• Parent-Teacher Conference

    November 3, 2016

    Early Dismissal 12:00 Noon

    Conference Time                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1:00pm until 3:00pm 4:30pm until 7:30pm

    PS 56 The Lewis H. Latimer School Eric Grande-Principal

Principal's Message



Dear Parents and Families,

I would like to take this opportunity to welcome all parents and students to the 2016-2017 school year. It is with great pleasure that I have been appointed principal of the PS 56 learning community. I thoroughly enjoyed my first few months here, beginning last spring and I look forward to the coming school year. This is a wonderful school, community, and district and it is an honor to take on this role as the building leader.

Our vision is to create “a community of learners, a community of leaders” as our school motto states. Through a collaborative effort, I know we can achieve this vision of leadership where all members of the school community work together to impact the world in a positive way. We will be initiating a program called The Leader in Me, which is a school wide effort for character education, leadership, and positive behavior that I truly believe will significantly impact the school and the students. Our new school guidance counselor, Mr. Keys, will be my point person in developing this program throughout the year.

First and foremost, my goal is to strengthen the academic program at PS 56. I firmly believe in creating authentic and engaging experiences for all children. In literacy, you will see a strong emphasis on developing students’ ability to read independently books at their reading level and for the children to immerse themselves in a variety of titles that interest them or pique their curiosity.   Teachers will expose students to narrative, informational, and persuasive reading and writing throughout the year and will provide ample time for students to work independently to practice the skills and strategies taught, to move students to greater levels of independence and proficiency. While students work independently, teachers will be assessing progress, conferring with individual students and supporting all children through intervention and progress monitoring. In mathematics, students will be taught to solve real world problems, to develop their fundamental skills and to persevere through complex tasks. In the content areas, social studies and science, we will study concepts and material that will strengthen the children’s understanding of the world around them. All children within our general education classrooms, gifted and talented classrooms, and students with special needs will be provided with instruction and supports that will meet them where they are and then lift their skills and understanding so that every child grows and develops throughout the year.

Since starting this past May, I have listened intently to the parents, community members, and students. I learned what is desired in order to further enhance the environment and provide a variety of experiences and programs for the children and families. Educating the whole child is crucial, so having an array of arts, music, dance, and athletic programs is a priority of mine. As a result, the following is a list of some of the special programming we will have at PS 56:

  • We have partnered with The Little Orchestra Society to bring music programming to our upper grades in the fall and lower grades in the spring. Beginning in December, through a CASA grant, achieved through collaboration with Council Member Laurie A. Cumbo and The Little Orchestra Society, we will have a special music program taking place afterschool for upper grades for a series of weeks during the school year.  
  • We have partnered with Studio in a School which provides a visiting art teacher who will be scheduled for lower grades in the fall and upper grades in the spring. As a result, all of our students will have music and art throughout the year. Keep on the lookout for a number of performances and shows that you all will be invited to in the coming months!
  • We have hired a full time dance teacher, Ms. Swan, who will teach dance to every class in the school as well as creating a dance team during the school year. Our 4th and 5th grade students will participate in ballroom dancing through a partnership with an organization called Dancing Classrooms. Students will learn a variety of ballroom dances and participate in a competition with other schools taking place in the early spring. As with last year, classes will also be programmed for physical education, music, science, and/or library.
  • I am also looking to continue to develop our basketball program and create programs to increase the amount of physical activity throughout the day to ensure all of our students are healthy and ready for learning. Furthermore, we still will have an emphasis on health and wellness through our Cookshop for classes and parents programs, our living science classroom in our school garden, and our Garden to Café program.

We have also partnered with an afterschool program, Kids Orbit, who will be housed in our school this year. They can service Pre-K to 5th grade students, five days a week until 6:00pm. Families may be eligible for tuition assistance through ACS and HRA vouchers. We look forward to this partnership very much. Please call Mr. Williams, Parent Coordinator for additional information and additionally, Kids Orbit representatives will be visiting the school early in the year to help with registration. Additional afterschool programming will be announced in the coming weeks!

Additionally, we are looking to expand our gifted and talented and pre-kindergarten programs in the coming year to further expand our school and share our wonderful school community with more and more children and families. I know that through a strong partnership with parents and families, we will accomplish our goals. Please take advantage of Tuesday’s Parent Engagement time at 2:40pm to 3:20pm, our school website, www.ps56k.org and our school phone messenger for important information and updates.   I look forward to speaking with every one of you and have a wonderful 2016-2017 school year!



Eric Grande

Principal, PS 56 The Lewis H. Latimer School