Orange Envelope Day Success

Tuesday, October 25th, marked our second annual Orange Envelope Day! Kicking off our Annual Giving Fund (AGF) with lots of enthusiasm, students and parents were able to drop their orange donation envelopes in the orange box and ring our cowbell to mark the occasion – it brought lots of joy and attention to drop off and pick up!

Thank you so much to everyone who participated in Orange Envelope Day!

It speaks volumes about our community that families are willing to contribute a meaningful gift to the AGF. Each gift supports our commitment to fostering a sense of belonging and being connected to every student. Moreover, it strengthens the bond of shared common values between all of us. Those values of belonging and connectedness are instrumental to who we are and what we do.

This year, in addition to raising funds to support personal attention from dedicated teachers, an engaging curriculum, and specialist classes at all grade levels, we are hoping to raise enough funds through the AGF to purchase an additional Saklan van. An additional van will allow us to more easily take students out into the field for authentic learning experiences, as well as to consider expanding our transportation services in the future.

Thank you for believing in us to partner with you in your child’s educational journey. Thank you to those who have already shown their support for the AGF. We are about halfway to our goals of raising $170,000 and reaching 100% participation, and I am confident that both will continue to rise.

Help us reach 100% participation by making a gift that is meaningful to you and your family today. Gifts can be made online or by completing the donor form that was included in your AGF mailing and returning it to the Saklan Office.

In gratitude,


#SaklanGiving #HeadsCorner

Festival of Lights

This week, many Saklan students learned about Diwali, which is celebrated by Hindus, Jains, and Sikhs around the world, including some of our students! Diwali is the festival of lights and lasts for 5 days in October or November. The students read books to get a better understanding of the festival, and then participated in some celebratory activities.

The Owlets and Hoot Owls learned about an art form called Rangoli, a geometric design on the floor (or other flat surface) made using colored rice, sand, dry flour, or flower petals. The owls watched a video of someone creating a Rangoli, and then made their own.

The Kindergarteners and first graders made lanterns that they were able to take home. They decorated their lanterns using stickers and markers, and were excited to spread light!

A big thank you to the parents who came in to share their family Diwali traditions with our students!

#SaklanDiversity #SaklanCommunity

Testing Magma

In science, the sixth graders have been studying volcanoes. They are learning about the different types and parts of a volcano, where volcanoes are located, the different types of eruptions that can occur, and how they create different rocks and formations.

As part of their hands-on study, the sixth graders looked at different types of igneous rocks, tested different fluid viscosity to see how different lavas might flow, and then built their own shield volcano and tested different batches of “magma.” The students determined the speed of flow, what minerals make the lava flow slower, and how those different flows cool into different rocks.

The sixth graders are also learning about historic volcanoes and exploring the dangers and advantages of living near active ones. If you have a question about volcanoes, feel free to ask one of our new volcano experts – a sixth grader!


Meeting Community Helpers

During the month of October, the Owlet class has had multiple opportunities to meet some community helpers in our own community. The Owlets visited the Saklan Library for the first time last week and met the librarians Ms. Joy and Meredith. The students listened to Meredith read Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, and then she and Ms. Joy helped each student pick a book to check out.

On Wednesday, the Owlets had some very special guest experts visit their class from Aloha Pediatric Dentistry in Orinda. Hannah and Omar, both dental technicians, demonstrated proper teeth brushing and flossing, showed the class x-rays of teeth, and played a game where students sorted snacks that are good for your teeth and not so good for your teeth.

The class also learned about doctors and how they help our communities. The Owlets read Doctors by Dee Ready and learned about some of the tools doctors use, like x-rays and stethoscopes. The students got to look at some real x-ray pictures of human bones, and use real stethoscopes to listen to each other’s heart beats! After hearing their hearts beat, the class watched this video to learn what happens inside our bodies to produce the thump thump sound.

The Owlets are very grateful for the wonderful community helpers that are all around us!

#SaklanCommunity #SaklanGuestExperts

Discovering Musical Theater Characters

The Middle School Choir students are currently working on a project to answer the question: “Which musical theater character am I most like?”

While at first glance this question might seem like a quiz one might find in a teen magazine, upon closer inspection, the Choir students are discovering that characters in much beloved musicals have similar traits to themselves. In watching, researching, and singing music that connects them to these characters, Choir students are exploring stories that are meaningful to our society and history, while also learning about themselves as they become young adults. Within this structure, they are learning rhythms, tones, and dynamic markings, practicing harmony and proper breath technique for singing, and engaging with performing in front of a live audience.

In the coming weeks, the students will meet professional actors, experience live Broadway productions, and perform songs with their ensemble and on their own. This semester-long project will culminate with multiple performances at Fall Follies, CLAS, and the Lower School Musical, so stay tuned for amazing things to come!

Student Council Officers

The Student Council at Saklan is a special experience for the officers, class representatives, and the whole school community. Students running for Student Council must run a clean campaign that is positive. The candidates can only win if they show dedication and true commitment to making Saklan a better place. To become a member of the Student Council, middle schoolers must earn their space on the ballot through a rather lengthy process.

First, each candidate writes a Letter of Intent that talks about their strengths as a leader and why they want to be part of Student Council. They also must develop a yearly plan of activities for whole school fun, as well as community service ideas. Second, students make two campaign posters. Third, they are interviewed by the faculty Student Council representatives (Jennifer and Kim). During the interview, each student receives a scenario, and must explain their solution to this issue. Fourth, students write a speech and read it to their advisor and the community, earning points for speech quality, creativity, and delivery at CLAS. Finally, students vote and the ballots are tallied. If a candidate wins the popular vote they earn 10 points; otherwise they earn 5 points. There are a total of 55 points available. The student with the most overall points for each position becomes the Student Council member.

Congratulations to our 2022-2023 Student Council Officers!

  • Sadie-President
  • Eliana-Vice President
  • Kori-Activities Chair
  • Andrea-Secretary
  • Nikko-Treasurer
  • Astro-Publicity Chair

Get Ready for Orange Envelope Day!

Saklan’s 22-23 Annual Giving Fund (AGF) officially begins next Tuesday, October 25th with Orange Envelope Day! All Saklan families are invited to join us in celebrating Orange Envelope Day by dropping off the orange envelope and donor form that was mailed to you in the orange box in front of Saklan. 

Thank you to those who have already made a gift. Below are important things to know about Saklan’s AGF.

What is the AGF?

The Annual Giving Fund is Saklan’s yearly fundraising drive that raises money to support the amazing people and programs that make Saklan special.

Why do we have it? 

Saklan relies on the generous support of the community to create such a vibrant place for children to learn and develop. The funds raised through the AGF allow Saklan to provide the many extras that make Saklan the incredible school that it is—personal attention from dedicated teachers, an engaging curriculum, arts, music, Spanish, STEM, and physical education at all grade levels. 

Is there a Goal?

This year, our goal as a school is to have 100% of families participate and raise $170,000 by December 2. Join us by making a gift that is personally meaningful to you. For some families that may be $20, while for others that may be $10,000. 

How can I make a gift?

You can make an AGF gift via the following methods:

  • Cash or a Check payable to The Saklan School
  • Online using a Credit Card – The online platform gives you the option to set up recurring payments that allow you to pay for your donation over several months. 
  • Invoiced through the Saklan Business Office.

Have questions about Saklan’s AGF? Feel free to reach out to Emily at

Thank you for your support of Saklan.

#SaklanCommunity #SaklanAGF

Button Families

Maggie and the Hoot Owls have been learning about and talking about their families. The Hoot Owls made family portraits by using buttons as heads to count how many people are in their families.

Next the Hoot Owls took the portraits and graphed how many people are in their families. They learned that ten Hoot Owls have four people in their family, four Hoot Owls have five people in their family, and two Hoot owls have three and six people in their families. The class read the book My Family is from Different Places by Daria Leavitt about a mixed race family and how special it can be to have two cultures to celebrate. The teachers encouraged the Hoot Owls to find out where their ancestors are from to see if their family is also from different places.

Saklan’s West African Music Program

Every Thursday, the Saklan campus has a different beat, a beat that hails from West Africa. Under the guidance of Isaac Narell, students in third through eighth can be found studying music from the Ewe speaking people who live in Ghana, Togo and Benin (countries in West Africa).

Ewe music consists of singing, dancing, and drumming.  All these elements make up music styles. In 3rd grade, the students are performing a style called “Agahu.”

4th grade dancing and singing a Gota song.

Fourth and fifth graders are learning the styles “Gota” and “Tokoe.”

5th grade practicing Tokoe drumming

This unique music experience is a beloved aspect of the Saklan Music Program. Some 5th graders are so enthralled, that are choosing to stay in at recess on Thursdays and practice drumming together, while a group of  Middle Schoolers are practicing drumming at lunch time on Thursdays. 

#SaklanCreative #SaklanLearningByDoing

Protecting & Empowering Our Children

The Saklan Parent Association is very excited to announce the next Parent Education event: Protecting & Empowering Our Children & Youth, presented by Kidpower.

All Saklan adults are invited to join this session in which you will learn how to help children and young people build social-emotional skills to take charge of their own safety, and how to adapt these skills based on their ages, abilities, and life situations in person and online

Save the date; you don’t want to miss this virtual event!


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