NYSED Navigation •
NYSED HOME •
TOPICS, A-Z •
VESID Navigation • VESID Home • News • Publications • Contact VESID
Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities (VESID)
Special Education and Vocational Rehabilitation Services
Word or PDF format for printing
|Superintendents of Public and Nonpublic Schools|
|Superintendents of State-Operated and State-Supported Schools|
|Principals of Public and Nonpublic Schools|
|Directors of Special Education|
|Chairpersons of Committees on Special Education|
|Directors of Pupil Personnel Services|
|Executive Directors of Approved Private Schools|
|Presidents of Boards of Education|
|State and Local Teacher Associations|
|Impartial Hearing Officers|
|Community Dispute Resolution Centers|
|Commissioner’s Advisory Panel for Special Education Services|
|SETRC Project Directors and Training Specialists|
|Organizations, Parents and Individuals Concerned with Special Education|
|Lawrence C. Gloeckler|
|Subject:||Extension of the RCT Safety Net for Students with Disabilities|
Students with disabilities continue to make considerable progress in achieving the State learning standards with increasing numbers taking and passing Regents examinations. However, there is still a significant achievement gap between students with disabilities and general education students, and an even more significant gap for students with disabilities in districts with low resources. In recognition of that gap, the Board of Regents in October 2003 approved an extension of the Regents Competency Test (RCT) safety net for students with disabilities. This action extends the safety net for an additional five years to make it available to all eligible students with disabilities entering 9th grade from the 1996-97 school year through the 2009-10 school year. The Department will proceed with amendments to Part 100 of the Commissioner's Regulations to conform to this decision by the Board of Regents.
Beginning with students who entered grade 9 in the 2001-02 school year, in order to earn a high school Regents diploma, they need to take and pass with a score of 65 or higher five specific Regents examinations. The safety net allows students with disabilities who do not pass one or more
of the required Regents examinations to instead meet testing requirements for the local diploma by passing the corresponding RCT(s) or the Department approved alternatives. The school may administer the RCT before or after the Regents examination, but, in all cases, the student must take the required Regents examinations in order to earn the local diploma.
As a reminder, the admission requirements for taking the Regents and RCTs are described on page 4 of the Regents Examinations, Regents Competency Tests, and Proficiency Examination: School Administrator’s Manual. For example, only students enrolled in grades 11 and 12 may be admitted to the RCTs in reading and writing; they are generally expected to take these tests initially in January of Grade 11.
The following students qualify for the RCT safety net:
It is important to note that the RCT safety net for students with disabilities is different from the local option for a passing score of 55-64 available to all students when adopted by the district. The "low-pass option" will be in effect for all students now in high school (students who entered grade 9 in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003) and those entering grade 9 in 2004. This allows students to meet local diploma requirements by earning a score of at least 55 on the five required Regents exams. The low-pass option must be made available to students with disabilities if the district chooses to make it available to any students.
Questions and Answers:
No. The safety net must be provided for students with
disabilities in all districts.
No. The 55-64 low-pass option is available to students with
disabilities only if it has been adopted for all students.
No. The 55-64 low-pass option, available to all students
including students with disabilities, satisfies the testing requirement for a
Local diploma only. A score of 65 or higher is required for meeting Regents diploma requirements.
Further questions about the 55-64 low-pass option may be e-mailed to email@example.com. If you have questions about the RCT safety net for students with disabilities, please contact the Office of Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities, Special Education Policy Unit, at 518-473-2878 or your Regional Associate at one of the following VESID Special Education Quality Assurance Regional Offices:
Eastern Regional Office
Hudson Valley Regional Office
|(914) 245-0010 / (518) 473-1185|
Central Regional Office
|Long Island Regional Office||(631) 884-8530|
|New York City Regional Office||(718) 722-4544|
|Western Regional Office||(585) 344-2002, ext. 420 / (716) 821-7360|
*Please note: If you would like to receive notification of
our publications via e-mail, register at