South Orangetown Central School District

Sent via SchoolMessenger on May 7, 2021

As we prepare to reopen our secondary schools for full-time, in-person learning, I’m pleased to share that our administrative team is also finalizing plans for moving up ceremonies and graduation.

The New York State Department of Health released updated guidance for end-of-year academic celebrations on April 12 which informed our research and planning. In addition, Tappan Zee High School seniors were surveyed this week to determine the features most important to them; being together as a full class is, by far, their top priority. In second place was being able to invite more than two guests per graduate.

In the meantime, our TZHS and SOMS principals have been in conversation with their colleagues across the county and with the Town of Ramapo, which has generously offered the use of Boulder Stadium to local school districts for their graduation ceremonies.

Based on the size of our facilities at Joseph J. Hickey Memorial Field, the current DOH guidelines, and the number of students in eighth- and twelfth grades, it is not possible to host single, grade-wide ceremonies at Tappan Zee High School. Therefore, the TZHS Graduation and SOMS Eighth-Grade Moving Up ceremonies will be held at Boulder Stadium this year. Cottage Lane Elementary School will host two Fifth-Grade Moving Up ceremonies at Tappan Zee High School.

Dates and times are as follows:

TZHS Class of 2021 Graduation
Thursday, June 24, 10:00AM
Boulder Stadium/Palisades Credit Union Park

SOMS Eighth-Grade Moving Up Ceremony
Monday, June 21, 10:00AM
Boulder Stadium/Palisades Credit Union Park

CLE Fifth-Grade Moving Up Ceremonies
Wednesday, June 23, 9:00AM and 10:30AM
TZHS Joseph J. Hickey Memorial Field

Due to the size of the SOMS and TZHS ceremonies, specific COVID-19 prevention protocols must be followed for these events. Most notably, attendees will be required to provide documentation of:

  • A negative diagnostic test result for COVID-19 using an FDA or DOH authorized PCR or NAAT performed within 72 hours of the event; OR
  • Proof of completed COVID-19 vaccination series at least 14 days prior to the ceremony date; OR
  • Proof of a lab-confirmed case of COVID-19 and recovery within the last 3 months of the ceremony

Individuals who fail to provide this documentation will be denied entry.

I look forward to celebrating these academic milestones with our students, families and staff next month. Detailed information regarding these events, including the process for submitting testing, vaccination and or recovery documentation, will be communicated by the respective schools in the coming weeks.


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