April 8, 2020
Dear Sewanhaka CHSD Families:
I am writing with a few updates and reminders regarding remote learning and our school closure. First, I hope all of our Sewanhaka families are healthy and doing well. Additionally, I would like to offer special thanks to the first responders, essential employees and healthcare professionals in our community. We owe you a special debt of gratitude at this time.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that the mandated school closure is extended through April 29, 2020. Per the Governor’s Executive Order, distance learning is required on all weekdays, including this Friday, April 10, 2020. We realize families may be observing religious holidays this week. Please access our remote learning schedule and assignments in a manner that works for your family. There will be no penalties for students who are unable to work on assignments due to religious observances. Please be sure your child communicates directly with his or her teacher regarding a need to extend a due date.
The New York State Board of Regents announced that June 2020 Regents Exams are cancelled. We have been provided with additional guidance regarding the impact of the cancellation on graduation requirements. Under these current circumstances, the news is positive and very fair. Any student who intended to take a Regents exam, or World Language Checkpoint A or B exam, in June 2020 is excused from that requirement for graduation. This applies to all students in grades 7 - 12, including those who were planning to retake Regents exams previously failed. A few important scenarios are provided below, which hopefully answers anticipated questions.
- No student’s graduation will be delayed due to the cancellation of June 2020 Regents exams.
Example: A student in grade 12 who planned to take a Regents exam in June, which was needed for a diploma (Local, Regents, or Advanced Regents), will earn the diploma in June provided the student passes or has already passed the corresponding course.
- No student will be prevented from moving on in course work due to the cancellation of the June 2020 Regents exams.
Example: A student in grade 10 is enrolled in Geometry and would have taken the Geometry Regents exam in June 2020. Provided that student passes his/her Geometry course, he/she will move on to take Algebra II in 2020-21. That student will not be required to “go back” and take the Geometry Regents at a later date.
- No student’s diploma type will be negatively impacted by the cancellation of the June 2020 Regents exams.
Example: A student in grade 9 is enrolled in Living Environment. The student previously took and passed the Earth Science Regents exam and course in grade 8, meaning Living Environment could have satisfied that student’s second science Regents exam required for the Advanced Regents Diploma. Provided that student passes the Living Environment course, he/she will not need another science Regents exam to earn the Advanced Regents Diploma.
Example: A student in grade 10 is enrolled in Spanish III, French III, or Italian III and planned to take the Checkpoint B exam in June 2020. As long as that student has earned three high school credits in their World Language, the Checkpoint B exam will not be required for the Advanced Regents Diploma.
Example: A student in grade 12 previously failed the Global History exam but had planned to take it in June to earn the credit needed to graduate. As long as the student has already passed the Global History course, he or she would be able to graduate without the passing grade on the Global History exam.
The New York State Education Department’s memo regarding the cancellation of June 2020 Regents exams can be accessed here. In addition, a lengthy FAQ document from NYSED can be accessed here. In our District, Regents and final exams count for 20 percent of a student’s final course grade. In the absence of Regents exams, we will work to develop a final grade calculation plan that is in our students’ best interest.
We continue to provide mandatory instruction via remote learning to support the continuation of learning for our students. Students are required to participate in our online instruction and must pass the course in order to receive credit. Please encourage and support your child with this endeavor. As we look to the future, we want our students prepared for what lies ahead in their education. Continued participation will insure a smooth transition into the next school year.
As stated previously, our greatest strength in combating COVID-19 lies within our community. According to medical professionals and news reports, this week may be among the most important in stopping the spread of this terrible virus. Now more than in past weeks, please stay home. If you must leave your house, please practice social distancing. There will likely be more challenges ahead, but I am confident the Sewanhaka Central High School District community will prevail.
Feel free to reach out to your child’s school counselor with your specific questions or for further clarification. Please remain healthy and safe!
Taryn M. Johnson, Ed. D.
Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction