Special Education

Amendment to Regulations regarding Graduation Requirements to Extend the Appeal Process to include Appeal of Scores for the Safety Net  Local Diploma for Students with Disabilities (Effective December 30, 2015)

January 2016

SPECIAL EDUCATION FIELD ADVISORY

From: James P. DeLorenzo, Assistant Commissioner, Office of Special Education

Subject: Amendment to Regulations regarding Graduation Requirements to Extend the Appeal Process to include Appeal of Scores for the Safety Net Local Diploma for Students with Disabilities (Effective December 30, 2015)        PDF of Field Advisory PDF document (81 KB)    Information and Forms PDF PDF document (361KB)   Information and Forms Word document Word (119KB)

At their December 2015 meeting, the Board of Regents approved for permanent adoption the amendment of section 100.5(d)(7) of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education to provide the option for students with disabilities to appeal a score of up to three points below a 55 on up to two Regents exams in order to graduate with a local diploma. A copy of the amended regulations may be found at:

http://www.regents.nysed.gov/common/regents/files/1215p12a1.pdf

To be eligible to appeal a score of less than 55, a student with a disability must meet all other conditions of appeal as follows:

  1. has attained at least a 65 course average in the subject area of the Regents examination under appeal;
  2. provides evidence that he or she has received academic intervention services by the school in the subject area of the Regents examination under appeal;
  3. has an attendance rate of at least 95 percent for the school year during which the student last took the required Regents examination under appeal;
  4. has attained a course average in the subject area of the Regents examination under appeal that meets or exceeds the required passing grade by the school and is recorded on the student's official transcript with grades achieved by the student in each quarter of the school year; and
  5. is recommended for an exemption to the passing score on the required Regents examination under appeal by his or her teacher or department chairperson in the subject area of such examination.

Appeals by students with disabilities of a score of less than 55 must be made to the local school district.  The timelines for appeal, appeal committee membership, forms for appeal, requirements specific to school district maintenance of appeal records and forms and requirements for reporting to the New York State Education Department can be found at  http://www.p12.nysed.gov/ciai/gradreq/CurrentAppealForm.pdf

To ensure dissemination to appropriate individuals within a school district, I ask Superintendents to please share this memorandum with individuals such as Directors of Special Education, School Psychologists, CSE Chairpersons, Guidance Counselors, Directors of Pupil Personnel and Parent Teacher Associations.  Questions regarding this memorandum may be directed to the Office of Special Education’s Policy Unit at 518-473-2878 or to the Special Education Quality Assurance Office in your region:

Central Regional Office                      (315) 428-4556

Eastern Regional Office                     (518) 486-6366

Hudson Valley Regional Office           (518) 473-1185

Long Island Regional Office               (631) 952-3352

New York City Regional Office            (718) 722-4544

Western Regional Office                    (585) 344-2002

Nondistrict Unit                                   (518) 473-1185

Information on an Appeal to Graduate with a Lower Score on a Regents Examination (Updated January 2016)

General Information

Beginning with students entering grade 9 in 2005, all students who have taken and passed certain courses in preparation to take a Regents examination and have a 65 course average but whose highest score on the Regents examination is below but within three points of the 65 passing score (62-64) may appeal to graduate with a local or Regents diploma using this lower score.  Students who are granted one appeal from their local school district under this provision shall earn a Regents diploma.  Students who are granted two appeals under this provision shall earn a local diploma.  Through this appeal, the student seeks a waiver of the graduation assessment requirements in this subject area.

English Language Learners

Students who are identified as English language learners pursuant to Part 154 Regulations of the Commissioner of Education, and who first entered school in the United States in grade 9 or above, may appeal to graduate with a local diploma if they have taken the required Regents examination in English language arts at least twice and earned a score on this exam between 55 and 61.  Such students may also appeal a score within 3 points of passing on one additional examination and graduate with a local diploma. 

Students with Disabilities

Students with disabilities, as defined in section 200.1(zz) of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education, eligible to graduate in January 2016 or thereafter who have taken and passed courses in preparation to take a Regents examination and have a 65 course average but whose highest score on the Regents examination is below but within three points of the 55 passing score may appeal to graduate with a local diploma using this lower score.  Through this appeal, the student seeks a waiver of the graduation assessment requirement in this subject area. 

Approval

Approval of this appeal will not change the student's score on the Regents examination under appeal.    The appeal may be initiated by a student or by the student's parent/guardian or teacher and must be submitted to the student's school principal.  A separate appeal must be made for each examination appealed by the student, and the student cannot seek an appeal for more than two examinations. 

