California Missions

The students have been studying, researching, and writing about missions as part of their study of California history. The class worked in groups and they used all of this knowledge to create, design, and build four new missions for the California mission chain. As many of you know, the missions are primarily located along the coast, but to change things up a bit, the students were tasked to create their missions in a specific region of this great state. The students used science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM). They had to construct a mission model, create a back story about their missions, and draw a composite map representing the mission.

The final part was presenting these masterpieces to their parents. The presentations were engaging, informative, and fun.

Second Grade Bake Sale


The second graders are hosting a bake sale on Thursday, March 2 from 2:30-3:30PM in the Hoot Owl room. We are raising money for Guide Dogs for the Blind. Later in the month members of the Contra Costa County Guide Dog Raisers will be bringing some four legged friends to meet us. We will then present our donation. Please come to our bake sale and support this worthy cause.

Save the Date!


Annual Concert

Motown, Funk and Soul Music

Thursday, March 16, 2017


Lesher Center for the Arts

Grandparents and Special Friends Day

Friday, March 31, 2107

10:00AM – 12:00PM

We hope you join us!

Head’s Corner

Dear Saklan Parents,

We are in the midst of the enrollment season for next year and many parents have been thinking a lot about the best path for their children’s education.  A parent has recently asked me to summarize our our Lower School’s academic program and goals, so I thought it might be useful to share this with you in the blog this week.  Next week, I will write about the Middle School program.


The way that I think about our Lower School program is that it goes above and beyond academic excellence. With academic excellence being at the core of the Saklan Lower School curriculum, we offer a program that is rigorous and developmentally appropriate, and at the same time supportive and individualized. The Lower School academic program provides a strong foundation of concepts and skills in the core subject areas of reading, writing, mathematics, social studies, and science. To this end, our teachers use a variety of instructional methods, mixing direct instruction, independent practice, hands-on learning, inquiry, cooperative group work, and individualization to help our students develop a deep knowledge base and a solid foundation in thinking and reasoning skills.

In addition to establishing a solid core academic foundation from Kindergarten onwards, we enhance the learning experience for our students with specialist classes in art, music, physical education, information technology, and Spanish as a world language. In all subject areas, our teachers provide dynamic and innovative lessons through integrated units, hands-on activities, simulations, field trips, student projects, and differentiated instruction to meet the needs of all students.

At Saklan, our goal is to go above and beyond academic excellence. Our small class size allows our teachers to support individual learning styles, fosters a high level of student engagement, and permits each student to take risks and develop a strong sense of self-confidence. The Saklan mission infuses the classroom environment with students constantly encouraged to be creative, courageous, and compassionate with each other and the world around them. Developing leadership skills and learning effective study habits, helps students prepare for the academic expectations ahead.

In the Lower School, we provide many opportunities to support our student’s social, emotional, and ethical development. Our SEL (Social Emotional Learning) program fosters a deep understanding of themes, such as respect, honesty, empathy, perseverance, collaboration, and gratitude. Social and emotional themes are addressed in classroom, in weekly assemblies, and on the yard at recess. Mixed grade level “Family Groups” led by eighth grade students meet regularly to extend this work, develop caring and supportive relationships, and create a true sense of community at Saklan.

In our Lower School program, we are deeply committed to helping our students explore their creative potential across all the disciplines. We offer many opportunities for each student to develop presentation and communication skills. Annual concerts and musicals, as well as art exhibits which involve every student, add an element of excitement to the academic program. Field trips and experiences outside of the classroom make learning dynamic and connected. At Saklan, we feel that academic excellence is only the starting point of what we offer in the Lower School.

As you know, today is the deadline for the early enrollment discount and I hope that you will take advantage of this. Please contact me with any questions or concerns that you may have and I will be happy to get back to you immediately. If by chance, you have forgotten about the deadline, note that we will honor the early enrollment discount for contracts returned before 8:30AM when school re-opens on Tuesday.

Have a great long weekend,


An Evening In Old Hollywood Awaits YOU!


Awww. Applesauce!  We haven’t received your RSVP, yet!

Bring your Daddy. Bring your Doll. Sample the giggle water. Beat your gums with friends and teachers. Together, we’ll raise the roof while we raise money for our students.

There are only 10 more days to buy your tickets for our glamorous Evening In Old Hollywood. Please drop off your replies to the office or RSVP online by clicking HERE.

Spend that dough! Get on the trolley! We’ll all have a ducky time because you’ll be there on March 4. And how!

Gung Hay Fat Choy!


Last week, the second graders went to Chef Chao in Moraga to celebrate Chinese New Year.

Great food and great conversation. It was a wonderful experience enjoyed by all.

We Love Our Buddies!

This week, Kindergartners worked with their third grade buddies exploring, gathering and charting their candy information. They love working and collaborating with their buddies, and learning through talk. Sadly, no candy was eaten. 😉

Head’s Corner

Dear Saklan Parents,

Following two weeks of almost constant rain, we finally had enough of a dry spell to hold Flag this morning. During Flag, we presented a check for $782 to Kevin Reneau, President of Rotary Moraga, in support of the All-Access Playground Project in Moraga Commons. The Rotary is the organization promoting this project, which ensures all children have access to playground structures, and has raised over $200,000 from many local community organizations and businesses. Our donation was the result of three bake and hot chocolate sales last month. A big thank you to the many parents, faculty, staff, and students that worked together to support this worthy endeavor.


In a few weeks, we will have our annual auction and as I mentioned in a previous blog, the Fund-A-Need proceeds will go directly towards enhancing our Science Program. The first goal will be to redesign and renovate our current science classroom to better facilitate STEM activities and collaboration. We also aim to incorporate newer technology and purchase equipment, such as digital microscopes with projectors, 3D printers, and STEM related building kits and activities. Future ongoing plans will be to send teachers to related educational conferences and adding more in depth STEM & design and coding projects. Our talented science teacher, Ms. Vickie Obenchain, is thrilled by this opportunity to take our current science program to a whole new level and further inspire and prepare our students for the future.

In the spirit of setting our sights high and in reflecting on what is made possible through collaboration in science, engineering, technology, and math, we are excited to be able to offer our donors at $10,000 or above, an absolutely priceless archival quality personalized, signed, and framed print of the iconic “Earthrise” photo taken by Saklan grandfather, astronaut Bill Anders on the historic Apollo 8 Mission in 1968. Our sincerest thanks to the Anders family for making this amazing gift possible. Please come to the auction on March 4 to have some fun and help us bring our science program to another level.

Have a great weekend,