Shindig Success

Dear Saklan Community,

Thank you to everyone who came to celebrate at the Auction Shindig last Saturday. It was clear how much this community needed to be together and how much it meant to be in person. As a community we raised over $135,000 (a record for Saklan), including $93,600 for the Pavilion Fund-a-Need and $6,025 for the Teacher Summer Reflection Fund! Thank you all for your generosity.

I’d like to share a special thank you to Emily Williamson, who was tasked with an almost impossible responsibility: plan an in-person auction that uses donated items from two years ago which may or may not still be valid, that is COVID safe and inclusive, that has indoor and outdoor capabilities, that may or may not actually happen, and that raises money for the school. Finding venues that would satisfy all of our criteria took some time, and then her vision came to life in two short months!

Although Emily has been living and breathing auction planning and execution (and now the wrapping up part), she has had some behind the scenes help. A special thank you to the auction committee: Darla Lovrin, Brian Lovrin, and Amy Perkins for following up on donations, helping to procure decorations, being involved in the planning, and being part of a historic night.

Thank you, Sandy Lo, for taking on the organization, donations, descriptions, and display of the wine raffle! We had some very generous contributions from many families to complete this array, so thank you to all who donated too.

Thank you to Makeda Assefa, Huiying Li and Natasha Reckless for your helping in setting up the event and making the hall look so festive. 

A huge thank you to Lauren Haberly for her work on the collaborative art pieces, and for her guidance of the middle schoolers that created the desert scenery featured at the event. 

Thank you to Javier Yacarini and Shay Sager for spending Saturday helping to set up the auction, moving items from Saklan to the venue and helping to make the ambiance perfect – and then for bartending all night and helping to clean up afterwards. It was a long day made more fun with your presence!

At the event – thank you to Yette Prizeman and Peta Siacor for helping to sell raffle tickets, to Kim Parks and Toshie Baba for helping check in guests, to Gina Gabriel for helping record bids, and to Karen Catanzarite and Linda Lathrop for being excellent spotters during the live auction.

Auctions are a lot of hard work, and we often wonder beforehand if they are worth the effort. Then we all go and revel in the beautiful connections that we make or are reminded of and that subsides. It was a magical evening; a much-needed reconnection for many, and I am so grateful to have been a part of it. Emily, I wish you many good nights of sleep ahead! Thank you, again.



Engineering Design Process

Saklan’s 3rd graders recently learned about the Engineering Design Process: a step-by-step guide that engineers use to solve problems. The engineering design process has six stages: 

1. Ask — Identify a problem, then ask questions to understand it better.  

2. Imagine — Brainstorm ideas on how to solve the problem.  

3. Plan — Choose one idea and plan how to create the solution.  

4. Create — Acquire any necessary materials and create the solution.  

5. Test — See if the solution works by collecting and analyzing data, and evaluating strengthens and weaknesses.  

6. Improve — Make adjustments to improve the solution, then test it again.

The class applied these ideas while completing a STEM challenge of trying to build a bridge made out of only pennies that was at least 3 centimeters tall and wide, and was strong enough to hold a LEGO mini figurine. Check out their creations below!


Tracking with Telemetry Devices

Last week the 6th graders learned about an endangered species, the Mountain Yellow Legged Frog, from Southern California. They learned about the threats to their habitat and what is needed for them to survive. Using telemetry equipment borrowed from the San Diego Zoo, the students experienced what it is like to conduct scientific wildlife research out in the field. Students used the telemetry devices to track hidden stuffed animal frogs on the Saklan campus. This hands-on experience allowed the students to understand how researchers track released endangered species, in this case their frogs, and to monitor the health of the frogs over time. 


Voices Made Visible

As part of a new science unit on waves of energy, the 4th graders have been using math to analyze music. They learned why music notes are called “whole,” “half,” “quarter” and “sixteenth,” and then played some “Body Beats.” Next, they spent some time exploring different sounds and visualizing the waves using the Chrome Music Lab online. At first, the students experimented with sound by pressing different piano keys to see how different tones and sounds express themselves as “waves” on the screen.

It was quickly apparent that the lower notes had longer intervals between waves than high notes (frequency). They also experimented with the spectrogram, which visualizes sounds as colors. It was fascinating to “see” how similar and different all of their voices are and they are excited to show them to the world!

To conclude the study, students spent time at home making their own music.


Calendar Updates

Spring has sprung and with that has come the time to plan ahead for the rest of the school year. In looking at the calendar, we have had to rearrange some events to align with the changes in our field experiences. Our 8th graders are currently in Puerto Rico participating in a service-learning opportunity, so we moved the CLAS originally scheduled for today to NEXT Friday, April 1st. 

As the 7th graders will be in Hawaii for a science and culture field experience the week of April 25th, we have moved the events of that week in order to include them and the teachers who will be with them. Unfortunately, Grandparents and Special Friends Day has been canceled altogether. With all the COVID-19 uncertainty, it seemed irresponsible to expect grandparents to travel to Saklan this year; we look forward to planning a robust return for 2023!

The Art Show has been rescheduled for Thursday, May 12th from 2pm – 5pm, and the Book Fair has been moved to May 11th – 13th as well.

Below is a sneak peek at next year’s important calendar dates for your planning purposes. A more detailed calendar will be shared over the summer.


