South Orangetown Central School District

Table of Contents








Communications Strategy and Plan
Engagement and Training

Considerations of Reopening
Health Checks
Healthy Hygiene Practices
Social Distancing
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Cloth Face Coverings
Management of Ill Persons
Cleaning and Disinfection
Safety Drills
Health & Safety Training

Considerations for Reopening
Space Utilization – Health & Safety Assurance
Fire Code Compliance
Lead Testing
Additional Resources

Considerations for Reopening
Safety and Sanitation
Food Service Staff Training
Meal Service
Hand Hygiene
Social Distancing
Additional Resources

Considerations for Reopening
School Bus Requirements & Considerations
School Bus Staff Requirements
Students on Transportation Requirements & Considerations
Student Loading and Unloading
Pupil Transportation Routing Requirements & Considerations
Additional Resources

Considerations for Reopening
Comprehensive Developmental Counseling
Mental Health and Trauma Responsive Practices
Additional Resources

Considerations for Reopening
Scheduling Options

Attendance for Instructional Purposes
Attendance Considerations
Attendance for Reporting & State Aid Purposes
Chronic Absenteeism
Educational Neglect
Additional Resources

Considerations for Reopening
Access to Computing Devices
Access to Internet Broadband
Professional Development and Training
Additional Resources

Considerations for Reopening
Early Education and Learning
Continuity of Learning Plan
Collaboration, Grading, and Assessment
Interscholastic Athletics and Extracurricular Activities
Career and Technical Education
English Language Learners/World Languages
Professional Development
Additional Resources

Considerations for Reopening
Special Education Program and Services
Medically Fragile Students
IEP Implementation and Processes
Documentation Requirements
Additional Resources




The New York State Education Department has issued guidance to school districts regarding the opening of school. Central to this guidance, NYSED is requiring school districts to provide adequate access to computing devices and high-speed broadband to ensure educational equity. (NYSED 2020)

The District has created a plan which ensures equitable access to technology for staff and students and to support multiple modalities of teaching and learning. This will be accomplished through providing one-to-one technology access for students, digital content, platforms for instruction, and remote support for staff, students, and families.

The District encourages educational leaders and teaching staff to develop alternative plans for delivery of instruction should there be technical issues impacting remote learning.

NOTE: Remote Learning is heavily reliant upon many technical systems that are beyond the control of the District. Schools and districts will be relying on the same systems across the globe. The District will continue to work closely with our local BOCES, technology vendors and partners to monitor the performance of our remote learning environment.

Considerations for Reopening

As the District plans for the opening of schools, technology and connectivity are primary areas of focus. Access to computing devices and high-speed Internet are essential for educational equity. The closure of our schools and the shift to remote learning only highlighted this need. The District is committed to ensuring equitable access to learning resources for all.

The District will provide support to those families that may need help accessing resources for remote learning. For those students and families that may be in need, the District will provide mobile devices, cellular hotspots, and information regarding local broadband service offerings to support student learning.

Identifying Level of Access

Prior to the shuttering of schools in March, the District surveyed our students to determine whether they had a computer at home and access to the Internet. Those students that indicated a need for a computer or Internet were provided with a District Chromebook or cellular hotspot. In addition, our student support services team continued to reach out to students and families to see if they needed additional support.

In preparation for the Fall, the District will administer a School Opening Survey to our families and staff. As part of the survey, there will be questions regarding the level of access to computing devices and high-speed broadband that students have in their place of residence. The survey questions will help determine not just “access” to a device at home but rather does the student have dedicated access to a computing device. As an example, are students having to share a device at home that may in turn restrict their ability for successful remote learning? Similarly, questions regarding Internet access will help determine the level of broadband available to the student for remote learning. Are students accessing the Internet using cellular phones with limited data plans?

For those students and families who require internet access, the district will provide cellular hotspots and/or provide information regarding local broadband services available to them.

1-to1 Mobile Initiative

The District is in the process of procuring mobile devices for use by our student population. The goal is to provide a 1-to-1 mobile device for all students K-12. The District fully supports the need to provide each student with access to their own computing device to close the digital divide.

In the Fall, the District plans to provide students in Kindergarten and 1st Grade with Apple iPads. For students in grades 2 through 8 the District will provide Dell Chromebooks. Our District has had a 1-to-1 mobile device initiative at our high school for the past five years.

Deployment of additional devices will be completed in collaboration with building administrators and support staff. Devices provided to students and families will include a Mobile Device Handbook that covers the care of the device and articulates district policy regarding the Acceptable Use of the devices provided. Students and parents will be required to accept responsibility for the equipment the District may provide. Inventory of student devices will be managed at the building level.

NOTE: Due to the global pandemic, technology vendors are experiencing supply chain issues. Several of the District’s technology related purchases are on backorder with delayed shipping dates. Once the equipment is delivered, the technology team will configure the equipment and will provide the equipment to our schools for student deployment.

Anticipated implementation of the District 1-to-1 initiative is expected to begin November 2020 once the devices are received from the vendor and configured by the technology team.

Internet Bandwidth

With the increased use of instructional technology to support remote teaching and learning, it is important to have a robust infrastructure to maximize connectivity. To support remote learning, the District has subscribed to a higher-level of Internet bandwidth through our local BOCES.

The District has upgraded our current service level from 500 Mbps to 1,000 Mbps Internet Broadband service. A typical single screen video conference with audio VoIP and screen sharing requires approx. 2.5 Mbps. With approximately 305 teaching professionals, the district would need approx. 765 Mbps. By subscribing to the 1,000 Mbps level of service the District will have additional bandwidth if needed.

