120420 - Coming Soon: Broadway Night on 12/6 + Specialized HS Panel on 12/8!
In this issue:

Principal's Letter

Dear Parents: 

These are questions to which we do not have answers: 

  • When are the middle school students going back to in-person learning? 
  • What is happening with high school admissions?
  • Will the SHSAT be given? 
  • What is happening with middle school admissions? 

This is what we are doing anyway: 

The teachers are working hard to keep your children engaged, learning, and supported, albeit remotely.  Before we do come back to school, you will have to provide consent to have your child tested. If you have not done that yet, please go to your NYC Student Account and do it there. 

We are sharing open house information, completing private school application documents, and encouraging parents to contribute to the High School Resource page:

We are doing our part each day to ensure that your child is becoming a stronger thinker, problem solver, reader, and writer. They will bring those skills with them to whatever test they will take or high school they enter. 

We had our first MS54 Virtual Open House on Wednesday night (and had more people in attendance than the Chancellor, whose Town Hall was happening at the same time.) We have another one scheduled for Tuesday morning, December 8th.  

I hope that you and your family are doing well and staying healthy. 

Looking forward to seeing you at Broadway Night this Sunday at 6:30pm! 

Elana Elster 


P.S. Some technical issues have delayed notification of Honor Rolls. Stay tuned.     



On Sunday night, December 6 at 6:30pm stars of stage and screen (and a few talented parents!) will entertain and delight you with an evening of performances.

We’re thrilled to bring you an incredible lineup of acts ready to perform just for you in the comfort of your own home! Syndee Winters, who played ALL THREE of the Schuyler Sister roles in "Hamilton" on Broadway will be performing. There are also performers from "The Lion King," "Motown," "Wicked," and many, many more, including some surprise guests you're sure to recognize!

To get the link to register for the show, please make a donation of any amount to support our school Please share the donation link with family and friends so more people can join in the fun!

If you've already made your donation, be on the lookout for a registration email. Sign up, then save the link for Sunday night at 6:30! If you get stuck, here's some help. See you at the show!


Holiday Teacher + Staff Gift Collection

The PTA is collecting Holiday Thank You you gifts to the MS54 faculty, staff, and administration. The holiday collection is digital, anonymous, and completely optional. All donations will be pooled and distributed to the entire school team by the PTA Executive Board. Any amount you wish to give is very much appreciated!

Here’s how:

  • Choose your PTA executive board collection liaison by payment platform and/or grade. If you have more than one student, feel free to make a single contribution.
  • Include a memo or note with your contribution indicating that this is for the "MS54 Holiday Thank You.”
  • Please make your donation by Sunday, December 13.

It’s that easy! Please email with any questions.Thank you in advance for your generosity!

Kyle Clayton:

Tekla White:

G6 - Aleksandra Lokshina: @Aleksandra-Lokshina
CONTACT:, 734-223-7200

G7: Colleen Welker: @colleen-sorrell-welker
CONTACT:, 646.251.9425‬

G8 - Laura Adams: @Laura-Adams-nyc
CONTACT:, 646.327.5155

Families Helping Families Gift Drive

Every year the PTA organizes a holiday gift drive for our families in need. We do it through an Amazon wish list so that purchases can be sent to the school and distributed anonymously. Here is this year's list: MS54 PTA Holiday Gift Wish List.

Please check back regularly; more items will be added as we hear from other families. Please place your order by DECEMBER 10 and be sure to use Amazon Smile so that our school receives a portion of your purchase!

If you are a family in need of assistance and would like to be included, please contact one of the following staff members:
Requested gifts must be available on Amazon, with exact item number, color, and size noted.


Classic Booker Gear School Store

We've opened our own School Store site that's open all year 'round to sell your favorite classics like hoodies, zippies, and T's. We've also got cozy PJ bottoms, sweatpants, and even MS54 beanie caps! AND, we now offer shipping for a small fee!

You can also pick up your Classic items at the school. Customers who receive a confirmation email with order status as "Ready" can pick up their orders Monday through Friday from 7:30 am to 4:00 pm. Use the 108th St entrance by the Security Guard desk. Please bring a hard or digital copy of your order at pick up. If you need to make special arrangements, please contact us at

Please note that the Classic School Store is run separately from the Holiday Specialty store -- those items will be available soon -- stay tuned!


Upcoming PTA Meetings 

General Meeting: Tuesday, December  8 @ 7:00 pm
Our guest speakers Tuesday night are a panel of HS students from the specialized high schools. The panel will be moderated by MS54 Alums: Marina Gallo and Talulah Lametrie and there will be time for parent Q&A. Please register in advance for this meeting.

Time: December 8, 2020 07:00 PM
Register: School Leadership Team: Friday, December 11 @ 7:20am 
Any member of the MS54 community who wishes to observe the meeting may email in advance for the Zoom link.     

New HS Admissions Resource!


There's so much that's unknown about the HS admissions process this year, but we can help each other by sharing what we know!

The PTA is helping eighth grade families by compiling HS open house + virtual tour dates, times, and links into a calendar on the HS Information page of

Please contribute any information you hear of. Thank you and we hope this helps!

