RCS: In-person classes planned after Regents canceled

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By Melanie Lekocevic

Capital Region Independent Media

RAVENA-COEYMANS-SELKIRK — The Regents exams originally scheduled for January have been canceled statewide and local students will be in class on those days, according to a letter from the district Thursday.

The exams were originally scheduled to take place from Jan. 25 to Jan. 28, according to a joint letter to the community from Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk High School Principal Dr. Lisa Patierne and Assistant Principal Herb Tedford.

District students will be in the classroom on those days instead.

“Please be advised that the RCS High School will now follow its regular daily schedule for Tuesday, Jan. 25 through Friday, Jan. 28,” according to the letter. “Students should report to school on their normal schedule for these days.”

The exams were canceled by the New York State Education Department in late December due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“Educators, school staff, communities and families have taken painstaking efforts to ensure a safe and healthy school year,” Board of Regents Chancellor Lester Young, Jr. said in December. “Given the unpredictable nature of the pandemic, the recent acceleration in COVID-19 infections and continuing upheaval the virus has caused in schools across the state, this decision is the right one. New York’s students will continue to have access to high-quality coursework while allowing districts to prioritize the health and safety of our school communities.”

Modifications to diploma requirements will be made by the state in light of the canceled examinations, according to the State Education Department.

Since the beginning of the school year, the RCS district has had 250 students, 29 teachers and 26 staff members test positive for a total 305 infections since September, according to the New York State COVID-19 Report Card.

As of Jan. 13, Pieter B. Coeymans Elementary School has had the highest number of virus infections this school year with a total of 92, including 71 students, 13 teachers and eight staff members, according to the state report card.

RCS High School has seen 81 COVID-19 infections with 71 students, two teachers and eight staff members testing positive since September.

A.W. Becker Elementary School has had 71 positive tests with 56 students, nine teachers and six staff coming down with the virus.

RCS Middle School has had the fewest COVID infections in the district with 61 cases, including 52 students, five teachers and four staff members.

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