Head’s Corner

Dear Saklan Parents,

At Flag this morning, our eighth graders presented their Legacy Baskets, which will be auctioned off next Saturday night. I was very impressed by the amount of effort, thought and creativity that went into each basket. It was also interesting to see how each basket reflected the character and interests of each graduate. Our eighth grade students have been a remarkable group this year and have been outstanding role models to our younger students. One can truly see what a group of dynamic individuals we will soon be sending on to a variety of high schools in the upcoming school year.

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The qualities, attitudes and leadership skills that our eighth graders show embody our school mission, and the ultimate goals of our Middle School program. The Middle School is a unique time of change, and at Saklan, we recognize that each student has their own learning style which is why we focus on each student’s individual needs. Our teachers use creative approaches in teaching so that each student discovers how to learn effectively. Through our small classes, distinctive teacher-student relationships, and genuine concern for each student, we emphasize social emotional growth, academic excellence through critical thinking, and commitment to community through leadership and extra-curricular opportunities.

Ultimately, Middle School is a time for personal discovery and learning how to become a positive member of the community. Our students are provided with opportunities to learn who they are, what makes them stand out, and most importantly, who they want to become. Each day is purposely blended with academic challenges and personal growth encounters to keep the teachers motivated, and the students focused on reaching their personal best. All of this is supported by our small class size which, like in our Lower School, allows teachers to go above and beyond academic excellence, and foster the confidence and habits of mind that will assure success in later studies.

Next Saturday, March 4 is our annual Auction and I hope that you will be there to celebrate an outstanding year, have fun and support our students. STEM is the focus of our fund-a-need and I will write more about that next week. I would also like to recommend an outstanding STEM event being offered at St. Mary’s College for our Middle School girls on March 18th.

Have a great weekend,

Peter

Don’t Be Late For This Very Important Date!

There are just 2 more days to RSVP for our 1920s glam and fundraising!  Please click HERE to buy your tickets to our Annual Auction on March 4.

Here’s a peek into some of the items being offered:

Sign-Up Parties:

1)   An Intimate Indian Dinner Under the Stars hosted by the Edwardson and Phadnis families for adults only.

2)   Drive-In Movie to see “Guardians of the Galaxy” with Ms. Kim, Ms. O, and Mr. Zippin for students in Grades 5-8.

3)   Clam Bake for Saklan families hosted by the Chois and the Darbys.

4)   Pool Party for Owlets, Hoot Owls, Kindergarteners and their families.

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Live Auction:

1)   Thanksgiving Week at the Pueblo Bonito Sunset Beach Golf & Spa Resort in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

2)   Private Vacation Home near Osaka, Japan

3)   Wonderful Waikoloa for a Week on October on the Big Island, including homework free passes

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Student Art:

1)   Middle School Art: America Today (a contemporary reflection of Thomas Hart Benton’s work by the same name)

2)   Lower School Art: An Homage to E.A. Seguy (famous butterfly artist and entomologist of the early 1900s)

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The Sky’s the Limit for Science at Saklan! This year’s Fund-A-Need will provide a facelift, in Hollywood fashion, to our science room and bring more STEM into the classrooms for all of our students.

Each bidder who donates at the $10,000 level will receive one archival quality personalized, signed, and framed print of the iconic Earthrise photo taken by Saklan grandfather, Astronaut Bill Anders from his historic Apollo 8 Mission in 1968. Earthrise is included in Time’s 100 Most Influential Photographs of all time.

So, please join us for An Evening In Old Hollywood. Buy your tickets HERE today!

Seventh Grade Field Trip to Hawaii

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Three weeks ago, the 7th grade ventured to Hawaii, after studying for a good month on the organisms that live there, the Polynesian culture, and the Westerners influence; including both the war and farming. The students visited many sites, where they had to show their understanding of the environment or of the Polynesian culture. They also had some amazing experiences as a class. These included trying to make fire at the Polynesian Cultural Center, racing through one of the world’s largest mazes at the Dole Plantation, taking part in a beach cleanup where they helped prevent plastics from making their way out into the ocean, and swimming under a freezing waterfall at Waimea Falls. When we returned, we asked our students why we take them to Hawaii of all places to study culture and adaptation. Here is one of the great responses we got to this question:

