August 28, 2020 Weekly Newsletter

Letter From the Principal

Dear Parents: 
Hopefully, by the time you are reading this, you have already found out your child’s cohort. We did our best to accommodate your requests, but had to make some educational and programmatic decisions that took priority.  We will email class assignments (your child’s group for in-school learning, the group of between 9-12 students) right before the first day of school. We always need to make some final adjustments based on staffing and other issues, so we would rather delay sending them out, then have to change them later. Class schedules will be distributed on the first day of school, as is our normal practice. 

For those of you who signed up for 100% remote, we have that noted, but assigned a regular cohort anyway. The reason for that is that if you change your mind, your child will not have to change teachers or groups. It will allow for a much more coherent and cohesive school community.  On Tuesday, September 8th at 6:00PM, I will hold a special meeting about the 100% remote option and what that will look like.  It is open to all, even if you did not decide to do this. The links for all the meetings are below. 

There has been a lot in the news about the assignment of teachers for remote and blended learning. In our program model, your child will have only ONE teacher for each subject area. The same teacher will teach both their subject matter on the remote and live days. (That means your child’s humanities teacher will be the same teacher when they are in school and when they are at home. They will not have two different teachers.)  

Please mark your calendars for the important meetings below and note that the Safety Meetings are MANDATORY for all families

Wednesday, September 2: Elster’s Open Office Hours 
I’ll be in my Zoom to address questions you have about the upcoming year. Come with a general question (this is not the place for discussing private matters) or come listen to what other people are asking. Feel free to drop by – but only if you are willing to have your camera on! I want to have a chance to meet you or to say hello again. (No pressure to do your hair – come as you are.) 
Topic: Elana Elster's Office Hours 
Time: Sep 2, 2020 08:00 PM 
Meeting ID: 996 4193 9273    Passcode: 484787 
Tuesday, September 8 at 6PM: What will 100% remote look like? 
Come hear about how this option will be handled at Booker T. 
Topic: 100% Remote 
Time: Sep 8, 2020 06:00 PM 
Meeting ID: 964 6057 1587   Passcode: 187516 
Tuesday, September 8: MANDATORY Safety Assemblies 
7PM: Cohort B 
Topic: Safety Assembly Cohort B 
Time: Sep 8, 2020 07:00 PM 
Meeting ID: 984 6788 3813   Passcode: 983124 
8PM: Cohort E 
Topic: Safety Assembly Cohort E 
Time: Sep 8, 2020 08:00 PM 
Meeting ID: 952 9698 8160   Passcode: 940218 
Wednesday, September 9: Mandatory Safety Assemblies 
7PM: Cohort A  
Topic: Safety Assembly Cohort A 
Time: Sep 9, 2020 07:00 PM 
Meeting ID: 918 7192 6632   Passcode: 481474 
8PM: Cohort C 
Topic: Safety Assembly Cohort C  
Time: Sep 9, 2020 08:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada) 
Meeting ID: 972 8035 4421   Passcode: 524187 

Have a wonderful weekend and I hope to see you next week.

Elana Elster 

Sixth Grade Zoom Activities Are 8/31 - 9/3!

Calling all Sixth Graders!! Booker T teachers are leading a bunch of LIVE Zoom activities just for you next week! Check out the options below and join as many sessions as you like! Sorry, big kids - these sessions are just for the newbs.

Craft origami hearts with secret messages inside.
Ms. Zipkin:
Meeting ID: 957 7401 0268
Passcode: 226572
You’ll need some square paper or post its

2:00 - NAIL ART
Give yourself a professional-looking manicure with an artistic touch!
Ms. Kaon: 
Meeting ID: 949 6002 7701
Passcode: ms54
You’ll need at least two colors of nail polish, clear + base coats, a nail file, trimmer, a small bowl of warm water, hand lotion, nail stickers, toothpicks, nail polish remover + q tips

Stand taller and feel better working at your desk after taking this ballet class.
Ms. Cea: 
Meeting ID: 927 2175 5372
Passcode: 753009
You’ll need a chair or something sturdy to hold on to

7:00 - MAKE A MASK (OR 3)
Learn three different ways to make a COVID mask without sewing a stitch.
Dr. Elster:
Meeting ID: 959 8199 9675
Passcode: 913214
You’ll need:
   One sock that you are willing to cut up
   A bandana, scarf, or cloth of some kind
   A t-shirt you are willing to cut up
   Four rubber bands or pony tail holders
   Scissors that will cut fabric

Learn the ancient art of Mandala drawing.
Ms. McEvoy: 
Meeting ID: 460 929 4042
Passcode: 2BF7v6
You’ll need a ruler, pencil & paper

Tour our librarian’s Victorian home and learn how your great-grandparents set their tables.
Ms. Goldfarb: 
Meeting ID: 980 1046 0324
Passcode: 258581

Take a creative break and play a game of Pictionary with your newest friends! No experience required. 
Ms. Lichtman:
Meeting ID: 957 2573 8262
Passcode: 353844

Use the free program Musescore to write your own composition on sheet music.
Mr. Dutton: 
Meeting ID: 928 7243 8898
Passcode: 7Kt7DY
Download Musescore before the session:

Uncover the unexpected plants and animals who share our city with us.
Ms. McEvoy: 
Meeting ID: 460 929 4042
Passcode: 2BF7v6

2:00 - CODING
Learn coding basics to create your own emoji!
Ms. Weinreb:
Meeting ID: 946 4605 0209
Passcode: 318608
You'll need a device with a keyboard - not a phone!

