Head’s Corner

Dear Saklan Community,img_8636.jpg

In this past week, there has been a full calendar of activities and events at Saklan. It started last Friday with the very excellent Spring Arts Festival. Hundreds of works of art were put on display throughout the Saklan campus and included work from every student in the school. The diversity, creativity and quality of the art produced this year has been highly impressive and a testament to the work of our art teacher, Natalie Palms. Many thanks to Miss Palms for organizing the Art Festival, and more importantly for inspiring the students to produce such great works of art. Also, thanks to Mrs. C and Miss Amanda for contributing art from the PreK. Please look for an ongoing display of the art on our video monitor in the entrance way. Part of the events surrounding the Art Festival was a scavenger hunt, which resulted in a whirlwind of student movement and engagement in finding the various details contained in the art pieces. This morning we had a drawing for students that completed the scavenger hunt with winners receiving prizes of art supplies.

The Art Festival was immediately followed by the Family Fun Night. This event, which has now become a Saklan tradition, lived up to its name as there were lots of families and it was FUN. With our new sound system, a great movie, warm summer weather and a wonderful BBQ, this was a great way for Saklan families to spend a Friday evening on campus. Many thanks to the Student Council for organizing some fun games and to the Parents Association for organizing the movies and the BBQ. A special shout once again to Jenny and Mike Choi for providing the delicious barbecued pork.

This morning, our Parents Association organized a talk by Vickie Obenchain and Kim Parks. Vickie shared her field experience in working at a school in Senegal. This was the culminating activity in her program with Teachers for Global Classrooms. Vickie’s presentation was followed by Kim Parks, who summarized the work done this year by our curriculum review committee in reviewing and revising our reading program.

All week long, our middle school students have been feverishly rehearsing for their production of The Addams Family at the Town Hall Theatre in Lafayette. This morning at Flag, 8th grade student, Skylar Wolff, gave us a little taste of the show by singing one of the songs called “Death is Just Around the Corner.” This was indeed a tasty morsel and everyone is now eagerly looking forward to seeing the show which goes on stage both tonight and tomorrow night.

This coming week, we look forward to our Book Fair which runs from May 23rd to 25th. In collaboration with Orinda Books, we will have two author visits to Saklan. Grades 3 to 6 will get to meet Mr. Armand Baltazar. Mr. Baltazar is the author of a new epic fantasy adventure book called Timeless: Diego & The Rangers of the Vastlantic. He has been an art director with both Pixar and Disney. Director Ridley Scott recently purchased the movie rights for this book series. Mr. Steve Goetz will speak to our students in Pre-K to grade 2. Steve will read aloud his newest book, Old MacDonald Had a Boat, as well as his original book Old MacDonald Had a Truck that garnered a starred review which stated, “The MacDonalds and their farm-animal crew return in a rollicking new adventure to transform an old fishing boat into a slick speedboat. Large, colorful spreads provide lots to look at, inviting readers to slow the song down, building suspense. A delightful way to reinforce cooperation in getting a job done while having fun.”

 Next Friday we will be holding a morning coffee for parents in Pre-K to 1st grade to discuss the staffing transitions planned for the upcoming school year. This coffee is open for anyone interested in participating.

Have a great weekend.


Spirit of the Old West

 Our third grade class went on a field trip to the Blackhawk Museum on Thursday, May 10 to see the Spirit of the Old West exhibit. This exhibit is dedicated to presenting a balanced narrative of both Native Americans and American Settler – depicting their challenges, their successes and failures, their ways of life. Since our two main social studies units in third grade are about Native Americans and Pioneers, this was the perfect field trip to complement our studies. We saw many of the animals that roam the plains and mountains, many artifacts from Native Americans and Pioneers, a life size replica of a covered wagon, and a very large miniature diorama that tells the story of the settlement of the western plains. The students’ favorite activity was spinning the “wheel of death” to learn about the many ways the Native Americans and Pioneers might have died since life back then was much harder than it is today. We also got to tour the auto museum and get a VIP “sneak peak” at an upcoming exhibit still being built.
Many thanks to Keely Dreisbach for organizing and coordinating this amazing field trip for our class!

