Across New York State, students are supposed to be taking Regents exams this week. However, frigid weather is forcing schools to cancel the tests in many school districts in WNY.
Only two city school districts in Western New York have held all of their Regents as scheduled: Buffalo and Jamestown.
Buffalo high schools remained open for the Regents exams because their students can use public transportation. Outlying school districts cannot, and Buffalo’s testing chief, Dr. Genelle Morris, says about three-fourths of the students who signed up for the exams showed up.
“They needed to achieve a particular credit in a class, they needed to take this test. By allowing us to give the test today, it allowed these students to have the opportunity to get the credits on these examinations that they needed,” she said.
The dangerously low wind chill forced most suburban school districts to take “snow days,” putting some past their limit. That means a longer school year, and students who miss their exams this week will have to wait until June to take them.
But Iroquois Schools Superintendent Doug Scofield says teachers will be prepared to get students up to speed.
“The students come to them and say look, I have a test coming up I would really like to review, brush up on it, I haven’t done some of the material in a year-and-a-half. Can you help me? I’ve never heard anyone say no,” he said.
And because Buffalo high schools were offering the Regents exams, some students from the suburbs came into the city to take theirs.
Dr. Morris said, “And students were encouraged from other districts to come and take the Regents exams that we were offering here, because we were open for business, and we had them available.”
A few suburban school districts, such as Sweet Home, opened their high school on a delay, allowing their students to take their Regents.