This year’s Family Fun Night truly lived up to its name as there were lots of families and it was FUN. What a great idea to get us ready for the summer with an event that combines relaxing on our turf, a wonderful BBQ and a good movie. Many thanks to the Student Council and Parent Association for organizing this event and a particular shout out to Jenny and Mike Choi for providing the delicious barbecued pork.
Thanks to our parents, their families and friends, The Saklan School has a long-standing history of being voted BEST OF in this annual contest put on by Parent’s Press which remains open until the end of May. Please take a moment to vote for your favorite school and note that there are separate categories for: 1) Preschool 2) Elementary School 3) Middle School 4) Summer Camp. Just follow this link to vote. This is one of the easiest things you can do to benefit our school!
A big thank you to all of our families for spreading the word about Saklan to friends and neighbors. In reviewing our marketing data from this past year, we see that once again parent referrals are a big factor in attracting new students to Saklan, and we would like to hear your ideas on how we can best get the word out in your communities. We will be holding an open meeting on the topic of how parents can support the marketing of Saklan on Friday, June 2, at 8:45in the Library. This meeting is intended for everyone interested in sharing ideas on how to attract great new students to our school. Coffee will be provided.
All parents are invited to our Graduation Ceremony on Thursday, June 8 at 10:00AM at the Holy Trinity Cultural Center. Come and hear what our graduates say about their experience at Saklan and share their goals for the future. This is a great opportunity for our community to see what is in store for their children and celebrate the students that have graduated with a Saklan diploma.
The second graders have been busy reading many Little Miss and Mr. books. The next part of this reading assignment was to create an original character (not one of the 86 already in the series) and plan their own story. After mapping out their ideas, writing a rough copy and editing, rewriting a final draft, and lastly illustrating their book they were finished! A very special part of this project was when Mrs.Mariangela Helgeson and Mrs. Ginelle Mills printed their characters on t-shirts. The younger students at Saklan loved when the second graders came to their class wearing their t-shirts and read their stories.
The Fourth Graders did it again! They put on a tremendous performance of the melodrama, Villains in the Gold Field. For our dress rehearsals, we invited our buddies, the Hoot Owls, to come and see the play, as well as the First, Second, and Third Graders. It was especially fun to see our buddies participate in their first melodrama. For the final performance, the parents came, and we made a party of it. There was singing, acting, chanting, laughing, cheering, and of course eating. We had a great time! Well done, Fourth Grade!
Every Thursday throughout the school year, the Owlets and 6th graders got together to do art activities, go on nature walks, read books or play outdoor games together. To celebrate the last meeting yesterday, the students painted frames for their special buddy pictures. The Owlets loved having their big buddies and the 6th graders loved having their little buddies.
Maestra Morales and Ms. Natalie are working on cross curricular material with the 5th Grade Spanish class to bridge expression through art and relevant material covered in Spanish class this year.
The mural preparation lasted weeks where the students explored symbolism, design and historical themes. The Mural project covers the history of Los Zapatistas, Standing Rock and the United Farm Workers Movement in California. The project is set to be completed by June 5th. Please come by and see it in the library soon!
Third graders studied the pioneers and worked on projects to show their learning. Their projects included quilt square watercolor paintings depicting what pioneers saw as they traveled west, and model covered wagons containing objects that pioneers would have carried in their wagons. They also incorporated lessons from their narrative writing unit into their study of the pioneers. They made pioneer journals, in which they created a pioneer character, developed a scenario that character experienced, and wrote journal entries from that character’s point of view. The skills they drew from their narrative writing unit include using graphic organizers, such as a story mountain, to create the structure of their story, writing Show, Don’t Tell sentences in which they explored what the characters feel through picturing their faces and actions, and using their storyteller’s voice, telling the story bit by bit with description. They read Little House on the Prairie and students displayed their learning in a comprehension interactive notebook. As the culmination of their unit, students presented their pioneer characters and journal entries to the parents, reading and telling their stories.
Our graduation ceremony will feature student performances, an entrance procession of all of our classes and the whole school singing our traditional graduation song, “In My Life.”
There will be a brief slideshow highlighting the growth of our graduates and special memories of the middle school years.
Advisors will introduce each graduate and eighth graders will present a shorter version of their graduation speech. Seeing our graduates share what Saklan has meant to them in their own unique and eloquent ways is a very special tradition.
The ceremony highlights what makes Saklan so unique and is a wonderful way to end the year and celebrate our Saklan community.
This last week has been a whirlwind of outstanding activities and events at Saklan. It started last Friday with a magical production of The Drowsy Chaperone at the Town Hall Theatre in Lafayette. It was wonderful to watch the enthusiasm and talent of our middle school in putting on this clever and extremely funny musical. A standing ovation goes out to Grace Chaffey and all of our middle school students for this delightful feat of courage, confidence and creativity.
This was followed by an impressive Spring Arts Festival. Art of all kinds, and from every student, was displayed throughout the Saklan campus. As you know, creativity is an important cornerstone of the Saklan mission, and the level of creativity seen in the art on display was remarkable. I was also pleased to see the Family Groups integrated into the Art Festival and was very much impressed by our Family Group leaders who they took their groups through the different stations of the exhibit and engaged the students in discussion and reflection on the works of art. Many thanks to Natalie Palms for organizing the Art Festival, and more importantly for inspiring the students to produce such great works of art. Also, thanks to Mrs. C and Miss Amanda for contributing art from the PreK. Please look for an ongoing display of the art on our video monitor in the entrance way.
The Art Festival also resulted in many parents visiting our Book Fair. Thanks to Book Fair Coordinator, Vivian Ma, and her team for offering an interesting variety of books. To make the Book Fair truly special, we were able to host four local authors on campus to share their works and talk to our students about the creative process and the art of writing.
To wrap up this great week at Saklan, we are all looking forward to Movie Under the Stars, which starts tonight at 6:00PM.
The Hoot Owl class has been learning about animals that live in and around ponds. After many art projects, books and songs, the Hoot Owls went on a field trip to Heather Farms in Walnut Creek. It was a fun day walking around the pond, having a picnic lunch, and playing on the playground.
As part of the 7th grade biology unit on animals, we look at different phylum found in that kingdom. We talk about the characteristics and important adaptations each have for survival. In doing so, the students take part in multiple dissections in order to learn and compare the different anatomy’s of common organisms.
So far, they have dissected a squid (part of the mollusk phylum), worm (the annelid phylum) and a sea star (a member of the echinoderm phylum). They dissected their first vertebrate, a fish, this past week. Each organism has a different circulatory system, number of hearts, different sequence of body parts, and some have no brain at all. From this, the students have been able to see how diverse all life is.