Students who are granted an appeal with a score between 62 and 64 on one examination and who fulfill all other course and testing requirements will be determined to have met all graduation requirements and, thereby, earn a Regents diploma. 

Students who are granted an appeal on two examinations with scores between 62 and 64 on each and who fulfill all other course and testing requirements will receive a local diploma.

Eligible English language learners who are granted an appeal with a score between 55 and 61 on the required Regents examination in English language arts and who fulfill all other course and testing requirements will receive a local diploma. 

Eligible English language learners who are granted an appeal with a score between 55 and 61 on the required Regents examination in English language arts and an appeal with a score between 62 and 64 on one other required Regents examination and who fulfill all other course and testing requirements will receive a local diploma.

Students with disabilities who are granted an appeal with a score between 52 and 54 on one or two Regents examinations and who fulfill all other course and testing requirements will be determined to have met all graduation requirements and, thereby, earn a local diploma.  Students with disabilities who avail themselves of the Compensatory Safety Net Option may not appeal scores of 52-54 on the ELA and Mathematics http://www.p12.nysed.gov/specialed/publications/safetynetcompensatoryoption.html  to graduate with a local diploma.

School districts must provide all students an opportunity to access the appeals process if the students meet the eligibility requirements listed below.

Eligible Applicants

Students seeking to appeal with required Regents examination scores between 62 and 64 and students with disabilities with required Regents examination scores between 52 and 54 must meet the following criteria to demonstrate that they meet the State Learning Standards:

  1. Have taken the Regents examination under appeal at least two times;
  2. Have at least one score on the Regents examination under appeal within three points of the passing score on the examination;
  3. Present evidence that the student has taken advantage of academic help provided by the school in the subject tested by the Regents examination under appeal;
  4. Have an attendance rate of 95 percent (except for excused absences) for the school year during which the student last took the Regents examination under appeal;
  5. Have a course average in the subject under appeal (as evidenced in the official transcript that records grades achieved by the student in each quarter of the school year) that meets or exceeds the required passing grade by the school; and
  6. Be recommended for an exemption to the graduation requirement by the student's teacher or Department chairperson in the subject of the Regents examination under appeal.

English Language Learners who first entered school in the United States in grade 9 or above, seeking to appeal with a score between 55 and 61 on the required Regents Exam in English language arts must meet the following criteria to demonstrate that they meet the State Learning Standards:

  1. Have taken the required Regents examination in English language arts under appeal at least two times;
  2. Have been identified as an English Language Learner at the time the student took the Regents examination in English language arts the second time;
  3. Have at least one score on the required Regents examination in English language arts between 55 and 61;
  4. Present evidence that the student has taken advantage of academic help provided by the school in English language arts;
  5. Have an attendance rate of 95 percent (except for excused absences) for the school year during which the student last took the required Regents examination in English language arts;
  6. Have a course average in English language arts (as evidenced in the official transcript that records grades achieved by the student in each quarter of the school year) that meets or exceeds the required passing grade by the school;
  7. Be recommended for an exemption to the graduation requirement by the student's teacher or Department chairperson in English language arts.

Appeal Committee and Review

An appeal committee comprised of the school principal as chair, three teachers (not including the teacher of the student making the appeal), and one additional administrator will review the appeal to determine if the student has demonstrated the knowledge and skills required under the State Learning Standards.  The appeal committee may, in its discretion, interview the student or the teacher or Department chairperson recommending the appeal.  The appeal committee will review the appeal and rule on it within five days of submission.  The school superintendent, or Chancellor in New York City or his/her designee, may also interview the student and will sign off on all appeals.  The decision to grant or deny an appeal is made at the district level and is not subject to State Education Department (SED) approval.

Record of Appeals:

All records relating to appeals must be maintained by the school and be available for inspection by the SED.  Appeals must also be reported to SED using the attached Appeal to Graduate wtih a Lower Score on a Regents Examination Summary Form.

At the conclusion of each school year, please forward the attached Summary Form only to the following:

New York State Education Department

Office of Information and Reporting Services

865 EBA

89 Washington Avenue

Albany, NY 12234

(Do NOT forward any confidential student information with the submission.)

Questions related to the appeals process should be directed to the New York State Education Department's Office of Cirriculum and Instruction by email at:

emscurric@nysed.gov  or phone at 518-474-5922.

 

Last Updated: January 15, 2016