Head’s Corner

Dear Saklan Parents,

Yesterday, we held an all-school earthquake drill. Saklan students did an outstanding job of following the prescribed procedures of duck and cover and then evacuating the building in an orderly fashion. To simulate what might happen in a real earthquake, we had one student hide in the restroom, which required our search and rescue team to go back and find her.

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Being prepared in an emergency is something we take seriously and practice regularly at Saklan. Every month we do an earthquake, fire or lockdown drill, and our faculty and staff have done an outstanding job in emergency preparedness. After every drill, we do an evaluation and look for issues and improvements. After yesterday’s drill, we discovered that a visitor had signed into the guest book but failed to sign out. In a real earthquake, this might have resulted in a team going back in to search for the missing person. This told us that we need to be more attentive with documenting visitors on campus.

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Today, after school, we will run a bus evacuation drill. It is important for our students to also know how to exit from the bus in the event of an emergency. More information on our safety procedures can be found in our Crisis and Preparedness Plan, which is found on RenWeb.

Another safety issue that we are working on is the crossing from the parking lot at Willow Spring Church to the campus. The need for an official crosswalk has been brought to the attention of the town of Moraga, and we are working with Moraga Public Works to address this concern. Until we get this situation resolved, please be exceptionally careful when crossing School Street to and from the parking lot.

Many thanks to the parents that came out to our Town Hall this morning. My compliments to all the Board Members, PA Officers and staff, all of which made excellent presentations. The slides will be posted on our website next week.

Have a great weekend!

Peter

An Evening In Old Hollywood Awaits YOU!

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March 4 is almost here! You’re invited to our swanky and swell auction gala party! And to help raise funds for Saklan students and teachers.

It’s coming up quick! So, make your list and check it twice for An Evening in Old Hollywood beyond compare:

  • Receive my invitation. Check.
  • Pull out my flapper dress from the back of the closet. Or my cocktail dress. Check.
  • Go online to buy my tickets and sponsor a teacher. Check.
  • Drop off my bottle of premier wine at school or the bus stops: Jan 30 – Feb 3. Check.
  • Buy 10 Vacation Raffle Tickets for $100 and the chance to win a week at the Catamaran Resort in San Diego. Check.
  • Buy a Teacher Appreciation Raffle Ticket for 3 (or more) of my favorite teachers. Check.
  • Buy an Instant Wine Cellar Raffle Ticket for $100—only 52 cards will be sold. Check.
  • Go online to learn more about this ritzy adults-only night in Old Hollywood. Check!

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5th Annual Vacation Raffle Drawing: One week at the Catamaran Resort, San Diego, CA

4th Grade at the State Capitol Museum in Sacramento

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The Fourth Grade visited the California State Capitol this week. It was a long ride to Sacramento, but worth every minute. They were able to take a tour of this beautiful and historic building where the Governor and our representatives work.

The class was able to see portraits of all the past governors and sit in the Senate meeting room and the Assembly meeting room. It was a wonderful experience and something that every Californian should do.

The Magic of Reading

The second graders have been working very hard on their Dragon and Fairy Tale Unit this month. They read stories in their Open Court reading series as well as many additional fairy tales and fables.

The next task was to write an original fairy tale. This involved mapping out their ideas, writing a rough copy, editing, final copy, and then illustrating their stories.

This unit also included several fun art projects. The second graders designed and painted a castle cover for their fairy tale unit, painted a water color picture of an imaginary dragon, and lastly made “egg carton” dragons. This unit has been a lot of fun.

Book Tasting in 5th Grade

Who doesn’t love to curl up with a good book in your pajamas?  Since Wednesday was Pajama Day here at Saklan, the 5th grade class devoted the entire morning to books and reading!

We began the day with a “book tasting.”  Each student entered the room to find a menu, placemat and book at their seat, plus many other books in the center of each table.  I let the students know they would be getting a “taste” of all kinds of new books!

They had about a minute to look at the book on their plate.  If they truly weren’t interested in it AT ALL, they could trade out their book for one of the books in the middle of the table.  Then, they began writing in their menus the genre, title, and first impressions of the book.  After that, they had about 3-4 minutes to “taste” their book.  During this time, they were reading several pages out of their book.

Each student “tasted” a total 5 different books from different genres, and also helped to recommend books to each other.  At the end of the tasting, they all ended up with a new book to read and a list of books that they can’t wait to read!

