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05.07.21: Mindful Parenting Session + PTA Meeting Tuesday Night!




Principal's Letter

Dear Parents:

The Wellness Committee has opened the sign-up form for “One School Lunches” for our sixth graders. The lunches will give students an opportunity to meet other students, to broaden their social circle, and to socialize with other Booker T. students. We will provide the pizza, the ice-breakers, and the space. All sixth graders are expected to attend one. We will have a remote version too for those students who do not attend in person. The link for students to sign up is: (this link will only work for students). The plan is to have these lunches for all the grades before the end of the year. 

Students who missed the NYS Math Exam this week will take it on their in-person day next week. As long as we are on the topic of math, I want to let you know that we plan to give the sixth and seventh graders a math final during the final week of the school year.  

If your child has an NX, it is imperative that this grade gets resolved before the end of the year. The teachers are reaching out to you and to your children to develop a plan to complete the necessary work before the end of the year. I encourage you to reach out too. Students who do not fulfill the course requirements may be mandated to attend the Summer Rising Program. Your child’s report card can be found on your NYC Student Account.  

Eighth Grade Update 

Congratulations to all the eighth graders who received offers to the specialized high schools!  We hear that the remainder of the offers will be out in the next couple of weeks.  Hang in there —we know it is a long and difficult wait.

We are working to secure an appropriate venue for our in-person graduation ceremony. If your child has not completed the graduation gown survey, please do so by TODAY.  The link is: . The fee for the gown and the yearbook is $50 and can be paid by June 1st.   

I have received many questions about the Regents Exams. Here is what I know.  

  • Schools must administer the Regents exams in algebra and earth science. 
  • Students who pass the course — either algebra or earth science or both will be granted a waiver and will get Regents credit for the course, even if they do not take the exam. 
  • Students who pass the class, but choose to take the exam, will be granted the waiver regardless of whether they pass or fail the exam. Yet, the exam grade will be listed on their official high school transcript.  
  • Each high school will make their own determination about whether to give a placement test, whether the students who took algebra in eighth grade will have to repeat the course in 9th or if they will go on to geometry. 

Ultimately, it is your decision as to whether your child sits for the exam. If you are unsure about what you want to do or how prepared your child is, please consult the teacher(s). You do not have to make this decision, yet. Please remember that the grade your child receives in the course will still appear on their high school transcript.  

Summer Rising 

If you would like to register your child for the NYC Department of Education’s Summer Rising Program, please follow this link: 


The Wellness Committee, in partnership with Ms. Cohen + Ms. Saltzman, is launching "TBH" (To Be Honest) — a confidential group for kids to be held on Mondays from 4 - 5pm over zoom. Conversations will be moderated by Nina Jaroslaw, a social work graduate student, and supervised by Ms. Saltzman. Sign up to join. Reach out to Wellness Chair, Alison Gardy, at with any questions.
Interested in a 6th Grade Field Day? Interested in a Simple 6th Grade Yearbook? E-mail Lee Uehara at to see how you can help out.
THANK YOU to all the families who came out to Chalk the Walk on Sunday! Your creative drawings and thoughtful messages brightened the spirits of our teachers arriving at school. What a wonderful gift to give on a Monday morning!
Student Desks: An alum dad+son team have made over 30 desks for our students in need this year and they are donating more! We have 8 free student desks to give away. Please e-mail if you would like one. The desks are available for pick up at 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. 
Teacher Appreciation Continues

As we close out Teacher Appreciation week, please consider writing a "Thank You" to one (or more!) of your children's teachers. This has been a challenging year, to say the least, and our teachers have been trying their hardest to keep our children afloat in spite of their own struggles. For e-mail addresses, consult the School Directory on the MS54 website.

Thank you for your "Thank Yous!"

Mindful Parenting Session + PTA Meeting Tuesday @ 7:00 PM

We could all use a little mindfulness this year. On Tuesday night, our PTA meeting will start with special guest Clinical Psychologist Erika Rooney of the Child Mind Institute, who 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 8:00pm.

Stick around afterwards to weigh in on next year's budget and the expansion of the executive board to include representation from the Wellness + Equity teams. 
Meeting materials: May Agenda, April Minutes, May Budget Report, Proposed 2021-22 Budget, PTA Inclusion Plan, Redlined Bylaws Changes to Support Inclusion Plan
Register to join the meeting.

As a reminder, 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:
Homeroom Fundraising Is Heating Up!

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!

CONGRATULATIONS to Homerooms 6B8 and 6B9, for surpassing their goal of $540! You've earned a $50 gift card to the school store!

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

May is Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month! Each week, the Equity Team will be highlighting resources and links to celebrate and support the AAPI community in this particularly difficult year. If you have additional resources to share, please feel free to send them to us at

This week we call your attention to two national organizations, the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center and, that are featuring a range of online events throughout this month, and that have a wealth of educational resources for you and your families to explore throughout the year. Locally, check out Japan Day NYC which has events this weekend in Central Park! Check out  MS54’s AAPI resource page for additional resources relevant to our school community.

Finally, please consider supporting relief efforts to address the ongoing COVID-19 catastrophe in India. PBS has assembled this list of organizations to which you can donate online. 

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

Spring Planting Saturday
May 8, 2021 @ 1:00pm
Want to help plant flowers and do some cleaning around the school? Join MS54 parent, Natasha Shtraizent, on Saturday, May 8th at 1pm. Natasha will bring a couple of hand shovels, gloves, and garbage bags. Any help, especially from kids, will be appreciated. This counts as a 54 for 54 Challenge entry!

Sunday Wellness Walks @ 10am — Counts towards 54 for 54 Challenge!
May 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

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

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. 

6th Grade Bike Ride + Ice Cream 
May 16, 2021 @ 4:00pm
Start Point: West 72nd Street + Central Park West, north set of benches at entrance For more info + RSVP: Email Lee Uehara at 6thgraderep@ms54pta.orgIf you don't know how to ride a bike and want to learn, email us that, too.

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

7th Grade Kite Flying + Picnic 
May 22, 2021 @ 11:00am (rain date May 23)
Join other 7th grade families for a meet up (+ 54 for 54 Challenge activity) at Ellington on the Park. It's a great spot for picnicking, kite flying, swinging on rings, and more. Contact Sandra Temko at for more info and RSVP. More details to come.

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.

2021–22 NYC Public Schools Calendar
The complete 2021–22 NYC Public Schools Calendar is available on the DOE websiteAll these dates have also been added to the calendar on the MS54 website. Things to note: November 2, 2021, Election Day, will be a fully-remote, asynchronous instructional day for all students. On “Snow Days” or days when school buildings are closed due to an emergency, all students and families should plan on participating in remote learning. 
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