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06.11.21: Lots of Year-End Updates



Principal's Letter

Dear Parents,

It’s been a busy week!

  • The students dazzled us with their incredible performances at the Student Talent Show.
  • The 7th grades had their humanities research celebration. Each class designed a new statue for the front of the Museum of Natural History and presented it to their peers.  
  • We welcomed our incoming 6th graders at the New Parent event on Wednesday night. 
  • We had the final 6th grade One School Lunch. 
  • The faculty met in person to plan for the coming year and to enjoy a delicious lunch sponsored by the PTA. (Thank you!) 
  • I have interviewed over a dozen people for multiple positions we want to fill in the coming year, and joined teachers in many demonstration lessons. 
  • The teachers have been working to help the students resolve their NXs and complete their coursework. 
  • Dr. Vijayeta Sinh spoke to the entire student body Friday. Her topic — Beating Anxiety: Everyday Resilience for Teens gave students important strategies to help them through stressful times.

The deadline for completing your school survey has been extended to next Friday, June 18th. Please consider providing us with this important feedback. As of today, only 20% of the parents have participated. The link is: To access the survey, put an "f" in front of your child’s OSIS number. 

Next week, the sixth and seventh graders will take their math final during the first period of their in-person day. Students who are 100% remote will receive instuctions from their math teacher.

Summer Assignments are posted on the school website. We have kept them low-key this summer. I hope every student will read daily. I also know that this has been a difficult year, and the students need downtime too.

It is my pleasure to congratulate the new PTA Board and School Leadership Team members. I look forward to working with you and very much appreciate your commitment to the school.

And, next week is GRADUATION! Looking forward to our in-person celebration.

Elana Elster

The deadline to complete the 2021 NYC School Survey has been extended to Friday, June 18th. Please let the DOE know how this year went for you. So far only 20% of our families have responded and 2% of our students! Please take five minutes to go to HERE and complete the survey tonight. Your password is "f" followed by your child's OSIS number. Thank you!
Please return all library books before June 25th! There will be drop boxes outside the Main Office on the first floor and the Library on the third floor. Ms. Goldfarb thanks you!
The Sixth Grade Community Service Club is holding a Bake Sale on Sunday, June 13th from 1-3pm at Rudin Family Playground in Central Park at 96th Street. Proceeds will be donated to the West Side Campaign Against Hunger. Please come support our students and a great cause!
Booker T.'s homegrown talent shone brightly at the Student Talent Show on Thursday. Thank you to all the participants for sharing their passions with us and special kudos to Mr. Fagen and Ms. Williams for making this fantastic end-of-year tradition happen remotely!
Thank you to Lee Uehara and all the parent volunteers who made Sixth Grade Field Day so awesome! It was a wonderful opportunity to connect IRL and make new friends (for both kids and parents!). Over 150 families attended and had a blast!
Join the 7th grade end-of-this-crazy-year outing!
Date: Saturday, June 19th
Time: Start at 1pm
Great Hill in Central Park
Activities: Every family going should bring: food & drink to share, picnic blankets & stuff to play with (balls, frisbees, kites, etc.)
SIGN UP so that we can have a sense of who's coming. 
THANK YOU to all the generous families who donated to our food drive this year! We have now closed up shop for the summer and are in the process of distributing our remaining items to the families in our community. We are deeply grateful to Anne McIntosh Pejovich for recognizing this need in our community last June and working tirelessly to ensure every family had food on their table this year. We love you, Anne!

The PTA is collecting End-of-Year Thank You gifts for MS54 faculty, staff, and administration. Participating in the 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! Please make your donation by Sunday, June 20th.

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 Year-End Thank You”.

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

Larry Lee:

Tekla White:

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

G7: Anne Rosenberg: @Anne-Rosenberg-2
CONTACT:, 917-544-9717

G8 - Kyle Clayton: @Kyle-Clayton-10027
CONTACT:, 646-279-6940

Teachers also really appreciate a personal card or email! They've worked incredibly hard this year and deserve it all.

Graduation is happening on June 16th at 4:30pm in the Richard Rogers Amphitheater in Marcus Garvey Park located at 123rd Street and Mount Morris Park West!

Each child may bring ONE parent/guardian. The wristband your child gets with their cap/gown next week is your admission ticket! You will need to show it to enter the amphitheater area. If your child is remote, please come to school to pick up the gown and wristband.

There will be several rows behind the graduates labeled for parent seating. The New York City Parks Department requires that we abide by social distancing restrictions and wear masks.

We will also be livestreaming the event for family members at home. That link will be shared as soon as we get it!

We strongly recommend that students bring water bottles and sunscreen with them as seats will be in the sun at the beginning of the program, becoming more shaded during the event.

Thank you for bearing with us as restrictions have evolved. If you have any questions, please reach out to

Sixth + Seventh Grade Volunteers Needed
Please help! We're looking for 10 sixth and seventh grade parents to help monitor entrances + exits to the amphitheater during the graduation ceremony. You will be working in pairs. If you can help between 4- 6pm, please sign up HERE.
Congratulations to Our Elected Parent Leaders!

