In this Issue: Letter from the Principal - Welcome Back to School
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Dear Parents,

I hope your children enjoyed their summer. I am looking forward to greeting them on Wednesday, September 9th.
First and foremost, thank you for your generosity and your response to the PTA’s appeal. Your financial support of our school through the PTA has enabled us to keep a full-time librarian and dean this year.  If you have not given yet, please consider contributing. The PTA has not yet reached its fundraising goal. Your children are the direct beneficiaries of your generosity.
The summer was busy at Booker T. We were once again District Three’s middle school summer school site. We hosted students from nine different schools. Laura Lynch (the assistant principal) was the administrator in charge.

We have five new full-time teachers joining our faculty – Danielle Zipkin (8th grade humanities,) Richard Cappadona (8th grade math and humanities/special education,) Adam Guzman (science/special education,) John DeLuca (math/special education,) and Jackie Drouin (7th grade science). We also welcome a new part-time ESL teacher and a new part-time social worker. At the end of the year, Naomi Schachner, Lucy Stowe, Evening Shinerock and Jarod Wunneburger moved on to other opportunities. Virginia Young announced her retirement during the summer.

In addition to planning for the coming year and recruiting teachers, I spent time this summer reviewing our academic program and looking specifically at the curriculum maps the teachers revised in the spring.  My goal was to ensure that all students, regardless of what class they are in or who teaches it, will be challenged with common units of study.


Important Information

  • School starts on Wednesday, September 9th at 8:40AM. (Please note that although this is a Wednesday, on this day only, we will be starting at 8:40AM.) Students will be dismissed at the regular Wednesday dismissal time of 2:20PM. 
  • All students enter the school building through the courtyard on 107th Street. (This is the regular entrance for students.)
  • Sixth graders will be dismissed through this same courtyard each afternoon. Seventh graders will be dismissed through the doors closest to their official classroom.
  • On the first few days of school, many members of the staff will be outside and available to answer your questions.
  • Many parents (especially sixth grade parents) escort their children to school on the first day. If you decide to do so, you will by no means be the only parent there. For the first few days, some parents meet their children at the end of the day as well. Many sixth graders go home on their own.
  • Parents may not escort students to their classrooms or into the building. There will be staff members inside directing the students to their classrooms. I know the students will be anxious, but we will do our best to help ease everyone’s first day jitters. There is a lot to do to ensure that the students are settled on the first day, so it is not the ideal day for the staff to assist you. The administrators are all in this week, so if you have specific concerns or questions, this week is better than Tuesday or Wednesday of next week.
  • Your child will report to their official class upon entering the school. You received the class assignments via email. If you have not, please go to the MS54 website and register your contact information. You can also email Laura Lynch for that information. During an extended homeroom period, teachers will welcome the students to school, answer all their questions, give them their class schedules and their first day packets, introduce them to other students and sixth graders will take a tour of the school.
  • Students will begin their regular class schedule at the start of third period (at approximately 10:00AM.)
  • Students should bring their completed summer assignments on the first day. The humanities teachers will collect them. The summer assignment (should you still need it) and the supply lists are posted on the website.
  • Students do not need to bring all their school supplies on the first day. The teachers will tell them what they will need to bring on a daily basis. All students should come on the first day with at least some paper, a folder, writing instruments and the completed summer assignments. Those of you who purchased supplies through the PTA will get those sent to you at home. The supplies for the school have already been delivered. Please remember that students may not wheel backpacks in the school building. If you are purchasing this kind of backpack, please be sure it also has straps.
  • On the first day, students will bring home a welcome folder that contains important forms for parents to complete and return and information about the school policies and procedures. Please review this information and return the forms immediately.
  • All students will receive academic planners in which they will be expected to record their assignments. Students are required to have them with them every day.
  • Students can bring their lunch to school or get lunch from the cafeteria. The DOE provides lunch for all middle schoolers. There is no charge.  The menu for each month is on the Department of Education’s website.
  • Parents of students who are new to the New York City Department of Education must officially register their children. This must be done in the main office BEFORE the Tuesday. You must have the required documentation with you to register. (Birth Certificate, Proof of Address and Immunization Record)


School Hours

The regular school hours are as follows:

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday: 8:40AM to 3:00PM
Wednesday: 8:00AM to 2:20PM

Early Academy takes place on Tuesday and Thursday from 8:00AM to 8:40AM.

Sixth Grade Orientation Sessions

The Sixth Grade Orientation Program is designed to introduce both the students and parents to the school. All the orientation sessions will begin promptly at 8:00AM and will conclude promptly at 8:40AM. Simultaneous orientation sessions will be held for students and parents. The student sessions will be led by teachers and eighth graders, and the parent sessions will be led by members of the administrative team. I hope your children will attend all three sessions and that you will join us for as many of the sessions as you can.

The topics are as follows:

Session 1: Thursday, September 10th
Time and Work Management / Using Your Planner

Session 2: Thursday, September 17th
Staying Organized/Navigating Booker T.

Session 3: Friday, September 18th
Safety – Joint Safety Assembly for students and parents

Parents of seventh and eighth graders who are new to the school are welcome to attend the sixth grade parent orientations.


Class Breakfasts

In order to provide both students and parents with an opportunity to meet and connect with each other early in the year, class breakfasts will be held on Friday, October 2, 2015 from 8:00AM-8:45AM at the school. These informal gatherings will be held in your child’s homeroom. There will be no official program on that morning. This is a wonderful opportunity for parents and students to meet each other. More information, including what to bring, can be found in the welcome folder.

Back-To-School Night

Back-To-School Night is on September 16th. It begins at 5:30PM in the auditorium. Parents will begin following their child’s schedule and meeting the teachers at 6:00PM. The evening will conclude at 8:15PM.


If you know of Booker T. families who are not receiving emails, please encourage them to go onto the MS54 website and sign up for the newsletter. Most of the information we send to parents is through email.

If you have any questions or concerns, please email me or the parent coordinator, Anne McIntosh Pejovich.
I am looking forward to a great year.
Elana Elster



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