NY High School Regents exams canceled for January amid COVID spike

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Sixth-grader Adriana Campbell, 11, jots down her name as she starts to work on her first assignment during the first day of school on Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2021 at Freeman Elementary School in Flint, Mich. ” Schools have begun reopening in the U.S. with most states leaving it up to local schools to decide whether to require masks. (Jake May/The Flint Journal via AP)

NEW YORK (WETM) – The High School Regents Examination Program has been canceled for January 2022 due to the rise in COVID-19 cases, according to State Education Commissioner Betty A. Rosa.

This cancellation applies to all exams that had been scheduled for the January 2022 Regents Examination period.

The New York State Department of Education said decisions have not yet been made regarding the June and August 2022 administrations of Regents Examinations or any other state assessment programs.

“New York set a daunting record last week with more COVID-19 cases reported in one day than ever before,” Commissioner Rosa said. “Once again, the January Regents Exams cannot be safely, equitably, and fairly administered across the state. We will continue to work with our schools, districts, and stakeholders to ensure they have what they need to provide academic, social and emotional, and mental health supports for our students.”

Impact on graduation diplomas

The state Department of Education plans to ask the Board of Regents to approve modifications to the assessment requirements that students must meet to earn high school diplomas, credentials, and endorsements.

These modifications apply to all students who are completing a secondary-level course of study or make-up program in January and are scheduled to participate in one or more of the January 2022 Regents Examinations.

Regents exam exemptions

To ensure students are not negatively impacted, the state DOE plans to ask the Board of Regents to adopt emergency regulations regarding the assessment requirements students need to earn a diploma.

Under the proposal, students who are planning to take one or more Regents exams during the January 2022 examination period at the conclusion of a course of study or make-up program could be exempt from the requirements pertaining to passing a corresponding Regents Examination to be issued a diploma.

To qualify for the exemption, the student must meet one of these requirements by the end of the first semester of the 2021-22 school year:

  • Be enrolled in a course that would ordinarily culminate with a January 2022 Regents Examination and earn credit for such course of study;
  • Complete a make-up program to earn course credit; or
  • Be prepared to take a required Regents Examination to graduate at the end of the first semester.

The Department of Education is working on additional guidance and will issue an FAQ in early January to address topics such as safety net options, mastery, honors, and technical endorsements so that schools may determine which diplomas to grant to their graduates.

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