Let me start with Returning to the Building – I have no insider information, but I have been told to “get ready” because it’s in the works. You’ll hear more about our plans for the reentry in the coming weeks. We are not planning major changes, but do plan to make some minor adjustments.
It has been an interesting week – full of meetings with various constituencies. Monday — the faculty, Tuesday — the PTA Executive Board, Wednesday — the leadership of various committees, Thursday— the Equity Committee, and Friday — the School Leadership Team — and those were just the ones before or after school! The issues of planning for the coming year, inclusivity, equity, differentiation, school culture are recurrent ones. Many of the same people were on my screen at more than one of these. While I am grateful to their commitment, I encourage those of you who can, to consider coming to a school meeting in the next few weeks. In this era when we can attend while at home, work, or on the go, look at the calendar or events and join us. We need your voice and perspective.
What I also learned this week is if we want to get 100% attendance on any given day — invite the student to an assembly with the words “sex education” in it and everyone will show up! Kaitlyn Hansen, the pediatric nurse practitioner from the Ryan Center at Booker T. gave an informative session which captured the attention of the 7th and 8th graders. I knew it was especially successful based on the students’ willingness to ask questions (by chatting directly to Kaitlyn). We could have gone on for at least another period with questions. I am going to speak with Kaitlyn about some follow-up sessions. In the meantime, she gave the students a list of resources where they can get additional information. I sent that list to both the students and parents through Jupiter. Puberty and sex education is not an easy conversation for most parents to have with their children, so please use this valuable resource. Think about it this way — if it is not you or someone like Kaitlyn, your child’s sex educator will be a 13-year-old! I hope you will join us on Tuesday evening at the PTA meeting to hear Justine Fonte, a health educator. She will also be speaking with all the students in March.
Report cards are being processed. I hope to have them uploaded early next week. I will let you know when they are up in your NYC Student Account.
I plan to bake cookies next week for our families in need. I hope you will encourage your children to bake a batch too.
The Little Library @ MS54 is open! With the support of Dr. Elster and our teachers, we now have a "Little Library" bookshelf set up in the school lobby. Students and their families can pick up books to bring home or drop off some of their own favorites to share! The Little Library is open M - F from 7:30 am to 4:00 pm
MS54's School Store shipping service is temporarily suspended until further notice. Orders placed online will only be available for at-school pick up (M - F from 7:30 am to 4:00 pm). Please use the 108th Street entrance by the Security Guard desk and bring a hard or digital copy of your order at pick up. Questions? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Black Legends Slide Show Students and teachers have collaborated on a slide show of notable Black figures and iconic happenings. The slideshow is on ms54.org (ms54.org e-mail account required for access) with new content every day that school's in session this month!
Contribute to Our Black Culture Then + Now Showcase!
Help our students gather content from then (the past) and now to showcase how far we have come as a community, locally and nationally. Here are some ways you can participate!
Contribute a video of your child sharing a speech (or part of one), a moving piece of literature (or part of one), or even a quote addressing what diversity, equity, and/or unity means to them. These video/audio clips can then be shared with our community. Please limit the submission to a maximum of 30 seconds.
And be sure to check out some of our other BCAM spaces!
Weekend Winter Wellness Walk February 7, 2021 @ 10:00 am
Riverside Park Community Garden at 91st Street Join Wellness Chair Alison Gardy and other parents for a community stroll through Riverside Park. Masks required, water suggested, children optional. Questions? E-mail Alison at email@example.com.
Lunar New Year Celebration Family Night February 10, 2021 @ 5:30 pm Register for the Zoom meeting Celebrate Lunar New Year with the MS54 Asian American Association (AAA)! AAA students will share the story behind Lunar New Year, discuss how different cultures celebrate, demonstrate how to make paper lanterns, share festive recipes, and lead a fun Kahoot! To make your own paper lanterns bring: scissors, tape or glue, a ruler, a pencil, and three pieces of paper. Questions? Email Ms. KaonorMs. Zipkin.
Young Writers Awards Competition The New York Society Library is holding its 19th Annual Young Writers Awards Competition and Booker T students are eligible to participate. Find entry guidelines and information attinyurl.com/YWANYSL.
Riley's Way Call for Kindness
Teens who want to change the world canAnswer the Call for Kindnessand win up to $3,000 to fund their project idea. Applications close on April 7, 2021.
Hudson Guild SHSAT This is a free tutoring program in partnership with Tutorversefor students in the 7th grade that are looking to take the SHSAT test in the 8th grade or need additional academic support. Families can apply by clicking the link here. If you have any additional questions, please contact the Middle School Program Director, Ashley Bermudez firstname.lastname@example.org call/text 646-883-4015. If SHSAT isn't for you we also have free afterschool and a Learning Lab Program.
Tutoring Buddies Tutoring Buddies is a program that pairs high school students (tutors) with elementary/middle school students who need help with school (tutees). Once the pairs are made, the students decide when they would like to meet and what subjects they would like help with (the pairs are made based off available times and subjects of interest). Sign up to receive free tutoring help.
UFT Workshop on HS admissions
February 11, 5-6 pm. Presenters from the DOE’s Office of Enrollment and Michael Kraft, a member of the Panel for Education Policy, will explain changes made this year to the admissions process, give tips on researching schools, and offer other information to support your high school admissions journey.Registerfor this event.
DOE HS Admissions Webinars
Presentations will cover: updates to the admissions process for fall 2021, how to use the new features in MySchools, how High School and SHSAT offers are made, LaGuardia High School auditions, and Q&A.Sign up to attend.
Child Mind Institute Caregiver Support Workshops
The Child Mind Institute's upcoming free three-workshop series is designed to provide families with proactive strategies they can use to support their child's mental health and learning needs while virtually learning from home. For additional resources, please visit the Child Mind Institute.
Promoting Positive Behaviors for Your Child – Please register to learn more.