What Gratitude Looks Like

We spend quite a bit of time here at Saklan thinking about the power of gratitude. We work to recognize when others do good work and call it out. We send handwritten cards home to children, sharing with them the good we notice, and let them know how grateful we are that they are an important part of what makes Saklan- well Saklan. 

And sometimes someone shares their heartfelt gratitude with words that resonate and meet the moment. January and the beginning of February felt like the most challenging time of the pandemic. At the end of January, Mel Zippin sent the email below to everyone on the Saklan team. I share it because it speaks to how special this community is, and how powerful gratitude is. Take three minutes to read it, it is worth your time. -David


As we near the two-year mark of this pandemic, I have been reminded several times this week that we are all running on fumes. What we have endured and continue to deal with is absolutely not sustainable, and yet here we are sustaining. 

We have grieved the loss of normal outings, seeing faces, hugging friends, traveling, seeing family, etc. And in all of this, we have tried to wrap our minds and hearts around what was happening – as adults even that has been exhausting.

Then I think about the kids and my heart breaks. Because although they are seemingly resilient, it is confusing. They see and hear and feel much of what we do, and many of them can’t totally understand or even remember life before masks.

And in all of this, YOU have guided them through this weirdness. You show up and teach and love and see them and listen to them. You model kindness and compassion and hard work and resilience. I think in many ways you have saved them.

Since we’ve come back from Winter Break things have become really challenging again. Personal tragedies and challenges aside (of which there have been plenty), you are working overtime, testing and testing, accommodating students who are home, overcommunicating to families, worrying about omicron. It feels endless. 

So, I guess I just wanted to acknowledge the exhaustion. And I wanted to thank you for being this community for my kids and my family. Being able to come to work (and having my children in school) has been a lifeline for me too. I appreciate all of you for what you do and for the gift that you have given me. 

Please take a moment today to take a breath and realize that I am in my office appreciating the heck out of you. And I hope that you are all finding time for some self-care in this madness.


Mel 🙂


Parachuting into Physics

This month, the 8th graders started physics as part of their physical science curriculum. So far, they have learned about Newton’s first and second laws, how to calculate the speed and acceleration of an object, and how much force is required to keep that acceleration going. Additionally, students have been learning about different forces on our planet. In a lab last week, students looked at the effect of gravity on a falling object and how air resistance can work against that force. In doing so, students made different sized parachutes and dropped them from the ceiling of the science lab.

Students timed the rate of fall, used that to determine the acceleration of the parachute, and then determined the force of air resistance on the different parachutes. It is great to see them understanding science in the world around them!

#SaklanHandsOn #SaklanAcademic

Saklan Spirit

Saklan students and teachers had fun showing their school spirit during some fun dress days this week. On Tuesday, students dressed in tropical-themed clothing to celebrate Tropical Tuesday!

Wednesday led to all kinds of interesting outfits, as we enjoyed Wacky Wednesday!

On Thursday it was hard to tell if we were on the Saklan play yard or a movie set as the students donned apparel to showcase their favorite character or superhero!

On Friday the community showed school spirit by wearing clothing with Saklan and other school logos and colors on it.

Thank you to everyone who joined in the spirit week fun!


Building Houses

Recently, Ms. Maggie and the Hoot Owls worked on creating some really unique houses! Using tape and craft sticks, the Hoot Owls constructed square, rectangular and even triangular-shaped houses. The features of the houses varied during this open-ended project, with some students choosing to add doors and windows and others adding bridges! Most of the Hoot Owls plan to use their houses as bird houses.

This fun activity allowed the Hoot Owls to work on their fine motor skills, shape recognition and of course creativity and design!


Get Your Shindig Tickets!

Get your cowboy hats and boots ready because y’all are invited to this year’s Auction Shindig! The western-themed event is on Saturday, March 19 at 6:00 p.m. and will feature a BBQ dinner, open bar, live auction, fund-a-need, dancing and lots of fun!

Tickets are now available online; get your Shindig tickets today!

