Head’s Corner

Dear Saklan Community,

This past weekend our Science/STEM teacher attended the Global Classrooms Symposium in Washington. As I mentioned e    lassrooms Fellowship sponsored by the US Department of State, Bureau  petitive with 76 teachers being chosen from over 1200 applications from across the United States. She was accompanied to Washington by our Middle School Dean, Kim Parks as a representative of the school administration. The TGC program is funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), and all the costs of participation are covered by this organization. Vickie’s field experience will be in Senegal, where she will visit and teaching in classrooms from April 16 to May 2.  Other countries that are part of this program include Indonesia, Morocco, India, Peru and Columbia.

The Global Classrooms Program (TGC) is based on 4 key components or pillars.  These are:  1) investigate the world, 2) recognize multiple perspectives, 3) communicate ideas, and 4) take action.  Vickie has created a video which outlines these concepts, which you can view here. The ultimate objective of the program is twofold.   The short term goal is the implementation of Global Education in schools. The second, and long term goal, is to effect systematic change on a global plane for the betterment of all mankind.

Saklan already offers a rich program of global education. Our Spanish language program, which starts in PreK, naturally gives our students a different cultural perspective.  Our Summer Camp program is focused on a variety of different languages and cultures. Our Summer travel program takes students to a different county each year.  Our SEL program teaches empathy, tolerance, compassion and being open-minded, which are critical in global understanding.  Many global concepts are infused in our curriculum at every grade level. To give just a few of the many examples of this, first Grade does a unit on shelters from around the world, second grade does a unit on heritage, third grade studies Native Americans, fourth grade looks at migrations and seventh grade, in their annual field trip to Hawaii, studies the impact of plastic trash in the oceans and around the world.  Taking action is an important part of the learning experience, and Saklan students have engaged in a number of activities ranging from beach clean-ups to communicating with students in Japan.  Looking at our reading program through the lens of global education, will be part of the task of our curriculum review committee when they review and evaluate this part of the school curriculum.

After Vickie’s travels to Senegal, we will be scheduling a series of workshops for both parents and faculty where Vickie can share her experiences and discuss how these can help the school in enhancing our program.  This will take place in May with date announcement forthcoming.

Have a great weekend!


4th Grade California Missions

To demonstrate DoS/DoU (Depth of Study/Depth of Understanding) as well as embrace STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math), the students of the 4th Grade created, designed, and built three new California missions. The class worked in groups, and they used all of their knowledge of missions to make this happen.

The students were tasked to create their missions in a region other than the coast of this great state. They had to design everything from scratch, which included drawing the templates for the church façade and roofs, completing a composite map, building the model with sugar cubes (adobe bricks), and much more. In addition, the teams put together PowerPoints explaining the back story of their missions, showing the step-by-step process of building the models through a myriad of pictures, demonstrating fun math facts, and as an added bonus, they included animation.

And if that wasn’t enough, they also memorized and sang the California state song. Whew!! Their presentations were engaging, informative, and entertaining.


First Group Shot

The below essay, by 7th grader Kyle Yasumura, is a great summary of why we choose to spend a week in Oahu every year!

In 7th grade at the Saklan School, the entire class, lead by Mrs Kim and Miss O, fly to Honolulu Oahu and study the wildlife, the culture, and have a ton of fun. But why Hawaii of all places?

The Hawaiian islands are an excellent place to study evolution and adaptation because the ecosystem there is extremely unique, with plants that only grow in tropical areas, or some even in only Hawaii alone. The humid weather, general heat, and limited island space are large factors that really allow some pretty amazing adaptations to be made. For example, because the plants in Hawaii are all very close together, sunlight per plant is very limited, a tree called the Traveler’s Palm adapted to have massive leaves allowing it to absorb as much sun as possible. Or the Banyan tree, a plant that strangles other trees and basically takes its space and sun.

As I mentioned earlier, some species are only found in Hawaii because of some special adaptations that are very specific to the island. And because of that, it gives the class an amazing opportunity to see the full extent of adaptations to a very unique climate. For example, the humuhumunukuapua’a, or, the state fish of Hawaii. The fish has adapted to be able to lock itself into place between rocks as there is a great abundance of coral reefs in Hawaii.