Aug 22    Back to School Social   

Aug 24    First Day of School 

Aug 25    Transportation Service Begins

Sept 5        Labor Day (NO SCHOOL)

Oct 10        Fall Holiday (NO SCHOOL)

Oct 20 & 21      Parent Teacher Conferences (NOON DISMISSAL)

Oct 31        Halloween Celebration (2PM DISMISSAL)

Nov 1        Professional Development Day (NO SCHOOL)

Nov 11    Veteran’s Day (NO SCHOOL)

Nov 21 – 25      Thanksgiving Break (NO SCHOOL)

Dec 16    Lower School Musical (NOON DISMISSAL, NO EXTENDED DAY)

Dec 19 – 30     Winter Break (NO SCHOOL)

Jan 2        New Year’s Day (observed) – (NO SCHOOL)

Jan 3        Professional Development Day (NO SCHOOL)

Jan 16        MLK Jr. Day (NO SCHOOL)

Feb 17 – 20      President’s Day Weekend (NO SCHOOL)

Mar 23 & 24  Parent Teacher Conferences (NOON DISMISSAL)

Mar 31     Cesar Chavez Day (NO SCHOOL)

April 3 – 7      Spring Break (NO SCHOOL)

May 1 – 5    Teacher Appreciation Week

May 5        Teacher Appreciation Day (NO SCHOOL)

May 29    Memorial Day (NO SCHOOL)

June 7        Last Day of School/8th Grade Graduation (NOON DISMISSAL)

Collaborative Art

The collaborative art pieces that the Saklan students have worked hard to create are now open for bidding as part of the Shindig Silent Auction! Many of these beautiful items are available to anyone who purchases them for a flat fee.

The items below are one-of-a-kind and therefore available to the highest bidder only.

Once you are on the Online Bidding page, click the Start Bidding button and finish creating your account.


  1. Search for packages by name or number by using the magnifying glass or by choosing a category under the menu.
  2. You can Bid the next increment or Bid More than the next increment. If you choose Bid More you can set your max bid. If your max bid is the highest, the system will automatically bid in your favor until you are outbid or until the auction closes.
  3. To “watch” a package, select the star icon on the package.
  4. You’ll be notified if you’re outbid at any point before the auction closes and you will see an Outbid notice at the top of your screen.
  5. To get back to the main screen, click the house icon.
  6. To view the packages you are bidding on, click the menu button and select Bids.

This auction is open to the public, but we ask that the winning bidders pick up items from Saklan. Feel free to pass on the auction link – – to those you think might be interested. 

Thank you for your support of The Saklan School!

#SaklanShindig #Saklan Creative

Gyotaku Fish Printing

Middle schoolers recently explored and participated in the Japanese art form of “Gyotaku,” or fish printing. Students first learned how this art form originated in 19th Century Japan, where fishermen would paint their fish and make a print onto paper in order to document their more impressive catches. Students then looked into how these same prints are being used today by scientists to document how fish populations have changed over the years.

Finally, students learned the fish printing process first hand by painting ink onto real fish, and pressing down paper on the fish to make a print.

When finished, students hand painted the eye directly onto the paper, and signed their artwork using a “chop” or personalized stamp dipped into red ink. It was a fun combination of art, science and history, and the prints turned out incredibly well!

These fish prints were also used to create the 6th grade collaborative poster that is available for purchase as part of the Shindig Silent Auction.


Leprechauns on Campus

On Thursday, March 17th, many of our students noticed signs of mischievous leprechauns having visited campus overnight. Yarn wrapped around toys, messages left on classroom white boards and gold coins in classrooms were some of the clues the leprechauns left!

Knowing they might be coming, the Kindergarteners built a trap for the leprechauns. While there were no leprechauns in the trap in the morning, the trap definitely looked different on Thursday morning than when the students had built it on Wednesday!

Owlets, Hoot Owls, and Kindergarteners set out on a scavenger hunt on their play yard, looking for signs of leprechauns there too! Students searched for:

  • Pots of Gold
  • Four Leaf Clovers
  • Rainbows
  • Gold Coins
  • Green Top Hats
  • Images of Leprechauns

The students were very successful in finding items left behind by the leprechauns!

Middle School Choir

This semester, the Middle School Choir has stepped up their level of difficulty and understanding in music, as they have turned their attention to two major projects. The first of these is the Annual School Concert, which this year centers around hope in times of trouble and will take place on Wednesday, April 20th.

For the first part of the semester, the choir student have done a deep dive into the technical aspects of their concert repertoire, including 3-4 part harmony, body percussion and ostinato patterns, and a capella singing. They have also begun to analyze the meaning of the music they are singing, writing their own lyrics in response to the song Seasons of Love from the musical Rent, and spending time with the legacy of Harriet Tubman and the importance of spirituals in songs as they learn Stand Up from the award winning movie, Harriet

Their second project was preparing and executing an audition for our Middle School’s upcoming musical, Legally Blonde Jr. on Thursday, May 19th. Each student learned and sang an excerpt on their own, in an open audition in front of their class. The courage that it takes to sing in front of others is remarkable, and we would like to commend every choir student for their amazing work on the first step towards the performance.

#SaklanCourage #SaklanCreativity

Live Auction

Saklan’s Auction Committee has acquired some irresistible Live Auction items! Take a look at what will be on the auction block this Saturday, March 19th:

Not Attending the Auction?

If you can’t join us for the auction, but would like to bid on one of these live auction items, please email Emily at and she will be happy to set up a proxy bidder for you.


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