South Orangetown Central School District

Table of Contents








Communications Strategy and Plan
Engagement and Training

Considerations of Reopening
Health Checks
Healthy Hygiene Practices
Social Distancing
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Cloth Face Coverings
Management of Ill Persons
Cleaning and Disinfection
Safety Drills
Health & Safety Training

Considerations for Reopening
Space Utilization – Health & Safety Assurance
Fire Code Compliance
Lead Testing
Additional Resources

Considerations for Reopening
Safety and Sanitation
Food Service Staff Training
Meal Service
Hand Hygiene
Social Distancing
Additional Resources

Considerations for Reopening
School Bus Requirements & Considerations
School Bus Staff Requirements
Students on Transportation Requirements & Considerations
Student Loading and Unloading
Pupil Transportation Routing Requirements & Considerations
Additional Resources

Considerations for Reopening
Comprehensive Developmental Counseling
Mental Health and Trauma Responsive Practices
Additional Resources

Considerations for Reopening
Scheduling Options

Attendance for Instructional Purposes
Attendance Considerations
Attendance for Reporting & State Aid Purposes
Chronic Absenteeism
Educational Neglect
Additional Resources

Considerations for Reopening
Access to Computing Devices
Access to Internet Broadband
Professional Development and Training
Additional Resources

Considerations for Reopening
Early Education and Learning
Continuity of Learning Plan
Collaboration, Grading, and Assessment
Interscholastic Athletics and Extracurricular Activities
Career and Technical Education
English Language Learners/World Languages
Professional Development
Additional Resources

Considerations for Reopening
Special Education Program and Services
Medically Fragile Students
IEP Implementation and Processes
Documentation Requirements
Additional Resources




Continuity of Learning Plan

SOCSD’s Hybrid Learning Plan provides for students to continue their learning through in person and/or online instruction. This model will ensure that students have equitable access to our curriculum and programs; including live sessions, pre-recorded videos, posted assignments and activities, and the possibility of a homeroom at TZHS. Instruction will remain aligned with the outcomes in the New York State Learning Standards. SOCSD will utilize our district curriculum maps and make adjustments as deemed necessary to support our students re-entering and moving forward.

Our district has purchased the premium version of Zoom that has been integrated with our online classroom environment to enhance the teaching and learning experience. This functionality has enabled teachers to group students for small group work and discussions and to conference with individual and small groups of students.

  • Teachers are required to use Zoom video conferences or Google Meets with their students when students are remote to preserve bandwidth in the classroom and school. However, students may use their Chromebooks or devices to access Google Classroom or other learning management systems or applications that don’t require live streaming in the classroom.
  • Teachers will also use digital tools, such as Google Classroom, Schoology, SeeSaw to provide both live and asynchronous classroom experiences for all students.
  • These live sessions or activities will be streamed to any students who are learning remotely. Teachers can continue to create and post asynchronous lessons or activities as well.
  • Teachers’ live sessions with students will be held during normally scheduled class. However, SOCSD is considering an abbreviated day to accommodate social distancing during arrival and dismissal. Students will begin the school day 15 minutes later than normal, with elementary students beginning the day at 9:30AM and secondary students beginning the day at 8:30AM.
  • During lessons, teachers will be able to step away from the camera when giving a lesson when screen sharing from the Smartboard or when engaging in hands-on activities, labs or projects.
  • During lessons, students can interact with physical materials away from the screen to complete work and activities.
  • Students can disengage from screen/camera to complete an activity then rejoin for the share and closure of the lesson.
  • The schedule of assignments or lessons for students will be posted online and shared on Fridays for the following week.
  • Teachers are expected to post their office hours one week in advance. Students are required to sign up for office time with teachers.
  • Teachers will permit school leaders and support staff to have access to their Google or online classrooms.
  • At the beginning of a lesson, the teacher should be in the teacher safety zone, where their computer is plugged into a network. The teacher should log in to Zoom or Google Classroom and connect with the at-home students. Once this occurs, the teacher can begin their lesson. After the direct teaching/modeling portion of the lesson, students in class and at home can work in small groups, partnerships or individually to complete the activity/project/lab portion of the lesson.
  • Teachers should log in to each of their virtual classes, post work and provide feedback on student work.
  • Attendance procedures will continue as normal and be taken by all classroom teachers.
  • SOCSD is developing Hybrid Learning Guides for Parents, Teachers and Students regarding the expectations for Hybrid Learning (Brick and Mortar / At Home). The guides will be distributed before school opening.

Additional items students and families can expect this fall in a distance learning or hybrid learning environment:

  • Consistent scheduling for assignments and classroom work
  • Live, daily instruction for all students, whether participating in person or virtually
  • Trauma-based approach to instruction with an emphasis on social-emotional learning
  • Teacher support for students in learning the skills to be successful with remote learning, including executive functioning skills, self-advocacy and self-assessment using rubrics.

Teachers and instructional coaches are working to become even more familiar with many of the learning applications and resources we are using such as Classroom (Jamboard), Schoology, FlipGrid, Zoom, and some newer applications such as Seesaw.

Collaboration, Grading, and Assessment

SOCSD is planning for a systematic cycle of assessments including initial screenings and assessments in the fall. SOCSD will be administering universal diagnostic academic assessments such as the STAR Assessment, Fountas & Pinnell Benchmark Assessments, and formative teacher made assessments that will be administered at the beginning of the school year. In addition, our school-based Data Inquiry Teams will meet regularly to look at assessment data and subgroup student performance.