The Saklan School’s Annual Auction is the Parents Association’s largest fundraiser of the year. Proceeds from the auction are invested directly back into our children’s educational experiences, in and out of the classrooms.

Can’t make the auction?

There are several ways to participate in this year’s event even if you can’t attend: underwrite a teacher ticket, make a donation to the Summer Reflection Fund, or stay tuned for more information on purchasing wine raffle tickets or participating in our online silent auction.

Thank you for your support of the auction and Saklan.


100 Days Smarter

Saklan celebrated the 100th day of the 2021-2022 school year on Thursday, February 10th. To mark the occasion, the Hoot Owls made “100” crowns, participated in several counting activities and had a celebratory lunch.

The Kindergartners celebrated the 100th day of school by rotating through a series of activities focusing on the number 100. Students had the opportunity to build with 100 cups, match numbers 1 – 100 on the bottom of kisses to a hundreds chart, hear the story 100th Day Worries by Margery Cuyler, draw themselves when they are 100 years old, and make a necklace with 100 loops on it.

To get the 100th day started, the first graders each created a poster that contained 100 of something of their choosing. The posters were very unique and creative!

During the school day, the first graders commemorated the day by answering writing prompts such as, “What would you do with 100 dollars?” and “What would you do if you were 100 years old?” They practiced counting to 100 by 10s, drew 100 decorations on cupcake drawings, made necklaces using 100 circular cereal pieces and yarn and read The 100th Day of School by Angela Shelf Medearis.

The students had a wonderful day celebrating the 100th day of school and noting that they are now 100 days smarter.

#SaklanAcademic #100daysSmarter

We’ve Got Spirit

Join the Saklan Student Council in showing your school spirit next week, February 22 – 25th. All students and teachers are invited to dress up for the following spirit days:

Tuesday, February 22: Tropical Tuesday – Dress in tropical-themed clothing.

Wednesday, February 23: Wacky Wednesday – Dress up in odd or unusual clothing like mismatched or inside-out shirts, socks, shoes, pants, etc.

Thursday, February 24: Favorite Character/Superhero Day – Dress like your favorite character or superhero, or make up your own superhero. We all are awesome in our own ways!

Friday, February 25: School Spirit Day – Dress in Saklan school colors or attire that promotes a favorite high school or college.

Students who choose not to participate in the spirit week themes need to wear their uniforms.


Fun with Magnets

Last week, the third graders had fun with magnets, exploring the surprising properties of magnets and experimenting with this invisible force that can act at a distance. They discovered the push and pull of magnets, how magnets attract certain types of metals, and how a magnet’s force can work through other materials like paper and even their hands! 

The third graders thoroughly enjoyed this hands-on learning opportunity!

#SaklanHandsOn #SaklanAcademic

Wine Collection Continues

Huge thanks to all the families who’ve donated wine to our Auction Shindig Wine Raffle! Our wine collection is growing daily, but we still need help! Please consider donating a favorite bottle or two to this year’s collection.

Wine donations can be dropped off with Ms. Shay in the front office or at the Shindig table in front of the school ANY DAY.

All proceeds from this year’s Wine Raffle will support Saklan’s Summer Reflection Fund, which funds summer professional development opportunities for our beloved teachers and staff.

If you have any questions, please contact Sandy Lo, Wine Raffle Coordinator at sandralo@gmail.com.


Social-Emotional Learning: The Saklan Way

All Saklan parents are invited to join the PA for coffee and pastries and meet Kim Parks, Saklan’s Middle School Dean and Director of Teaching and Learning. Kim will be speaking about how Responsive Classroom techniques are being utilized from Owlets through 8th grade, sharing their purpose and benefit to students.

Kim will also discuss the goals of Family Groups and Buddies and address the overarching themes that are an important part of the Saklan SEL program: the importance of relationship building; the benefits of small class sizes; clear, concise, positive teacher language; one-on-one teacher/student conferencing to deliver feedback; quick action/debriefing when an incident happens; teaching students ways to resolve conflicts and give them opportunities to try.

#SaklanSEL #SaklanPA

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