The Walkie-Talkie

Joaquin Miller Elementary School Newsletter, October 2015

Welcome Back Wolverines!

A Message from Principal Green

Dear Wonderful Joaquin Miller Families,

What a fabulous first month of school! I have had the opportunity to witness all of your kiddos in action, and I am so impressed with what I’ve seen and heard! Joaquin Miller students are practicing the Wolverine Way daily, developing their capacity to persevere in the face of challenges, and treating each other the way they want to be treated. I’ve seen students empathizing with their peers and pausing to consider the consequences of their words and actions. Teachers are working diligently to develop our students’ social and academic skills, while also assessing their individual strengths and areas for growth.

Our first PTA meeting was a huge success under the leadership of our PTA Board President, Danielle Morse, and the other PTA Board members. We voted on our annual budget that includes funding of our P.E., library, and computer programs, classroom funds for supplies and field trips, salaries for our teachers’ aides and tutors, and funding for each grade level’s “living history day”. If you haven’t yet joined the PTA, it’s not too late! The PTA’s mission is “To support Joaquin Miller’s community of parents, teachers and staff in their shared goal of enhancing our children’s educational experience by providing resources and opportunities that help all children thrive”. Our Fall giving campaign is nearing its end, and the PTA will continue to accept any and all financial contributions to pay for the above programs. Just place a check made payable to the JMPTA in the green box in the office.

We understand that not all members of our school community can contribute financially. There are other ways to show your support for our school! Get involved! Join a committee! Volunteer to read with students or help out in your child’s classroom! Sign up on Konstella, our school’s communication platform, to stay informed and up-to-date. Come to school events like Family Reading Night and STEAM Night!

We can all support our children academically by showing an interest in what they are learning and by asking them about their daily school experiences. Instead of asking, “What did you do in school today?”, consider asking questions like “What did you do today that you really liked?”, “What did you do in math today?”, or “What book are you reading in class?”. The more specific the question is, the more detailed the response will be. By asking questions and letting your child share, you are communicating that learning is both important and stimulating.

As I reflect on our thriving school community, I am comforted to think that if we were ever to be confronted with a natural disaster like the Valley and Butte fires that have struck our California neighbors, we would all pull together to ensure our community members’ safety and well-being. Several Joaquin Miller parents have come together to generate a toy drive for the victims of the wildfires that have left hundreds of California families homeless. We are collecting monetary donations as well. More information will be forthcoming.

As always, please feel free to reach out to your child’s teacher or myself if you have any questions, ideas, or concerns. I can always be reached via email at

With respect and appreciation,

Mrs. Green

October Dates to Know

  • October 10 - JM Pumpkin Patch Opens - Sign up here to volunteer
  • October 11 - JM Harvest Fair 11am - 3pm
  • October 16 - NO SCHOOL
  • October 22 - Community Dinner & Special PTA Presentation: Common Core Math 101 for JM Parents
  • October 28 - Diversity + Inclusion Committee Meeting 6:30-8:30pm, JM library
  • October 30 - JM Auction ticket prices go up. Purchase yours now!

JM Auction Committee Update

35th Annual Joaquin Miller Auction - Saturday, November 14, 2015

The Joaquin Miller Auction Gala is our biggest fund-raiser of the year! It's an amazing adults-only evening that includes a gourmet 3-course dinner,silent and live auction, dancing and more! Find all auction related information at:


Now on sale at Please buy your tickets early. Ticket prices increase on October 30th!

** Wine Donations Needed**
Donating wine for the JM Auction is an EASY, EFFECTIVE, and FUN way to help generate funds for our school. We are happy to take any offerings (minimum value $20) but are particularly interested in bottles that have “auction appeal” (well known labels, interesting wineries, unusual size formats) or that you simply LOVE to drink yourself!

You can drop donated wine off at JM during the week or we can pick it up at your house. Please email or to let us know it's at the school or where to pick it up. Make sure to include a note with your name, email address, and any interesting details about the wine.

If you’d prefer to shop from home (and save the shipping), we have the solution! This year, we are partnering with Back Room Wines in Napa. Access Back Rooms awesome selection at When you fill out the order form, please make sure to type “JOAQUIN MILLER ELEMENTARY” and “HOLD FOR PICKUP” in the message box on the page with customer payment information. Back Room will email us a copy of the receipt, and we will send you a thank you, so you can ensure we received your donation. If you have questions or want specific recommendations, you can email the owner directly at:
***SPECIAL INCENTIVE**** For each $25 worth of wine each family contributes by October 31, you will be entered in a raffle for a free child’s outing with his/her teacher.

**Check out "Table Hosting"**
Table hosting gives you the opportunity to gather your friends and sit together. Additional perks for Table Hosting include: Early arrival time at 5:00pm. Complimentary glass of champagne. Passed appetizers. First peek at the silent auction offerings (no bidding) and optimum table locations. A limited number of tables are available.