Spring Arts Festival

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The Art Festival was an absolute blast! The students were so proud to showcase the artwork they worked so hard on. Each student displayed 4-5 projects made throughout the year. During school hours, K-8th participated in a scavenger hunt to find the answers within the artwork. The winners were announced at Friday Flag this morning!

2018 Volleyball Season

Come check out the Suns in their final two volleyball games of the year!

Saklan Suns Volleyball Team Fifth Grade thru Eighth Grades

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Tuesday, May 22nd at 4:30PM  –  Saklan vs. Ecole Bilingue  away (901 Grayson, Berkeley)

Wednesday, May 23rd at 4:15PM  –  Saklan vs.  EBW away (3800 Clark Rd., El Sobrante)

Let’s go Saklan!

Invitation to a Morning Coffee


Following the Blog announcement this past Friday regarding the retirement of Mrs. Schofield and the changes in teaching assignments in Kindergarten, Pre-K and 2nd grade, we would like to invite parents from the Owlet, Hoot Owl, and First and Second Grade classes to an information coffee on Friday, May 25th to outline the transition process and the search for a new Hoot Owl teacher. On hand for this coffee will be Mrs. Schofield, Mrs. Prizeman and Mrs. Catanzarite to share with you the collaborative work that is being done and to answer any questions that you may have.

The coffee will take place right after Flag in the library.

Head’s Corner

Dear Saklan Community,


As we rapidly approach the end of this school year, I would like to share some important staffing news with you for the next year. First of all, I must announce the retirement of Carol Schofield after teaching 2nd grade at Saklan for these past 20 years. Retirement is naturally a great achievement and just reward after a long and successful career of teaching, and thus an event of joy and celebration. For Saklan, however, it represents the loss of one of its most accomplished and respected teachers. Having spent countless hours in the 2nd grade class, I can truly say that Carol is one of the most competent and creative teachers that I have worked with in my career. Saklan has been very fortunate to have had her services for these past 20 years.

There is, however, a silver lining to this announcement in that moving into 2nd grade for next year will be Yette Prizeman, who has been our Kindergarten teacher these past two years and whose previous experience was in the lower elementary grades. Having Yette take over 2nd grade will ensure for a smooth and seamless transition for next year. The open Kindergarten position will be taken over by Karen Catanzarite, our Hoot Owl teacher and Early Childhood Director. Prior to her work in the pre-kindergarten, Karen taught Kindergarten for 10 years and thus is more than qualified for this role.

SASTA-AshleyJenningsWe will also be saying goodbye to Ashley Jennings who has been with us for two years as an assistant teacher in the preschool and Kindergarten, and teacher in the extended program. Ashley will leave Saklan to finish her teaching credential. In light of the outstanding work and talent that Ashley has shown at Saklan, I would not be surprised to see her back in the near future in a teaching role.

SASTA-ChristineKuckukAlso leaving Saklan, after being in our community for many years, will be Christine Kuckuk, our Director of Marketing. Christine’s efforts in crafting, refining and promoting the Saklan image has helped establish the outstanding reputation and visibility that Saklan has today in the Lamorinda and surrounding areas. Our congratulations, mixed with a bit of envy, to Christine and her family on their move to the ever beautiful Lake Tahoe region.

This Saturday, May 12th is the date of the Moraga Community Faire and Car Show. Saklan will again have a booth at this fun event. Please drop by and say hello!

Have a great weekend!


Writer’s Celebration

Fifth graders had their Writer’s Celebration this week. Students shared their published stories as a culminating activity of their best fifth grade stories. Students worked together in writing clubs and with their peer editors to revise and edit each other’s stories. Many of the writing elements students learned were: creating interesting story leads, sensory words, interesting vocabulary, repetition, figurative language, “said” is dead, and character development. The published stories were illustrated and bound into a keepsake book. Way to go authors!!!


Moraga Rotary Field Day

On Wednesday, May 9th, The Saklan School sent seventeen athletes to the annual Moraga Rotary Field Day. This is always a huge event with all the third, fourth, and fifth graders in Moraga competing in six different events. We had two medalists this year. Sadie in third grade won bronze in the super sack race, and Sammy in third grade won the gold in the spectacular soft ball throw.
Good job to all the competitors!