The Walkie Talkie

Joaquin Miller Elementary Newsletter, May/June 2016

Principal's Message

Dear Joaquin Miller Families,

As I write this final Principal’s message for the 2015-2016 school year, I find myself overcome with emotion. This has been a transformative year of learning for me, filled with too many “firsts” to count! The support and feedback I have received from parents, teachers, staff, and district personnel have been crucial to my success as a first year principal.

Prior to being hired, I was tasked with developing a “transition plan” outlining my goals and action steps in the first 100 days of the school year. One of my overarching goals has been to establish a positive school climate in which all community stakeholders feel included. In order to achieve this goal, I knew I had to be visible on campus, establish open lines of communication with all community members, and not pretend to have the answers to everyone’s questions and concerns. I still have work to do with regard to this goal, but I know we have made great strides this year. I am especially proud of the PTA Board’s organization of our three parent education events, our Loteria Night hosted by the English Language Advisory Council and the Diversity and Inclusion Committee, and this past week’s schoolwide talent show organized by Julia Hollinger and Mrs. Scott. JM truly does have talent!

We still have some exciting events coming up! Our first Family Movie Night has been rescheduled to June 3rd and Field Day, organized by the incredible Mr. L., will be on May 31st. Lastly, we must bid farewell to our AMAZING fifth grade class as they are promoted to middle school on June 7th.

Though I am certainly ready for summer vacation, I am also looking forward to the upcoming 2016-2017 school year! To avoid the “summer slide”, I recommend having your kiddos read daily and keep a journal of their summer adventures. They can also continue to access online learning programs through the Joaquin Miller Student Launch Page throughout the summer.

I hope you all have a wonderful summer break with friends and family!

With gratitude,

Mrs. Green

Upcoming Dates to Know

  • May 17 - Last PTA Meeting and Dinner

  • May 18 - African American Migration Day (4th grade)

  • May 19 - Deadline to buy Summer Scrip cards

  • May 25 - Open House 6-7pm

  • May 26 - Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast

  • May 27 - NO SCHOOL (Kids Club 'Schools Out' Available)

  • May 30 - NO SCHOOL (Memorial Day)

  • June 3 - Family Movie Night

  • June 7 - Fifth Grade Promotional Ceremony

  • June 7-9 - Minimum Days

  • June 9 - LAST DAY OF SCHOOL! Have a great Summer!!!

PTA Update

Thank you to the 2015-16 PTA Board for your countless hours of service to Joaquin Miller. Special thanks to our exiting members - Eric Runge, Hildreth Willson, Meridith Forristal, Holly Kambeitz and Julia Hollinger.

Congratulations and THANK YOU to the newly elected 2016-17 JM PTA Board: President - Danielle Morse, Executive Vice President – Sheila Kopf, Recording Secretary – Shereen Cambra, Treasurer – Gregor Dodson, Financial Secretary – Kristine Kopchik, Membership & Family Engagement – Cathy Carr, Fundraising – Sutapa Balaji, Volunteer Coordinator – Annette Dinsmore, Historian – Pam Boyle, Parliamentarian – Cindy Lawrence.

PTA Celebration/Budget Vote

The final PTA potluck celebration & meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 17th.

Please bring a potluck dish assigned to your last name: A-F – Salads, G-N – Side Dish, O-S – Dessert, T-Z – Main Dish. Be sure to label your dishes & bring serving utensils.

Volunteers Still Needed

We are still desperately looking for a volunteer/s to lead our annual Fall Auction Committee and be the Gala Chair! Please contact asap if you'd like to learn more or volunteer. We need you!!!

JM *Definitely* has Talent!!

Every child was a Star at the JM Talent & Variety Show! Congratulations to all participants on what was a highly entertaining and enjoyable night. Thanks to Julia Hollinger and Mrs. Scott for putting the event together and thanks to the kids for performing their hearts out!

It's Summer Scrip Time! Order by 5/19!

Scrip cards are prepaid gift cards from well-known retailers (e.g. Chevron, Gap, Starbucks, etc.) that you can use instead of paying with cash or credit to make regular household purchases. The deadline to purchase is May 19th. Turn orders into the Scrip Card mailbox in the front office (not the green box!) or email your order/Paypal to Derek Yegian at Order forms are available on Konstella or by contacting Derek. Cards will be distributed first week of June.

JM Science Fair a Huge Success

Congratulations to the following six students whose projects will be on display at the OUSD Science Fair at the Chabot Space and Science Center on May 21st.

  • Dhavin Graham - "The Effect of Age on Reaction Time"
  • Elias Korchin - "Reflections on Solar"
  • Marina Nikolic and Cey Cheney-Holub - "Marine and Cey's Popcorn Experiment"
  • Gillian Schley - "Hydrophic Foliage"
  • Mei Takeuchi & Amelia Lawrence - "Which Liquid Should you Drink When Your Mouth is Spicy?"
  • Sarah Moses - "Non-Toxic Weed Control"

Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast - 5/26

The Joaquin Miller Staff wants to thank all the volunteers who contribute their time and talents to our school by serving them breakfast! Thursday, May 26, 8-8:45 a.m. in the Multipurpose Room. Adults Only, Please - childcare will be provided on the upper and lower playgrounds.

2nd Annual 'JM Open' Golf Event Raises $2k for School

A great group of golfers and some amazing weather came together at the JM Open to raise over $2,000 for the school. Special thanks to all donors: Anne Culbertson Homes, 1515 Restaurant, Linguini's Restaurant, La Calaca Loca Restaurant, Golf Magazine, Jack Spade, SuperStroke, The Golf Mart, Peet's Coffee and Tea, Fleming's Steakhouse, Whole Foods and Montclair Golf Course. If you are interested in playing or helping organize next year's event, please email Ian Groulx at

Montera Middle School Welcome Day for New Students

Montera’s annual Welcome Day is a great opportunity for new students to tour the campus and get all their questions answered. Parents and caregivers may join the tour or stay to chat with administrators to learn more about the TORO community. On Friday, June 3, 2016 from 9:30-11 AM in Montera Multi-Use Room.

Thanks to our GREAT teachers & staff for a stellar year!

Contribute to the Walkie Talkie

Thanks for your great contributions this year! I'll be back in the Fall, so email content over the Summer to or Caitlin Murphy through Konstella. Thanks!