In Our Schools Today

Update on 1/27 Regents Exam Cancellation

The decision to close schools on 1/27 was made based on concerns about student safety, which is our most important priority. However, we recognize how difficult this cancellation is and hope that this information will help you to discuss the situation with your school community and plan next steps to ensure that affected students graduate with a Regents diploma this year. 

Which exams were cancelled?
Due to the 1/27 snow day, January Regents exams in these subjects were cancelled:

  • U.S. History & Government
  • Geometry
  • Physical Setting/Chemistry
  • Physical Setting/Physics
  • RCT in Science
  • RCT in Reading 

What is the impact of this cancellation on students who needed these January Regents exams to graduate in January?  
The State Education Department, after extensive consultation with us, announced last night that seniors who were scheduled to take Regents and were unable to do so because their schools were closed due to inclement weather may use passing course grades to meet the requirements for a local diploma. This option is available only to seniors whose sole outstanding requirement for January 2011 graduation is a passing grade on one of the cancelled Regents exams, and High School Superintendents will need to certify these graduates (more detail will be forthcoming today). Education Commissioner David Steiner today urged all of the affected students to take the relevant exams in June to earn the scores they need for a Regents diploma.

While we are pleased that the State took this step, we also understand that the cancellation is devastating for those seniors, for all of those students who studied so hard for their Regents exams, and for the teachers and parents who worked with them. We will continue to work with the State to identify better options to prevent this type of situation in the future.

Why can't students make up the exam this week?
The Regents exams are secure, meaning that teachers and students are not allowed to look at the actual exams in advance of test administration day and only one test form is created for each administration. Because some parts of the State, in which schools were open, administered these Regents exams yesterday, the security of the tests is now compromised and they therefore cannot be administered in New York City at a later date. For example, there could be instances of students who took one of the exams yesterday sharing questions with students in a part of the State that did not take the exams.

When can students take these exams? 
Students who were scheduled to take one of these Regents exams or RCTs in January now have the option to take the exam on the designated date in June. The Regents exam window in June this year is Wednesday, June 15, through Friday, June 24; specific dates for each exam will be posted on the State Web site,, later this spring.