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Early Childhood


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 show their kindness spots

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. Emergent units of study allow teachers to help children build on developmental changes. Recent curriculum units have included:


  • All About Me: 5 senses
  • Health and Nutrition
  • Fall
  • Reptiles
  • Holiday Celebrations
  • Weather
  • Volcanoes
  • Friendship & Kindness
  • Sea Life
  • Space & the Planets
  • 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 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 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. 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.



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.






Maggie Kwong
Pre-K Head Teacher & Early Childhood Director


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.

ErinErin DeMoss
Pre-K Teacher/Music Specialist

Erin was born and raised in the Bay Area. She has one sibling and the world's cutest dogs, Rambo and Scarlett. Erin joined the Saklan faculty in 2018, and has taught in both the Preschool and Pre-K classrooms during her time here. 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 the Golden State Warriors.




Zuly ZarateZuly Zarate

Pre-K Teacher

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• 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 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 Teacher/PE Specialist

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Philippa joined Saklan’s Early Childhood team in 2022 as an assistant in the Preschool classroom. She has been teaching young children, from infants to Pre-K, for almost a decade, and is focused on building connections with students to strengthen engagement and help them reach their full potential.

When not teaching, Philippa enjoys making new things, including paper, book binding and water painting. She also enjoys learning about local bay area plants and mushrooms, and enjoys teaching herself how to play the harp! Philippa is a lifelong learner, and always enjoys sharing what she learns with her students, other teacher and friends!


Linda HauklandPicture of Linda

Preschool Teacher/Extended Day Teacher

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Linda joined Saklan’s Early Childhood team in 2023 as an assistant in the Preschool classroom. She brings over 20 years of experience teaching young children and delivering after-school programming. Linda is committed to creating a nurturing environment where children can grow, learn, and thrive. Linda loves to share her joy of exploring science, art and music and movement with her students.



Victoria Kirby-DuranPicture of Victoria

Preschool Teacher/Extended Day Teacher

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Victora joined Saklan’s Early Childhood team in 2024 as an assistant in the Preschool classroom. She was born and raised in the Central Valley and moved to the Bay Area when she was 10 years old. Victoria is a dedicated preschool teacher with many years of experience in nurturing young minds. She is driven by her love for education and commitment to providing the best learning environment for her students.

Beyond the classroom, Victoria finds joy in reading, exploring various forms of art, traveling and cherishing moments with my family and friends.