Head’s Corner

Summer Slide

Schools are such funny places, so full of young energy, optimism and a spirit of change, yet so rooted in the traditions and systems of the past. One of those traditions is summer break, which was created to accommodate the needs of an agrarian society. Everything we know about education tells us that 11 weeks off of learning leads to a thing called the “summer slide.”


Summer slide is the term given to the impact of not practicing skills learned over the past nine months. In general, students lose about a month of academic achievement over the summer break – with losses being greater the higher the grade level. Social-economic status also plays a role in this brain drain.

To be fair, most, if not all of our students, engage in learning over the summer – whether it is a trip to the Galapagos, devouring books or attending a camp of some sort.  And much of this learning is experiential, just what we love here at Saklan. Furthermore, “downtime,” play and being just plain bored are also important to our development (our electronic devices have stolen boredom and its associated benefits from us, more on that at another time).

But the skills that are hit hardest by summer slide are those associated with math and reading. In order to address some of this loss of learning, teachers have put together binders with summer work for each student. The work focuses on both math and reading and has been built to reinforce skills that have been learned during the year. As a rule of thumb, there is roughly 20 hours of reading to finish, and 10 hours of paper to pencil type of work. Some of it is creative, and some of it is routine practicing of skills.

This work will be coming home in  binders either Friday or Monday, depending on the class. We will be collecting the work in August on first day back to school. To be most beneficial, most of this work should be spread out over the summer and not done the last week of break. Please take a look at the materials and let us know if you have any questions. We ask for your support in ensuring your son or daughter completes the binders to the best of their abilities. They are designed to set them up for success for the new school year.

Warm regards,



Alumni Highlight

Saklan Alum Helps Build Library in Uganda


Saklan Alumna, Tali Braun, has been spearheading an effort over the past year to build a library for a primary school in Uganda. Tali, a 2015 Saklan grad, was inspired to support the library after visiting Uganda last year. She has been collecting donations in order to construct and furnish the build, purchase books and drive book donations.


Tali was a well-loved community member at Saklan. She was fearless in her willingness to speak up and take a stand for what she believed in. She cared deeply for all those around her, and she was a great role model for every student at Saklan. In 8th grade, Tali served as student council co-president, leading the school with creativity, compassion, and courage.

Tali wrote in her yearbook “Saklan teachers were like finding a gem.” We believe Tali is quite the gem, and we are proud to highlight her project and support her in her humanitarian spirit. For more information about Tali’s project, please click here: HopeForYouth-1-1.

#SaklanCompassionate #SaklanCourageous

Did We Reach 100% Participation in Saklan’s Annual Giving Fund, Yet?

AGF hands hpALMOST! Did you know that each year we ask current families, faculty and staff, trustees, grandparents, alumni families and friends of the school to make a tax-deductible donation to Saklan’s Annual Giving Fund?  It’s true that we’re “Building Our Future Together”!

One of our goals is to reach 100% participation from our current families by MAY 28, 2019. The chart below shows you where your student’s class is towards reaching this goal.


Well, if you haven’t yet, it’s not too late to contribute by MAY 28th. YOU can make a difference and get ALL of us closer to 100% with your gift today!

Not sure how much to contribute? We receive gifts anywhere from $10 to $10,000. Please know that whatever amount that is meaningful and affordable for your family, Saklan is truly appreciative of your gift.

So, if you haven’t contributed yet, we want to let you know that Carol Goldman, our Director of Development, will be calling you over the next week to discuss your participation. If you would like to make a gift before she calls, you can:

  • DONATE ONLINE through our secure site; or
  • Write your check made out to The Saklan School with “Annual Giving Fund” written on the Memo line and deliver it to our office.

If you would like to discuss your gift further, please contact Carol at cgoldman@saklan.org

On behalf of all of us at The Saklan School, thank you very much for all your support.


“There’s a Place for Us…”

On May 17th and 18th, the Middle School students will be performing West Side Story – School Edition at Town Hall Theatre in Lafayette. They have been exploring costumes, dance, vocal music, and acting skills, but have also been doing the vital work of connecting a great work of art to their everyday lives.


