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January 29, 2014

Bad weather is affecting schools again

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — A cold blast is once again affecting local schools, this time during Regents testing week. As a result, some students may have to wait until June to take the state exams.

All six eastern Niagara County school districts were closed Tuesday due to extreme wind chill. Students who signed up to take the state exams, in subjects including global history and geography, Algebra 2 and trigonometry, Regents Competency tests for writing and math, were unable as a result.

Now the test takers will have to wait until June, per the state education department.

Fortunately, out of that group of tests, only the global history and geography exams are required for graduation. But those needing to pass an exam in order to graduate aren’t the only ones taking January exams, some are taking an exam to obtain an advanced Regents diploma, said Michelle T. Bradley, Lockport City Schools superintendent.

If the extreme wind chill had hit Monday instead, it might have caused a problem for even more students. Monday, the 11th grade English Regents exam was held, which is one of the tests students must pass in order to graduate.

According to state law, districts may not use a snow day to close school and then bring in the students who signed up to take Regents exams.

”Schools may not administer state exams when weather conditions are severe enough to warrant closing school and canceling normal bus transportation,” says SED.

Today, classes in the Barker, Newfane, Royalton-Hartland and Wilson school districts will start two hours later than normal.

Lockport City Schools and Starpoint have made today a superintendent conference day, in which only staff, faculty and those taking a Regents exam report to school. All students in prekindergarten through eighth grade will stay home.

Districts are allowed four superintendent conference days per year, Bradley said. Tuesday will count as a snow day, because the entire district was closed. Schools must be in session for 180 days, regardless of the length of day, according to state law.

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