The New York State Board of Regents (aka state board of education) announced that January’s Regents exams (required for high school graduation) would be canceled due to the ongoing pandemic.

The state education department has canceled New York’s high school exit tests that were scheduled for January, Interim Commissioner Betty Rosa announced Thursday. 

January’s Regents exams cannot be offered “safely, equitably, and fairly” due to the pandemic, as schools are offering only some days of in-person instruction, Rosa said in a memo to school districts. She did not, however, say what will happen with Regents in June and August, nor what will happen with the grades 3-8 English and math tests that are typically administered in March and April.

“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,” Rosa said.

Typically, students must take five Regents exams in order to graduate. About 300,000 students statewide take January tests, while 1.6 million take tests in June, state officials said. 

State officials are proposing that students can be exempt from the January tests if they pass the related course by the end of the first semester of this school year. That proposal will go before the Board of Regents in December for approval.