School Closures Extended Through May 1

Dear Saklan Community,

As you may be aware, seven Bay Area counties, including Contra Costa County, announced on March 25th that they have made a unified decision to extend school closures through May 1st, 2020 in order to slow the spread of COVID-19 to the maximum extent possible. 

The Saklan School will also follow this recommended timeline with the hope that we may be able to return to campus on Monday, May 4th. While we were prepared for this extension, it is still hard to realize we will be off-campus for a longer period of time. Our decision to reopen campus to in-person teaching will be made after carefully considering information provided by county and state officials. Until then, we are prepared to find new and creative ways to stay connected to one another and learn together.

We will be in touch in the coming weeks with more updates. Thank you for your ongoing support and understanding as we navigate this challenging situation. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or concerns. 

Stay Well,



The Act Of Art Making!

Art can change a person’s outlook and the way in which they experience the world. The act of making art has the power to heal, bring hope, create willpower, and spread positivity to one another. It is important to note that making art doesn’t start or stop in the “art room.” Right now is an absolute testament to that. Our studios as artists can be in the bedroom, backyard, or at the kitchen table. As this time is one that limits our capabilities with respect to resources, it also gives us a chance to appreciate the fundamental aspects of life, family, and community. Do consider making art with your kids to experience the emotions they have in the process. I am sure they will teach you a thing or two!

The little Saklan artists have been more than excited to share their artwork online. These videos are bringing BIG smiles to our Google Classrooms! Here are a few projects they have found joy in making and sharing this past week. Enjoy!

Kindergarten & 1st Grade – Make a Card for Someone Special

Wishing you could send a happy message and bring a smile to someone’s face right now? Students were asked to think of someone near or far that they miss. Using lines, shapes, and colors, kids created a one of a kind card for their special friend or family member. With parent help, they can send their card to that special person.

Sisters that do art together, thrive together! 1st grader Peyton and Owlet Logyn sharing what shapes and colors they used for their card.

Eldana’s card to her friend Gabby
cameron art
Cameron’s card to his grandma

2nd Grade Picture Books

One thing that kids have stronger than most adults is their vast imagination and right now is a great time to exercise it! Students chose a subject they wanted to draw for their picture book. Each page was to have a drawing and a sentence telling a short story. In this project they are able to tell their own story right now, while illustrating those ideas in their own creative way.

Kai sewing the spine of his book

Mabel reading her Book About Dogs

Willow reading her book Princess Panda


Hoot Owl Sea Creature Research Project

Sea Creature Research Project (Mar 24, 2020 at 12_50 PM) - Edited

Here is one of the most dedicated distance learning student working on her sea creature research project. Miss Traci asked students to pick a sea creature that they wanted to learn more about and find out: Where does it live? What does it eat? Is it a predator, prey or both? Is it a fish, mammal, crustacean or other? Is it venomous? What does it look like? Draw a picture of the creature.

Sea Creature Research Project (Mar 24, 2020 at 12_51 PM) - Edited

The Hoot Owls have been talking about different ways to do research in class. Books, Internet, experiments, ask an expert. Miss Traci really liked assigning this project because it actually wasn’t something they are able to do in class with each student because it takes so much individualized attention. It worked as a distance learning project because they could work one on one with a parent and take all the time they needed. Their theme for March is sea life.


Kindergarten Goes Shopping


The Kindergarteners have been learning about money. The children gathered some toys and their parents put a price tag on each toy. The children went shopping with real coins: pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters to purchase the toys. The children were encouraged to figure out two different ways to pay for a toy. Some students really enjoyed having a toy store in their house!


Flower Dissection

On Tuesday, 7th graders had a virtual Science Lab with Miss O. The students did a flower dissection using a Stargazer Lily. They identified the different parts of the flower, learned their function, and how each part contributes to its reproduction. Check out the video above to learn more.



Week 2 of Distance Learning is a wrap. Here are some videos to brighten your day.

3rd graders sing Little Light of Mine during virtual Music class with Mrs. Chaffey.

The Kindergarten class is spreading love, hope and happiness with their virtual Beatles concert.

Carson (K) sings Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da by The Beatles during virtual Music class.

2nd grade Art Class with Miss Natalie.


Letter From The Board Of Trustees

Dear Saklan Community,

We hope your family is staying healthy and you are adapting to our new normal. We understand the stress the closure of Saklan and the shelter-in-place order has made on families’ lives. We know that many of you have been juggling working at home, caring for parents, and now you are needed to increase the support given to educating your child.

We also realize that our teachers and staff are going through the same challenges. With that in mind, as the Saklan Board of Trustees, we would like to extend our most profound appreciation to all Saklan faculty and staff for the hard work each has put into making the speedy and smooth transition to distance learning. Moving from an approach of in-person teaching to distance learning has required the reworking of lesson plans and learning several new platforms in a matter of two days. We are genuinely impressed with the pivot.

As a board and as parents, we are so grateful to have such dedicated teachers and staff who bring familiarity and a sense of stability into our students’ lives despite the unprecedented events in this time of uncertainty.

We want to thank them for their unwavering dedication and commitment to our students’ education.

Please stay healthy until we reopen our campus to welcome back our students and community.

Geri Buhl and Toshie Baba

Saklan Board of Trustee 2019-2020 Co-Chairs


Building For Hurricanes

The past three weeks, the 3rd graders made their way to the Science Lab to learn about our earth’s atmosphere, including how air reacts and moves, and how weather is created. After learning about air pressure, wind, clouds, precipitation, and types of weather, students had the challenge of trying to create a house that could withstand a weather pattern not experienced by most Saklan students.

This weather phenomena has quite an effect on the air pressure, wind, precipitation and clouds of the land masses it comes across; a hurricane. Each build had to be able to withstand wind, waves and precipitation. The goal was to make a waterproof house that would remain standing in the tray through the different elements.

Each design was quite different, but all successful in their own way!

Kindergarten Fairy Tales


Kindergartners have been enjoying reading fairy tales. Using the many skills introduced in their Reading program, the children discovered that fairy tales usually have good and bad characters, a setting, a problem and a solution, a beginning, middle and an end, as well as magic.


Fairy tale fun helps the children with the skills of sequencing and retelling a story.  The enjoyment was palpable as the children acted out “The Three Billy Goats Gruff”, complete with using our classroom tables as a bridge.


Abstract Art Project

IMG-9064 (1)

Last month, the Hoot Owls learned about abstract artist, Alma Woodsey Thomas! The class talked about abstract art vs. representational art. The Hoot Owls studied a few of Thomas’s paintings and talked about how the paintings made them feel. They also took inspiration from her colorful style with two different art projects. First, the Hoot Owls used paper rectangles to create circular artwork. This was a challenge for their fine motor skills and attention spans. Many students chose to revisit the project on the second day. Revisiting difficult projects teaches perseverance.


Next, the Hoot Owls practiced painting with delicate brush strokes. They experimented with small, medium and large brushes. Most students were not used to painting this way, but they all did a fabulous job!


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