Head’s Corner

In my humble opinion, Giving Tuesday should be placed one week earlier, before Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday. It would make more sense that an idea that is now a global movement of giving and generosity should precede anything else and propel us forward with gratitude for Thanksgiving and the holidays.

It’s too late to change this order this year, but it is my hope that as a community we can make a statement and give boldly on this Giving Tuesday – spreading hope and inspiration to each other. More importantly, we will be helping create a generation that will put empathy and compassion before shopping. IMG_6597

The core of what we do every day at Saklan is to help students develop the mindset and tools to be bold world changers. Our ability to do that relies on the fact that you trust us with your children and support us in this endeavor by sacrificing significant financial resources to make it all possible.

Much of the deeper, real-world work we do with students comes from your generosity during our Annual Giving Campaign. 100% of our Board of Trustees and Faculty and Staff have participated in our campaign. To date, 35% of our parent body has participated. Of the remaining 65%, if you are anything like me, the AGF Pledge Form is on the kitchen counter, just waiting to be sent in (go look, it is under the Target bill).

So take a moment to help us create the bold world changers of the future.

With Gratitude,

To give online – click here
To download a pledge form – click here


Why We Give?

Darby family

In our family’s journey at Saklan, from Pre-K through 8th grade, Saklan’s nurturing community of teachers, staff, and families have instilled a love of learning in both of our kids and we truly feel that they receive something priceless each day.

Small class sizes, individualized attention, a culture of care, the celebration of creativity, and high academic expectations. Teachers and staff who know every child and are like family.  Science, art, and music in every grade. We brought our daughter, Isabel, to Saklan for Pre-K and all of these elements compelled us to keep her at Saklan throughout. She’s now a thriving freshman at Carondelet High School.

Seeing our daughter blossom, it was an easy decision for our son, Jordan, to also join Saklan in Pre-K. He’s now a maturing 7th grader looking forward to choosing a high school next year.

We support the Annual Giving Campaign because, in each of our family’s 11 years at Saklan, our kids could never wait for their first day of school, and we couldn’t imagine a school for them other than Saklan.

Stuart and Ana Darby

Jordan (7th)


Can You Hula Hoop?


The physical education students have been practicing with hula hoops since the beginning of the year. Did you know that you can build with the hula hoops? Six hoops can be stacked to create a stand alone structure.


The Saklan students didn’t stop with six. During recess, a few ambitious builders have begun to stack the structures. The builders are looking for different locations which will allow them to reach greater heights. The tower is growing to four and five stories! Today, the students broke the record with four stories and this structure will go down in Saklan history!

Let’s go Saklan!


Mixing Magic Color Wheels


The Kindergarten is learning about the color wheel! Using Model Magic, the students mixed their own secondary colors (Orange, Green, Purple) using equal parts of the primary colors (Red, Yellow, Blue). They enjoyed mixing the colors with their hands and seeing the magic happen right before their eyes! In this exercise, students can create a wide range of colors fairly quickly and understand the amount of each color it takes to create others. While the model magic is still soft, they can break off a little of one and another color to make more colors like yellow-orange, blue-purple, green-blue, etc. (More yellow than orange will make yellow-orange, more blue than green will make blue-green, etc.)

Students were sent home with their model magic color wheels to play with color mixing! This is the most non-messy and tactile way of learning how to mix colors, not to mention the cool sculptures they can make with this material. If the model magic is left out and not placed back in the bag, IT WILL DRY OUT! So make a fun sculpture before it hardens! Here is just one idea: if the kids mix many colors they can attach all spheres to make a caterpillar!

In the following weeks, students will read from The Day the Crayons Quit by Oliver Jeffers to create their own story and artwork behind their favorite color of the color wheel.


¿Que Tiempo Hace Hoy?


Second graders meet for Spanish class 3 times a week for 30 minutes each time. The Spanish courses are taught with an emphasis on interactive activities, stories, poems, songs, and games that are used to introduce vocabulary and commonly used phrases in Spanish. Students also engage in art projects to help them draw associations to the Spanish material as they speak and create. Reinforcement and repetition are used to help retain material.

This past week, students were introduced to vocabulary associated with different seasons and weather. They learned the name of the four seasons in Spanish: el invierno, la primavera, el verano and el otono. The four seasons is a fun topic because there is so much to talk about. First, the students discussed the characteristics of each season. Then, they shared their favorite season and why they liked it. They also created a “dado” (dice) with the different weather types and they asked each other questions such as “¿Que tiempo hace hoy?” (How’s the weather?). These activities gave the second graders lots of opportunities to practice their Spanish.


3rd Grade Visits The Museum Of The American Indian

Third graders have been learning about Native Americans and got to enhance their classroom studies by visiting the Museum of the American Indian in Novato. They enjoyed hearing stories about how the Coast Miwok tribe lived harmoniously with the land.

