Sixth Grade Studies Climate Change

Over the past few weeks, the sixth graders have been learning about climate change during science class. They’ve gained an understanding of how climate change can impact human health, coast lines, and society, as well as ecosystems and species that cannot adapt quickly enough.

To continue their learning, the students wanted to help a species in need. Students researched several species, including the Adelie Penguin, Arctic Fox, Beluga, Red Panda, and Monarch Butterfly. They found out where each species is located, why they are important to their ecosystem, and what threats there are to the species.

In order to raise money to help these species, students are going to hold an election, and the entire Saklan community is invited to participate. Starting on Monday, you will see decorated buckets on the tables near the office, and you can lend your spare change to vote for the species you want to help the most.

Each cent you contribute will count as one vote. One penny will count as one vote, a quarter will count as 25 votes, a dollar will count for 100 votes, and so on. All of the money raised will go to the World Wildlife Fund, which is working to help these species.

We will symbolically “adopt” the species that gets the most votes, and will announce the winner to the Saklan community.

Thank you for your help!


Science Discovery in the Owl Classroom

Some of Saklan’s youngest students are learning all about science! The Owls in Ms. Jessica’s class are spending the month learning what science is, what an experiment is, and the definitions of the words “hypothesis” and “observation.”

To bring their learning to life, the students are conducting an experiment of their own, using celery sticks and white flowers! The class put one of each into cups of water, then added different food coloring to each cup. They also left one cup of water uncolored.

Each student formed a hypothesis about what would happen, including:

“They will grow!”
“They will explode!”
“The water will get hard like Jello!”
“They will suck up the water!”
“They will get hot!”
“A raccoon will take the celery!”

The class will make observations every day to see which of their hypotheses are correct!


2021-2022 Days Off School

Planning has begun for the 2021-2022 school year, including a proposed calendar of schools breaks and days off. More detail about these dates and other important school events for next year will be coming, but we hope this outline will help Saklan families as they begin planning for the year ahead.

Aug19: Teachers’ First Day
Aug 25: First Day of School
Sept 6: Labor Day, No School
Oct 8-11: Fall Holiday, No School
Nov 11: Veterans’ Day, No School
Nov 22-26: Thanksgiving Break, No School
Dec 17: Half-Day
Dec 20-31: Winter Break
Jan 3: Professional Development Day, No School for Students
Jan 17: MLK Day, No School
Feb 18-21: President’s Day Weekend, No School
April 4-8: Spring Break
May 6: Teacher Appreciation Day, No School
May 30: Memorial Day, No School

Thank you for your support as we plan for another great year at Saklan!


Bringing Historical Figures to Life

The second graders in Mrs. Prizeman’s class closed out their biographies unit by embodying noteworthy figures from throughout American history. After researching about the life of their chosen person–including their childhood, noteworthy accomplishments, and overcome challenges–each student created a short video to teach others what they had learned.

Many students pulled out all the stops–including costumes and accessories–to bring their historical figure to life! To see Saklan creativity at work, and to learn more about people who made a difference, watch the video here!

Upcoming Field Experience

On Thursday, April 15, the sixth grade class hit the road for a field experience at Challenge Sonoma! They’ll spend the day participating in a ropes course and other team-building activities, designed to build self-confidence, improve teamwork skills, and get students outside for a day in the Sonoma Redwoods.

We are asking students to return a filled out and signed student release form by Wednesday, April 14.

If you have any questions, please email Grace Chaffey at or Kim Parks at

We are so excited for this opportunity to take students off campus and give them a day to remember!


Fourth Grade Writes for Their Future

This week, the fourth graders in Ms. Ashley’s class used their voices to stand up for something they believe in. For the past few weeks, the class has been discussing environmental issues, investigating the effects of emissions, and thinking about how we can all reduce our carbon footprint.

As part of this learning, the class watched Greta Thunberg’s TED Talk from November 2018, where the then 16-year-old climate activist made the case for humanity to take urgent action to combat climate change. The message resonated with Saklan fourth graders.

