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2018-19

May/June 2019

Dear Community,
 
It is incredible to believe that we have arrived to the final stretch of the 2018-19 school year.
 
Many great and memorable accomplishments were celebrated this year. Students were recognized by Congress for their innovative ideas, athletic teams earned championships, and upgraded facilities were unveiled. This year will go down as one that has truly positioned SUHSD for continued long-term success.
 
Further supporting the fact that we have much to be proud of, as I write this letter, one of our high schools has been selected as a 2018-19 California Honor Roll School.
 
As we prepare to celebrate graduations and academic promotions, I would like to take this moment to thank you for believing in our students and providing unwavering support to our district. 
 
The support of the community inspires me as an educator because every action taken has a direct impact on the communities in which our students reside. We are extremely fortunate to have such an extensive support network which allows an extension of the classroom into homes; ensuring that students are mutually embraced and supported by their academic environment.
 
As our graduating seniors prepare to embark on their college and post-secondary careers, I am confident that they will make our community proud. I also believe that they will demonstrate to the world that our community truly understands the value of investing in students and preparing them to be leaders in colleges and ultimately, the world.
 
As you take the time to enjoy your summer break, be assured that my team and I will be here preparing to build upon this year’s success so that next year’s milestones can be even greater.
 
Again, thank you for all of your support and confidence. I look forward to seeing you on the first day of school, August 14th.
 
- Dr. Mary E. Streshly
Superintendent, Sequoia Union High School District

April 2019

Dear Community,
 
This has been a month of recognition at our district as Carlmont High School’s Leadership Program and Menlo-Atherton High School’s Computer Academy were both selected as recipients of a 2019 Kent Award.
 
Every year, the San Mateo County School Boards Association designates their most prestigious award to innovative programs that have proven to be trailblazing and, equally important, can be replicated throughout San Mateo County.
 
These awards are representative of the culture of the Sequoia Union High School District; every single member of our team is focused and committed to providing our students with the very best support. They do this because there is nothing more important to us than ensuring our students are given the necessary tools and encouragement to attain their academic goals.
 
From titans of industry such as Ray Dolby, founder of Dolby Labs, or Gordon Moore, co-founder of Intel, to Super Bowl MVP, Julian Edelman, the road to their success began in our classrooms.
 
In the spirit of highlighting district accomplishments, one of my favorite events is when we celebrate the District's innovation and success at the SUHSD Board of Trustees' meetings. of some of the individuals and initiatives that we have had the privilege of celebrating across the District this year.
 
Congratulations to all!
 
- Dr. Mary E. StreshlySuperintendent, Sequoia Union High School District

March 2019

Dear Community,
 
In order for a school to reach optimal levels and obtain a systematic approach to improvement and ongoing success it must engage in actions which will aide it and push it towards the right direction.  As a top performing school district we have actively engaged with the Accrediting Commission for Schools, Western Association of Schools and Colleges (ACS WASC). (https://www.acswasc.org/wasc/acs-wasc-overview). 
 
In addition to its critical role in validating our educational programs for colleges and universities evaluating our graduates’ admissions eligibility, accreditation is instrumental in developing a culture of success, particularly as it relates to higher student achievement and preparation for each stage of higher learning. 
This constant approach of evaluation assures our community that a trustworthy program is in place and that, as an academic institution, we will continuously pursue ways to improve our standards of success, without compromising our integrity.  We also embrace the value statement of WASC, We Are Student-Centered, and strongly believe that our mission is to engage and prepare all students to excel in a global society. 
 
This spring, the Western Association of School and Colleges (WASC), spent time examining Menlo-Atherton, Woodside, East Palo Alto Academy and Redwood High Schools as part of their regular evaluation cycle.  I am happy to report that all of our schools received numerous commendations highlighting their excellent academic programs and student services. Examples include:
  • Woodside’s commendation that student voice has played an essential role in shaping school practices and policies
  • Redwood’s commendation for their new state of the art facility that supports the school action plan to create an outstanding small school environment.
  • Menlo-Atherton’s commendation for the degree to which the community was provided opportunities to influence the rich academic offerings and the culture of continual self-improvement.
  • East Palo Alto Academy’s commendation for their outstanding senior exhibition projects and wrap around support services.
This achievement would not be possible without the dedication and commitment of our teachers and staff.  Thank you for everything that you do to make our schools the best.  Go Bears! Go Wildcats! Go Bulldogs! Go Giant Redwoods! Go Sequoia Union High School District!
 
