School Closures Extended Through May 1

Dear Saklan Community,

As you may be aware, seven Bay Area counties, including Contra Costa County, announced on March 25th that they have made a unified decision to extend school closures through May 1st, 2020 in order to slow the spread of COVID-19 to the maximum extent possible. 

The Saklan School will also follow this recommended timeline with the hope that we may be able to return to campus on Monday, May 4th. While we were prepared for this extension, it is still hard to realize we will be off-campus for a longer period of time. Our decision to reopen campus to in-person teaching will be made after carefully considering information provided by county and state officials. Until then, we are prepared to find new and creative ways to stay connected to one another and learn together.

We will be in touch in the coming weeks with more updates. Thank you for your ongoing support and understanding as we navigate this challenging situation. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or concerns. 

Stay Well,

David

#SaklanDistanceLearning

Letter From The Board Of Trustees

Dear Saklan Community,

We hope your family is staying healthy and you are adapting to our new normal. We understand the stress the closure of Saklan and the shelter-in-place order has made on families’ lives. We know that many of you have been juggling working at home, caring for parents, and now you are needed to increase the support given to educating your child.

We also realize that our teachers and staff are going through the same challenges. With that in mind, as the Saklan Board of Trustees, we would like to extend our most profound appreciation to all Saklan faculty and staff for the hard work each has put into making the speedy and smooth transition to distance learning. Moving from an approach of in-person teaching to distance learning has required the reworking of lesson plans and learning several new platforms in a matter of two days. We are genuinely impressed with the pivot.

As a board and as parents, we are so grateful to have such dedicated teachers and staff who bring familiarity and a sense of stability into our students’ lives despite the unprecedented events in this time of uncertainty.

We want to thank them for their unwavering dedication and commitment to our students’ education.

Please stay healthy until we reopen our campus to welcome back our students and community.

Geri Buhl and Toshie Baba

Saklan Board of Trustee 2019-2020 Co-Chairs

#SaklanCompassionate

Saklan Closure / Distance Learning

Dear Saklan Community,

In my letter on Wednesday of this week I mentioned that while the closing of the campus was a remote possibility, it was less remote than the week before. I did not foresee that I would be writing this particular letter two days later, but here I am.

dist lear

As of Monday, March 16th, the campus will be closed in order to keep our students safe as well as help slow the spread of Coronavirus. On Monday and Tuesday, teachers and staff will be training and working to get ready to use distance learning tools. By Wednesday we will begin to deliver our curriculum remotely. While it will look different at each grade level, we will be holding classes remotely and will be expecting students to engage and participate in classes online. We are planning on returning to campus on April 6th after Spring Break.

I realize that keeping students home during the school year is disruptive and can be difficult for families. As a community, I am hoping we can help each other. If you find yourself in a situation regarding child care or anything else, please use our PA Facebook page to reach out for help.

More information from teachers about distance learning will be sent out by Monday. If you have any questions or concerns please contact me.

Warm regards,

David

#SaklanDistanceLearning

Saklan Appoints New ECE Director

Saklan is proud to announce that Hoot Owl Teacher, Traci McMillan, has been appointed as our Early Childhood Director. She fills some pretty big shoes as Mrs. C has stepped aside after 11 years of exceptional leadership.

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Traci became interested in teaching while working with three Bay Area art based non-profits. MOCHA (Museum of Children’s Art), San Francisco Children’s Art Center and Precita Eyes Muralists. She enjoyed how free and uninhibited children became when creating art and was inspired by their creativity, fearlessness, and originality. It was working with those nonprofits that she began to view art as a means for children to learn self-expression and build community.

Traci is not only inspired by children, but by two educational giants, Aristotle and Maria Montessori. Aristotle’s famous quote, “Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.” This is Traci’s guiding principle of the importance of balancing the social-emotional with the academic. From Montessori, Traci takes to heart the fact that when students have a hand in directing their own learning they become independent and collaborative.

Saklan is lucky to have found in Traci an educational leader that is both talented and inspiring. We look forward to many years of her guidance and inspiration.

#SaklanEarlyChildhood

Join Team Saklan Suns For Clean Air

Fight for Air Climb is American Lung Association’s annual community fundraising event. Participants climb up 52 flights of stairs within the Bank of America Center (555 California Street) in Downtown SF. All donations go into American Lung Association’s programs and efforts to reduce nicotine and tobacco use, expand cancer research and educate the community about pollutants.

fight for air climb

The Saklan School is participating in this year’s  Fight for Air Climb on Saturday, March 7th. We are calling all parent and student climbers to join Team Saklan Suns for Clean Air led by Team Captain Ryan Lo (6th grade). If you are interested, please sign up here. Our goal is to have at least 12 climbers to show our strong support for cleaner air and healthier environment.

