South Orangetown Central School District

Annual Notifications

Following are policy notifications as required by state and federal law. To go directly to a specific section, click on the corresponding link below.

Access to Student Records Please see Family Educational Records Privacy Act (FERPA).

Asbestos Management Plan

In accordance with the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act, the South Orangetown Central School District has an Asbestos Management Plan for the identification and management of asbestos building materials. Community members may schedule an appointment to view the plan at the Greenbush Building, 623 Western Highway, Blauvelt, between the hours of 8:00am-4:00pm, Monday through Friday, by contacting the Director of Safety, Security & Compliance via email ([email protected]) or by calling (845) 680-1812.​ View the July 30, 2019 memo.

Attendance

Regular school attendance is critical to academic success. View Board of Education Policy 5100 – Attendance.

Charging School Meals and Prohibition Against Meal Shaming

The Board of Education recognizes that on occasion, students may not have enough funds for a meal.  To ensure that students do not go hungry, but also to promote responsible student behavior and minimize the fiscal burden to the district, the Board will allow students who do not have enough funds to “charge” the cost of meals to be paid back at a later date subject to the terms in this policy. View Board Policy 8505 – Meal Charge and Prohibition Against Meal Shaming.

Code of Conduct

The Board of Education of the South Orangetown Central School District acknowledges its responsibility to provide a safe and orderly environment where all students may receive a quality education in an atmosphere that is safe and free from disruption, discrimination, and interference. Because the Board believes that order and discipline are essential to being educated effectively, the District is also committed to creating and maintaining high behavioral standards and expectations. An orderly educational environment requires that everyone in the school community play a role in contributing to an effective environment. We hold students, teachers, District personnel, parents, and other visitors to a high standard of responsible and respectful behavior.

The South Orangetown Central School District has long-standing guidelines for conduct on school property and at school functions, whether on or off of school property. Our expectations are based on principles of civility, respect, citizenship, character, tolerance, acceptance, honesty and integrity. One of the district’s major areas of focus is Ensuring the Health and Welfare of our Students and Staff by strengthening the foundation of a district culture that fosters a respectful environment and is responsive to the social, emotional, and physical safety needs of every person. View Board of Education Policy 5300 – South Orangetown Central School District Code of Conduct.

Dignity for All Students Act (DASA)

New York State’s Dignity for All Students Act (The Dignity Act or DASA) seeks to provide the State’s public elementary and secondary school students with a safe and supportive environment free from discrimination, intimidation, taunting, harassment, and bullying on school property, a school bus and/or at a school function.

The legislation states that no student will be subjected to harassment or discrimination by employees or students on school property or at a school function based on their actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender or sex. View the Board of Education Policy 0115 – Dignity For All Students: Prohibiting Discrimination & Harassment of Students.

SOCSD DASA Coordinators

DISTRICT-WIDE
Joseph Lloyd, Director of Staff Relations | (845) 680-1030

WILLIAM O. SCHAEFER ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
Sheila Beglin, Principal | (845) 680-1303
Maggie Pilar White, Assistant Principal | (845) 680-1325
Brian Galvin, School Psychologist | (845) 680-1324

COTTAGE LANE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
Karen Ramirez, Principal | (845) 680-1503
Rob Schliessman, Assistant Principal | (845) 680-1561
Linda King, School Psychologist | (845) 680-1554

SOUTH ORANGETOWN MIDDLE SCHOOL
Chad Corey, Ed.D., Principal | (845) 680- 1101
Joe Onativia, Assistant Principal | (845) 680-1102

TAPPAN ZEE HIGH SCHOOL
TBD, Assistant Principal | (845) 680-1655
Richard Neidhart, Assistant Principal | (845) 680-1650

Disclosure to the Military

Please see Family Educational Records Privacy Act (FERPA).

District-Wide Safety Plan

The District-Wide Safety Plan is shared with the New York State Education Department annually. View SOCSD’s current District-Wide Safety Plan here.

Equal Opportunity & Non-Discrimination

The Board of Education, its officers and employees, shall not discriminate in its programs and activities against any student, employee or applicant on the basis of actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, creed, religion, religious practice, marital status, sex, age, gender, sexual orientation or disability.

The Board of Education, its officers, and employees shall not discriminate against students on the basis of actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, creed, religion, religious practice, marital status, sex, age, gender, sexual orientation or disability. View Board of Education Policy 0100 – Equal Opportunity and Non-Discrimination.

