South Orangetown Central School District

COVID-19 Closure Information

March 27, 2020

Dear South Orangetown Families,

As communicated earlier this week, we will transition to distance learning on Tuesday, March 31. Distance learning will look and feel different than teaching and learning in a physical classroom environment. However, with the expertise of our staff and your support, we aim to provide our students with a high-quality, engaging education comparable to what they receive at school.

That said, this is a brand-new experience for all of us. A growth mindset is key. While we are eager to get moving, our staff members are also balancing the realities of working from home while caring for children, partners, and, in some cases, parents. As our program rolls out, we’ll need to make adjustments. We’ll run into issues that we didn’t anticipate or discover that approaches that we expected to be effective can be further improved. We ask for your patience, flexibility and partnership in the coming days and for the duration of our distance learning program. 

Distance learning will be supported by our District’s existing technology infrastructure, resources and training. Teachers will communicate with students and parents using the same methods as always–via District Google email accounts, Google Classroom, teacher websites and shared documents. Teachers may use Google Meet or Zoom for live instruction sessions. Students under age 13 should only be in Google Meet or Zoom when a teacher is present in the Virtual Meeting Room.

Teachers will post assignments throughout each week and provide feedback to students on their work. For the time being, student work will be graded as complete or incomplete; school administrators will provide additional details regarding grading in the coming weeks.

Please read our parent guide (English | Español) in its entirety. Important information covered includes expectations for student learning by grade level and online etiquette/code of conduct.

These are extraordinary times. We look forward to getting started and, once again, we appreciate your support.


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



District Hotline

Questions or concerns? Please email [email protected] or call (845) 680-1090, Monday through Friday, between 9:00AM-2:00PM.  Our Hotline call menu is as follows:

  • Press 1 for Academic Support
  • Press 2 for Food Services
  • Press 3 for Counseling, Special Education, and Meal Delivery
  • Press 4 for Technology Support
  • Press 5 for all other matters related to the mandated closure

All emails and calls will receive a response within 24 hours. In the event of an emergency, please call 911.

The New York State Office of Mental Health’s new Emotional Support Helpline provides free and confidential help to those feeling anxious due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Helpline is open 8AM-10PM, 7 days a week. Call 1+ (844) 863-9314.

Food Service

Based on demand and feedback from our families, the District is changing the schedule for distribution and delivery of free and reduced breakfast and lunch meals to South Orangetown children under age 18 as follows:

Meal Pickup from SOMS Cafeteria (9AM-Noon)

  • Monday, March 31 through Wednesday, April 1: Families will pick up grab-and-go daily meals for one day
  • Thursday, April 2: Families will pick up grab-and-go meals to last through Monday, April 6 (5 days)
  • Tuesday, April 7: Families will pick up grab-and-go meals to last through Wednesday, April 8 (2 days)
  • Thursday, April 9: Families will pick up grab-and-go meals to last through Monday, April 13 (5 days)

Home Delivery (9-11AM)

  • Monday, March 31: Families will receive grab-and-go meals to last through Monday, April 6 (8 days)
  • Tuesday, April 7 (*new home delivery day*): Families will receive meals through Monday, April 13 (7 days)

Food service will continue for the duration of the school closure.

Questions? Call the District Hotline at (845) 680-1090 and press 2 for general food service or press 3 for meal delivery or email [email protected].