Distance Learning 11.20.2020

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School Photo Days- Sign up for a day and time slot- BY APPT ONLY!

We scheduled December 9th and 16th from 11:30-4:00 pm

Drive thru photo opportunity. You must pre-schedule a time on Sign up Genius which should mitigate any traffic control problems. Parents will drive onto the blacktop, students will get out of the cars, go into the gym for their photo and get their ID card right after. Parents will stay in their cars and students will remain outside 6 feet apart while they are waiting for their photo to be taken. IT IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT that you come at your assigned time and not earlier to help the flow of the process.

We will also ask for parent volunteers to help maintain social distancing protocols and support the event.

Photo Day Sign Up Appointments, click here!

SAVE the DATE! Quarter 3 Instructional Materials Pick-Up

Monday, December 14th Students with Last names A-K

Tuesday, December 15th Students with Last names L-Z

from 12-3


  • Post a sign in the passenger window BIG and BOLD with Last name, First Name. Grade (SEE IMAGE BELOW...)
  • Arrive during the designated day/time
  • Have all passengers in car wear a mask.

We will be organizing our pick up similarly to how we orchestrated Registration in August. We thank you in advance for your patience through the Pick-Up process. We ask that you kindly follow the directions above to help support a smooth and speedy pick-up event.

Parent Square

We are very excited to adopt a new form of communication at Sequoia and in MDUSD. ParentSquare is designed to keep parents informed and facilitate participation at school. It provides a safe way for the school principal, teachers, staff, and parents to:

  • Send and receive school and class information

  • Share pictures and files

  • See calendar items

  • Sign up to volunteer

  • and much more . . . all in one centralized place!

ParentSquare Parent Videos

Yesterday I sent all families an invite through email or text to join ParentSquare (if you do not receive one please call the office). You do not have to sign up for an account to receive notifications but you will need to sign up if you would like to message school staff, teachers, etc. Additionally, you can set how you would like to receive messages from the school and teachers to either email, text or through the app. All schools will be using ParentSquare if you have students at other schools all messages will be in one place. If you have any questions please let us know. There are also videos available (see link above) to support parents and families. Click on Images below for info on how to download app directly onto your Smart phone.

Out and About on Campus!

Study Buddy- FreeTutoring Opportunity by Northgate Students

Introducing Study Buddy: Just because the 2020-2021 school year started differently, doesn’t mean that students have to fall behind. The current pandemic has forced schools nationwide to change their traditional ways of functioning. In-class learning was flipped to distance learning, and teachers are still struggling to tweak the imperfections of online learning. For students, distance learning may be perceived as challenging. It isn’t easy going from walking through the halls to staring at a computer for hours. No matter the reason, we want to help make sure your students aren’t discouraged or falling behind.

Study Buddy is a student-led tutoring program founded in Northern California. We are a fairly new program, hoping to lend a little bit of additional help to keep students motivated and on track. Our tutoring program is completely FREE, and all students K-12 are encouraged to join. In addition, tutoring is completely online, making it easier for tutors and mentees to communicate in the midst of the pandemic. Our program is filled with a variety of academically strong high school and college students, devoted to helping your students academically succeed. We provide flexibility in terms of scheduling, and we try our best to find a tutor that can best accommodate your hours and subjects. 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.

Study Buddy also serves as a volunteer opportunity for high school students. As juniors, we understand the difficult search for volunteer opportunities during the pandemic. With Study Buddy, tutors can receive hours virtually, without leaving their homes. Students can earn between 30-90 minutes of service per week through tutoring. We also ensure flexible scheduling for tutors, knowing they have additional extracurriculars to participate in. In addition, tutoring gives them an opportunity to interact and assist students throughout the US.

Contact Information:


Instagram: @studybuddy925

Application Website:

Reaching out to help each other in our community...

MDUSD Education Foundation

While many of you have heard about the MDUSD Education Foundation, some of you have not. Our goal is to fund STEAM enrichment (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) in all MDUSD schools. We work collaboratively with the district to identify programs that we can fund. For Giving Tuesday, we are focusing on science for middle and high schools, including SMS. Donations last year allowed us to fund Mystery Science for all elementary schools.

If you want to make a difference for our students, please consider donating (even a little bit!) so we can purchase two science programs: Mosa Mack and Gizmos. Also, please SHARE with all your friends on your social media sites, whether or not you chose to donate. These programs will help enrich science for our well-deserving students!

Mary Gray


MDUSD Education Foundation

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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.

Superintendent's Friday Letter-11-20-2020

11-20-2020 Friday Letter

I want you to know I have written this week's with the following headlines:

  • COVID-19 Restrictions Tighten,
    January Targeted for Hybrid Option
  • A Season of Thanks Arrives to Renew Spirits
  • Meet Erin McFerrin, New Trustee for Area 5
  • Consider HOPE for Your Holiday Giving
  • For Your Review: Our District Organizational Update
  • Premiering Tonight: "High School Notes"
    An Uplifting Vocal Concert
The forecast says our autumn weekend will be one with sunshine.

With gratitude,

Austin Breidenthal
Communications Specialist
in the Office of the Superintendent

Reopening Plan for Sequoia Middle UPDATE- REPOST!

I hope that all of our families were able to submit the district survey that was sent out last Friday. District staff is now reviewing the submissions and is planning to send out a "Binding" survey originally was scheduled to be emailed to you on Monday, November 16th however after considering parent feedback they are delaying the binding survey so they can make considerations from community input.

Dr. Clark published his draft "Hybrid Model" for secondary schools (See photo above). This initial 'draft' model is not final and you will notice it does not yet reflect an 8 period schedule, it does illustrate how our hybrid plan is being shaped moving forward. As seen in the draft schedule, distance learning will remain very similar in the AM under this model and the district is in the process of developing a plan for the PM on-campus learning.

In preparation for students to return to campus, we are in the process of:

  • Rearranging classrooms to keep desks 6 feet apart
  • Developing Flow patterns in hallways and corridors with stenciled information
  • Painting arrows to show flow
  • Updating PPE
  • Waiting on specific guidance on how to develop our PM learning schedule

We miss our Sequoia Giants and look forward to when we can be with all of our students 100% once it is safe to do so!

Draft of Secondary Schedule...

Click on image to enlarge.


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. Even us administrators enjoy being silly and having fun!
Bulletin for Nov. 13, 2020
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.



Print out a copy of the schedule and put in your child's notebook! A copy of the Wednesday Rotation schedule is also available on the front page of our school website.

Upcoming Dates...

November 23rd-27th- Fall Break- No School

12/2 8th Grade Virtual assembly- Nightmare on Puberty Street.

12/14 Instructional Materials Pick-Up Drive Thru 12-3pm Last names (A-K)

12/15 Instructional Materials Pick-Up Drive Thru 12-3 Last names (L-Z)

12/9 and 12/16- Photo Day by Appointment only 11:30- 4 pm (see link above)

12/18- End of 2nd Quarter

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