The New York State Education Department announced Thursday it canceled the January Regents exam due to the coronavirus.
Regents exams are administered three times a year, in January, June and August. They are the final exams middle and high school students take in various subjects. Passing the Regents exam is required to receive a high school diploma in New York.
All the tests scheduled for January were canceled, the Education Department said. No decision has been made about the June and August exams.
“Throughout the pandemic our priority has been the health and wellbeing of our students and educators,” Interim Commissioner of Education Betty A. Rosa said. “We determined the January Regents Exams could not be safely, equitably and fairly administered across the state given where the pandemic currently stands. We will continue to monitor applicable data and make a decision on other state assessment programs as the school year progresses, being mindful of the evolving situation.”
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Because of the cancellation, all students who were scheduled to take a test in January are exempt from the requirement of passing the exam to earn a diploma. The state’s Board of Regents will meet in December to finalize the changes to diploma requirements.
Additionally, the cancellation will not affect students who are on track to earn a Regents diploma or Regents with advanced designation diploma. As long as a student earns an average of 90 or above on all the exams they took, they are still eligible for the advance diplomas. The canceled exam will not factor into that equation.
“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. “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.”