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Joaquin Miller School

Get Involved


JM parent in classThe special talents of our Joaquin Miller Parents are a great strength for our school. You may be unable to commit to time in the classroom, but is there something else you could offer to our school?

Can you sew costumes, correct class assignments, do artwork, calligraphy, lead classroom singing, play the piano or guitar for singing, paint, do construction, talk about or demonstrate a hobby/vocation, lead or direct any cultural or ethnic activities? Are you available to assist at a fundraising activity?

Your talents will be coordinated to enhance programs for children. Needs vary from year to year.

Numerous program committees work to make a wide variety of Joaquin Miller’s diverse programs and activities possible. Most are listed below. Please notify the principal or any member of the PTA Board if you would be willing to help out on one of these committees.

For anyone who is volunteering in our school, here is information regarding the volunteer application process:

Parents/volunteers needing further assistance can contact their respective VISTA Volunteer Coordinator by Region/Network.
Region 1 - Vanessa Quiroz

We're using Konstella to organize our volunteer signups and communications.

Campus Safety and Improvement

Health and Safety Chairperson

Our school has a School Site Safety Plan, ensuring our safety preparedness materials are up-to-date and fulfill our school’s needs in a real emergency. Health and Safety Chairperson checks and replenishes, twice a year, the school’s Earthquake/Emergency supplies as well as individual classroom Emergency Backpacks. The Chairperson also maintains the Earthquake Emergency Forms located within each classroom’s Emergency Backpack in addition to maintaining the master file in the office. The Chairperson also makes recommendations to the PTA Executive Board regarding the maintenance of the health and safety needs of the school.

We appreciate any donations.

Safety Patrol Coordinator

Our Safety Patrol team is a group of parent volunteers and JM kids who manage the morning drop off program in the front parking lot, directing traffic to drop off kids efficiently and safely as they arrive at school. In May 2010, Joaquin Miller was recognized for being the best new/rookie squad in Oakland by the Oakland Police Department at their 82nd Annual Oakland Police Department Safety Patrol Ceremony, at which hundreds of kids from safety patrols all across Oakland were honored by officers for their commitment to safety on their school campus.

The Green Team Committee

The Green Team is a subcommittee of the JM-PTA that strives to find ways to make the school more sustainable and to educate our kids about being good eco-citizens by composting and recycling. Playground Aides Playground Aides help the Yard Supervisors during the lunch recess, from 11:50 p.m. to 12:45 p.m.

Dad’s Club Volunteers

The dads — and moms — of the Dad’s Club wear many hats. You may find them barbecuing at school events or wielding jackhammers in the play grounds as they install benches and tether ball games. They have a Treasurer, but otherwise it’s a fairly loosely organized group of involved parents and guardians, offering their talents in myriad ways to improve our campus and make PTA events successful.


Bulletin Board Chairperson

Bulletin Board Chairperson maintains the PTA Bulletin Board, located outside the school office, with current information, on a monthly basis. The Chairperson may also be asked to prepare posters or signs for PTA activities

Kindergarten Outreach Chairperson

Job Description to be posted.

Walkie Talkie Team

The Walkie Talkie Editor oversees the production of the Walkie Talkie Newsletter and is responsible for its editorial content.

WT Volunteers
The editor needs volunteers to collate our school’s weekly newsletter. Volunteers are responsible for printing, (using a special JM copier), assembling with flyers (stapling) and distribution into teacher and staff boxes, etc. Volunteers meet every other Tuesday from approximate 12:30pm until around 1:45 pm. If we have enough people who are interested we are able to rotate the schedule.

Web Team

Web Manager(s)
Web Managers are responsible for the maintenance and updating of this website. It could be a shared role, with one person acting as front-end web designer (handling banner design, the creation of new pages, addition of new photos, and upkeep of existing pages) while another handles the back-end programming and maintenance (setting up new WordPress databases as needed, debugging, managing the domain and hosting, setting up and managing the email addresses).

Routine updates to the site (every week or two) include the School News WordPress blog and updating content on static HTML pages throughout hte site as needed.

Knowledge of XHTML and CSS (current Web Standards), WordPress or other blogging platform, Photoshop or other photo editing application are necessary skills, and familiarity with Javascript, XML, FTP, and using C-Panels are useful skills.

Online Calendar Manager
The Calendar Manager keeps the Google Calendar up-to-date with upcoming OUSD and Joaquin Miller dates. In addition, they help maintain the Principal's Blog.

Walkie Talkie Coordinator
The Walkie Talkie Coordinator is a liason to the Walkie Talkie Team, who posts the current newsletter to the Walkie Talkiepage as well as relevant news and reminders from the WT to the School News site.

Roster Membership Chairperson

Roster Membership Chairperson conducts the annual JM-PTA Membership Drive in September and compiles the school Roster. The Chairperson arranges for typing, printing, and distribution of the Roster in addition to compiling and maintaining a current list of PTA Members.

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Parents Music Committee

Joaquin Miller is the one school in the district where children can start learning to play as early as first grade. The JM Strings and Band puts on a wonderful end-of-the-year concert for the kids each year. The JM Parents Music Committee organizes the program with scholarships available for families who need help paying for tuition.

Enrichment Program Co-chairs

The Joaquin Miller Enrichment Program is dedicated to creating opportunities for families to give their children more experiences in the arts and sciences, and is sponsored by the PTA. The classes themselves are run by independent contractors who specialize in their field and in working with children.

Fall Auction

There are many ways to help the Fall Auction in addition to filling these key roles. Learn more about Auction Volunteering here »

Solicitations Coordinator Co-Chair

The Solicitations Coordinator Co-Chair manages a team of parents who solicit businesses for donations (this is easy we have a huge database of companies who give), keeps their eyes on the donations that come in, and ensures that they get entered into the database. Delegates soliciting and entering donations. They work with a key team that brings in parties and events from within the school.

