In the South Orangetown Central School District, student and staff safety is our first priority. Our District is continually reviewing, assessing and strengthening its procedures to ensure a healthy and secure learning environment for all.
- View the Parent Guide to School Safety 2020-21
- View the Pandemic Safety Plan.
- View the Fall Safety Drills Update (10/2/20)
Any students who witnesses or is the victim of an act of harassment, bullying, or hazing should report it directly to an adult at school. If unable to reach an adult directly, you may use Anonymous Alerts, a web-based tool, to report an incident related to harassment, bullying, hazing, and discrimination. Students who report this type of incident have the right to be safe from any type of retaliation. The Anonymous Alerts system is monitored between the hours of 8:30AM to 3:30PM during regular school hours on days when students are in session, and an investigation, where actionable, will commence within 2 school days of receipt of the report. Do not use this system to report issues requiring immediate assistance; in the event of an emergency, call 911. Go to Anonymous Alerts.
Closings, Delays & Early Dismissals
The decision to close or delay school opening is made by 5:30AM. Determinations are made according to conditions within the district. If weather conditions worsen or other situations arise during the school day, an early dismissal decision may be made. Families are strongly encouraged to have a family emergency plan in place in the event that school is delayed, canceled or dismissed early.
Notifications for closings, delays and early dismissals are sent to staff and families via SchoolMessenger phone and email messages, and posted on the District homepage. They are also posted on the district Facebook (@southorangetowncsd) and Twitter (@southorangetown) feeds and submitted to the following media outlets: WHUD/100.7 FM, WRCR/1700AM, WCBS/880 AM and News12.
- Delayed Opening: SOMS and TZHS begin at 10:30am, WOS and CLE begin at 11:30am
Morning buses arrive two hours later than their regularly scheduled time. No breakfast, but lunch is served. Elementary school students may let their teachers know if they need a snack on days when breakfast is not served.
- Early Dismissal: SOMS and TZHS dismiss at 11:30am, WOS and CLE dismiss at 12:30pm
Early dismissals may be scheduled (e.g., Superintendent’s Conference Days) or called in anticipation of inclement weather. After-school activities, Continuing Education classes, and the YMCA program are canceled. Students are bused to their regular afternoon stops, including alternate sites. However, if the district is notified by a child care provider that they are closing due to inclement weather, those students will be bused directly home. Students who would normally attend afternoon YMCA program are bused home.
- Emergency Dismissal: Students in one or more buildings may be dismissed early due to an emergency (e.g., water main break that impacts the schools). If students cannot be dismissed at the standard Early Dismissal time, all busing-eligible students are bused home. Alternative site day care transportation arrangements will not be honored in the event of an emergency dismissal.WOS parents should ensure that they have a bus designee available to meet their children at their home bus stop in the event of an emergency dismissal as the school may not have the staff resources required to receive students returned to school. Students in grades 3 and up are permitted to exit buses without an adult and should be prepared to gain access to their homes in the event of an early arrival.
Emergency Preparedness & Response
When an emergency occurs, school officials evaluate the seriousness of the situation and determine the best plan of action to respond quickly, safely and appropriately. Families play an important role in prevention, preparedness and response. We need your support so that our school district can respond quickly, safely and appropriately in the event of an emergency. Visit our Emergency Preparedness and Emergency Response pages for resources and detailed information.
SOCSD strives to provide safe, secure learning and work environments for our students and staff through comprehensive training, consistent facilities maintenance and enhancements, continuous monitoring and implementation of procedures aligned with industry best practices and Board policy. For information regarding the District’s Asbestos Management Plan, pesticide application, water testing and more, visit the Environmental Health page.
The Orangetown Police Department notifies SOCSD whenever a Level 2 or Level 3 New York State registered sex offender relocates to our community. The District notifies staff and parents of current students via email on behalf of OPD with a link to the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services Sex Offender Registry.
SOCSD encourages strong family and community engagement in our schools. To ensure the safety of our students and staff, all visitors to our buildings are screened and monitored. For information about procedures for visitors and the District’s use of video surveillance on school grounds, go to the Visiting SOCSD page.