Nearly all Oracle Charter School juniors pass History Regents in half the time

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Oracle Charter School is celebrating a huge accomplishment for its junior class.

Nearly 90 percent of the students passed their US History Regents exams a few weeks ago – a success rate that is all the more impressive when you consider they learned all of the material in half the normal time.

Usually, students take the Regents exam in June after ten months of instruction.

The Oracle Charter School juniors voted unanimously in the beginning of the school year to accelerate the course, so they could take the exam in January, after only five months with the materials.

“I knew they could do it. I absolutely knew they could do it, but it’s a daunting task,” said history teacher Donna Nowak.

Nowak’s students certainly rose to the challenge. She says 45 of the 50 students who took the test a few weeks ago passed. More than a quarter of those students scored well enough to achieve Mastery. “I’m awe struck at their self-discipline,” Nowak said.

“I wasn’t expecting to get a 95,” said Oracle High School junior Angelica Robinson. “But that just shows a lot about how much work I put in and how much work Ms. Nowak put in.”

“We all got serious and we all paid attention, and we all took the test and we passed,” said another junior, Jahzier Redfern.

On Monday morning, all of the students who passed the test gathered together in the school’s cafeteria, where they spent a lot of time in the week before the test for last minute prep and group study sessions. They also studied online and on their phones, through the use of an app called Remind101.

“We had this app that she (Ms. Nowak) got on our phones and we would spend an hour every night, she would send us text messages about the material, and she would ask us questions and we would have to answer them,” explained Oracle High School junior Jaylan Snaith.

The learning only accelerates from here.

By getting the Regents curriculum out of the way in the first half of the school year, the juniors can now move on to a college level course for the rest of the year.

They say that’s a big opportunity that will set them up for future success, and the teens have big dreams. “I want to go to Canisius College to become an English professor. Get my AP license, get my Masters and my Bachelors, of course, and get my PhD,” Snaith told News 4.

“College classes are typically taught in three and a half or four months, and that’s how I treated this class, so if nothing else, they’re just a step closer to being prepared for college classes when they go,” Nowak added.

Oracle Charter School, a college preparatory school for students in grades 9-12, is currently accepting applications for Fall enrollment. The deadline is March 31, 2017.

Applications can be picked up in person at the school at 888 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo, or they’re available online at

The school is hosting an open house for potential students and their families on Wednesday, February 15, 2017, from 4:30 p.m. until 7 p.m.

The handful of students who were unable to pass the Regents exam in January will have another opportunity to take the test in June, and Nowak will continue working hard with each of them to set them up for success. “My first priority is, for the few that didn’t make it, to make sure that we all cross that finish line in June,” she said.

Oracle Charter School prides itself on its small class sizes which all students to experience an intense learning environment that is tailored to their individual needs. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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