January 20, 2022

COVID cancels Regents

January exams called off because of rising cases

Greater Cortland area students will not have January Regents when they return from holiday break because the state Education Department has canceled the tests with cases of COVID-19 on the rise.

“New York set a daunting record last week with more COVID-19 cases reported in one day than ever before,” state Education Commissioner Betty A. Rosa said on Tuesday. “Once again, the January Regents exams cannot be safely, equitably and fairly administered across the state.” The January 2021 regents were canceled last school year, as well, as were exams in June and August of 2020.

The Education Department is asking the regents board to modify the graduation requirements so the test cancellation will not affect earning diplomas.

The state teacher’s union applauded the decision in a news release, stating its teachers will continue to successfully educate students without the exam. But not all educators were pleased.

“If I am being honest, I am disappointed in the cancellation of the Regents exams in January,” said Melinda McCool, the superintendent for the McGraw Central School District. “Our students are ready for the exams and resilient in their ability to be challenged in their coursework.”

The Tuesday announcement came two days before most districts’ holiday break and a month before the exams would begin.

Students were scheduled to take English, mathematics and science Regents from Jan. 25 to Jan. 28.

The regents scheduled for June and August 2022 are still on the schedule, the Education Department noted.

Students will continue to receive a rigorous education, said Board of Regents Chancellor Lester W. Young Jr. in a news release.

“Teachers will remain committed to the curriculum and strive to best meet the needs of all of their students,” McCool said. “I have the utmost confidence in the teachers that we employ at McGraw Central School.

“They truly understand the importance of both their content academic knowledge and the interpersonal skills that they teach.”