Thank you to all those who attended our Spring Election meeting on Tuesday Night. Your new PTA Executive Board,
SLT, and Family Healing Ambassador are: 

PTA Executive Board
  • Co-Presidents: Larry Lee + Lee Uehara
  • Co-VPs of Communications: Marni Aarlev + Yun Joo Shin
  • Co-Treasurers: Aleksandra Lokshina + Anne Rosenberg
  • Assistant Treasurer: Rachel Polimeni
  • VP of Fundraising: Colleen Welker
  • Recording Secretary: Denise Broady
  • Eighth Grade Rep: Sandra Temko
  • Equity Family Representative: Nildania Perez
  • Wellness Family Representative: Alison Gardy
The parents below join Alexis Freeman, Karen Saltzer, and Andy Weinstein as parent representatives on the SLT. 
  • Dimitra Kautsantoni
  • Erica Teasley Linnick
  • Yael Swica
Family Healing Ambassador: Alison Gardy

Congratulations to all our new + continuing parent leaders!

We wish Laura Adams, Judy Clayton, Kyle Clayton, Marianna Crespi, Brad Roberts, Hudson Roditi, George Schneiderman, and Jacqueline Shannon all the best as they head off to high school. And thank you to Juhi Chawla and Tekla White for your service to the PTA board and MS54 community. You all will be missed!
JOIN US as we celebrate Juneteenth every day after school from Monday, June 14th  to Thursday, 17th, 1-2 pm. There will be lots of fun to be had with music, snacks, a fence decoration, and more! 

Families, please help by bringing in food to share during your child's in-person day. Traditionally, all foods and drinks consumed on Juneteenth are red. Some suggestions are: strawberries, watermelon, red velvet cake/cupcakes, red (purple) grapes, cherries, and apples.

QUESTIONS? Please email Anne Pejovich.
But that's not all! We invite all students and their families to a remote celebration on Friday, June 18th at 5pm. Learn about the history of Juneteenth, play a Juneteenth-inspired Kahoot!, and possibly WIN A PRIZE! Will it be you? Students can register using their DOE Zoom account HERE.

Click HERE more information about this holiday.

An AAPI Scavenger Hunt for Families
Although Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage month may be over for the year, the Asian American Association (AAA) invites the MS54 community to continue celebrating AAPI communities through June with a family-friendly scavenger hunt!! Participating in this activity, which was researched and created by the students of AAA, will not only help the MS54 community learn more about AAPI businesses and cultural centers in NYC, but it will also give our communities ways to support those centers. To participate, check out our grid of activities and complete any four across like a BINGO card. Take a "selfie" while engaging in any of the activities you choose to complete and send your set of 4 selfies with quick captions to for a chance to win a prize! Though these activities are fun to do any time of year, the chance to win a prize closes on Friday, June 18th. Good luck and have fun!

Pride Month Continues!
We’ve prepared an LGBTQ+ Resource List with books and online resources to enrich knowledge and celebrate Pride Month. Have another resource to suggest? E-mail us at


Join Us for the Last Equity Team Meeting of the Year
The June Equity Team meeting will be held Tuesday, June 15th from 7-8:30pm. We will provide a brief review of activities and feedback received from the community throughout the year, and then break out into small groups to brainstorm goals and actionable steps for the coming year. Register in advance for this meeting.

School Meetings + Events

Sixth Grade Community Service Club Bake Sale
Sunday, June 13, 2021 @ 1 - 3pm
Rudin Family Playground in Central Park at 96th Street
Proceeds will be donated to the West Side Campaign Against Hunger. Please come support our students and a great cause!

Math Final
June 14 and June 16, 2021: 7th Grade Math Final during in-school day
June 15 and 17, 2021: 6th Grade Math Final during in-school day

MS54 Juneteenth Celebration
June 14 - 17, 2021 @ 1-2pm
Join us as we celebrate Juneteenth! There will be lots of fun to be had with music, snacks, a fence decoration, and more! 

Equity Team Meeting
Tuesday, June 15, 2021 @ 7pm

Register in advance for this meeting. 
Read more about the goals of the Equity Team and summaries of past meetings. For more info, contact

Wednesday, June 16, 2021 @ 4:30pm
Students are allowed to bring ONE parent to Graduation in the Marcus Garvey Park amphitheater. Students will bring home wristbands along with their gowns next week. The wristband is your admission ticket.

Wellness Meeting
Friday, June 18, 2021 @ 7:30am

Come share your ideas for MS54 Wellness over the summer and next year!

Join Zoom Meeting. Contact for more info.

Junteenth Celebration
Friday, June 18, 2021 @ 5pm

Learn about the history of Juneteenth, play a Juneteenth-inspired Kahoot!, and possibly WIN A PRIZE! Students can register using their DOE Zoom account HERE.

7th Grade End-of-Year Outing
Saturday, June 19, 2021 @ 1pm
Location: Great Hill in Central Park
Activities: Every family going should bring: food & drink to share, picnic blankets & stuff to play with (balls, frisbees, kites, etc.) Please SIGN UP so that we can have a sense of who's coming. 

Last Day of School
Friday, June 25, 2021

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.

Joyful June Calendar
This month's Action for Happiness is all about finding the joy in life, even when things are difficult. Research has shown that experiencing positive emotions in a 3-to-1 ratio with negative ones leads to a tipping point beyond which we naturally become more resilient to adversity. Action for Happiness’ Joyful June calendar is full of actions to help you find more joy, even though life isn't perfect. Please share with others!

UFT Manhattan Parent Summer Conference
Registration is now open for the UFT Manhattan Parent Summer Conference taking place on Saturday, June 12, 2021, 10am – 2pm. This half day event features a special address by President Michael Mulgrew, a message from UFT Secretary and Director of Staff Leroy Barr Jr. Following that will be two sessions of relevant workshops to choose from. The day concludes with some swag and raffles.
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