South Orangetown Central School District

Sent via SchoolMessenger on February 10, 2021

Dear South Orangetown Parents,

Throughout this pandemic, our families and employees have relied upon our District’s responsiveness to keep our community safe–a responsibility that we take seriously.

Since September, we have executed our New York State-approved hybrid learning plan with fidelity. We’ve made difficult decisions to keep our schools open, with the health and safety of students and staff as our top priority.

Despite enduring public health challenges, the number of individuals nationwide who have received the COVID-19 vaccine this month surpassed the number of individuals who have tested positive for the virus. This is an encouraging sign.

March 13 will mark the one-year anniversary of our District’s last day of full-time, in-person learning. School leaders across our region are discussing ways to safely return students to school full-time; SOCSD administrators have been fully engaged in these conversations. Along with other local school districts, we have made multiple requests for updated guidance regarding Rockland County Department of Health quarantine requirements and reopening guidelines.

At the same time, we have begun to explore options for returning students to school in-person on a full-time basis this spring, starting with grades K-5. To move forward in a timely manner, we need to hear from K-5 parents regarding their preference for one of the following options:

  • Option 1: Return all K-5 students for in-person learning full-time with less than 6 feet social distancing (approx. 20-22 students per classroom) with masking, barriers and other current safety measures in place. Families would be required to commit to full-time in-person or full-time remote learning for the remainder of the school year. Schedules and class assignments may change.
  • Option 2: Maintain the hybrid learning model (50% in-person capacity with 6 feet social distancing, alternating in-person and remote weeks) for the remainder of the school year.

Current K-5 parents, please respond to this Google survey by 5PM this Saturday, February 13. This survey is to determine interest only and does not commit students to a particular option. Families with more than one child must submit a separate survey for each child.

Please make sure that your voice is heard. A follow-up communication regarding next steps will be shared with families by February 22.


Robert R. Pritchard, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools