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04.30.21 - Chalk the Walk is this Sunday!




Principal's Letter

Dear Parents:

I hope you have had a chance to see your child’s report cards. If your child has had any incomplete grades — NXs, it is important that you contact the teacher to discuss a plan for resolving them. Please note that students with multiple NXs and/or incomplete work (unresolved NXs) will be mandated for the Summer Rising Program. If your child is not in this category, but you are interested in the Department of Education’s Summer Rising Program, which has both an academic and recreational component, please visit the City’s Summer Rising page to enroll. You will also need to create an account on discoverDYCD. The program runs from July 6th to August 12th and from 8am–4pm, Monday through Thursday. Booker T. students will be based for the summer at PS 75, which is on 96th and West End Avenue. 
Next week we will administer the New York State Math Exam to the students whose parents have opted to have them tested. Sixth, seventh, and eighth graders not taking the Regents will test on their designated day in school. Like the ELA exam, testing will begin at 9am. We are only giving part one of the exam which is approximately 30 multiple choice questions.  


Graduation Site Needed:  We're desperately seeking a location for this year's graduation! Got an idea? Can you make some calls? Join the team working on this challenge. Reach out to with ideas or to pitch in.
Student Desks: An alum dad+son team have made over 30 desks for our students in need and they are donating more! Please email if you would like one. The desks will be completed next week and delivered to the school.
Your generosity has sustained Booker T. families for 10 months! Thank you all for your boundless kindness. We never imagined when we began the food drive last June that it would still be so necessary almost a year later. Please use the MS54 Amazon Wish List or support your local grocer as you shop for our families in need. 
Let's Chalk the Walk on Sunday, May 2!

Show our teachers some love on Sunday, May 2nd from 10:00am - 4:00pm. We're going to "Chalk the Walks" around Booker T. with inspiring messages of joy, gratitude, and love. All are welcome anytime between 10 am – 4 pm. If you have chalk, please bring it; if you don't, we'll have plenty to share. This is a district-wide initiative, with schools throughout the Upper West Side participating. We hope you'll come out to support Booker T.!

Can you host this effort for an hour? Duties include handing out chalk and sharing design/messaging ideas. Sign up HERE to help host.

Homeroom Fundraising Now Open!

Too swamped to sign up for the 54 for 54 challenge? No problem! You can donate to your homeroom's fundraising page instead. You can find all the homerooms HERE. If your homeroom is missing, let us know!

You can also DONATE, to any participant, whether a friend, a child, your favorite teacher or principal!

Want to join the fundraising fun? Please do; there's still a month to go! 

JOIN over 100 other MS54 friends working their way toward a goal of 54 something while fundraising for our school.

CHOOSE a meaningful challenge that you can achieve by the end of May.

FUNDRAISE by letting your network of family, friends, and colleagues know about your effort. Activate your fundraising page by selecting DONATE --> BECOME A FUNDRAISER in the left navigation. You can then share the link to your page to start receiving donations!

Equity Team Updates

To conclude National Poetry Month, we offer the following poem, Shoulders by Naomi Shihab Nye:

A man crosses the street in rain,
stepping gently, looking two times north and south,
because his son is asleep on his shoulder.

No car must splash him.
No car drive too near to his shadow...

[Read the rest of the poem here]

The Equity Team invites all members of the community to join our ongoing conversation about equity and inclusion at the school at an open meeting Wednesday, May 19th, at 7pm. Register in advance for this meeting. Read more about the goals of the Equity Team and summaries of past meetings. 
School Meetings + Events

Sunday Wellness Walks @ 10am — Counts towards 54 for 54 Challenge!
May 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, 2021
Riverside Park Community Garden at 91st Street

Join Wellness Chair Alison Gardy and other parents for a walk through Riverside Park and help meet your 54 for 54 Challenge! Masks required, water suggested, children optional. Questions? Email Alison at

Chalk the Walks Around Booker T. for Teacher Appreciation!
May 2 , 2021 @ 10:00am - 4:00pm
Help us show our teachers some love by joining us to "Chalk the Walks" around Booker T. with inspiring messages of joy and gratitude. If you have chalk, please bring it; if you don't, we'll have plenty to share. Can you host this effort for an hour? Duties include handing out chalk and sharing design/messaging ideas.
Sign up HERE!

