Middle School Walkout

On Wednesday morning, our Middle School students participated in their own version of the National School Walkout. To start off the discussion, students watched the below video to set a tone of safety and community before diving in to deeper topics.


The themes that kept arising all relate back to the importance of empathy and kindness and compassion. To be able to listen and show respect to each other, even with differences in values and opinions, is a lesson that many students do not learn in schools. Saklan’s social emotional learning program, coupled with smaller class sizes, give our children a huge advantage when they move out in to the world.

After a moment of silence, groups presented on topics such as gun safety, improving schools in the United States, taking care of each other, and improving our mental health care system.

We are so proud of these students for their honesty, courage, and compassion, and we can move forward with hope about this new generation!



Last year we started the first ever Saklan MATHCOUNTS competition team and it was back by popular demand this year! The MATHCOUNTS Competition Series is a national program that provides students the opportunity to compete in live, in-person contests against and alongside their peers. Created in 1983, it is the longest-running MATHCOUNTS program and is open to all sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade students.

The team is open to any middle school student who wants to work on interesting and challenging problems with other math-letes. Saklan’s team met every Monday and just finished the MATHCOUNTS Regional Competition last weekend!

For more information on MATHCOUNTS, please click here.  We hope to continue to grow our team in the years to come!


News from Geometry

Curious about the height of the tallest redwoods on the turf? The meteor? Olivia used a clinometer to measure the angle from her eye to the top of each object. She also measured her distance from the object and the height of her eye.  Using these measurements and her knowledge of trigonometry ratios, she was able to find the heights. The redwood was 42 feet tall, and the meteor was 13  feet tall. There are so many ways to use math to solve problems in the real world!


First Group Shot

The below essay, by 7th grader Kyle Yasumura, is a great summary of why we choose to spend a week in Oahu every year!

In 7th grade at the Saklan School, the entire class, lead by Mrs Kim and Miss O, fly to Honolulu Oahu and study the wildlife, the culture, and have a ton of fun. But why Hawaii of all places?

The Hawaiian islands are an excellent place to study evolution and adaptation because the ecosystem there is extremely unique, with plants that only grow in tropical areas, or some even in only Hawaii alone. The humid weather, general heat, and limited island space are large factors that really allow some pretty amazing adaptations to be made. For example, because the plants in Hawaii are all very close together, sunlight per plant is very limited, a tree called the Traveler’s Palm adapted to have massive leaves allowing it to absorb as much sun as possible. Or the Banyan tree, a plant that strangles other trees and basically takes its space and sun.

As I mentioned earlier, some species are only found in Hawaii because of some special adaptations that are very specific to the island. And because of that, it gives the class an amazing opportunity to see the full extent of adaptations to a very unique climate. For example, the humuhumunukuapua’a, or, the state fish of Hawaii. The fish has adapted to be able to lock itself into place between rocks as there is a great abundance of coral reefs in Hawaii.

Group walking into forest

In conclusion, Hawaii is a great place for the seventh grade to be able to study/observe evolution and adaptation because of the unique climate, and species adaptations that occur due to the specific environmentanother group


Childhood Pearl Harbor Survivor

1st pick square

The entire Middle School was treated to a talk about the Attack on Pearl Harbor by retired Navy Captain and former Commanding Officer of Pearl Harbor, Tom Marnane.  A big part of the talk centered around the impact the event had on him as an 8-year-old child headed to the bus stop when the first attack on the air base at Wheeler Field took place.  His knowledge of the history of the attack, capabilities of the ships and weapons served to answer the questions of many students.  His story of compassion and perseverance is an inspiration and we are very grateful to him, once again, for sharing his experiences with our students!

News from the Sports Court

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Last Wednesday the Sun’s played against the Grizzlies in a game of basketball.  This was the official start of the 2018 basketball season.  It was a high scoring game and the Sun’s were victorious, 58 to 47.  Come see a rematch at the Tice Valley Gym next Wednesday Feb. 14th @ 5pm!

Pearl Harbor Survivor

Pearl Harbor talk

Please join us on Tuesday, February 6th at 12:30PM to hear childhood Pearl Harbor survivor, Tom Marnane, speak to our 7th & 8th grade classes about his experiences as the young son of a Navy officer stationed at Pearl Harbor on the fateful day of December 7, 1944. Tom is able to offer a unique perspective on this historical event that is especially relevant to our 7th grade students as they travel to Hawaii and study the attack on Pearl Harbor.  It’s a perspective that you have never heard on the history channel or in a history textbook!



Cheer for the Saklan Suns!

Here is the schedule for the upcoming basketball season:

CCJDS vs.  Saklan Wednesday, Feb. 7th @ 4:30pm (Home)

Saklan vs. CCJDS Wednesday, Feb. 14th @ 4:30pm (Tice Gym)

Saklan vs. East Bay Waldorf rescheduled Tuesday, March 27th  @ 4:15pm (El Sobrante)

EBW vs. Saklan Wednesday, Feb. 28th @ 4:15pm (Home)

Saklan vs. The Berkeley School Tuesday, March 6th @ 4:15pm (Berkeley)

Saklan vs. Pacific Boys Choir Thursday, March 29th @ 4:45pm (Home)

Do you have experience refereeing? If you do and would like to help, please contact Mr. Crabtree (ccrabtree@saklan.org).

We hope to see you out there cheering on the Suns!

Field Trip with 3rd & 6th Grades

Damon, Savannah, Bianca.rotated

This past Tuesday, the 3rd and 6th grades went to Valley Vista Staging Area to help EBMUD remove invasive plants. Here are comments from some of our 3rd graders about the trip:

We went to EBMUD on Tuesday, January 23rd. On our field trip I learned how to use these garden tools and to not buy broom from the nurseries because they are invasive and they crowd out the native plants. My favorite part about the field trip was when I got to hold a newt.  – Ines

Lisa with a newt

The third grade class went to EBMUD. We learned that broom is an invasive plant. We got to rip out plants which was very fun. We saw a hawk which was super fun to see! -Savannah

We went to EBMUD on Tuesday, Jan. 23. At our field trip I learned that you shouldn’t buy broom from nurseries because they are not native plants and they are invasive. I liked the field trip to EBMUD because we got to get muddy and help the environment. -Sadie

We went to EBMUD. We went into the woods to take out all of the invasive species called brush. – Danny

We went to EBMUD and we saw a hawk. -Sammy

I learned what broom is and that broom is bad. It was fun using tools. I learned how to use new tools. -Zachary

Alex and Danny

I learned that scotch broom is not a native plant. It was fun to pull the broom out of the ground. I learned how to use new garden tools. -Damon

Going to EBMUD was excellent! I found out how to use these orange tools and trimmers. I also learned that brush is a bad plant. -Alex

Zentangle Ceramic Tiles

The 7th grade had some fun with Zentangles and translated their two dimensional designs into 3D. Using air dry clay, they created high, middle, and low reliefs to convey a sense of depth in their composition. Using color to reinforce depth, the students studied how warm colors advance and cool colors recede in a picture space.