Wellness Update

Donate to the MS54 "Family to Family" Food Drive! Choose from the holiday meal items we added to our MS54 PTA Food Drive Wish List! If you need food, please contact Anne McIntosh Pejovich at

Need a Break? Come Out for a Wellness Walk, Sunday 12/6 @ 10 am. Meet at the Community Garden inside Riverside Park along the Promenade at 91st Street. Children optional. Masks required. Water bottles suggested. Peel off at any time. Sign up HERE. Questions? Text Alison Gardy at 917-696-2370.

Friday, December 18 @ 7:30 am is our next Wellness Meeting. We’ll discuss our action plan to support the well-being of all MS54 students. Bring your concerns and ideas. We are eager to listen and learn from you.
Zoom Meeting:
Meeting ID: 930 3813 1592; Passcode: 734885

Asian American Association at MS54 

The Asian American Association was founded by a cohort of students who were inspired by the growing sense of Asian activism during the winter of 2020. Check out our student-run Instagram @aaazn54 to see some of our projects and initiatives from last season.

If students are interested in joining for the 2020-2021 school year, please fill out the prospective member survey! Filling out this survey does not mean that you have committed to joining, but it will add your e-mail address to our contact list.

Any questions can be directed to the co-teachers, Ms. Kaon and Ms. Zipkin.

DOE Info & Community Updates

Free Planting Kits from The Horticultural Society of New York
The Horticultural Society of New York will be handing out free planting kits outside of the greenhouse at Denny Farrell Riverbank State Park on Saturday December 5th from 10am – 12pm, while supplies last. Each kit includes a small pot, soil, a label, pea seeds, and a care sheet. Anyone who wishes to get a planting kit must wear a mask and respect social distancing. Join us to learn about the plants we're growing throughout the seasons, the bugs that surround us, and plants that we can eat in Bugs, Plants, and Nibbles! For more information or if you are interested in registering please call us at 917-902-3940 or email us at

New York Cares Coat Drive Drop-Off Locations
Due to COVID-19, community partners will receive coats directly this year. Use our drop-off map to find partners near you accepting donations, the kinds of coats they need, and their contact information.
Before donating, please review these guidelines:

  • Wash coats in soap and water or dry clean at the highest temperature possible without damaging the coat.
  • Store coats in a dark plastic bag or box to reduce contact.
  • Call ahead before visiting a location.

Child Mind Institute Coping During COVID-19 Workshop Series
As families continue to navigate through the changes and challenges of the pandemic, the Child Mind Institute would like to invite you to ttend our upcoming Coping During COVID-19 workshop series. Interested caregivers can learn more about the workshops and register here.

What: Homework help line for students, run by classroom teachers
Where: Call 212-777-3380
Who: Students in kindergarten through 12th grade
Hours: Monday through Thursday, 4 to 7 p.m. when school is in session
Languages spoken: Armenian, Bengali, Chinese, English, French, Haitian-Creole, Korean, Russian, Spanish and Tagalog
Subjects available: English, math, science and social studies.

FLAG Award for Teacher Excellence Nominations Open Until December 15
The FLAG Award recognizes and celebrates extraordinary public-school teachers who inspire learning through creativity, passion, and commitment. One grand-prize winner from each of NYC’s five boroughs will receive a $25,000 cash prize and finalists will each receive $10,000. The winning teachers’ schools will each receive $10,000 and each finalist’s school will receive $2,000 for arts-based initiatives designed by the award recipient. 

Nominate a Teacher for the Big Apple Awards by January 10
The Big Apple Awards is New York City’s educator recognition program that honors and celebrates educators who go above and beyond for their students and school communities. Nominating a teacher for the Big Apple Awards is a great way for students, families, teachers, administrators, school employees, and community members to show their appreciation for the City educators who have gone above and beyond for their students throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Events Calendar

December 6 at 6:30pm: Broadway Night 
There are no tickets needed for the zoom performance, but we hope that you will make a donation to support our school. 

December 8 at 7:00pm: General Meeting 
Panel of HS students from some of the specialized high schools that eighth grade students might be considering. 
Time: December 8, 2020 07:00 PM

December 11 at  7:20am: School Leadership Team 
Any member of the MS54 community who wishes to observe the meeting may email in advance for the Zoom link.     

December 18 at 7:30 am: Wellness Meeting
We’ll discuss our action plan to support the well-being of all MS54 students. 
Zoom Meeting:
Meeting ID: 930 3813 1592     Passcode: 734885

Amazon Smile

When you're doing your holiday shopping, please be sure to activate Amazon Smile by going to and selecting MS54 as the charity recipient. Do this once and you're set forever! And while you're getting your holiday shopping done, please consider making a donation to the MS54 Holiday Food Drive or buying some items from the MS54 Holiday Gift Wish List for families in the MS54 community.

Parent Resources

While we endeavor to keep you well informed through this newsletter, inevitably topics and conversations come up throughout the week. Here are additional ways to stay in the loop:

The website is where you'll find calendars, directories, meeting minutes, forms, and information on topics including equity and wellness.

The MS54 PTA Facebook group is a private group of parents, teachers, and staff where information is shared and issues are discussed. Members can post and share articles and messages with our school community. 

The btwms54pta Instagram is where to get visual inspiration and motivation from images, recipes, quotes and more.

The Well at 54 is our Facebook group devoted to sharing timely wellness tips, articles and solutions.
Copyright © 2020 MS54 PTA, All rights reserved.

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences 

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp