June 5, 2020 Weekly Newsletter
Donate to the Annual Appeal
Virtual Coffee Morning 06/05/20
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Letter From the Principal

Dear Parents,

As educators, the tragic death of George Floyd has challenged us to find ways to bring our students together to process this tragedy. The teachers have recognized the importance of this teachable moment and have facilitated conversations throughout the week.  We all recognize that these important discussions must continue so they generate action and change both in our own community and in the larger community. I urge you to bring these conversations into your home as well.  The MS54 Equity Team has shared some very helpful resources.

On Wednesday, we had our annual Sixth Grade Language and Elective Assembly. The language and electives teachers and their students talked about the specific courses. Ms. William sent a Google Survey to all of the sixth graders so they can rank and submit their preferences for next year. Please discuss these options with your sixth grader. There is a space on the survey for you to sign and verify that you have approved their selection. Seventh graders will continue in the same language and elective course next year.

On Thursday, the teachers had an opportunity to reflect on our time as BOOKER TECH. I thought it was important for us to reflect on our successes and on the areas in which we struggled. We talked about what we would keep the same and what we would change if we had to go back to remote learning at some point next year. I will share their feedback with you at the upcoming PTA Meeting. Overall, however, teachers expressed the desire to meet/teach smaller groups of students. Many wanted more time with students. All found that the smaller the group of students on a Zoom screen, the more effective the interactions were. We, the faculty, SLT, and PTA would like to hear your feedback and your children’s feedback too. Please take some time to complete the survey that was sent today through Jupiter.

Eighth-grade parents, we have asked students to submit their “slide” for graduation by today. Please check in with your children to see if they have done that. Graduation is take place remotely on June 22nd. Please refer to the emails sent through Jupiter that relate specifically to Graduation.

Elana Elster

Clerical Day
Tuesday, June 9

No School

Students are expected to complete work independently as staff will be engaged in reorganization work. Teachers are not expected to engage students on June 9; instead, schools will set students up in advance with independent work for the day. 
PTA Elections 

Nominations for the open PTA positions closed on Tuesday in preparation for elections scheduled to take place at our PTA meeting on Tue. June 16th at 7 pm

There are no contested Executive Board positions.  (One open position, 7th-grade representative, does not have a nominee.) Click here to see the list of nominees.
SLT Elections 

A pending change to the SLT by-laws would reserve one parent seat for election in the fall so that incoming parents are eligible to run.  That change, which will be voted on at the next SLT meeting, would reduce the number of parents seats eligible to be filled at the June 16 election and would therefore create a contested election.  Accordingly, and given the lack of guidance from DOE around voting in contested election, the election for all open SLT parents seats will be deferred until the Fall. 
Virtual Coffee Morning

Thank you to Daniel Coles and Cassie Schwerner from the Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility who joined us for our virtual coffee morning today.  Below please find a list of resources that were shared during this morning's discussion.

Recommended Reading:
Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community by Martin Luther King Jr.
Shoulders - poem by Naomi Shihab Nye
The Trough - poem by Judy Brown

NYC Protest Updates:
@justiceforgeorgenyc on Instagram gives minute-to-minute protest updates

Racial Literacy Resources:

Reading Resources for Children:

  • Amistad
  • Cry Freedom

There will be no virtual coffee next Friday morning due to the SLT meeting,
SLT Meeting - Fri. June 12th at 8 AM

Please note that the SLT Meeting scheduled for Fri. June 12th has changed its start time to 8 am.

Any member of the MS54 community who wishes to observe the meeting should email a request in advance to

Booker T Food Drive - Mon. June 8
Drop off from 7:30  - 9:30 am

Donate a shopping bag of non-perishable food items on Monday, June 8th between 7:30 - 9:30 am.  Suggested items:  pasta, tomato sauce, canned beans, canned tuna fish, peanut butter, jelly, boxes of Mac & Cheese, mayonnaise, cereal, olive oil, rice.  Drop off donations at “The Flagpole” entrance on 107 Street, Monday, June 8 between 7:30 am and 9:30 am.  Anne Pejovich will be there to receive the donations.
Volunteers Needed for Daily Mask Distribution

Anne Pejovich is looking for volunteers to distribute masks given by the city to the folks who come to Booker T for grab and go meals.  One volunteer needed each day, Tuesday through Friday (Anne is doing Mondays), 7:30 am until 1:30 pm.  Please email: and request a specific day through June 26.
DOE Citywide Town Hall on Admissions

Monday, June 8  from 6 pm -10 pm

If you missed the Manhattan Town Hall on Admissions this past Monday, this is your last chance to participate in one of the DOE's Town Halls about admissions to middle and high schools for next year.

Click here for more information, including registration and sign up to speak.

What is P-EBT and What Do I Do With It?

P-EBT is a program to help families buy food while students are learning from home due to COVID-19. In NYC, every single public school student will receive $420 in P-EBT. 

