111320: Many November Happenings!
In this issue:

Principal's Letter

Dear Parents, 
As the numbers of positive COVID cases rise in the city, I want to reassure you that we have had only one positive case among our students and faculty, and that student was not in school during the period of infection. Together with you, we are working hard to keep our community safe and healthy. We are prepared and ready should we need to go remote. Our fully remote schedule was prepared in the summer, and we do not anticipate any gap in instruction should we need to pivot.  
As we approach the holidays, please be mindful of the quarantining rules as they apply to your child’s ability to come into school. Your vigilance helps to keep us all safe and to ensure that we can continue with in-person learning. 

In the event that schools are closed, we will send out updated information and schedules through Jupiter. If there is an announcement, both parents and students should check their email for updates. We will also schedule a homeroom period at the start of full-remote learning so the teachers can go over the 100% remote schedule with the students. A link will be sent to the students. I will also hold a Town Hall Meeting to discuss the details and address concerns. 

I hope that you have been able to register for conferences with the teachers. Information about registering has been emailed to you. If you have not been able to get a conference and need to meet with the teacher, please be in contact with the teacher. Wednesday, Nov 18 and Thursday, Nov 19 (parent-teacher conference days) are regular instructional days for students. 

The First Marking Period ends today. Report cards will be available on your NYC Schools Account later next week. We hope that will be by Thursday, Nov 19 but we are beholden to the DOE’s technology — need I say more? We will let you know via email when to start looking for them. In the meantime, please be sure you have access to your account.  If you have questions about it, contact Anne Pejovich at
Elana Elster 

The MS54 Holiday Shop is OPEN!

Looking for unique MS54 Spirit + Grad Gear? We've got it!

The seasonal Holiday Spirit Gear Shop is now open, with an amazing assortment of hoodies, T's, hats, scarves and even MS54 BLANKETS for those chilly in-person days!! AND, check out the Class of 2021 Hoodies for your soon-to-be grads. This specialty merchandise is only available once a year, so don't miss out! Orders must be placed by SUNDAY, November 22. You can ship them to the school for free (they will be delivered to students on their in-person days), or have them delivered directly to you for a small fee. If you don't want your student to see the item because it's a gift, please choose home delivery.

If school is closed when items arrive, we will arrange a pick up day like we did for the pie sale.

Items take about two weeks to print and ship, so you can expect them to arrive around mid-December.

Classic MS54 Gear is Available 24/7

Does your kid prefer Classic Gear? 

No problem! 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! Best of all, you'll get your items in just a few days — no more waiting! 


Join Us for Broadway Night!

It's happening December 6th @ 6:30 PM!
Broadway Night is a spectacular, star-studded Booker T. tradition that regularly performs to a standing room only audience.

This year we're pivoting the show to Zoom...and with Broadway suspended since March, we’re thrilled to bring you an incredible lineup of acts ready to perform just for you in the comfort of your own home!

There are no tickets, but we hope that you will make a donation to support our school (perhaps what you might have spent on a night out during pre-Covid times). Any amount is appreciated!


Charleston Wrap Holiday Fundraiser

We've partnered with Charleston Wrap to offer a great way to check off your holiday shopping lists, while raising money for Booker T! It's easy to get started:
  1. Register at Charleston Wrap using ID: 21508.
  2. Email your besties to invite them to shop.
  3. Shop to benefit Booker T!
You'll find a terrific assortment of over 2500 gift ideas, including gorgeous gift wrap, gourmet kitchen essentials, personalized gifts, holiday treats & lots more! This event runs through November 30.


Time to Make Your Turkey Trot Plan

Over 250 people have joined Booker T's First Annual Virtual Turkey Trot raising over $6,000 to help support programs, staffing, and supplies for our amazing school! There are 28 different teams that you can join when you sign up or you can create your own!

