May Principal’s Message

May 15th, 2016

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

April Principal’s Message

April 9th, 2016

Dear Joaquin Miller Families,
We have several busy weeks ahead of us with state testing, several community events, the JM Science Fair, and living history days. The third, fourth, and fifth graders will be taking the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress, sometimes referred to as the SBAC. Your child’s teacher should be providing you with a testing schedule for the coming weeks. We ask that you feed your kiddos a healthy breakfast and ensure they get plenty of sleep throughout the testing window. Also, please do not schedule any doctor’s appointments or other events that will take them away from school during this time.

The third, fourth, and fifth grades also have their Living History Days coming up. The fifth-graders have American Revolution day on April 13th. The third-graders have Rancho day on April 20th. The fourth-graders have African-American Migration to California Day on May 18th. All three of these events require additional support form parent volunteers to make them successful. Please consider joining in on the fun with your kiddos at these events!

The month of May will include numerous community events! Would you like to share your business or profession with JM students? Consider taking part in Career Day on May 13th. Flyers will be coming home with your kiddos. May 13th is also Asian Pacific American Literature Read-In Day and we are looking for volunteers to come in to read books to the students. Please email me if you are interested. Nina Senn, Vice President of the School Board, will be reading to a few classes and attending the career fair as well! We will have Grandparent’s Day on May 11th. On this day, students can invite their grandparents to come in and read stories in their classrooms.

These are just a few of our upcoming events, so please check Konstella and to keep up-to-date on all of our events!

With appreciation,
Mrs. Green

New Parking Plan

March 13th, 2016

Parking and Traffic Update –PLEASE READ!

Dear Joaquin Miller families:
I apologize for the length of this notice. I hope that you will take a moment to read this message in its entirety. I have divided it into subsections to make it easier to digest.

Kindergarten Pick Up and Drop Off Plan
The feedback for this new plan for picking up and dropping off kindergarteners has been extremely positive. We have already noticed a decrease in traffic issues before and after school. Please see below for the details.
A. Drop off: Beginning Tuesday, February 16th, kindergarteners may be dropped off in the drop off zone between 8:35 and 8:45. Ms. LaRenda or one of the kindergarten teachers will ensure your kindergartener makes it to the little yard.
B. Pick Up: Beginning Tuesday, February 16th, kindergarteners will be waiting on the sidewalk near the red curb to be picked up. The kindergarten teachers will have them outside at 2:30 on regular days and 12:50 on minimum days.

New Parking Plan

There are many schools across Oakland that have no parking lots at all. In the neighborhoods surrounding these schools, parents, caregivers, and staff members must use neighboring streets or their school site’s drop off and pick up zones. We understand that this is not as convenient as being able to park and drop off or pick up your child before and after school. I wish we had enough parking spaces for everyone in our incredible community. Unfortunately, this is just not possible.
Allowing parents and caregivers to use the front and back lot during drop off and pick up times has presented multiple problems including damaged vehicles, endangered students, and increased traffic congestion. In an attempt to resolve these issues, we have developed a new parking plan and a list of ways in which you can ensure the safety of our students before and after school.
As of Monday, March 14th, the rear lot will become a lot for staff members only. We are re-designating several parking spots in the front lot as “visitor” spots. The rear lot will no longer be open for parents unless there is a special event beginning on Monday, March 14th. I have placed a work order to have the spots re-painted. Until this happens, we will mark the new Visitor spots using chalk.
There is no magic button that would solve all of our traffic and parking problems. Believe me, if there was one, I would have pressed it by now! With your assistance and adherence to the above suggestions, we can make the situation better. I appreciate you taking the time to read this message and I welcome your feedback. You can email me anytime at

With gratitude,
Mrs. Green

Parking and Traffic at Joaquin Miller: How You Can Help!

Drop Off in the Morning
1. Please drop off your child using the Drop Off Zone while the Safety Patrol is out between 8:00 and 8:30.
2. Pull forward as far as you can into the Drop Off Zone prior to letting your child leave your vehicle.
3. Do NOT leave your car unattended in the yellow or red zones.
4. Do NOT park in handicapped spaces or the marked space in between these spaces.
5. Park in any available visitor spots if you need to enter the building.
6. Never park in a spot marked “STAFF”, even if it is empty.
7. Never drop your student off at the entrance of the parking lot.
8. Drive slowly and STOP at the crosswalk prior to exiting the parking lot on your way out. There is a stop sign there now!
9. Remember that you are at a public elementary school where children are present. Please treat each other respectfully at all times and refrain from engaging in verbal confrontations in front of children.

Pick Up in the Afternoon
1. Please use the drop off zones whenever possible to pick up your child.
2. Please do not leave your vehicle unattended in the red or yellow zones.
3. Do NOT park in handicapped spaces or the marked space in between these spaces.
4. Please cycle through the lot until you see your child(ren) if you arrive before students are dismissed on 2:50 on regular days and 1:15 on minimum days. (Kindergarten dismissal times are 2:30 on regular days and 12:50 on minimum days.)
5. Talk to your child(ren) about the importance of staying near the pick up zone after school so you can find them when you come through the pick up zone.
6. Please do not park and leave your vehicle unattended unless you are in “visitor” parking spot.
7. Park in any available visitor spots if you need to enter the building.
8. Drive slowly and STOP at the crosswalk prior to exiting the parking lot on your way out.
9. Remember that you are at a public elementary school where children are present. Please treat each other respectfully at all times and refrain from engaging in verbal confrontations in front of children.

