, Director of Athletic Training at Stanford and Dr. Jamshid Ghajar, Director of Stanford Medicine's Concussion and Brain Performance Center.  In addition, visitors can demo EYE-SYNC, a 30-second state-of-the-art eye tracking test, which identifies lack of focus - a key problem after a concussion. Experts will be available to answer questions regarding common misconceptions about concussions.  Here is a link to a recent San Francisco Chronicle article on Dr. Ghajar's program.
A second talk by Dr. Euan Ashley will take a look at some of the world's super athletes, examining what makes them unusually fast, fit or strong. 
See this flyer or visit for more information and to register.

Managing ADHD-Like Behaviors and Executive Function
It is hard to manage organizational skills when impulse control is a challenge! Come understand as a parent how to better manage your child in day to day life tasks and thinking to improve self esteem and organizational systems.

Organized Thinking Skills are the first order of managing strategies for improving social skills and organization. Understanding metacognition, prioritization, sequence of events needed, inferencing, cause & effect, prediction, social deductive reasoning, abstract language such as humor, idioms, metaphors, etc. This skill set includes cognitive and logistical thinking skills for planning as well as impulse control, time management, attention, and working memory (your kiddo ever forget names or new information, concepts or items like their lunch, etc.?). 

You will learn the support structure that will allow you to actually work with your child in a different and more successful way to achieve both your goals. These systems are especially key for those in students in their junior/senior (incoming) years so they are prepared for successful planning independence when they go off to college.

- College Apps Organization: Weekly from April-June and 5 additional seasons over summer
- Executive Function/Organizational Life: June 27-August 31st
- Social Skills classes are designed to connect with others and reduce social anxiety: June 27-August 31
- Writing Sensibilities: June 27-August 31st
Times/Days: Arranged according to mutual schedule availability. Individual or small group.