Simply put, middle school is a unique time of change. We recognize that each student has their own learning style which is why we focus on students’ individual needs. Within each classroom, teachers exercise creative approaches in teaching so that each student learns how to learn effectively. Through our small classes, distinctive teacher/student relationships, and genuine concern for each student, we emphasize social and emotional growth through personal relationships, academic excellence through critical thinking, and commitment to community through leadership and extra-curricular opportunities.
Some classes may use techniques as seminar-style discussions; lecturing/note-taking; or facilitating and supervising collaborative, inquiry-based projects for their students, all of which serve to provide students with a strong foundation that will support them as they move forward.
Middle School also requires each student to be an effective and proficient user of technology. Saklan has successfully adopted a 1:1 laptop program allowing our students to expand their world through the opportunities of technology. Each class integrates the use of technology for activities such as note taking, study skills, organization, presentations, and much more.
Ultimately, Middle School is a time to discover. Our students are provided with opportunities to learn who they are, what makes them stand out, and most importantly, who they want to become. Each day is purposely blended with academic challenges and personal growth encounters to keep the teachers motivated and the students focused on reaching their personal best.
Communication and Partnership with Families
Middle School prides itself on effective parent-teacher-student communication and a family-friendly environment. Twice a year, student-led conferences are held to apprise families of their student’s progress and to learn about the academic and social-emotional growth. Each semester our comprehensive report cards provide both letter grades and detailed comments in each subject area. Our faculty has a commitment to communicate with parents by phone, email, or in person if a student’s average falls below 80% in any class.
Field Experiences extend lessons beyond the classroom and truly embrace life-long learning. Students experience a multitude of day trips each year whereby a cross-curricular approach emphasizes learning by doing.
Experiential Education is a student-centered exploration of discovering the answer on your own. It’s more than a week-long field trip. Experiential Education places a student in a more direct relationship with the material, allowing them the opportunity to answer their own questions and make discoveries.
Experiential Education trips include:
• Annual Middle School Advance - 6th-8th
• Westminster Woods - 6th
• Oahu, Hawaii - 7th
• Puerto Rico - 8th
Advisory supports a student’s personal, academic and social-emotional growth throughout their middle school years. Advisory groups meet 4x/week and enjoy both one-on-one student-advisor conversations and also group-wide shared time for student issues and concerns. Students form a special bond with their Advisor and a strong sense of group identity with their fellow advisory members. The Advisor also serves as the key contact for parents concerning their student’s needs and progress.
Learning Period is another way in which we provide support for students at the end of their day (30 minutes 4x/week). Students can start their homework, take a missed quiz or test, work one-on-one with a teacher, or participate in tutoring.
Learning by Doing (LBD)
Learning by Doing or LBD is designed to go in depth with certain subject matter, as well as to allow students to make decisions regarding their own education. LBD classes are mixed-grade (6th - 8th) grade, and held once a week for 45 minutes. Past offerings have included: Weaving, Shakespearean Actors Workshop, Textile Art, Stagecraft, Beginning Dance, Sculpture, Yoga, Cooking, Understanding the Stock Market, Computer Coding and Robotics.
Developing compassion within the students is a critical component of the total Saklan educational experience. Recognizing the importance of cultivating values such as responsibility, compassion, and generosity in our students, we seek to involve them in hands-on service learning activities. The students of Saklan understand the significance their contribution makes to not only a specific organization, but a community, and an individual.