Here is one student’s take on why he is climbing: “I am climbing 52 flights of stairs on March 7th in honor of my Uncle Doug. Uncle Doug was my hero and told me to never give up.  He was strong, he was positive and he lived life to its fullest. I miss him every day.” – Dashiell H-N (6th grade)

Please consider joining Team Saklan Suns for Clean Air on Saturday, March 7th in San Francisco to show your support for a cleaner environment!  Thank you.

#SaklanSunsForCleanAir

Join Team Saklan Suns For Clean Air

fight for air climb

Fight for Air Climb is American Lung Association’s annual community fundraising event. Participants climb up 52 flights of stairs within the Bank of America Center (555 California Street) in Downtown SF. All donations go into American Lung Association’s programs and efforts to reduce nicotine and tobacco use, expand cancer research and educate the community about pollutants.

The Saklan School is participating in this year’s  Fight for Air Climb on Saturday, March 7th. We are calling all parent and student climbers to join Team Saklan Suns for Clean Air led by Team Captain Ryan Lo (6th grade). If you are interested, please sign up here. Our goal is to have at least 12 climbers to show our strong support for cleaner air and healthier environment.

Here is one student’s take on why she is climbing: “I am doing the climb to honor my grandfather, Al Buhl. He passed away before I was born due to lung disease. I would have loved to be able to meet him in person. I want to climb to raise money to help support better air quality and lung disease prevention.” – Bjerre B. (6th grade)

Please consider joining Team Saklan Suns for Clean Air on Saturday, March 7th in San Francisco to show your support for a cleaner environment!  Thank you.

#SaklanSunsForCleanAir

A Humble Suggestion Regarding Your Child’s First Semester Report

Families of K-8 students received a newly formatted report a few days ago that is meant to help students focus on growth. If you look at the second half of the document you will notice the narrative portion has significant detail sharing your child’s successes and challenges in a particular subject. For many of the reports, there is a section of “next steps” which is meant to help a student focus on at least one area for growth.  

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As a parent, the information is to help you understand your child as a learner, but it is also written for your child. We empower our students when we read through the report together and celebrate the accomplishments while also taking on board the challenges. More importantly, the conversation of areas for growth help to give students agency over their academic life, while also creating a partnership between child, parent, and school. So go ahead and read the report with your child, celebrate the success while supporting the challenges.

#SaklanAcademics

Join Team Saklan Suns For Clean Air

fight for air climb

The Saklan School is participating in the American Lung Association’s Fight for Air Climb on Saturday, March 7th. We are calling all parent and student climbers to join Team Saklan Suns for Clean Air led by Team Captain Ryan Lo (6th grade). If you are interested, please sign up here. Our goal is to have at least 12 climbers to show our strong support for cleaner air and healthier environment.

Here is one student’s take on why he is climbing: “I’m climbing because I don’t think there are enough young people making a difference and showing that they care about air pollution. I want to help raise money for programs and research that will help lessen pollutants including vaping pollutants, chemical pollutants, and industrial pollutants.”Ryan Lo

Please consider joining Team Saklan Suns for Clean Air on Saturday, March 7th in San Francisco to show your support for a cleaner environment!  Thank you.

#SaklanSunsForCleanAir

Alumni Corner

James Rokas started playing guitar the summer before 5th grade when he began taking lessons from Mr. Prestianni. It has been a passion of his ever since!

After graduating from Saklan in 2012, James went to San Ramon Valley High School where he continued playing guitar in Jazz Band all four years. He also broadened his musical interests by playing cello in Orchestra (recommended to him by Mrs. Chaffey) and playing percussion in the Marching Band.

After high school, James decided to follow his passion for guitar and music by pursuing a degree from the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California. As a jazz performance major at Thornton, James has enjoyed performing in multiple ensembles including jazz combo, big band and Afro-Latin jazz. He has also written many jazz big band arrangements.

James R

Another big part of his experience as a student at USC has been as a member of the Trojan Knights, an organization known as the official hosts and guardians of traditions at USC. If you watch college football you may have seen James on the sidelines in body paint cheering on the Trojans!

James

He is currently getting ready to graduate in May with a degree in Jazz Guitar Performance and a minor in Music Industry. After graduation, James is planning to pursue graduate studies at UCLA for Film Scoring and working in the music industry.

#SaklanAlum