To continue their exploration of climate change, the students then watched the TedEd video “Lifecycle of a T-shirt,” which presents a stark picture of where most t-shirts come from and how they are made. The process explained in the video left the students in disbelief, and wondering where their Saklan uniform shirts came from.

Saklan uniform shirts are made by Land’s End, but a review of the company’s sustainability webpage left the fourth graders dissatisfied. There were plenty of promises for what the company would do in the future, but very little information on what they are doing now.

The fourth graders came up with the idea to write a letter to the Land’s End School Uniform Department, detailing what they had learned and explaining what changes they would like the company to make. Their final letter, which will be sent to the company, is not only well-written and respectful, but also full of passion and heart.

You can read the full text of the letter here. We are so proud of this class for taking a stand for their future!


Native American Study

Saklan third graders recently finished a social studies unit learning about Native Americans. The class studied the different groups of people who inhabited North America long before European settlers arrived and the United States was established. They also learned how unique each Native American group was, and how their lifestyle changed based on where they lived and the natural resources that were available to them.

To continue their learning, each third grader chose one Native American group to research and become an expert about. Students learned about where their group lived, what the land and weather were like, what they wore and ate, what types of homes they built, and other interesting facts.

To conclude the unit, each student built a small-scale authentic dwelling that was representative of their Native American group. Students presented their dwellings and all the interesting information they had learned about their Native American group to the entire class. They all learned a lot from each other, and were able to discuss the similarities and differences between all of the different groups studied.


Saklan Spring Break

As we prepare for a well-deserved Spring Break, we wanted to remind the Saklan community of a few guidelines and protocols regarding travel and our return to school.

With infection rates where they are, we will not have an all-school virtual learning period following spring break. That means that students who remain in California during spring break will return to campus for in-person learning on Monday, April 5.

For those of you who are planning out-of-state travel, please note that we are still following the guidance of the California Department of Public Health. Your child will have two options for quarantining upon their return to California:

  1. Quarantine for 10 days after returning to California.
  2. Take a COVID-19 test within 3-5 days of returning. With a negative test result, students can return to school after 7 days.

We know this is less than ideal, and are grateful for all that Saklan families have done to make in-person learning successful. With your support, we can continue our streak of all negative COVID-19 test results.

On behalf of the entire Saklan community, we hope your family has a safe, happy, and fun Spring Break.


Hoot Owl Mosaics

The Hoot Owls continue to demonstrate their creativity through their study of different art forms. This month, they learned about mosaics with Ms. Zuly.

After spending some time gaining an understanding of what mosaics are, the Hoot Owls were free to design their own mosaics in any way they wanted. When they were finished, Ms. Traci asked each student whether their mosaic was abstract art or representational art — a difference the students have been learning about throughout the year. Each student successfully identified which type of art they had created!

After the students’ mosaics were complete, the class compared the art they had made to the abstract art of African American artist Alma Woodsey Thomas. They discussed how abstract art can evoke feelings within the viewer, then each student took a turn going in front of the class to discuss what the paintings reminded them of, and how the paintings made them feel.

The pieces inspired a range of feelings, from happiness, to sadness, to fright. Their interpretation of what the abstract artwork reminded them of was also varied, and included a ferris wheel, the aisle at a wedding, an sea creature, an eye, and a maze!

It is exciting to see the ways each student is developing their own artistic eye – some said they would like to visit a museum when it is safe to do so again!



During March, Saklan’s social-emotional learning focused on ways to be optimistic, which is especially relevant this year. While optimism is associated with being a “glass half-full” kind of person, there are lots of ways to be optimistic in everyday life:

  • Look for the good in others
  • Be a problem solver
  • Believe in yourself
  • Look for opportunities to learn something new
  • Take time for yourself to do the things you are passionate about
  • When things don’t go your way, don’t dwell on the negative. Instead, focus on what worked.

Focusing on the the things that make you feel lucky is also a great way to stay optimistic. In Ms. Rokas’s class, students completed a “craftivity” where they wrote four sentences that began with the phrase, “I am lucky…” They wrote their completed sentences on a four leaf clover – the ultimate symbol of optimism and good luck!