PTA Business and Operations Co-Chair

The PTA Business and Operations Co-Chair runs the business aspects of the auction (database, etc.).

Auction Event Planner Co-Chair

The Event Planner is responsible for planning the menu and interacting with the event planner at Sequoia Country Club. They are responsible for the floor plan and work with the volunteer(s) who recruit and staff the auction. He/She is responsible for making sure the sound system is properly set up and running, they book the Entertainment, Auctioneer, & Table Closer.

Raffle Fairies

The Raffle Fairies coordinate the Fall Raffle, that culminates in a drawing at the Live Auction.

In-class volunteering

Room Parents

Room Parents help promote parent-teacher classroom activities. They establish a class phone tree and email list (using Konstella), plan Halloween and Valentine’s Day Parties and solicit parents to help with excursions, special class activities, Walk-A-Thon, and a Spring Fair Booth.  A good working relationship with the teacher develops.


Tutors for bilingual students are sometimes needed. Interested parents are asked to indicate days and times of availability.

Parent Aides

Parent Aides are requested by teachers to help with math, reading, paper correcting, or special events in the classroom. Parents should talk with their child’s teacher about scheduling and duties.

Computer Lab

Computers are a great way for volunteers to learn about computers — no previous experience is necessary. The PTA-paid Coordinators offer computer orientation classes at the beginning of the school year (days and times are published in the Walkie Talkie). The coordinators develop curriculum and lesson plans for the program and help volunteers, teachers, and students all year.

Library Volunteers

Library Volunteers are essential to the smooth running of JM’s very active library. Volunteers support the librarian with check-in/check-out, shelving, and other tasks which free the librarian to help the students find materials and do research. Volunteers usually come in during their child’s class, offering a nice opportunity to get to know the students. Commitment can be weekly or biweekly. Sign-ups begin at the annual Registration Day in August.

Playground Aides

Playground Aides help the Yard Supervisors during the lunch recess, from 11:50 p.m. to 12:45 p.m.

Motor Development

Motor Development assists children in developing efficient movement and motor skills and aids sensory awareness through the use of various activities and equipment. The PTA-paid coordinator runs this weekly program for Kindergarten through second grade students and needs several parent volunteers per class to help lead the activities. Class times are published in the Walkie Talkie in the Fall. There is no special training required; instructions are provided in the class.

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Living History

Each year each grade participates in our Living History program, developed by the JM Multiculturalism and Diversity Committee. Parent volunteers are an essential part in making these Living History events possible.

  • Asian-American Day
  • Thanksgiving Feast
  • Early Oakland—Rancho Day
  • African-American Migration to California
  • Colonial America

Ask your teacher about helping out early in the school year. Learn more about these special programs here »

Policy and Performance

Parents are welcome to participate in coordinating with administrative and professional staff at Joaquin Miller School to discuss and make recommendations on Policy and Performance. The School Site CouncilParent Teacher Liason, and the English Language Advisory Council are three ways you can get involved.

School Events

JM Yard Sale Coordinators

The Yard Sale usually cooincides with the Spring Fair. Coordinators organize the event and coordinate volunteers. We need volunteers to sort and price during this collection period and also to help on the day of the Yard Sale.

Joaq-a-thon Coordinators

The Joaq-a-thon is a day-long walking event scheduled in the spring for Joaquin Miller students and families. This activity affords the children an opportunity to raise money for their school.

Walk-a-thon Coordinators
Job Description to be posted.

Volunteers work at gates, hand out popsicles, make buttons, and help check walkers in and out! It’s a great way to spend part of your Saturday and the kids will thank you! Please give a couple hours of your time this year. We need help from all families.

Spring Fair Coordinator

The Spring Fair is a fun event that is a way to celebrate the year, but is not a fundraiser. We just try to break even and have a good time! Volunteers help run the games, such as 5th grade Sponge Toss, cakewalk, lollipop pull, and catapoultry. Members of the Dad’s Club man the barbecue.

Graduation Party Chairperson

The Graduation Party Chairperson works with the Principal and sets the date for the Fifth Grade Promotion Party, held in June. The Chairperson selects a facility, coordinates food donations, plans game activities and arranges for student’s transportation to and from the event.

Back-to-School Picnic

Back-to-School Picnic Co-Chairpersons coordinate the school-wide picnic, scheduled at the beginning of the school year. The Co-Chairpersons select the location, coordinates the games, food donations, cooking and publicity. Members of the Dad’s Club man the barbecue.

OUSD Science Fair

The OUSD Science Fair gives students an opportunity to share individual, group, or classroom science experiences/experiments. Students are encouraged to participate in our Annual Science Fair. Volunteers are needed to assist students with research, presentation and organization of projects.

Teacher/Staff Appreciation Chairperson

The Teacher/Staff Appreciation Chairperson coordinates theme, food and decorations for the Teacher/Staff Appreciation Luncheon. The Chairperson arranges the room and plans the serving of the luncheon.


Yearbook Coordinator

The Yearbook Chairperson solicits photographs, taken by parents, of various school and classroom activities and compiles them into a school yearbook. Also involved are negotiating, taking pictures, getting volunteers to help with the class pages, and really doing the bulk of the work. The Chairperson also coordinates yearbook sales.

School Pictures Chairperson

The School Pictures Chairperson works with the Principal to interview and select a school photographer, and coordinates dates/scheduling for picture taking and make-up sessions. The Chairperson recruits other volunteers to assist, as needed, on picture day. The Chairperson also coordinates the distribution of student pictures upon return from the photographer.

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