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January Regents exams canceled due to COVID

NEW YORK STATE — Due to the alarming uptick of COVID-19 cases statewide, the New York State Education Department (NYSED) announced its decision to cancel the January 2022 High School Regents exams just as 2021 came to an end.

As published online at www.nysed.gov on Tuesday, Dec. 21, NYSED’s cancellation applies to all Regents exams scheduled for this month.

As a result of the January 2022 Regents exams being canceled, NSYED intends to ask the Board of Regents to approve modifications to the assessment requirements that students are required to meet in order to earn their high school diplomas, credentials and endorsements.

Additionally, NYSED will ask the Board of Regents to adopt emergency regulations regarding the assessment requirements that students usually need to fulfill as part of earning their diploma.

NYSED stated “students who are planning to take one or more Regents Examinations during the January 2022 examination period at the conclusion of a course of study or make-up program shall be exempt from the requirements pertaining to passing a corresponding Regents Examination to be issued a diploma.”

To qualify for the exemption, students must either be enrolled in a course that would ordinarily culminate with a January 2022 Regents exam and earn credit for their course; be prepared to take a Regents exam to graduate at the end of the first school semester; or complete a make-up program to earn course credit. One of these requirements must be completed by the end of the first semester of the 2021-22 school year.

No decisions have been made at this time regarding the Regents exams and other state assessment programs scheduled for June and August.

NYSED will issue additional guidance at some point in January to answer any questions students, families or administrators might have.

“Given the unevenness of this school year with the pandemic still ongoing and the acute social-emotional needs of our students, canceling the January Regents exams is the right choice,” the New York State United Teachers union said in a statement issued on Dec. 1, thanking those involved “for recognizing that our educators are still assessing their students, preparing them to receive their diplomas and setting them up for success after graduation without this round of state exams.”

Webutuck Superintendent of Schools Raymond Castellani weighed in on the decision after it was made public.

“It’s the right answer right now,” he said, taking into account the spike in COVID-19 cases across the state and in Dutchess County, especially with the new omicron variant and the uncertainty of whether students will be able to participate in the Regents exams without paying penalties from the pandemic. “It’s the right idea to hold off and let them take it in June.”

For further information, go to www.nysed.gov.

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