The Walkie Talkie

Joaquin Miller Elementary Newsletter, February 2016

Principal's Message

Dear Joaquin Miller Families,

Every year, teachers, staff members, parents, and fifth graders across Oakland and the rest of California take the California Healthy Kids Survey (CHKS). Our annual participation goal for parents is 35%, however last year 67% of JM parents completed the survey! This survey provides parents with an opportunity to share their opinions of Joaquin Miller School. Your responses are very important to the staff and to me, as they provide us with valuable feedback and insights into how well we are supporting your child(ren) academically and socially.

A paper copy of the survey should have come home with your kiddos, but you can also take the survey online by clicking here. You can complete one survey per child. The survey is completely anonymous, but we need you to notify your child's teacher once you have completed the survey as we need to track survey participation. The paper surveys can be turned in to your child's teacher. All surveys must be completed by the end of February. If you are the parent of a fifth grader, you will need to sign the permission slip that came home with your child for him/her to take the student version of the survey.

Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to complete the CHKS!

Take care,

Mrs. Green

February Dates to Know

  • February 9-12 - JM Library Book Fair
  • February 15 - Presidents Day - NO SCHOOL & No Kids Club
  • February 24 - Spirit Day, BACKWARDS DAY!
  • February 27 - JM TLC Day 8:00am-2:00pm
  • March 12 -Save the Date, JM Joaq-a-Thon

42nd Annual JOAQ-A-THON 3/12/16!

Get ready for our biggest community event and our second biggest fundraiser! Going from 9:30-3:30, (with registration starting at 9) it's a great day, with music, great food and students and their families walking together. You can come for as long or as little as works with your schedule, but don't miss it!

On February 5th your child brought home a packet with detailed information about the Joaq-a-thon and a sponsor sheet for each student. Please help encourage your child(ren) to ask for sponsors- no amount is too small.

A great way to get friends and relatives who live far away to sponsor is to send them the link and instructions for how to donate online. To donate online go to: OR the JM homepage: and click the link in the green square that says '42nd Annual Walkathon'. You will be taken directly to online donations.

Contact Joaq-a-thon Co-Chairs Jen Belmont and Cathy Carr at with any questions.

Principal's Reading Challenge

On 2/1/16 we kicked off our 2nd annual Principal’s Reading Challenge. Principal Green is challenging our students (and staff!) to read 10,000 books as a school between February 1 and March 22. This is not a contest; we're not tracking students individually or awarding individual prizes, just encouraging students to read. A paper copy of the reading log for this challenge has been sent home and students should be tracking books read on the logs and turning them in with their homework. READING CELEBRATION DAY will be held March 23 and we'll have guest readers, assemblies, and reading activities in class.


Below are some critical roles that we need to fill with some SUPER volunteers.

2016-17 JMPTA Board Treasurer: Serve as a JMPTA Board member & manage/maintain records and accounts for the PTA. Contact: JMPTA Board

2016 Auction Chair (or co-chair): Build a team to coordinate our biggest and most essential fundraiser. Contact: JMPTA Board

Talent Show Coordinator(s): Plan and execute a JM student talent show 4/22/16. Contact: JMPTA Board

3rd Grade Parent Green Glove Lunchtime Monitors: Help monitor 3rd graders during lunch as they sort trash. If interested, contact Ms. Williams:

Nominating Committee Members: Help recruit parents to run for 2016-17 JMPTA Board positions. Contact: Cathy Carr

PTA Update

Thank you to all those parents who were able to attend the PTA General Meeting on January 21st. It was a great success and showcase for our 5th graders. The board would also like to give a shout-out to all thank the parents who have been processing matching donations through their employers. Last year, we had $1,317 in Corporate Matching Income. As of 1/15, we have $7,333 in Corporate Matching income! That's 5x as much!

Dad's Club TLC Day - Feb. 27th 8am-2pm

Save the date! More details to come in the next few weeks. Contact Vinay Iyer with any questions/suggestions.

Oakland Cubs Track Team

The Oakland Cubs track team is starting up in February for runners ages 5-13. The team is coached by JM mom Andrea Johnson. Practices are Wednesdays at Joaquin Miller Park and meets are on Saturdays. The focus is on doing your best and being a good teammate rather than competition. Contact Andrea at with questions. Sign ups are open at (search Oakland Cubs).

Photos Needed for the JM Yearbook

The yearbook needs photos you've taken during this year's events and activities!

To submit photos:

1) Send directly to More than 5? Place them in a zip folder.

2) Share to our yearbook Dropbox account:

3) Bring a flash drive or CD to the computer lab between 8 and 8:30 or leave it in the computer lab box in the office.

Questions? Contact, or Mrs. Moore

Volunteer for Other Schools' Auction Nights!

Say thanks to other schools who volunteered for JM's auction night by volunteering for theirs! Put (JM) after your name during sign up so they can identify which school you are affiliated with. Please email if you have any questions.

Chabot March 5th:

Thornhill March 5th:

Montclair March 19th:

Contribute to the Walkie Talkie

The next newsletter will be out in early March! Email content to or contact Caitlin Murphy through Konstella. Thanks!