During January, Saklan students have been focusing on being hardworking. The eighth grade Family Group leaders created a video to explain what hardworking means and how it can help students reach their goals and overcome challenges.

After hearing suggestions from the eighth graders, each of Saklan’s first through seventh graders wrote down one goal, project or activity they want to work hard to accomplish or improve on. Check out the many areas in which our students are working hard!

#SaklanSocialEmotionalLearning #SaklanFamilyGroups

Shadow Movement

Fifth graders are learning about Earth’s place in the universe. Students have focused on the movements in the solar system that affect how we see shadows. The fifth graders recently created a graphical display that revealed patterns of daily changes in length and direction of shadows during the school day. Pairs of students worked together to trace each other’s shadow outline early in the morning and noted where the sun was in the sky. Then, when the sun was at its highest (12:00 p.m.) they returned to their chalk outlines and traced where their shadows had moved and where the sun was positioned. Students were amazed at how much their shadows changed at different times of the day!


How Many Steps in a Mile?

The students in kindergarten thru eighth grade have been equipped with pedometers while exercising during P.E. lessons. The devices are simple and only measure “steps,” but are equipped with a reset button. P.E. classes have had fun experimenting with what types of activities generate the most movement or steps. Students have had the opportunity to see how dribbling a ball compares to swinging on the swings, and how walking a mile compares to skipping rope. Some of the third graders came to the conclusion that shaking the sensor generates a higher count than spinning it on a finger.  Overall, it appears that students focus on generating a count with their pedometers, and that feedback adds a little extra motivation to continue to exert effort while participating in physical education exercises.

Lucas in kindergarten asked Mr. Crabtree to take a picture of the pedometer he was using in P.E. and send it to his mom, as he was interested in one for home use as well.  For any other parents that have received requests for pedometers, here are the pedometers the students are using at school:


Absolutely Revolting

This week in California History, the fourth graders finished learning about the Mexican American War. Students analyzed factors that led the U.S. to declare war on Mexico, and focused on the impact to California specifically. The students then learned about the Bear Flag Revolt, in which a small band of rebels overthrew the Mexican government in Sonoma and took California in the name of the United States. The students learned more details about the Bear Flag Revolt as they rehearsed, performed, and recorded a short, humorous play called, “Absolutely Revolting.”

Take a look at the video to see the fourth grade in action!


Studying Modes of Transportation

The Hoot Owls and Owlets in Ms. Jessica’s class have been learning about different types of transportation. First the class took a vote to see what the students were most interested in learning about. The Owls love practicing voting and making their own choices! Cars and space travel tied as the top choices to explore first.

Some unfortunate but serendipitous car troubles for Ms. Jessica kicked off a conversation about tires, how they work, what happens when you get a flat tire, and how tow trucks carry other cars!

The Owls enjoyed some messy collaborative painting with cars and trucks, observing how different tires made different tracks.

The Owls also made their own traffic lights to go along with a song they learned called “Twinkle Twinkle Traffic Light,” which they were excited to share at Friday Flag this morning!


Head’s Corner

What Kind of Extremist Will You Be?

“So the question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be. Will we be extremists for hate or for love? Will we be extremists for the preservation of injustice or for the extension of justice?”

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Letters from a Birmingham Jail (April 16, 1963)

I think many of us are still processing the violence of January 6th to understand the magnitude of that day. While the events of the day left us feeling upset, angry, powerless, and maybe lost, it was also a day of extremes. Those who stormed the Capitol building and those responsible for electing two diverse candidates to Georgia’s Senate seats. One group was for the preservation of injustice, the other for the extension of justice.

I tend to be an optimist and look for the bright spots in dark times. The January 6th attack has consumed us and has sucked the oxygen out of the air, but the Senate election is the long arc of history where diversity and open-mindedness win the day.

Last week was exhausting to process. From now until after inauguration day- there will be a steady stream of rhetoric filling our screens- some thoughtful and worthy, but much inflammatory and meant to incite. 

While our older children will be bombarded through social media, our younger ones will hear things.Neither group will be able to make sense of what they are hearing or seeing without our help. The videos, memes, and rhetoric of these events can create more anxiety and stress. Our intentionality and consideration about when, how, and where we discuss and tune-in to these events matters. It is crucial that we stay attuned to what they are being exposed to – and help them feel safe and process at an age-appropriate level. 

