South Orangetown Central School District

The following post was written by Executive Director of Finance and Management Services Alicia Koster.

Over the last several weeks, the administrative team has reviewed our school district’s safety protocols, particularly in terms of emergency prevention, preparedness and response. The safety and well-being of students and staff is our top priority and we value the trust you, as parents, place in us when you send your children to school each day.

The team has met to debrief on planning and communications before, during, and after the November 21 district-wide emergency dismissal drill, along with the implementation of the drill itself. Lessons learned include the need to work with our families to ensure that current contact information is on file with their children’s schools and that they have a family emergency plan in the event of a crisis during the school day. To further strengthen the home-school partnership on safety:

  • A Parent Guide to School Emergencies, which outlines courses of action that district officials may take to respond quickly, safely and appropriately in the event of an emergency, was mailed home to SOCSD families this week; and,
  • Our Family Engagement Center will host a three-part workshop series for parents and guardians, which begins Monday, December 17 at 7:00 p.m. in the SOMS Library. At Monday’s workshop, Dr. Tesik and I will discuss emergency preparedness protocols and how to build a family emergency plan.

We have also identified internal systems that can be enhanced to ensure that our school district continues to have the most effective emergency management program in place. As part of this effort, we are carefully reviewing dismissal procedures, including dismissals due to hazardous weather conditions and a variety of unplanned situations, with a focus on security. Families will be informed in advance of changes to protocols or procedures.

Please reach out to your child’s school with any specific questions you may have regarding your child. I look forward to seeing you on December 17.