The Sequoia Spotlight

November 9, 2020

Principal's Message

Dear Sequoia Families,

We have been hard at work preparing for the reopening of our campuses for students in the blended learning model. We look forward to welcoming students back on campus on November 16.

Our School Site Council sub-committee met in the end of October to go over progress on last year's school goals and to brainstorm adjustments to the 2020 - 2021 school goals. We will be working on our school plan for the next few months.

Congratulations to Mrs. Stevenson for being recognized as the Greater Conejo Valley Chamber of Commerce and CVUSD Teacher of the Month! We are proud of you and appreciate all you bring to Sequoia!

Here are some of the trainings that various staff members participated in this month: teaching math in the remote setting, Restorative Justice and Community Circles, equity, Canvas and more!

Our KA19 Digital Production class has been providing students videos in recognition of National Native American Heritage month. We appreciate this opportunity to celebrate diversity.

At Sequoia... we believe and achieve!

Mrs. Chambers

DELAC - District English Learner Advisory Council

Our next English Learner Advisory Council meeting is on December 2. We hosted our first Beginner Level English Class for Parents earlier in October with a great turnout. Parents learned about basic greetings and were given homework to practice. Our next session in November focuses on school vocabulary and phrases. Thank you to Ms. Reyes, Mrs. Marshall and Mrs. Zimmerman for their help in teaching this class!


We held a GATE Parent Information meeting in the beginning of November and discussed strategies to help students during the Pandemic as well as shared information on upcoming GATE activities. We had an exciting October ACES (After Class Enrichment Series) activity that featured an artist.

Here is a flier to the district GATE newsletter.


We welcomed back our students in our LEAP class in small chorts in the beginning of October. It was great having students on campus!

We celebrated Unity Day in the middle of October and are planning on activities to support and recognize Inclusive Schools Week at the beginning of December.

Counselor's Corner

Please check out the updated Sequoia Counseling website! You will find information about Counseling Services, Important Dates and more!

Student Connections

ASB sent out several newsletters and also hosted a food drive to support Adelante Communidad Conejo in October. In addition, ASB sponsored a lunchtime Kahoot and dress days to promote school spirt and in honor of Unity Day and Red Ribbon Week. We held our first GATE activity of the month and sent out information on Hispanic Heritage month to students. Finally, we started virtual clubs like Runner's Club, Drawing Club and Coding Club.

Student Learning

Here's a snapshot of what's been happening in some of our remote classes this month focusing on English, science and social studies.

6th Grade English: Students are reading Tuck Everlasting while focusing on figurative language, conflict, and crafting responses to evidence-based questions. Other students are completing an Ice Age unit and are virtually exploring the La Brea Tar Pits.

7th Grade English: Some students are reading Crispin and crafting paragraphs to introduce claims that are supported with textual evidence. Other students are focusing on narrative techniques to enhance their writing including figures of speech, dialogue, and sensory details.

8th Grade English: Eighth grade students have recently finished a unit on "Flowers for Algernon" or “Animal Farm” and are engaged in a culminating writing activity in one of three genres: narrative, argument, and informative (research) writing.

8th grade science- Students just finished their energy unit and will be starting their “IDEA” (Inquiry, Design, Engineering, Analysis) project. Students will be given a choice to make either a solar oven or they can do a research project on a solar oven or a renewable energy source.

7th grade science: Students have been looking at the Characteristics of life (what constitutes as living vs. non-living), learning about different organisms as classified by current kingdoms, and exploring cells; structures and functions through collaboration and experimentation via digital (Gizmos and Inq-Its) and hands-on (eggsperiment) explorations.

6th grade science: Students have been studying the clues that support Alfred Wegener's theory of continental drift. Post-WWII drilling technology gave scientists important information about the ocean floor that affirmed the process of sea-floor spreading. Using materials found around the house, students created and shared a model of this tectonic plate movement.

7th grade SS: For 7th grade we've been focusing on "Feudalism & life in Europe during the Middle Ages and ultimately what led to the decline of this social & political hierarchy."

Students have been working on projects to understand what it might have been like to live during this unique period of history and how a system can change even after being used for a few hundred years.

Some students created a personal family crest or "Coat of Arms." Some of the students are reading Crispin in English as a tie-in for Feudalism.

8th grade SS: We just finished our unit on the Revolutionary War. The students studied the causes that lead the Colonists to rise up against the British. We studied the three parts of the Declaration of Independence, the major battles and key figures of the Revolutionary War, as well as the effects the war had on the people of North and South America, and Europe.

Sequoia PTSA Update

Support the SMS PTA by:

1. Shopping with Amazon Smile

  • Visit
  • Sign in with your credentials
  • Choose “1915 Sequoia Middle School PTA” to receive donations

2. Shopping at Ralphs

  • Visit
  • Create an account
  • Scroll all the way to the bottom to Community
  • Select “Ralphs Community Contribution Program”
  • Select “Search for your organization HERE”
  • Select “Sequoia Middle School PTA” as your organization of choice
  • Click Enroll

3. If your company has a corporate donation matching program, make use of that program when donating to SMS PTA

4. For Amgen employees, using the Matching Gifts Program for donations of $50 or more:

  • Access the Matching Gifts Program website from the homepage of MyAmgen
  • Click on Quick Links and then “Matching Gifts & Amgen Volunteers”
  • Go to Matching Gifts in the bottom left of the page and click on “Get Started”
  • Click on “Submit New Request”
  • Select whether you want to make your donation through the Matching Gifts website, or whether you have already made the donation, and click on the “Next” button
  • In the Organization Name field, type “Sequoia Middle School” and click the “Search” button
  • Click on the “Submit New Request” next to Sequoia’s name
  • Fill in the appropriate information regarding your gift

PTA Membership

Our fantastic Sequoia PTA needs your support. Our goal is to bring in 300 members! Your memberships and donations help us stay in good standing with the State and National PTA, support Diversity programs, Ability Awareness week and the Reflections program, fund our Sequoia Scholarships for Seniors at NPHS, and provides a support fund for our students and classroom teachers. We need you to meet our goal of 300 Members! Membership is only $10 (with a $1 processing fee). Join now by clicking on the following link Students may join as well!

Upcoming Events

  • Dress Day - Wear Red, White and Blue: Tuesday, November 10
  • No School - Veteran's Day: Wednesday, November 11
  • 6th Grade Tours: Thursday, November 12
  • ACES: November 13 (3:45 - 4:45 PM via Zoom)
  • Combined A and B Cohorts in AM: November 13
  • Students in the Blended Model return to campus in cohorts: November 16
  • Schedule Change - Start of 2nd Trimester for Blended and Remote: November 16
  • Beginner English Language Classes for Parents: November 17 5:00 PM via Zoom
  • Combined A and B Cohorts in AM - all students Remote: November 18
  • SSC: November 18 (7:30 - 8:30 AM)
  • No School - Thanksgiving Break: November 23 -27