Throughout the month of November, you can run or walk these distances anywhere on your own time: 1 mile, 5k (3.1 miles), or 10k (6.2 miles). You can even do it over several days. The suggested fee is $20 for adults; participants under 18 are free! In order to encourage as many participants as possible, there is also a "Pay as You Wish" option.

Need some encouragement? Sign up to join this Sunday's socially distanced Wellness Walk (10:00 am in Riverside Park @ 91st Street)!

Turkey Trot Reminders
: show your MS54 spirit by printing out and wearing your super cool MS54 bib during your run/walk, make sure to bring some water, enter your results when you are done, and please post your finisher photos to the MS54 Turkey Trot Album.



Parent Advocacy Needed (Again!)

We've all heard the news: As COVID-19 test rates are creeping up around the city, bars, restaurants, and gyms remain open, yet the Mayor is telling parents to get ready for schools to be shut down as early as Monday! If you believe that education should be prioritized over bars and gyms, sign this petition to demand that schools be designated essential services so that our children can continue in-person learning this year.

West Side Campaign Against Hunger Turkey Challenge

Make this a Thanksgiving for everyone! Help provide Thanksgiving and other holiday food for New Yorkers in need. Buy a Turkey or Text a Turkey (text TURKEY to 56512 using your smartphone); $54 supports 3 families! MS54 is a partner in this important campaign. Read WSCAH Turkey Challenge flyer for more info.

Wellness Update

Join Us for a Wellness Walk, Sunday 11/15 @ 10 am! 
We'll meet at the Community Garden inside Riverside Park along the Promenade at 91st Street, between Hippo Playground and the Soldiers and Sailors Monument for a 5-mile walk inside the park to support the MS54 Turkey Trot! Feel free to peel off at any time. Children optional. Masks required. Water bottles suggested. Sign up HERE. Hope to see you! 
Friday, 11/20 @ 7:30 am: Wellness Meeting with Dr. Elster
One of our school goals is to improve the supportive environment by engaging all students in ways that address their social and emotional needs. The Wellness Committee has been asked to brainstorm the ideas and next steps to help develop this programming. 
Join Zoom Meeting: 
Meeting ID: 931 3080 0366; Passcode: 144243.

Our MS54 "Family to Family" Drive is Celebrating Thanksgiving! 
We've added Thanksgiving dinner items to our MS54 PTA Food Drive Wish List — everything but the turkey! As a community, we are feeding families in need, and this is an ongoing initiative. THANK YOU, BOOKER T.! Keep it up! WE ARE GRATEFUL!
DOE Info & Community Updates

Video Gaming Opportunities and Problems in Children and Adolescents
A free 1-hour webinar for parents and caregivers from the Child Study Center, part of Hassenfeld Children's Hospital at NYU Langone. Many children and adolescents spend a good deal of their leisure time engaged in video gaming. In this webinar, Dr. Victor Pereira-Sanchez will provide an overview of the risks of video gaming and the opportunities to prevent and manage them.
DATE: Thursday, November 19, 2020
TIME: 6:30 - 7:30 pm

Virtual Comics Chat for Teens at the Riverside Library
Join three librarians from the Riverside Library who will talk about their favorite comics that they hope you'll check out. This month they will focus on comics, manga, and graphic novels for Native American Heritage Month and National Novel Writing Month.
DATE: Tuesday, November 24, 2020
TIME: 4 pm
RSVP here:

FLAG Award for Teacher Excellence Nominations Open Until 12/15
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. For more information and to nominate a teacher, visit

Nominate a Teacher for the Big Apple Awards
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. Nominate your favorite teachers online by Sunday, January 10, 2021.

Events Calendar

Now through November 22:
Visit the MS54 Holiday Store for an amazing assortment of hoodies, T's, hats, scarves and even MS54 BLANKETS for those chilly in-person days.

Now through November 30: 
Participate in MS 54's First Annual Turkey Trot!

November 20 at 7:30 amWellness Meeting   
Join Zoom Meeting: Meeting ID: 931 3080 0366; Passcode: 144243

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. 

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.

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