  • SOCSD will resume its normal grading process for all students K-12.
  • Our Response to Intervention Program is designed in a three-tiered model for support services in the areas of reading, math, and social emotional intervention support.
  • Teachers have structured collaboration, planning, and professional development time to engage in improvement cycles including reviewing student assessments, planning instructional shifts and strategies based on data, establishing clear outcome goals. Each school has established team and grade team meeting times scheduled daily and weekly.
  • South Orangetown CSD will ensure appropriate accommodations are made for all students.

Early Education and Learning

SOCSD has partnered with Child Care Resource Center for Rockland to provide students with Pre-K services in either a half-day or full-day program. We are working with CCRR and other Rockland districts to purchase a digital version of the Creative Curriculum and looking at the possibility of technology devices should we be in a hybrid or distance learning model of instruction. Currently, SOCSD has 30 full-day and 70 half-day seats at Pre-Ks around the county.

Interscholastic Athletics and Extracurricular Activities

NYSED & NYSPHSAA will provide directives regarding return to school protocols. Consequently, the Physical Education and Athletics Plan may need to be modified as new mandates and information are received by all stakeholder State agencies. See Plan here.
The District is currently evaluating extra-curricular activities in consideration of the hybrid instructional model and COVID-19 related safety protocols. We remain committed to offering our students a diverse and enriching learning experience while at SOCSD, and will communicate our plan prior to school opening in the Fall.

Career and Technical Education

South Orangetown CSD sends our students to Rockland BOCES for CTECH programs. Rockland BOCES has developed their own reopening plan inclusive of cleaning and sanitizing protocols. The District will work closely with BOCES to ensure program and learning experience requirements are met.

English Language Learners / World Languages

English Language Learners will attend school on a 50% basis and will receive supports according to their plans. Every effort will be made to schedule for additional in-person instruction.

The South Orangetown Central School District serves English Language Learners (ELLs) in specialized programs that best suit their individual language needs. We believe that all students and families deserve equal access to instructional programs and are committed to our district’s goal of graduation and college readiness for all students. We strive to support ELL students and their families in all areas and to strengthen the home-school connection.

The instructional approach includes a combination of pull-out and push-in English as a New Language (ENL) classes and core content classes geared towards English Language Learners, with a focus on both academic content and language development. Highly qualified teachers with English as a New Language certification are on staff in each of the district’s four schools which emphasize aligned instruction and inclusive learning environments. At the elementary and middle school levels, students who have been identified as ELLs are grouped by level into cluster classes of no more than six students per class (entering – emerging – transitioning – expanding – commanding). This model enables ENL teachers to pull out students for small-group instruction, and in some cases, push-in to co-teach with classroom teachers.

At Tappan Zee High School, ENL teachers work with students in small groups to provide services for language acquisition and to help them succeed in their regular classes.

SOCSD is aligned to the Blueprint for ELL/MLL Success: ensure coordination content and ENL/BE teachers; adopt progress monitoring tools to measure ELL proficiency; provide social-emotional learning supports to ELLs in their home language; continue utilizing technology in ELL instruction; support SIFE and other vulnerable populations; ensure EMLL Profile supports early learning; and support completion of the NYS Seal of Biliteracy.

SOCSD Goals for supporting English Language Learners:

  • Stay current – Research, create original content and resources, write (We’re Published in Teaching English Magazine!)
  • Communicate – Translate, inform others of needs of ELLs and Immigrant families, Provide PD
  • Integrate – Teach content through integrated, culturally responsive co-teach models, connect SEL with Language
  • Enrich – Provide World Language programs, hands-on learning
  • Support – Students and teachers, serve on leadership committees
  • Articulate – Anticipate and share needs, engage in vertical and lateral planning,
  • Analyze – Our teams regularly analyze multiple data points to plan for instruction

Professional Development

Teachers, instructional coaches, and administrators across all four schools and every discipline participated in the start of an eight-day professional development workshop hosted by long-time District educational consultants IDE on hybrid learning. Over the past decade, SOCSD has been working with IDE on developing problem- and project-based curriculum which fosters a student-centered classroom.

Teachers across the district have created interdisciplinary units of study that include more student choice, including book choice, activity lists, and multiple ways for students to demonstrate their learning. This approach has enabled students to take more ownership over their learning, which became even more important as we shifted to an all-virtual environment this past spring. Since we anticipate reopening with a hybrid model, there will be a digital component to teaching and learning regardless of whether students are physically in a school or accessing the curriculum from home.

The District’s Professional Development Committee has developed the SOCSD Professional Development Plan for the 2020-2021 school year. The Professional Development Committee (PDC) reviewed the requirements of the most recent Commissioner’s Regulations, the existing district Professional Development Plan, and the current needs of teachers, administrators, and staff. SOCSD Professional Development Plan can be found here.

The Professional Development Plan represents the mechanism by which Professional Review and Professional Development continues to advance in South Orangetown. The committee believes that quality results will be evaluated by means of the plan, the quality of thinking, cooperative dialogue, and collaboration that takes place within this committee and district staff.

Additional Resources
Blueprint for ELL/MLL Success
NYS ELL Parent Hotline
Joint Statement of Education and Civil Rights Organizations Concerning Equitable Education During the COVID-19 Pandemic School Closures and Beyond
SOCSD Curriculum Maps