Benefits will be rolled out in three waves based on the types of benefits the family receives. Households that are not enrolled in SNAP (formerly Food Stamps), Public Assistance, or Medicaid are in wave three and will receive P-EBT cards beginning in July.

Use your P-EBT at any NYC Greenmarket (click here to find your local farmer's market) or a local grocery store (find local stores that accept EBT here).

Everyone who receives P-EBT should use it, even if you don't need the money. There is no option to transfer your card to someone else or return your card to the government, and using your P-EBT will stimulate the local economy. But, after you have used your P-EBT, you can redistribute the funds by donating the equivalent - $420 - to support food distribution efforts throughout NYC or to another cause that’s important to you -- such as the MS54 Spring Appeal (see below).
Help Close the Funding Gap!

Thank you to the 28 generous donors who have contributed to the Spring Appeal so far! We’ve raised almost $11,000.00 toward our goal of $65,000.00. We realize that this is a difficult time to ask for money, but if you are able to give, know that it's greatly appreciated. No amount is too big or too small.
Donate Here
Recommendations/Resource List for High School Admissions

8th Grade Parents - please complete this form to share recommendations/resources you found helpful in the high school admissions process

7th Grade Parents - click here to see the recommendations/resource list so far

Support Booker T Family Businesses

Click here to see the list of small businesses owned/operated by Booker T families

Click here if you are a small business owner/operator that would like to be included in this list.
School Wellness Council

June is National Safety Month so this week we are sharing information about ho to keep your home safe.

The NYC Health Department’s Education and Community Partnerships Unit offers FREE virtual workshops for the community on home health hazards. Topics include:
  • Prevent Lead Poisoning
  • Clean Your Home Safely
  • Get Rid of Mold
  • Control Roaches and Mice Safely
  • Install Safe Window Guards
Presentations are offered in English, Spanish, Bengali, and Russian. Click here to see the listing of workshops.
Auction Item Distribution

We are working on getting access to auction items stored in the school. If you have not been contacted about your auction winnings please email
Amazon Reminder

If you are placing orders with Amazon, please remember to always use this link: or click on the Amazon logo on our website or at the top of every e-newsletter and begin your shopping. 

At no extra cost to you, MS54 gets money for every dollar you spend as long as you use our link.
108th Street Construction Update

WSFSSH is a 100% affordable housing facility and therefore qualifies as an essential construction operation and continues to build. 

Jerome Kramer and Chris Giordano have been liaisons between Booker T and WSFSSH and neighborhood stakeholders in the Construction Advisory Group that meets on a monthly basis. Exec Board member Kyle Clayton has volunteered to take over those responsibilities.
Booker T Facebook Communication Forum

Join MS54's Facebook group - a closed group of the parents, teachers, and staff where information is shared and issues of interest to the community are discussed.  Once a member of our group, anyone can post and share articles and messages with our school community.  

You can also follow us on Twitter and Instagram

Community News

FREE Summer Enrichment Program for NYC School Children, LIMITED SPOTS, Please ACT NOW (Grades 3 - 8)
Here is an opportunity for our scholars and families who have children in grades 3 – 8 to participate in a FREE virtual summer enrichment program with Practice Makes Perfect this summer.  For more info,click here
Elevate Education Free Parent Webinar on Procrastination

This is a challenging time for us all right now, and in the midst of everything, it can be hard for students to focus and stay motivated in the last few weeks for school. It is challenging for parents to know what to do or say and we hope to offer free support resources as we close out the school year.
Free Parent Webinar on Procrastination
Wednesday, June 10th
4 PM in English // 5 PM in Spanish
Free to all. Parents can register below:
English Webinar – Overcoming Procrastination (4:00 pm)
Spanish Webinar – Overcoming Procrastination (5:00 pm)
2020 Census

As we grapple with COVID-19, completing the 2020 Census is even more important now than ever. The number of New Yorkers who are counted will determine how much funding we receive for our schools and public services over the next 10 years. City schools receive more than $781 million every year in Title I funding, based on census data. In addition, the census helps determine funding for early learn centers, in-school and afterschool youth programs, childcare programs, and other services that support our school communities. You can play an active role in ensuring an accurate count by urging staff and families to complete the census online at, or by calling 844-330-2020, and completing the brief survey, which is open until October 31.

Community Education Council 3 (CEC3)

CEC3 Special Education Committee Meeting
Tue. June 9, 7:00 PM
Register here

CEC3 Multilingual Video Meeting

Wed., June 10, 6:30 PM
Register here

CEC3 Equity & Excellence Video Meeting
Thurs., June 11, 6:30 PM
Register here

CEC3 Middle School Committee
Mon. Jun 15, 7:00 PM
Register here

School Calendar Upcoming Events

Tuesday, June 9
No School - Clerical Day

Friday, June 12
8:00 am     SLT Meeting

Tuesday, June 16
5:30 pm     Exec Board Meeting
7:00 pm     General PTA Meeting - PTA Elections
Copyright © 2020 MS54 PTA, All rights reserved.

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