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Updated Link for San Carlos School Boundaries.

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Interactive Map.

It’s the number one question that buyers ask when they’re looking at a particular home:  “What school boundary is this home in?”  (It used to be “Why are they selling the house?”)  Over the years, the boundaries of the San Carlos School District have remained relatively stable.  But two years ago, the District had to take the unprecedented step of redrawing a few of the boundaries in an effort to stem the chronic over-enrollment at both White Oaks and Arundel Elementary Schools  Once the boundaries were decided, the new boundaries were outlined on a pdf file that you could download from the district website.

But the District now utilizes a handy interactive map that is created by My School Locator that allows you to simply type the address in, and up pops both the elementary and middle school that the particular address is zoned for.   Here is the link:  San Carlos School Boundaries.   You’ll definitely want to bookmark that one.

Sequoia Union High School District has had an interactive service on their website for quite some time which accomplishes the same function (without the mapping feature.)  But they recently changed the location of it on their website without providing a forwarding address.  Here is the new link for Sequoia’s boundary search:  Sequoia Union High School Boundary Search.

Don’t Assume.

The same caveat is in effect with any and all discussions regarding boundaries – don’t assume that you’re guaranteed to attend the particular elementary school that your new home is zoned for, especially if you’re moving in after the school year has started.  As the demographic of San Carlos continues to shift toward younger families with school-age children, more stress is being placed on the enrollment process and this means that the District has to make tough decisions to ensure that the enrollment is as balanced as possible.

When in doubt, call the District offices at 650-508-7333.
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Sequoia High School Becomes School of Choice for Stanford Educated Teachers.

Stanford Logo

A Century-Old Relationship.

It’s well documented that the relationship between Sequoia High School and Stanford University dates back to the late 1800′s, when Sequoia was the only high school on the mid-peninsula and it’s main charter was to educate the children of Stanford University professors.  Over the years, graduates of Sequoia have found their way to the halls of Stanford, especially in recent years with the advent of the popular International Baccalaureate (IB) program that’s offered at Sequoia.  But in the past five years, the road between Palo Alto and Redwood City is seeing traffic in both directions.

Back to School.

One thing we noticed a few years ago when our kids started at Sequoia High School was how young and energetic all of the teachers seemed to be.  It certainly shattered the old impression we had of Sequoia before we decided to send our kids there.    This infusion of young educators is no accident; then-principal Morgan Marchbanks and her staff went out of their way to recruit the best and brightest teachers coming out of the top institutions, which is a trend that has continued under current principal Bonnie Hansen.   One program in particular that has been a fertile ground to recruit new teachers is the The Stanford Teacher Education Program (STEP).

The following article that was published in the Peninsula Press provides an outstanding look at the STEP program, and focuses on a couple of graduates who are now teaching at Sequoia:   Stanford-Trained Teachers Flock to Redwood City’s Sequoia High School.
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“Lost & Found”: A taste of Broadway comes to Sequoia High School…

September 30, 2009 Sequoia High School 1 Comment

Lost&Found

Every year, some outstanding productions take place in Sequoia High School’s Carrington Hall — most of these, such as Little Shop of Horrors and Grease are produced by the Drama Department at Sequoia, with a cast comprised of students.   But next week, Carrington Hall becomes the kick-off venue for a full-length, professionally produced, and Broadway-bound production that you won’t want to miss.   And best of all?  There’s something in it for our schools, too….

Lost & Found — The Musical..

Written and produced by Menlo-Atherton graduate Darin Adams, “Lost & Found” is powerful musical about how a diverse group of people are brought together in the backdrop of a 12-block inner-city district torn that’s being torn apart by drugs, poverty, and violence.   As they work together to promote a particularly talented young singer, they band together, despite the risks, to bring hope and love to that dangerous area known as “The Lost and Found.”

The entire cast and creative team of “Lost & Found” hails from the New York musical scene, so this promises to be a powerful and exciting production.

Something for the Schools..

Besides providing what will surely be an unforgettable show, the proceeds from this special preview production of “Lost & Found” will benefit Sequoia High School and other public schools in Redwood City.  So not only do you get to take in a Broadway-caliber production, but you’ll be helping our local schools in the process.     The generosity of Darin Adams and his whole team is simply incredible.

Show Dates and Times:

For more info about the production, check out the website:  Lost & Found: A New Musical

Lost&Found Show Times
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Enrollment jumps at Sequoia High School…

September 17, 2009 Sequoia High School 4 Comments

Sequoia

(And it’s not all from San Carlos…)

Sequoia High School is enjoying an incredible surge in its enrollment.   Over the past three years, the student body has grown to a size that hasn’t been seen on this campus in many years.   Some of this is to be expected, since more San Carlos students were vectored to Sequoia when Carlmont High School hit its enrollment limit a few years ago and stopped taking intra-district transfers.

But more students are coming to Sequoia from different parts of the Peninsula that are outside of Sequoia’s traditional boundaries, such as Menlo Park, Woodside, and Belmont.   Clearly, they’re making the trip because by choice, not by necessity.   I’m a big fan of Sequoia, and I proudly serve as a board member on the Sequoia High School Education Foundation, so I clearly understand why families choose to send their kids here.

The Numbers

The total enrollment at Sequoia this year is approximately 1,837 students.  This is a 17% increase from the prior year, and a whopping 25% increase from just two years ago.   Is all of this upside coming from the Freshman class?   Not necessarily — this past year, the Freshman class grew by 15%, so this indicates that part of the enrollment increase is from students transferring in at the upper class levels. >>> Click Here to Read the Full Post
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Breaking News: Bonnie Hansen named as the new Sequoia High School Principal.

