In this Issue: Letter from the Principal - Welcome Back to School
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Dear Parents,

I hope your children enjoyed their summer. I look forward to greeting them on Thursday, September 8th.  I expect approximately 870 students on Thursday. Our incoming sixth grade is the largest group in many years.

My summer is spent planning for the coming year and hiring new members of the faculty.

There are some program changes that returning students will notice this year. Seventh and eighth graders will now have two periods of gym a week. This additional period was taken from humanities. For seventh and eighth graders, humanities has been reduced to 9 periods a week.

We have several new teachers joining our faculty – Joshua Schreier (technology,) Katherine Reitberg (7th grade humanities,) Ilyce Siegel (8th grade humanities/special education,) Isabelle McGovern (6th grade humanities,) Tanya Gonzalez (IEP teacher,) and Frank DiPasquale (physical education.) We also welcome a new part-time ESL teacher, Rebecca Pitke.

Important Information

  • School starts on Thursday, September 8th at 8:40AM.
  • All students enter the school building through the courtyard on 107th Street. (This is the regular entrance for students.)
  •  Sixth graders will be dismissed through this same courtyard each afternoon. Seventh and eighth graders will be dismissed through the doors closest to their official classroom.
  • On the first few days of school, many members of the staff will be outside and available to answer your questions and to direct the students.
  •  Many parents (especially sixth grade parents) escort their children to school on the first day. If you decide to do so, you will not be the only parent there. For the first few days, some parents meet their children at the end of the day as well. Many sixth graders go home on their own.
  •  Parents may not escort students to their classrooms or into the building. There will be staff members inside directing the students to their classrooms. I know the students will be anxious, but we will do our best to help ease everyone’s first day jitters.
  • Your child will report to their official class upon entering the school. You received the class assignments via email. If you have not, please go to the MS54 website and register your contact information. During an extended homeroom period, teachers will welcome the students to school, answer all their questions, give them their class schedules and their first day packets, introduce them to other students and sixth graders will take a tour of the school.
  • Students will begin their regular class schedule at the start of third period (at approximately 10:40AM.)
  • Students should bring their completed summer assignments on the first day. The humanities teachers will collect them. The summer assignment and the supply lists are posted on the website.
  • Students do not need to bring all their school supplies on the first day. The teachers will tell them what they will need to bring on a daily basis. All students should come on the first day with at least some paper, a folder, writing instruments and the completed summer assignments. Please remember that students may not wheel backpacks in the school building. 
  • On the first day, students will bring home a welcome folder that contains important forms for parents to complete and return and information about the school policies and procedures. Please review this information and return the forms immediately.
  •  All students will receive academic planners in which they will be expected to record their assignments. Students are required to have them with them every day. We do not post the homework online.
  •  Students can bring their lunch to school or get lunch from the cafeteria. The menu for each month is on the Department of Education’s website.


School Hours

The regular school hours are 8:40AM to 3:00PM. Students who arrive after 8:50AM will be marked late.

Early Academy takes place on Tuesday and Thursday from 8:00AM to 8:40AM.

Sixth Grade Orientation Sessions

The Sixth Grade Orientation Program is designed to introduce both the students and parents to the school. All the orientation sessions will begin promptly at 8:00AM and will conclude promptly at 8:40AM. Orientation sessions will be held for students and parents. The student sessions will be led by teachers and eighth graders, and the parent sessions will be led by members of the administrative team. I hope your children will attend all three sessions and that you will join us for as many of the sessions as you can.

The topics are as follows:

Friday, September 9th

PARENT SESSION: Introduction to Booker T./Helping Your Child Succeed

Tuesday, September 13th

PARENT SESSION: Time and Work Management / Using Your Planner

STUDENT SESSION: Navigating Booker T.

Monday, September 19th:

Joint Safety Assembly for Students and Parents

Parents of seventh and eighth graders who are new to the school are welcome to attend the sixth grade parent orientations.

Back-To-School Night

Back-To-School Night is on September 15th. It begins at 5:30PM in the auditorium. Parents will begin following their child’s schedule and meeting the teachers at 6:00PM. The evening will conclude at 8:15PM.


If you know of Booker T. families who are not receiving emails, please encourage them to go onto the MS54 website and sign up for the newsletter. Most of the information we send to parents is through email.

I am looking forward to a great year.
Elana Elster


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