Family Groups


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This month, Family Groups discussed collaboration: working as a team, taking turns, listening to ideas, doing your best, and encouraging others. Students read the book: The Dot, where a girl is encouraged to find out she is actually a great “dot” artist. She ends up encouraging others to find out what they are good and what they bring to the community. Students were then asked to create their own dot with something they are good at and bring to their community. Each family group worked together to build paper and sticky dot towers.

Middle School Advisory Starts with a Fun Activity

For the first two Advisory periods this year, the middle school students were challenged to a special ice-cream contest.

First, they had to think up as many different flavors as they could. These ranged from delicious sounding caramel and cookie dough or all grape skittle ice-cream to the more acquired tastes of Halibut or black olive. After this sustained creativity session, the kids had to think up three or four flavors per advisory that they wanted to make and try.

The next Advisory period consisted of making the ice cream the old-fashioned way, by hand. The middle-school students filled zip-lock bags with milk, sugar, and whatever flavoring they chose to make. They then put these sealed bags in a larger zip-lock with rock salt and ice. After ten minutes of shaking, the milk froze and ice cream was made.

Ms. Shay, Mr. Javier, and Mr. O’Connell helped judge which flavors best fit the four categories, Most Creative, Surprisingly Good, Most Surprising Overall, and Most Courageous.

The winners of ice cream creation contest were:

Most creative flavor – The judges were wowed by this amazing combination, Strawberry basil. It was made with fresh chopped strawberries, basil picked this morning from Lindsay’s garden, and a sprinkling of lemon and lime juice. C’est magnifique!

Surprisingly Good – Danny’s Whole Hog Ice Cream contained no hog whatsoever. It was inspired by a Winnipeg, Canada cater and was a combination of dragon fruit, smoothie, San Pellegrino soda ice cream, mango, and caramelized lemon made separately and then lovingly combined in the exact right percentages.

Most Surprising overall flavor – Canadian Max’s Special – This expertly mixed confection consisted of toasted eggo waffles, real Canadian syrup, and melted butter! Yum!

Most Courageous – This ice cream was the big winner and would have won 3 of the four categories.  BLT ice cream made with homemade bacon, real heirloom tomatoes from Clark’s garden, and fresh lettuce. The Judges raved, “ Wow! That’s good” and “Yum!”

Honorable mention – Spicy Chocolate ice cream was artistically arranged in a Gordon Ramsay type ramekin of ice cream, gently broken cone, and soft, white marshmallow.

Earth Day

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This week, we celebrated Earth Day with a series of activities at school that involved our Family Groups. The program included a presentation by Classroom Safari – an educational and entertaining adventure into the wild. The animal ambassadors shared interesting facts about the animals diets, enemies, and special adaptations that help them survive. The students were excited about learning conservation and seeing animals from around the world. After the presentation, the students in Family Groups discussed what the idea of Responsibility has to do with animals and Earth Day.

Earth Day was organized by our wonderful Science Teacher, Vickie Obenchain, and supports our program of environmental education to make Saklan students aware of the issues that are confronting our planet.

Sighting and Angle of Elevation

In seventh grade Algebra, the students used Slope-o-meter to measure the slopes of inaccessible objects with a method called sighting.

To find the slope of the roof of the building next door to Saklan, the students held out their Slope-o-meter and lined up the bottom edge with the slope of the roof. Then they sketched the slope and recorded their measurement. Thank you for another fun lesson Mr. Zippin!

EF Tours Trip to Iceland


During Spring Break, Miss O and Ms. Parks lead an EF Tours trip to Iceland with 15 participants. It was a beautiful week filled with geothermal wonders – hot springs, volcanic craters, and subarctic fauna. The students traveled to the Gullfoss waterfall, saw the famous black-sand beaches of Vic and the Lava Centre in Hvolsvollur.

Japanese Exchange Students

Yesterday, 15 Japanese exchange students and 2 teachers from Shanon Seminar School spent the day at Saklan!

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In the morning they were paired up with our 7th grade students. Our 7th graders presented PowerPoints about American culture like sports, music, food, etc. The Japanese students then shared family stories/experiences of World War II which tied in perfectly with the 7th grade history curriculum. Both groups participated in a Science class together and ate lunch together.

After lunch, the Japanese exchange students spent time with the Kindergarten and first grade classes, making origami and playing. “This was the best day of the year!” said one enthusiastic first grader at the end of the day!

Hopefully this is just the first of many global exchanges to come to Saklan!

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!