The Walkie Talkie

Joaquin Miller Elementary Newsletter, January 2016

Principal's Message

Dear Wonderful Joaquin Miller Families - Happy New Year! I hope you have all been able to share some quality time with your families over the Winter Break. I was able to unplug for almost the entire break, and I am feeling reinvigorated and ready for whatever 2016 throws my way!

With each new year comes an opportunity to set personal goals and make positive life changes. After taking time to reflect on my first five months as Joaquin Miller School’s principal, I have established the following three goals for myself to strive toward in 2016.

  1. Eat a healthier diet with fruits and vegetables. There are days when I have little time to eat, and I need to have healthy snacks on hand. This particular goal is especially important because I have Type 2 Diabetes, and I need to do a better job of monitoring my blood sugars.
  2. Spend at least one hour daily enjoying quality time with my family. Trust me when I say this is no small feat! This means challenging myself to not use my phone or laptop for an hour every night.
  3. Spend as much time as possible in classrooms. The best part of my job is getting to observe our incredible students and teachers in action! Unfortunately, there are often deadlines and issues that arise that keep me from being able to do this as often as I’d like. To remedy this issue, I will be modifying my current weekly schedule to allow for more uninterrupted time to visit the classrooms and engage with students and teachers one-on-one.

I encourage you to engage your kiddos in a discussion about establishing meaningful academic, social, or behavioral goals for themselves in the new year. Their goals could include: reading at a higher reading level, doing homework without complaining, learning basic math facts, improving writing skills, following directions, or exemplifying one of the Wolverine Way core values while at school and at home.

We have an exciting several months ahead of us with the Spelling Bee, the Martin Luther King Jr. Oratorical Fest, a Family Loteria Night, the Book Fair, and the Joaq-a-Thon. Please remember to check your child’s backpack and Konstella to stay informed as to what’s happening at JM!

January Dates to Know

  • January 21 - PTA Meeting 6:30pm
  • January 22 - MLK Oratorical Fest 10:15am
  • January 27 - JM Spirit Day - Decade Day
  • January 28 - JM Spelling Bee 10:30am-12pm
  • January 28 - Loteria Night 6:30pm - 8:00pm
  • January 29 - Professional Development - NO SCHOOL

MLK Oratorical Fest - DATE CHANGE

Due to a conflict with the OUSD district MLK Oratorical Fest date, we have had to change the date of JM's MLK oratorical fest to January 22 at 10:15 in the MPR. Please contact Mrs. Gullikson or Sara Green with any questions or concerns.

Loteria Night - Presented by the Diversity & Inclusion Committee and ELAC

The Diversity + Inclusion Committee and ELAC present...LOTERIA NIGHT, Thursday January 28th, 6:30-8pm, Multi-Purpose Room. Please join us for a free, community building event for all JM families and staff. Dinner will be provided along with, games, music and fun! Please RSVP on Konstella to ensure we have enough food, game boards, and prizes.

El comite de diversidad e inclusion y ELAC presenta...NOCHE de LOTERIA, Jueves 28 de Enero, 6:30-8:00pm, Multi-Purpose Room. Porfavor, venga a un evento gratis para todas las familias de JM Comida, juegos, musica y diversion! Por favor confirmar su asistencia en Konstella para asegurar que tenemos suficientes alimentos, tableros de juego , y premios.

Joaquin Miller Choir Starting up for 2016

Former JM music teacher and 40 year choir-teaching veteran, Sandy Goldberg, is now taking sign-ups for the 2016 JM Choir. Choir is open to all students, boys and girls, in grades 3-5. Class will be in the library every Monday at 8:00am sharp starting 2/1 and running until the end of May (excepting 2/22, 2/29 and school holidays). The choir will stage a performance in for the JM community in late May. Cost is $70.00. Check Konstella for sign-up instructions or call Sandy Goldberg at 510 531 2462 with any questions.

We Rocked the Raffle!

This year's raffle raised $16,238 for our school community!! Thank you to the Raffle Fairies - Sutapa Balaji, Cindy Lawrence, Christine Gharagozian and Natasha Desai!

Class Winners: Ms Glick's Kindergarten class and Mr. Jackson's 3rd grade class.

Highest Sellers in Each Grade: Catheryn Zonca, Nora Civiello--Sousa. Tucker Eddy, Benjamin Peterkofsky, Elias Korchin, Carol Chung and Lamont Scott.

Raffle Winners: 1st prize - iPad Air - Mr Banjal (ticket sold by Richard Purev), 2nd prize - iPad Mini - Brad Ishida (ticket sold by Kayla Fukatsu Ishida), 3rd prize - Fitbit Charge - Lisa Solomon (ticket sold by Fiala Vranka)

Event: How to Talk to your Kids About Race

The Chabot Elementary PTA has invited the JM community to a presentation by Dr. Allison Briscoe-Smith regarding how to talk to your children about race. At Chabot Elementary on Tuesday, January 19th from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

PTA Update

Welcome back & happy new year! The JMPTA Board is working to make 2016 a year to remember - one full of quality community events and engaging student activities. To start, help us create a new norm for PTA meetings by thinking of them as a gathering of our community with the purpose of learning more about our students, our school and each other. Join us on Thursday, 1/21 for our JM community dinner at 6pm and PTA "meeting" at 6:30pm. The agenda includes a celebration of fall fundraising efforts, a special presentation by our 5th graders, information about the 2nd grade Green Glove program and more. Dinner is provided by the PTA and childcare is available. Please RSVP on Konstella

Kids Club Update

Kids Club Closed January 18th for Martin Luther King Day. (There will be no Schools Out Programming on this day). School's Out Programming is available during the inservice day on January 29th. Contact new Director of Programming for Kids Club, Kamela Jackson, at or Ivan Mumm at with any questions.

Library Update - The Book Fair is Coming!

The Book Fair will open for students and families on Tuesday, February 9 at 8:05 and will remain open until 8 pm that evening. The second grade Marine Mammals night will also be that evening from 5-6 pm. Please watch your children's backpacks for the flyer with details about days, hours, and new payment options. There will be some changes from prior years so please read the flyer.

Contribute to the Walkie Talkie

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