- Dr. Mary E. Streshly
Superintendent, Sequoia Union High School District

February 2019

Dear Community,
 
This last month, our nation recognized and celebrated Black History Month.  This was a time for us to recognize the accomplishments of our African American community, and equally important, it allowed us the opportunity to reflect on ensuring that our educational institutions continue striving for equality.
 
At the Sequoia Union High School District, we are proud of the diversity of our community and are constantly seeking to maintain and support an environment that embraces and seeks diversity.  It is through these efforts that we will be able to strengthen the classroom experience and in the process, develop a new generation of leaders that will understand the value of different points of view.  Through this, we strengthen our nation.
 
Recently, the SUHSD hosted a town hall community meeting focused on the teacher housing crisis that districts throughout our region are experiencing.  Local leaders such as Menlo Park Mayor Ray Mueller, Sequoia District Teachers Association President Edith Salvatore, Santa Clara Supervisor Joe Simitian, and SUHSD Board President Georgia Jack, had a robust conversation seeking to address many of the issues that are impacting our teacher and support staff community.  One of the biggest highlights of the conversation was the recognition that government agencies need to broker their resources in order to find private partners.
 
Perhaps the biggest indicator as to the importance of the issue is the diversity of those who attended the meeting.  From teachers to elected officials throughout our region, stakeholders were in attendance seeking to collaborate as a region rather than working in isolation.
 
Through this diversity of perspective we will be in a better position to find solutions because we are ensuring that all stakeholders are at the table tackling complex issues.  With SUHSD at the forefront of critical conversations, I am confident that we are going to find solutions that will strengthen our community.
 
As always, thank you for your support of our students.
 
- Dr. Mary E. Streshly
Superintendent, Sequoia Union High School District

January 2019

Dear Community,
 
Welcome back! I hope you had a restful holiday break and that you’re ready for a strong finish of the 2018-2019 school year. Our staff jumped into the new spring semester with a robust day of various Professional Development trainings that centered on the common vision of quality instruction.  
 
 
Other noteworthy developments consist of the launching of two new task forces. The first one, the District Self-Assessment Leadership Team, is focused on strengthening the student experience for our most at-risk students. We are taking a deep examination of school climate and evaluating current practices with absenteeism and suspensions. The goal is to ensure that we are adequately supporting and serving our diverse student population.
 
 
We also launched the Technology Task Force in order to develop a new District Technology Masterplan. Our intention is to find better means of integrating our technological tools into classrooms in order to train our students for employment opportunities that do not yet exist.
 
 
Our overarching goal is to fully equip students and help develop well rounded human beings. We are confident that, through task forces, we will identify elements that will guide us on how to better serve students who may be in need of additional support.
 
 
Regardless of where a student stands academically, we are determined to further support each student with programs and tools that allow them to thrive and be prepared for the future.
As always, thank you for your partnership.
 
 
- Dr. Mary E. Streshly
Superintendent, Sequoia Union High School District

December 2018

Dear Community,
 
As you are taking this time to celebrate the holiday season with your family, I want to reflect on some of the things that made our 2018 amazing.
 
As is always the case at our district, our team ensured we ended the semester successfully. I am proud to have such dedicated staff that continuously work year in and year out. Special thanks to all of our team members for their tireless efforts, we had an incredible 2018.
 
At the Board level, board members Chris Thomsen and Alan Sarver were sworn-in to another term by state Senator Jerry Hill. Additionally, Trustee Georgia Jack was selected by her colleagues to serve as the President of the Board of Trustees for 2019, Trustee Allen Weiner was selected as Vice President and Trustee Alan Sarver as Clerk.
 
This football season became one of the most memorable in Sequoia Union High School District’s history with Carlmont making it to the CCS finals and Menlo-Atherton winning the state championship.
In our classrooms, our students continue to exemplify our reputation as academic leaders who equally value addressing social issues that impact their generation. Whether they are being recognized by members of Congress for their innovation in science, or hosting an incredible Dreamers fundraiser gala at Sequoia High School, our students never cease to amaze me. Their many talents, passion for learning and commitment to helping others is inspiring.
 
As we prepare to enter a new year, I want to thank you for being an amazing partner. Your support is critical to our success.
 
On behalf of the Sequoia Union High School District, Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year.
 
- Dr. Mary E. Streshly
Superintendent, Sequoia Union High School District 

November 2018

Dear Community,
 
With the fires raging in the northern part of our state, the last couple of weeks have required that we take unprecedented measures to protect the health and well being of our students and our team members. The actions we took culminated with our having to cancel school on Friday, November 19. 
 
