Protecting & Empowering Our Children & Youth

The Saklan Parent Association invites you to join them on Thursday, November 10th at 7:00 p.m for the next Parent Education presentation: Protecting & Empowering Our Children & Youth, presented by Kidpower.

All adults in the Saklan community 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.

You don’t want to miss this event; See you on Zoom!


Costume Parade & Dancing

On Monday morning, the Saklan students were very excited to don their Halloween costumes and participate in our annual Costume Parade! The parade route took the students out the admissions door, through the front parking lot, and back to the Sports Court.

The students and teachers waved to the onlookers, as parents cheered and took pictures along the route.

Once on the Sports Court, Grace led the community in some Halloween songs and dancing!

Thank you to all the parents that joined us and cheered the students on. The students enjoyed waving to you and spotting their parents along the parade route!

#SaklanCommunity #SaklanCreative

Catching Criminals

The seventh graders have been learning about DNA. They explored the traits found on DNA, learned about the human genome project to map those traits, and then studied how technology can be used to isolate traits. The seventh graders now understand how technology is used to determine genetic similarities between parents and evolutionary family lines.

The students conducted an experiment to help them understand how criminals can be caught using DNA found at a crime scene. Through the process of gel electrophoresis, students separated colored dyes and tried to find out which colors were more closely related.

Next the seventh graders will learn about genetic engineering.

#SaklanScience #SaklanHandsOn

Visiting Cafe Ohlone

The fourth and third grade classes are both working on projects that are designed to answer their project driving questions:

“Why does learning the whole truth of the CA missions matter?”

4th Grade


“How can we show respect to the people whose ancestral lands Saklan is on?”

3rd Grade

As part of this work, the 4th and 3rd graders had the unique opportunity to visit Cafe Ohlone on the UC Berkeley campus. The students were excited and honored to meet with the owners and founders of the cafe, Vincent Medina (East Bay Ohlone) and Louis Trevino (Rumsen Ohlone), who also both have some Saclan ancestry.

To represent and share the living culture of Ohlone and Bay Miwok people, Vincent and Louis taught the students some words in the Ohlone language and shared some traditional games.

They also talked about the types of local species that are used in their foods, such as acorns, and the process of turning the acorns into flour. The students loved trying some delicious acorn flour brownies and tea!

Our students were very lucky to also get to ask Vincent and Louis questions about what they have been learning in the classroom, and see what they thought about each classes’ driving question for their unit. It was an incredibly enlightening experience for both classes and they are looking forward to using what they learned to help them finish their units!

#SaklanPBL #SaklanFieldExperience

Connecting with Experts

An important part of project-based learning is connecting with experts in relevant fields of study. The sixth grade class had two opportunities to be in conversation with experts in order to help them best answer the driving question, “Who does art truly belong to?” 

They have been learning about ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Sumer through a selection of artifacts. After researching these artifacts and their cultural significance, students have been grappling with the modern arguments around repatriation of ancient artifacts. To where do these pieces truly belong?

On October 31st, the sixth graders interviewed Director of School and Family Programs at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Emily Jennings, via Zoom. She helped students understand perspectives, constraints, and considerations of large encyclopedic museums that hold ancient artifacts in their collections.

To follow up that conversation, students met with Dr. Aaron Brody, archeologist, Professor of Bible and Archaeology, and Director of the Badè Museum of Biblical Archaeology in Berkeley, on November 2nd. The sixth graders got to hold ancient artifacts and engage him in larger conversations around the laws and ethics of excavations as they seek to understand the circumstances under which the artifacts they have been researching were collected. 

#SaklanGuestExperts #SaklanPBL

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!

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