I know we are exhausted by the politics, protests, and injustices of the last year- and yes, the pandemic. But as parents and teachers of young children, we have an opportunity to help them learn how to work through understanding the complexities of our current world. We also have a timely example in Martin Luther King, who led positively in what was arguably a more challenging period.  

Below are several resources to help or frame the issues in front of us. They each have age-appropriate approaches. I hope they are in some way helpful.

In peace,


The National Association of School Psychologists  – Talking to Children About Violence

The American Psychological Association How to Talk To Children About Difficult News

Commonsense Media – Explaining the News to Our Kids

Winter Traditions

The winter season brings not only cold weather, but also different holidays and family traditions. To celebrate each class member, the third graders created slides or posters to share about holidays and traditions that are unique to their family. They included pictures and text about winter holidays they celebrate, places they like to go in the winter,  winter activities, food they like to make in winter, and any other special family winter traditions. Each slide or poster was as unique as each student!  Check out the slides and posters the students created below.

The third graders really enjoyed learning about each other’s traditions!


Admissions Update

Dear Saklan Community,

It is a busy time of year in the admissions office, but I write to you with immense gratitude, tremendous hope, and much information! Many of you have been asking questions about admissions, re-enrollment, financial assistance, etc., and so I wanted to clarify our process and what the next month looks like.

Typically January marks a winding down of admissions activity, as our deadline to apply is next Friday, January 22nd. Because we are living in a pandemic, things feel very different this year. I have been overwhelmed with interest in Saklan, both for the current school year and beyond. Not only has it been a great opportunity to share Saklan with so many new families, but it also reminds me every single day what a privilege it is to have our kids here on campus.

So, thank you. For helping to do your part to keep us safe and open, but also for spreading wonderful information about our school and our program to the broader community. Many of the inquiries I have received have come from friends of yours with whom you have shared your positive experiences. Our community is strong, and it has shown now more than ever.

Next Friday is our deadline to apply for Indexed Tuition/Financial Aid. It is important for families to adhere to this deadline so that our Committee can process the paperwork in time for re-enrollment.

On Monday, February 1st, current families will receive an offer to re-enroll for the 2021-22 school year. Tuition assistance will be reflected in those contracts. We are asking families to commit for the 2021-22 school year by Friday, February 12th. Given the volume of applications I have received this year, we can only guarantee your child’s spot if we have your contract and deposit by Friday the 12th. Thank you in advance for your understanding. 

Your children are the heartbeat of our school. Without your incredible trust in Saklan and our teachers, we would not be here. And I know I speak for many parents when I say that being here in person has breathed life back into a lot of our children. So, I thank you for your support, your cooperation, your trust, and your presence. 

In gratitude,

Melissa 🙂


Life Lessons of 2020 in a Zine

What is a zine? A zine is short for Magazine and is a self-made booklet that tells a story, informs about an issue, and is fun to make! It’s origin dates back to 1776, with Thomas Paine’s self-published pamphlet, Common Sense, which advocated for the thirteen colonies to become independent from Great Britain

In returning from Winter Break online and entering into the new year, 1st-8th graders were asked to reflect on what lessons they learned about themselves and the world in 2020 and what they were excited about striving for in 2021. 2020 forced the world to face reality, good or bad, and with so much to learn from, the children triumphed over all of these obstacles to share what they found most rewarding, difficult, and inspiring. In seeing these zines created, we hope it inspires us all to continue to persevere, fight for justice, and take care of each other and ourselves.  

#SaklanCreative #SaklanThoughtful

Why We Give

As a family, we couldn’t be more grateful to the teachers, staff and community at Saklan for everything they have done to support each of our four children in their unique journeys as students and compassionate young adults.

While academic excellence is critically important to parents when considering a school, what we most appreciate about Saklan is the understanding that academic success is at its best when it is built on a foundation of social and emotional support in an environment tailored to the needs of each and every student.  

That is the gift we’ve received from the Saklan community and what we believe will be most influential helping its students find meaning and success in their lives. 

In addition to bringing challenge and change, 2020 has been a time for us to reflect on what we value the most in our lives. Community, critical thinking, adaptability and commitment to a compassionate world view and sense of responsibility. These are all values reinforced and modeled at Saklan and now more than ever, we’re inspired to give back in recognition of all we have received.

Kesa Yorozu & Robert Miller

Tyrrell (Class of ’15), Leo (Class of ’20), Hana (5th) & Mori (5th)

Join the Yorozu-Miller Family in supporting Saklan by making an AGF gift today!