South Orangetown Central School District

Sent via SchoolMessenger on November 5, 2021

Dear South Orangetown Parents,

As a reminder, Friday, November 12 is a scheduled Early Emergency Dismissal Drill for all K-12 students. The purpose of this drill is to test the effectiveness of our transportation and communication systems, in the event we need to respond to an emergency. On this day, South Orangetown schools will be dismissed in accordance with the times listed below.

As required by law, we are sending this notice at least one week before this drill so that you can make all the necessary arrangements to receive your child earlier than normal.

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.

In accordance with NYSED guidelines, the drill will occur 15 minutes prior to normal dismissal time. Schools will implement standard dismissal procedures, just 15 minutes earlier.

  • 2:40 PM: South Orangetown Middle School
  • 2:45 PM Tappan Zee High School
  • 3:15PM: William O. Schaefer Elementary School and Cottage Lane Elementary School

All staff and students must evacuate the building until the last bus departs. Staff and students may return to the building once the last bus departs.

All parent/guardian and emergency contacts listed in student records will receive SchoolMessenger email and robocall notification of an early emergency dismissal the afternoon of the drill. Early emergency dismissal information will also be posted on the district website (


  • The YMCA afterschool program will run as scheduled. Students will be supervised during this drill.
  • WOS students must be met by a parent/guardian or bus designee at their designated bus stop. Please arrive at your child’s stop 15 minutes early to ensure that they have an authorized adult to receive them. To add a bus designee to your child’s record, please contact the Transportation Office at (845) 680-1662.
  • High school students who drive to school will be permitted to drive home. However, in the event of an actual emergency, transportation-eligible high school students may be required to take the bus.
  • In order to accurately practice and evaluate our emergency early dismissal procedures, student pickups will begin 15 minutes earlier than usual.


  • Discuss the school early emergency dismissal drill with your children in advance. For parents of grade 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 “” 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 the afternoon of Friday, November 12, please contact your child’s school on Monday, November 15, to review contact information on file.

Thank you in advance for your support and cooperation.