The students got to learn how two types of Miwok homes are built and go inside one of them. They experienced drilling a shell with a pump drill to make a necklace. It was a wonderful experience that really brought their learning to life.


Traveling Teddy Bear Coming To Saklan

Traveling Teddy BearArriving this week, you will notice a Teddy Bear on campus! This Teddy Bear is named Matteo and is an international traveler. Matteo is part of the Traveling Teddy Bear Project that connects students around the globe! He will be stopping in some of our classrooms and doing activities with our students.

The Traveling Teddy Bears Project was started in 2014 with the goal of connecting young children in classrooms across the globe. This year each of our bears is supporting one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals to help spread awareness in schools around the globe! You can learn more about these goals here: https://www.un.org/development/desa/disabilities/envision2030.html

Matteo is the oldest teddy bear to be a part of the Traveling Teddy group. He was born in New Jersey in 2005.  He loves traveling, learning about cultures, making friends, learning languages, dancing, and reading. He is ready to travel, learn, make friends, and read to many children around the world. Matteo is also very sporty and enjoys  yoga, swimming, baseball, running, and working out.unnamed

Matteo supports Global Goal #4: Quality Education. He believes that everyone deserves to go to school and have opportunities to read, write, and learn!

Matteo is currently in China from there he will be coming to Saklan, then to Ireland, and Canada.


Kindergarten – Tree of Life

Tree of Life
Misheel Javkhlangerel Tree of Love                              Sage Avant Tree of Love

Students have been working with chalk, oil pastels, and watercolor resist techniques in the Art Room. The students had a one day project for them to take home and the inspiration came from Gustav Klimt’s painting, The Tree of Life. The Kinders titled their artwork after explaining what their own tree represented.

The Tree of Life reaches up into the sky and down into the earth. It represents strength, protection, mother nature, wisdom, and beauty. The swirly branches keep your eye wandering and exploring the details in the painting. Using lines to make up the tree, students used oil pastels first and then water colored the whole paper to reveal the resist technique. This creates beautiful results that the students are proud of creating!


Alumni Corner


This past weekend, Saklan Alum Finn Anders and Sarah Zemmelman performed in Night of January 16th at The Athenian School. Saklan Alum Ada Martin was the production manager for the show and (literally) built the set. What a gift to have their MS teachers there to cheer them on and to reconnect.

We are proud of our alumni and love seeing what they are up to, whether it be in HS, college, or beyond. Follow us on IG, and send us updates or pictures!


Why Do You Donate?


“Saklan does an OUTSTANDING job of teaching to different learning styles. That my second grader can take charge of her learning by choosing which math activity she wants to do, that she can work on it lying on the floor or sitting on a ball, that she does work both independently and with partners and in groups, and that she is learning how it applies to the REAL WORLD makes my heart happy on a daily basis.

And I would be remiss if I did not sing the praises of our specialist teachers. Our kids get to make sugar skulls, engage in hopscotch tournaments and perform on stage in professional settings. And hats off to Mrs. Chaffey – last year I had to bite my tongue. A dear friend’s daughter was saying how at her school concert they were doing Disney songs – and I SO wanted to respond that ‘yeah, we’re playing African drums and singing slave spirituals and the kindergartners are learning songs from the Depression and our whole school is doing songs about perseverance and teamwork and classic country songs’ but somehow I thought that might just sound  a teeny tiny bit snobbish? Maybe? Just a bit? 

I’ve also seen tremendous changes in the Parents Association this year. I LOVE having themed meetings once a month. It really makes me motivated to go! And the blog just seems to be getting better and better and I really appreciated what was said at back to school night: The school could run on tuition alone, you could keep the lights on and pay salaries but that would be about where it ended. That by us parents helping out, our kids get to go on experiences like the working marine biology research ship, to gold country, and to make sugar skulls! And I remember thinking ‘here’s my wallet – help yourself!’

And last for me, I feel that Saklan loves, supports and appreciates my child. Kaylah is a friendly, bright, creative kid but she has her moments. And I feel like at Saklan, every single teacher has taken those moments and rather than do what as a parent I sometimes want to do which is throw up my hands and say ‘Why can’t you be like other kids?!’, they turn around and say ‘Huh – how do we turn this into something positive. How do we help you be a leader? How do we support whatever it is you’re going through? Because it’s what makes you amazing and special.’ And sometimes it’s through meetings with a teacher, sometimes it’s through family groups, sometimes it’s through general conversations at morning meeting, sometimes the solution is a mix of a whole bunch of stuff. But I feel like whatever happens, Saklan’s got my back and they’re there to catch Kaylah when she stumbles and challenge her and reward her and encourage her.”

Tara Nemeth and Timothy Grammer

Kaylah (2nd)