Compliance Officer for Title VII and Title IX (adults):
Alicia Koster, Executive Director of Finance and Management Services | (845) 680-1005
South Orangetown Central School District
160 Van Wyck Road
Blauvelt, NY 10913

Compliance Officer for Title VI, Title IX (adults) and Section 504 (adults):
Joseph Lloyd, Director of Staff Relations | (845) 680-1030
South Orangetown Central School District
160 Van Wyck Road
Blauvelt, NY 10913

Compliance Officer for Title IX (students) and Section 504/Title II ADA:
Karen Tesik, Ed.D. Executive Director of Pupil Personnel Services | (845) 680-1025
South Orangetown Central School District
160 Van Wyck Road
Blauvelt, NY 10913

Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Parent Notification

In accordance with the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), parents/guardians of students have the right to request specific information about the professional qualifications of their children’s classroom teachers. As the parent/guardian of a student in the South Orangetown Central School District, you have the right to request the following information about your child’s/children’s teachers:

  • whether the teacher has met New York State qualifications and licensing criteria for the grade levels and subject areas he or she teaches;
  • whether the teacher is teaching under emergency or other provisional status through which the State qualifications or licensing criteria have been waived;
  • the teacher’s college major;
  • whether the teacher has any advanced degrees and, if so, the subject of the degrees;
  • If your child is provided services by any instructional aides or similar paraprofessionals, the services provided to your child and the aide’s or paraprofessional’s qualifications.

Requests for information about the qualifications of your child’s/children’s teacher(s) should be directed to main office of the school of attendance.

Family Educational Records Privacy Act (FERPA)

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”) affords parents/guardians and students over 18 years of age (“eligible students”) certain rights with respect to the student’s education records, including:

1. The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the School District receives a request for access. Parents/guardians or eligible students should submit to the Building Principal a written request that identifies the record(s) they wish to inspect. The Building Principal will make arrangements for access and notify the parent/guardian or eligible student of the time and place where the records may be inspected.

2. The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the parent/guardian or eligible student believes are inaccurate or misleading. Parents/Guardians or eligible students may ask the School District to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading. They should write to the Building Principal, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading. If the School District decides not to amend the record, as requested by the parent/guardian or eligible student, the School District will notify the parent/guardian or eligible student of the decision and advise him/her of their right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the parent/guardian or eligible student when notified of the right to a hearing.

3. The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. One exception which permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the School District as an administrator, supervisor, instructor or support staff member (including health or medical staff); a person serving on the Board of Education; a person or company with whom the District has contracted to perform a special task (such as school attorney, auditor, medical consultant or therapist, district’s insurance company, service provider); or a parent or student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility. Upon request, the School District discloses education records without consent to officials of another school district in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.

4. The right not to have Directory Information disclosed without prior written consent. This School District designates the following items as Directory Information, and may disclose any of these items without prior written consent, unless notified to the contrary, in writing, to your child’s building principal by the parent/guardian or eligible student by September 27, 2019, or within 30 days of registering your child in the South Orangetown Central School District: student’s name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, major course of study, participation in school activities or sports, weight and height if a member of an athletic team, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, most recent school attended, class schedule, photograph, e-mail address, enrollment status, and class roster.

5. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the District to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA is: Family Policy Compliance Office U.S. Department of Education 400 Maryland Avenue, S.W. Washington, D.C. 20202-4605

6. For High School Students Only: The right not to have your child’s name, address, and telephone number disclosed to military recruiters and/or institutions of higher learning without your prior written consent. The No Child Left Behind Act requires the South Orangetown Central School District to disclose to military recruiters and/or institutions of higher learning, upon request, the names, addresses and telephone numbers of high school students, unless you notify the District, in writing, that you do not want such information released by the District without your prior written consent.  If you, as a parent/guardian of a high school student, or a student over the age of 18, wish to exercise your option to withhold your consent to the release of the above information to military recruiters and/or institutions of higher learning, you must sign, date and return this form to the High School Principal by September 27, 2019, or within 30 days of registration of your child in the South Orangetown Central School District.

Free and Reduced-Price Meals

Free and reduced-price meal applications are posted on the district website and are available through each of our schools’ main offices and the district Business Office year-round. Eligible students are entitled to one breakfast and one lunch daily. View application and additional information on the Food Service page.

Idling Buses on School Grounds

The Board of Education shall take steps to reduce the idling of school buses and other school vehicles. In compliance with Education Law §3637 and Commissioner’s Regulations §156.3(h), this policy shall govern the idling of school buses and all other school vehicles, whether owned, leased, or contracted for by the district. View Board of Education Policy 8414.6 – Idling Prohibition for School Buses and Other School Vehicles.

Internet & School Network Acceptable Use

Students must abide by the district’s Internet & School Network Acceptable Use Policy. View policy.

McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act

The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act provides protections for students who are living in a shelter, car, park, bus, train, campsite, other temporary living situation, or with another person or family, due to loss of housing or as a result of economic hardship. Students protected under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act are entitled to immediate enrollment in school, even if they do not have the documents normally required, such as proof of residency, school records, immunization records, or birth certificate. These students may also be entitled to other services. Parents or guardians who believe their child may be eligible should call the Registrar at (845) 680-1137.

Parental Involvement

The Board of Education believes that positive parental involvement is essential to student achievement, and thus encourages such involvement in school educational planning and operations. Parental involvement may take place either in the classroom or during extra-curricular activities. However, the Board also encourages parental involvement at home (e.g., planned home reading time, informal learning activities, and/or homework “contracts” between parents and children). The Board directs the Superintendent of Schools to develop a home-school communications program in an effort to encourage all forms of parental involvement. View the complete Board of Education Policy 1900.

Parents’ Bill of Rights Regarding Student Data Privacy & Protection

The District is committed to safeguarding student privacy. View the Parents’ Bill of Rights Regarding Student Data Privacy & Protection.

Pesticide Application Notice

The South Orangetown School District’s primary control method for dealing with pests in our district is a technique known as Integrated Pest Management. This method of pest control involves using strategies other than pesticides to control pests. However, as with any pest management system, the use of pesticides may be required in some situations. Pesticides may be used periodically throughout the school year both inside the district buildings and on the surrounding grounds. These applications, when required, will be made by certified individuals in accordance with the label directions.

Individuals that wish to be notified 48 hours in advance of pesticide application should complete and submit the notification form posted on the Facilities page. Prior to any scheduled application, the Director of Facilities shall provide notification to all parties on the list. In the event of an emergency, application that is necessary to protect against an imminent threat to human health, a good faith effort will be made to supply written notification to those on the 48-hour prior notification list. View the notification form on the Facilities page, under Forms/Materials.

Registration and Residency

Student enrollment information and materials are posted on the district’s Registration page.

School Physicals & Immunization Requirements

As of July 1, 2018, 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. Please read the following requirements carefully:

  • 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.
  • dental certificate which indicates your child has been seen by a dentist or dental hygienist is requested at the same time. The school nurse can provide you with a list of dentists and registered dental hygienists who offer dental services on a free or reduced cost basis upon request.
  • 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 that date.

Links to the NYSED Student Health Examination Form and dental certificate are posted on the For Parents page of our school district website, under Forms. Communication between private and school health staff is important for safe and effective care at school. Your healthcare provider may not share health information with school health staff without your signed permission. Please talk to your provider about signing their consent for the school at the time of your child’s appointment for the examination.

Parents are encouraged to make copies of the completed forms for their own records before sending them to the School Nurse’s Office. Forms may be faxed to the appropriate school:
William O. Schaefer Elementary School: Riva Fisher, RN Tel: 845-680-1304 | Fax: 845-680-1920
Cottage Lane Elementary School: Karen Fitzgibbons, RN Tel: 845-680-1508 | Fax: 845-680-1957
South Orangetown Middle School: Margaret Keane, RN Tel: 845-680-1130 | Fax: 845-680-1911
Tappan Zee High School: Patricia Shalvey, RN Tel: 845-680-1647 | Fax: 845-680-1960 District-Wide: Jennifer Hind, RN and Karen Siegal, RN

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.

Student Information

For Student Information (or “Directory Information”), please see Family Educational Records Privacy Act (FERPA).

Sexual Harassment

It is the policy of the South Orangetown Central School District to prohibit sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is defined as discrimination against a person of different or the same sex because of their sex. Sexual harassment includes harassment on the basis of actual or perceived or self-identified sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, and transgender status. View Board Policy 0110 – Prevention of Workplace Sexual Harassment and Board Policy 0111 – Prevention of Sexual Harassment for Students.

Student Privacy Rights

The Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA) of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) requires the South Orangetown Central School District to notify you and obtain consent or allow you to opt your child out of participating in certain school activities.  These activities include a student survey, analysis or evaluation that concerns one or more of the following eight areas (“protected information surveys”):

  1. Political affiliations or beliefs of the student or student’s parent;
  2. Mental or psychological problems of the student or student’s family;
  3. Sex behavior or attitudes;
  4. Illegal, anti-social, self-incriminating or demeaning behavior;
  5. Critical appraisals of others with whom the student has close family relationships;
  6. Legally recognized privileged relationships, such as with attorneys, doctors or ministers;
  7. Religious practices, affiliations or beliefs of the student or parents; or
  8. Income, other than as required by law to determine program eligibility.

This requirement also applies to the collection, disclosure or use of student information for marketing purposes (“marketing surveys”) and certain physical examinations and screenings.

PPRA affords parents and eligible students (over 18 or emancipated minors) certain rights regarding the conduct of surveys, collection and use of information for marketing purposes, and certain physical examinations and screenings by the South Orangetown Central School District.

