Distance Learning 1.8.2021

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Team Sequoia- Sharing our Smiles!

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Report Cards on their way

Check your mailbox next week for 2nd quarter report cards. The district will mail report cards out next week. Please review your child's grades with them and ask them to share what they are most proud of and what they would like to work on. Goal setting helps support, build accountability and ownership in their personal and academic growth.

We at SMS know and understand that the virtual learning platform is not every child's preferred way to learn so we must acknowledge their efforts in our current situation.

Coffee with Keck- Join us virtually on Friday, January 15th at 8:OO am!

January 15th- Coffee with Keck

Zoom Meeting Meeting ID: 893 3345 0568

Drive-Thru Photo Make Up Day- Wednesday, February 10th 11:30 am-1:30 pm

If you took and purchased photos prior, you must bring the photo package with you on the day/time of your rescheduled photo appointment.

Click Link to sign up for a time slot:

PLEASE take our SMS Parent Survey- First Semester Feedback- Currently have 125 responses...

Kindly take a moment to provide your input and feedback on you and your child's experience at SMS for the first semester. We thank you in advance for taking the time to do so. Our staff will use your feedback as we plan for and move into the 2nd semester.

*Link to Parent survey may also be found on the front page of our Sequoia website.

*You may take the survey directly from this newsletter. Be sure to scroll down once you do to click "Next"

REPOST- Help support our 2021 SMS Resolution "Share Your Smile" Campaign- PLEASE READ!

As we have experienced the difficult adjustment to Distance Learning, we have learned a lot about the needs of our learning community in the process. With two quarters worth of data regarding grades, along with conversations with parents during student support meetings, we have discovered that there is a direct correlation between student engagement, grades, and emotionally connected students in relation with having their cameras on during virtual instruction. Since the first day of Distance Learning, we have been adjusting and calibrating our teaching practices in grade levels and departments to support the diverse needs of our students during this unprecedented time in education. We ask for your help in doing so as we move into second semester.

We are launching our "Share Your Smile" campaign to help our students realize through a positive message of having their cameras on. The reality of teachers no longer having the opportunity to "walk around the classroom" to check in with them to support their needs is very real and has had a great impact on teaching and learning for all. Teachers miss their students and nothing is more difficult for engagement than for a student and/or a teacher to look at a screen full of dark boxes during Daily Live Instruction. "Sharing their smile" not only benefits them In staying present and focused but in addition it supports teachers being able to "see" the faces of their students as well as classmates that they greatly miss and perhaps notice if there is uncertainty or confusion about something that was taught in real time. For anyone who has been a participant in a virtual meeting it is known that there is a level of accountability and focus that is required when you are in view with your camera on just as there is a classroom when there is in-person teaching and learning. Teaching and learning is a reciprocal process online just as there is in a physical classroom in person.

While we are sensitive to and understand that there are situations where students might need to have their cameras off, we will continue to work together in support our students and come up with a plan to help them in anyway we can. Please read our campaign above and share with your child(ren). We thank you in advance for your support. It definitely takes a village...

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Our Bulletin is a creative way for us to communicate school happenings within our school community. Videos are created by our amazing students in Ms. Mangelsdorf's Video (Bulletin) class.
Bulletin for Friday, January 8th

Updated Office hours on Wednesdays- immediately after class at 10:05! See revised schedule below...

Please note that all teachers will be moving their Wednesday office hours starting January 2021. The Office hour will now be right after the rotation class on Wednesday from 10:05-11:05 to help support our students attending.

On our first day back from break, Tuesday, January 5th will be a Silver day as it normally would have been in our DL Schedule.

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Want to submit your child's Yearbook photo online?

We would like every student to be in this year's yearbook. Please follow the directions in the flyer below so they may be included. Click on photo to enlarge.

Does your child need tutoring? FreeTutoring Opportunity by Northgate Students

Study Buddy is a student-led tutoring program founded in Northern California. Our tutoring program is completely FREE, and all students K-12 are encouraged to join. Tutoring sessions are 30 minutes each, and a student can receive 1-3 online sessions per week. Because of our unique selection of high school tutors, we offer a wide variety of subjects! Ultimately, we hope to give students an additional tool to use during distance learning.

Contact Information:


Instagram: @studybuddy925

Application Website:


Click images below to ENLARGE...

New MDUSD Parent E-Training offerings. Click link below for free class schedule!

Free Virtual Mindfulness Sessions...

Available Assistance for those who qualify, click on files below for more info.

  • Payment of past due rent
  • Payment of current month's rent
  • Payment of future month's rent
  • Unable to pay past, present, or future month's rent.
SMS Yearbook

Click here to access links for uploading photos

MDUSD Prioritized Standards- Scope and Sequence

These documents can be helpful to parents, especially in the Distance Learning environment.

Translation Services

Bertha Sandoval, our Noon Supervisor, will be supporting us in translating and reaching out to Spanish-speaking families Monday - Friday 8:00AM - 10:30AM. Her extension is 5619.

Letter from our Superintendent Dr. Clark- January 8th

Good Morning MDUSD Staff and Community,
I have written our first of 2021, coming to you with the following headlines:

  • The Courageous Captains Leading our Next Generation
  • New in District Operations
  • Family Support Workshops and STEM Webinar to Enrich and Inspire
  • Newsletters from CCCOE and MDUSD Education Foundation
  • Phase 1A Arrives, Contra Costa Aims for 1,200 Daily Vaccinations

A mix of clouds and sunshine is in store for this weekend.

May yours be peaceful and restful,
Austin Breidenthal

Communications Specialist
in the Office of the Superintendent

Upcoming Dates...

January 15th- Coffee with Keck @ 8:00 am.

Zoom Meeting Meeting ID: 893 3345 0568

January 18th- School Closed in Observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day

January 26- Site Council Meeting at 3:05 on Zoom

Meeting ID: 832 1491 6303

Wed, February 10th from 11:30-1:30 Drive- Thru Photo Make-Up Day

The Mt. Diablo Unified School District prohibits discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and bullying based on actual or perceived ancestry, age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, nationality, race or ethnicity, religion, sex, sexual orientation, actual or potential parental, family, marital status, or association with a person or a group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics. Questions, concerns or complaints regarding harassment, discrimination, intimidation and bullying, please contact the Equity Compliance Officer, Jennifer Sachs, Executive Director of Instructional Support, at 1936 Carlotta Drive, Concord, CA 94519, by phone (925) 682-8000, or email at