Schreiber to conduct in-person and virtual AP testing and revised Regents schedule

Schreiber+to+conduct+in-person+and+virtual+AP+testing+and+revised+Regents+schedule

Sara Mody, Staff Writer

As we near the end of the school year, finals season begins.  However, this year’s testing looks a little different due to Covid-19 testing modifications.  

With the AP tests starting in early May, the College Board has announced a few changes.  Students around the world will be able to take AP tests online or in person.  There are also three different testing windows.  For most students at Schreiber, AP testing will span from May 3 through May 17.  All of the exams will be administered as paper and pencil tests in school.  The format of these tests is the same as AP tests in the past, aside from last year.  With ongoing concerns about Covid-19, the College Board has created a second testing window from May 18-21 and May 24-28.  There is also a third window from June 1-4 and June 7-11.  The second and third testing window differs from the first in that students will take their exams digitally or in school.  

“Even though it is understandable considering the year we have had, I think the three different test administrations are kind of unfair.  If the College Board wanted to make this change for COVID reasons, they should have altered the tests to help support more students instead of just giving it more time,” said junior Ella Psaltos.  

If students elect to take the digital exams, they will encounter a few changes.  First off, a student must take the exam on a desktop or laptop computer.  The College Board requires all digital students to download a unique digital exam application on their device that will be used for testing.  Students can find the particular application on the College Board website along with more information regarding devices.  To maintain the highest level of  security and fairness for in-person and digital test-takers, the digital testing platform will not allow students to go back and forth between questions.  Exams will not have questions that students can quickly answer online; plagiarism software and other security features will prohibit students from collaborating with other test-takers.  

Moreover, for the last two weeks of the school year, high school students across New York State typically endure cumulative exams in a wide range of subjects depending on their coursework.  On March 15, the New York State Board of Regents announced the cancellation of countless Regents exams.  Due to ever-changing situations with Covid-19, the Board of Regents enacted an emergency regulations revision on 2021 diploma requirements.  They attempted to waive both the June 2021 and August 2021 regents exam, but, due to the rejection of the waiver by the U.S. Department of Education, schools will administer four NYS Regents exams this June.  Schools will give the English Language Arts, Algebra 1, Earth Science, and Living Environment exams per the Every Student Succeeds Act by the U.S Department of Education.

“I am very happy that a majority of the regents are canceled this year.  I think the tests would have caused immense stress for students, more so than a normal year due to the challenges of virtual learning,” said junior Mollie Tashlik.

While the school is administering these exams, the state has allowed students to opt-out of the exams.  Per the revisions to diploma requirements, all students enrolled in a regents course will be granted credit.  Countless schools across the state are entirely virtual or started school much later than Schreiber due to technological difficulties.  The Board of Regents enacted these new revisions to ensure the safety and health of all students.  The exams will occur from June 17-24, except for June 19, in observation of the Juneteenth holiday. 

“I think based on the year that we have had, and how challenging it has been to adapt to health guidelines and the ever-changing models of school, it would be unfair to hold students across New York State to the same standard.  I think it’s fair that they are giving students the option to take some of the tests given the situation,” said Schreiber teacher Ms. Arvotti. 

While countless students are ecstatic about regents cancellations, it leaves many wondering the fate of finals at Schreiber.  Many teachers have not yet announced whether they will be administering finals for classes, leaving students to speculate that they may be canceled like midterms.  On April 20, Dr. Pernick announced that the district would extend the school calendar through June 16.  This means that from June 7-14 in-class finals will be held.  June 15 is the last day of school for seniors and June 16 is the last day of school for all students.

Many departments have yet to announce their plans for final exams.  However, all of them will be abiding by the guidelines created by Principal Pernick.  Exams will be given the week of June 7 and will last no longer than an hour.  The department chairs are working with Dr. Pernick to ensure that students do not have more than two or three tests on the same day.  While this school year has been anything but ordinary, it is comforting to see that teachers and administrators are working hard to keep students safe and healthy while helping them prepare for the future.