Head’s Corner

Today, our eighth graders left for Washington, D.C. for their annual trip to study the nation’s government and experience the many cultural and historic sights in the capital city. The students have been very excited about this trip, and I am happy that we are able to arrange all the details of this remarkable learning adventure to ensure that our students have a safe and positive experience. A big thank you to Mr. Prestianni and Ms. Parks, who have been running this trip for many years and give so much of their time and energy to make this happen for our students. This year we have added a third chaperone, Ashley Jennings, who will assist our fearless duo in making the Washington D.C. trip something our graduates will remember for a lifetime.

IMG_2171Overnight, multi-day field trips like this one are a part of what makes the Saklan academic program so rich and engaging. Allowing our students to have hands-on and real-life experiences is a way that we broaden their understanding of the topics they study. We believe that these experiences are part of the curriculum, and as such we build the cost of field trips right into the tuition. This is different from many other schools where overnight field trips are an additional expense. At Saklan everyone participates and field trips are part of the learning fabric. In January, 7th grade will spend a week in Hawaii; in March, our 5th graders will spend three days at the Marin Headlands; in April, our 4th graders will go to Coloma overnight to study the Gold Rush. Throughout the school, trips enhance the learning experience of our students. The teachers at Saklan are to be commended for the extra effort it takes to make it all possible.

For the past few months, we have been working on the production of a video clip about Saklan for our website. This video is now live and you can find it on our home page. There are a lot of great images of our students and faculty engaged in the many exciting activities that are part of the daily experience at Saklan. Many thanks to Emoke Veres, our Communications Manager, for organizing and coordinating this production. She was helped by Melissa Zippin, our Director of Admissions, and Toshie Baba, our Board of Trustees Co-chair. Also, thanks to the parents, faculty and students who are highlighted in the video.

Have a great weekend!


Multicultural Holiday Celebrations

December is a time where families celebrate many different events or traditions, depending on their cultural background. A common theme among these differences is special food and festivities around light/candles in preparation for winter. The Hoot Owls spend several days in December learning about some of these.

On December 6th, they learned about St. Nicholas Day. As is customary in Europe, the students lined their shoes up outside of the classroom after lunch. When they went back to check, they were excited to find a candy cane and a penny in their shoes. This tradition honors the spirit of giving. St. Nicholas became known for his generosity to those in need and his love for children.

On December 7th, the students learned about Kwanzaa. Kwanzaa is a week-long celebration of community, family and culture. It begins on December 26th and goes through the new year.

Next week, they will celebrate Santa Lucia and Hanukkah in their classroom.

The Hoot Owls want to wish everyone a happy holiday season!

The Lion King KIDS

The Saklan School Presents


Please join us for our Annual Lower School Play on Friday, December 15th at 10:30AM.

Willow Spring Auditorium (across the street from the school)

Our 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders are working hard to get ready for a fabulous production!

Monument Crisis Center Food Drive

Please contribute to our Annual Food Drive to benefit the Monument Crisis Center.

ONE WEEK LEFT  – we will collect until Thursday, December 14, 2017

Monument Crisis Center


  • Cereal
  • Peanut Butter
  • Tuna
  • Canned Meals (beef ravioli, canned chicken, hearty stews)

Please bring all donations directly to your classrooms. Student Council Representatives will keep track of all donated items and drop them off in the blue collection barrels.


New Saklan Sweat Jackets

New Saklan Sweat Jackets will be available to order in December! Our updated logo design will be available on dark charcoal full-zip hooded sweat jackets. There will be a small logo on the chest and our school name printed on the right sleeve. Order information and a link to order online will be provided early next week!

Place your order by December 20 and have your new sweat jacket in time for our next Saklan Spirit Day on January 5!

For parents and family members looking for a more adult version may order jackets with our school name through Lands End.

All Graduates Are Invited

All Alumni Reunion-graphic(2)

All Graduates from 2017 and before are invited!

