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 13 - Asian Pacific American Literature Read-In

  • May 13 - Career Day

  • May 13 - Spirit Day, Career Dress Up

  • May 13 - Current Families Kids Club Registration Deadline

  • 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. Your commitment, ideas & leadership made this a truly great year! 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. Join us for a casual potluck dinner at 6pm and stick around to cast your vote on the 2016-17 PTA Budget and celebrate a great year. Please bring the type of 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. The sub-committee leadership team is mostly full, all we need is for someone to steer the ship. We're also searching for someone to help with the party details (Gala Chair). Please contact asap if you'd like to learn more or volunteer. We need you!!!

JM DEFINITELY has Talent - Everyone was a Star at the Talent Show!

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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. You buy them through JM, JM makes a percentage of all gift cards purchased, and we earn money when families buy things they would have bought anyway - including groceries, clothing and even gas!

The deadline to purchase is May 19th and don't forget that these cards make easy gifts for graduations, Father’s Day, and Teacher Appreciation! They are great to give to employees, teachers, babysitters, friends & family. You can also ask neighbors, friends & relatives if they want to purchase cards.

Order forms (and checks) are due May 19th by turning them into the Scrip Card mailbox in the front office (not the green box!) or email your order/Paypal to Derek Yegian at You can also download the order from Joaquin Miller School » Passive Fundraising — Free Money for our School!. Derek will be distributing the cards the first week of June. Remember, JMPTA gets a percentage of all the sales while you get the full value of the gift card. It's free money!

JM Science Fair a Huge Success

The JM Science Fair was a huge success! The judges were blown away by the projects and the students' ability to present their projects, citing evidence and showing pride in their work. 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 and Amelia Lawrence - "Which Liquid Should you Drink hen Your Mouth is Spicy?"
  • Sarah Moses - "Non-Toxic Weed Control"

And well-done to all students who participated in this great event!

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

The Joaquin Miller Open was held at Sequoyah Country Club on April 18th. A great group of golfers and some amazing weather came together to raise over $2,000 for the school. Congratulations to the winning team of Eric Fung, Jason Howe, Miles Welze & David McFarlane. They shot an impressive seven-under-par 63 in the 4-person scramble event. Thanks to all of the golfers that played in support of the school. Special thanks to volunteer Kristine Kopchik who came out to get all of the golfers registered and out on the course in the morning. Extra Special thanks to all of our sponsors and prize 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 WONDERFUL JM Teachers & Staff for a great 2015-16:

Contribute to the Walkie Talkie

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