10092020: School Store + PTA/SLT Election Updates
In this issue:

Principal's Letter

Dear Parents,
I hope you enjoyed Back-to-School Night – the opportunity to meet your child’s teachers and to hear about their plans for the year ahead.
I want to remind you that if you have questions about the class or about your child’s progress, you should start by contacting your child’s teachers. The teachers’ contact information is on the directory page of the MS54 website and on the welcome letter that you should have received from the teacher at the start of the year.
All of the Cohorts have now come into the building. It’s been wonderful to have the students in school. The teachers are happy to be teaching in person too. It’s definitely been a learning process. One of the new things we have discovered this week is that students should have a pair of earphones with them on their in-person day. These will come in handy if their teacher is absent because of potential COVID related symptoms. In some cases, the teacher may still be able to teach the class through Zoom. This happened this week, where the teacher was projected on the board through Zoom to the students sitting in the classroom. It was not ideal, but it kept the learning going even when the teacher could not be present. Please remind them to complete their health screening each morning. They must show that they have done it before they enter the building.
Next week we will follow the schedule below to ensure that the students in Cohort A do not miss out on in-person days because of Monday holidays. The next time this will happen will be in January, during the week of Dr. Martin Luther King’s Birthday.
Monday, October 12 Tuesday, October 13 Wednesday, October 14 Thursday, October 15 Friday, October 16
COHORT B  in the building COHORT C in the building COHORT E in the building COHORT A in the building
Also in the building are the students who come in-person for services on Friday.
Please ensure that your children have all the required immunizations. We will be checking immunization records in the next few weeks and may potentially have to exclude students whose immunizations are not up-to-date. You can email a copy of your child's immunization records to Patricia Huggins, the school secretary at
If you have not returned the required emergency forms, this must be done ASAP.
Elana Elster

PTA/SLT Election

The fall PTA/SLT election will take place October 13 at 7:00 pm via Zoom. All parents & guardians are eligible and encouraged to vote! Please preregister for this PTA meeting in advance using your full name so that we can verify that your child is a student at the school before the meeting. Voting will take place using Zoom's anonymous polling feature. If you are not a parent/guardian, you will be placed in a waiting room during the election and welcomed back to the meeting afterwards. PTA positions will be voted on first, followed by the SLT election.

Nominations have been received for the following positions:
  • Co-Treasurer
  • Co-Corresponding Secretary
  • Sixth Grade Representative
  • SLT Parent Representatives
We are seeking nominations from the floor on election night for a Co-Fundraising VP to work alongside our amazing veteran fundraiser Colleen Welker.

Please read the bios of all our candidates before the meeting. Additionally, to keep things exciting, we will also accept nominations from the floor for all positions. If you have any questions about the elections, please email:

October PTA Elections
Date: Oct 13, 2020
Time: 7:00 PM
After registering, and being confirmed as a current parent or guardian, you will receive a confirmation email with a link to join the meeting.

October PTA Meeting

Immediately following the PTA/SLT elections, we will hold the October PTA meeting. We expect the meeting to start at 7:30 pm, but if the election runs long, the start time may be delayed. Please note this is a separate meeting from the election with it's own link. Due to the election, we will not have a guest speaker at this meeting. 

  Presidents' Update
  Principal's Update
  Treasurer's Report
  Community Updates

October PTA Meeting
Date: Oct 13, 2020
Time: 7:30 PM (approximately)
Meeting ID: 984 5768 8380.    Passcode: 545454
+16465588656,,98457688380#,,,,,,0#,,545454# US (New York)

The School Store Is Open for ONE Week Only!!

THIS IS IT, PEOPLE!! For everyone who missed the August sale, or whose child has outgrown their favorite hoodie, this is your chance!

For JUST ONE WEEK, until Friday, October 16th, the Booker T spirit store will be online selling the classic gear everyone wants! Hoodies, Zippies, PJ’s, T-shirts, and MASKS!!

Get your orders in TONIGHT before you forget and your kid hates you! When you order online, there is an option to have your orders go to the school for free OR to your home for an additional $16. Got questions? Email:
Shop MS54 Gear Now!!

Fundraising Meeting Friday, October 16

The fundraising team is getting back together on Friday, October16 at 9:00 am to discuss and plan the virtual events, sales, and races that will enable us to continue providing our school with the funds it so desperately needs. Both fundraising veterans and newbies are welcome!!

Fundraising Meeting
Time: Oct 16, 2020 09:00 AM
Meeting ID: 974 2753 6554     Passcode: 570402

We Still Need Class Parents!

Booker T relies on its Class Parent network to build our school community. We are looking for each homeroom to have at least one class parent. If you are a parent in one of the homerooms listed below and can volunteer a few hours a month, please complete this Class Parent Interest Form
  • 6th Grade: Ms. Guttzeit (6B15), Mr. Haynes (6B6, 6B7), Mr. McGonagle (6E24, 6E26), and Ms. Weinreb (6E25, 6E28, 6E30).
  • 7th Grade : Mr. Chilelli (7C25, 7C26), Mr. Dutton (7C24), Ms. Hannon (7C21, 7C22), Ms. Mersits (7A10, 7A11), and Ms. Siegel (7E33, 7E34).
  • 8th Grade: Mr. Guzman (8C27, 8C28, 8C31), Ms. Ritter (8C29, 8C30), and Mr. Wilson (8A12, 8A14) .

Art Portfolios Available for Pick up!
Portfolios from last year's after school art class through the Jewish Museum have been found!  Please email to arrange a pick-up time.