Week of May 3, 2021

The NYS Math Exam during the week of May 3rd. Students will take the exam on their in-person day. See DOE Student Participant Guide for more information.

2021-2022 Discussions for Current 6th & 7th Grade Parents
May 6th @ 7pm; May 11th @ 8am
Use this form to sign up. You will receive an email with the Zoom information before your session.

May Coffee Chat with Dr. Elster 
May 7, 2021 @ 8:00am
Join Dr. Elster and the PTA for a monthly chat about whatever's top of mind! Questions welcome. Coffee encouraged.
Register to join

May PTA Meeting + Session on Mindful Parenting
May 11, 2021 @ 7:00pm
Join us to weigh in on next year's budget and the expansion of the executive board to include representation from the Wellness + Equity teams. Also, Clinical Psychologist
Erika Rooney of the Child Mind Institute will share strategies and exercises for Mindful Parenting. Please note that this meeting will BEGIN with the guest speaker and PTA business will follow at approximately 8:00 pm.
Register to join
Nominations are open for all positions on the MS54 PTA Executive Board and four seats on the SLT (note that one seat will be held for the fall election). Nominate yourself or someone you love at:

Eid Al-Fitr, schools closed

May 13, 2021

May SLT Meeting

May 14, 2021 @ 7:20am
Any member of the MS54 community who wishes to observe the meeting may email in advance for the Zoom link. 

May Equity Team Meeting
May 19, 2021 @ 7:00pm
The Equity Team invites all members of the community to join our ongoing conversation about equity and inclusion at the school.
 Register in advance for this meeting. Read more about the goals of the Equity Team and summaries of past meetings. Contact with any questions.

May Wellness Committee Meeting
Friday, May 21, 2021 @ 7:30am
Contact for details. Join the meeting HERE.

Picture Day: Save the Date
May 24 & 25, 2021
Save these dates for picture day with Irvin Simon Photographers. You will receive an online code to view and order your portraits a few weeks after picture day. More info to come.

For more details, please consult the MS54 Calendar!

DOE Info & Community Updates

New items are listed below. To see previously listed but still active notices, please see the DOE Info and Community Updates page on the MS54 website.

May Family-Friendly Volunteer Opportunities
See the May list of family-friendly service projects  compiled by Doing Good Together

May Mindfulness Training for Parents with Children of All Ages
NYC DOE Parent University is offering classes on mindfulness on Tuesdays and Thursdays 7-8pm.  Parents will need to register with their NYSCA acct. If they don't have one, they will be asked to sign-up to receive the link to the session. Mindfulness is emerging in public education based on 60 years of teachers, parents, and families discovering and utilizing the practice to stay with and realize solutions to personal and public challenges

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April 29, 2021 Letter to Chancellor Porter from District 3 Presidents Council
See the letter sent to Chancellor from District 3 Presidents Council Porter objecting to the increased permit cost for after-school and enrichment activities in District 3 Public Schools. The permit fees jeopardize the ability of schools to provide enrichment programs and vital childcare services for working families in District 3 and across the city. 

Vote May 1-15 for Citywide Community Education Councils
For the first time voting is open to parents of all students! Learn more about the 2021 elections. Here is an 8-minute video which gives a brief overview of CCECs and then explains how eligibility works and shows the voting process in detail.

The Citywide Council on English Language Learners Presents: Virtual Town Hall with Chancellor Meisha Porter
May 5, 2021 @ 6:30 - 7:30pm
Event Registration
Don’t miss this excellent opportunity. Issues and concerns will be addressed.
  • English Conference Line: Dial (929) 205-6099 (Local NYC) and enter Webinar ID: 835 9700 6395
  • Spanish Conference Line: Dial (888) 475-4499 (Toll Free) and enter Pin 735-255-0102
  • Mandarin Conference Line: Dial (888) 475-4499 (Toll Free) and enter Pin 933-059-6663
  • Cantonese Conference Line: Dial (877) 853-5257 (Toll Free) and enter Pin 565-808-2412
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