Parent Resources & Updates (Flyers)

Principal's Corner

Principal’s Message                                                                                                                                                                                 

                                                                            The Week of August 10, 2020Principal, Maureen O'Neill

Dearest Sensational P.S. 56 Families,

    I hope you are all doing well and everyone enjoyed a wonderful weekend!  I know last week’s tropical storm caused damage and outages around the state, and I pray that the storm’s impact was minimal for all our families.  On Friday, August 7th, our governor announced that NYS schools will open in September.  Our planning for our 2020-2021 school year continues as we prepare for our reopening on Thursday, September 10th.  Heartfelt appreciation to all our families who completed the NYC DOE Return to School Learning Preference survey.  This information is vital to our reopening plan.  We must know the number of children who will be participating in fully remote learning or in blended learning to determine our blended learning model and every child’s weekly schedule at P.S. 56.  My immeasurable love and gratitude for you all are constants, along with my deep appreciation for your immeasurable patience!  As a mother and a grandmother of school-aged children, I know you have many questions about our reopening.  I will continue to share all updates and information with you asap. 

     This week is an important one.  We are developing our Reopening Plan for the New York State Education Department.  Communication between school and home must be ongoing and strong.  Please take a few minutes to complete the Parent Contact Information form that we have shared with all our families.  The information you provide will ensure our strong and positive home-school connection.  We appreciate that now, more than ever, our One Call Now system of communication must be utilized by all our families.  I cannot emphasis enough how important this is.  The link to the form is:  

     Thank you, in advance, for all your support and cooperation.  Our goal is to have 100% of everyone’s contact information by the end of this week.  Our P.S. 56 teamwork will definitely make the dream work!

     Once our reopening plan is finalized, I will be pleased and excited to share it with all of you.  Parent meetings will be scheduled in grade bands:  incoming grade 4 and grade 5 parents, incoming grade 2 and grade 3 parents, incoming grades K and grade 1 parents.  At these meetings we will share all pertinent information and protocols with you, as well as our reopening plan.  Meeting dates, times and links will be sent through One Call Now emails.

     We must understand that the decision to reopen schools with in-person instruction is not set in stone.  Scientific data will determine that decision, and we need to remain patient, flexible, prepared and in constant communication with each other.  The safety, health and well-being of all our students, staff and families are always our number 1 priority.  It remains our responsibility to ensure this at all times.  My leadership is guided by this principle:  every decision we make must be in the best interest of the children we serve.  Their health, safety and well-being remain most important always.

     As a Mom and a Gram, I truly appreciate that as parents, you had difficult decisions to make deciding your preferred learning model for your children.  I want to assure you that we remain steadfast in our goals for your children:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   * Every child feels safe.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    * Every child feels known and loved.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          * Every child reaches his/her full potential, while becoming a lifelong learner.                                                                                                                                                                                       Whether your child is experiencing in-person learning or remote learning, we are dedicated to reaching these goals for every student.  All our students will have opportunities for live instruction, both at-home and in school.  All our students will experience the joy of learning something new.  All our students will have opportunities for student voice and student choice.  All our students will know that they are the reason we are here and they are the reason that we love what we do!

A quick review of previous updates:

  • As of now, given current health and safety guidance on the importance of social/physical distancing, schools will not be able to have all their students present in the building every day. There is simply not enough space to accommodate everyone if we are practicing social/physical distancing.  The blended learning model (part of the week learning in the school building, and the remainder of the week learning remotely from home) ensures our ability to reduce the number of students in the building on any given day, while we also practice social/physical distancing throughout the school day. 
  • All staff members will be asked to take a Covid-19 test in the days before the first day of school. School staff will have priority testing with expedited results. 
  • All students, staff and visitors in our building MUST wear masks and practice social/physical distancing at all times. NYCDOE is procuring and distributing appropriate PPE for students and staff to use when inside school buildings.
  • Entry and dismissal protocols will be strictly adhered to every day (i.e. single file line-ups with distancing of 6 feet between students). As always, staff will be present to meet and greet our students, while also ensuring all protocols are being followed.                           
  • Students in the building on their assigned in-person blended learning day will remain in their small cohort group (the number of students is determined by the actual size of the classroom with 6 by 6 feet physical distancing for each student) during the school day.                   
  • Students will eat breakfast and lunch in their classroom to minimize transitions and interactions.
  • If a student begins experiencing symptoms in school, they will be isolated and monitored by a dedicated staff member until they are picked up by their family.
  • If there is one confirmed positive Covid-19 case in a classroom, parents will be notified immediately and all the people in the class and people in close contact with the positive case must self-quarantine at home for 14 days. (Learning will continue remotely for those 14 days.)
  • If there are two or more confirmed positive Covid-19 cases in the school, parents will be notified immediately and the school will close for a minimum of 24 hours so testing and tracing can be performed. Exposed classrooms and people must quarantine for 14 days.                                                                                                                                   

             “If you want to go fast, go alone.  If you want to go far, go together.” continues to resonate in my heart throughout this time. Together, we are going the distance.  Together, we are ensuring that all our awesome and amazing children are reaching their full potential in the safest, most nurturing and most loving learning environment possible. There are never enough words to express how much we appreciate your ongoing support.  The success of everything we are doing is possible because of YOU! On behalf of the entire P.S. 56 Staff, thank you, from our hearts to yours!  We continue to wish you all a healthy and happy summer, overflowing with wonder-filled moments that will become cherished memories! May laughter, smiles and fun be in abundance, as well as countless opportunities for the best of times with family and friends. 


Maureen O’Neill



My Previous & Still Important Weekly Reminders:  Report cards were released on July 1st to your NYC Schools Account ( Once you log in and click on your child's name, you are able to select a box where you can find your child's report card. In addition, you will find a promotion tracker there, which will indicate that your child is on track for promotion.  Please contact our Parent Coordinator, Carmen Garcia if you need any support accessing your Schools Account (1-718-552-0429).