Wellness Update

Wellness Tips. Send your favorite Wellness Tips to Your tip may be used in the daily Wellness Tip broadcast to students in the school building. Visit the Wellness page on our school website and join The Well at 54 on Facebook —our space to share ideas and practices that keep us healthy and well!

Booker T. "Family To Family" Community Support. We invite students to bring in a non-perishable food item every day they come to the school building. Parent Coordinator, Anne McIntosh Pejovich will greet them at the door with a drop-off bag. The Booker T. community is giving assistance to our families who are in need of groceries, school supplies, and/or clothing. Please reach out to Anne McIntosh Pejovich at for more information. Your privacy is guaranteed. To donate food to Booker T. families in need, please visit the MS54 PTA Food Drive Wish List to contribute to our school food drive. Select, pay, and you're done. No need to worry about the delivery address or delivery time.

Want to get involved in the physical, mental, and social health of our community? The next Wellness Meeting will be Friday, October 30 at 7:30 AM. Mark your calendars and join us by Zoom! 
DOE Info & Community Updates

International Day of the Girl Summit on October 10
Former MS 54 student, Pia Mancini, worked with Girl Rising, a nonprofit dedicated to the movement for gender equity and educational rights, to organize the Girl Rising International Day of the Girl Summit on Saturday, October 10. You are all invited! This global event will feature expert-led panels, youth-led workshops, film screenings, performances, creativity sessions, and inspiring messages – all to celebrate girls and their futures. Guests can register here to attend one or many of its 6 sessions. Please email to ask any questions!

Random In-School COVID-19 Testing Consent Form
New York City DOE will provide testing for COVID-19 in every public school. You can provide consent for the random in-school testing from your New York City School Account. To do so, login into your New York City Schools Account (use the email and password that you provided to your student’s school when signing up). When you sign in, you will receive a pop up message letting you know that you can now complete the consent form.

Inside Schools High School Admissions Course
Laura Zingmond, senior editor at Inside Schools, has developed an online course, NYC High Schools: Applying in a Pandemic that helps 8th graders and their families find and figure out which schools to apply to, with a special focus on how to do this when you can't visit schools. The course uses the very same tools and resources that Inside Schools uses to research and evaluate schools for their website. Join the class and complete it at your own pace. The course is part of a fundraiser to support InsideSchools, a non-profit organization. However, InsideSchools is committed to supporting all families and will provide free access to anyone who can't afford the $39 course fee (no questions asked).

Free Virtual Writing/Poetry Series with Lyric Lab
The Lyric Lab is offering a free virtual creative writing/poetry workshop series for middle and high school youth who live in Manhattan. Space is limited. The virtual class will meet every Wednesday from 4pm to 6pm for 10 sessions beginning Wednesday, October 14, 2020. The project is being funded by a grant from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and the New York Council on the Arts. The goal of the workshop series is to create/print out an anthology of poetry and have a Virtual Book Celebration with participants and even family members. To apply complete the application form on the organization’s website.

Free + Low Cost Internet Options
The DOE has shared resources for accessing free or low cost internet options:

2020 Census Extended!
A federal judge has ruled that the 2020 Census count will not end early, continuing until the end of October. It is absolutely essential — for fair representation in government and funding for affordable housing, our schools, and hospitals — that all New Yorkers participate in the Census. Go to or call 844-330-2020 to complete your Census today — it's fast and confidential. New York City’s future depends on it.

Free Math Tutoring Program from Common Denominator
Common Denominator, formerly known as Top Honors, will offer their FREE math tutoring program virtually for the 2020-2021 school year. They are accepting applications for students who will be enrolled in the 5th-8th grades starting fall 2020.

Free Peer to Peer Tutoring with Homeroom
Homeroom is a free, nationwide, peer to peer tutoring program that began at the start of COVID-19. Since then, they have provided both one on one tutoring and small group classes (3-4 students). Their support is offered for students in grades K-12, in all subjects, and four languages (English, French, Spanish, Chinese). 

Events Calendar

Fri October 9 - Fri October 16: Online School Store will be selling classic MS 54 gear.

Mon October 12: NO SCHOOL - Columbus Day/Indigenous People's Day

Tues October 13: October PTA/SLT Elections @ 7:00 pm. Please register in advance. 
After being confirmed as a current parent or guardian, you will receive a confirmation email containing a link to join the meeting.

Tues October 13: October PTA Meeting @ 7:30 pm (please note this is a separate meeting from the election with it's own link).
Meeting ID: 984 5768 8380.    Passcode: 545454

Fri October 16: COHORT A in the building. Also in the building are the students who come in person for services on Friday. All other students follow a Monday schedule.
Fri October 16: Fundraising Meeting @ 9:00 am.
Meeting ID: 974 2753 6554     Passcode: 570402

Staying In the Know

While we endeavor to keep you well informed through this newsletter each week, inevitably topics and conversations come up throughout the week.
Join our Facebook group - a private group of parents, teachers, and staff where information is shared and issues of interest to the community are discussed. Once a member of our group, anyone can post and share articles and messages with our school community. You can also follow us on Twitter and Instagram.

The website is also an important resource. You'll find calendars, directories, meeting minutes, forms, and information on topics including equity and wellness. It has a fresh new look thanks to parent Yun Joo Shin, and content updates will be rolling out as the school year gets underway.
Amazon Reminder
Before you shop on Amazon, please use this link: or click on the Amazon logo on our website. That way, MS54 gets a percentage of every dollar you spend (at no cost to you!). Thanks, everyone!!
Copyright © 2020 MS54 PTA, All rights reserved.

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