South Orangetown Central School District

Sent via SchoolMessenger on March 23, 2021

Dear South Orangetown Families and Staff,

Last Friday, I shared with you that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had released updated guidance for schools which established a new standard for physical distancing of three feet for elementary students. Based on this guidance, and following discussions with administrators, staff and our Board of Education, our District is moving forward with returning students in grades K-5 to full-time, in-person instruction.

  • William O. Schaefer Elementary School will proceed with its plans to open for full-time, in-person learning on Tuesday, April 6, with physical distancing of three feet and existing health and safety precautions. This will enable all students to attend school in their classrooms and eliminate the need for extended learning spaces. Students who wish to remain fully-remote for the remainder of the school year will also be accommodated.
  • Cottage Lane Elementary School has requested that families of students in grades 3-5 register their students for either full-time in-person or full-time remote learning for the remainder of the school year by this Thursday, March 25, to inform its planning for returning to full-time, in-person instruction. CLE anticipates opening for full-time, in-person learning with physical distancing of three feet and existing health and safety precautions on Monday, April 12. Consistent with WOS, students who wish to remain fully-remote for the remainder of this school year will be accommodated.

CDC guidance for physical distancing in secondary schools is dependent upon community COVID-19 transmission. Rockland County is currently designated by the CDC as having a high level of community transmission. Therefore, in accordance with CDC guidelines, we will continue our current hybrid model with physical distancing of six feet at both South Orangetown Middle School and Tappan Zee High School.

Reducing community transmission is an ongoing challenge. Those who travel during Spring Recess are required to follow the New York State Department of Health Interim Guidance for Quarantine Restrictions on Travelers Arriving in New York State Following Out of State Travel. I urge you to make every effort to keep yourselves, our students and our staff safe.


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