Saklan’s Holiday Toy Drive


The Saklan Student Council is sponsoring a Holiday Toy Drive to benefit children who live in the Iron Triangle in Richmond, California. These children range in ages of 5-15. We are asking that Saklan families donate unwrapped new toys between the dates of December 5-14, 2016. Please bring these unwrapped toys to your child’s classroom. After school on December 14, the Saklan Student Council will collect all toys from each classroom and wrap them.  Gina Baker, a Saklan parent and Board Trustee, will deliver the toys to the Iron Triangle Neighborhood Council. Since we do not want to collect too many toys for one age group, we are asking the following:

Owlets and Hoot Owls: Donate new unwrapped toys for children ages 4-5

Kindergarten-Fifth grade: Donate new unwrapped toys for children ages 6-11

Sixth-Eighth Grade: Donate new unwrapped toys for teens ages 12-15

Thank you in advance for being generous and helping to provide a wonderful holiday experience for a few children!

Building Our Future Together


Thank you to so many of you who have donated or pledged to our Annual Giving Fund campaign so far. We have raised $50,000 to date! Together, our gifts support and build on the exceptional learning our students experience here at The Saklan School.

Over the next couple of weeks, we will be sending out more information about how you can support our students and teachers. Until then, if you’re thinking about your gift now, these are the ways in which you can let us know of your plans:

  • You may donate online at , mail in or drop off a check, give monthly, or make a stock transfer.
  • You can also pledge now and pay in full anytime before April 1, 2017.
  • If your company matches, let us know, so you can double the impact of your gift.
  • If you have questions or would like to speak confidentially about your gift, please contact Carol Goldman, Director of Development, at

Your gifts are important and needed to help us reach our ultimate goal of $150,000. Thank you very much!

Head’s Corner

Dear Saklan Community,

Today I had the pleasure of watching Saklan’s Fall Follies. This is a fantastic and fun event, and like every year, I was astounded by the students’ performances. Their singing, acting and performing was remarkable for their age, and their enthusiasm was infectious. Many of our students are truly in their element when on stage. It is impressive how each and every student was willing to take risks with their performance and showed their inner courage. I commend the students on their excellent performances and the audience on being supportive and compassionate. Mr. Prestianni has done another outstanding job organizing the show, auditioning the performers, and putting together the program. Hats off to Mr. P for putting together this stellar event for yet another year and providing our students with such an amazing learning opportunity.


Thanksgiving is on our doorsteps and this is naturally a time for gratitude. I would like to express my gratitude for the wonderful community that is our school and to the creative, courageous, and compassionate teachers, staff, parents and students that share and work towards our common goals. Please take a moment and think about what Saklan is doing for your children and, if you have not already done so, support our Annual Giving Fund.

Today we officially launch our new website.  Emoke Veres, our Communications Manager, and a team of staff, teachers and parents, have been busy during the last few months designing and putting together the website. Many thanks for all of the wonderful work and creative ideas that have gone into making this an effective and attractive tool for showcasing our school.  Click on and have a look around.

Today is the last day of the first trimester and report cards for K-8 students will be sent home on the Friday after we return from the Thanksgiving break. Report cards are used to validate the growth and progress that each student has made on their educational journey. I encourage all parents to both celebrate the accomplishments that your children have made and reflect upon goals for the next trimester. This will also be a good time to plan to connect with teachers, to discuss any concerns or questions that may have come up as a result of the report cards. All K-8 reports will be mailed home.

Have a great Thanksgiving Holiday, and thank you for being a wonderful and supportive community!!!


Reading at Sisi’s


Last week, the third graders went to Sisi’s Cafe to read their non-fiction books. It was so much fun drinking hot cocoa and reading our books. Activities like these help students develop a love for reading.


Right now, the third graders are “reading to learn” and are practicing high-level concepts like “identifying main ideas and supporting details,” “inferring within the text,” and “cross-text(s) synthesis.” In third grade, students need to do the following to practice cross-text(s) synthesis: “When I read two texts (or parts of a text) that teach about the same subtopic, I can find the information on a subtopic from both texts (or parts of one text) and put that information together” (Calkins & Tolan, 2015). It is good for students to have fun while they are practicing these difficult reading strategies.

News from the Sports Court


The lunch time intramural soccer round robin tournament is in effect. Five lower school teams 1st thru 4th grades are playing against each other during lunch and are currently in the third round. Four middle school teams 5th thru 8th grades started playing each other this week. These tournaments will finish the week we come back from break.

Also The Great Saklan Straw Race winter edition will take place in December! Stay tuned for the date.

Let’s go Saklan!

Sixth Grade Trip to Yosemite


In late October, the 6th grade took off to Yosemite for a week of hands on science, team building, connecting with nature, learning about themselves and becoming more independent. It was one of our best trips ever. Between hiking below Half Dome, climbing through giant sequoias, dancing in the rain and supporting each other when they needed it, I know they won’t forget their Yosemite trip. Here are some of the thoughts from the week away.

In the solo hike, I felt connected to nature when I saw the waterfall and just looked up at it. It was so peaceful because it was so quiet, and I heard no one scream or anything except for the sound of rain and the waterfall. – Devin

One of my favorite moments was probably when we saw that bobcat. It happened with the whole class on the second day or the first. I learned what they look like and that they were fast. I named him Ernie. – Abby

I felt connected to the group and nature in the spider caves. I really had to depend on my classmates, listen and focus to conquer my fears. I also had to be aware of my surroundings. I definitely will remember that moment of the trip. – Ysabel

I felt really connected to nature when my friends and I were hiking around Boystown in the morning. It was so fun hiking over the rocks and having those memories with my friends. – Harrison

One of the motives for going on these types of trips are to be away from our families. It helps us stay on the overnight trips better! – Hudson

I think the spider and bear caves were a HUGE bonding experience. We had to help each other through big challenges. I want us to be able to support each other like that for the rest of the year. – Isabel

California Regions

Fourth Grade is the year of all things California. One of the many things they study is the California’s regions – coast, mountains, central valley, and desert. They are each assigned a region, which they are then required to research and write a report about.

In addition to the reports, they were tasked as a group to take a song of their choice and rewrite the lyrics to tell a story about their region, which is not an easy feat. Each group chose very unique songs and made them informative and entertaining. They performed these songs in front of their biggest fans (their parents) to rave reviews. The Fourth Graders truly rocked the house.