South Orangetown Central School District

Health & Safety Protocols: 2021-22

Wearing of Masks

    • Any person over the age of 2 (including all students, personnel, teachers, administrators, contractors, and visitors) must wear masks at all times indoors in school buildings, regardless of vaccination status. Indoor masking is required as a condition of our Code of Conduct.
    • People do not need to wear masks when eating, drinking, singing, or playing a wind instrument; when masks are removed for these purposes, individuals will be spaced six feet apart to the extent possible. Students may also remove face coverings for scheduled short breaks, at the direction of staff so long as they maintain appropriate social distance.
    • Masks or cloth facial coverings must completely cover noses and mouths in order to prevent the transmission of virus-containing droplets. The CDC website has detailed information regarding masks and cloth facial covering.
    • Mask-wearing is optional outdoors. Students will be encouraged to use hand sanitizer at the start and end of recess.


Social Distancing

  • On the bus:
    • Masks are to be worn by all students, staff, and bus drivers, regardless of vaccination status, at all times.
    • Social distancing is not required, per transit rules.
    • Students will be asked to board the bus and move toward the first fully available seat in the rear of the bus.
    • Upon arrival at school, students will unload from the front first.
    • When temperatures do not fall below 45 degrees Fahrenheit, windows on buses are to be partially opened in a way to ventilate the vehicle.
  • In the cafeteria or when eating:
    • Students will be seated six (6) feet apart to the extent possible when eating or drinking.

Cleaning and Sanitizing

    • Custodial crews will clean common areas, including restrooms and high-touch surfaces, continuously throughout each building during the day. Products used are Oxivir tb (manufacturer’s Safety Data Sheet) and Bioesque Botanical Disinfectant Solution (manufacturer’s Safety Data Sheet).
    • Deep cleaning of classrooms and school buildings will be done routinely and on weekends. The District has its own spraying/misting equipment to dispense EPA and CDC approved cleaning and disinfectant products, which will be used nightly and on weekends. Products used are Virex II 256 (manufacturer’s Safety Data Sheet) to disinfect surfaces (including bathrooms and floors) and Bioesque Botanical Disinfectant Solution is used in the sprayers.
    • Teachers are responsible for cleaning their mobile workstations and technology with EPA-approved disinfectant wipes appropriate for adult use and effective against COVID-19.
    • Custodians and cleaners receive training on expectations for cleaning and disinfecting school buildings.

Use of Space and Ventilation

  • HEPA air filtration will be installed in every classroom by September 9, 2021.
  • Our Facilities team has cleaned and tested our exhaust fans to ensure that they are operating at full capacity and is assessing our HVAC systems to maximize the filtration capability. MERV values on our current air handler filters range from 4-8. The Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) rating varies according to each room’s HVAC system capability. MERV is a measurement scale designed to report the effectiveness of air filters. SOCSD schools are not equipped with hospital-grade HVAC systems or central air conditioning. The New York State Education Department requires schools to meet or exceed American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers standards, which all SOCSD schools do.
  • The District will utilize outdoor spaces for learning, lunch and recess, and the opening of windows for fresh air, to the extent practical in all school buildings.


  • Students will be encourage to practice proper hygiene, frequent handwashing and the use of hand sanitizer. Hand sanitizer is provided throughout each school. 
  • Sharing or personal spaces and equipment (i.e. laptops) will be limited.
  • Sharing of food or beverages is strongly discouraged.

Student Health Protocols

  • It is critically important that parents keep children who are not feeling well or are symptomatic at home.
  • Our school nurses will continue with standard procedures for students who become ill, injured or require medical attention at school.
  • In the event of a positive COVID-19 test, parents must notify their child’s school nurse immediately. Staff members must notify their immediate supervisor. View the COVID-19 Reporting webpage for detailed information. Once notified, District staff will contact the Rockland County Department of Health who will conduct contact tracing.
  • Return-to-school procedures for a positive COVID-19 test:
    • A letter stating they are released from isolation — either from the health department or their medical provider.
    • It has been at least ten (10) days since the individual first started experiencing symptoms.
    • It has been at least three (3) days since the individual has had a fever (without using fever reducing medicine), AND
  • For other illnesses, students and staff must be fever-free for at least 24 hours, without use of fever-reducing medications.