Students Volunteer at Local Watershed

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On Tuesday, the sixth and third grade went to the Valley Vista Staging Area in Moraga to help the local watershed. The two classes worked together to remove an invasive plant called scotch broom, which has taken over the area. They learned how it destroys the native food web, how they can help by removing it, and making room for more native plants to grow. In connection with that, they also planted buckeye seeds in order to help restore the area to a more native habitat.

It was hard work, but they did a great job helping to restore the area. Additionally, the third and sixth graders had a lot of fun together.

Special thank you to the parents who helped out! We could not have done it without you.

Eighth Grade Op-Ed on the Women’s March

By Sophie Eckstein, 8th grade

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The Women’s March last Saturday in Washington, DC, was — and is — a major movement for women’s rights. This movement wants women’s voices to be heard and wants their rights to be respected as human rights. More than three million people around the world last Saturday joined this cause to stand up against President Donald Trump and his prejudiced views. I decided to go to this protest because I am a feminist who is hoping that love will trump hate.

The crowds I saw at the march were ginormous. Everyone was swarming around. The fat line of people stretched all of DC, and the masses of pink hats were a cheerful site everywhere. The signs were all creative with sayings like, “Girls just wanna have FUNdamental rights!” Seeing all the signs made me want to high-five everyone because of all the effort they put into them.

It was an amazing experience, being able to know that thousands of people just like me had come to DC with a similar view and were marching with me. The one downside was that I got anxious because of the massive size of the crowd. It was impossible to go to the restroom without waiting for an hour minimum!

Overall, this incredible experience has now brought out my inner activist.

What Great Parents Do with Erica Reischer, Ph.D.

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Join us for this informative talk with therapist and author, Dr. Erica Reischer. Erica will present highly useful parenting advice from her best selling book, “What Great Parents Do: 75 Simple Strategies for Raising Kids Who Thrive.”

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Erica Reischer, Ph.D. is a psychologist, author, speaker, and parent educator. Dr. Reischer’s writing about children and families appears in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Psychology Today, The Greater Good Science Center, and The Atlantic.

Dr. Reischer earned a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in Psychology / Human Development, and is an honors graduate of Princeton University. A former consultant with McKinsey & Company, she sits on the advisory board for Happy Healthy Kids and continues to lead popular parenting classes at schools and organizations such as UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital, Habitot Children’s Museum, and University of California.

Wednesday, February 15

7:30 – 9:00PM

Our Savior’s Lutheran Church

RSVP

Head’s Corner

Dear Saklan Parents,

Despite the abundance of rain, students have been having a lot of fun at Saklan. January is Spirit Month with a full schedule of different themes around which games and activities have been organized. Last week we had Sports Day and students came dressed in their favorite team attire. With this we had a very exciting three-legged race with lots of participation and laughter. This week was Crazy Hair Day, and the student body went……well crazy! My compliments to our Student Council and to Kim Parks for putting together this program.

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Yesterday, we had our Moving Up Day for students in Pre-K through Grade 5. With the re-enrollment season ahead of us, students had a chance to meet their future teachers, see the next classroom, and get a taste of what it will be like at the next grade level. Next week, we will be sending out re-enrollment contracts. We have again built in an early enrollment discount, which effectively keeps the tuition at this year’s level. We are very eager to have all of our students back again next year, and do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions about our programs. Please share your experiences with your friends and neighbors who might be looking for an outstanding school with a supportive community. While we have been stepping up our marketing every year, your referrals are still our biggest promotional tool. So please continue to spread the word about Saklan.

This Sunday, our Parent Association is organizing a community dinner at Fuddruckers in Walnut Creek. It starts at 5:00PM and is for the whole family. Unfortunately, I will be away from Saklan for a couple of days, participating in an accreditation team visit to another independent school, and will not be able to participate. Please, also remember our Town Hall next Friday morning at 9:00AM. Besides hearing a wealth of information about the state of The Saklan School, Mrs. Chaffey and her students will give us a small taste of what will be presented at our annual concert.

Have a great weekend!

Peter

Moving Up Day

Yesterday the preschoolers – fifth graders participated in Moving Up Day!

The students and teachers alike were buzzing with excitement. Questions, stories, projects, and enthusiasm filled each classroom. Please ask the children all about it!