South Orangetown Central School District

As a reminder, Wednesday, November 21st is a scheduled half-day for all K-12 students. On this day, South Orangetown schools will be running an early dismissal drill to test our district safety procedures. Families are strongly encouraged to use this opportunity to test their own family emergency plans. With winter weather on the way, it’s important that all families have plans in place in the event of a school closing, delay or early dismissal.

Here’s what to expect on November 21st:

Early Dismissal Procedure

  • All parent/guardian and emergency contacts listed in student records will receive SchoolMessenger email and robocall notification of an early dismissal the morning of the drill. Early dismissal information will also be posted on the district website (, and Facebook ( and Twitter (@southorangetown) feeds.
  • Students will be dismissed at the following times:
    • 11:15AM: South Orangetown Middle School & Tappan Zee High School
    • 12:15PM: William O. Schaefer Elementary School and Cottage Lane Elementary School
  • All transportation-eligible students will be transported to either their home bus stop or afternoon alternate bus stop location according to what is designated on the student’s transportation file. There is no YMCA afterschool program; students who usually go to the YMCA program will be bused home. In order to accurately practice and evaluate our emergency early dismissal procedures, pickups on this day cannot be accommodated.

How Families Can Prepare

  • Discuss the school early dismissal drill with your children in advance. For parents of grades K-2 students, please make sure a plan is in place for an authorized person to receive your child at their designated bus stop.
  • Review your family emergency plan with your child. Make sure to cover the following:
    • Their bus number and bus stop location;
    • Who will meet them at their bus stop (WOS students only);
    • How they will get into your home (e.g., location of a hidden key, security code once they enter the home); and,
    • The names and numbers of who they need to call when they get home.
  • Be sure to review your family emergency plan with those listed as emergency contacts in your child’s school record.
  • Add “[email protected]” as an email contact and verify this address as a trusted sender.

The safety of our students and staff is our top priority and requires continual emergency preparedness planning, practice and review. If you or any of your child’s emergency contacts do not receive a SchoolMessenger email or robocall on November 21, please contact your child’s school after Thanksgiving Break to review contact information on file.

Thank you in advance for your support and cooperation.