West Side Story has become such a vital thread of American pop culture, and the issues that it brings to light exist in current events. Our students spent time this week connecting West Side Story to Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, discussing tragedy and comedy, and making historical connections through the way characters dress, speak, and behave. Each student actor was challenged to think about how they would create a world with no hatred or violence, and what the lyrics in the song “Somewhere” mean to them on a personal level.

In one week, they will take these connections and bring their characters to life on the stage. You won’t want to miss it.

Click here for tickets.


Head’s Corner

If these Dollar Store Buckets could talk…….


They would tell you about motivated 6th grade students who adopted endangered species and ran campaigns to help save each animal.

They would brag about the creativity of each campaign and the excitement that was generated.

They would entertain you with stories about the passionate and committed work on the part of Ms. O.

They would excitedly share with you how they were expecting just loose change to be dropped in their openings but found themselves stuffed with dollar bills (sometimes tens and twenties).

They would smile as they told you about the look on a Kindergartners face when she gave equal amounts to each bucket, and her parent proudly looked on.

They would amaze you with the trust that was present, as money sat out on the table (literally) for days, and no one disturbed it.

They would lecture you that a culture built on creativity, compassion and courage is not easily built and is even harder to keep.

And lastly, they would remind you how lucky we are…..


New Benches On Campus

We have two new wooden benches on campus! The benches were completed as part of Cole Peters Eagle Scout Service Project. Eagle Scout is the highest achievement rank attainable in the Boy Scouts of America. Scouts are required to complete 21 merit badges and one Eagle Scout Service Project. Cole completed his 21 merit badges and decided on making two benches for our school.
The Eagle Scout Service Project gives the scout an opportunity to demonstrate leadership of others while performing a project that benefits his community. He and Mr. O’Connell worked on a design plan together. Supplies were donated by Home Depot. Working with his scout adviser, Cole organized the volunteers and dates for the building of the benches. The volunteers spent about 12-15 hours finishing the benches.
The students have already been enjoying the benches. Thank you for a job well-done, Cole!!

Saklan’s Lighthouse for Education Auction Shines Bright

On March 15, our community came together to celebrate and support our students and our school. There was a lot of excitement about who was there, Saklan75 signature cocktails, legacy baskets, croquembouche and cremant, Kay Long Martin’s famous lemon cheesecake, lighthouse decorations everywhere, and dancing afterwards. Everyone had a great time!

Together we raised almost $50,000 dollars for our Fund-A-Need. We’ll be able to provide all students in every grade with even more opportunities for hands-on academics, deeper experiential learning opportunities, a new van to take them out into the world, and more books in our library collection with an emphasis on diversity.

Our auction was all-around successful, because of the contributions received from many–parent volunteers, student artists, teachers and staff, alumni parents, grandparents, and our first-ever returning alum, Sarah Dey ’12.

Deepest thanks to so many. You are supporting our students, school, and our Saklan teachers who are our Lighthouse Keepers.


Spanish Activity with Exchange Students

Blue Block students brought their Japanese buddies to Spanish class this week. In a collaborative activity, the students shared their thoughts on why it is important to learn a new language and its culture.

“¿Por qué es importante aprender un nuevo idioma y su cultura?”

The students drew images and wrote words in three different languages on their posters: Spanish, English and Japanese. While working with a diverse student body, they were able to gain a more profound understanding of their own culture, values and beliefs.


Third Annual Hula Hoop Contest

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Saklan’s Third Annual Hula Hoop Contest concluded last Friday. We started with twenty participants and after two contests the finalists finished off with a double hula hoop finale. Nine competitors used two hoops.


After about ten minutes there were two people left: Chloe in fifth grade and Jack D. in second grade. The tiebreaker used three hula hoops!


In the end, Chloe was the two hoop champion, Jack was the single hoop champion, and Lilia (third grade) was the no hoop champion. Good job to all those who participated! The contest was a fun way to spend time outside during recess. #SaklanWellRounded

The Great Migration

The Middle School is learning about Jacob Lawrence’s The Great Migration series. Students researched and chose a painting from his 60 panels of work.
The series depicts African Americans from the rural South who migrated to cities in the North due to the lack of social and economic opportunities in the South. The students did a rough sketch of the painting and are finishing the project using a torn paper collage method. #Saklancreative