The Walkie Talkie

Joaquin Miller Elementary Newsletter, April 2016

Principal's Message

We have several busy weeks ahead of us with state testing, several community events, the JM Science Fair, and living history days. The third, fourth, and fifth graders will be taking the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress, sometimes referred to as the SBAC. Your child’s teacher should be providing you with a testing schedule for the coming weeks. We ask that you feed your kiddos a healthy breakfast and ensure they get plenty of sleep throughout the testing window. Also, please do not schedule any doctor’s appointments or other events that will take them away from school during this time.

The third, fourth, and fifth grades also have their Living History Days coming up. The fifth-graders have American Revolution day on April 13th. The third-graders have Rancho day on April 20th. The fourth-graders have African-American Migration to California Day on May 18th. All three of these events require additional support form parent volunteers to make them successful. Please consider joining in on the fun at these events!

The month of May will include numerous community events! Would you like to share your business or profession with JM students? Consider taking part in Career Day on May 13th. Flyers will be coming home with your kiddos. May 13th is also Asian Pacific American Literature Read-In Day and we are looking for volunteers to come in to read books to the students. Please email me if you are interested. Nina Senn, Vice President of the School Board, will be reading to a few classes and attending the career fair as well! We will have Grandparent’s Day on May 11th. On this day, students can invite their grandparents to come in and read stories in their classrooms.

These are just a few of our upcoming events, so please check Konstella and to keep up-to-date on all of our events!

Upcoming Dates to Know

  • April 19 - PTA Meeting & Community Dinner
  • April 20 - Rancho Day (3rd Grade)
  • April 27 - JM Science Fair 5:30-7pm
  • May 6 - JM's Got Talent Show 6:30-9pm
  • May 7 - JM Spring Fair
  • May 11 - Grandparents Day
  • May 13 - Asian Pacific American Literature Read-In

PTA Update

- Thank you to our Joaq-a-Thon coordinators, Cathy Carr & Jen Belmont for bringing students and families together for a fun and incredibly successful event!

- We need volunteers for three essential 2016-17 PTA board positions: Treasurer, Financial Secretary and Executive VP. If interested, email:
- We will vote for the 2016-17 board at our 4/19 community dinner and PTA meeting. This is a huge opportunity to voice your opinion - potentially large decisions will be made as a result of discussions in this meeting, so don't miss it! Nominees for the 2016-17 Board are: President: Danielle Morse, Exec. VP: OPEN, Treasurer: OPEN, Recording Secretary: Shereen Cambra, Financial Secretary: OPEN, Membership & Family Engagement: Cathy Carr, Fundraising: Sutapa Balaji, Volunteer Coordinator: Natasha Desai, Pam Boyle, Annette Dinsmore, Historian: Kristine Kopchik

JM Science Fair - 4/27

The annual JM Science Fair is here! Participation is mandatory for 4th and 5th graders and encouraged for K-3! Top projects from our Fair will be displayed at the OUSD Science Fair at Chabot Science and Space Museum May 18th! The JM Library has a binder of experiment and project ideas and science fair books. The Library home page also has links to project ideas.

JM’S GOT TALENT!!!! Talent & Variety Show 5/6

The PTA, Principal Green and 5th grade teacher Ms. Scott announce JM’S GOT TALENT, an all-grades talent and variety show! 55 acts and 75 students will be participating and we’ll be running practices over the next few weeks. The show is set for 5/6, but we may be adding a 2nd night! If you want to volunteer email:

Principal's Reading Challenge Success!

During the reading challenge, the JM community logged over 10,370 books and had an enjoyable day of reading activities. Poet/musicians Michael DeWall and Pete Elman, and author Jennifer Lynn Alvarez presented assemblies, guest readers visited classrooms, and teachers did special reading activities to make stories and reading fun!

Order Your Joaquin Miller 2015-16 Yearbook

Go to to order your yearbook. if you’re new to TreeRing, use this passcode: 1012869977723486 to create an account. The yearbook team is in the computer lab any Tuesday, between 3-4:30 if you need help. DEADLINE FOR ORDERING & CREATING CUSTOM PAGES IS MAY 6!

Healthy Kids Running Series

The Healthy Kids Running Series coordinated by JM mom, Andrea Johnson, is a supportive, encouraging race series aimed at getting kids active. Ages 2-8th grade are encouraged to race and the race series will be April 10, 17, 24 & May 1, 15. Registration is open, sign up today at:

Montclair Library Book Art and Craft Contest

Create something new and interesting from an old book in honor of National Craft Month! Ask at the library for an old books to use, then enter your art piece by 4/30. More information at: or contact Children's Librarian Sally Engelfried at (510) 482-7810

Auction Party Thank You - Lost in Translation

Thanks to hosts the Kissum, Levine, Franzoia/Cox, Morse, Pincus/Gallagher, Romero and Rutherford families for an incredible Lost in Translation auction party! The LiT gathering features an extraordinary setting, outstanding sushi, and some serious karaoke. This year the power went out, but the show went on! Thanks to all who participated!

Contribute to the Walkie Talkie

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