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




Considerations for Reopening

Transportation will be aligned with the 50/50 hybrid instructional model that was chosen, in collaboration between South Orangetown CSD instructional program staff and school transportation staff. Collaboration between staff was integral to selecting an appropriate reopening strategy.

Key points that were considered:

  • In order to practice social distancing on the school bus to the extent practical, the seating capacity may need to be reduced. What are the impacts of reducing capacity on the buses and what does that mean for availability of the number of buses?
  • Social distancing at bus stops and school loading and unloading zones has been considered and information will be communicated to our school community.

School Bus Requirements

  • South Orangetown CSD requires staff and students who are able to wear masks and/or acceptable face coverings at all times while entering, leaving, and riding the bus, in accordance with New York State Department of Health Guidance and NYSED Guidance.
  • SOCSD students requesting transportation to school buildings within the district will be required to register for transportation for the 2020-2021 school year. Tappan Zee High School students residing within the 1.5-mile Walk Zone, are ineligible for transportation they do not need to submit a form. Registration forms will be due by August 15th, please refer to the appendix for a copy of the form.
  • Students who will be riding buses will be required to socially distance whenever possible.
  • Contracted bus vendors will be required to clean and disinfect all buses and equipment contained within; twice per day, after the completion of morning and afternoon routes, using an EPA approved product specifically labeled for use in the disinfection of SARS-CoV-2, and implement proper ventilation procedures post disinfection prior to the next route.
  • School buses shall not be equipped with hand sanitizer due to its combustible composition and potential liability to the carrier or district. School bus drivers, monitors, and attendants must not carry personal bottles of hand sanitizer with them on school buses.
  • Buses transporting students in wheelchairs must configure wheelchair placement to practice social distancing to the extent practical.

School Bus Considerations

  • Transportation staff will work with contracted vendors, staff, students, and guardians at bus stops to ensure social distancing is practiced to the greatest extent possible at bus stops and while loading and unloading buses.
  • Bus stops will be reviewed and modified as necessary to minimize the number of students waiting together.
  • Parents who can do so, are strongly encouraged to transport their students to and from school.
  • When temperatures do not fall below 45 degrees, windows on buses are to be partially opened in a way to ventilate the vehicle using appropriate air flow patterns.
  • School buses are an extension of the classroom, all expectations of the classroom must always be adhered to on buses.
  • The code of conduct for students and all pertinent South Orangetown CSD Policies will continue to be applied to students riding the bus.
  • South Orangetown CSD will determine the maximum capacity of students for each vehicle while meeting current social distancing guidelines whenever possible.

School Bus Staff Requirements

  • School bus drivers, monitors, attendants and mechanics shall perform a self-health assessment for symptoms of COVID-19 before arriving to work daily. If personnel are experiencing any of the symptoms of COVID-19 they should notify their employer for further direction and seek medical attention.
  • School bus drivers, monitors, attendants and mechanics must wear a mask or cloth face covering along with an optional face shield.
  • Transportation staff (drivers, monitors, attendants, mechanics and cleaners) will be trained and provided periodic refreshers on the proper use of personal protective equipment and the signs and symptoms of COVID-19. Evidence of such training is to be submitted to the SOCSD Coordinator of School Transportation.
  • Transportation departments/carriers must provide Personal Protective Equipment such as masks and gloves for drivers, monitors and attendants in buses as well as hand sanitizer for all staff in their transportation locations such as dispatch offices, employee lunch/break rooms and/or bus garages.
  • Drivers, monitors and attendants who must have direct physical contact with a child must utilize one-use wear gloves.
  • Contracted bus vendors are required to store any cleaning and disinfection supplies in a manner in which students do not have access to them at any time.

Students on Transportation Requirements

  • All parents/guardians are required to ensure their child/children are not experiencing any signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and do not have a fever of 100 degrees or more prior to them boarding their method of transportation to school.
  • Students must wear a mask on a school bus at all times, with the exception of students that have an approved medical exemption on file with the District. In those instances, students must wear an approved face shield.
  • Students must socially distance on the bus whenever possible.
  • Students who do not have a mask CANNOT be denied transportation, however they will be provided with a disposable mask.
  • Students who do not have masks must be provided one by the district.
  • Students with an identified disability which would prevent them from wearing a mask will not be forced to do so or denied transportation, as long as proper documentation is maintained with the Individualized Educational Plan (IEP). In these instances, the student(s) must wear an approved face shield.
  • Buses transporting students in wheelchairs must configure wheelchair placement to practice social distancing to the extent practical.

Students on Transportation Considerations

  • Students will be required to clean their hands using approved hand sanitizer prior to boarding buses.
  • Eating and drinking on buses is strictly prohibited.
  • Siblings or children who reside in the same household will be seated together.

Student Loading and Unloading

  • Transportation staff will work with contracted vendors, staff, students, and guardians at bus stops to ensure social distancing is practiced to the greatest extent possible at bus stops and while loading and unloading buses.
  • When students embark and disembark the bus, they should follow current social distancing protocols. This will likely increase the time required to load and unload buses at stops.

Pupil Transportation Routing Requirements

  • As per NYSED regulations, SOCSD will continue to provide pupil transportation to nonpublic, parochial, private, and charter school students and/or for students whose Individualized Education Plans have placed them out of district, when those schools are meeting for in-person instruction and SOCSD is open for student instruction (in-person or remotely). Please see the School Calendar at
  • All students are entitled to transportation by the district to the extent required by law. Transportation departments do not have the ability or the right to deny transportation for children who are in foster care, homeless or attend private or charter schools.
  • Parents who may have missed the due date to request out of district transportation due to a reasonable excuse may file a 310 appeal with the Commissioner of Education.

Pupil Transportation Routing Considerations

  • South Orangetown CSD will pursue every avenue to provide transportation for our student populations using creative means of district routing while adhering to applicable New York State Laws, Regulations, and Guidance.

Additional Resources
NY Association For Pupil Transportation
NY Association For Pupil Transportation – School Reopening FAQ
Interim Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfection- Public Transportation