The high school curriculum and program are grounded in the following principles and informed by Sequoyah’s Habits of Mind:
- Students should be challenged to apply what they learn and to construct meaning from what they know. This encourages the development of individual passion and purpose.
- A diverse community fosters deeper learning. By identifying bias and practicing cultural competence we become more effective collaborators across differences.
- Each student benefits from participating in their own assessment process.
- Self-reflection and goal-setting are keys to building success.
- Feedback should emphasize mastery of complex subject matter.
- Our school’s collaborative culture shapes attitudes and dispositions toward learning and personal growth.
Sequoyah’s high school coursework frames a journey through interrelated studies supported by a personal advisory program and immersive experiences outside the classroom. Core subject areas include math, science and technology, English and history, world languages, and visual and performing arts.
Advanced courses provide opportunities for students to develop specialized subject-area skills and knowledge. Students are encouraged to complete an independent study with the support of a faculty advisor. All courses will be approved by the University of California, meeting their “A-G” requirements.
To seek, honor and reflect on multiple viewpoints in order to broaden understanding and solve problems.
Field Studies Program
Camping & International Expeditions
It’s often on a camping trip, whether it’s to a familiar stretch of California coast or backpacking into the Sierra Nevada wilderness, that Sequoyah students try and succeed at something they have never done before. When they are young this might mean going on a trip without a parent for the first time, or hiking beyond the desert oasis nearest to the campground. By junior high it has meant climbing a rock face in Joshua Tree, and spending time solo in a Redwood forest — outside of their comfort zone.
Building on the traditions of camping and field studies in our K-8 program, students in the high school take on increased ownership for research and decision-making in the field. Graduates leave Sequoyah as comfortable leaders, knowing the importance of preparation and teamwork. They are mindful travellers who bring a sense of wonder and determination to each new venture.
Field Studies Trips
9th & 10th Grades
3-day trip in the Sierras
4 days backpacking in Joshua Tree
4 days canoeing the Colorado River
9 days backpacking in Southern Utah
10th & 11th Grade International Trip
10-day homestay in Costa Rican village
12th Grade Option Trip
Mentor 3rd/4th graders (student-designed basecamp) or backpack to coastal mountains in Big Sur or southern Sierra Nevada Mountains
To integrate and apply acquired knowledge in and out of the classroom.
Sequoyah Stem Institute
Sequoyah’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) Institute emphasizes the development of a scientific community at our high school and provides the opportunity for students to prepare for scientific lab work and internships. Students apply to the STEM Institute and join research teams. They visit labs and talk to experts to develop research questions that can be answered through field work and experimentation.
In addition to engaging in independent research projects, STEM Institute members also host an annual Science Symposium, showcasing student work in science classes at Sequoyah, host science demo tables at school events, run a Sequoyah STEM tutoring program, curate an Instagram page, and write blog posts for the Institute webpage.
Visit the Sequoyah STEM Institute website to learn about student initiatives and field trips and to read the blog.
To take care of people, take care of things, take care of the environment, and seek to make the community a better place for all.
Sequoyah Advanced Studies Program
Sequoyah students are encouraged to rise to the challenge of the Sequoyah Advanced Studies (SAS) program, our honors curriculum available to grades 11 and 12. Faculty recommend students to pursue these more rigorous, sophisticated, and challenging courses, which we offer instead of APs. Courses are designed by Sequoyah faculty to be recognized by the University of California to meet honors-level criteria and the highest standards of college admissions offices. Advisors play an important role in guiding students each year to map out course selections that meet the prerequisites for any desired SAS courses. Learn more about SAS course selections in Sequoyah’s high school curriculum guide.
SAS courses offered include:
• Women, Capitalism, & Climate Change
• Allegory & the Novella
• One Mod, One Book: Cloud Atlas
• American History: Liberation
• Physics: Asteroid Avoidance
• Higher Mathematics
• Spanish 4 & 5
• Music Production
• Playwriting, Acting, & Directing
• Visual Arts Seminar
Sequoyah, the Cherokee leader and inventor of the Cherokee written language, referred to writing that conveyed the important thoughts of individuals as “talking leaves.” Our Talking Leaves Program challenges students to prepare presentations for Exhibitions of Learning twice a year. Students write essays and prepare public presentations to demonstrate their depth of thought on essential questions from their courses, and participate in ongoing dialogues on contemporary issues. Talking Leaves honors the individual academic growth of each student and provides opportunities for them to present and lead intellectual discourse.
To approach challenges with an open mind and a willingness to take imaginative risks while generating ideas and refining solutions.
Time for Reflection & Discovery
High school students who are coached to identify their own strengths and challenges, to set realistic goals, to identify support systems, and to persevere find greater lifelong success as learners.
At Sequoyah, individualized mentoring will support each student’s academic, social and emotional growth. Each student will be matched with an advisor in 9th grade and will have the same advisor and small peer group for four years. This will allow for the development of a meaningful relationship between advisor and advisees.
Through the advisory program, students will learn how to improve attention, manage stress, and navigate personal challenges. With this consistent support students will learn to set and meet high standards and advocate appropriately and effectively for their own needs and the needs of others.
To engage in constructive dialogue, value literature and language and express oneself effectively through a variety of modalities.
Sequoyah’s college counselor will work closely with each student and their family to guide and support a student’s college search, admissions process and decision.
Starting in 9th grade, the college counseling program is woven into the life of Advisory, providing activities for students to explore their curricular and extra-curricular curiosities and passions. Over time, students have opportunities to imagine their future selves, mapping out possible opportunities in college and beyond.
In their 11th- and 12th-grade years, the college counselor works closely with families to identify and apply to a range of ‘best fit’ colleges and Universities. The counselor will help students and their families to schedule application deadlines, and identify college fairs and events and financial aid meetings that will provide opportunities for the family to learn more about and apply to those schools.
The college counseling program also scaffolds the process of selecting, scheduling and preparing for PSAT, ACT, SAT & SAT II tests.
To become curious, motivated, self-reflective learners who generate questions to deepen understanding.
The athletic program at Sequoyah is focused on developing individual sportsmanship, physical skill and stamina, teamwork strategies, and exhilaration in play. Sports teams include cross country, volleyball, tennis, basketball, swimming & diving, archery, fencing, and squash. Sequoyah is a member of the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) and follows the CIF sports calendar.
Because the high school is located within proximity to the Arroyo Seco, the sports teams are able to use exceptional facilities: Rose Bowl Aquatic Center, Rose Bowl Tennis Center, and playing fields at Brookside Park. High School teams have access to indoor gyms at the adjacent New Revelation Church.
To do one’s best work.
Clubs & Activities
Let's Do It
From Gryphon Media Company’s breaking news and satirical publications to creative computing (coding and engineering) to debate and improv comedy, students are encouraged to and supported in building interest and confidence with new activities, while developing a range of skills and just having fun. Student clubs and activities may take place individually or in groups, and may or may not connect to academic pursuits.
To know when and how to lead, follow and work together as an active listener and meaningful contributor.
Igniting Your Passion & Purpose
Students are invited to propose and develop one course for independent study that is not offered through the school’s academic program.
With the help of the student’s advisor, the student may identify a research question, plan a literature review, and design a comprehensive performance task to synthesize and creatively communicate findings from the study. The literature review may include formal interviews with experts, or literature created by organizations.