The Hawaiian Islands are a great place for us to go to study evolution and history. Its environment makes for a great place to learn about the evolution of organisms that are unique to Hawaii and to see adaptations of many species. One thing that sets creatures in Hawaii apart from others is that many are unique to just the island of Hawaii. There are a lot of rare plants and animal life that have grown and adapted specifically to the tropical environment of Hawaii. For example, many vines have learned that in order to get enough space and sunlight to grow, they must climb up trees for great support and enough room to flourish. In addition, the animal life on the island is vast and can be seen almost everywhere. This allows for us to get an up close and personal look at the majestic creatures that inhabit this island.
From a historical standpoint, Oahu also holds great importance. This is where the Pearl Harbor bombing took place and took the lives of many brave men. This was important for us to learn about because in order for us to prevent tragic events from happening in the future, we must first be educated on the past. Also, it allows us to see an important day in history up close. We also studied the effects of leaking oil in Pearl Harbor. We were taught about how seven liters of oil leaks from the USS Arizona daily and how that effects the environment around it. This causes damage to the surrounding marine life;  Ms. O taught us about the interesting and sad effects. For these reasons and more, I feel Oahu was a fantastic place for us to study and learn.
– Olivia

California Missions

The students have been studying, researching, and writing about missions as part of their study of California history. The class worked in groups and they used all of this knowledge to create, design, and build four new missions for the California mission chain. As many of you know, the missions are primarily located along the coast, but to change things up a bit, the students were tasked to create their missions in a specific region of this great state. The students used science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM). They had to construct a mission model, create a back story about their missions, and draw a composite map representing the mission.

The final part was presenting these masterpieces to their parents. The presentations were engaging, informative, and fun.

Second Grade Bake Sale

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The second graders are hosting a bake sale on Thursday, March 2 from 2:30-3:30PM in the Hoot Owl room. We are raising money for Guide Dogs for the Blind. Later in the month members of the Contra Costa County Guide Dog Raisers will be bringing some four legged friends to meet us. We will then present our donation. Please come to our bake sale and support this worthy cause.

Head’s Corner

Dear Saklan Parents,

We are in the midst of the enrollment season for next year and many parents have been thinking a lot about the best path for their children’s education.  A parent has recently asked me to summarize our our Lower School’s academic program and goals, so I thought it might be useful to share this with you in the blog this week.  Next week, I will write about the Middle School program.

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The way that I think about our Lower School program is that it goes above and beyond academic excellence. With academic excellence being at the core of the Saklan Lower School curriculum, we offer a program that is rigorous and developmentally appropriate, and at the same time supportive and individualized. The Lower School academic program provides a strong foundation of concepts and skills in the core subject areas of reading, writing, mathematics, social studies, and science. To this end, our teachers use a variety of instructional methods, mixing direct instruction, independent practice, hands-on learning, inquiry, cooperative group work, and individualization to help our students develop a deep knowledge base and a solid foundation in thinking and reasoning skills.

In addition to establishing a solid core academic foundation from Kindergarten onwards, we enhance the learning experience for our students with specialist classes in art, music, physical education, information technology, and Spanish as a world language. In all subject areas, our teachers provide dynamic and innovative lessons through integrated units, hands-on activities, simulations, field trips, student projects, and differentiated instruction to meet the needs of all students.

At Saklan, our goal is to go above and beyond academic excellence. Our small class size allows our teachers to support individual learning styles, fosters a high level of student engagement, and permits each student to take risks and develop a strong sense of self-confidence. The Saklan mission infuses the classroom environment with students constantly encouraged to be creative, courageous, and compassionate with each other and the world around them. Developing leadership skills and learning effective study habits, helps students prepare for the academic expectations ahead.

In the Lower School, we provide many opportunities to support our student’s social, emotional, and ethical development. Our SEL (Social Emotional Learning) program fosters a deep understanding of themes, such as respect, honesty, empathy, perseverance, collaboration, and gratitude. Social and emotional themes are addressed in classroom, in weekly assemblies, and on the yard at recess. Mixed grade level “Family Groups” led by eighth grade students meet regularly to extend this work, develop caring and supportive relationships, and create a true sense of community at Saklan.

In our Lower School program, we are deeply committed to helping our students explore their creative potential across all the disciplines. We offer many opportunities for each student to develop presentation and communication skills. Annual concerts and musicals, as well as art exhibits which involve every student, add an element of excitement to the academic program. Field trips and experiences outside of the classroom make learning dynamic and connected. At Saklan, we feel that academic excellence is only the starting point of what we offer in the Lower School.

As you know, today is the deadline for the early enrollment discount and I hope that you will take advantage of this. Please contact me with any questions or concerns that you may have and I will be happy to get back to you immediately. If by chance, you have forgotten about the deadline, note that we will honor the early enrollment discount for contracts returned before 8:30AM when school re-opens on Tuesday.

Have a great long weekend,

Peter

An Evening In Old Hollywood Awaits YOU!

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Awww. Applesauce!  We haven’t received your RSVP, yet!

Bring your Daddy. Bring your Doll. Sample the giggle water. Beat your gums with friends and teachers. Together, we’ll raise the roof while we raise money for our students.

There are only 10 more days to buy your tickets for our glamorous Evening In Old Hollywood. Please drop off your replies to the office or RSVP online by clicking HERE.

Spend that dough! Get on the trolley! We’ll all have a ducky time because you’ll be there on March 4. And how!