I want to take this moment to thank you for your understanding and support during these unexpected times. It is moments such as these that demonstrate the character of a community, and I am humbled to feel your overwhelming support as we collectively sought solutions. 
 
I also want to thank our staff for their commitment and leadership as they implemented plans to ensure the safety of our students. From the very beginning, they went above their day-to-day roles to create an environment where students felt safe and were able to receive the value of their educational day with minimal impact. This type of leadership is why we are one of the best high school districts in California.
 
For your convenience we have put together an that answers frequently asked questions.
 
If you are interested in helping those who lost everything, feel free to contact our office, and we will work to connect you with a non- profit agency that is helping the fire victims.
 
- Dr. Mary E. Streshly
  Superintendent, Sequoia Union High School District

October 2018

Dear Community,
 
In today’s climate, we must remember that the foundation of our democracy is the power of people coming together to create change. We believe that the public school system is both the cornerstone and the bell weather to a healthy thriving community. At the Sequoia Union High School District, we encourage our community to utilize its collective voice; and always strive to create a culture that embraces openness, transparency, and diversity of thought. With these practices, we will be able to strengthen our nation one community at a time. Don’t forget to use your voice and vote!
 
In this spirit, I want to focus on the District’s commitment to seeking input from our various stakeholders. In order to better serve students, our District recognizes the value of feedback and differing points of view in order to strengthen both classroom and parent experiences. As a public school district, we are here to serve our community.
 
In our classrooms, one example of this ethos is our Local Control Accountability Plan goal to create an educational environment that is rigorous. However, unlike past practices in education where the rigor stems from a teacher as holder of knowledge, ours is driven by the idea that our teachers facilitate the search for knowledge. By utilizing this model, we empower our students to recognize the fact that they have a voice and the ability to find solutions to problems, regardless of complexity.
 
We have launched a Panorama Student Survey that provides opportunity to measure student perceptions of teaching and learning in our District. Through the utilization of this tool, we aim to identify how to better serve students.
 
We have recently embarked on a series of Community Conversations.  We also look forward to the results of the Panorama survey for parents and guardians.  Please be sure to provide input on how we can keep rigor high and students engaged.
 
Staff is also in the process of completing classified and certificated Panorama surveys and participating in Western Association of Schools and Colleges Focus Groups and in the community engagement nights. From them, we learn how we can support teachers and staff, so they can bring their heart and hustle to school each and every day.
 
Through these interactive events, our central mission is to hear directly from you; and equally important is to build a relationship to maintain conversations beyond engagement nights and survey results. My hope is that by building a relationship, you will always feel comfortable to share your point of view with our leadership team.
 
- Dr. Mary E. Streshly
Superintendent, Sequoia Union High School

September 2018

Dear Community,
 
We are proud to say that we have had an amazing start to another promising and strong academic year here at the Sequoia Union High School District.
 
Thanks to the Measure A bond, some of the most exciting work has been centered around our small school portfolio. Though they are small in size, they are bursting with enormous possibilities. 
 
The grand opening of our new STEM project-based school, Technology, Innovation, Design, and Engineering (TIDE) Academy,  will showcase the District’s emerging small school initiatives.  TIDE’s first freshman class will start school in the fall of 2019, and it is with great pride that I can report that the SUHSD has already entered into groundbreaking agreements with our local community colleges – Foothill and Canada College.  These agreements will help revolutionize our students’ transition into college.  
 
Freshman through senior students will have the opportunity to take college level courses, and will be further supported through a co-teaching format. The format allows educators to reach a broader range of learners. These types of opportunities solidify our vision for TIDE Academy and we are confident that TIDE will become a leading model for academic success. 
 
Last week’s ribbon cutting ceremony at Redwood High School was a successful celebration and a refreshing welcome to students, staff, and community. The goal for Redwood is to equip students with the same opportunities provided to all District students. Redwood High School offers a unique model of support services customized to student needs.  We are confident that Redwood will become the school of choice for students, where social-emotional needs are fostered and specialty programs are offered to meet college and career interests. 
 
As Superintendent, I would like to thank the countless members of our community who made this dream a reality.  These new facilities would not have been possible if not for the resolve and united mindset of our District.  From the Board of Trustees to the staff and students, this great effort was made a reality because we all believe that our students deserve the best opportunities available. Thank you all for everything you do. 
 
- Dr. Mary E. Streshly
Superintendent, Sequoia Union High School District

August 2018

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