5:00 - MIDDLE SCHOOL 411
You’ve got this! Get the inside scoop on how to rock middle school.
Ms. Misthal:
Meeting ID: 542 374 5782
Passcode: 7ix070

Make a delicious, healthy smoothie to help you power through your day.
Ms. Weisz: 
Meeting ID: 938 4592 4875
Passcode: 421484
You’ll need a blender, yogurt, milk, fruit, spinach, chia seeds and anything else you like!

Amaze your family! Learn how to cook eggs FOUR delicious different ways.
Mr. Holden: 
Meeting ID: 962 2732 1157
Passcode: 537798
You’ll need a frying pan, some eggs and a stovetop

7:00 - PILATES
Be your strongest self in a class that works your core and lengthens your muscles!
Ms. Hannon: 
Meeting ID: 927 7263 2426
Passcode: 393728
You’ll need a yoga mat & chair

2020-21 School Supply List

  • 5   Composition books  (preferably 5 different colors) 
  • 1   Composition book with graph paper 
  • 1   8 ½ x 11 size spiral notebook (paper must be 8 ½ x 11) 
  • 10 Double pocket vinyl folders (as many different colors as possible) Vinyl is far more durable than paper folders 
  • Pens and pencils 
  • Calculator: 
    • 6th Graders: Scientific calculator (with √, π functions -- TI-34 multi-view calculator preferred) 
    • 7th Graders: Preferred: Graphing calculator (TI 84 Plus)
      Acceptable: Scientific calculator with π, √ functions  
    • 8th Graders: Graphing calculator required for Regents math (TI84Plus)  

You will need these supplies at home: 

  • colored markers 
  • colored pencils 
  • loose-leaf paper 
  • 3x5/4x6 index cards 
  • 10 glue sticks NOT LIQUID 
  • 1 roll of scotch tape 
  • 1 small stapler 
  • white out 
  • 6 inch dual-sided ruler (in/cm) 
  • small scissors (approx. 5 inches) 
  • small pencil sharpener with cover for shavings 
  • graph paper – 1 pack 

Food Drive for Community + Neighbors

Please contact Anne Pejovich if you are in need of grocery assistance.

To help our community members and neighbors, have an online grocery order sent to: 

MS54 Booker T. Washington JHS Main Entrance on West 108 Street
(between Amsterdam and Columbus Avenues) 

Deliveries accepted every weekday until Labor Day from 7:30 AM to 1:30 PM!

Suggested non-perishable pantry items:

Dry pasta or rice
Beans (dry and canned)
Tomato sauce 
Peanut butter & jelly
Canned tuna or sardines
Breakfast cereal and/or oatmeal
Shelf stable milk such as Parmalat
Applesauce and other healthy snacks

Anything in boxes, cans and jars that families often need for meals is helpful.

Please contact Anne McIntosh Pejovich with any questions at 347-563-5156 or and THANK YOU to all who have already donated!

Summer Assignments

Please remind your children to complete their summer assignments. These assignments should be submitted via google classroom once school resumes. Access to google classroom will be provided to new students after school starts

P-EBT Food Benefit Cards

Be on the lookout! Those P-EBT cards have started arriving in mailboxes! Each child will receive $420 in food benefits. Read this terrific Gothamist article to learn more. These cards are distributed by the state, not by Booker T, so if you have questions, please visit the NYS FAQ page or call 1-888-328-6399.

DOE Info & Updates
Learning Bridges
As the New York City public schools reopen this fall, most schools and sites will operate on a blended learning model. If you're in need of child care support on the days when your child is scheduled for remote learning, The DOE is piloting a program called "Learning Bridges". Please complete this survey to express interest in the Learning Bridges program, which will provide child care options for children from 3-K through 8th grade this fall on days when they are not in school buildings. The information collected  will be used to guide the City's planning for the Learning Bridges program. Families can expect more information about a potential placement in the coming weeks.

Please note: programs will become available on a rolling basis through the start of school.

Request a DOE Learning Device
The DOE is lending internet-enabled iPads to support remote learning for students. If your family has been sharing devices, or has unstable internet, a DOE iPad could be a big help. Here’s the link to request a device: 

Events Calendar
August 31 September 3: New Student Activity Zooms (SEE ABOVE)

September 2 @ 8:00PM: Dr. Elster's Open Office Hours 
Meeting ID: 996 4193 9273    Passcode: 484787

September 8 @ 6PM: What will 100% remote look like? 
Meeting ID: 964 6057 1587  Passcode: 187516 
September 8: MANDATORY Safety Assemblies 

September 9: Mandatory Safety Assemblies 

September 10: First Day of School

Amazon Reminder
When you place an Amazon order, please use this link: or click on the Amazon logo on our website before you begin shopping. That way, MS54 gets a percentage of every dollar you spend (at no cost to you!). Thanks, everyone!!
Booker T Facebook Communication Forum

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You can also follow us on Twitter and Instagram.
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