The District will engage in continual assessment and evaluation of broadband services to ensure that there is adequate capacity for access to instructional resources.

Instructional Teaching and Learning Resources

The District has made several significant investments to support teaching staff. Like the student 1-to-1 mobile device initiative, the District is procuring additional technology resources to support a hybrid learning environment.

Classroom Technology

The District will equip classrooms with technology to support synchronous and asynchronous learning models. Regardless if instruction is provided in-person, remote or as a hybrid model, technology resources are necessary to support teaching and learning.

The model classroom will include a teacher computer with a built in webcam and microphone. This will allow teachers to connect with our students participating in remote learning. In a hybrid model of learning, teachers will initiate a remote learning session with our homebound students to bridge the home – school connection. Remote students will be able to participate with their “in-class” peers.

All teachers will be assigned a laptop, an additional web camera, a microphone, and a document camera.  This teacher setup will be used while on campus but will also be portable to be taken off-site should schools close and we return to a full remote learning model.  Inventory of teacher devices will be managed at the building level.

Learning Management and Instructional Software Resources

The District has reviewed software applications and web-based technology that will be used to plan, implement lessons, and assess participation throughout the learning process. The instructional resources the District adopts will be user-friendly (for teachers, students, and parents) and provide teachers with the ability to create and deliver content, monitor student participation, assess student performance, and provide timely feedback.

Standardization is key to supporting a remote learning environment. By standardizing the tools and resources used in instruction, the District can minimize the frustration of our students and families as they engage in remote learning. By adopting a core set of online software and resources, the District can ensure our staff deliver consistent blended and remote learning models for instruction.

Examples of the learning management and instructional software tools include:

  • Google Classroom
  • Schoology for Gr 3 through Gr 12
  • Seesaw for Kindergarten through Gr 2
  • Zoom and Google Meet
  • Flipgrid and Jamboard

The District will adopt instructional software that is compliant with NYS ED Law 2D and Part-121 of the Governor’s regulations for protecting Student Data Privacy.

Professional Development and Training

Reopening schools utilizing new instructional models requires special attention to teaching and learning. Students, teachers, and families must be supported in ways that allow them to be successful in this new learning environment. Professional development has been and will continue to be provided for teachers and educational leaders on designing effective online / remote learning experiences.

Professional development opportunities include:

  • Online workshops on instructional tools
  • Summer and year-long professional development workshops – e.g. Innovative Designs in Education
  • District Leadership Teams – ELA / Math / Science / Social Studies / Technology
  • Instructional videos on the use of tools for instruction
  • Peer-led professional development sessions to support Trauma Informed Practices and Social-Emotional Learning

Professional development will continue to be provided in collaboration with district staff, vendor partners, Rockland BOCES and the Lower Hudson Regional Information Center.

Family Learning and Instruction

Students and parents need instruction on remote learning and the use of online instructional tools. The District will provide instruction to students to build digital fluency. Student and parent instruction will include but is not limited to being integrated into classroom instruction, online resources and FAQs, and as instructional videos.

Technology Support

During the Spring 2020 semester, the District Technology Department and Instructional Technology staff became support centers to families and other stakeholders. Responsibilities turned from in-building support to providing remote instructional support to ensure students and families were able to participate in remote learning.

The District will continue to expand access to technology support and technical assistance to staff, students, and families. Support will be provided through multiple modalities including online requests and remote technical support. Students and families will have access to an online help desk to help facilitate the resolution of technology related issues.

The District will ensure the technology staff is supported in its efforts to adhere to the health and safety guidance as established by the CDC and the NYSDOH that includes wearing PPE and maintaining six feet of physical distance where and when possible. For the health and safety of staff and students, one-to-one devices will be provided to the greatest extent possible and shared equipment will be sanitized as per regulation. Sharing of devices will be limited as much as possible in accordance with CDC and NYSDOH guidelines.

Data Privacy

The District will ensure student data privacy and security will be maintained in remote learning. The District will be compliant with Federal and State laws related to student technology use, including NY Education Law 2-d and Part 121 of the Commissioner’s Regulations.

The District will review and address any distance learning regulatory concerns and compliance issues, FERPA/HIPAA, staff, and student privacy, NYS ED Law 2D, and other concerns related to virtual learning environments.

Procurement of Instructional Technology

The District will procure hardware, software, licenses, and learning platforms to improve virtual instruction and to support teaching and learning.

Key considerations

  • Procurement will be based upon curricular needs in conjunction with district policies and NY State mandates.
  • Standardization is required to help limit frustration with remote learning and to help provide professional development for our staff, students, and families.
  • Web-based teaching platforms and instructional software will be compliant with NYS ED Law 2D and Part 121 of the Commissioner’s Regulations.
  • Re-purposing of other expenses / projects may be considered to ensure students and staff have access to technology necessary for remote learning.
  • Equipment for staff and students will be inventoried and managed at the building level. The building will be responsible for providing the Technology Department with a list of the equipment assigned to staff and students.
  • Remote Learning is reliant upon many technical systems that are beyond the control of the District. Performance issues related to remote learning will be monitored and assessed.

Additional Resources
USNY Statewide Learning Technology Plan
ISTE Standards Students
ISTE Standards Educators
ISTE Standards Education Leaders
CoSN Guidance and Resources
ISTE Providing Effective and Equitable Digital Learning for all Students: Key Considerations for Districts
Joint Statement of Education and Civil Rights Organizations Concerning Equitable Education During the COVID-19 Pandemic School Closures and Beyond
NYSED: Funding Educational Technology
SETDA E-Learning Coalition