January Regents exams canceled due to COVID

The Regents exam for high-school students scheduled for January 2021 has been canceled due to coronavirus concerns. C-GM file photo

The Regents exams scheduled for January have been canceled statewide due to safety concerns amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Interim State Education Commissioner Betty A. Rosa announced Thursday the cancellation of the January 2021 test.

Regents exams are standardized tests taken by high-school students in New York to test their proficiency in specific core subject areas.

“Throughout the pandemic our priority has been the health and well-being of our students and educators,” Rosa said in a statement Thursday. “We determined the January Regents Exams could not be safely, equitably and fairly administered across the state given where the pandemic currently stands.”

The January 2021 exams were tentatively scheduled to be administered Jan. 26 through Jan. 29, according to an Aug. 20 memo released by Steven E. Katz, assistant commissioner in the state Education Department’s Office of State Assessment.

The board will continue to monitor data on the pandemic and the virus’ impact on schools before making any decisions on other assessments and exams, Rosa said.

A decision has not been made on the Regents exams scheduled for June and August of next year, according to the state Education Department.

The June exams are tentatively set for June 2, and June 15 through June 25. The August exams are tentatively slated for Aug. 12 and 13, according to Katz’s memo.

Schools in New York state were permitted to reopen in September by Gov. Andrew Cuomo after being closed to in-person instruction in the middle of March when the COVID-19 outbreak began to spread.

“The Board and I are enormously grateful to the dedicated educators, school staff, community members and parents who are working so diligently to ensure that students are safe and healthy this school year,” Board of Regents Vice Chancellor T. Andrew Brown said in a statement. “Whether they are engaged in in-school, hybrid or remote learning, we are committed to ensuring each of New York’s students has access to the rigorous coursework necessary to prepare them for success this year and beyond.

“The cancellation of the January Regents Examinations will not impact that priority,” Brown continued.

The board plans to propose modifications to high-school diploma requirements due to the cancellation of the January exams. Under the proposed changes, students who planned to take Regents exams in January will be exempt from the requirements to pass the exam in order to earn a high-school diploma, as long as they meet certain requirements established by the board.

Students who are exempted from the exam due to the cancellation will not be impacted in their eligibility for Honors or Mastery endorsement on their diploma.

High-school graduates who earn a certain grade on all Regents examinations they take may be eligible for honors endorsement on their diploma, and the canceled January exam will not impact that classification.

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