January 28, 2011

NYSED: Weather cancels Regents Exams. Some seniors can use course grades to graduate

Source: New York State Education Department


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Jane Briggs, Jonathan Burman or Tom Dunn
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Some seniors can use course grades to graduate as Regents Exams are canceled due to inclement weather; next administration in June

The State Education Department announced today that seniors who were scheduled to take Regents exams this week and were unable to do so because their schools were closed by inclement weather may use passing course grades (per local policy) to meet the requirements for a local diploma. This option is being allowed only for the small number of seniors for whom passing grades on Regents exams not available this week due to inclement weather would represent their only outstanding requirement for January 2011 graduation.   

Education Commissioner David Steiner said, “We hold a Regents Diploma as the goal for all; however, this is the fairest course of action for the seniors affected this week.  I urge all the affected students to come back in June to earn the scores they need for a Regents diploma.”

This announcement today follows the precedent established in January 2004 – the last time such a large number of students were affected by school closures during a Regents examination period. A final count of seniors exercising this option will be determined as principals and superintendents audit coursework and grading policies to establish student eligibility and report to the State Education Department. 

All students unable to take exams due to school closures this week are reminded that the next scheduled administration of the exams is in June.   January exams are offered in approximately 1600 schools statewide and account for approximately 15 percent of all Regents exams administered in a year.   To ensure that students have multiple opportunities to take the Regents exams, New York offers them three times a year. The Department views the January Regents examination period as primarily a makeup testing opportunity for students. 

Public, non-public and charter school officials will receive further details in a guidance memo from the Office of State Assessment tomorrow.

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