South Orangetown Central School District

This update was sent via SchoolMessenger e-blast to families at 4PM on August 30, 2019


Smiling boy in orange shirt with Lego wall background
Welcome to the 2019-20 School Year! (video)
We asked a few of our students about their goals for the upcoming school year and this is what they told us. Enjoy!

Photo of group of new teachers on turf football field
New Faculty Members Join SOCSD

On Monday, SOCSD hosted an orientation for more than two dozen new faculty members! “We want the best of the best,” noted Director of Staff Relations Dr. Joseph Lloyd. “We have a rigorous hiring process–which includes committee interviews and demo lessons–and we are very proud of the new talent we are bringing onboard for our students.” View a slideshow of the new staff members who participated in the orientation.

Administrators and guest speaker Hayley Watson
Staff Kick Off the School Year at Opening Day
Teachers and instructional support staff returned for Opening Day on Tuesday to get ready for the new school year! Superintendent Dr. Robert Pritchard welcomed staff to “the start of what will be the best year yet” and administrators proudly introduced their new staff members. Board of Education member Christine Lee noted that it had been a busy summer, with the Board meeting several times to approve new hires and capital work. The keynote address was delivered by clinical psychologist Dr. Hayley Watson (pictured above with Dr. Pritchard and Executive Director of Pupil Personnel Services Dr. Karen Tesik), who specializes in research on mental health and youth engagement.

TZ Turf Field logo

Zee Night is September 6!
Join TZ Athletics for spirit and sport at its annual Zee Night on Friday, September 6, starting at 5PM at Tappan Zee High School’s Joseph J. Hickey Memorial Field! Come for the bouncy houses, skills clinics and face painting, but stay for the grand opening of the new turf field at 6:45PM and to kick off the varsity football season with TZ Dutchmen vs. Fox Lane High School at 7:00PM.


Back to School Information & Summer Reading/Assignments: Click on the Back to School button on our school homepages for dates, forms and summer reading/assignments:

Need Back to School Help? SOCSD understands that getting ready for a new school year may be particularly stressful for families who are struggling financially. If your family needs help with securing back-to-school necessities for your children, please contact Executive Director of Pupil Personnel Services Dr. Karen Tesik at [email protected] or (845) 680-1025.

Apply for Free and Reduced Meals: Breakfast and lunch are served in our buildings every full day of school If you believe that your child may be eligible for reduced-price or free school meals, please click here to go to the Food Service webpage for 2019-20 free and reduced-price meal information and application. NOTE: New York State has increased its reimbursement rates and, as a result, students approved for reduced-price meals will receive breakfast and lunch meals at no charge.

ParentChild+ Offers Families Free Early Childhood Literacy Support: SOCSD is proud to partner with Rockland 21C to offer ParentChild+, a research-based, early childhood literacy and parent support program, starting this fall. Designed for families who may not have access to preschool or face other challenges, ParentChild+ features twice-weekly, 30-minute home visits with bilingual early learning specialist Rosario Urena over a two-year period. There is no cost to participate and ParentChild+ families receive free books and educational toys each week as part of the program. View brochure: English | EspañolEnrollment is now open for families with children born between September 2017 and March 2018. To apply, contact Family Engagement Center Coordinator AJ Walker at [email protected] or (845) 274-2370.

Print Calendar Check: Please check your 2019-20 print calendars carefully. Roughly 30 households have let us know that they’ve received misprinted copies that contain missing or duplicate pages. If you’ve received a misprinted copy, please email Jen Citrolo at [email protected] to arrange for pickup or mailing of a replacement.

2019-20 School Physical Requirements: New York State law requires a health examination for all students entering the school district for the first time AND when entering pre-kindergarten or kindergarten, 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th and 11th grades.

  • The examination must be completed by a NY/NJ state licensed physician, physician assistant or nurse practitioner and on the approved NYSED Student Health Examination Form or one from your physician.
  • A dental certificate which indicates your child has been seen by a dentist or dental hygienist is requested at the same time.
  • A copy of the NYSED Student Health Examination Form must be provided to the school within 30 days from when your child first starts school and when your child starts kindergarten, 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th and 11th grades. If a copy is not given to the school within 30 days, the school will contact you.
  • If your child has an appointment for an exam during the school year that is after the first 30 days of school, please notify the School Nurse’s Office of the exam date.
  • Links to the NYSED Student Health Examination Form and dental certificate are posted on the For Parents page at, under Forms.

Tdap Immunization Requirement: Students 11 years or older entering grades 6 through 12 are required to have one dose of Tdap. A dose received at 7 years or older will meet this requirement. Students who are 10 years old in Grade 6 and who have not yet received a Tdap vaccine are in compliance until they turn 11 years old.

Meningococcal Immunization Requirement (Grades 7 & 12): As of September 1, 2016, all public and private school students entering grades 7 and 12 in New York State must be fully vaccinated against meningococcal disease in order to attend school. The meningococcal vaccine, which is administered as a shot, protects against serious and sometimes deadly diseases, such as meningitis and sepsis. Before school starts in September:

  • One dose of meningococcal vaccine is required before 7th grade. If your child had the first dose as a sixth-grader, then another dose is not required until 12th grade.
  • A total of two doses will be required before 12th grade. Most students entering 12th grade got their first dose when they were younger and are now due for their second dose, or booster. This booster is needed because protection from the vaccine decreases over time.
  • The only teens who will not need a second dose before 12th grade are those who got their first dose on or after their 16th birthday.
  • A small number of students who received two doses before their 16th birthday may need a third dose on or after their 16th birthday in order to enter 12th grade.

It’s best to check with your doctor to see whether or not your child needs the vaccine. Students who are not up-to-date will not be allowed to attend school until they are vaccinated.

Virtual High School: Registration is now open for 2019-2020 Virtual High School courses. South Orangetown Middle School and Tappan Zee High School students interested in pursuing an academic course of study not available in their buildings may do so online through VHS at no cost to their families.

  • View the VHS course list here. (Additional courses may be available to SOMS students; see the “Virtual High School” link in first line, above.)
  • Full-year courses begin September 5, 2019 and end May 8, 2020. Fall semester courses begin September 5, 2019 and end December 18, 2019.
  • The web-based courses are rigorous and deadline-driven, with homework assignments on a weekly or more frequent basis.
  • High school level classes are listed on student transcripts and grades are included in grade point average calculations.
  • To register or for more information, TZHS students should email Ms. Jacobs ([email protected]) and SOMS students should email Mr. Yassky ([email protected]).

Register Now for Fall Driver’s Ed, ACT and SAT Review and Other Continuing Education: Registration is now open for our Fall 2019 Continuing Education programs! In addition to ACT/SAT prep and Driver’s Education, SOCSD offers a variety of courses which promote lifelong learning and personal enrichment for community members of all ages. Note: The pickleball program is full. View the catalog online here.

Upcoming Dates

  • Wednesday, September 4: First Day of School
  • Thursday, September 5: Fall Modified Sports Begin
  • Friday, September 6: Zee Night & Turf Field Grand Opening
  • Thursday, September 19: Community Blood Drive, 8:30AM-8:30PM in the TZHS Gym