March Principal’s Message

February 23rd, 2016

Dear Joaquin Miller Families,
I hope this message finds you and your families enjoying this incredible spring weather! It’s hard to believe we are already halfway through the school year. It’s been an incredible year thus far, filled with numerous opportunities to meet other Joaquin Miller families, celebrate our diversity, and support our school’s academic programs. The majority of these opportunities have been planned and organized by the members of the JMPTA Board, a body composed of parents and teachers who volunteer their time, energy, and enthusiasm to make our school community thrive. The board meets monthly and strives to evenly distribute the workload as much as possible. We also have a really good time with each other! To learn more about our amazing PTA Board members, see the bulletin board in the front hallway near the computer lab.
Per PTA bylaws, we need to form a nominating committee to assist with finding potential candidates for next year’s PTA Board. The people on this committee would have a relatively small time commitment and would not be signing up to be on the board. If you are interested in being on the nominating committee, please send an email to
There are a variety of board positions available, each with its own responsibilities. The positions include President, Exec. VP (shadow to President and President 2017-18), Secretary, Treasurer, Financial Secretary, Fundraising, Volunteer Coordinator, Historian and Parliamentarian. If you are interested in being on the PTA Board for the 2016-2017 school year, please send an email to
I hope you will consider joining the 2016-2017 JMPTA Board!
With appreciation,
Mrs. Green

Happy New Year!

January 4th, 2016

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 do what I love!

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!

With respect and appreciation,
Mrs. Green


November 26th, 2015

Dear Joaquin Miller families,

I hope this message finds you enjoying a wonderful Thanksgiving vacation with your families. I was able to visit my sister and her family in Southern California and actually take a few days off!

As we enter the holiday season, my heart is filled with gratitude and appreciation for all of the love and support I have received from our Joaquin Miller community as I have transitioned into this new administrative role. I am honored to be a part of such a warm and giving community of parents, students, teachers, and staff that share a common desire to make our school the best it can be.

I would like to acknowledge and appreciate the incredibly dedicated teachers and staff of Joaquin Miller. I feel so fortunate to be able to work with such a talented, collaborative, and supportive group of professionals who are devoted to providing a well-rounded educational experience for ALL of our students.

I also wanted to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to all of the parent volunteers who support our students and teachers on a regular basis. Whether you drive on a field trip, read with students, help out in the office, or help on the playground, your assistance is invaluable. THANK YOU!

A very special shout-out goes to the chair of this year’s auction, Suzette Mohun. Suzette devoted a tremendous amount of time and energy into making the auction the incredible success it was! Thanks to her efforts and the efforts of ALL of the auction volunteers, Joaquin Miller students and teachers will have continued access to high-quality programs, teacher’s aides, academic tutors, living history events, and so much more! With the funds raised from this year’s “Raise your Paddle” event, we will be able to purchase new projectors, printers, computer speakers, Lexia licenses for new readers, outdoor umbrellas, and much-needed improvements to our big yard.

Last, but certainly not least, I must appreciate our AMAZING students! Every single day I come to work I observe students exhibiting the Wolverine Way, demonstrating kindness and empathy toward others, collaborating with peers, and striving for academic success. Keep up the AWESOME work!

With love and gratitude,
Mrs. Green

Picture Days October 22nd and 23rd!

October 15th, 2015

Hi Parents,
Your students will be having their pictures taken next Thursday, October 22nd or Friday, October 23rd. The folks at Mugsy Clicks have asked for 2 volunteers for each day. These volunteers would help collect classes and ensure students are ready to have their photos taken. Please email Ms Sims at if you are interested in volunteering.

Principal’s Message

September 30th, 2015

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

Back-To-School Night 2015

September 7th, 2015

Greetings Joaquin Miller Families!
Our Back-to-School Night will be this coming Thursday, September 10th from 6:00 – 7:30. You will begin in the Multi-Purpose Room for a half hour presentation and then attend classroom presentations. Please note that this is a parents-only event. The rear yard will be open for additional parking. I hope to see many of you in attendance!
Take care,
Mrs. Green

Parking Lot Fun!

August 25th, 2015

Dear Parents, 
As many of you know, pick up and drop off at our lovely school is often chaotic and messy. The number of available parking spaces doesn’t come close to the number of students in our current student population and Safety Patrol has not yet begun.

We will continue to have the rear parking lot open until 9:00 in the morning and then again at 12:30 on minimum days and 2:15 on regular days. Even with this lot open, there is not nearly enough room. It is essential that every member of our parent/caregiver community adheres to the following rules:

1. Do not park and leave your car unattended in ANY of the following places:
a.GREEN zones
b.RED zones
c.YELLOW (bus) zones
d.Any spot that would block traffic and cause pile-ups on Ascot Dr.
2. Keep the flow going. Do not stop and wait for your child if there is a line of cars behind you.
3. Do not park in a handicapped spot unless you have a handicapped placard.
4. Please be as patient as possible. Everyone is probably feeling just as frustrated as you do.
5. Never park in a space marked with a number or the word “STAFF”.
6. Instruct your child to wait for you in the “Valet” area for quick and smooth pick up. No students are allowed to play on the small yard after school without their parents, however some seem to end up back there anyway.
7. Please do not drive faster than 5 miles per hour in the parking lot.

I highly recommend dropping your child off without parking in the morning. Parking in the neighborhood across from the school is also a good idea.

Additionally, all students must be picked up after school in a timely manner. During this first week of minimum days, multiple students have been waiting for their siblings to be released at 3:15. There is no adult supervision after 1:30 on minimum days and after 3:00 on regular days.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this message. I hope you all have a wonderful evening.

Take care,
Sara Green
Principal, Joaquin Miller School