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

Author: The Saklan School Friday Blog

The Saklan School is a private Pre-K through 8 school located in Moraga, CA. Our mission is to think creatively, act compassionately, and live courageously.