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J.H.S. 054 Booker T. Washington

Grades: 6-8
Staff Pick
103 West 107th Street
Manhattan NY 10025
Phone: 212-678-2861

Our Insights

What’s Special

Rigorous and creative instruction

The Downside

Small cafeteria

The Booker T. Washington School (MS 54) is a sought-after, academically challenging school with a music program and a range of elective classes and after-school activities.

Teachers develop their curriculum in house, injecting a lot of creativity into lessons and activities. A 7th-grader wrote to the Walt Disney Company to explain in detail the historical errors of its portrayal of Pocahontas. In science, students conduct a lab on the Big Bang Theory to understand the role of a singularity in the universe’s expansion, according to the school’s Quality Review.

In humanities classes, which cover both English and social studies, students take a three-year sequence in grammar and are required to read at least 25 books during the school year. There’s a school-wide spelling bee and the hallways are decorated with vocabulary words, brain-teasers and Latin root words worthy of an SAT prep course.

All students participate in the annual science fair and by 8th grade are writing research papers using secondary data. Weekly science labs run for a double period to allow time for experiments that are hard to complete in a single period.

Beyond core academics, the school has a strong music program that includes instruction in band, string instruments and chorus. Sixth-graders rotate through instruction in all three areas and take a fine arts class. For 7th and 8th grade, students concentrate in one area of music or in another interest such as fine arts, drama, technology, film or public speaking.

Sixth-graders also rotate through instruction in several languages, which typically include Spanish, French, Latin and Mandarin and then concentrate in one starting in 7th grade.

Tutoring is provided in the early morning and after school for those needing extra support. There’s also a range of sports and after-school activities run onsite.

MS 54 is housed in a three-story brick building a few blocks from the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine. The cafeteria is small, which means students eat lunch in three shifts, one for each grade. There’s a library packed with books and staffed by a full-time librarian and two technology labs filled with computers. The nurse’s office is a satellite of Ryan Community Health Center. Outdoor facilities include a row of outdoor basketball hoops and an attractive turf-coated athletic field large enough for soccer and softball (a rarity in Manhattan).

SPECIAL EDUCATION: Each grade has self-contained and ICT (integrated co-teaching) classes plus SETSS.

ADMISSIONS: All students must take an entrance exam. Admissions decisions also take into account students’ grades, test scores and records of behavior. Students who qualify for free or reduced lunch and have lower grades and scores are given priority for up to 25 percent of seats. Admission information is available on the MS 54 website. (Laura Zingmond, via interview and web reports, April, 2019)


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School Stats

Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Is this school safe and well-run?

From 2022-2023 NYC School Survey

How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
78% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
58% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
84% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
0% Citywide Average

From the 2019-20 NY State Report Card

How many students were suspended?
4% Citywide Average

From this school's most recent Quality Review Report

Are teachers effective?

From 2023 End-of-year Attendance and Chronic Absenteeism Report

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
79% Citywide Average
Years of principal experience at this school

How do students perform academically?

From the New York State 2022-2023 Assessment Database

How many middle school students scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
46% Citywide Average
How many middle school students scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
51% Citywide Average

From 2023 End-of-year Attendance and Chronic Absenteeism Report

How many 8th-graders earn high school credit?
39% Citywide Average

Who does this school serve?

From the 2022-23 Demographic Snapshot

Free or reduced priced lunch
Students with disabilities
English language learners

From 2023 End-of-year Attendance and Chronic Absenteeism Report

Average daily attendance
90% Citywide Average
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
38% Citywide Average

From the 2020 School Directories

Uniforms required?

How does this school serve special populations?

From the New York State 2022-2023 Assessment Database

How many English language learners scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
15% Citywide Average

For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data · More DOE statistics for this school

Contact & Location


Morningside Heights (District 3)
Trains: B Line, C Line to Cathedral Parkway-110th St; 1 Line to 103rd St
Buses: M10, M104, M11, M116, M2, M3, M4, M5, M60-SBS, M7


Elana Elster
Parent Coordinator
Anne Mcintosh

Other Details

Shared campus?
This school is in its own building.
Uniforms required?
Metal detectors?

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