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(Update:  Here’s an article from the Daily Journal with the official news — Sequoia School District Names New Prinicpals)

The wait is over…

Sequoia High School will soon announce that Bonnie Hansen has been named the new Principal of Sequoia High School, replacing the departing Morgan Marchbanks, who will be leaving her post at the end of the current school year to pursue a doctorate degree in education.   Bonnie is currently the Instructional Vice Principal at Sequoia High School.  As I have written before on this site, what Principal Marchbanks has accomplished at Sequoia over the past 10 years is nothing short of amazing, and her incredible presence will be missed on this campus.   These are some tough shoes to fill…

The right person for the job.

Over the past few weeks, the Sequoia High School District Board (along with review groups that include adminstrators and parents) has conducted an exhaustive interview process to name Principal Marchbanks’ replacement.   In my opinion, they could not have picked a better person for this position.  One of Principal Marchbanks’ many strengths is her ability to identify and recruit top-notch talent to work on her team, and Bonnie Hansen is a perfect example of this.

While Principal Marchbanks deserves much of the credit for the incredible transformation of Sequoia High School, she’ll be the first to acknowledge that this wouldn’t have been possible without the help of her key team members such as Bonnie Hansen.  And those efforts did not go unnoticed, as Vice Principal Hansen has been recruited heavily for the principal position at some very prestigious high schools.  She has publicly stated that Sequoia High School is where she wants to be, and her loyalty has now been rewarded.

Keeping a good thing going.

Congratulations to Superintendent Pat Gemma, and everyone involved in this process for making the right decision.  Losing someone as influential as Principal Marchbanks could have been devastating to the environment that has been carefully created at Sequoia — not only with the students, but for the faculty as well.  Keeping Sequoia headed in the right direction requires a hands-on administrator who already has her finger on the pulse of the school.  That’s why Bonnie Hansen was the right choice for Principal.

The future of Sequoia High School is in good hands…

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Sequoia High School’s Hall of Fame is Indeed “First Class”

Very Distinguished…Indeed

Do you think that a school that has been around for over 100 years would have some distinguished alumni who have gone on to make a permanent and positive impact on our society? At Sequoia High School, the answer is a resounding “yes.” Yesterday, the school set some time aside to honor a few of these graduates, and it may surprise you to find out who was inducted to the Sequoia High School Hall of Fame.

ABC News did a great job covering this story, so I’ll let them tell you who some of Sequoia’s most famous grads are.  Click here for the link, or view the video directly below:


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Morgan Marchbanks inducted to the San Mateo County Women’s Hall of Fame…

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Those of you who have read these pages know that I’m a huge fan of Sequoia High School.   The transformation that has occurred at this school over the past decade is nothing short of spectacular, and Sequoia’s place in the San Carlos educational system will only grow in the coming years.  And while it has taken the tireless work of many dedicated people to create the new  environment that is Sequoia today, there’s one person who deserves credit for the vision to see what this school could become, and for the heavy-lifting to make it all happen:

Principal Morgan Marchbanks

Her dedication to public education, and her results at Sequoia have not gone unnoticed:  Morgan Marchbanks has just been selected as one of the 2009 inductees into the San Mateo County Women’s Hall of Fame.

The San Mateo County Women’s Hall of Fame, sponsored by the San Mateo
County Board of Supervisors and the Commission on the Status of Women
has been recognizing the exceptional leadership of women who live or
work in San Mateo County for the past 25 years. She will join the ranks of more than 200
other extraordinary women who, like Morgan, have left an indelible mark on
the communities of our County.

Congratulations Principal Morgan Marchbanks on this well deserved honor!

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San Carlos and Sequoia High School — So far, so good…

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If you have read previous articles on this blog, you know that the majority of San Carlos is becoming increasingly “joined at the hip” with Sequoia High School.  With the exception of a few certain extenuating circumstances, Carlmont High School is no longer an option for many residents of San Carlos.  After years of rapid enrollment increases,  that school is now bursting at the seams and is not accepting additional inter-district transfers.  And since most of San Carlos falls into the Sequoia High School boundary, it was only a matter of time before the two groups were going to converge.   Here are the additional posts on this subject:




The fact that San Carlos residents are sending their kids to Sequoia is not news.  There have always been San Carlos families at this high school — but this year’s freshman class will likely represent the largest influx of San Carlos students in recent memory.  And this trend is likely to continue for years to come as Carlmont copes with its enrollment challenges.

So now that Sequoia has been back in session for a few weeks, the question I keep getting asked is…How is it going so far?  Well, based upon enthusiastic feedback from my own freshman student, as well as conversations I’ve had with other parents who are new to Sequoia, things seem to be going VERY well.  The recurring comments I hear are that the faculty is smart and energetic, the curriculum is spot on to prepare the kids for college, and the kids feel very safe at this campus.  Principal Morgan Marchbanks has really turned things around at this school.

But nobody cares about my opinion ;-) …  What do YOU think of Sequoia?   Do you have a student at Sequoia, especially a new freshman?  If so, we’d love to hear your opinion on how things are going so far…either positive OR negative.   Simply click the comment link below and make your thoughts known…

(A quick note on comments: you’re NOT required to enter your email address, and you can use any username you wish — your opinion is far more important than your identity!)
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Are you ready to step up to the most comprehensive data available about the San Carlos Real Estate market? Then subscribe to the White Oaks Blog for free by clicking here. Be sure to follow the White Oaks Blog on Facebook at https://Facebook.com/WhiteOaksBlog , and on Twitter @WhiteOaksBlog.
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