Join us for dinner on Sunday, January 7th, 4:30 – 6:00PM at Saklan. We miss you! Your favorite teachers want to see you! Alumni parents are also welcome. RSVP by January 3rd.

Middle School Open House


Friday, January 12, 2018

8:30AM – 10:30AM


We invite all current and prospective parents to join us for an inside look of the highlights of Saklan’s middle school program. Whether you are interested in the lower school or middle school, hearing what our students experience by the time they graduate from Saklan will inspire you.

Head’s Corner

Dear Saklan Community,

The enrollment season for the 2018-19 school year has started and today we had our first Middle School Open House. Interest in our middle school program is high and we had 14 families in attendance to learn about our outstanding program and meet our teachers.  According to data provided by Melissa Zippin, our Director of Admissions, new student inquiries are up 39% over last year and school tours have increased by 41%. All of the indicators are that Saklan enrollment for next year will be very healthy. Of course parent referrals count as our biggest promotional tool, so please continue to tell your friends and neighbors about Saklan. Tours are easy to organize and typically result in an eye-opening experience for prospective families.


At Flag today, I was very pleased to inform the Saklan community of the award that we won in this year’s edition of the Walnut Creek Twilight Parade. Saklan was awarded 1st place in the category of Educational Institution. On hand to receive the award was our parade organizor and Director of Marketing, Christine Kuckuk. In order to give some more background on this event I asked Christine the following questions:

How did Saklan get involved with the Twilight Parade?

A dedicated group of Saklan parents from Walnut Creek initially coordinated Saklan’s participation in the Twilight Parade. They felt it was a good way to reach Walnut Creek families and a lot of fun for our students.

Why do we continue to participate?

The Twilight Parade is a great community building event for Saklan families. It’s a unique opportunity not to watch, but actually participate in a parade. Family members can participate with their students and all participants receive a new Spirit Wear T-shirt to show off their Saklan pride. Our students love it!

What was different about this year and why do you think we won?

Thanks to our new cheer, we were loud and proud! Our Student Council Members will be teaching this to students at the Friday Flag Assemblies in 2018. Here it is:

Well I don’t know but I’ve been TOLD,

Saklan kids are good as GOLD!

When work gets tough, we don’t FOLD,

Cause we’ve got grit that makes us BOLD! 

Gimme an S! (S)

Gimme an A! (A)

Gimme  a  K! (K)

Gimme an L! (L)

Gimme an A! (A)

Gimme an N! (N)

What’s that spell? SAKLAN!

As of today, we have two weeks of school left before the winter break and the end of 2017. These will be a busy time at Saklan with a couple of important events on the calendar. Next week, our 8th grade students will spend a week in Washington, D.C. with Mr. Prestianni, Ms. Parks and Miss Jennings for their yearly field trip to study US government. On Friday, December 15th our grades 3-5 students will put on the musical, “The Lion King KIDS” at the Willow Spring Church. This will start at 10:30AM and is open to the entire community. I highly recommend that you come out to see our very talented students, who will certainly send us off to the holidays with good cheer.

And finally, the 1st trimester report cards are going out in the mail today.  Look for them in your mail box early next week.

Have a good weekend,


The American Revolutionary War


Fifth graders have been researching important historical figures in the Revolutionary War. Students completed an informative research report on their historical figure. They also created amazing hanger people. Using a hanger as the base, they designed and put together an accurate depiction of what their historical figure looked like.


Lastly, students wrote speeches to use for the presentations to parents on Thursday. Fifth graders learned many interesting facts about the Revolutionary War and important people that contributed to our independence.

Hoot Owls Learn About Food Groups

During the month of November, the Hoot Owl class had fun learning about the food groups. As part of the unit, the Hoot Owls and their families enjoyed a delicious Thanksgiving lunch with all the trimmings.

Yesterday, the children walked to the Moraga Gardens Farm where they tasted fruits and vegetables that grow at the farm. They also fed lettuce to the chickens and saw where the chickens lay their eggs. The Hoot Owls love good, healthy food!

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