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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

Saklan School Pre-K 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 Pre-K children develop strong social-emotional competency to be productive members of a classroom and school community.


A typical day in Pre-K, (including our three-year-old classroom), 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 Pre-K 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.


Pre-K 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, Pre-K children also experience:



Pre-K meets for Spanish three times a week, for 20 minutes. These courses are aimed 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. Our Pre-K students also engage in art projects to help the children draw association to the Spanish material as they speak and create.



Pre-K meets for Music three times a week, for 20 minutes. Music is an important part of our Pre-K 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 Saklan School is a small school campus. The outdoor space is divided into several yards. Physical education classes use the hard surface area the turf space, and the climbing structure.  A smaller yard is used for recess by the pre-school grades and kindergarten exclusively. The Pre-Kindergarten 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, parachute, tug 'o' war rope, sticks and bats. Experience in playing as a group (collaboration and sportsmanship).  Experience outside especially weather conditions and seasons.  Introduction to the sports of basketball, soccer, floor hockey, and other large group games.



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 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, Pre-K children receive optional enrichment classes taught after 2:00 PM including dance, yoga, T-Ball, and soccer


Jessica BJessica Brandt
Pre-K 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. She is currently pursuing her B.A. in Liberal Arts through Chico State's online program. 


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
Pre-K Assistant/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/Extended Day Teacher

Email Maggie


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/Extended Day Teacher

Email Zuly

• Certificate in Montessori Education, Montessori Institute of Advanced Studies

Zuly was born and raised in the Bay Area. She joined the Saklan faculty in January 2020. She has loved working as an Assistant Teacher.

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