Consent before students are required to submit to a survey that concerns one or more of the following protected areas (“protected information survey”), if the survey is funded, in whole or in part, by a program of the U.S. Department of Education:

  1. Political affiliations or beliefs of the student or student’s parent;
  2. Mental or psychological problems of the student or student’s family;
  3. Sex behavior or attitudes;
  4. Illegal, anti-social, self-incriminating or demeaning behavior;
  5. Critical appraisals of others with whom the student has close family relationships;
  6. Legally recognized privileged relationships, such as with attorneys, doctors or ministers;
  7. Religious practices, affiliations or beliefs of the student or parents; or
  8. Income, other than as required by law to determine program eligibility.

Receive notice and an opportunity to opt a student out of:

  • any other protected information survey regardless of funding;
  • any non-emergency, invasive physical examination or screening required as a condition of attendance, administered by the School District or its agent, and not necessary to protect the immediate health and safety of a student, except for hearing, vision or scoliosis screenings, or any physical examination or screening permitted or required under State law; and
  • activities involving collection, disclosure or use of personal information obtained from students for marketing or to sell or otherwise distribute the information to others.

Inspect, upon request, and prior to administration or use of:

  • protected information surveys of students;
  • instruments used to collect personal information from students for any of the above marketing, sales or other distribution purposes; and
  • instructional material used as part of the education curriculum.

The South Orangetown Central School District has developed and adopted policies, in consultation with parents, regarding these rights, as well as arrangements to protect student privacy in the administration of protected surveys and the collection, disclosure or use of personal information for marketing, sales or other distribution purposes.

The School District will notify parents and eligible students of these policies annually, at the start of each school year, and after any substantive changes. The School District will also directly notify parents and eligible students, at least annually, at the start of each school year of the specific or approximate dates of the following activities (if known) and provide an opportunity to opt a student out of participating in:

  • collection, disclosure or use of personal information for marketing, sales or other distribution;
  • administration of any protected information survey not funded in whole or in part by the U.S. Department of Education;
  • any non-emergency, invasive physical examination or screening, as described above.

Parents and eligible students who believe their rights have been violated may file a complaint with: Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20202-4605

Student Promotion and Retention

It is essential that each child experience both challenge and success from school activities. To this end, the district will make every effort to place each student in the most appropriate learning level for a successful educational experience.

District curriculum guides indicate goals for achievement by the “average” student at each grade level. However, academic growth, like physical growth, does not take place at the same pace or time for all individuals. Certain students may achieve mastery in a shorter period, while others need additional time. Early identification and intervention, promotion and retention are methods of meeting the needs of such children. View Board of Education Policy 4760 – Promotion and Retention of Students.

Use of Surveillance on School Grounds

The South Orangetown Central School District Board of Education recognizes its responsibility to promote and foster school safety and ensure a safe and effective learning environment. After having carefully considered and balanced the rights of privacy with the District’s duty to promote discipline, health, welfare, and safety of students and staff, as well as that of the general public who has occasion to use school facilities, the Board authorizes the use of surveillance cameras in its schools, its buses, and on school grounds.

Website Accessibility

The South Orangetown Central School District aims to make the information on this website accessible to individuals with visual, hearing, motor or cognitive disabilities. View the accessibility statement.

Wellness Guidelines

The South Orangetown Central School District Board of Education has adopted guidelines to promote healthy lifestyle choices for students that can affect their lifelong wellness. View Board of Education Policy 5405-R – Wellness Guidelines.

General Information

Facilities Use
While the district’s school building and grounds are maintained primarily for the purpose of educating our students, SOCSD recognizes that the buildings and grounds are a valuable community resource and believes that this resource should be available to the community for specific uses that will not interfere with educational activities. Go to the Facilities webpage for regulations, forms and fees.

Visitors
To ensure the safety and security of our students and staff, all visitors are required to show a photo ID (e.g., driver’s license, passport) and sign in on the visitor log to enter our school buildings.

Working Papers
In New York State, anyone under the age of 18 must show an employment certificate (“working papers”) before they can begin work. The Application for Employment Certificate – AT-17 (working papers application) may be picked up from the Tappan Zee High School Counseling Department. To apply:

  1. Complete the Application for Employment Certificate. Students without a Social Security Number (SSN) are encouraged to apply for one. Although a minor may obtain working papers without a SSN, his/her employer will need one.
  2. A parent or guardian must sign Part I of the application. Working papers cannot be issued without this signature.
  3. A physician must sign the Physical Fitness Certification form.
  4. Bring your completed application and a form of identification (birth certificate, passport, baptismal certificate, driver’s license or permit) with you to the Main Office.

For detailed information on working papers, visit the New York State Department of Labor website.