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 Jeanne.sims@ousd.org 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 sara.green@ousd.org.

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

What a Wonderful Day!

August 24th, 2015

Dear Joaquin Miller Families,

Today was nothing short of spectacular! The atmosphere was one of excitement, anticipation, joy, and appreciation. Throughout this first week I will be meeting with each grade level to discuss the Wolverine Way, recess rules, behavioral expectations, and our new lunch time plan. I encourage you to ask your students about what they learn in these meetings.

I would like to give a HUGE shout out to all of the PTA Board members and volunteers for organizing our Registration Day and Expo! Many of you have already joined the JMPTA. If you haven’t yet done so, I highly recommend joining. Without the financial and volunteer support of the PTA, our students would not have access to many of the programs that they love.

I also wanted to provide an update on the rear parking lot located behind the Multi-Purpose Room. Several folks from Buildings and Grounds were on campus this afternoon to create a more well-defined parking lot that will be open until 9:00 each morning and again at 12:45 on minimum days and 2:15 on regular days.

Our Back-to-School Night has officially been scheduled for September 10th from 6:00 – 7:30. I hope to see you all there!

Go Wolverines!
Mrs. Green

It’s great to be back at Joaquin Miller!

August 1st, 2015

Words simply can’t express just how thrilled and honored I am to be the new principal of the best elementary school in Oakland!! Joaquin Miller School is my home away from home! I have been part of the community as a teacher and parent for nearly fourteen years. I am looking forward to developing lasting relationships with Joaquin Miller students, their families, teachers, and staff and creating an inclusive school community that celebrates its diversity and provides a rigorous academic experience for all students.

The teachers and I are working on a new positive discipline plan aligned to 10 core values, also know as “The Wolverine Way”. Several of these values were in existence when I began as a teacher at Joaquin Miller long ago. For each core value, there is a statement that exemplifies it. The teachers and I will be developing lessons to teach these core values in a meaningful way to our students during their morning class meetings. These core values and statements will form the basis of our positive discipline plan, creating a common language around our expectations for student behavior. I encourage you to share The Wolverine Way with your students before the school year begins!

“The Wolverine Way”

Joaquin Miller students will strive to emulate the following core values:

Kindness:  If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.
Mutual Respect:  Treat others the way you want to be treated.
Collaboration:  Many hands make light work.
Problem Solving Skills:  Don’t be part of the problem. Be part of the solution.
Self-Management:  Keep your hands to yourself. Keep your feet on the ground.
Honesty: Always tell the truth and don’t gossip.
Self Awareness:  Think before you speak and think before you act.
Inclusivity:  A community that excludes even one member is no community at all.
Perseverance: If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.
Appreciation: The three most important words in the English language are “please” and “thank you”.

I hope you’ll join me at TLC Day on August 8th to get our school ready for the new year and get to know other JM families! Enjoy the rest of your summer!

Take care,
Sara Green