Group walking into forest

In conclusion, Hawaii is a great place for the seventh grade to be able to study/observe evolution and adaptation because of the unique climate, and species adaptations that occur due to the specific environmentanother group


Bake Sale for Guide Dogs

Guide Dog posters

Next Thursday, March 1st, Mrs. Schofield’s second grade class will be hosting a bake sale. All proceeds will go to the Guide Dogs for the Blind. All items will cost $1.00. The bake sale will start at 2:15PM in the Hoot Owl Classroom. Please come support the Guide Dogs!

Paxti’s Fundraiser for Saklan

 Next Wednesday, February 28th is Saklan Day at Paxti’s Pizza in Lafayette!

                                         Mark your calendars and spread the word!                  

10% of all sales (whether dining in or taking out) benefit Saklan!

3577 Mt. Diablo Blvd. , Lafayette, CA 925-299-0700

Head’s Corner

Dear Saklan Parents,

Today at Flag our 2nd Graders shared their plans to improve the country should they become President of the United States.  They have been studying George Washington and Abraham Lincoln in connection with the upcoming Presidents Day holiday.  In celebration of this, Saklan will be closed next Monday and Tuesday.  While you are relaxing at home and contemplating some of the achievements of these past American Presidents, you might consider some of the suggestions from our upcoming leaders.


If I were President I would….

  • make sure everyone has a house. I will do this by getting teenagers to build more houses. TJ
  • want to give all of the people some money. I would do that by getting my money from my piggy bank. Lilia
  • make sure that everyone has good food. I would do it by making money off of teaching kids math and teaching kids to ride horses. Hana
  • give poor people food to survive. I would do that by putting out a stand that sells iPads and cars. I would sell the iPads for $1000 and the cars for $2,239. Max
  • make sure that women don’t have to be weaker because it is not true. Men and women should be equal. Lilah

Next week we have an all-school lockdown drill.  Being prepared in an emergency is something we take seriously and practice regularly at Saklan. Every month we do an earthquake, fire or lockdown drill. In the light of the recent shooting at a Florida school, and the increase in these tragic events happening nation-wide, it is imperative that the safety and security of our students is always at the forefront of our attention. To that end we have put in place a number of security procedures.

  • We have recently changed our gate code. We will continue to do this with much greater frequency. Please do not share this code with others.
  • We have upgraded our alarm system and added surveillance cameras.
  • The school office is monitoring the main entrance and visitors are required to sign in.
  • School staff are required to challenge any unfamiliar person they encounter on campus and to report unusual activity immediately.
  • Faculty and staff are trained to lock down and secure the school in case of an internal or external threat with periodic lock-down drills.
  • We increased the height of the back fence to the limit allowed by law.
  • We have recently implemented a new feature through Renweb which will provide a more efficient and broader range of contact options to include both emails and text messages. More information on our safety procedures can be found in our Crisis and Preparedness Plan, which is found on Renweb.
  • We will also be replacing the external door by the Admissions and Business Offices with one that is more secure.

You can also help in the following ways:

  • Pre-K and Kindergarten parents please pick up your children via the external classroom door if you arrive at dismissal time. This will decrease the number of persons coming on campus. If you are picking up from extended day, please do come through the front gate.
  • Unless we are hosting a school-wide event, sign in at the office when coming on campus during the school day.
  • Make sure that your information on Renweb is up to date and all emergency contacts are included.
  • Speak with your children about safety and ensure them that Saklan is a safe place and all the teachers and staff are working hard to make it so.

Have a great 4-day weekend!


Alameda County Food Bank


On Wednesday morning, our Middle School students spent time volunteering at the Alameda County Food Bank. This week’s task was bagging apples. They bagged 7,338 pounds of apples which will help give 6,115 meals. Thank you, Middle School students!


Electricity and Art

The 3rd grade class had an extra special visitor last week, Sarah Shaffer. Founder of Sarah’s Science (This Land is Your Land), Sarah engaged them in a quick lesson on electricity and then let them run free with their creativity to create spin art. The students didn’t want the lesson to end and were sharing strategies and experiments with each other. Thanks again, Sarah!

Day 100 in 1st Grade

Group with projects

First Graders celebrated their 100th day of school by making “100 Days Smarter” cheerios necklace, wrote numbers 1-100, rolled the dice to reach a 100 and many more! Students enjoyed their celebration and are proud of their growth after 100 days of school.



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