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!


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

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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!