     We are so proud of all our students this 2019-2020 school year, and it has been our tremendous honor to be part of your children’s academic lives and to watch them grow as learners.  Your children are amazing learners – confident and capable of setting and meeting goals, while always striving to be better than their last best!  This year, they have grown as readers, writers, mathematicians, scientists, geographers, critical thinkers, artists, musicians and so much more.  They have applied their technology skills on a daily basis, while practicing digital citizenship.  They have learned to work through problems with compassion and empathy.  They demonstrated our school core values (Service, Persistence, Achievement, Responsibility, Kindness, Love of learning, Empathy for all) by their daily example, and taught us something new in every moment of every school day.  #OurStudentsAlwaysSPARKLE!                                                                                                                                                                                                       

     Each teacher shared a summer activity plan for their students.  Putting aside some time every day to focus on our learning is always important, especially in helping us avoid what educators call the summer slide – a possible loss of learning during vacation time.  The best way to avoid this slide is designating time for reading and practicing our math skills every day.  All our students will have access to iReady reading and math lessons until August 13th.  Please encourage your children to complete a reading and math activity each day.  We promised our students that we will celebrate and recognize their commitment to summer learning with a special surprise when we return to school!      

     Grab and Go meals are available throughout the summer!  Grab and Go meals are available Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the front entrance of our school.  This service is available for children, their families and adults (suggested times to relieve congestion is 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. for children and their families; 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. for adults).  Our shout-outs of gratitude for the Wonderful P.S. 56 Top Chefs continue!  We are also so thankful for our Super Safety Agents and our Awesome Custodial Staff.

     The city has initiated the GetFoodNYC program.  Families can sign up for a box with 2 days worth of food that is delivered to your home.  You can get more information and sign up by visiting

     The DOE continues to deliver devices to the families that requested a device.  A device can be ordered for each child in your family who is a student at P.S. 56.  If you requested a device, please make sure you completed the Device Agreement form and check your emails for your delivery date.  If you need any assistance, please contact our Parent Coordinator, Carmen Garcia (#1-718-552-0429).  It is not too late to request a device.  We are here to help you complete the application!  You can also call the Help Desk at 718-935-5100, press 5, for support. 

     P.S. 56 continues to be designated by New York State as a School in Good Standing.  We are tremendously proud of this designation as it represents our outstanding home-school connection, our outstanding instruction and the outstanding learning of our students.  We have begun preparing our Comprehensive Education Plan for our 2020-2021 school year.  As always, our goals this year are aligned with our mission to educate the whole child in a rigorous and nurturing learning environment, while focusing on growth and achievement in ELA, mathematics and the Social-Emotional Learning of all our students.  Improved attendance and daily on-time arrival will also support the academic success of every child.

     You can continue to contact me at #914-570-4527 or through my email  Please do not hesitate to contact me with questions, suggestions or just to say hello!

Thank You to all of our Essential Workers at P.S. 56 & Everywhere!!!

P.S. 56 Staff Slideshow 2020: We Miss You!

P.S. 56 Kindness Video

P.S. 56 Highlights


 Principal, Maureen O'Neill introducing the 'Hearts and Flowers' assembly.  Class presents their kindness project at the Hearts and Flowers assembly.  Class kindness project at the Hearts and Flowers assembly.  "Count on us, we're all wonders!" class project poster board.  4th and 5th grade students present their "kindness" project at the 'Hearts and Flowers assembly.  Class kindness presentation project at the Hearts and Flowers assembly.  "You can count on me! Can we count on you?" class poster board.  "Be the reason someone smiles" class poster board.  

 "Glowing with kindness" class poster board. 

Previous Highlights: Speech Competition 2020!

 Speech competition, year 2020, pic. 3.  Speech competition, year 2020, pic. 4.  Speech competition, year 2020, pic. 2.  Speech competition, year 2020, pic. 5.  

Previous Highlights: Free Rice Vocabulary Award Ceremony

'Free Rice Contest' winners in 3rd grade.  'Free Rice Contest' winners in 4th grade.  'Free Rice Contest' winners within grade level.  'Free Rice Contest' winners in 5th grade. 

Previous Highlights: Holiday Festivities. 

  Beautifully decorated Christmas tree in the lobby.  Parents Association raffle prize. 

Previous Highlights: Annual Free Rice Vocabulary Contest! 

 Students search for unknown words in an online Thesaurus.  Students learning vocabulary through an online game.  Playing a vocabulary game online to feed the hungry.  Students partake in the online vocabulary contest.  Free Rice vocabulary contest online.  Vocabulary Contest participant busy at work.  

Previous Highlights: Red Ribbon Day Walk

 Principal, Maureen O'Neill rallies students for the annual Red Ribbon Week march.  Students in the schoolyard getting ready to march for the annual Red Ribbon Walk.  Students march for the Red Ribbon Walk at the local park.  Students and teachers march for the Red Ribbon Walk at the local park.  Teacher march along students at the local park.  Students march holding a banner, "We Rock, Drug Free."  Students march against drugs at the local park.  Students marching back to school from the Red Ribbon Walk. 

Upcoming Events

  • Family & Student Information Session

    The DOE will be hosting virtual citywide information sessions for students and families from 6:30 P.M. - 8:00 P.M. 

    Register now by clicking on the link below!


    P.S. 56 Norwood Heights
  • Family & Student Information Session

    The DOE will be hosting virtual citywide information sessions for students and families from 6:30 P.M. - 8:00 P.M. 

    Register now by clicking on the link below!

    P.S. 56 Norwood Heights
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