Sent via SchoolMessenger on August 30, 2021
Dear South Orangetown Families,
In just 10 days, on Thursday, September 9, we’ll be welcoming all our students back for full-time, in-person learning…and we can’t wait!
Throughout the summer, our staff has been busier than ever gearing up for the new school year. In addition to routing buses, performing maintenance on our facilities, registering new students and hiring staff, our buildings have been buzzing with academic and social emotional programming to help students make a successful transition back to school this fall. (More about this in our “Welcome Back” video later this week!)
As we finalize preparations for the 2021-22 school year, we want to make sure that you are aware of our COVID-19 protocols so that we can keep our students and staff healthy, safe and in school.
Under the latest NYSED and CDC quarantine guidance, implementation of consistent, universal indoor masking and physical distancing sharply reduces the number of students required to quarantine in the event of an exposure. On August 27, the New York State Department of Health Commissioner issued a directive requiring indoor masking in P-12 schools. Therefore:
- Indoor masking, regardless of vaccination status, is required for all:
- K-12 students and staff;
- passengers, drivers and staff on school transportation; and,
- visitors to school buildings (over the age of 2).
- In addition to masking, physical distancing will be implemented as follows:
- No physical distancing on school transportation, in accordance with transit rules;
- three (3) feet between students indoors at school; and,
- six (6) feet between students and staff; between teachers/staff who are not fully vaccinated; and, between students when eating, drinking, singing or playing a wind instrument, to the extent possible.
Temperature screenings and daily health questionnaires are no longer required. However, students and staff should remain at home if they have any COVID-19 symptoms. Click here to review our COVID-19 reporting and contact tracing protocols. For additional details, please see our Health & Safety Protocols: 2021-22 webpage.
As we count down to our first day of school, here are a few more resources to help your family get ready:
- The Parent Guide to Back to School: 2021-22 will arrive in local mailboxes this week and can be found online on our District News webpage.
- Video tours for William O. Schaefer Elementary School kindergartners, Cottage Lane Elementary School third-graders and South Orangetown Middle School sixth-graders are posted on our SOCSD Communications YouTube channel. Tappan Zee High School will host its incoming ninth-grade orientation on the first day of school.
- Our District Back-to-School webpage contains links to building back-to-school pages, as well as information regarding communications, transportation and student health exams.
I look forward to seeing you on September 9!
Robert R. Pritchard, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools