Head’s Corner

Dear Saklan Community,

Welcome to the start of the 2017-18 school year and to my first blog of the year. School has been in session now for only a couple of days, but already a lot has happened that indicates what a great year we have ahead of us. With 34 new students starting the year, a considerable number of school improvement projects completed over the summer, and a great sense of school spirit and positive energy, I could not be more pleased to see our doors open to this academic year.

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A big welcome goes out to all of our new students and families, and to the new faculty that have joined us over the summer. Our new Spanish teacher for Grades 4-8 is Ms. Ivonne Padilla, who comes to us after teaching last year at Bishop O’Dowd High School.  Our new Grade 5 teacher is Ms. Elizabeth Peters, who previously taught at Sleepy Hollow Elementary School in Orinda and was on the faculty at St. Mary’s College. And finally, we are very pleased to have increased our Extended Program team with the addition of Cameron Brandt and Stefany Wall, both of whom were instructors in our Summer @Saklan program.

While many of you were enjoying a well-deserved summer break from school, some interesting things were still going on at Saklan. Our summer camp grew by 23% and hosted a total of 287 students in three 3-week sessions focused on language and culture.  This proved to be a very successful program which once again won four Best of the East Bay Gold awards from Parents’ Press which were:

  • Best Academic Summer Camp
  • Best Foreign Language and Cultural Immersion Summer Camp
  • Best General and Traditional Summer Day Camp
  • Best Preschool Age Summer Camp

In addition to these awards for our Summer Camp, Saklan also won the following awards for our regular school program:

  • Best Independent Elementary School
  • Best Alternative Learning Styles Elementary School
  • Best Independent Middle School
  • Best Independent Preschool
  • Best Child Care

This summer we also ran our Culture and Language Trip to Japan. This was open to both parents and students in the upper grades and proved to be our biggest group ever with a total of 42 participants. A second summer trip for Saklan alumni involved a group of 13 participants going to the Global Leadership Summit in Paris. Next year, the trip goes to Germany and the Alps and we already have a good number of participants signed up.

A number of campus improvements also occurred this summer. These included installing a new water fountain, eliminating the trip barriers in the pre-kindergarten playground, adding a sink to the art room, and repairing the roof in the math room.  However, the biggest improvement involved our Fund-a-Need Project, which was the complete renovation of our old science room into a new STEM lab. Thank you again to all parents who helped fund this project.

It was so great to see the big turnout of parents for the Beautification Day and the Back to School BBQ, which is hosted by our Parent Association. The 2017-18 year has gotten off to a great start with much enthusiasm, and a determination to make this a great year at Saklan!

Have a restful weekend!

Peter

News from the Sports Court

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The sign-up for the Second Annual Back to School Hop-Scotch Tournament has begun.  The competition is for students 1st- 8th grades and faculty. Bouts will commence September 11th during recess and lunch and will continue as a single elimination tournament in the weeks following until there is a champion. So get your markers ready and start hopping!

Saklan Students at EF Global Leadership Summit

EF France

This summer, Miss O and Miss Parks traveled with a group of 13 Saklan students and parents through Europe to learn about “future of food” trends related to production, security, sustainability, and climate change. They then met up with 1,500 high school students and teachers from around the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Asia to participate in a two-day EF Global Leadership Summit – a leadership conference that this year focused on student collaboration to create innovative solutions that address global food challenges. To learn more, please read the article published in the Lamorinda Weekly earlier this month.

Lower School Back to School Night

For Grades PreK – 5welcome

Thursday, September 7 from 6:00 – 8:00PM

At The Saklan School, 1678 School St

We have now completed the first three days of the 2017-18 academic year and I am very impressed by what I have seen at Saklan thus far. I would like to compliment our outstanding teaching staff and supportive parent community for a great start of the year. Following our informal greetings at the Parent Association BBQ, we are now ready to officially meet all parents in Pre-Kindergarten to grade 5 at the Back to School Night. This has been scheduled for Thursday, September 7th, and I look forward to seeing all of you there.  Please note that a second Back to School Night for the Middle School has been scheduled for Thursday, September 14th from 6:00-8:00PM.

The following is the schedule for the evening which will allow the teachers to present their individual program of instruction and discuss general issues relating to the class. I appreciate that some parents with children in different grades may have difficulty in attending the grade meetings. One suggestion would be to have each parent attend a different meeting. You are also free to leave a meeting at any time and join another presentation already in session.  Teachers will communicate their individual parent teacher conference times and will be happy to accommodate a parent that missed their presentation due to a schedule conflict.

6:00 – 6:30PM

  • Head of School Welcome  (Sports Court)
  •  Introduction of Faculty
  •  Board of Trustee Welcome
  •  Parent Association Welcome
  •  Director of Development Welcome

6:30 – 8:00PM

  • Classroom Presentations (in classrooms)

All presentations must end by no later than 8:00PM. In order to facilitate your participation at this important event, we will offer free child care from 6:00-8:00PM in the Humanities Room and Library. If you need this service you must RSVP the office by Wednesday, September 6th. We will not be able to accept any students on a walk-in basis.

Saklan School Hours 2017-18

Pre-Kindergarten               8:30 AM – 2:00 PM

Lower School (K-5)             8:30 AM – 3:00 PM      

Middle School (6-8)             8:30 AM – 3:30 PM on Mon – Thu

                                                         8:30 AM – 3:00 PM on Fri

PreK Extended                     2:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Lower School Extended    3:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Middle School Extended   3:30 PM – 6:00 PM

Early Morning Extended   7:30 AM – 8:15 AM