The Saklan School

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Early Childhood

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Preschool & Pre-K at Saklan

A young child’s best learning tools are their head, hands, and heart, as they examine the world around themselves, discover the world inside themselves, and master the skills that are the building blocks for the future.

 

At The Saklan School, we follow the whole child approach to learning. Each child deserves to be healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged. We accomplish this through a holistic approach to development and education: hands-on, cooperative play and thoughtfully designed activities that stimulate the mind and provide socialization opportunities.

 

Students play as Dinosaurs

The Saklan School offers small class sizes with a low teacher:student ratio, so our teachers can nurture each child as an individual. Our teachers act as guides, scaffolding a child’s growth by interacting with them as they explore. Children are encouraged to learn through their curiosity, make connections to the world around them, and be a part of the learning process. Immersed in a warm and caring educational environment, our Preschool and Pre-K children develop strong social-emotional competency to be productive members of a classroom and school community.

 

A typical day in our Early Childhood program is designed to transition children through guided activities that support their development and challenge their growth. Our monthly themes allow teachers to help children build on developmental changes by exploring more abstract curriculum units, such as:

 

  • All About Me: 5 senses
  • Health and Nutrition
  • Fall
  • Reptiles
  • Holiday Celebrations
  • Winter
  • Pond Life
  • Friendship
  • Sea Life
  • Space
  • Seeds and Planting

 

Our Early Childhood program introduces the building blocks on which our elementary program is constructed and prepares your child for success throughout their educational journey: kindergarten, elementary school, and beyond. We encourage individual growth in each curriculum area from reading to math, and social studies to science. We nurture each child’s developmental timetable to ensure successful discoveries, a love of learning, and a strong sense of self-esteem.

 

Early Childhood Program Details

The Saklan School has a three-year-old classroom and a four-year-old classroom. Both classrooms include a five-day, full day program, 8:30AM - 2:00PM with extended day available from 7:45AM - 5:30PM.

 

Girl holding up her self portrait

In addition to the core curriculum, Preschool and Pre-K children also experience:

 

Spanish

Spanish classes aim to be fun and serve as a gentle introduction to foreign language, taught with an emphasis on interactive activities, stories, songs and games that are used to introduce vocabulary and commonly used phrases in Spanish. Students also engage in art projects to help the children draw association to the Spanish material as they speak and create.

 

Music

Music is an important part of our students’ education at The Saklan School. We invite the children to experiment with different instruments, experience different styles of music, and introduce them to elements of live performances.

 

Physical Education

Scientific studies show that sustained vigorous movement is essential for optimal brain development. To promote student movement, time for recess is provided daily, and physical education class meets several times a week. The Early Childhood focus for physical education is as follows. Sustained motion such as run, walk, dash. Introduction to the larger yards. Exploration in ways of movement while changing levels, low to the ground changing to above the ground (climbing and jumping). Exploration of manipulation of objects such as: balls, hula hoops, jump ropes, bean bags, a parachute, tug 'o' war rope, sticks and bats. Experience in playing as a group (collaboration and sportsmanship). Introduction to the sports of basketball, soccer, floor hockey, and other large group games.

 

Library

Preschool and Pre-K students take part in weekly school library visits. These visits allow young students to explore a world of books and see how reading serves their learning journey.

 

Field Experiences

Our field experiences offer unique opportunities to our Preschool and Pre-K students. Visits to Moraga Community Garden, MOCHA (The Museum of Children’s Art), Crab Cove, Heather Farms, the zoo, fire station, offer young minds educational experiences that connect classroom learning to the world outside of the classroom.

 

Optional Enrichment Classes

In addition to the core education classes, children receive optional enrichment classes taught after 2:00 PM including dance, yoga, T-Ball, and soccer

Teachers


Jessica BJessica Brandt
Preschool Teacher

• ECE Basic Teacher Certificate, Butte College

 

Jessica was born and raised in the Bay Area. She is the oldest of 7, which contributed to her love of caring for young children. Jessica first joined The Saklan School in the summer of 2013 as a Camp Saklan counselor. In 2014, she returned to Saklan full time.

 

When she is not working, Jessica enjoys playing on a softball team and following her favorite sports teams: SF Giants, SF Forty Niners, and Golden State Warriors.

 

TraciTraci McMillan
Pre-K Teacher/Early Childhood Director

   • B.A. UC Santa Cruz

 

Traci was born and raised on California’s Central Coast. She developed a love for art, dance, theater and community building at an early age. Traci received her Bachelor’s degree in Community Studies from the University of California Santa Cruz.

 

She has worked closely with young children for over a decade. Traci was inspired to pursue a career in Early Childhood Education while working with several Bay Area non-profit organizations including, The Museum of Children’s Art, The San Francisco Children’s Art Center and Precita Eyes Muralists.

 

She is thrilled to bring her love of art, nature, and social justice to the Saklan community!

 

 

 

ErinErin DeMoss
Preschool Assistant/Music Specialist/Extended Day Teacher

Erin was born and raised in the Bay Area. She has 1 sibling and the world's cutest dogs, Rambo and Scarlett. Erin joined the Saklan faculty in 2018. She loves working as an Assistant Teacher. Erin is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree and Pre-K teaching credential.

In her free time, Erin enjoys spending time with her family, going to the dog park and watching Golden State Warriors.

 

 

 

Maggie Kwong Profile PhotoMaggie Kwong
Pre-K Assistant/PE Specialist/Extended Day Teacher

B.A. CSUEB

ECE Basic Teaching Credential, Merritt College

 

Maggie has an AA in Psychology from College of Alameda and a BA in Human Development with an emphasis in Early Childhood Development from CSU East Bay. She was born in China, moved to Oakland, CA when she was just 6 months old, and grew up in the Bay Area. Maggie received her ECE teaching credentials from Merritt College. In the future, she plans on getting a MA in Education and Multiple Subject Teaching Credential.

 

When she’s not working, Maggie enjoys playing video games, reading, making art, and spending time with family and friends.

 

 

Zuly ZarateZuly Zarate

Pre-K Assistant/Spanish Specialist/Extended Day Teacher

Email Zuly

• Certificate in Montessori Education, Montessori Institute of Advanced Studies
 

Zuly was born and raised in the Bay Area. She is Montessori trained and has several years of experience working with three and four year olds. She joined the Saklan faculty in January 2020, and has been enjoying helping the youngest Saklan students discover a love of learning since then!

In her free time, Zuly enjoys reading, crafting and spending time with her family and dogs.

 

 

Philippa LorimorPhilippa Lorimor

Preschool Assistant/Extended Day Teacher

Email Philippa

 

Philippa joined Saklan’s Early Childhood team in 2022 as an assistant in the Preschool classroom. Philippa has been a preschool teacher for almost a decade and is focused on building connections with students to strengthen engagement and help them reach their full potential. 

 

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