**Pre-order Bottles of Wine and Champagne for your gala table are now available for purchase on the website.**

**Wanted!** JM parent that plays upright jazz bass for "Parisian Night Dinner with Hot Jazz" Auction party. Contact if you fit the bill!

**Volunteer Opportunities** for the auction still need to be filled! Visit Konstella in the general "Signups" area or in your class specific area to sign up!

** Donations for the auction still needed! ** Contact Jenny Edwards with any info or questions about external donations via Konstella or at:

Don't forget to SHOO THE FLU - Click here for info!!

OUSD is offering FREE flu vaccines for all JM students on campus. Sign your permission slip today!

2015 Harvest Festival

Join the JM community in the 3rd Annual Harvest Festival on October 11th 11am-3pm

This is a FUN and FREE event for all families. Games, face painting, and arts and crafts from different cultures all united to celebrate the harvest autumn season.

The Diversity & Inclusion Committee is organizing ride shares to the festival. If you need a ride to the Harvest Festival or would like to offer a ride to another family , please contact Heather Ladov . The Diversity and Inclusion Committee will be working on creating a ride share group on Konstella soon, so stay tuned!

¡Todos están invitados a celebrar el tercer festival de otoño de JM! 11 de octubre 11am-3pm. Este es un evento GRATIS y DIVERTIDO para todas nuestras familias. Con juegos, pintura de caritas, y artesanías de todas las diferentes culturas que celebran el otoño.

El Comite de Diversidad y Inclusión le gustaría ayudar con hacer conexiones de paseo para el Harvest Festival. Si le gustaría un paseo o si quiere ofrecer un paseo a una familia que la necesite, por favor deje saber a Heather Ladov ( Estamos trabajando en hacer un grupo para compartir paseos en Konstella, ya viene pronto!

JM Pumpkin Patch

The JM Pumpkin Patch offers another great opportunity to raise money for JM! On the little yard every Saturday & Sunday 10am - 4pm from 10/10 through Halloween, come on down to have fun, purchase a pumpkin and support JM! Volunteers are also needed to work the patch: Sign up HERE!

Volunteers Needed During Lunch - Especially for 3rd - 5th Graders!

Joaquin Miller has over 400 kids to keep safe during lunch and we rely heavily on parent volunteers. We are most in need of volunteers during 3rd-5th grade lunch Mon & Tue, 12:10 -12:50, but could also use help on Thu/Fri and for for K-2 lunch M-F, 11:50 - 12:30. We prefer if you come on a regular basis, but we can use volunteers who can only come twice a week, once a week, every other week, once a month - whatever you can do!

If you have questions or think you might be interested in this fun opportunity, email Daria Dimitroff at or contact her through Konstella.

Back to School Picnic 2015

Thanks to all who volunteered, contributed and came out to make this such a fun event! Here are some photos from the day:

PTA Update

Thanks to all for starting our school year off with such enthusiasm and willingness to get involved. We had a great PTA Kick-off meeting and would like to spread the word about the following:

  • There will only be 3 more official PTA meetings this school year
  • The PTA will be sponsoring parent educational presentations on the months we don't have meetings - the first one will be on Oct 22nd and the topic will be "Common Core Math 101 for JM Parents"
  • The 2015-16 proposed PTA budget passed!
  • Konstella has over 87% of students represented by at least one parent. Please continue to read those messages.

Here are some things you can do to lend a hand:

  • Join the PTA! Complete the blue "Membership" flyer outside the main office and return it along with your check for $20 to the green PTA box in the office. Or contact us at
  • Donate to the PTA. We are $18,000 shy of what we need to raise for field trips, classroom supplies and to keep our cash flow healthy until the auction event. Please consider making a donation online on the JM Website -
  • Contact your Room Parents for ways to help in the classroom, on field trips and with auction donations.

Come See the Distaff Singers' Annual Show!

Saturday, Oct. 17th, 2pm

12250 Skyline Blvd

Oakland, CA

Come to Skyline High School to see the Distaff Singers' annual show, starring our own Christine McQueen! This fundraiser benefits music programs in schools. In the past JM and other local schools have been recipients. See Ms. McQueen in Room 8 for tickets or go to to purchase online!

Oakland Community Updates

  • Montclair Library Costume Swap: In October, the Montclair Library will be having its annual Halloween costume swap. The date of the swap is still TBA, but they are now accepting donations of gently used costumes--they can be dropped off at the library anytime during regular opening hours.
  • Montclair Branch Library Fall Book Sale: Saturday, October 17th, 10:30 - 3:00
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Contribute to the Walkie Talkie

The next newsletter will be out November 1st! Email with any content or contact Caitlin Murphy through Konstella. Thanks!